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September 15, 2006

Larry Sanger announces Wikipedia fork

Larry Sanger announces Wikipedia fork – Wikinews, the free news source

Larry Sanger announces Wikipedia fork

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Friday, September 15, 2006

Wikimedia-logo.svg This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Larry Sanger announced Citizendium.org, a fork of the English Wikipedia, at the Wizards of OS conference in Berlin today.

Sanger was employed by Jimmy Wales to work on Nupedia and later Wikipedia from 2000-2002. He currently works on the Digital Universe initiative with entrepreneur Joe Firmage and astrophysicist Bernard Haisch, but does not anticipate Citizendium being part of Digital Universe.

Citizendium will be free content, licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License as Wikipedia is, but with a different editorial structure.

Brad Patrick, General Counsel and interim Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, said “A great strength of the free culture movement is in the freedom to experiment. It is good to see Mr Sanger continuing to push forward with freely licensed content in his new project.”

Many static mirror sites exist of the English Wikipedia. The only fork that is actively edited is Wikinfo.org, run by Fred Bauder, an administrator and arbitrator on the English Wikipedia.

External links

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

August 18, 2006

Wikimedia servers unreachable for 3 hours due to network outage

Wikimedia servers unreachable for 3 hours due to network outage

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Wikimedia-logo.svg This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Logos of various Wikimedia projects.

Earlier today, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, and other projects hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation suffered downtime due to network issues. Thanks to the efforts of Wikimedia staff and volunteers, service was restored relatively quickly. The downtime lasted from about 17:20 UTC to 20:00 UTC, according to Wikimedia’s Chief Technology Officer, Brion Vibber.

According to Vibber, Cogent Communications readvertised routing to Wikimedia’s primary IP address block, rendering the site unreachable to most visitors. The reason behind Cogent’s actions remain unclear at this time. According to a reliable anonymous source, the service outage was due to a dispute between Cogent and the hosting provider used by Wikimedia, and had nothing to do with Wikimedia’s services or content in any way. Rumors that the outage was related to a DMCA takedown notice received by Cogent are false, according to the same source.

Whilst some users were still able to access the site, projects such as Wikipedia were temporarily switched to read-only mode in order to combat vandalism. This block on editing was removed once normal service resumed.

“This was an unfortunate case of collateral damage” said Brad Patrick of WMF. “It was a shock that something like this could happen to us without warning. We will do everything necessary to make sure our users have continuous access to our projects.”

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Related news

  • “Wikipedia suffers outage” — Wikinews, February 3, 2006

Sources

  • Brion Vibber. “Network outage” — Wikipedia mail, August 18, 2006
Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

August 6, 2006

Day 1 report of Wikimania 2006

Day 1 report of Wikimania 2006 – Wikinews, the free news source

Day 1 report of Wikimania 2006

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Wikimedia-logo.svg This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Wikimania (spacing).png

Wikimania 2006 is the second annual Wikimedia conference. Hosted by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at the Harvard Law School campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it began August 4 and will run until August 6.

Wikimania began with a keynote presentation from Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation. Wales played a short portion of a clip from a recent episode of U.S. television program The Colbert Report discussing Wikipedia. In the clip, Colbert says that “any website that has a longer entry on truthiness than Lutheranism has got its priorities straight.” His keynote continued by re-emphasising Wikimedia’s mission, as stated by Wales in a Slashdot interview: “Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That’s what we’re doing”.

Wales stated that Wikipedia is “not as good as Britannica — yet”. Additionally, he also stated that in the coming year, Wikipedia will be making “a turn towards quality”. “We have always had this goal, but we all know we’re not there yet – in the coming years one of the themes is going to be a turn towards quality.” said Wales.

He then introduced Brad Patrick, the general counsel and recently-appointed interim CEO of Wikimedia. Patrick said he found Wikimedia after reading Wales’ list Ten Things That Will Be Free on Lawrence Lessig’s blog. After discovering the Wikimedia Foundation, Patrick emailed Wales about meeting for lunch. He had lunch with Wales a few months later and was hired as general counsel shortly after.

Wales went on to describe Wikia, the company he co-founded with Angela Beesley. He announced that Wikia has received venture capital, allowing them to hire full-time engineers to work on the MediaWiki software. He emphasized that Wikia, has “a total commitment to free knowledge and respect for communities.”

Later, Wales announced that the One Laptop Per Child project will be including Wikipedia as the first element in the content repository. He also announced that the board has approved Wikiversity as “a center for the creation and use of free learning materials and activities”. Wikiversity will “create and host a range of free-content multilingual learning materials for all age groups in all languages”. It will be launched soon with a three language, six month, beta trial period.

Wales described a project called Wikiwyg: a WYSIWYG editor for the wiki. Wikiwyg is an attempt to make the wiki easier to edit. “An intelligence test by making it hard to edit, just does not work,” noted Wales. While the release date is uncertain both Wikia and Socialtext are devoting full-time engineers to the project.

Wales emphasized the need to focus on quality. He also briefly discussed the commitment in the German Wikipedia to rolling out a stable version. He stated that if we do not have it rolled out by next year’s keynote “we are making a big mistake”.

Wales finished his keynote by giving an update on his Ten Things That Will Be Free and proposing “that the foundation seek funding to hire community coordinator and recruiters for important languages where we currently do poorly”.

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Other notable speakers included Ward Cunningham, Lawrence Lessig, Eben Moglen and many members of the Wikimedia communities.

The day wrapped up with a poster reception and a party celebrating Wikia’s 250,000 articles and Wikia’s founders Angela Beesley and Jimmy Wales birthdays.

Archived copies of many of the presentations are available on the Wikimania wiki.

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.