Tuesday, February 28, 2006

What would you have done that makes sense

I talked with SJ the other day. We talked about many things but the things that come back to me is what would we have people do if they want to spend serious effort on things that make sense to the aim of the Wikimedia Foundation.

The aim of the Wikimedia Foundation is to bring all knowledge to people in their own language. The aim is breathtaking.. It is absolutely audacious, how do you go about making this happen. In a way it is a journey you embark upon and there are many small things along the way.

So what are the things that make a difference, things that can be done within half a year. How about creating fonts, fonts for languages that do not have a Free font yet. Or even define the script for a language that does not have a script. How about creating inflection boxes for parts of speech for WiktionaryZ? How about thinking wildly how you could do something you take for granted and do them in a new way. How about writing documentation for MediaWiki of for a project (Wikipedia; das Buch I do recommend :) ).

How about writing software to ease the translation of Wiki content? This could be by having OmegaT read and write directly to a MediaWiki resource. How about having people work on content that is underdeveloped. Yes, the English Wikipedia will have a million articles, but where is the content in Swahili, Farsi, Hopi ? Even a million articles will not tell you about all the villages in Ghana, Honduras or Belarus.

These are just some of the things that I can come up with without trying. What would you have a student or a few students do when they have half a year to work on a "term-project" ?

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