Thursday, February 26, 2015

#Wikimedia #Labs - Risc analysis

Labs is a wonderful and successful project; more virtual machines are added all the time. More data is produced all the time and more people rely on it all the time.

Sounds good? It is!

From a management point of view it becomes increasingly problematic because for many of the most valuable Wikimedians it became a production resource and, as Labs is growing really quickly, it easily escapes the boundaries set earlier. Staffing, hardware it could all be better and it should all be better.

Having the best possible Labs will grow Labs even more. The best will outwit and outperform expectations. Classical budget think is a disservice to what we may achieve: share more information as widely as possible. One approach is to maintain a risc analysis of the services provided by Labs. It will help management to manage, to think and to use funds when the need and the justification is bigger than the budget

Today new virtual machines have been started that are starting to produce ZIM files based on the latest dumps. This will improve off-line reading of our projects a lot. The ZIM files will in future be and remain fresh..

This is just one day in the life of Labs...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

#Wikidata - #Alumni by university or college in #India

As one of the most populous countries in the world, it is no surprise that India has many universities. The alumni of Indian universities or colleges can be found through a Wikipedia category.

Whenever tools are down I have been adding these alumni to Wikidata. It seems obvious that not all universities and colleges are represented. It is certain that many alumni cannot be found in these categories. This is because there may be no article about them or they have not been included in the category.

It is relatively easy to do this for India given that English is the main language for subjects about India. For China, Russia and Japan it is not so easy. Someone else has to get involved as I do not know the languages.

All of Labs is down again. So this time my customary hyperlinks are sadly absent..

Saturday, February 21, 2015

#Wikidata - the Stern–Gerlach Medal

The Stern–Gerlach Medal is one of many awards Wikidata knows about. Information is often available in a list within the articles. In some languages there are links to all those who received the award.

Having all the awards and all the people who received them in Wikidata is a massive undertaking. It can be argued that everyone who received an award has some notability..

Some people think that awards are not that important to categorise. Their way of thinking means that awards specifically relevant within a culture, a language become underrepresented. This is however an effect that diminishes in time.

It would be good when the lists were available to Wikipedias to use. When such lists become a service from Wikidata, it is easy to provide minimal information for the people that do not have an article yet. For best results it helps when all the associated labels are available.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Where people died; a perspective on diversity

A wonderful new view is available thanks to Vizidata. It shows where people were born and were people died. The data is from a Wikidata dump so it is sadly static. Given that it is from Wikidata, you can safely assume that the data also exists in a Wikipedia ...

Italy is well pronounced in this view. It is because a lot of effort went into extracting data from the Italian Wikipedia. It follows that all the people the Italians care for are included as well. The fun thing of a view like this is that it is a historic view of what Wikidata covers and does not cover..

Apparently hardly anyone died in Africa in all the centuries.

Monday, February 16, 2015

25.000 books, old books

When 25.000 books, books from the early days, English texts from 1473-1700 become available it is quite something. Many of these text are the earliest sources on many subjects in English.

All of them deserve to be registered in Wikidata, The most relevant question would be: how do we serve our public best. Yes, it starts with indicating that these books exist but it is easy enough to point people in the right direction. The direction where these books can be found to be read.

It seems obvious. When books are (finally) available under a free license, it is important for people to find them.

Rafik Tlili, member of the Constituent Assembly of #Tunisia

Mr Tlili is a Tunisian politician who died. What is refreshing is that there is at least one decent list of members of the current parliament and, as is fitting, it is in French. Without assistance of Google translate the articles are too difficult for me.

There is also a category; and it has a problem. It links the current members in French to every member of the Tunisian parliament. from a Wikidata point of view that is fatally flawed. It is however part and parcel of a category of subjects that is underdeveloped. Our Wikiverse does not really care about Farfarawayistan. Its problems is seen as the diversity that is in genders and while important, it easily ignores what is far far away. As you can see in the picture, there are a fair bunch of women in the Tunisian parliament.

Even people who research are interested in diversity. They want to know how diversity differs in different languages. Those different languages mean different cultures, Cultures that by and large are not really well known in our Wikipedias as they are far, far away. Consequently Wikidata does not serve them the data they need.

I am happy with the Tunisian list. It means that Tunisia is not longer as far far away.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

CC-BY-SA; Creative Commons needs our support

The CC-BY-SA licenses are crucial to the Wikimedia movement. All but one of the Wikimedia Foundation projects are licensed with CC-BY-SA; Wikidata being the exception.

I find it astounding to learn that Creative Commons is in financial dire straits. As Wikimedians we are part of a world that is shaped by copyright law and the fight for free and fair license. When a crucial player like Creative Commons cannot take its role, it shows our weakness, It indicates that we are fighting a losing battle because our priorities are wrong.

Creative Commons deserves our support. We rely on Creative Commons.

It is one of those organisations that the WMF could do something special for. For instance a fund raiser on their behalf. <grin> WMF is good at that </grin> and in this way commit ourself more to free and fair licenses.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

#Wikidata - Tokyo University of the Arts alumni

Mr Kenji Ekuan died. He was a Japanese designer who studied at the Tokyo University of the Arts. As can be expected, he was not the only one who studied there. There are categories in several Wikipedias informing us about them. The category on the Japanese Wikipedia has includes 642 alumni and for many of them there is no label in other languages.

It is no surprise either that these people refer to many items that have a label in Japanese and not in the languages people are familiar with. The automated description for Mr Munemoto Yanagi in Dutch for instance is "kunsthistoricus (*1917); Mainichi-Kulturpreis; kind van 柳宗悦 en 柳兼子 ♂". As more labels become available in Dutch, this information becomes easier to comprehend.

With every label that is added, all the associated descriptions are improved. Every item will be easier understood in Reasonator as well. Adding labels in Reasonator will provide you with instant gratification. Every statement of that item will show the new label.