Wikimedia News/2003

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December 2003[edit]

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  • Databases have been recovered on a temporary server after a double hardware failure. There may be some remaining problems on some wikis, and mailing list signup isn't fixed up yet.
  • The Wikimedia Foundation raised a chunk of cash (dead link) in a recent fund drive to help pay for additional redundant servers to prevent future outages; thanks to everyone who contributed!
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  • RAM and HDD failures result in the wiki being closed, all day long...
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  • The Finnish Wikipedia has reached 3,000 articles.
  • Wikipedia has been temporarily moved back to the old database server while the new one is checked for errors. (Tests so far indicate RAM problems and/or operating system bugs.) Fulltext search has been disabled to reduce server load for the duration; hopefully this won't be more than a few days.
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  • Wiktionary is one year old today and already has over 30,000 entries!
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  • The search function is back online.
(You can always search Wikipedia with Google by adding "site:wikipedia.org" into your search terms on google.org, if you're nostalgic.)
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  • The 3-month average Alexa rank of Wikipedia.org breaks the 1,000 barrier, [2] meaning that Wikipedia.org is now in the top 1,000 websites that Alexa tracks.
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  • Wikimorial has been proposed as the new name of the Sep11Wiki. Please participate on that page to discuss other proposed changes (such as allowing entries on any dead person).
  • The Norwegian Wikipedia has reached 1,000 articles. / Wolfram
  • The Romanian Wikipedia now has more articles than the Hebrew one (2013 – 2002); this makes it 17th largest Wikipedia, as it was at the end of october.
  • The MediaWiki namespace, a new MediaWiki feature for interface translation and customisation, has been switched on.
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  • Our benevolent dictator and Wikimedia President Jimbo Wales has decreed that an experiment in constitutional monarchy in the form of dispute resolution mediation and arbitration committees should be tried. [3]
  • MySQL on the new database server seems to be working OK again. [4]
  • Hebrew Wikipedia has reached 2,000 articles.
  • Esperanto Wikipedia has reached 10,000 articles. This makes 10 Wikipedias with 10,000 or more articles; these 10 have been clearly larger than the rest since February this year. The next largest Wikipedias are Catalonian and Italian with somewhat over 5,000 articles; these two are still on Usemod software.
  • Romanian Wikipedia has reached 2,000 articles (23:15 CET, 0:15 Romanian time).
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  • The MySQL installation on the new Wikimedia database server is having some problems. [5]
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  • The new monster database server has now been installed, and all the MediaWiki-based Wikimedia projects are now running on it.
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November 2003[edit]

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  • The new database server has arrived. However, due to the Thanksgiving Holiday (US) it will not be installed until sometime early next week (at the earliest). [6]
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  • Wikipedia has been going through some software upgrades today, which hopefully will not be too disruptive...
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  • Wiktionary has had a few short bursts in Alexa ranking: [7]
  • The English language Wikipedia has reached 175,000 articles. 25,000 articles have been created in the last three months, since the 150,000th article was written on August 19th.
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  • A new discussion forum for matters to do specifically with Meta-Wikimedia itself has been rolled out. Check out Babel, and add your voice into the babble.
  • Welsh Wikipedia reaches 150 articles.
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  • The new database server should be shiped from the hardware vender on Thursday if all goes well. It should be installed early next week (again, if all goes well). [8]
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  • The new database server is scheduled to arrive on Monday November 17. [9] It should be installed and running later that week if everything goes smoothly.
  • Corsu Wikipedia runs in localised interface
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October 2003[edit]

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  • Frisian Wikipedia has been switched from phase 1 to phase 3 software. The method used for the switch is incomplete and requires some corrections afterward. Because of this, it is currently only suitable for small Wikipedias.
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  • Swedish Wikipedia reaches 15,000 articles.
  • Czech Wikipedia reaches 1,000 articles.
  • According to Alexa.com; Wikipedia.org is now within the 800 most popular websites (daily rank). Wikipedia's userbase has increased 119% (since July); and, the average user views 22% more pages.
  • Thanks to the donations of Wikipedians to the Wikimedia Foundation, a new database server has been ordered. This will free up processor power and memory on the web servers and should allow for reenabling search and other features which had been disabled for speed. Installation of the new box and final upgrades to "larousse", the slower of the two web servers, are projected to happen on or about 31 October.
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  • The database/mail/web server, "pliny", has been upgraded with a new motherboard and faster CPUs. This hopefully will solve the crashes that have plagued the machine for months and especially the last week.
  • The web server for the English Wikipedia, "larousse", is back online with its old slower CPU. It should be upgraded as well soon.
  • A portion of traffic to "www.wikipedia.org" will be diverted to "en2.wikipedia.org", while most of it will go to "en.wikipedia.org", where all logins will be directed. Until the server configuration is more stable and transparent load-sharing is set up, this should help share some of the traffic without burdening the other wikis too greatly.
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  • The separate web server for the English Wikipedia, "larousse", is back online, which should lighten the load on the other wikis significantly. Expect some more downtime for hardware work in the next day or so, however.
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  • For the first time in its history there are now fewer articles in the English Wikipedia than in all other language Wikipedias combined.
Even if one does not count the very tiniest Wikipedias into the mix, there are 164 128 articles when non English Wikipedias are summed up. In the English Wikipedia there are "only" 163 904 articles.
For more language specific statistics, see Multilingual statistics.
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  • Wikimedia now has over US$7,000 in its PayPal account! A big "thank you" goes out to those people who were able to donate money. [10] This money is going to be used to buy a new database server that may be installed as early as late next week. Early next week our two current servers should be upgraded and functioning (only one of our servers is working right now - see below). [11] Donations are still most welcome.
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  • Software problems caused the database server to be unavailable for much of the day. As a result, pages could not be edited and some pages (those of which no cached copies existed) could not be viewed. The current situation is that our two servers are both having problems.
Pliny, our main server which hosts the webserver for the non-English Wikipedia and all the databases, crashes irregularly; the causes of these crashes are unknown (likely a hardware problem). During upgrades, Pliny was left in a state where a post-crash reboot would not bring up the database server again, which caused today's downtime.
Our second server, Larousse, has recently been upgraded but is currently completely unavailable -- for all we know, the server might have caught fire. Jason from Bomis will drive to the server location to verify the server's state.
The good news is that once both our servers are up and running reliably again, things should get significantly faster. So please bear with us as we address these problems, and be sure to make a donation to the Wikimedia Foundation if you haven't already so that we can keep up with ever-increasing traffic. (see [12], and also Brion's notebook fund. Brion Vibber spends much of his time administering Wikipedia's servers with no direct compensation from Wikimedia or Bomis.)
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  • The upgraded web server has crashed and we haven't been able to get it back online yet. Have switched the database server to cover www.wikipedia.org until it's back up.
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  • The web server for www.wikipedia.org has been upgraded from a Pentium III 866MHz to a dual Athlon MP 2800 system. Some more upgrades (memory, CPUs for the database/other web server too) will follow over the next few days.
  • Note to those who have been using en2.wikipedia.org: new uploads have been switched back to www.wikipedia.org, and logins are no longer forced to redirect to en2.
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  • We now have over 300,000 articles in our MediaWiki Wikipedia versions (over 320,000 including the UseMod Wikipedias). This is a truly remarkable milestone given where most of the growth has occurred - outside of the English version. In fact, including the UseMod wikis, there are now as many articles in all other languages combined as there are in English! Soon Wikipedia will not have any one language with a majority of the articles. Official distribution of Wikimedia's first press release, however, is being delayed until much needed server upgrades can be performed.

September 2003[edit]

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  • 2. round of International logo vote started. See vote
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  • The server hosting some of the language Wikipedias on the older software on *.wikipedia.com has recently died. They have been transferred to *.wikipedia.org and are up and running at that address. .com addresses will become redirects to the new locations at some point, but at the moment are dead-ends.
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August 2003[edit]

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  • Please donate to the Wikimedia Foundation and help us buy a new server. We accept PayPal (major credit cards), or you could mail us a cheque (or check). See w:Wikipedia:Donations for details.
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  • Time magazine features Wikipedia in a sidebar article in the "Your Time: Technology" section of the August 18 issue, released today. An online version can be found at time.com.
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  • A second hard drive has been installed in the database server. Spreading disk access over two disks may help with performance. Even if it doesn't, it sure beats running out of disk space!
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  • Wikimedia's first press release is being worked on right now and will be released as soon as the whole project (all language versions) hit the 300,000 article milestone.
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July 2003[edit]

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  • National Public Radio in the United States has run a story on how Wikis are being used on the Internet and within corporations to collaboratively create documents. There is a very prominent mention of Wikipedia in this story (in fact about half the segment is about Wikipedia). Please email this link to your boss and co-workers!
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  • We are trying to come up with a new, better logo that will be used by all interested Wikipedias. Please see International logo contest for details.
Vastly improved custom software was installed on the English version of Wikipedia one year ago today. Since that time there have been over 55 million page views, over 1.2 million page edits and well over 100,000 new articles added. That comes out to an average of 150,000 views, 3,300 edits and 275 articles a day. And that is just for the English version!
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  • I realised that this news exist so I mention that about 8th July the Hungarian Wikipedia was re-started on the newsest shiniest software, and its localisation was mainly finished since then. Its article count recently reached the mind-boggling amount of 2^3.
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Upgraded wikis have also recently been made available for several languages: Arabic, Hebrew, Hungarian, and Slovene. More should follow shortly as the process is streamlined. (Edit histories of any existing pages on the old wikis can be preserved and reattached once the conversion script is complete.)
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June 2003[edit]

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  • The existence of the Wikimedia Foundation has been officially announced by Jimbo Wales. [13] This is a nonprofit corporation organized under the laws of Florida, United States which is now the parent organization of Wikipedia, Wiktionary, the Sep11wiki, and the soon to be created (and yet unnamed) TextbookWiki project (see Talk:Science Hypertextbook project and [14]. It will, however, be some time before the Foundation will be fully operational and able to accept donations and grants.
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  • For those who like to edit articles offline with a text editor, a new syntax highlighting file has been released for the popular open-source editor Vim. See w:Wikipedia:Syntax highlighting.
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"Inspiration: the Wikipedia
Our model is the Wikipedia, a free encyclopedia being constructed online by volunteers". [15]
The concept of wikipedia is spreading into the corporate world ...
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  • A front-page has been translated for the Irish Wikipedia, Vicipéid, at http://ga.wikipedia.com , and an editing staff is currently being amassed.

May 2003[edit]

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  • Alexa.com shows another major Wikipedia traffic spike, in the highest traffic rank yet recorded by Alexa for Wikipedia, with Wikipedia momentarily almost touching the top 2000 rank. Wikipedia.org has now for several days achieved a higher traffic rank than Britannica.com, so it looks like we succeeded in one aspect of our goal of "beating Britannica"!

April 2003[edit]

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Correction; the Low Saxon Wikipedia will use the domain http://nds.wikipedia.org (redirect now)
A new database server for Wikipedia will be set up on Friday/Saturday, May 2/3, which should reduce general sluggishness and allow for nice things like search to work again. Expect downtime while things are reconfigured...
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  • According to the Statistics page, the English version of Wikipedia features over 200,000 pages in the database including talk pages, user pages, help pages etc (200,034 to be exact), vs. around 114,744 "legitimate articles". This gives us a page to article ratio of approx. 57.36%.

March 2003[edit]

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  • A crude estimate shows that the English-language Wikipedia now has approximately 72,000 non-gazetteer articles. Using the earlier estimated article average of 332 words, the English-language Wikipedia's size can be estimated as approximately 23.9 million words, roughly half the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica's 2002 edition. Can anyone give a more accurate size estimate?

February 2003[edit]

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  • Japanese Wikipedia ja:Main Page reached 1000th page. They include, approximately, 350 of manga artists (cartoonists), 50 prefectures, and 80 - 100 project related documents (in Wikipedia: Namespace).

Article count is still less than 100, probably due to the numerous stubs and that a text without a comma is not counted as an article.

The announcement of the accomplishment caused slashdotting and now (45 hours later) the page count is close to 1500. The number of registered users tripled (to over 100). It took around a week to come to 1000 from 500.

January 2003[edit]

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Since January 10, when we had 1 million pages views, it has increased by 10% in 12 days!

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  • The English language Wikipedia reached 100,000 articles! Please help distribute our 2003 Press Release.
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  • A press release is being prepared for publication when the English Wikipedia hits the 100,000 article milestone. Please help us finish this before it is submitted to news organizations. See: Wikipedia:2003 Press Release.
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  • With well over 130,000 articles spread across 28 languages, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, turns 2 years old today. Several Wikipedia contributors (Wikipedians), in the collaborative spirit which has brought us so far, have created a new Main Page for the English Wikipedia in celebration of Wikipedia's birthday.

During the first year of its existence, Wikipedia went from zero to 20,000 articles in the English version and that was considered to be an impressive growth rate. The second year of Wikipedia saw the addition of nearly 80,000 more articles in the English version alone, making it the world's largest Wiki and the world's largest free content encyclopedia. With edits being made 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by hundreds of bright and enthusiastic volunteers from around the world, who knows where we will be one year from today!

Our original goal was to make 100,000 articles, and at the time we speculated that this might take us five or more years. We now know that the 100,000 article milestone is just the tip of the iceberg. The power of the collaborative WikiWiki editing model, the freedom that the GNU Free Documentation License gives us, and our strong nonbias policy (the neutral point of view), combined with our goal of creating the world's largest encyclopedia will ensure the continued growth and success of our project.

Many people have told us that we would fail. "What?" they said, "You let anyone edit anytime they wish? It is preposterous to think that anything of any value could be created that way. You are destined to fail!" It is, however, becoming more and more apparent with each passing day that they are wrong. Let's celebrate Wikipedia Day by continuing to build the world's best encyclopedia!

A press release is being prepared for publication when the English version of Wikipedia (the oldest one) hits the 100,000 article milestone.

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  • Sometime early Friday morning the Main Page of the English Wikipedia registered one million page views. The counter was started on August 25.
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Lars Aronsson presented a paper about his Wiki susning.nu at a conference on electronic publishing. The article also contains an introduction to the Wiki concept and describes Wikipedia as a prominent example.

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  • Inline TeX math formulas are now supported. By default, simple formulas are turned into plain HTML, while complex ones are rendered as images (logged-in users can tweak the math rendering settings in their preferences). See Wikipedia:TeX markup for more.
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