Some of these are quite old, but I’ve been meaning to post them for ages…
- Perspectives on Open Data: Workshop on the Re-use of Government-held Non-personal Data, a panel at the recent Webstock tech conference in New Zealand. This is a great write-up — a summary transcript, with embedded and downloadable audio (in OGG no less!!). I love this quote — “If the government releases data into the public domain it gives up control of how the data is used, but it doesn’t give up its authority.” That’s exactly it.
- JWKTL is “a Java-based API that enables efficient programmatic access to the information contained in the English and German language editions of Wiktionary”. As far as I can tell it is basically an implementation of the Wiktionary “community API”. That is, encoding in a machine-readable way, that “this certain template” means “this certain linguistic thing” (e.g. part of speech). As I have previously opined, formalising community APIs in some fashion is vital to us fulfilling our goals of spreading such information to as wide an audience as possible. The current need for every re-user to “roll their own” version of a community-standards-decoder, is limiting the reusability of the Wikimedia projects’ content. However, the makers of JWKTL have only offered their software for “non-profit and non-commercial use” which is deeply disappointing. Non-free software to work with free data? If it was a proper open-source project it would probably have contributors for every other language edition of Wiktionary by now — not just English and German.
- I have had a user account at Translatewiki (formerly Betawiki) for a while now, having not done much with it. They send me mail every month or so to let me know what’s going on. I was so impressed by the Februrary newsletter. IMO they are just nailing that news-releasing and contributor-gathering function so well. The stats are awesome. Listing the top languages and contributors is a brilliant idea. What is usually a dull and out of date function — translating — they make into a vibrant and fun community. So mega kudos, I am really impressed with that newsletter!
- Open Access Day has now become Open Access Week! It’s not til October, so you have a good few months to figure out what your university can do to celebrate and support it.
- News story from ZDNet, Vic Govt limited Google’s bushfire map — Google points out the sad irony Wikimedians are already aware of — it’s easier to get (legal) satellite imagery of Australia from the US government than it is from the Australian one
- Proposal for a universal language icon – for that “change/select language” function. I dunno; I’m still waiting to see the universal edit button catch on
- Check out this awesome PediaPress bookmarklet — you can use it to make a PediaPress book (ODF/PDF) from any MediaWiki, whether or not they have Extension:Collection installed. And collect articles across different wikis!! (It just doesn’t like it too much if they happen to have the same name.) Way too cool.
- Lastly, something that made me look twice: Is that a MediaWiki?? For all the (deserved) discussion on MediaWiki’s usability, I’ve not yet seen a better demonstration of just how much familiarity is a part of usability. Guess they’re using the PmWiki Monobook skin. How many other wiki engines have Monobook-inspired skins?
Ciao, I am the creator of the language icon, I understand that it is hard to create a “universal icon for language”, it is an icon that should be known by everyone, and the scope of icon is not limited to websites; imagine you buy a photo machine from Tokyo and you want to change the language (menu in Japanese by default) – the language icon solves all these kind of problems. I am actively supporting the project and I believe that it fill definitely catch on, we are ready to spent money for it for advertising, marketing etc. Meanwhile – if you have any suggestions please drop a feedback to us.. Greetings from Italy. – Onur. ( PS : I am happy that you blogged, if everyone bloggs just once language icon will be very popular!, we are now trying to come up with an advertisement campaign for that.)
— Onur Mustak Cobanli · 12. March 2009, 03:19
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