Wikimania

Yesterday afternoon I arrived in Frankfurt for the Wikimania Conference. After getting my room at the Haus der Jugend, I went out for dinner with a Frankfurt-based friend of mine. I returned to the Youth Hostel after one o’clock and was at once drawn into some nightly discussions: showed us his bird-whistling interface for Wikipedia: According to certain criteria (concerning contents, author etc.) a Wikipedia article is translated into bird songs on a Mac, and we discussed a system to generate InterWiki links almost automatically. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the person that programmed that system.
It got very late and I missed the morning session on the following first congress day, but I did make it to Jimmy Wales’s opening lecture and its discussion which was quite interesting (perhaps more than the lecture itself). At lunch time I had very interesting discussions with fellow wikipedians and with KDE developers. KDE is now integrating Wikipedia access into their system which happens to be the operating system I use. There are nice things to come: One will be able to access Wikipedia directly from the desktop, get information about the displayed date (some kind of news service) and applications like amaroK or KStars can directly access the Wikipedia knowledge base. Of course, there are problems: is KStars accessing Wikipedia language dependently or is there a language-independent approach, perhaps making use of InterWiki links?
What is most important about such gatherings is that they allow for loads of informal discussions. Just now I’m following the section about NPOV and I’m really looking forward to discussing some of the issues informally.

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