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Wikipedia To Add Video 165

Posted by Soulskill
from the there-goes-another-five-percent-of-my-day dept.
viyh writes "Wikipedia will be adding a video option within two or three months, according to the MIT Technology Review. '... a person editing a Wikipedia article will find a new button labeled "Add Media." Clicking it will bring up an interface allowing her to search for video — initially from three repositories containing copyright-free material — and drag chosen portions into the article, without having to install any video-editing software or do any conversions herself. The results will appear as a clickable video clip embedded within the article.' They will be requiring all video to use open-source formats. This is in hopes of getting content providers to open up their material to gain wider exposure on the Wikipedia website. There is also an in-browser editor that removes a lot of the headache often associated with any kind of video editing. With the new Wikipedia system, 'people will be able to easily inject media into pages, in a way that wasn't possible before,' says Michael Dale, a software engineer from Kaltura, the company assisting with development of the tools."
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Wikipedia To Add Video

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  • No Male (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 19, 2009 @07:21PM (#28397321)

    "Clicking it will bring up an interface allowing her to search for video"

    So they only allow females to add videos!?!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by larry bagina (561269)
      Yeah. Too many dudes posting dick pics. You can imagine what they'll do with video.
    • by Goaway (82658)

      Gendered language sure is horrible, isn't it? I mean, when it's not gendered like you.

      • by pbhj (607776)

        Gendered language sure is horrible, isn't it? I mean, when it's not gendered like you.

        Breaking with language conventions is horrible.

        The convention is that plural pronouns use the masculine.

        Do neo-feminists make all nouns feminine in gendered languages like French? It's just being immature.

      • by mpeskett (1221084)

        Using the masculine form as a generic is pretty much standard practice, the alternative to push for isn't to simply switch the gender of that standard practice to have female pronouns everywhere, instead you could try promoting a gender-neutral pronoun. I believe I've seen "yo" suggested for that purpose...

        That or accept that grammatically, the way it's gone down is to have 'masculine' pronouns serve dual use as both masculine and neutral - you can try alternatives like "huwoman" or "herstory", but it doe

  • Rather not. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nylathotep (72183) on Friday June 19, 2009 @07:34PM (#28397411)

    I like wiki because it's such a clean, fast, text layout with nothing special. I don't see how this is going to improve things.

    • Re:Rather not. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by XPeter (1429763) * on Friday June 19, 2009 @07:40PM (#28397447) Homepage

      Agreed. This will also make Wikipedia's bandwidth cost skyrocket, and if I remember correctly they're on a lean budget.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      If you don't want to see that stuff, use greasemonkey or similar (heck, perhaps even just user CSS) to hide it. Heck, you could do it with adblock, perhaps with element hiding helper.

      • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

        Talk about a terribly complicated way to make something simpler.

    • Wiki is a type of thing, not a thing. You mean wikipedia.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Maybe the'll add a comment section [phdcomics.com] too.

      Then people can express how they feel about your NPOV.

    • by Sir_Real (179104)

      Perhaps it will be optional.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 19, 2009 @07:35PM (#28397421)

    The "Porn" entry bring down the whole Wikipedia site in the first hour.

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Friday June 19, 2009 @07:40PM (#28397453)

    It amazes me that the company [kaltura.com] that "promotes" open source uses a proprietary or not fully open method (read Flash), to deliver video. What's going on?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I don't know/care about kaltura, but from TFA:

      Key to Wikipedia's video effort--[...]--is Wikipedia's insistence that any video passing into its pages be based on open-source formats.

    • by BikeHelmet (1437881) on Friday June 19, 2009 @08:08PM (#28397635) Journal

      Don't go FOSS because it's FOSS. Go FOSS because it's superior.

      Not all FOSS is superior. I trust they'll use the best video streaming for the job, with priority placed on being open source.

      Flash has the best video streaming available at the moment, and the best compatibility. Hard to beat that for a website trying to reel in customers.

      • by icebike (68054) on Friday June 19, 2009 @08:17PM (#28397735)

        Its also proprietary, requiring a license to use their tools.

        Its an abusive technology, allowing no view controls other than blocking or de-installing flash all together.

        With the advent of HTML5, flash is NOT the way to go.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tepples (727027)

          With the advent of HTML5, flash is NOT the way to go.

          Flash uses H.264, which is said to use half the bandwidth of Theora. And a lot of people use a PC where they don't have administrative rights to install an HTML 5 viewer.

          • And a lot of people use a PC where they don't have administrative rights to install an HTML 5 viewer.

            Download and unpack this:
            http://downloads.sourceforge.net/smplayer/smplayer-portable-0.6.7.7z [sourceforge.net]
            (Via [sourceforge.net])

            Problem solved. :)

            • PCs running Linux can be configured not to run executables stored in users' profiles: put /home on a separate partition and specify noexec mode in the /etc/fstab line for this partition. Windows XP and newer versions of Windows have a flexible Software Restriction Policy mechanism [microsoft.com]: allowable executables can be defined by paths (e.g. %SystemRoot% and %ProgramFiles% good), file name suffixes (e.g. *.msi and *.vbs bad), or even digital signatures.
              • noexec doesn't prevent me from writing scripts and executing them. (Unless the interpreter lives on a noexec partition.)

                When I get my Windows box back online, I'll be sure to play with that SRP stuff.

        • > Its also proprietary, requiring a license to use their tools.

          With the correct UI, Flash could be completely optional.

          I highly doubt that wikipedia will require you to use Flash, but it is the player that is most widely installed.

      • by Ilgaz (86384)

        If Real Networks and Apple wasn't that stupid, Flash is in fact 7-8 years behind in terms of video streaming...

        But, of course, both are stupid and I don't even mention Windows Media department of MS. While calling everyone stupid, in this context, Sun is the number 1 stupid for wasting the embedded browser Java market regarding the real potential of Java. It wasn't supposed to make dancing bears or flashing ads you know.

      • Don't go FOSS because it's FOSS. Go FOSS because it's superior.

        One major reason FOSS is superior is that it avoids lock-in,. which it does because it is FOSS.

        Open formats with proprietary software can do the same, but leave room for sneakiness.

      • Don't go FOSS because it's FOSS. Go FOSS because it's superior.

        Not all FOSS is superior.

        If you value software freedom over functionality, free software is superior exactly because it's free software.

        Flash has the best video streaming available

        Embedded {H.264, .wmv, .avi}, played with mplayer? My "Flash experience" is Flash+Firefox, and that's pretty bollocks. On the other hand, mplayer handles every single piece of crap you throw at it.

    • by demachina (71715) on Friday June 19, 2009 @08:23PM (#28397795)

      I'm all for driving Flash out of existence, since Macromedia/Adobe should have never been allowed to acquire the near monopoly on web video they have. Adobe has also been a horrible steward of their responsibility especially when its come to Flash player support for devices like smart phones.

      But the flip side is you might recall back to what video was like before Flash. Every freaking web site you went to had a different video standard, video player, and you were usually forced to launch a video player which either wasn't integrated in the browser or was integrated badly. Flash only succeeded because it fixed a completely broken thing on the web where Apple, Real and Microsoft in particular were trying to acquire their own monopolies on web video.

      For this to succeed Wikipedia needs to compel a new video player standard other than Flash and proprietary codecs like H.264, and insure near universal availability of the solution they create as an integrated browser component, either built in to the browser or as a plugin.

      I'm kind of curious if HTML/5 is going to be able to achieve that lofty goal across all the warring browser factions in the world, especially IE and Microsoft. Not sure JavaFX counts as open. What other standard is their other than HTML/5.

      You also have the little problem that all existing video is going to have to be transcoded if you reject H.264, VP6, MPEG, WMV, AVI and Flash H.263 as acceptable formats. It sure isn't going to be easy to add video to Wikipedia if Joe and Jane user have to transcode the video to add it, or is Wikipedia going to automatically transcode video as they get it to their open standard.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Ilgaz (86384)

        If someone at our TV had this genius idea of RE-encoding a maximum compressed format to another maximum compressed one, he would be fired in less than a commercial break time.

        Of course, not accepting H264, MPEG, H263 is pure ideological and will satisfy number of elitists who can't even tell difference between SD and HD broadcasts and even brag about it.

        The reality you mention was one of the main reasons why Nokia (and couple of sane companies) insisted on using h264 in video element. There is no way you wo

      • by AnyoneEB (574727)

        But the flip side is you might recall back to what video was like before Flash. Every freaking web site you went to had a different video standard, video player, and you were usually forced to launch a video player which either wasn't integrated in the browser or was integrated badly. Flash only succeeded because it fixed a completely broken thing on the web where Apple, Real and Microsoft in particular were trying to acquire their own monopolies on web video.

        Actually, I remember most sites usually offering a choice between at least two of Windows Media Player, Real Player, and QuickTime (not sure why they did not just use HTML fallbacks), all of which had responsive, native controls and properly used hardware acceleration (which at the time was just hardware overlay [wikipedia.org], not decoding help). Explain to me again how Flash was an improvement in usability?

        What Flash did help with is that it had its own codecs which were more advanced than the ones that came with Window

        • by demachina (71715)

          "Explain to me again how Flash was an improvement in usability?"

          How would you run Windows Media Player on ... Linux. Don't think Linux supported Quicktime for a long time and when it did it was a big download. Real went through an extended period where their software was totally hated by nearly every one for their sleezy business tactics.

          If Flash did nothing else right they made it possible for just about everyone on Windows, Mac and Linux to have seamlessly integrated video in their browser without even h

          • by AnyoneEB (574727)
            I currently use Linux exclusively. Such movies/audio clips open with the Totem plugin for me now. (I find it works better than the mplayer plugin which I used to use.) I agree that giving the user a choice of plugins is stupid and confusing. As I mentioned in my post, I see no reason that could not be implemented with HTML fallbacks. For example, as in the Video for Everybody [camendesign.com] script but leaving out the Flash (or putting it last).
        • > all of which had responsive, native controls

          Lol. More like they were slow-loading and designed to stick their logo and shitty "stereo component" UIs and other branding crap in the middle of your page design.

          If the user-experience of any of these plugins was any good, one of them would have taken over and Flash video would have never gotten off the ground.

          • by AnyoneEB (574727)

            Lol. More like they were slow-loading and designed to stick their logo and shitty "stereo component" UIs and other branding crap in the middle of your page design.

            As opposed to Flash where something as simple as seeking through a video doesn't work right? Try seeking in YouTube to a specific spot: it appears to only let you seek to various somehow pre-chosen spots about 3 seconds apart. For extra fun, while a video is downloading, try to seek towards the end of the downloaded part; that often gets it to restart downloading with that place as the start. Full screen doesn't work for me either, but I suspect that is a Linux-only problem as otherwise it would be relative

            • Oh yes, QuickTime and Windows Media are well known for their seeking [BUFFERING] ability, which was often disabled anyway.

              Flash video certainly isn't perfect, but the quick loading time and ability to create your own UI killed the media player plugins in terms of user experience. (Unless you have some other explanation for why 99% of the sites that used those plugins have moved to Flash.)

    • by Ilgaz (86384)

      Well, if you embed mp4 file, Windows people will be required to install "evil quicktime" and as we know, mp4 is also somehow evil because the organisation has patents on it.

      So, by embedding Flash (which is totally documented I hear), they can play Theora thing and Ogg inside it. As it is GPL now, they could choose Sun Java technology and use Java player, trust me a huge amount of people from newbie to technical has Java installed. Of course, that time they would be blamed for using "bulky java" (as, there i

    • by FudRucker (866063)
      i dont see it often but on rare occasions i find source code that is GNU/GPLed by some clueless hack that was written in a windows machine with the wrong text editor and i open it up and see a crapload of ^M on the end of every line so i rm the whole package and decide i dont want that package afterall
  • At least it will make this Wiki page [wikipedia.org] a lot more interesting!
  • Less is more. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by owlnation (858981) on Friday June 19, 2009 @07:55PM (#28397533)
    Well, presumably it will only be notable video that's allowed.

    And presumably also, every band on Earth will have a sample of their video on every page they can get away with, as well as every company that now successfully uses Wikipedia to astroturf their products will get a nice demo video up too.

    It seems that as each month passes wikipedia becomes less and less relevant, and less reputable. Wholly because of bad administrative decisions.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Maybe it's a bit dodgy when it comes to the important stuff, but Wikipedia is an invaluable repository of pop-culture trivia. Simpsons, Star Trek, or Family Guy questions? I know where to look. And just the other day I needed to know the name of Dagwood Bumstead's daughter.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mdwh2 (535323)

      And presumably also, every band on Earth will have a sample of their video on every page they can get away with

      In the same way that they advertise their band on every page? Except they don't. Same for the companies. (Yet the sad thing is that other people whine about Wikipedia precisely because too much stuff is deleted...)

      It seems that as each month passes wikipedia becomes less and less relevant, and less reputable.

      You are mistaking your preference, and your opinion, with actual general fact. Like it or n

  • Title is misleading (Score:4, Informative)

    by geniice (1336589) on Friday June 19, 2009 @07:57PM (#28397543)
    Title is somewhat misleading. Wikipedia has had video for years. For example scroll down at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morris_C8 [wikipedia.org] or for direct to video http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Morris_C8_towing.ogv [wikipedia.org]
    • That Morris C8 video plays back like a broken slideshow. All I see is buffering... some movement... buffering etc. It's horrible.

  • by travisb828 (1002754) on Friday June 19, 2009 @07:58PM (#28397547)

    It's always nice to see new tools in the toolbox. I just wonder what kind of edit wars we can look forward to seeing. Could they be like this?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Human_anus [wikipedia.org]

    • by EdIII (1114411) * on Friday June 19, 2009 @08:16PM (#28397719)

      I'm sorry, but not everybody is going to actually look at that link, and it is far too fucking priceless to be just referenced. So let's post the juicy parts:

      WRT that female image - how would the contributors here feel if I was to crop it down to the anus alone and use it to replace the current pic? Porn-sourced or not, it is a good, clear picture of the human anus, moreso than the existing image IMO. --Kurt Shaped Box 22:28, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

      That would bring it around full circle to where it's been a couple of years. We had a cropped, shaved, bleached porn-anus in this article for a while, it was determined unsuitable (and a copyvio) and replaced with the current hairy man-hole. All we need is a neutral-looking and not-overly-hairy, suitable for an anatomy text. The Crow 22:43, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

      I have actually considered taking a photo of my own anus for the article (as far as I am aware, mine is pretty typical) just to put an end to this. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be able to hold the camera at the right angle to get a decent shot. :( If you take a close look at the 'porn' anus in hi-res, it doesn't actually appear to have been shaved or bleached. --Kurt Shaped Box 22:52, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

      I don't think the old female anus was unsuitable; it was removed because it was unsourced. I'm not a fan of females, but cropped, that anus looks more useful than the male one we have now. I'd support adding it if you're willing to crop it. The only real problem is that it looks like a copyright violation too. --Kinst 21:59, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

      I'd certainly be willing to do it - but I'll leave it until the image's status is sorted out. As a matter of interest, why was it tagged as a copyvio (there doesn't appear to be any explanation)? --Kurt Shaped Box 01:24, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

      I don't think my anus is any less hairy than Ano.jpg and I wouldn't say that my anus is an atypical human anus. In any case, who would you be to state that my anus, or the anus on the picture is atypical. In fact most male anuses that I have come across have a similar amount of hair, although the color of the hair on the picture makes it quite prominent. If we were discussing the anus of any other species than human, hair would surely not be a concern. Furthermore if was the Italian gentleman, who was so generous and kind to contribute the picture, I would be downright offended, if the picture was replaced only because the amount of hair was considered, by other wikipedians, to be unnatural and/or objectionable. BrunOperator 13:36, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

      As for my part, I don't find the present anus photo objectional or abnormal. My issues are (1) it's so hairy that the actual anus isn't very visible, (2) It's a decidedly male-looking anus, so people are going to be tempted to put a shaved anus on there and call it "female" because this is what porn has conditioned them to think. The anus is neither male nor female... the anatomy is exactly the same, and some females have even hairier anuses than men. So I think if we had a slightly hairy anus, it would be both medically illustrative and gender-neutral. The Crow 14:17, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

    • by smoker2 (750216)
      That's no anus - THIS is an anus ....
      I'll leave the link out shall I ?
  • ...a person editing a Wikipedia .... allowing her to search for video...

    Strange, apparently a "person" can only be female.

    I know, I know, if it said "he" no one would notice, but obviously this person was going out of their way to say "her", so why not just go with "they"? I know it's not grammatically correct (according to an English teacher I had) but at least it works, and it should be correct.

    Anyway, it just annoys me when someone goes out of their way to try to end the male gender bias only to throw in female gender bias instead of making it gender neutral.
    -Taylor

    • by afabbro (33948) on Friday June 19, 2009 @08:04PM (#28397605) Homepage

      ...a person editing a Wikipedia .... allowing her to search for video...

      Strange, apparently a "person" can only be female.

      I know, I know, if it said "he" no one would notice, but obviously this person was going out of their way to say "her", so why not just go with "they"? I know it's not grammatically correct (according to an English teacher I had) but at least it works, and it should be correct.

      Anyway, it just annoys me when someone goes out of their way to try to end the male gender bias only to throw in female gender bias instead of making it gender neutral. -Taylor

      Usually, they're college males hoping to get laid by progressive chicks.

      It never works that way, btw.

      • by Locke2005 (849178)
        You would think that eventually they would figure out that the chicks that insist on referring to females as "womyn" also prefer dating... womyn. Being the only male in a crowd of thousands here [michfest.com] doesn't significantly increase your chances of getting laid either.
    • They is more correct than she, if you're referring to a group.

      • They is more correct than she, if you're referring to a group.

        Well, in the sense that "she" is completely incorrect when referring to a group, yes.
        And "they" is technically completely incorrect when referring to one person, but people use it all the time, and I like it more than any other option (god forbid, in writing anyway, someone say "s/he"). I wish "they" was just correct.
        -Taylor

        • Yep. I don't really get why people avoid "one" anyway though. Here in the UK, it's usually avoided because people don't want to sound "posh", since only the aristocracy really use "one". However, when people are already showing off their brains by writing a thesis or some article on the virtues of video formats on a world-renowned encyclopedia site, it makes a lot of sense to simply use one then too.

          • Yep. I don't really get why people avoid "one" anyway though. Here in the UK, it's usually avoided because people don't want to sound "posh", since only the aristocracy really use "one". However, when people are already showing off their brains by writing a thesis or some article on the virtues of video formats on a world-renowned encyclopedia site, it makes a lot of sense to simply use one then too.

            "One" isn't always correct either though. Imagine a conversation between you and someone else:

            You: Hey, my friend just called.

            Someone else: What did *he/she/one/they* say?

            Only "they" sounds reasonable!
            -Taylor

            • by pbhj (607776)

              "One" isn't always correct either though. Imagine a conversation between you and someone else:

              You: Hey, my friend Chris just called.

              Someone else: What did he say?

              You: _She_ said 'people always think I'm a boy, do you think it's because of my beard?'

              !

            • Good point. I guess it should be "What did your friend say?", but that's long-winded for modern use.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by camperdave (969942)
          I wish "they" was just correct.

          "They" is hereby correct by declaration. If somebody doesn't like it they can bite my shiney metal... pen. If it ever comes up, you can site this post.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gbjbaanb (229885)

      I've noticed this 'politically correct' way of writing documents nowadays. I assumed it was deluded female tech authors trying to make some kind of point. Its not grammatically correct (according to my old English teacher - she said "In English, He embraces She") as the masculine form always includes the feminine. Like "mankind" means women too. "Womenkind" on the other hand is very exclusive.

      Pity us poor men, we don't have a gender bias, we have to share it with women, while women get their own.

      So, yeah, i

    • by mdwh2 (535323) on Friday June 19, 2009 @09:07PM (#28398131) Journal

      So you acknowledge that all three possibilities offered by the English language are flawed, but you still criticise the author for picking one you evidently have a problem with?

      For heaven's sake - get over it.

      • by pbhj (607776)

        So you acknowledge that all three possibilities offered by the English language are flawed, but you still criticise the author for picking one you evidently have a problem with?

        For heaven's sake - get over it.

        1. Masculine pronoun, standard English language - problem: some people think it's some sort of mark of misogyny
        2. Feminine pronoun, against the convention of English - problem: if you're changing a convention you should have a reason other than thinking everyone [sic] is a misogynist bastard out to get you
        3. Neutral pronoun, there isn't an appropriate one to use - problem: it's alright to use "they" but the grammar nazi's will eat you for breakfast

        If you imagine that the gender of words is somehow carefully

    • by smoker2 (750216)
      them, "allowing them to search for video." If you permit a user to do something you allow them to do it. Nothing grammatically wrong with that at all. Unless you have already specified a particular person.
      If a worker needed to leave early, I would allow them to go.
      If Dave needed to leave early, I would allow him to go.
      etc.
    • http://xkcd.com/145/ [xkcd.com]

      It is not that incorrect. Anyway, it is the type of linguistical hacking that I appreciate.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by seyyah (986027)

      so why not just go with "they"? I know it's not grammatically correct (according to an English teacher I had) but at least it works, and it should be correct.

      NO! Stop! Singluar "they" is good English grammar. It has been in our language for hundreds of years (it passes the Shakespeare test, i.e. he used it), and it is well-established today. Use it!

    • by k.a.f. (168896)

      ...a person editing a Wikipedia .... allowing her to search for video...

      Strange, apparently a "person" can only be female.

      I know, I know, if it said "he" no one would notice, but obviously this person was going out of their way to say "her", so why not just go with "they"? I know it's not grammatically correct (according to an English teacher I had) but at least it works, and it should be correct.

      Anyway, it just annoys me when someone goes out of their way to try to end the male gender bias only to throw in female gender bias instead of making it gender neutral. -Taylor

      Where have you lived the last ten years? This style has been established in technical writing long ago. An increasing number of people agree that it's silly to presume universal masculinity, so the gender of pronouns becomes available as an additional discourse marker.

      For instance, a text on agile development might say, "When the on-site customer notices that his account name is being truncated, he can notify the project manager immediately, and she might either tell the designer that he should create a lar

      • Ten year? The Dungeons and Dragons manuals were using this style at least two decades ago. There are very few style guidelines that recommend always using the female pronoun (my publisher recommends using all male, or alternating between the two). The important point is that it's not a matter of correctness, it's a matter of style. Linguistic styles change rapidly over time and vary between publishers.
  • Donations? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Itninja (937614) on Friday June 19, 2009 @08:49PM (#28397959) Homepage
    I have donated to Wikipedia a few times over the years. But I think I will stop if this video 'enhancement' takes off. I can think of no article I have ever read that would have been served better by video on the same page. Just reference a video from a source site. I thought Wikipedia was a non-profit organization running an lean crew of committed semi-volunteers, not a business looking to 'drive traffic' to their site.
    • Wikipedia is missing the media rich content found on every other software-based encyclopedia, like Encarta and Worldbook. Since such software is dying off because the things like Wikipedia are so packed full of free, up-to-date information, it seems like a natural extension for the free encyclopedia.

      Sure, links to other websites are fine, but the archival of human knowledge found in Wikipedia is important too. Links get broken, external media disappears... I'm sure WP would much rather have their own conte
      • by Itninja (937614)

        Wikipedia is missing the media rich content found on every other software-based encyclopedia, like Encarta and Worldbook. Since such software is dying off because the things like Wikipedia are so packed full of free, up-to-date information, it seems like a natural extension for the free encyclopedia.

        Those are for-profit products that are anything but neutral on controversial topics. I think using You Tube would be fundamentally flawed. Every video would essentially be an advertisement for Google. How would

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