Saturday, April 19, 2008

Semantic MediaWiki meets Betawiki

The picture says it all; Semantic MediaWiki is now supported by Betawiki. For you who do not know Semantic MediaWiki, it is one of the more brilliant pieces of software to extend MediaWiki. With Semantic MediaWiki enabled, you get one new instruction :: and it is provides really powerful possibilities to your wiki. What Semantic MediaWiki offers is the ability to provide structure to the information in a page. When you write on the Queen Beatrix article somewhere in the text [[mother::Queen Juliana]], it will allow you to query the information on the Queen Juliana page. This is the basis for the many cool things that Semantic MediaWiki can bring to Wikipedia.

The one thing that makes me really happy how quickly all this was done; Markus Krötzsch replied to a message on the Wikitech-l and stated that localisation was indeed something that has a high priority for him. Siebrand provided him with some pointers about Betawiki, and the same evening these two fine gentlemen had made the necessary changes to the SMW software and its messages and had it imported in Betawiki.

With the localisation issue dealt with, I think that Semantic MediaWiki has done most if not all the major work that was needed when it was last presented at Wikimania. Its performance has been dramatically improved, the number of instructions has been reduced to one, it provides loads of extensions of its own and last but not least many of the functionalities of SMW can be turned on or off.

It does not make sense to write new software when software exists that has been developed over a long time that WORKS.. I hope the Wikimedia Foundation will enable Semantic MediaWiki soon in one project to learn that it can be trusted in all its projects.
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