Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wikimedia meet Brussels

For the second time, a call went out on the Dutch Wikipedia; there will be a Wiki meet up in Brussels. WalterBE had been contacted that SJ would be in town and this was enough of a reason for a meeting. It is the second time that there was such a meet up; the first time in the day when Wikipedia was young, there was much more advance warning and, in the end there were two people. Walter and myself. We had a good time; went to what was the colonial museum and ended up in Gent where we saw this beautiful city by boat. The 2008 meeting featured a 50% increase of attendees counting the Dutch language Wikipedians.

This time it was OLPC time. Samuel was in Europe for a meet-up of key OLPC Europeans, they were there to smoothen the roll out of their “get one, give one” project. Meeting these people is quite similar to meeting Wiki people, there is a similar spirit of enthusiasm and passion. They are knowledgeable and there is a perceivable spirit of “we are going to make this work”.

I had reasons to be amazed. When people ask me about the projects that I am involved in, I always mention SignWriting. It is not that I consider myself the most knowledgeable or the best placed person to promote this wonderful cause, I do promote it and this has become a cause that is dear to me. I was amazed that one of the people there actually knew about it; he had learned about it at Gallaudet university and he even expressed an interest in testing the latest software on the XO.

Many of the issues that I have noticed with MediaWiki are as relevant for the OLPC. Usability, localisation and managing a complex infra structure are key. What I am grateful off is that with the OmegaWiki mark II approach it may have a chance to get a similar relevance for other platforms like the OLPC.

Thanks,
GerardM
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