Monday, August 31, 2009

The presentation

I had hoped to publish both the presentation and the video of our presentation at Wikimania 2009 at the same time. As it is, the video has not yet been uploaded and I do not want to wait with providing you with the presentation.

The presentation went well. We did well to test the environment before the presentation; we had a glitch that was easily solvedas there was not the stress of a public watching.

When you introduce completely new functionality, it is important to inform and involve as much as possible. We found that there was a lot of interest for what we had to bring. Many people indicated that they were interested to test the Wave approach and many of the developers were interested in a Wave Sandbox account.

Disruptive technology

When I understand Wave well, it is disruptive technology. When people talk about Wikipedia, one aspect of it is how it proved disruptive innovation as it changed the face of the market for encyclopaedic information.

What I got out of the feedback of our presentation at Wikimania, is that our MediaWiki Wave interface has the potential to be disruptive as well. Real time collaborative editing is what we will bring to MediaWiki and that will be disruptive. The current history pages of MediaWiki and its assessments expect serial changes by individual editors. All our tools to supress vandalism rely on this.

In the recordings of Wikivoices podcasts we experimented with collaborative editing and, it allowed us to write quality articles in a short period of times. Experiences like this gives me the conviction that Wikipedia can do with a bit of disruption of its own.

For those who claim that the end is neigh... I asked Luca de Alvaro what he thought about collaborative realtime editing; he first asked me if there was reliable historic data and then told me that it just needed a different algorithm.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Another mode of communication

Given that we want to have at least 100 people testing the MediaWiki Wave functionality and given that at this stage Wave itself is not the platform to use, we were looking for a forum.

Given that FUDforum is the latest software being localised at, it was considered for this task. So, our forum can be found here :)

Do the Wave

Tom created some waves with his presentation at the New York Wiki conference. As I am preparing a presentation about MediaWiki Wave at the moment, I received his presentation that is now available for your amusement as well..

Friday, August 21, 2009

Preparing for Wikimania

Wikimania 2009 is approaching fast and, it is important for us to present our project there as well. We have been told that we will be able to present our project so Tom, Kim and Gerard came together to discuss what to say and what to present.

We looked at our current functionality, we uploaded code to the Google project SVN even though it is of not much use at this stage. It still needs a lot of TLC before the code is in a state that approaches the "Brion ready" state.

We discussed the things we have to do before Oktober. We need people testing our code and we want to give interested MediaWiki developers access to Wave. We are comfortable that we can achieve both. Just watch this space for more information..

In our presentation, we will explain how we got involved, why we think Wave is important and we will demo what we consider are the key features for our MediaWiki Wave integration.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A nice article on Wave

I read two interesting articles about Wave..
I find it interesting that people argue that Wave will fail. For me Wave provides a lot of technology that fits in with my dream of a vastly more usable Wikipedia. The best part is that the technology has many more applications.

The one question I do not have an answer to yet, the question that can be a deal breaker is: what about the internationalisation and localisation. The perfect answer is: what about it, this is how you do it!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Twitter too

When I was still in school I was taught that if you want to get the message out, you start with telling what you are going to say, then you say it and finally you recapitulate what you just said. That sounds boring but if you do it well, it works really well

Tom has just created the MediawikiWave Twitter account. He will keep you informed about the things he comes across while developing the software. This blog is intended to explain what it is we are doing. The major things will end up on the blog.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Alternative logo ...

We are happy with a first alternative logo... the flower in the Mediawiki logo is replaced with the Wave logo.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Logo needed ...

The MediaWiki Wave project needs a logo.. a logo that demonstrates why we do it.. Bringing better usability to Wikipedia using the new paradigmas brought to us by Wave.

So we dabbled a bit with the gimp and we now have something that is ok. It is ok except for the fact that this is a combination of two trade marks.

So I will ask the WMF and Google for permission to use their trademarked logo for this project. Obviously when someone comes up with something nice, we may go for that in stead.

MediaWiki Wave, the introduction

MediaWiki is the best known Wiki engine. it is used for Wikipedia and many other projects inside and outside of the Wikimedia Foundation. Over time MediaWiki has grown in functionality and at the same time it became hard to use. This has been recognised and the Usability Initiative is developing much needed improvements to make MediaWiki more usable for people new to Wikipedia.

Google Wave is a brave new attempt to bring new functionality to well established categories of applications like e-mail, text messaging, wiki and it does it by integrating the functionalities of all of them in a compelling new technology framework. Key elements are the ability to edit in real time with multiple people, an innovative way of showing the history of a wavelet and all this in a WYSIWYG environment

The MediaWiki Wave project brings this new open source framework to MediaWiki and it aims to show the way how MediaWiki can become more useable for its editors. At this time, the project is planned to run until the beginning of October and at that time it should provide a fully functional editing interface to MediaWiki content. MediaWiki and Wave developers will have to work hard to make this happen. Obviously, this project is run with full knowledge of the Wikimedia Foundation.

This project will not impact the MediaWiki parser. This project is not aimed at the user interface for people reading MediaWiki content.