From Medvedev, with love

Wikimedia Russia recently ran a campaign on the need to change Russian copyright law to include a "freedom of panorama" clause allowing anyone to take public photos of monuments and buildings (whose designs might otherwise be considered under copyright).  This received broad support, including a word from President Dmitri Medvedev (Дмитрий Медведев).

This morning, Russian news agency RIA Novosti celebrated its 70th anniversary by launching an "Eternal Values" project in partnership with Wikimdia Russia, through which it will publish the most valued images from its digital archive on Wikimdia Commons.  (ceremony video, Commons announcement)

At the launch of the project, the first 100 images were uploaded to Commons. Roughly 800 of the most popular or requested images will be uploaded by the end of the year.

President Medvedev attended the ceremony and personally uploaded image #100 - an image of recruits heading to the front lines in 1941.  Talk about nation-changing wikilove!

Requests for specific images from the RIAN archive can be left on the project page on Russian Wikipedia.  Support for the project, in any language, can be left on its Commons talk page.


A CD of books from Malayalam Wikisource: hot off the press

Congratulations to the Malayalam Wikisourcerors, who last week released the 2011 Malayalam Wikisource CD with a selection of books from Malayalam Wikisource and art from Wikimedia Commons.  This CD, a sequel to last year's release of Malayalam Wikipedia on CD, is by far the biggest collection of free Malayalam texts available offline - and beautifully illustrated by Rajesh Odayanchal.
2011 ML-Wikisource CD sticker
By Rajeshodayanchal via Commons

Now, a week after its release, the download page has received over 40,000 hits.  As mentioned in the release announcement, this project is particularly important because a majority of households in Kerala do not yet have a reliable connection to the Internet, and so need access to digital works offline.

The CD release was announced on June 11, at the 4th annual Malayalam Wikimedia Meetup in Kannur, Kerala.  The community gave the first CD to their youngest contributor (7-yr-old Sai Shanmugham), and recognized others who contributed to this collection and to ml:wikisource over the past five years (including Atma, Su, Thachan Makan and Manojk), and the many other participating Wikimedians who helped illustrate and produce the CDs.
Hisham hands Sai a CD, as Bishakha looks on.
Image by Fotokannan, via ShijuAlex

The CD creation Process

Shiju Alex wrote about the overall process and release, and Santosh Thottingal shared a detailed description of the technical steps needed to produce the CD.  The selection was chosen and produced in just over three weeks!  Books were selected via a wikiproject starting on May 20, and released three weeks later.

The collection includes:
  • Selected poems by Kumaranasan, Cherusseri, Changampuzha Krishna Pillai, Kalakkaththu Kunchan Nambiar, Irayimman Thampi, and Ramapurathu Warrier
  • A Malayalam Grammar, Kerala Paniniyam
  • Folklore and Novels, such as Aithihyamala and Indulekha 
  • Native art, such as Parichamuttukali pattukal dances
  • Religious texts, including the Bhagavad Gita, Adhyatma Ramayanam Kilippaatu, Harinama Keerthanam, Geetha Govindam, the Bible (Sathya Veda Pusthakam), the Quran, the works of Sri Narayana Guru
  • Devotional songs for Christian, Hindu and Islamic worship
  • Philosophical texts, including Marx and Engels
  • Collections of images of food, plants, birds, maps and celebrations from Kerala
The CD can be downloaded as an .iso image, or browsed online (currently down due to high traffic).


Please donate to to the Harris-McLaughlan fund

Why you should donate, like, one dollar to Wikimedia: To elevate people around the world.  Because Brandon Harris is looking at you.  And because the panza cervecera and Sarah McLaughlan* says so:

* Sarah McLachlan's funnier & guiltier alt


Wikistream : node.js, live recentchanges, Ed and Ward

Ed Summers, Library of Congress hacker extraordinaire, DPLA contributor, and r2d2 fan, recently took the IRC-channel stream of recentchanges from major language-versions of Wikipedia and made a web version of it.  The following exchange on the wiki-research-l list deserves preservation:

I've created a little toy webapp that displays updates from the major language wikipedias in real time:
   http://wikistream.inkdroid.org   -- Ed

I've written this app several times using technology from text-to-speech to quartz-composer. I have to tip my hat to Ed for doing a better job than I ever did and doing it in a way that he makes look effortless. Kudos to Ed for sharing both the page and the software that produces it. You made my morning. -- Ward

Wow, thanks Ward. You made my professional career :-)

Major props to node.js, redis and socket.io.  I really just put the lego pieces together. It feels like the tools are getting better and better some days.   -- Ed


New mobile skin added

A mobile skin for this blog is now used by default for mobile browsers.  Now you can get a regular dose of wikilove on your pocket pc, handy, video-twiddler or other mobile device.


How do you print "WikiLove" in Italian?

<< Wikipedia books are like star constellations in a universe of knowledge. >>  – pediapress

A few years ago, when the Extension:Collection was first launched, I was quite critical about it. The one with PediaPress was among the very first partnerships signed by WMF, and I recall writing worried blogposts about this trend.  Since then, my views have changed.

Recently, we have all read about Amazon.com selling more e-books than print books, so it might seem ill-timed... but this year I decided to give the "Wikipedia Books" feature the attention it really deserves on my home wiki, it.wp.  In 2011, Wikipedia turned 10 - I think it also went "physical" : more than ever before people around the world gathered for parties, talks, meetups and so on, allowing our online projects to enter newspapers, classrooms, cultural institutions, in many cases for the very first time.

In a moment of optimism, I asked PediaPress, as the official WMF partner for printing contents from our projects, if they were interested in a reprise of the coupon giveaway they launched last year on en.wp.  I could not believe my eyes when I read their enthusiastic reply, some weeks ago!

...So now we have a Wikipedia Books project scheduled for this June.   This will enable us to showcase our best contents, both featured articles and the "quality articles" which it.wiki has recently adopted... to get a free copy of our favourite collection of articles... and above all, to get together to do something useful and funny for Wikilove's sake.

guest post by: elitre