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Wikipedia Hits 300,000 Articles 507

Posted by timothy
from the tends-to-rock-rather-hard dept.
Raul654 writes "Today Wikipedia reached the 300,000 article mark. Wikipedia is a 3-year-old non-profit project to build an encyclopedia using WikiWiki software. All text is licensed under the GFDL. It has everything that a traditional encyclopedia would, but also many things that would never get written about, such as Crushing by elephant and the GNU/Linux naming controversy. For size comparisons, the English Wikipedia has 90.1 million words across 300,000 articles, compared to Britannica's 55 million words across 85,000 articles. (All the languages combined together reach 790,000 articles.) For much of the first half of 2004, Wikipedia's growth has outstripped server capacity - however, the shortage of PHP/MySQL developers is probably the biggest long term problem facing the project. Slashdot had previously reported when Wikipedia reached the 200,000 mark."
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Wikipedia Hits 300,000 Articles

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  • Congrats! (Score:3, Informative)

    by dn15 (735502) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @03:37AM (#9629859)
    So this isn't very informative but I just wanted to say how much I like Wikipedia. I've used it countless times and I consider it an invaluable resources. I only wish more people knew about it. :)
  • by Big Nothing (229456) <big.nothing@bigger.com> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @03:37AM (#9629864)
    "Today Wikipedia reached the 300,000 article mark"

    Whohoooo! Let's celebrate by slashdotting the site!
    • Re:Celebration! (Score:5, Informative)

      by mandalayx (674042) * on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @03:51AM (#9629915) Journal
      actually Wikipedia is busier than slashdot, according to Alexa [alexa.com].

      And for good reason. (disclaimer: I am a Wikipedia contributor.) Also recommend Wikitravel [wikitravel.org].
      • "actually Wikipedia is busier than slashdot, according to Alexa."

        Wow - I did not know that. So in the future I should cry "Whohooo - let's Wiki slashdot"?

        Then again, I'm not sure I trust a gigant spyware manufacturer like Alexa - even if gathering people's surfing habits _IS_ their business...

        • > > actually Wikipedia is busier than slashdot, according to Alexa.

          > Wow - I did not know that. So in the future I should cry "Whohooo - let's Wiki slashdot"?

          I think the verb is "wikipee".

      • Re:Celebration! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by isorox (205688)
        Chances are the typical Slashdot reader is less likely to have spyware installed then the typical wiki reader, rendering Alexa useless at best.
      • Re:Celebration! (Score:3, Informative)

        by arvindn (542080)
        I think the link you meant to give was the comparison graph [alexa.com] between slashdot and wikipedia. Wikipedia passed slashdot in traffic early this year, and the difference has widened since then. By now wikipedia gets twice to three times as much traffic.
  • Funding? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Phoenixhunter (588958) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @03:39AM (#9629870)
    Has Wikipedia resolved its funding crisis, or will they be once again facing a shortfall in the near future?
    • Re:Funding? (Score:5, Informative)

      by tanveer1979 (530624) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @03:52AM (#9629918) Homepage Journal
      No they havent. Frequent shutdowns are there. The best way is to Make a donation [wikimediafoundation.org]. The amount of knowledge on Wikipedia dwarfs other encyclopedias.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:47AM (#9630107)
      The funding isn't resolved. We're about to spend another $20,000 or so on more equipment and that will exhaust the currently available funds. If you look at the Ganglia cluster stats you can see that the web servers are pretty heavily loaded.

      Longer term we're working on how to scale the databases (which of the many options to use). We're using three at the moment, one primary writes, one for slow queries and one for backup, the latter two both being replicating children. For data see:

      1. Squid statistics showing total and cache hits [wikimedia.org]. You can see the rise when the listing here appeared at about 09:30 UTC.
      2. Ganglia cluster stats showing load [wikimedia.org]. The ones which are mostly blue are the web servers, the red/blue mixed are the squid caches (about 60% max is right for max load for them or connect time suffers) and Suda and Ariel are the most heavily loaded database servers. Suda is disk-limited. Ariel is memory/CPU bandwidth limited because it has faster disks, more cache and different workload.

      For what we did with the previous donations from the start of the year see:

      Our growth is pretty simple: when we're fast we grow to use all the capacity until we're slow again. Still no sign of us hitting the limit on demand, so it appears that we'd have no problem at all serving more people if we had another $50,000-100,000 to spend - there are ballpark growth estimates suggesting that we'd end up doing that by the end of the year if we could stay fast until then.

      If anyone wants to donate, as one of the hardware people, I'd rather see monthly recurring payments of a smaller amount than a lump sum. It makes it easier for me to try to predict what we can buy based on some moderate predictability of available funds.

      One common question: can we use commodity PCs as web servers? We'd like to but fitting them in the colo isn't currently practical. We're going for dual CPU 1U boxes as the next most cost-effective option for subsequent web server purchases. The Jan purchase was in part about getting enough boxes so we'd be able to switch them around to cover for failures, so those were cheaper per box 1U boxes. We've enough of those now, so it's CPU power/density time.

      If anyone has any suggestions please feel free to drop comments on the talk page - we've a dozen or so people on the technical team and more input is always welcome, since we're after the most effective options we can find! Jamesday (author of much of the April planning document, one of the technical team members)

      • mod parent up (Score:5, Informative)

        by tanveer1979 (530624) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @05:43AM (#9630263) Homepage Journal
        I guess tech support from slashdot will help Wikipedia a long way. As for the communitypage, the link is this [wikipedia.org].

        The best ways to help, without donating are:


        Every article you contribute also adds to the wealth
  • Slashdot (Score:5, Funny)

    by Seft (659449) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @03:40AM (#9629871)
    I'd also like to congratulate Slashdot on their 113692th article...
  • by PissingInTheWind (573929) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @03:41AM (#9629873)
    For size comparisons, the English Wikipedia has 90.1 million words across 300,000 articles, compared to Britannica's 55 million words across 85,000 articles.

    Yes, but Britannica's 85,000 articles are credible and verified for accuracy, while some of Wikipedia's content should be questionned.

    Wikipedia is still my favorite surfing destination to kill time.
    • by managementboy (223451) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @03:56AM (#9629939) Homepage
      I am not trying to be an ass, but anything written by people you don't know should be questioned. I guess that is one of the first things one should learn in school.
      I do also question Britannica's content as it was written by people years ago... here are some examples I can not check myself: Letters to Eb [zerbaijan.com]
      On a happy note: Wikipedia allows you to correct "wrong" artikles... has anyone tried this with Britannica? (use pencil, that atleast can be rubbed out by the librarian)
    • by CanadaDave (544515) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:02AM (#9629965) Homepage
      Not true. Britannica's articles are probably checked by a handful of editors. Wikipedia's articles can be (and some are) checked over by hundreds and theoretically an infinite number of people.
      • by misterpies (632880) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @05:19AM (#9630198)

        >>Wikipedia's articles can be (and some are) checked over by hundreds and theoretically an infinite number of people.

        Can be, yes. But are they? And do the people checking them over actually have the knowledge to do so properly? At least with Britannica I can be fairly confident that the article was written by an expert in the field. With Wikipedia it may well have been written by some guy with spare time on his hands, enthusiasm, but not much knowledge. Or worse, it may have been written by an expert and then "corrected" by Jo Schmo.

        The problem with Wikipedia as a knowledge resource is that by definition it will always gravitate towards reflecting the majority view of what is correct. Popular myths will always win out over unpopular truths.

        Compare Wikipedia with open-source software, for example. For a well-run OSS project, anyone can submit changes but they will be properly vetted and reviewd and only put on public release if approved. But with Wikipedia, anyone can make a change and have it reflected immediately. Without a proper system of review, it can never be anything more than a collection of popularly-held views on well-known topics and the opinions of a few nonrepresentative individuals on esoteric ones.
        • by Jonathan (5011) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @05:36AM (#9630247) Homepage
          Can be, yes. But are they? And do the people checking them over actually have the knowledge to do so properly? At least with Britannica I can be fairly confident that the article was written by an expert in the field. With Wikipedia it may well have been written by some guy with spare time on his hands, enthusiasm, but not much knowledge. Or worse, it may have been written by an expert and then "corrected" by Jo Schmo.


          As someone with a doctorate dealing with genomic evolution in microorganisms, I have to say that at least the scientific articles in Wikipedia seem to be reasonably balanced and competently written -- and reasonably up-to-date as well.

          Quite often in commercial encyclopedias the articles are quite biased and out-of-date because they are written by a single, well known old guy in the appropriate field, and as Max Planck said, a new idea in science doesn't generally win by converting its opponents -- rather the old opponents die and the new scientific generation is comfortable with the new idea from the start...
          • Yes but this idea Planck had back then is very outdated now
            err...
          • by Ubergrendle (531719) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @08:10AM (#9630975) Journal
            I agree with your thinking. This also applies to subject matters pertaining to the humanities.

            For example, as a Canadian I am deeply interested in the War of 1812 and its effects on the formation of my country. The latest Wikipedia article on the subject contains a much more balanced perspective on the war than most other 'summary' accounts, and represents new thinking/interpretation of the war that is coming into vogue over the past decade or so.

            At this point I have a much greater degree of respect for the Wikipedia than i do for 'dead tree' accounts. The oraganic, evolving nature of the content is a much more representative to the nature of intellectual discourse, debate, and socratic thinking IMHO.
        • With Wikipedia it may well have been written by some guy with spare time on his hands, enthusiasm, but not much knowledge. Or worse, it may have been written by an expert and then "corrected" by Jo Schmo. Trust me, this doesn't happen. Jo Schmos don't have the time to create bogus articles or correct real articles. If there isn't an article on something, it doesn't get written until someone qualified writes it. In some cases Wikipedians write a short article (stub) with not much info and maybe a few ext
      • by gl4ss (559668)
        the problem is that just some are ;) (checked)

        but the logic doesn't work, scrutiny by people who don't know jack doesn't really do good(in that kind of environment mis-information and urban legends thrive). just check slashdot, totally inaccurate crap gets modded up routinely because it 'seems' right. an article would need checking by just one or two guys who know their stuff, not a million monkeys.

    • by cgadd (65348) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:10AM (#9629995)
      You should probably question some of Britannica's content too!

      Britannica Errors [wikipedia.org]
    • by commodoresloat (172735) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:18AM (#9630031)
      That's actually part of the fun of the Wikipedia. Not that the content should be questioned, but that it is, over and over again, by anyone willing to put the time in to participate. This may degrade the accuracy of the content in some ways, but it also gives the content an eternally organic quality that is perhaps more realistic than traditional encyclopedia. Real vandalism and overt factual error seems to be noticed and removed relatively quickly, and you can always look at the history of an entry if it has been recently vandalized. Questions about point of view tend to be more difficult, but what is amazing is the open and public attempt to negotiate and resolve those questions on the "discussion" page for each entry. Much of the discussion emphasizes the need for a "neutral point of view" -- a perspective most users agree is ultimately unattainable. And those discussions are archived. In a way it is superior to having a peer-reviewed final product that says what the encyclopedia referees decide the truth is -- instead you have an eternally in-process project at discovering the truth in an ongoing manner (and continuing to re-discover it). Of course you can't rely on an entry being accurate at any given time, but if you want to you can look at the history of an entry's revision and discussion to learn more, to read what might have been deleted, discover alternative points of view or pieces of information that were later removed, etc. It's a much more accurate depiction of "knowledge" than a normal (closed) encyclopedia, which pretends that the accumulation of knowledge is a completed project.
    • by Gadzinka (256729) <rrw@hell.pl> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:51AM (#9630123) Journal
      Yes, but Britannica's 85,000 articles are credible and verified for accuracy, while some of Wikipedia's content should be questionned.

      Verified by whom? As all generalisations, this one is also not true ;)

      When it comes to some controversial topics, Britannica gives usually only one theory, presented as a god-given truth. Sometimes it isn't even the most agreed upon theory among scientists of the relevant field.

      I haven't used B. for a long time, since it started to charge for access. Last time I did, it showed ``Arian inviasion'' as the only theory of indo-european language apearing in India.

      Wikipedia on the other hand shows other theories, even some very unorthodox ones from Indian nationalists. But it clearly states that ``Arian inviasion'' isn't highly regarded at least since the fifties.

      Same goes for ``balto-slavic theory'', breaking of Enigma before WW2 etc

      Go, look for yourself.

      Robert
    • by meringuoid (568297) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:56AM (#9630144)
      Yes, but Britannica's 85,000 articles are credible and verified for accuracy, while some of Wikipedia's content should be questionned.

      Wikipedia scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two ways: first, it is slightly cheaper, and second, it has the words 'Welcome to Wikipedia' printed in large friendly letters on the cover.

      Moreover, where Britannica will give a biochemical description of alcohol, Wikipedia will tell you what the best drink in existence is, where the best ones are mixed, how much you can expect to pay and what voluntary organisations exist to help you rehabilitate afterwards. Oh, and even how to make one yourself.

      Seriously, though: take a clamshell PDA, a wireless connection and set Wikipedia to be your homepage, and write 'Don't Panic' on the cover. Another SF fantasy becomes real...

    • by KjetilK (186133) <kjetil@noSpAm.kjernsmo.net> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @05:13AM (#9630187) Homepage Journal
      Actually, Britannica has historically had a lot of problems too. Take for example the alleged evolution of Ptolemy's geocentric system. In 1910, the entry on Ptolemy was pretty good. Not anything like modern research, but at least it was a reflection of the general consensus among contemporary historians.

      In the 1950-ties, some got the weird idea that epicycles were added on epicycles throughout the middle ages. This was based on some very bad early research that historians of 1910 may have been aware of, but did not find worthy of elaborate comment.

      Britannica was the publication that really took this to its extreme, at some point they wrote that 40-80 epicycles were added per planet! Not only is it horrendously wrong, it is completely absurd: Nobody in the middle ages had neither observational capacity nor the mathematical methods to deal with anything like that.

      Britannica is largely to blame that this myth could get into university curriculums world-wide as an example of "ad hoc hypothesis gone wrong".

      If you have a good research library available look for articles by Owen Gingerich on Ptolemy for details on this. The facts is that Ptolemy's system was hardly modified at all.

      It was moderated in the 1980-ties, and the most horrendous claims were removed. Around 1995, I still found the articles lacking, as the gist of the articles were that the addition of epicycles was a good example of "ad hoc hypothesis gone wrong", and I exchanged a few e-mails with the editors about it.

      It has been a few years since I last checked these articles, but last time I checked, they still did not reflect general consensus among contemporary historians.

      So, it is very much reason to question articles you read in Britannica as well, not only Wikipedia. The bottom line is that critical reading of any source is a vital survival skill.

      Hm, I'm wondering what Wikipedia has to say about this... Unfortunately, I don't have any time to kill. What am I doing on /.? ;-)

  • Goverment Funding (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MacFury (659201) <me@johnkramli[ ]com ['ch.' in gap]> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @03:42AM (#9629877) Homepage
    I never understood why the government didn't fund more projects like this. They give away so much money...why not to these people?

    If I ever get the time I'd love to compile an easy to use CD/DVD containing an entire copy of the current WikiPedia. Then you could make copies and give them away free at Libraries and such.

    • by isopossu (681431) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @05:46AM (#9630275) Journal
      No no no! No government messing with Wikipedia! Of course if they give money, they have some kind of right to say what to write there

      Keeping this kind of site up isn't so expensive. Many of us web people are having quite a good salaries in IT or other science/tech jobs. Lets keep on donating!

      • Re:Goverment Funding (Score:3, Interesting)

        by justins (80659)

        Of course if they give money, they have some kind of right to say what to write there

        Actually, they generally don't, although they might try anyway.

        You'd be surprised how little say government sometimes has. Cases involving the National Endowment of the Arts are the classic example of this. The controversy usually works like this:

        1. They give a grant to an artist, a grant that (contrary to popular belief) does not and can not specify much of anything about the work to be produced
        2. The artist produces so

  • Wikipedia Interview (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jarrettwold2002 (601633) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @03:42AM (#9629878)
    I would think it would be interesting to do a slashdot interview with the Wikipedia folks...

    As a developer (admittedly not spectacular), I'm always interested to see what the social, technological and general successes and failures have been. The slashdot interviews have rarely disappointed me in that.
  • Goatse (Score:5, Funny)

    by iswm (727826) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @03:42AM (#9629879) Homepage
    And I'm proud to say I contributed to the goatse.cx article.

    May his memory live on.
  • by michaelbuddy (751237) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @03:46AM (#9629893) Homepage
    I miss my stack of 38 dusty encyclopedias my father forced me to use when I asked him a question back in gradeschool. That's where you score REAL knowledge. According to wikipedia, we've sinced landed on the MOON? Umm, I think not. Back to the books I think for some legitimate fact checking.
  • by scrame (767779) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @03:46AM (#9629896) Homepage Journal
    Their article on the slashdot trolling phenomena [wikipedia.org]
  • by Zorilla (791636) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @03:48AM (#9629899)
    ...not having that damn annoying Encyclopedia Britannica kid around.
  • The Parent Poster (Score:5, Informative)

    by tarunthegreat2 (761545) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @03:48AM (#9629902)
    should also have mentioned that Wikipedia has a whole article on Slashdot Subculture [wikipedia.org] where n00bs like me cut our teeth. Plus The Economist mentions Wikipedia as a successful example of Open Source in this already slash-dotted article [economist.com]
  • by Anonymous Cowdog (154277) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @03:49AM (#9629903) Journal
    Remember that old advice about how you can understand how (in)accurate the media really is? Find a subject you know very well, and see how many mistakes they make when they cover it. When you realize that the media makes mistakes of that same magnitude on virtually every story they cover, not just on the stories in your topic... well, it's an eye opener.

    Wikipedia, from that standpoint, is at the opposite end of the spectrum from traditional, commercial journalism. Its authors have all the time in the world to get things right, check facts, correct bad wording, improve clarity. The quality of the entries is generally astounding. And if anything is wrong with an entry, we readers can become writers and correct it ourselves! Very nice. Thanks, fellow Wikipedia contributors!
    • > Wikipedia, from that standpoint, is at the opposite end of the spectrum from traditional, commercial journalism. Its authors have all the time in the world to get things right, check facts, correct bad wording, improve clarity. The quality of the entries is generally astounding. And if anything is wrong with an entry, we readers can become writers and correct it ourselves!

      And for the most part it works, but unfortunately - just like with the rest of the internet - there are plenty of 45540135 who ca

  • consider donating... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @03:52AM (#9629917)
    Looks like they can use a few donations:
    http://wikimediafoundation.org/fundraising [wikimediafoundation.org]
    (tax deductable too!)
  • Copyright (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RonnyJ (651856) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @03:58AM (#9629949)
    Since anybody can apparently edit an unprotected article, what would stop someone submitting copyrighted material in an update(which surely wouldn't be permitted to be licensed under the GFDL as Wikipedias content supposedly is)? I realise this can be a potential problem in all software, but it seems that it could be a far bigger problem for Wikipedia, particularly if someone else took content assuming it was licensed under the GFDL.
    • Re:Copyright (Score:5, Informative)

      by MaelstromX (739241) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:13AM (#9630007)
      Actually, there is a system in place to combat this potential problem. This page [wikipedia.org] shows some of the recent instances of possible copyright infringement that will be fixed.

      I personally was responsible for pointing out an entry that was copied wholesale from an author's (copyrighted) web page containing electronic versions of his work. I did so after I noticed some of the language was kind of suspect, and Googling some of the phrases found the copyrighted work.

      With the massive amounts of traffic Wikipedia gets, and as a result more people like me reading the pages, this problem tends to fix itself rather quickly. The same goes for fears of massive vandalism -- it gets fixed very soon.
  • by arnoroefs2000 (122990) * on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @03:59AM (#9629950) Homepage
    Combined live stats [wikimedia.org], all wikimedia servers.

    Wikipedia needs donations [wikimediafoundation.org] to stay alive.
  • by DrFaustos25 (788264) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {sllib.s.egroeg}> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:12AM (#9630000)
    Hrm. Excuse my newbishness, but would this thing fit on a DVD / set of DVD's easily? Would there be any problems collating it off the servers? It would kinda be cool to have the ability to browse this offline, and I could give copies to friends so that they don't waste their money on Encarta. It could also allow them to make a bit of a profit to get funds up. :-D
  • by CGP314 (672613) <CGPNO@SPAMColinGregoryPalmer.net> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:14AM (#9630012) Homepage
    What's that sound? It's hundreds of responsible wikipedians clicking `revert' to hold back the flood of slashdot trolls.


    -Colin [colingregorypalmer.net]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:16AM (#9630020)
    Please mod this up out of importance.

    Please don't forget that Wikipedia is totally advertisement free and free information. In order to make this possible, you're donations are greatly needed. Please donate [wikimediafoundation.org] and help to keep this information free and available for all of us.

  • Wikibooks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ebusinessmedia1 (561777) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:17AM (#9630025)
    In addition to the encyclopedia, be sure to check out the Wikibooks effort . Included within this is a beginning pilot high-school (K-12) World History project [wikibooks.org] Wikipedia World History Project [wikibooks.org] inspired by the California Open Source Textbook Project California Open Source Textbook Project [opensourcetext.org] (COSTP) and based on strict California State curriculum standards.

    This project (COSTP/Wikibooks) invites anyone who is expert in World History to contribute. It's an important project because it will prove that a bona fide K-12 textbook *can* be created in open source - and most importantly, gain approval for use by the State Board of education, we would then be able to crack the costly commercial textbook business at the K-12 level.

    COSTP has shown that you can have a *printed* textbook come out of open source at a 50% savings over commercial textbooks. California alone spends almost $400M for K-12 textbook in one year. Imagine how much $200M in savings would help California's money-strapped schools. Further, once other states get into the open content idea, many *billions* in savings could be realized.

    It's very important that content contributors be willing to maintain strict adherence to the California State Education department Standards. This is the *only* way that a book like this will pass State Board of Education approval. if COSTP can get a few of these in the system, it will eventually open up for alternative histories, and other curriculum areas. Lastly, COSTP is devoted to bringing *printed* textbooks to the K-12 sector, worldwide, by spreading the meme that open content - created by knowledgeable peers, and based on local curriculum standards - can and should be used for basic education

  • by presroi (657709) <neubau@presroi.de> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:36AM (#9630082) Homepage
    "Wikipedia Hits 300,000 Articles" is not accurate.

    There is no doubt about that the English edition of wikipedia (which is the largest one by a huge margin) has reached 300K articles yesterday as the result of a great collaborative effort.

    However, Wikipedia reached 300K articles a while ago and the text itself is correct to take not that all languages put together are now around 800K more or less.

    Most communication is done in English, sure but I consider the fact that wikipedia is an international, multilingual project much higher than this single number.

    We might see a point in the future where other languages might catch up regarding the size (or quality) of the English one. I would not be surprised to see a language like Hindi or Mandarin gaining speed sooner or later.
  • by CGP314 (672613) <CGPNO@SPAMColinGregoryPalmer.net> on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:39AM (#9630086) Homepage
    In [wikipedia.org] celebration [wikipedia.org] of [wiktionary.org] this [wiktionary.org] momentous [wiktionary.org] occasion [wiktionary.org], I [wikipedia.org] suggest [wiktionary.org] that [wiktionary.org] all [wikipedia.org] slashdot [wikipedia.org] posts [wikipedia.org] be [wikipedia.org] formatted [wikipedia.org] in [wikipedia.org] the [wikipedia.org] wiki [wikipedia.org] style [wikipedia.org].
  • Wikipedia keymark (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:41AM (#9630092)
    I use the following as a Mozilla keymark [netscape.com] to quickly access a Wikipedia article. It takes advantage of Google's "I'm feeling lucky" feature to generate a redirect to the page I want. Name the keyword wiki (Right-click -> Properties -> Keyword) and type wiki search terms in the location bar.
  • Er, What about E2? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Noodlenose (537591) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @04:52AM (#9630128) Homepage Journal
    Everything2 [everything2.com] has been around since 2000, has currently 445301 entries, is editor - and peer reviewed and has much better inter-user communication facilities. There is also a strong sense of community and lacks any editorial wars.

    A much more enlightened and pleasant place to be.

    Oh yes, and we have the EDB [everything2.com].

    • by Shanoyu (975) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @05:35AM (#9630243)
      There are better inter-user communication facilities, and a heightened sense of community, but that comes at a cost, namely the fact that it's a lot harder to incorporate ones self into the node-gel then into a series of wiki prefixes.

      Also, Wikipedia has many more features than Everything2.

      A much more enlightened place to be? Well, not really. I was an early user of Everything2; while I could be a troll and list a series of reasons why E2 sucks, i'd rather just invite everyone who is interested in both to take the pepsi challenge. Try both.
    • by julesh (229690) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @06:20AM (#9630354)
      I've not spent much time reading Everything2, but I've never been as impressed by its authority as I have by wikipedia.

      For instance, compare the Everything2 page on Water (I can't link to it, for some reason the site uses HTTP POST for identifying which article you want) to the the wikepedia one [wikipedia.org].

      I find the wikipedia article much more clearly structured, more informative, and I think more authoratitive. Although only the Everything2 article contains an ASCII-art rendering of the Kanji character for water.
    • by pilkul (667659)
      It's strange that Everything has changed to the point where people are actually comparing it to Wikipedia. I was an Everything user in its very first days, and back then we noded any nonsense we wanted for fun. But the editors got more and more serious. I left when they made the transition to Everything2. Writing long articles went against the entire spirit of the original Everything, and having people vote you down was nasty. Since then I occasionally revisit and see how many of my old nodes have been
  • memory leak ? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @05:11AM (#9630182)
    When you look at the RAM usage statistics of their servers, for instance for brown [wikimedia.org], you find a clear sawtooth pattern, showing a linear increase in memory usage until the server (or a service) is restarted.
    • Re:memory leak ? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by julesh (229690) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @07:14AM (#9630533)
      Those graphs are for the memory usage of a web cache. It delays cleaning up expired objects until it is close to running out of storage space for them, so this is the kind of graph you would expect. I don't believe those troughs correspond to a restart, there's certainly no evidence of that on this page.
  • by Quirk (36086) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @05:27AM (#9630220) Homepage Journal
    Wikipedia will be its primary data base and starting point for universal understanding. Unfortunately it will go on to encounter /. and learn of the deleterious effects of a steady diet of drugs and pr0n. Slashdotters in return will discover the sentient being and /. its underlying Beowulf cluster turing it to slag destroying the logos life form
  • by Naelphin (599415) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @05:38AM (#9630252)
    Wikipedia has some great information, but there are too many pages that are simply direct imports from the US census showing every tiny town in the US.

    Makes browsing with Random hard when you keep on getting statistics and nothing else on endless lists of towns.
  • by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @06:36AM (#9630388) Homepage
    ...or at least that I haven't found, is the option to link to one specific version of an entry. Have it auto-add some banner on top "This is the entry as of dd.mm.yyyy hh:mm, click HERE to go to the current version".

    Why? Because it's always annoying to link to some article there, only to bring a hoard of trolls down on them. Yes, the page is reverted fast as well but there's nothing like trying to make a serious link only to have it replaced by goatse ASCII art.

    I don't mean that should be used for long-term links. But it'd be very nice to be able to link to a "good" version of a page in say, a slashdot comment valid for a couple hours. For one, you can put it in a static page cache, reducing load in case of slashdotting-like crowds following it.

    It is also a better experience for those following the link to read, and you're one step away from the current version (which is unlikely to have changed in that short timespan) should you wish to edit/add to it, without making the current page attractive to trolls.

    Hell, you could even make these links "expire" if you want, redirecting to the current version instead. That way, you don't have links pointing to age-old versions. Just give it a reasonable timeframe and it'll be a much more attractive link target for articles in "serious" publications as well. Just my 0.02 NOK.

    Kjella
  • Love wikipedia... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MancDiceman (776332) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @06:41AM (#9630396)
    ... I only discovered it a few months ago, and what really struck me was not only was the quality quite high, but the technology itself. The wiki concept is rather striking.

    So then I got to thinking, what if instead of using wikis to have a homepage, or an encyclopedia or a text book - a site recording fact - if you had something recording ideas and thoughts.

    You know, you come up with ideas for say coding projects, or even just things that should be made and you know you're not going to do anything with them, and you want to let them form into something more with other people. So you go to sites like ShouldExist.org [shouldexist.org] and bandy them around.

    But what if you did it as a wiki? And you didn't restrict it to your software todo lists? And what if you could write fiction there and hold debates? And you know, muck about with other people's idea and perhaps form them into something that could happen?

    So a few weeks ago, I got hold of Mediawiki [mediawiki.org], the software used by Wikipedia, and setup VagueWare.com [vagueware.com]. And it's starting to work. It's good fun. Open source think tank. A kind of a "Bazaar" in the ESR sense for thoughts and ideas.

    So for me, the best thing about wikipedia is not the 300,000 articles, all of them quite good, but it's the software underneath it. It's allowed me and my friends to build a big playpen that anybody can join in with.

    So, well done for 300,000 articles, but most of all, thanks for the best wiki software on the planet. My life would be worse off without it. :-)
  • by gelfling (6534) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @06:52AM (#9630432) Homepage Journal
    I suppose that if you assume people are fair, no one has an agenda and people basically know everything more or less accurately then Wiki is fine. Problem is that none of that is true.

    We live in the Post Editorial Age whereby any nugglet of infotainment is accepted as truth and fact and no one need rely on fact checkers, editors or referees that ensure that revisionism doesn't take precident over truth. So if I round up 10,000 of my closest net friends and I convince them to agree to say that say something then it pretty much becomes fact.

    Eventually the internet will be a weapon for tyranny.

  • by pilkul (667659) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @06:58AM (#9630457)
    You can add Wikipedia to your search bar [mozdev.org]. Pretty convenient when you know it's going to be better than Google :).
  • funny thing is ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by brunokummel (664267) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @07:05AM (#9630484) Journal
    that i never noticed the Wikipedia before until today when i recognized the little puzzle globe on the left of the page.

    Many of my searches on google would end up there but I never payed much attention to the site itself, since i was focusing on the subject i was looking for...

    good to know that Wikipedia has helped me before even though i never actually asked for its help in particular, this shows how efficient it really is since many of its resources are available through other search engines.
  • wiki = falsehoods? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rigau (122636) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @08:51AM (#9631338)
    The idea behind wikipedia is cool, but just by skimming one entry I have seen two factual mistakes. One is probably just a mistake (which i tried to correct but it remains the same a month later) but the other one seems like someone has an ax to grind and is actually putting in false information that they wish were true.

    In the Puerto Rico entry it says that Puerto Ricans dont pay federal taxes, that is simply not true. There is no separate federal taxation category for Puerto Ricans. What is true is that income earned in puerto rico by pays no federal taxes.

    The entry also says that only 20% of puerto ricans decend from blacks which is a lie. Immigration from europe and slaves brough from africa accounted for almost 100% of the population and it was about 50-50 white and black. The article instead says that 60% of the population can claim amerindian descent. THat is bullshit. the indians in puerto rico were killed in practically less than a generation. that is why they started bringing black slave in the first place.
  • by Theovon (109752) on Wednesday July 07, 2004 @09:45AM (#9631888)
    I don't have a lot of time, but I do have MySQL/PHP skills, and I might be able to help with some bug fixes, etc. I suppose I should join before I bother to write this, but oh well. What I want is an email address for someone so I can tell them what I am willing to do (shit work).

    BTW, I usually hate shit work, but I'm willing to spend some time lending a hand with WikiPedia. I spend all day thinking hard (chip design), and so for this, simply because I have the skill set, I'm willing to do some things thta don't require as much thought.

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.

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