Some Progress on Wikipedia Editing

Wikipedia has long been suffering from its rather raw “wiki markup” editing experience. The reason is that the underlying software is stuck in the mud and any progress is slow and painful. Right now there is some excitement over progress on the “visual editor” of Mediawiki. As you can see in the video below the look and feel is 2016, while the functionality is still 1999. How we will catch-up with Google Docs or Medium or any reasonable editing experience this way remains a mystery to me.

Why You Should Not Cite Research Work on Wikipedia That is Not Freely Available

I recommend that Wikipedia articles do not reference research papers that are not freely available, just like research papers should not cite research work that is not freely available. Anyone who cites non-open-access, non-free research bases their work and argument on materials not accessible to the vast majority of people on this planet. By doing so, authors exclude almost everyone else from verifying and critiquing their work. They thereby stop science and progress dead in their tracks.

My advice is that authors need to understand that non-open-access, non-free research articles have not been published, they have been buried behind a paywall. With the vast majority of people not having access to such paid-for materials, any such buried article is not a contribution to the progress of science and should be ignored.

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Call for Papers: OpenSym 2016, the 12th International Symposium on Open Collaboration

OpenSym 2016, the 12th International Symposium on Open Collaboration

August 17-19, 2016 | Berlin, Germany

http://opensym.org/os2016

About the Conference

The 12th International Symposium on Open Collaboration (OpenSym 2016) is the premier conference on open collaboration research and practice, including open source, open data, open education, wikis and related social media, Wikipedia, and IT-driven open innovation research.

OpenSym is the first conference series to bring together the different strands of open collaboration research and practice, seeking to create synergies and inspire new collaborations between computer scientists, social scientists, legal scholars, and everyone interested in understanding open collaboration and how it is changing the world.

OpenSym 2016 will be held in Berlin, Germany, on August 17-19, 2016.

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Call for Papers: OpenSym 2015, the 11th International Symposium on Open Collaboration

OpenSym 2015, the 11th International Symposium on Open Collaboration

August 19-21, 2015 | San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

http://opensym.org/os2015

About the Conference

The 11th International Symposium on Open Collaboration (OpenSym 2015) is the premier conference on open collaboration research and practice, including free/libre/open source software, open data, IT-driven open innovation research, wikis and related open collaborative media, and Wikipedia and related Wikimedia projects.

OpenSym brings together the different strands of open collaboration research and practice, seeking to create synergies and inspire new collaborations between computer science and information systems researchers, social scientists, legal scholars, and everyone interested in understanding open collaboration and how it is changing the world.

OpenSym 2015 will be held in San Francisco, California, on August 19-21, 2015.

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Design and Implementation of Wiki Content Transformations and Refactorings

Abstract: The organic growth of wikis requires constant attention by contributors who are willing to patrol the wiki and improve its content structure. However, most wikis still only offer textual editing and even wikis which offer WYSIWYG editing do not assist the user in restructuring the wiki. Therefore, “gardening” a wiki is a tedious and error-prone task. One of the main obstacles to assisted restructuring of wikis is the underlying content model which prohibits automatic transformations of the content. Most wikis use either a purely textual representation of content or rely on the representational HTML format. To allow rigorous definitions of transformations we use and extend a Wiki Object Model. With the Wiki Object Model installed we present a catalog of transformations and refactorings that helps users to easily and consistently evolve the content and structure of a wiki. Furthermore we propose XSLT as language for transformation specification and provide working examples of selected transformations to demonstrate that the Wiki Object Model and the transformation framework are well designed. We believe that our contribution significantly simplifies wiki “gardening” by introducing the means of effortless restructuring of articles and groups of articles. It furthermore provides an easily extensible foundation for wiki content transformations.

Keywords: Wiki, Wiki Markup, WM, Wiki Object Model, WOM, Transformation, Refactoring, XML, XSLT, Sweble

Reference: Hannes Dohrn, Dirk Riehle. “Design and Implementation of Wiki Content Transformations and Refactorings.” In Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium on Open Collaboration (WikiSym + OpenSym 2013). ACM, 2013.

The paper is available as a PDF file.

Call for Papers: WikiSym 2012

8th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration

August 27-29, 2012 | Linz, Austria

The International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (WikiSym) is the premier conference on open collaboration and related technologies. In 2012, WikiSym celebrates its 8th year of scholarly, technical and community innovation in Linz, Austria. We are excited this year to be collocated with Ars Electronica, the premier digital art and science meeting that attracts over 35,000 attendees per year.

Submissions are invited for the following categories:

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Design and Implementation of the Sweble Wikitext Parser: Unlocking the Structured Data of Wikipedia

Abstract: The heart of each wiki, including Wikipedia, is its content. Most machine processing starts and ends with this content. At present, such processing is limited, because most wiki engines today cannot provide a complete and precise representation of the wiki’s content. They can only generate HTML. The main reason is the lack of well-defined parsers that can handle the complexity of modern wiki markup. This applies to MediaWiki, the software running Wikipedia, and most other wiki engines. This paper shows why it has been so difficult to develop comprehensive parsers for wiki markup. It presents the design and implementation of a parser for Wikitext, the wiki markup language of MediaWiki. We use parsing expression grammars where most parsers used no grammars or grammars poorly suited to the task. Using this parser it is possible to directly and precisely query the structured data within wikis, including Wikipedia. The parser is available as open source from http://sweble.org.

Keywords: Wiki, Wikipedia, Wiki Parser, Wikitext Parser, Parsing Expression Grammar, PEG, Abstract Syntax Tree, AST, WYSIWYG, Sweble.

Reference: Hannes Dohrn and Dirk Riehle. “Design and Implementation of the Sweble Wikitext Parser: Unlocking the Structured Data of Wikipedia.” In Proceedings of the 7th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (WikiSym 2011). ACM Press, 2011. Page 72-81.

The paper is available as a PDF file (preprint).

Technical Report on WOM: An Object Model for Wikitext

Abstract: Wikipedia is a rich encyclopedia that is not only of great use to its contributors and readers but also to researchers and providers of third party software around Wikipedia. However, Wikipedia’s content is only available as Wikitext, the markup language in which articles on Wikipedia are written, and whoever needs to access the content of an article has to implement their own parser or has to use one of the available parser solutions. Unfortunately, those parsers which convert Wikitext into a high-level representation like an abstract syntax tree (AST) define their own format for storing and providing access to this data structure. Further, the semantics of Wikitext are only defined implicitly in the MediaWiki software itself. This situation makes it difficult to reason about the semantic content of an article or exchange and modify articles in a standardized and machine-accessible way. To remedy this situation we propose a markup language, called XWML, in which articles can be stored and an object model, called WOM, that defines how the contents of an article can be read and modified.

Keywords: Wiki, Wikipedia, Wikitext, Wikitext Parser, Open Source, Sweble, Mediawiki, Mediawiki Parser, XWML, HTML, WOM

Reference: Hannes Dohrn and Dirk Riehle. WOM: An Object Model for Wikitext. University of Erlangen, Technical Report CS-2011-05 (July 2011).

The technical report is available as a PDF file.

Call for Papers: WikiSym 2011, the 7th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration

The 7th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration

October 3-5, 2011 | Mountain View, California

The International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (WikiSym) is the premier conference on open collaboration and related technologies. In 2011, WikiSym celebrates its 7th year of scholarly, technical and community innovation in Mountain View, California at the Microsoft Research Campus in Silicon Valley.

Submissions are invited for the following categories:

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