Looking back at August and September at Wikidata

Lydia Pintscher

8. October 2012

(Die deutsche Version dieses Eintrags ist hier.)

Let’s take a look back at the last two months of Wikidata development.

A first deployment is getting close

The first 6 months are over by now and we’re getting closer to a first deployment of the first phase of Wikidata on Wikipedia. This first phase allows storing the language links, the links that connect Wikipedia articles across languages, in one central location. So far they are all stored in the article in each language, causing a lot of duplication and bot edits to keep them in sync. A while ago Denny published statistics about the percentage of language links in relation to the whole wiki text of articles in the different Wikipedias. With Wikidata being used this number will drop considerably after a while.

The Hungarian Wikipedians already voted right after Wikimania on being the first to use Wikidata. The vote ended in favour of the proposal. Shortly after this the Italian Wikipedia had their vote with a very positive outcome. The other day the Hebrew Wikipedia started their discussion as well. A result is still outstanding. We are currently taking the last steps together with the Wikimedia Foundation to get the repository part of Wikidata up and running. Once this is tested for a while, we will add the first client, the Hungarian Wikipedia. The next Wikipedias will follow step-by-step after that. To help with the deployment process and quality assurance tasks Anja Jentzsch joined the team at the beginning of September as a software developer.

You can see and test the current development status on the demo system. Please report bugs if you find any. (We secretly hope you won’t find any anymore of course but you probably will ;))

It takes a village…

There are 13 people who are working on Wikidata at Wikimedia Deutschland. But a lot more are doing their small or large part. Just to give you some impression: Over the last months people worked on bots around Wikidata (including writing Pywikidata), commented on a lot of our drafts and mock-ups (e.g.: layout concepts for phase 2, unwanted edits, future use cases, data collaborators), reported and fixed bugs, reviewed the code we’ve written, dedicated Wikipedia articles to the team and much more. Thanks a lot to all of you. You rock!

To make it even easier to get an overview of the project and contribute we have overhauled the main project page and created a Contribute page. Have a look!


Over the past two months we’ve taken part in a number of events. These include Campus Party Europe, FrOSCon, WikiCon, Software Freedom Day and Datengarten. You can find a complete list on the Wikidata event page. There you can also find the video of the Wikidata panel at Wikimania in Washington, pictures and videos of the MediaWiki hackathon earlier this year in Berlin and the logs for our last two office hours on IRC. We’ll be holding another round of office hours closer to the first deployment. Also have a look at the future events we’re going to attend. We might have Wikidata stickers to give away there (and in the office if you want to come over and say hi).

Getting the latest Wikidata news

Since the start of the project we’ve had a mailing list, IRC channel and been on identi.ca and Twitter. Recently we added Facebook and Google+ pages to the mix if you’re a fan of these networks. If you want to get the latest news to your talk page you can subscribe to the on-wiki newsletter.

On to the next 6 months

We’re already busy with the work on phase 2 now. This one is all about infoboxes and centralizing the data in them. This will need even more of your input than the first one to get it right. Keep an eye on the weekly status updates for things that need your input.

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