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Wikipedia Day 2011 Talk


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Copy of the slides given at MadLab as part of Wikipedia Day, held to celebrate 10 years of Wikipedia and to help introduce Free Software and show how it's used, why it's important and to discuss the common philosophies.

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Wikipedia Day 2011 Talk

  1. 1. Wikipedia Day Free Software and Wikipedia
  2. 2. A bit about Wikipedia The word Wikipedia is a portmanteau from wiki (a technology for creating collaborative websites, from the Hawaiian word wiki, meaning &quot;quick&quot;) and encyclopedia. 8 th Most popular website in the world according to Alexa. <ul><li>There are 3,527,596 articles, and 22,896,500 pages in total.
  3. 3. There have been 437,835,862 edits.
  4. 4. There are 848,745 uploaded files.
  5. 5. There are 13,750,719 registered users, including 1,769 administrators. </li></ul>This information is correct as of 07:08 (UTC) on January 13, 2011. <ul><li>Wikipedia receives between 25,000 and 90,000 page requests per second, depending on time of day. </li></ul><ul><li>Employs 50 people to keep it running </li></ul>
  6. 6. Some common misconceptions Wikipedia != Wikileaks They just use some of the same software, they are not affiliated. Wikimedia != Wikipedia Wikipedia is one of the projects operated by Wikimedia. Others include Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikibooks, Wikisource, Wikimedia Commons, Wikispecies, Wikinews, Wikiversity, Wikimedia Incubator and Meta-Wiki. The Wikimedia Foundation's stated goal is to develop and maintain open content, wiki-based projects and to provide the full contents of those projects to the public free of charge. Who invented the Media Wiki software? The current software was originally written for Wikipedia by Lee Daniel Crocker to replace the Perl based UseModWiki that Wikipedia originally used.
  7. 7. Why should I contribute to Wikipedia? Wikipedia is a great educational resource Learn new things To help address the imbalance – 87% of Wikipedia editors are male. To help fulfill the goal of making the sum of all human knowledge available to everyone on the planet for free.
  8. 8. How can I contribute? Use it! Donations Edits Improving existing articles Start your own Translations – especially important Other languages are lagging way behind English Translate articles into English from other languages or vice versa Humans needed Machine translation, especially between unrelated languages (e.g. English and Japanese), produces very low quality results. Wikipedia consensus is that an unedited machine translation, left as a Wikipedia article, is worse than nothing.
  9. 9. Language Number of articles English 3,528,812 German 1,175,939 French 1,055,863 Polish 766,348 Italian 764,027 Japanese 728,066 Spanish 701,847 Portuguese 667,002 Dutch 665,634 Russian 649,558 Translations are especially useful for education Wikipedia can be downloaded for offline viewing which can be invaluable in remote areas. Why Take Wikipedia Offline? Because how can knowledge equal freedom if people need a modem to get it?
  10. 10. A quick look behind the scenes Wikipedia relies on Free Software <ul><li>All their servers use Ubuntu
  11. 11. PHP
  12. 12. My SQL
  13. 13. Apache
  14. 14. MediaWiki
  15. 15. More... </li></ul>The site started as a Perl CGI script running on single server in 2001. Wikipedia now has 200 application servers, 20 database servers and 70 servers dedicated to Squid cache servers. Wikipedia is powered by the MediaWiki software, which was originally written to run Wikipedia and is now an open source project. MediaWiki uses PHP running on a MySQL database. Mituzas said MySQL instances range from 200 to 300 gigabytes. In addition to Squid, Wikipedia uses Memcached and the Linux Virtual Server load balancer. Wikipedia also uses database sharding to set up master-slave relationships between Databases.
  16. 16. The importance of Free Software to Wikipedia In an interview with the Free Software Foundation Jimmy Wales said... &quot;People sometimes ask me why I’m so adamant that Wikipedia must always use free software, even when in some cases it might be the case that proprietary software might be more convenient or better suited for some particular need that we have. ... Free knowledge requires free software. It is a conceptual error to think about our mission as being somehow separate from that.&quot;
  17. 17. Serving up the content-how they use Free Software All multimedia in the Wikipedia database is stored using the free Ogg Theora and Ogg Vorbis formats. Some of the Free Software Wikipedia uses: A LAMP stack: Ubuntu – GNU Linux OS Apache - webserver MySQL - database PHP – for coding the web front end But that's not it... Media Wiki – for content management
  18. 18. Squid – for caching data which allows them to significantly reduce their bandwidth use. Squid … has a wide variety of uses, from speeding up a web server by caching repeated requests; to caching web, DNS and other computer network lookups for a group of people sharing network resources; to aiding security by filtering traffic. … The Squid web site claims that if working in front of the server application, it can improve performance by up to four times. Squid is especially efficient in case of (probably unexpected) high traffic to one or several particular pages. Memcached - is a general-purpose distributed memory caching system … is often used to speed up dynamic database-driven websites by caching data and objects in RAM to reduce the number of times an external data source (such as a database or API) must be read. How they use Free Software to help with performance
  19. 19. What's the Creative Commons and why is it important? The Creative Commons organisation seeks to support the building of a richer public domain by providing an alternative to the automatic &quot;all rights reserved&quot; copyright, dubbed &quot;some rights reserved.&quot; So what are the licenses? There are six major licenses of the Creative Commons: * Attribution (CC-BY) * Attribution Share Alike (CC-BY-SA) * Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND) * Attribution Non-Commercial (CC-BY-NC) * Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike (CC-BY-NC-SA) * Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND)
  20. 20. Creative Commons licenses in a nutshell If something is licensed under the Creative Commons by default you have a &quot;core right&quot; to redistribute a work for non-commercial purposes without modification, NC and ND make it non-free. BY – Attributation – requires attributation to the original author. SA – Share Alike - allowing derivative works under the same or a similar license (later or jurisdiction version). NC – Non Commercial - requiring the work is not used for commercial purposes. ND - No Derivative Works - allowing only the original work, without derivatives. Wikipedia uses CC-BY-SA
  21. 21. The Wikipedia and Free Software philosophy The Right to Read The Creative Commons licenses This is important in keeping the content free-concerned with free access. Most of Wikipedia's text and many of its images are dual-licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA) and the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts). Collaboration – wisdom of the crowds – everyone has something to contribute Censorship Jimmy Wales has made clear that censorship is never acceptable He has also come out against Internet censorship and the importance of keeping knowledge fee.
  22. 22. Contributing to Free Software You can contribute to free software projects in many of the same ways you can to Wikipedia: <ul><li>Use it </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Translations </li></ul><ul><li>Testing </li></ul><ul><li>Editing – code changes instead of page changes </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion </li></ul>
  23. 23. More information & Resources Jimmy Wales' talk at Bristol University for Wikipedia's 10 th anniversary Wikimedia chooses Ubuntu for all of its servers Creative Commons