Looking back at the last two months of Wikidata work

Lydia Pintscher

8. August 2012

(Die deutsche Version dieses Artikels gibt es hier.)

Development is moving fast

The development of Wikidata is split into three phases. The team has been working on the first phase – centralizing language links – so far and is getting ready for the first deployment of the result. The Hungarian Wikipedia community stepped up to be the first to use Wikidata in production. The Italian Wikipedia community is currently very favourably discussing about becoming the second and there is interest from some members of the Hebrew Wikipedia community as well. The plan is to have the English Wikipedia follow after that and then offer it pretty quickly to all the other Wikipedias. If you want to test this already you can have a look at the demo system. We also looked at the impact this first phase will have on the Wikipedias and checked what percentage of the articles’ source in each Wikipedia is currently language links. Most of these will move to one central place – Wikidata.

Meanwhile the team is starting to work on the second phase – the centralisation of infobox data.

We published quite a few notes, story boards and more. For example the data model primer and the story board for linking Wikipedia articles or notes on how we want to export data to RDF and how we envision the user interface for phase two to look like. We’d appreciate your feedback on these.

To make sure Wikidata is flexible enough to deal with future use-cases that the community would like to see we’re collecting them. Please help and expand these.

Wikidata takes Washington, D.C. and New York, NY and …

at the Wikidata panel (cc-by-sa by Stepro)

Among the 1400 registered attendees for Wikimania, were also five from the Wikidata team – Denny Vrandečić, Jeroen De Dauw, Daniel Kinzler, Katie Filbert and me. Katie was even one of the main organizers of the event. We all had a blast. It was a great event with a lot of interest in Wikidata. More than 250 people showed up for our three talks on Thursday – and surprisingly few left when the two more technical ones started. First Denny gave an intro to Wikidata and what we’re trying to achieve. Then Daniel followed with an overview of the technical bits and pieces of Wikidata and how it fits into the rest of MediaWiki. The track ended with Jeroen showing how developers will be able to extend Wikidata in the future. On Friday we did the Wikidata panel together with Pavel Richter and Erik Möller. The panel started with the announcement of the winning logo of the Wikidata logo contest. As luck might have it, the designer of the winning logo, Arun Ganesh, was present and told us a bit about the idea behind it. The lines at the top spell out “Wiki” in morse code. Videos of the talks and panel will be up soon.

The week after Wikimania, Denny has been to New York City, and gave a talk at the New York Times. It was co-hosted by the local Semantic Web Meet Up group (the oldest and biggest such meet-up) and Wikimedia New York City, and had close to a hundred participants from very different backgrounds. The meeting started off with a presentation of rNews, a standard for providing metadata for news articles that is being widely deployed, and then the presentation of Wikidata. Many questions were raised, and some of them even answered in the evening event.

Additionally the Wikidata team held a number of Wikidata intro events in a few cities for local Wikipedians. More of these will follow. You can see all the past and future events on the Wikidata events page. To our delight Wikidata was also a topic at conferences without us even knowing in advance. Vorschlag: We were glad that Wikidata was also a topic at conferences without us raising the issue. At the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s conference for example one of the discussion topics was Wikidata and how it can be used for making their data available to a wider audience.

The team also held another round of office hours on IRC. Logs are available if you couldn’t attend.

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