Saturday, April 30, 2011

#Interview with #Wikipedia and #GLAM personality: HstryQT

Lori Byrd Phillips is a museum studies graduate student at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and, since September, has served as the Wikipedian-in-Residence at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis. She has a blog: "Museums & Motherhood" and her contributions about Wikipedia and GLAM are well received.

Are you more of a Wikimedian or a museum person
I've always been a sort of interesting combination of the two. I was a museum person before I was a Wikipedian, as it was through my Collections Care and Management course as a museum studies graduate student that I was introduced to Wikipedia as a potential tool for sharing museum content. After dedicating myself to that project, which resulted in the IUPUI Public Art Collection being represented in Wikipedia, I was hooked. Though I don't have much free time (I'm a stay at home mom AND a graduate student!) I do contribute to Wikipedia for fun, for instance I significantly expanded a number of Fabergé Egg articles. I've also gotten in the habit of using Wikipedia in any graduate projects that I can. An example of this is the Children's Museum MAP program to create Wikipedia articles, which was initially conceived for my Museum Education course and took on a life of its own!

At this point in time I'm involved in Wikipedia projects with two museums. I have a sense that I'm perceived as a museum studies grad student who happens to be heavily involved with the GLAM initiative and understands the Wikipedia community. I admit that I'm also known as "the Wikipedia girl" in my graduate program. I get good-humored eye rolls from my peers sometimes, but many in my program have also made a name for themselves through Wikipedia, being involved in the Indiana Statehouse Public Art project that received a congressional resolution, and assisting with the recent revamp of the Indianapolis Museum of Art's Wikipedia article. As both a Wikipedian and a museum person, I've always felt that I'm in a bit of a unique position, and one that I hope can continue to be beneficial for both communities.

What does a childrens museum have to offer Wikipedia
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is unique in its size and scope. It is literally the largest children's museum in the world, both in square footage and, at 110,000 objects, in the size of its collection. Unlike museums that have a number of specific, notable objects that deserve to have articles created/updated, the Children's Museum is different in that it offers "best of type" representations of many objects and topics through their American Collection, Natural Science Collection, and World Cultures Collection. We share this knowledge through curator-vetted image donations and, in the future, by providing published institutional research and resources in a digital form for Wikipedians to be able to use.

How important are illustrations in your work

Images are extremely important in the work I do for WikiProject:Public Art . The project aims to create new articles about public art and raise the awareness of these artworks within their communities. It's imperative to have an image associated with the article in order to identify the artwork. In the United States especially, this of course involves using fair-use images of these often copyrighted public artworks. Through WikiProject:Public art and projects like the E-Volunteer Program, we're considering new ways to efficiently obtain fair-use photographs when a volunteer might write an article for an artwork that's not in their immediate vicinity. Sarah Stierch has been especially interested in pursuing this topic.

Do you consider yourself a Wikipedian or a Wikimedian

While I'm sensitive to the Wikimedian distinction and attempt to honor it in my various blog posts and articles, I personally consider myself more of a Wikipedian. I tend to focus my efforts within Wikipedia and only recently have spent more time within Commons, learning the ropes for the Children's Museum's image donation. It's also easier to describe the term "Wikipedian" to museum people. "Wikimedian" tends to confuse them even more. Though I do find myself explaining the Wikipedia-Wikimedia relationship rather often, which usually proves to be eye-opening for those in the museum.

Is Wiki(m/p)edia a project or a movement in your appreciation

I definitely feel that Wikimedia is a movement, especially when considering the Campus Ambassador and GLAM initiatives. Many have strong opinions about Wikipedia's usefulness in daily life and in the classroom. Both of these projects are providing tangible results that have the potential to change the perspectives of naysayers, which typically include those who would be most valuable for the encyclopedia: educators, researchers, and experts in their respective fields. I've really enjoyed, slowly but surely, watching academics become more open-minded to Wikipedia as a teaching tool. I feel like with each publication, each journal article, each blog post or case study, more people are being exposed to what Wikipedia is capable of. As a former social studies educator, this potential is what has kept me motivated within the GLAM and the Campus Ambassador initiatives.

How important are the Wikipedia visitor statistics for GLAMS
Speaking specifically for the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, page view statistics are not a top priority, but rather an added perk. The museum wants to share their content with a global audience, while also bettering the representation of the museum within Wikipedia. This doesn't necessarily bring in a lot of click through traffic to their own website, but it does increase audience understanding of what the museum can offer through the more visible Wikipedia. The museum is actually directing their visitors to Wikipedia, through the use of the Wikipedia Widget on their website and, soon, through QR codes in exhibits.

One way that page view statistics are used in the museum is in measuring monthly visitor "usage" of the notable museum objects. The new Wikipedia articles for six iconic museum objects are now included in these metrics within the Collections department. I thought this was a smart way to measure the extent that the museum's collections are impacting their audience, both on-site and virtually.

To what extent are the museums that you have worked with multicultural
One of the core values of the Children's Museum is: "We believe in sharing our experiences, our treasury of artifacts, and the talents of staff, volunteers, Guild, and youth to positively affect children and families in our community, state, region, nation and the world."

I took "the world" to heart when beginning my internship, and I know that connecting their audience with a number of cultures is an important goal for the museum. The museum reaches out to the community through monthly Target Family Free nights, where I've had the opportunity to volunteer and experience the diversity of visitors. In programming, the museum reaches out to a diverse audience while also presenting multicultural perspectives in authentic ways. This is especially evident in "Take Me There: Egypt" which will rotate into a new cultural experience every few years.

The museum has partnerships with a number of institutions around the world, and I believe the collaboration with Wikipedia was just one more way to reach out to a multicultural, global audience. They're only just beginning, and have big plans for other ways that they can use Wikipedia to reach out to children and families, both in their local community and around the world. I look forward to seeing where things go from here.

Some messages are more equal then others ..

When people localise at, they largely scratch their own itch. Some messages are more visible then other; they are for instance the "most used messages" for MediaWiki. Other messages are special for other reasons.

When the Babel extension messages are localised it is special. These messages are already among the most localised messages and they provide a nice indicator that shows if you can actually read a language properly.

It is as wonderful to notice when the messages for WebFonts and Narayam are being localised in the Khmer language.. They are tested and they are made ready for production.

#Khmer #MediaWiki WebFont support ready for testing

Today a Khmer friend contacted me with questions about WebFonts. He pointed to the support in the Google WebFonts and asked if support could be provided in the MediaWiki WebFonts extension. I asked my friend Santhosh and, within a couple of hours Khmer fonts can be tested on his test wiki.

The fonts are there, it is now for my Khmer friend and his friends to test the functionality provided.

Helping a friend with a #Wikipedia article

Jan Velterop  is a friend. He wanted to write an article in Wikipedia and got stumped with all the technical hurdles. The article was about a person that is relevant; a person that has already articles in the Italian and German Wikipedias. His concept was filled with hyperlinks to Wikipedia articles and there were sources as well.

The article was written in MS-Word and all I had to do was copy and paste the text, make wikilinks out of hyperlinks add some sections and there was a great start.  I am not strong on the citation stuff so I left them in as I found them.

The article is about Alice Ricciardi-von Platen, Mrs Ricciardi was famous for writing about the murder on mentally ill people in Nazi Germany.. She was an observer at the Nuremberg Doktors' trial. The observers wrote two books about this "Wissenschaft ohne Menschlichkeit" and "Das Diktat der Menschenverachtung". Both books were printed in a large volume but not distributed nowadays less then 20 copies exist in libraries.

If any books deserve to be digitised and become widely available it is these books as the prevailing feeling was/is that it was not the doctors who were to blame. Mrs Ricciardi's book "Die Tötung Geisteskranker in Deutschland" was largely ignored for the same reason.

Maybe Mr Velterop can help to make Mrs Ricciardi's book available under a free license otherwise we will have to wait for a very long time before the copyright expires. Having information available about this is what helps make a world conscience.

Friday, April 29, 2011

I edit #Wikipedia. Ask me How!

Providing help to people who want to edit Wikipedia is the kind of initiative that is beautiful. Any initiative that intends to lower the threshold to entry is commendable.

User:Filceolaire edits Wikipedia and he blogged that he is willing to help. Awesome !!

The reactions he got ? Well you can find it here for instance. It goes the whole spectrum from GREAT!! to you should care about content. I do care about content but single editors do not scale. People who are available to those new to Wikipedia are my kind of hero.

OMG #Wikipedia is dying

It has been a while but the story of the imminent demise of Wikipedia surfaced again. I always listen with interest to hear what it is this time that will do Wikipedia in. The arguments differ and the time span for the "certain" end is not always the same and if it is not interesting, it is always fun to have a difference of opinions on this subject.

This time there were two reasons why a good thing will come to an end:
  • the parser and the editing interface are crummy
  • there are no new people writing new articles
A relevant point to consider is that Wikipedia for this gentleman is the English language Wikipedia. For me the 270+ other Wikipedias are at least as relevant. Together they grow at double the pace of the English Wikipedia for computers.

The news that Brion is back and will be concentrating on the parser and the editing interface was received as a strong enough promise for an eventual solution. The second point raised more of a discussion; the fact that it is considered the most critical issue facing the Wikimedia Foundation helped. However, then the argument became interesting. These are the things we ended agreeing about
  • Wikipedia became less of a Wiki and more of a Nupedia in its quest for quality
  • a lack of trust and time is why newbies are treated badly
We disagreed about the use of social media. In my view it is best when friends help our newbies find their feet. Real friends are likely to help and, real people are likely to have friends in Wikipedia who are willing to help. Where we disagreed was in how to get such information.

In my view we can ask a newbie if he wants to share his friends on a Hyves or a Facebook. When the newbie does, we are able to find the friends who are Wikimedians. The argument against it is that a Facebook gets information that allows it to build a trust network of Wikipedians. This may have a potential for abuse. What astounded me is that given the choice, it was preferred for Wikipedia to die then to give such a potential to Facebook.

I am glad that I do not have such a grim outlook.

    Thursday, April 28, 2011

    Can we have functional #fonts for #SVG please

    At the Malayalam #Wikipedia they have a project where they work on maps. It is a hug effort and we cannot share their hard work. Bug 24000 and bug 25140 indicate that pango and rsvg need to be updated.

    After these bugs were filed SVGtranslate was internationalised in many languages including Malayalam. It will likely be localised in all the Indian languages we have Wikipedias in. These maps are relevant to all these Wikipedias. It may even stimulate more people to create maps of districts in other Indian states.

    This bug is a show stopper. It may be that once these applications are updated, we need to support more fonts in our SVG engine. Many fonts have been selected already for the WebFonts extension...

    PS it is not only Indian languages that will benefit

    #SVG maps that beg for a translation

    The #Malayalam #Wikipedia Map project provides great maps. When you want to illustrate something to do with these Kerala districts, they provide the perfect canvas. It is a labour of love to make these maps and there is even more mileage that can be had with a slight change.

    The slight change that would make these maps awesome is by making all the texts into separate labels. This provides several opportunities:
    • you can translate the labels in other languages, to English for instance
    • the maps will become usable on even more Wikipedias
    • you can use the map without the labels as a canvas for other purposes
    Once the names are available in labels, SVGtranslate  is ready to translate the updated SVG maps. SVGtranslate is one of the Toolserver tools that can be localised in Malayalam at

    Wednesday, April 27, 2011

    Sniffing at

    #Tiki as a project is quite different from #MediaWiki. Its strength is that it combines a Wiki, a CMS, a Blog, a Forum, groupware and more all together in one package. All that and a granular permission system make for a powerful package. Unlike MediaWiki it is not centred around a group of content projects.

    As Tiki has its own internationalisation and localisation platform, it was quite surprising to find one of their developers experience and look into what it will take to have its localisation done by the twn community.

    The biggest advantage of Tiki as its own localisation platform is that you translate the string where it appears and you find it is localised on that installation. The biggest advantages of is its community and the wish for the efficient use of time spend by localisers.

    What may be attractive to the Tiki community is
    • the use of the translation memory
    • they can concentrate their developer efforts on the core Tiki functionality
    • a community happy to work on many software projects
    • the opportunity to localise projects like StatusNet or OpenStreetMap
    • a knowledgeable community happy to help with i18n issues
    • twn can coexist with other translation methods .. we prefer not to
    We are quite happy that a Tiki developer checks us out, it will be interesting to learn what will come of it.

    We are waiting for the latest YAML of #EOL

    Good news from the Encyclopedia of Life, all the formalities are done. We have spoken with all the right people. At we are ready for what will be project number twenty-one.

    The waiting is now for the latest YAML files that contain all the existing messages and possibly translations. This project will be awesome on several levels;  not only the Library of Alexandria is involved we understand that organisations from China and South America will also be involved.

    Solanum lycopersicum L.
    One aspect that is of interest to EOL is the review of localisations and translations. For translatewiki this is an area where there is room for improvement. As our developers have not felt an itch, not much has been done.

    As EOL is very much into the mashing of data, it is likely that there will be a need to translate information that is currently in a CMS. When you want to harness the power of communities and get the best results, it is a bad idea to split data over multiple platforms.

    However, first things first; the YAML files are being prepared and it will a great moment when the first localisations find their way to EOL.

    The #Wikia sponsored translation rally is working wonders

    At we have experience with rallies. When Wikia made it possible for us to experiment, we gladly took the opportunity. This rally is one where people can localise their favourite project or can participate because the localisation for the prescribed project is already complete.

    The rally is working wonders and as there are some days left for people to participate, this is a wonderful opportunity to learn what translating at is all about.

    I am happy to quote the mail send to our community for more details.

    A few days ago I invited you to join our latest Translation Rally. Your response has been awesome – yes, you are awesome! Thank you. In the past 4 days, you have contributed over 34,000 translations for 20 Free and Open Source Software products. A volume we have never seen before.

    The diagram on the right shows the number of active translators for the past 30 days. Yesterday, almost 70 different users have been active.

    I want to call everyone of you to arms: show me you are still out there. Contribute! It does not have to be 500 translations, but just spend 15 minutes of your time to contribute now! I would love to see 250 active translators each of the next three days. I would be ecstatic if we managed to exceed 50,000 translations in the 8 Translation Rally days. I'm confident we can do it together. Again, again and again!

    Siebrand Mazeland staff

    P.s. Did I tell you that we have a nice user page badge ready for those that qualify for a part of the bounty in a Translation Rally? Check out Olli's user page for example.

    Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    #Commons has an UploadWizard

    Having more then 20,000,000 media files on Commons will not take as long as getting the first 10 million. There will be several likely reasons, the increasingly great relations with our GLAM partners is one and another is the new UploadWizard.

    So far uploading to Commons has been a pain and, not a nice one. The UploadWizard brings a much smoother work flow to the uploading of media files. All the hard work that has gone into it shows.

    Not having to upload one file at a time is one of the best features. At this moment there is still a maximum of ten files that you can upload at a time.

    The dialogue around licenses is much more streamlined. You still need to know what to do but it is much easier to select the applicable license.

    Descriptions are essential; without one it is unlikely a picture will be found among the millions of other media files.

    Being able to use an image is what you do it for. It is a nice touch that you are informed how to use the newly uploaded file(s). The developer of the UploadWizard are really interested in your experiences so please let them know.

    #Internationalisation for applications for #India and the world

    #Silpa is an Indian computing project that is deeply involved in providing technical support for languages. What they do is awesome and they can do with a helping hand.

    In their ambition to provide so much functionality, they did not take their time for internationalisation. Yes, their software supports the languages of India but everybody in India speaks English right ?

    Many people do speak English and many people do not. Experience has learned that the software developed by the Silpa team is not restricted to Indic languages. In order to Silpa provide more support for more languages, they are looking for someone who will help them with:
    • internationalise Silpa applications
    • introduce them in
    When you are interested, you are a citizen of the world, you have an interest in i18n and you speak at least English.

    To #twitter in "indigenous" languages II

    At this moment #Wikipedia supports many more languages than I can imagine that having tweets in our languages is something that is of interest to our language communities.

    Kevin Scannell in this interview with Brian Lehrer is quite clear: he is interested in every small language. It might be an idea to link to Indigenoustweets on project like OmegaWiki and where portals can be found for many languages.

    #Search on

    With the new Search functionality, finding becomes more likely at When you search, restricting where to search for information is quite relevant. It is now possible to include restrictions like "translations only" and have it look at only one language. When you go for the "advanced options", you can even restrict the search for a specific product.


    Monday, April 25, 2011

    #Toolserver - Magnus Manske

    Of all the #MediaWiki developers, Magnus has a special place; not many people can claim their day, for Magnus it is January 25 when his achievements are celebrated.

    After initiating next generation MediaWiki, he very much remained involved and he became the king of the proof of concept on the Toolserver. That is to say, he develops working bare boned functionality that scratch an itch.

    Once the itch is scratched, he happily leaves his tools for others to embellish and perfect. Revisiting code to implement internationalisation is not his thing, having internationalisation as part of a new project is different. When I blogged about CommonsHelper2, I did not know that Magnus conceived the original version of this tool and to be honest, I did not really care. I care about good open source working methods and the internationalisation of code.

    It was pointed out to me that Jan Luca had taken over the maintenance of some of the tools of Magnus. Speaking to Krinkle, I learned quite a bit about how Toolserver is changing, actually improving.

    One recent novelty are the "multi-user repositories". They allow multiple people to work on the same tool. This allows Jan Luca for instance to implement internationalisation in CommonsHelper2.

    Another thing that is quite relevant is that the barrier to entrance is relatively low. You can have a developer account in a matter of days and publish tools in days. Compare this with the process of getting a MediaWiki developer account...

    Even though Toolserver provides important functionality, what it offers is not that well known. It is very much a geek / hacker haven. Promoting tools that are ready for localisation is something that has its place on this blog. Calling out for developers who may be interested in bringing existing tools to a next level, tools by people like Magnus or Daniel are also of interest.

    Wikimedian in residence at #ArchivesAmerArt

    Sarah is going to be the "Wikipedian in residence" at the Archives of American Art. There are multiple reasons why this is awesome:
    • any new Wikipedian in Residence project is awesome
    • Sarah will be the first WiR at an archive
    • Sarah is a Wikimedian AND professionally involved in the GLAM work itself
    • the subject matter of this archive is one of the most interesting for the en.wp
    At the Archives of American Art, they do not only archive material about American art and artists, there are also performances by American artists. You can only be happy for Sarah that she may experience a Patti Smith performance.

    One of the things Wikipedia is accused of is that it is very much into popular culture. When Sarah is able to cement a great relation with the Archives of American art, the quality of our references about a Patti or about American Bohemians will improve. Making a lie about the fact that popular culture cannot be taken seriously


    Sunday, April 24, 2011

    #Myanmar #Wiktionary reaches 100,000 words!

    I started contributing to Wiktionary at the end of last year. It was difficult to maintain a nearly inactive Wiktionary with a couple of regular members. So I decided to make the Wiktionary usable to certain extents first while I tried to recruit new contributors. I collected opensourced dictionary data online such as Ornagai, electrical engineering dictionary porject and Sealang Burmese dictionary. Online community generated data such as Ornagai has a lot of spelling mistakes in it and the format and definitions are inconsistent which need to be improved greatly. Then Myanmar NLP kindly provided me with the Myanmar lexicon database.

    Pywikipediabot is a very handy and useful application. I used to run it for fixing minor encoding mistakes in Burmese. Now I used it to upload dictionary data. I spent the Myanmar new year (13th-17th April) formatting the data to Wiki markup. Now Myanmar Wiktionary is available in two languages as English-Burmese and Burmese-Burmese. While bot was uploading data, we tried to improve the homepage design and to add more words which were not in the collected dictionary data. Today, Myanmar Wiktionary reaches 100,000 words.

    Unicode Font Usability

    It might be confusing that why there are not a lot of Burmese Wikipedians or Wiktionarians. It was a complex drama that there were several pseudo Unicode fonts (they use Unicode codepoints for Burmese, but never follow the codepoints exactly or the encoding order) when standard Unicode fonts were still in development, and one of the pseudo Unicode font named Zawgyi became popular. Unicode fonts are used in Government offices and international projects such as Wikipedia. Yet a normal Burmese online citizen would only use Zawgyi font. We, the Unicode activists, tried to make awareness of Unicode standard and got some achievements as popular IT forums such as MyanmarITPros, Mystery Zillion and Mmitd between 2011 English new year and Burmese new year.

    Before major OS vendors such as Apple and Microsoft support Burmese language in OSX and Windows, there should be solution for usability of Wikimedia projects for OS unsupported languages.

    1. Font embedding

    Burmese script is  one of many branches of Brahmi script. It needs complex shaping and reordering of glyphs. So Unicode fonts with proper contextual rendering are necessary. Most of the people don't have Burmese font or have Burmese font but Zawgyi. They wouldn't be able to see the Wikipedia or Wiktionary texts or wouldn't see them properly. So embedded font is needed for reading purpose. There are several opensourced fonts for Burmese in multiple platforms such as Windows, Linux, OSX and iOS. Some of them are cross-OS enabled. OS and browser detection javascripts were developed and TTF, compressed TTF, eot and woff can be embedded accordingly. As I am not a coder, I would be very glad if someone were to develop a font embedding module for MediaWiki and implement it in local wikis.

    2. Build-in keyboard

    Even after texts are readable, editing texts in local languages needs special keyboard inputs. Languages such as Burmese needs keyboards with reordering capability. People usually don't have keyboard installed in their computer or mobile devices. There is a project called Narayam which is a build-in keyboard plugin for MediaWiki and I helped writing Myanmar Unicode keyboard for it. There is also a Burmese local project called Keymagic and one of it's effort was web keyboard. I hope with the help of them, editing Wikipedia even in local language would be possible.


    #WikiReader is ready to be supported by 66 languages

    At a localisation has to be better than 50% before it is considered as a language for a localised WikiReader user interface. There are 66 languages that meet this criteria, there are 44 languages completely localised.

    The question "where can I find WikiReader support for Tagalog" is a fair one. I cannot find it among the languages that are supported. Tagalog is fully localised.

    One reason why there may be a delay between getting the localisation done and it being implemented may be found on the WikiReader developer blog; input methods.

    There are several languages waiting for support that have another script. What will be of value is communications from WikiReader informing us of the status of all the languages waiting in the wings.

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    Paintings at the #Louvre

    There are many ways of presenting great collections. Physical collections are presented in rooms, in corridors, in a museum.

    Miniwark is working on bringing the physical presentation in the Louvre to the digital Commons. As you can see, there are many rooms on one floor of the Louvre and, there are many more paintings.

    Pioneering a project like this means that answers to the technical challenges will have to be found along the way. Miniwark is welcoming your comments and, he hopes that someone knows how to display an image and note but without the edit buttons and link.

    Browsing through the Louvre in this way, you really want to go there and see the building, the paintings in all its glory.


    Narayam prepares for #Telugu support

    Changing a #Wikipedia article means that you have to be able to type the characters used in that language. To do this, you have to know where to find the characters using a keyboard.

    The Narayam extension helps by providing input methods for languages. This means in practice that the characters of a standard international keyboard are mapped to the characters that are more appropriate.

    Veeven has pitched in for the Telugu language by providing the "InScript regular expression rules table for Telugu script According to CDAC's "Enhanced InScript Keyboard Layout 5.2".

    With the script included in Narayam, it is time for testing.  After some initial testing, some missing rules and extended rules were added and now it is working fine both in search boxes, edit text areas and summary boxes.

    Improving language support is very much on the agenda of the Telugu community; recently a bug was added to provide mobile support. With input methods being tested and readied, editing in Telugu becomes more and more something that you just do.

    What you do for the least of us ...

    The Inuktitut #Wikipedia is written in two scripts. The original based on syllabics and the Latin script. As a Wikipedia, with 344 articles it cannot be said to be a big one.

    One issue the Inuktitut editors have to deal with is the choice of the script that is to be used. It makes for articles that do not look good, it should be a choice. Inspired by the technology used on the Serbian Wikipedia, SPQRobin implemented functionality that will allow the Inuktitut articles to be in one script and, the readers will see the article in the script of their choice.

    This change will make for much better looking articles and what we hope is that it will make it more interesting to write for the Inuktitut Wikipedia.

    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    I fok horses. Pardon? Yes, paarden

    This is the punch line of a joke about quality translations. The Dutch Wikipedia community voted for the Wikipedia survey to be removed. The translation is considered to be beyond poor.

    To make things worse, there is talk about another translation that is said to be good. There are complaints about a lack of communication, no spell checking used, no feed back..

    As surveys are said to have a tendency to be insistent, the survey has been turned off in the CSS. The hope is expressed for a better translation in the near future. With no proper tooling in place it is not that straight forward.

    Where have you been lately

    #Privacy is elusive. When you use a mobile phone and some cars it is obvious where your car or phone has been. Both can make their position known to a service provider. By triangulation the positions can be and often are recorded.

    There is a lot to do about the registration of positions on Apple mobiles. Because of this registration all kinds of applications are enabled that rely on localisation.

    This data is now openly available as it is located on the “User Data Partition”. This data used to be available hidden in the Apple Property List format..

    The relevancy is that governmental organisations increasingly claim the right to investigate computers and mobile phones without a warrant. As this data is now easily and obviously observable in sqlite3 there is not much stopping Big Brother from being a big nuisance.

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    How to make a point in a #Wikipedia

    The best way to make a point is not by battling over ever more sophisticated formulations that leave our readers lost in attempting to achieve a "neutral point of view". The best way is achieved by providing one thousand words at a time.

    When you are against nuclear power for instance, pictures like these pain a thousand words at a time. These pictures help define horrible, they cannot be argued away. The recent events in Japan prove that nuclear accidents do happen everywhere and the half life of nuclear isotopes ensure that the after affects will stay with us for many generations to come.

    Freely licensed cartoons can find a happy home at Wikimedia Commons as well. They exist to make a point.

    People will choose from the best illustrations available and when pictures are well presented on Commons they will be used. When you are passionate about something, anything and you have media files that pack a punch, Commons is where your material will get attention.

    CommonsHelper2 by Jan Luca

    The #Toolserver tools most desperately in need of internationalisation and localisation are the ones that serve language communities to bring the best out of what they have locally.

    CommonsHelper2 is a tool that helps move media files from a project to Commons. Once media files are on Commons, they can be shared not only among all the Wikimedia projects but also by those MediaWiki wikis who have enabled the use of files available on Commons.

    The current version is already available in two languages; English and Hebrew. Having it available in Hebrew enabled a much easier transfer of media files from the Hebrew projects. Once the localisations for this tool get under way illustrations that were so far reserved to a local wiki will get a much bigger audience.

    Today the first messages became available in SVN. Jan Luca and Krinkle will have to work on the final touches to make yet another relevant tool ready to attract users from all over the world.

    Erbarme dich

    The Matthew Passion is music that is heard by many people in the run-up to Easter. Today a chopper was flying overhead and a minute later I met a distraught mother looking for her 2 year old; he was wearing orange trousers and a snoopy t-shirt.

    Half an hour later I was home and the church bells played "Erbarme dich". Typically children will turn up well.
          GerardM is six years of age

    What started as a small hobby project became an impressive project taking care of much of the localisation issues for many relevant open source projects.

    It started as a hobby project but it became a community project. With some 2,500 people registered as translator our community is clearly where shines. Many people localise several projects and many people only come to scratch their itch.

    The practices at are focused primarily on one thing; make sure that the time spend by our community is as productive as we can make it. Even though our translations are mainly from English, we provide translations in other languages as an aid. Our user interface can obviously be completely localised and we would love to know what more we can do to make your time spend with us even more effective.

    One final word on this occassion:
    Thank you,