Historical Wikipedia Pages/WhichWikiShouldWeUse

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This entry is for discussing which wiki software is best suited for Wikipedia.

Features, fonctionnalities, which WikiWiki is best suited for Wikipedia ?


The /ArbitratryLinkingDiscussion started with this:

The other day, on a page I cannot find now, someone suggested that we might switch to a version of Wiki which supports arbitrary linking. The idea is that, particularly for an encyclopedia, having arbitrary links is better than the amusing but odd wiki capitalization conventions.
Is there a wiki software that can support this? -- Jimbo Wales

["Free linking" like word was later added to UseModWiki.]


Other WikiWiki programs than UseModWiki?

Hi Jimbo, I had made a suggestion a few days ago about perhaps switching to TWiki, as it is one of the more polished (and well-documented) Wiki's. Twiki supports doing links as we've been doing here, as well as forced links with double brackets. It's got gobs of other features... Check out http://www.twiki.org. It's got pretty good docs, too. I highly recommend it.

-- Bryce


TWiki is a good wiki. (I prefer my own UseModWiki, but I'm slightly biased. :-) TWiki certainly has more documentation than UseModWiki. A third possibility is the MoinMoin: see http://moin.sourceforge.net/.


Is the Wikipedia project reasonable?

I don't want to be a wet blanket, but I don't think a wiki is appropriate for a project like this. If your emphasis is on fast growth of the page database, you totally break all the existing structural systems of the wiki. For instance, Recent Changes is no longer functional. Secondly, wikis exist in a very long now. You have time to consider what you add. A repository of information should be like this, I think. Encyclopaedia were invented by the Romans to summarize what the Greeks had taken centuries to come up with. Indeed, the Romans didn't derive much new; just bad summaries. Meanwhile, the Greeks were still chugging along deriving new things.

Read the rest and the discussion in /WikiPediaReasonable


What other tools do we need?

I agree that search tools to find potential links would be very useful. One possibility would be to make a list of pages in date order (newest first), with all the potential links listed next to the name of the page. Editors could then watch the most recent edits for potential links. If this wiki moves in that direction, I'm willing to work on better search tools. --CliffordAdams


I think it wouldn't be hard to write a conversion-helper script to semi-automatically fix the current strange capitalizations. The script would first look for all wikinames and create one large list. A human editor would go through the list and delete any of the "good" multi-word names (like PopularMusic), which would end up with a list of "strange" wiki-names (like PolanD or TopOlogy). The second part of the script would take take the edited list of one-word names and replace them with word links. Those one-word names which already have defined pages could also be moved/changed automatically, along with the Recent Changes database file.

The whole conversion would probably take only a couple hours, much of which would be editing the list. I'm willing to write the conversion scripts and even do the editing if the maintainers of Wikipedia approve. --CliffordAdams

(I think this sounds great -- Jimbo Wales)

So this is a technical issue on the connection of the wiki to the tools allowing people to browse and modify the contents. I don't think this is at all important and I would think that it would be a pity if the contents of the Wikipedia would be governed by problems in the tools. --LinusTolke


Similar Projects?

Any of the ideas of Jeff Duntemann's Virtual Encyclopedia been considered here? I haven't consumed the whole wikipedia yet, so I don't know if maybe even Jeff's 1995 original proposition was the progenitor of this whole structure, kind of a global napsterwiki. http://dev-developer.earthweb.com/visualdev/9909_vol10/57duntemann.html -- JerryMuelver


Interesting article--but from skimming it rather quickly, it looks like more of a proposal for dmoz.org rather than for Wikipedia. -- Larry Sanger