[Server-devel] Wikipedia on XS

Tom Parker tom at carrott.org
Sun Jul 25 05:56:08 EDT 2010

I've been looking at how to provide an offline wikipedia for the Samoan
deployments we are visiting. They don't have an uplink to the internet so
the solution has to be local.

David Leeming talked about Schools Wikipedia on this list in March:
http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/server-devel/2010-March/004597.html and
we are going to go with that. I'm currently downloading the latest
Wikipedia activity and may install that on the XOs.

I thought I would share some observations and a feature request.

The Schools Wikipedia is different from the wikipedia activity:

* The Wikipedia Activity doesn't have any images while offline (I haven't
ever tried it while online). The Schools Wikipedia has scaled down
versions of all images (which are about the right size to fill an XO's
* The Wikipedia Activity links to articles not included in the activity.
The schools Wikipedia does not include any links to articles not included
in the Schools Wikipedia
* The Wikipedia Activity is very slow on an XO-1. The Schools Wikipedia is
very fast with good wifi to an idle schoolserver
* The Wikipedia Activity has a search! The Schools Wikipedia does not (it
does have an index)
* The Wikipedia Activity has the full references section from the source
wikipedia. The Schools Wikipedia doesn't include any references.
* The Wikipedia Activity has English and Spanish versions (and presumably
could be "easily" constructed in another language). The Schools Wikipedia
project is available in English only and looks like a fairly significant
amount of work to reproduce in another language. Worse, in some areas the
bias towards articles related to England is very obvious. This is less of
an issue for Samoa since there is no Samoan Wikipedia.
* The Wikipedia Activity has a lot of articles that might be considered
inappropriate for some or all age groups by some cultures. I haven't found
anything in the Schools Wikipedia that I think might be considered
inappropriate, but it's search features are poor and I haven't done a
particularly thorough search.

I have a feature request for the Wikipedia Activity - images. The main
advantage of the Schools Wikipedia over the Wikipedia Activity is the
inclusion of images. We could use the XS, if available, to serve images.
The activity would have to establish whether the XS is available and if it
is, rewrite the image links to link to the XS. The schools wikipedia
consumed 3.8G for 5000 articles and their images, so it seems likely that
the Wikipedia Activity's 25000 articles might require about 20GB of
images. Distributing 20GB or so of images for inclusion on the school
server would be challenging, but once on the server it doesn't feel like
much disk space.

Feature request for Schools Wikipedia - add search.

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