Saturday, May 22, 2021

Listeria, motivation and the Sharif of Mecca

Awn ar-Rafiq was the Sharif of Mecca from 1882 to 1905. Doesn't he look splendid in his regalia?

The Sharif of Mecca was a high placed functionary of the Ottoman Empire for many years and as such there is a Listeria list for the Sharif of Mecca. The point of these lists is that the quality of the information we maintain about the Ottoman Empire is not of a high quality. The Ottoman Empire existed longer than the Roman Empire, covered a larger expanse  and it is not yet one hundred years ago when it came to an end.

I looked into lists of functionaries on several Wikipedias and they are not consistent. So I created Listeria lists and as people add things to Wikidata, these lists are updated.. that is the theory and I am happy that this functionality has been restored.

The best bit is when other people take an interest as well. A new functionary is added; ولي الدين رفعت باشا and he will get his place in the list .. Google translates it into "Wali al-Din Rifat Pasha" and hey we can bring things to the next level.

Lists like these should be stable and they do entice cooperation. It is why I am so grateful that Magnus spend some time reviving the functionality.

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