Posts Tagged ‘english’

Data Partnerships in Wikidata: Project Durchblick

Dieser Beitrag ist auch auf Deutsch verfügbar.

Dr. Georg Schelbert works at the Humboldt-Universität Berlin at the Institut für Kunst- und Bildgeschichte (IKB) as the head of the media library. His project „Durchblick“ may be translated as „Through the Looking-Glass“ in more than one sense: As it is about glass slides, it literally deals with glass you can see through.  But the project is also about gaining insights from a vast collection of cultural assets, almost like exploring the wonderland hidden in it. Project Durchblick makes extensive use of Wikidata. This kind of data partnership does not come in the form of a data donation, but rather as using Wikidata as a hub for other data collections in order to provide objects in collections with common identifiers.

What is Durchblick all about? What kind of collection is that and how did it start?

We decided to call our project „Durchblick!“, as we faced the task to explore a large number of glass slides that had been in use for many decades in the department for the history of art at the Humboldt-Universität and make them accessible again. 

Every institute for the history of art has more or less large collections of slides that are used in lectures and seminars. Primarily, two formats are used: First, the larger glass slides where a black and white film is applied directly to a pane of the format of 8,5 x 10cm that were produced since the late 19th until the middle of the 20th century. And then the so-called small picture slides that emerged from the 35mm color film format as used in movie theaters that have been in use from the 1940s until today.  We focus only on the glass slides with Durchblick. The Berlin collection is one of the oldest and largest, as some of the Berlin professors of art history like Herman Grimm (son of Wilhelm Grimm) or Heinrich Wölfflin discovered and used the potential of projected photographs quite early. Thus, the collection also reflects the interests of famous representatives of the field in research and teaching. Today, after damages caused by wars, a significant amount consists of replicas and additions made in the 1950s, however over the the time also many interesting new themes were added, such as East German or Soviet art, urban development, or even traffic planning. Weiterlesen »

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Data Partnerships with Wikidata: beaTunes

Dieser Beitrag ist auch auf Deutsch verfügbar.

Wikidata data partnerships happen in many ways. While data donations are a way for institutions, organisations or individuals to contribute content to the free knowledge-base, re-use of data in applications is just as interesting as it contributes to the eco system of Free Knowledge and thus gives more people more access to more knowledge.

beaTunes is an application for the Mac that lets you build playlists for your music collection. It uses Wikidata in various ways to enrich the application.

The free license for Wikidata allows commercial re-use as well.  We talked with Hendrik Schreiber of beaTunes about how to use Wikidata in a commercial software product.

Weiterlesen »

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Ladies That FOSS — Welcoming 35 women coders into the FOSS movement and that was just the beginning

German summary: Ladies That FOSS war ein Hackathon gerichtet an Frauen, die Interesse an Freier und Open Source Software (FOSS) haben, aber noch nicht an konkreten Projekten beteiligt sind.

by Julia Schuetze

Ladies That FOSS was an open source hackathon by Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. in October 2016 continuing as a meetup starting from March 15th 2017.

In October 2016 Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. held its first hackathon aimed at women and nonbinary coders who are interested in Free and Open Source Software. The majority of them had one thing in common: they have never contributed to the FOSS world but were eager to find out what all the fuss in FOSS is about. Weiterlesen »

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Being a Volunteer Developer for Wikimedia projects: An Interview with Greta Doçi

Interview by Sandra Muellrick. This blog post is also available in German.

As a volunteer, Greta has been active in the Wikimedia movement for only a few years. She gives talks about Wikidata and is involved with Open Source development. In this blog post we want to introduce both her and the many opportunities the Wikimedia movement offers to try out new things, learn, and improve.

“Everything I know I try to put online to share e.g work with MediaWiki, queries or editing in Wikipedia or Wikidata. ”

For three years now, Greta has been editing Wiki projects on almost every afternoon. She is enthusiastic about bringing Free Knowledge to the world out of her native country of Albania. She’s been an editor for Wikipedia for over three years, and for more than one and a half year she’s been active on Wikidata. She also served on the board of the Albanian user group. Apart from her day job as an IT expert at an Albanian state organization, she organizes Wikidata workshops as well as the Albanian edition of the “Wiki Loves Monuments” photo contest, teaches university students on how to use Wikipedia, and for 3 months now she’s been teaching herself how to contribute code to MediaWiki.

“I love these things. That’s why I’m volunteering.”

She started to volunteer for charity causes at a young age. It’s important for Greta to produce something meaningful, finish projects, and have an impact on society. She loves to learn things, share knowledge and teach others. This is why she feels right at home at the Wikimedia movement. Weiterlesen »

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Software product management as an internship: Learning about the real world at Wikimedia Deutschland

German summary: Glorian Yapinus aus Indonesien hat gerade sechs Monate Praktikum in der Software-Entwicklung bei Wikimedia Deutschland hinter sich. Hauptsächlich arbeitete er mit Lydia Pintscher zusammen, der Produktmanagerin von Wikidata. Seine Motivation war es, Produktmanagement mit praktischen Erfahrungen in einem realen Projekt zu lernen. Wir haben ihn zum Ende seines Praktikums zu seinen Erfahrungen befragt. Das Interview fand auf Englisch statt, der Sprache, die Glorian auch in der täglichen Arbeit bei Wikimedia Deutschland benutzte.

Glorian Yapinus just spent 6 months at Wikimedia Deutschland as an intern in the software development department. Working together with Lydia Pintscher, the product manager of Wikidata, he was driven by his wish to work on a real world project. This is his story.

Hi, Glorian. Tell us a bit about your background. Where are you from, what do you study?

Hi :)
I come from Indonesia, a beautiful island country located in Southeast Asia. I love building things. As time went by, I discovered that apart from loving to build things, I am also drawn to technology. This is the reason why I did my Bachelor study in Information Technology (IT). Back then, I wished that through this study, I could learn how to develop cool games and applications.

However, it turned out, I got hooked on a subject called software product management. Software product management is an area in IT which encompasses most aspects in software development ranging from researching user requirements to translating those requirements into new software.

Because I wanted to develop my knowledge and skills in software product management, I decided to come to Germany in order to pursue a Master degree in Software Engineering and Management at Heilbronn University. In this Master study, I learned about a different facet of IT which I did not learn during my Bachelor study, that is, how to manage software projects. Arguably, project management is an integral part of software product management and a must skill for software product managers.

At some point during the study, I realized I have to get my hands wet on software product management. In other words, I was looking for a practical experience in software product management, in order to complement what I have learned in the university. Afterwards, I found the product management intern vacancy in Wikimedia Deutschland. I tried to go for this opportunity and I got the internship. That was how I wound up here.

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Software Craftsmanship at Wikimedia Deutschland: Rewriting the Wikimedia Deutschland fundraising application

German summary: Jeroen De Dauw, Software-Architekt bei Wikimedia Deutschland, hat in zwei Blogposts architektonischen Überlegungen hinter einer umfangreichen Refaktorisierung der Spendenplattform-Software und ihre praktischen Umsetzungen beschrieben.

The story behind the refactoring of Wikimedia Deutschland’s fundraising framework

It took a team of software developers at Wikimedia Deutschland (Jeroen de Dauw, Kai Nissen, and Gabriel Birke) eight months to refactor the fundraising framework for the annual donation campaign.

Jeroen, software architect in the software development department, wrote two in-depth blog posts about the architectural concept behind the rewrite and how they approached it technically, all based of the principles of Clean Code and Software Craftsmanship.


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10 cool queries for Wikidata that will blow your mind. Number 7 will shock you.

Dieser Blogpost ist auch auf Deutsch verfügbar.

Wikidata is an open knowledge base that collects facts (statements) on pieces of knowledge (items). It is run by the Wikimedia Foundation, developed by a team led by Wikimedia Deutschland, and tended and cared for by a global community of volunteers. Unlike Wikipedia, that contains knowledge collected by volunteers written in free form, it is machine-readable and pieces of knowledge and can be queried in relation to each other.

Dozens of application already use the knowledge base. One particularly cool way to access knowledge in Wikidata is through queries in the SPARQL query language. Just a little knowledge of SPARQL goes a long way to query for facts and relationships – thus opening new horizons and rearranging knowledge in a totally new way.

With SPARQL, the possibilities are virtually endless. Follow along for 10 cool queries: Weiterlesen »

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I don’t have to find tasks. Tasks are coming to me. Being a Volunteer Developer for Wikimedia projects: An Interview with Tpt

German summary:

“Ich suche mir keine Aufgaben. Normalerweise kommen die Aufgaben einfach zu mir,” sagt Thomas, freiwilliger Entwickler für MediaWiki. Wie sieht eigentlich die ehrenamtliche Tätigkeit eines freiwilligen Entwicklers aus? Wer steckt hinter dem Code und den Features, die tagtäglich von vielen Editoren benutzt werden? Julia Schuetze setzte sich mit Thomas aka tpt zusammen, um einen Einblick in die Programmiertätigkeit eines Freiwilligen zu bekommen.

An interview by Julia Schuetze with Thomas Pellissier-Tanon aka Tpt

“I work on the software behind Wikipedia!” That’s what Thomas aka (Tpt), a Volunteer Developer from France, tells his friends if they ask him about what he does in his free time. Up to ten hours per week he dedicates to free knowledge that way.

In the past two months, I got the chance to talk to some of our volunteer developers about their experience with the Wikimedia movement. I’d like to share Thomas’ story, his views, concerns, ideas and accomplishments with you.  

Thomas started in 2009 when he was still in high school. A passion for egyptian history and pharaohs inspired him to contribute to the French Wikipedia. Back then, programming was new to him. He started by writing templates and by learning how to use the functions around Wikipedia.

Starting is not easy. Wikipedia is a project created, maintained and developed by millions of people. Thousands contribute at least once a month. People commit, some stay for longer, some only for a short time. I wondered what made Thomas stick around and become a very innovative volunteer developer in our community for over seven years now.

MediaWiki: “huge, complex and often ugly”

The first few months can be rocky, he says. It was an exploration for him because MediaWiki, the free and open source wiki application, which stores the content into databases, “is huge, complex and often ugly.” “It was a lot of reading code to see how it works and how all the pieces are fitting together,” Thomas remembers. “Some of that can act as barriers. Especially for developers who are not familiar with Wikis,” he explains. It was quite difficult to write code matching MediaWiki standards and conventions and with a good enough level of quality at first.”

Weiterlesen »

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Hands-on research about Wikidata: My time as a PhD student at Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.

German summary: In diesem Blogpost berichtet Alessandro über seinen Forschungsaufenthalt in der Softwareentwicklung bei Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. Fokus seiner Doktorarbeit ist es, herauszufinden wie gemeinschaftliche Prozesse die Datenqualität in Wikidata beeinflussen. Zentrale Fragen sind dabei, wie Ehrenamtliche in Wikidata zusammenarbeiten, wie sich die Zusammenarbeit nach längerer Erfahrung in der Community verändert, welche Auswirkungen dies auf die Datenqualität hat und was überhaupt Datenqualität in so einer Wissensdatenbank bedeutet.

This is a blog post by Alessandro Piscopo.

My secondment at Wikimedia Germany was part of the research work for my Computer Science PhD, which I carry out at the University of Southampton and as an Early-Stage researcher within the Marie Curie ITN WDAqua project. The aim of WDAqua is to perform research to advance the state of the art of Question-Answering systems based on web data. The outcome of my PhD will be integrated with the research carried out by 14 other participants in this project.

In this blog post I would like to recap this interesting and proficuous experience, and to communicate the advancements that I was able to make in my research.

Weiterlesen »

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From Damascus to Berlin: A very special internship at Wikimedia Deutschland

German summary: Alaa Mustafa hat gerade 6 Wochen Praktikum in der Software-Entwicklung bei Wikimedia Deutschland hinter sich. Der syrische IT-Spezialist flüchtete letzten Sommer vor dem Bürgerkrieg in Syrien nach Deutschland. Während er auf die Mühlen der Bürokratie wartete, bewarb er sich um ein Praktikum bei der Entwicklung von Wikidata. Wir haben ihn zum Ende seines Praktikums zu seinen Erfahrungen befragt. Das Interview fand auf Englisch statt, der Sprache, die Alaa auch in der täglichen Arbeit bei Wikimedia Deutschland benutzte.

Alaa Mustafa just finished six weeks of an internship at the software development department at Wikimedia Deutschland. The Syrian IT specialist came to Germany last summer, fleeing from the war. While he was stuck in bureaucracy, he applied for an internship to become part of the Wikidata team. We asked him about his experience at Wikimedia Deutschland in a short interview as his internship came to an end.

Can you tell me something about your background?

My name is Alaa Mustafa. I was born in Damascus and I am 28 years old. First, I studied in an institute for computer engineering for two years. Then I moved to university and studied for four years, with a major in information technology. Actually, after graduation, I didn’t work in that field. Rather, I was working in a company which sold consumer electronics – pretty much like Media Markt or Saturn here. There I worked in sales, in marketing, and in the business development team.

And then you came to Germany?

Yes, I came to Germany last summer, one year ago.

And what made you apply for an internship at Wikimedia Deutschland?

I’m a newcomer here, so I was looking for ways to integrate – Germany is a new country for me. I searched on websites for jobs in English and there I came across Wikimedia Deutschland. I reached out, got an interview, and then Lydia (product manager of Wikidata) accepted me.

Right now, you’re still waiting for the bureaucracy to sort out everything. Are you allowed to work now?

I may work, but it took a long time to get an approval from the Ausländerbehörde. The Agentur für Arbeit supports me, but right now I’m not allowed to make money through my work.

All in all, did you like the few weeks that you spent with us?

I liked it very much. Back in Syria, I had already heard of Wikimedia, a big organization and a great source for knowledge. I only worked here a bit over a month, for 45 days, but I feel really proud that I was part of this organization.

Let’s talk a bit about what you did here as an intern. I understand that you mostly helped Lydia?

Actually, I was working as an assistent for Lydia. There are many things on Wikidata pages that take a lot of time that Lydia doesn’t always have to do herself – things like updates on events or new features, so I did that.

But I was also asked about the website from the point of view of a user – not as a developer, but as an ordinary user: how does the website look like when a user opens Wikidata for the first time. We talked about possible improvements to the interface. Our UX team at Wikimedia Deutschland is currently working on the user experience and I was able to support them.

Last week you invited your colleagues for Arabic food for dinner. How did that go?

I wanted to have an opportunity to talk to everyone personally. Here, in the office, we always talk about work, but having dinner together gave us a chance to get to know each other personally. It was a very friendly dinner and that evening made me very happy.

I cooked something called Hummus (حُمُّص‎‎) and some rice with chicken. Typical Arabic food – two kinds of Hummus and chicken rice. It’s delicious! But you need to learn how to eat it correctly: with your hands, using bread to scoop it up.

So many people from Syria are now in Germany, I think we’ll soon see high quality Syrian food over here. You can already find good Hummus around Hermannplatz, so it’s a start.

Would you say that there are huge cultural differences regarding the work you did in Damascus and the work here? Or is work in IT the same all over the world?

The management side is definitely different. In Syria, even if your manager is wrong, you should go with him.

Here I feel that everyone can discuss everything freely and is listened to. We have a daily standup meeting where everyone has a chance to say something. I was only here for a little more than a month and I could give an honest critique about aspects of the product and Lydia never told me that I shouldn’t criticize things – rather, she appreciated it and took it as input.

Yes, things are different here. Discussion is very much valued. That makes the work very motivating. Everyone can discuss everything with everyone and it’s a very friendly atmosphere.

Anything else you would like to say? What comes next for you?

I now feel that these 45 days were… how should I say… I’d call it my “golden days” in Germany.

Within the next 10 days, I will start learning German at a school. I already studied German on my own with books, so I’m in a good position, but I really should go to school and take a proper course. That will take about 6 months, 4 hours every day.

After that I will search for work. Let’s see if Wikimedia Deutschland will have openings. But in any case, I’m proud that I was part of this organization and I will always try to keep in touch with you.

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