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Wikipedia Releases Offline CD

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the vandalize-to-your-hearts-content dept.

The Internet 221

An anonymous reader writes "WikipediaOnDVD, with cooperation with the Wikipedia community, has released its first offline test version. The articles were selected by Wikipedians and reviewed for accuracy, vandalism, and importance. Nearly 2,000 core Wikipedia articles will be sold on compact disc to give people without a net connection access to highlights of the popular web resource. The CD can be purchased or downloaded online via their site or the torrent."

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221 comments

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Is there a pool going yet? (5, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873225)

I pick 77 as the number of articles on the CD that will be wrong

Re:Is there a pool going yet? (1)

mastershake82 (948396) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873265)

I pick 78.

Re:Is there a pool going yet? (2, Funny)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 7 years ago | (#18874335)

One Dollar! One Dollar Bob!

Yeah, Yeah come on... Oh, wait, what... number of wrong articles?

Ummm... nevermind.

Re:Is there a pool going yet? (2, Funny)

Bazman (4849) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873271)

If only they released it on CD-RW, that number could go down. Or up, more likely.

Re:Is there a pool going yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18873377)

1334

Re:Is there a pool going yet? (2, Insightful)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873585)

And the number of inaccurate articles on the Brittanica or Encarta DVD is...?

Re:Is there a pool going yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18874245)

Its Britannica's omissions that bother me most. Looking through my copy I have yet to find how any random subject relates to anime. I mean where is the obligatory "Cultural influences" to show me references to Fall Out Boy or the PS3? I feel I am only getting half the information I need.

Don't worry this is Wikipedia! (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873737)

Do an update and all the CDs will get fixed too.

A little disappointed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18873239)

That the Dragonball Z articles weren't included in the core DVD release. I mean, DBZ is notable, right?? Enough to have over 100 Wikipedia articles on it?

Re:A little disappointed (2, Interesting)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873707)

Pfft.... the Dragonball fancruft had to make way for articles with much greater use to humanity, such as this one. [wikipedia.org]

(Can you believe that there is such an in-depth article for that subject? It says something about Wikipedia, though whether it's good or not is unclear... :-/ )

Someone tell them (4, Funny)

MouseR (3264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873253)

[...] to give people without a net connection access to highlights [...]. The CD can be purchased or downloaded online [...]

Now that's a hefty business plan.

Re:Someone tell them (1)

tritonman (998572) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873597)

I will definitely be selling these on eBay!

Intermittent connection (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873715)

If somebody has 15 minutes of net connection, would he look at live versions of Wikipedia articles for those 15 minutes, or would he spend 15 minutes buying the disc to take home to use on his own computer without an Internet connection? Examples of such intermittent connection include Wi-Fi hotspots, public libraries, and (to a lesser extent) dial-up.

Re:Intermittent connection (4, Insightful)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 7 years ago | (#18874469)

The real benefit here, which seems to have been overlooked, is access to all of that information in places where bandwidth is either very poor or non-existant - or, where political pressures make it impossible or unwise to view the information online. I could imagine these DVDs being passed around in countries like China...

Re:Someone tell them (5, Funny)

BinaryPower (1089809) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873767)

What is this...offline?

Re:Someone tell them (1)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873921)

They can make money from concert tours! No wait. Err..wrong number.

I wonder... (1)

AbsoluteXyro (1048620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873281)

How many wing-wongs and other vandalous images slipped through the cracks

Re:I wonder... (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873361)

Hopefully, during the article review, once it was "approved" that version of the article was "pegged" (or tagged) - when everything was ready just pull the pegged versions of the article, which would ignore future changes to that article (hopefully avoiding any future "omg here is a picture of a penis" articles - or other vandalism - that may have replaced it after the peg).

No net connection? (3, Insightful)

HoosierPeschke (887362) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873309)

Wikipedia articles will be sold on compact disc to give people without a net connection access to highlights of the popular web resource. The CD can be purchased or downloaded online via their site or the torrent


The no net connection / download / torrent is a gimme, but where will they offer this CD for those without net connections? I could see this being useful for libraries or schools to have solid access. Advertising it to people without a net connection seems to be pretty pointless as the only means of acquiring said CD is via an internet connection.

Either that or we'll start seeing Wikipedia salesmen going door to door.

Re:No net connection? (5, Funny)

soundhack (179543) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873357)

This reminds me of a retail cd drive that came with no printed installation instructions, the manual was on a CD.

Re:No net connection? (5, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873441)

This reminds me of a retail cd drive that came with no printed installation instructions, the manual was on a CD.
Let me guess: it contained a PDF containing a single word: "Congratulations".

Re:No net connection? (1)

sulfur (1008327) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873511)

Sort of pkunzip.zip, I guess.

Re:No net connection? (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 7 years ago | (#18874417)

That's not as bad as the USB drive I bought which came with its drivers on the drive.

Re:No net connection? (1)

Hachey (809077) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873389)

They currently do silly. See WikipediaOnDVD [wikipediaondvd.com] . I believe even though the website is WikipediaOnDVD, it is a CD. Keep in mind this is a test release; the idea is when it is too big for a CD for 1.0 releases it will be distributed on DVD, thus the website name.

Re:No net connection? (1)

Hachey (809077) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873445)

Oh, I see, how are people without a net connection going to SEE this? Well, I think the biggest problem isn't internet costs a lot more in other countries; no everyone has broadband. Dial-ups and cost per minute kills Wikipedia for that kind of environment. I know I guy in a remote African community who wanted me to send him a Wikipedia database dump on a hard drive which he was willing to pay for - downloading it with his current cost per min of internet was WAY more expensive than just buying the HD outright.

Re:No net connection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18874285)

So how did the guy in remote African know about Wikipedia? You seem to be the best person to answer your own question.

Re:No net connection? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18873419)

People without net connections might have friends with net connections. Or they might just get some help from their local librarian. Word-of-mouth will be how they find out about it. It's not a plan designed for total market saturation or anything, but it isn't crazy either.

Re:No net connection? (4, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873447)

It would be nice to be able to take wikipedia with you when you don't have a net connection, even if you usually have one. If you're using your laptop on the plane, it might be nice to look up something on wikipedia. That being said, I think they should implement it differently. I'm not sure how their repository system works, but it should be possible to download the whole thing, and then download only the changes when you need it updated. Kind of like with CVS or SVN.

Re:No net connection? (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873581)

"Either that or we'll start seeing Wikipedia salesmen going door to door."

I have the perfect guy [retrojunk.com] for you.

Re:No net connection? (1)

aszaidi (464751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873839)

Advertising it to people without a net connection seems to be pretty pointless as the only means of acquiring said CD is via an internet connection.
It would be somewhat useful for people like me who have a slow or no internet connection at home (my home happens to be at one of the few places left in my city where broadband isn't an option). I like to read articles in peace, at home and there's a limit to how many Firefox tabs and windows you can keep open on the laptop.

Re:No net connection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18874071)

Let me guess. You didn't read the farticle.

Or you would have seen the link:

Doesn't this kinda defeat the purpose? (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873325)

Wikipedia is a powerful tool because it can be constantly and immediately updated with new information as it becomes available. By burning it onto CD and distributing it, it becomes almost the same as any other encyclopedia available minus the cost and the fact that it doesn't carry the same reputation.

It's a good idea in theory but in reality it's sorta pointless.

Re:Doesn't this kinda defeat the purpose? (4, Insightful)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873463)

So basically you're saying that if people can't get the most updated information, they shouldn't get any information at all? Brilliant!

Re:Doesn't this kinda defeat the purpose? (2, Insightful)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873557)

I think what he's trying to say is more like if you can't get the most updated information then why use Wikipedia at all? And he's right, there's no real point to Wikipedia (beyond a large volume of data) compared to other encyclopedias if you don't access it online.

Re:Doesn't this kinda defeat the purpose? (2, Insightful)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873691)

Some things don't change on a day to day basis. Say for example the location and the history of a mountain. Gratned is someone dies climbing it well you wont know the latest and greatest but at least know something. Would wikipedia be that much less valuable if updates were performed monthly instead of daily?

Re:Doesn't this kinda defeat the purpose? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#18874225)

> Some things don't change on a day to day basis.

I'd feel more comfortable knowing that abuse can be spotted and fixed before I find it, rather than being stuck with a CD that's permanently recording some spotty bedroom boy's idea of a joke. I'm not a massive user of Wikipedia, and even I've found 3 cases of vandalism just from casual use.

Wikipedia price vs. Britannica price (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873787)

there's no real point to Wikipedia (beyond a large volume of data) compared to other encyclopedias if you don't access it online.
For another thing, the Wikipedia disc set is probably less expensive than the Britannica or Encarta disc set, especially once local public libraries start offering a legit disc duplication service.

Re:Doesn't this kinda defeat the purpose? (1)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18874173)

And he's right, there's no real point to Wikipedia (beyond a large volume of data) [Emphasis mine]
Yes, there's no point aside from having a large volume of articles on a vast array of subjects, and who could possibly want that? You want to know what would be even worse? Some pointless "large volume of data" that doesn't even come in an easily cross-referenced/searchable format, and then expecting people to pay lots of money for that!. How useless would that be?! No one would use it! Which is why Britannica, World Book, Everyman's Encyclopedia, and all those others have only ever managed to sell a few copies between them.

Re:Doesn't this kinda defeat the purpose? (1)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873467)

Not only that, but this sort of thing encourages the view of Wikipedians that they're working toward a final goal, which causes serious problems with article ownership and forced stagnation. It's near impossible to get an entrenched fact out of an article. Took me three or four tries to get Black Sabbath off a short list of proto-heavy-metal bands who are considered "hard rock" in the heavy metal article a few months ago. All the guy had to do was click the link to their article and see they're always called the first heavy metal band after a string of hard rock bands, but nope. It had been in the article for as long as he remembered, so there was no way in hell a snot-nosed anonymous editor was changing it. He's probably still there, reverting all changes to the article without even reading them. Not to pick on that guy personally, whoever he is; he's just an example of this problem.

Re:Doesn't this kinda defeat the purpose? (2, Interesting)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873637)

Plus the breadth. Wikipedia covers a lot of material you don't find in most encyclopedias, just because they have encyclopedia editors have limited time resources and Wikipedians have collectively nearly infinite free time.

It seems to me that cost+breadth gives the Wikipedia CD a reason to be. If you can't afford an encyclopedia but want something available even when you can't get to the Internet, it seems to be a huge bargain.

It doesn't entirely supplant real encyclopedias, either, but it does narrow their audience even further.

Re:Doesn't this kinda defeat the purpose? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#18874429)

It seems to me that cost+breadth gives the Wikipedia CD a reason to be. If you can't afford an encyclopedia but want something available even when you can't get to the Internet, it seems to be a huge bargain.

At 2k articles... not much breadth there to be had. In fact, browsing the list of included articles - there seems to be an overall scheme for organization, but the actual selection is virtually random. Giving someone this CD as an actual reference would be doing them a disservice.

Re:Doesn't this kinda defeat the purpose? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873657)

it can be constantly and immediately updated with new information as it becomes available

Encyclopedia != news. Once most articles are "done," the rate at which they're modified should be really low. After all, "new information" about a 500-year-old event doesn't come up very often...

Re:Doesn't this kinda defeat the purpose? (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873739)

Encyclopedia != news. Once most articles are "done," the rate at which they're modified should be really low. After all, "new information" about a 500-year-old event doesn't come up very often...

No, but new information about fairly recent events - where wiki excels - does come up often. Really, why do mainstream encyclopedias have to focus on almost primarily out-of-date events? The answer is not "because that's a good way of doing things," the answer is "because otherwise the lengthy editing/publishing cycles would result in an out-of-date encyclopedia."

Having encyclopedia-quality synopses of recent events (ie, events that aren't "done") is fanstastic, and something that did not exist much before wiki.

Re:Doesn't this kinda defeat the purpose? (1)

wrook (134116) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873677)

Actually, for several purposes the major benefit of Wikipedia is not the fact that it's constantly updated, but rather the fact that it's licensed under a Creative Commons license. So I can definitely see a use for getting the disc and using a portion of it for other purposes (after spending some time verifying the information first, of course). It's handy to have the info on a CD before you start to repurpose it.

Re:Doesn't this kinda defeat the purpose? (2, Informative)

Livius (318358) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873699)

Maybe, maybe not.

A selection of articles that are proof-read and vandalism-free but maybe a year out of date might be a good trade-off in some cases. Kind of like 'stable' versus 'development' versioning.

And if no-one buys the CD version, no harm done.

Re:Doesn't this kinda defeat the purpose? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873721)

it becomes almost the same as any other encyclopedia available minus the cost and the fact that it doesn't carry the same reputation.
I think reputation is specifically addressed by this project - the reason it's a relatively small collection of articles is because the standard for quality will be higher.

What? You wanted the full breadth (millions of articles) up-to-the-minute and all hand-verified by subject matter experts? Good luck, nobody has ever managed such a thing. I think Wikipedia, as it is, comes closer than anything else.

Re:Doesn't this kinda defeat the purpose? (1)

atamyrat (980611) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873933)

but not everybody who can benefit from this great resource has an Internet connection like ours.

I think you know there are some countries with limited internet connection like dial-up only as an option, expensive internet cafes and all of them under strict control.

Re:Doesn't this kinda defeat the purpose? (4, Insightful)

Vampyre_Dark (630787) | more than 7 years ago | (#18874261)

Pointless? I think that's way off base.

There was a point when your random, off the shelf encyclopedia didn't have a reputation either. That's built up over time. And a cheap disc of Wikipedia can be very helpful to some people. The fact that anyone can add to it doesn't change the fact that it's still an encyclopedia.

It's biggest strength of wikipedia is also it's biggest weakness. You can't read about any software that isn't under the gpl without seeing a page that's been hijacked by GPL zealots time after time. Hell, the fact that 3DS Max is NOT under the GPL and free is somehow more important than anything else about the software, despite the fact that's it's the industry leader/standard 3d modeller and renderer. The articles about 3D software are all really about how you should be using Blender instead, because it's GPL. Just like every other software page. So much for the NPOV policy.

An article about a person in the public eye often turns into a battle gound and then a daily log of that person's life by an obssessed fan who thinks what they had for breakfast on friday is important information. Factual information that paints them in negative light is often editted out by these same people.

Then we have magazines and newspapers editors who think it's funny to write articles about how they vandalized an article. We have Stephen Colbert logging onto Wikipedia during his show, and making article edits. Even my local newspaper had an article written that detailed a spree of silly article edits along the lines of turning into a werewolf if you visit a certain country on a certain date. This is a columnist in his 50s, not a 15 year old kid.

The whole thing is overrun by GPL Zealots, anti corporate hippies, immature kids, obssessed fans, bible thumpers, etc. None of these types are competant enough to make Neutral Point Of View contributions. Not to mention the fanboys who flood serious articles with video game, comic book, and star wars|trek references.

How is a 12 year old kid, taking everything in there at face value, supposed to seperate the BS from the truth so they can get their school project done? Especially when you have older people who should know better, filling it with such facts as 'E = MC Hammer'.

The disc distribution can solve that, and users can feel confident that the information contained therein is actually worth something. The disc may be the only version that is ever really usefull as an encyclopedia. The online version could be best used as a temporary editing version, with real versions being pressed and distributed, and competantly edited.

Re:Doesn't this kinda defeat the purpose? (1)

fatduck (961824) | more than 7 years ago | (#18874289)

The fact that Wikipedia can be constantly and immediately updated doesn't change the fact that Wikipedia has a shitload of information already. If they were shutting down the Wikipedia website and moving to an offline model distributing successive editions of the encyclopedia on disc, then your comment might make sense.

hmmm.... (2, Funny)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873359)

Wikipedia without accuracy or vandalism problems... What fun is that?!?!?

So... (1)

Omeger (939765) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873371)

In order to give people without an internet connection a chance to look at Wikipedia you can only buy or download this CD on the internet? Somebody didn't think this all the way through.

Re:So... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18873607)

In order to give people without an internet connection a chance to look at Wikipedia you can only buy or download this CD on the internet? Somebody didn't think this all the way through.
1. Many people who have no internet service don't know what Wikipedia is and will not seek it.
2. Many people who have internet service know what Wikipedia is. Some of these people see some value in Wikipedia.
3. Some of the second group may be civic-minded enough to buy or download the cd and share it with people and organizations that do not have internet service but might be interested in Wikipedia.
4. Finally, some people have internet access sometimes but would like to have access to most of Wikipedia all the time.

It may not be the biggest blockbuster product of all time, but there are enough potential customers that this is worth trying.

Re:So... (1)

john_lewmanny (576761) | more than 7 years ago | (#18874067)

Also, remember that being freely licensed, Wikipedia's content may be copied at will. One CD copy may be enough to a whole internet-less educational institution.

Wikipedia, as an encyclopedia, would be much more "''sorta pointless''" if it's contents were only reachable through wikipedia.org.

So... 2 (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873813)

It is currently on CD, but will likely soon be on DVD (well the name implies that). So how many people have PCs with DVD players but don't have access to the internet? That narrows down the scope somewhat.

It will be interesting to check back in a few months to see how many they sold.

Notability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18873429)

I'm nominating this as an AFD. This article is about something that is not covered by any notable source.

Actually, this looks like blatant product promotion. Speedy Delete this spam...

yet more wiki true colors appear (-1, Flamebait)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873443)

So... (of course, I will get modded down for this...doesn't make it less true)

I, for one, have never doubted that Wikipedia has a different motive from their stated objectives. Here you see further evidence of their "altruism".

To those of you who contributed to Wikipedia - did you expect that your work would be exploited for commercial gain, while you yourself will get nothing but nice karma. Oh, and incidentally this isn't this first time Wikipedia content has been sold - they've been flogging it to a variety of websites for many months now.

Wikipedia is a manipulative insidious organisation that's poisoning truth for profit. That's not a tin foil hat based statement. There's plenty of evidence.

Re:yet more wiki true colors appear (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873505)

Their motive is staying afloat so they don't have to see all that hard work go to waste. They're looking for ways to keep their cash flow out of the red so that they can continue to operate the site. If that requires selling Wikipedia on DVDs, or putting up a couple non-intrusive text ads, then I'm all for it. You can't pay for bandwidth and servers with smiles and good feelings.

Re:yet more wiki true colors appear (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873547)

You'll get modded down because your post is bunk. Of course they'll sell goodies, they're trying to keep the thing running [as another poster pointed out].

Until they *deny* access to the non-paying public they're not really violating their stated goals. It's when articles become "members only" that you can start biting your thumb at them.

Tom

Re:yet more wiki true colors appear (1)

LuminaireX (949185) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873603)

Wikipedia is a manipulative insidious organisation that's poisoning truth for profit - Yeah, non-profit organizations are all about making profit.

To those of you who contributed to Wikipedia - did you expect that your work would be exploited for commercial gain - Commercial gain? They're giving away the product if you download it. $13 might cover the cost of the CD, the average shipping costs, and the labor associated with stamping/burning the disc. Even if there's some left over, who cares? Even non-profit employees have to eat.

Re:yet more wiki true colors appear (1)

Drew McKinney (1075313) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873633)

Wikipedia is a manipulative insidious organisation that's poisoning truth for profit. That's not a tin foil hat based statement. There's plenty of evidence.

I dont think there's anything sinister going on here; most of this money is probably going towards keeping the site up. There's nothing new about they're fundraising efforts, like when the server kept crashing [slashdot.org] .

In any case, i think this is a step towards legitimizing wikipedia as a valuable reference. The CD represents an error-checked version of wikipedia that doubters have been bitching about for some time.

Re:yet more wiki true colors appear (1)

Azarael (896715) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873659)

Stop to think that efforts like Wikipedia cannot operate without money, which has to come from somewhere. Private donations can only go so far, and other corporate type money sources tend to come with strings attached. It is more likely that selling CDs/DVDs for a few bucks will give Wikipedia *more* freedom to be altruistic since they won't rely so much on others for their resources.

Re:yet more wiki true colors appear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18873761)

apart from the fact that this is absolutely nothing to do with "wikipedia" - aka the wikimedia foundation. For folks sniping from the sidelines, "Wikipedia is a manipulative insidious organisation" who constantly have a go at mistakes errors and inaccuracies, you don't half talk a total crock of shit do you? DO YOUR HOMEWORK - prick.

I don't get it. (2, Insightful)

kabocox (199019) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873449)

Ok. It's a CD size, why is their title wiki on DVD? Actually, I was looking for something like this just a few months ago. At that time, if you wanted an offline copy of wikipedia, you had to download something like 80GB and figure out how to install/run the wikipedia backend.

I think the folks behind this project just don't get what wikipedia is best used for. It sounds like they are trying to release the best fact checked copy that they can within those subjects. Um, that's not what I use wikipedia for. I use it to quickly figure out who this guy is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eben_Moglen [wikipedia.org] or immediate trivia that in 5 minutes I could care less about, but I just would like a vague idea of who the guy is and such. Wikipedia is great for fast trivia. I bet you most of the articles that I look up won't be on this CD because those that are making this want wikipedia to be like a book reference and all the junk that I want researched would be filtered out. Oh well, maybe it would be useful for the kids to look through.

Re:I don't get it. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873939)

It's a CD size, why is their title wiki on DVD?
Because they are planning to bring more articles to class GA or better and get them onto future editions of the disc.

Re:I don't get it. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18874041)

You couldn't care less about.
Couldn't.

Re:I don't get it. (2, Informative)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 7 years ago | (#18874059)

The full version of WP's current articles is a XML dump of 4.7 GB. That alone fits on a DVD. Then there are about 60GB of images (plus all the images in Commons). Getting a copy of every article you want would take up at least a Dual-Layer Blu-Ray even with the best of compression (you can put it in a database smaller than the XML dump), and you can down-res most larger images.

They realized they couldn't do that, so instead they picked a few hundred articles, and got the most accurate copies they could. It'd be great if they could do that for the whole corpus of WP articles, but that's not currently feasible in terms of optical storage, processing power, fact-checking, etc.

shouldn't it be wikipedia on CD? (1)

snooo53 (663796) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873459)

Why is the website called wikipedia on dvd, and yet they only have an option to download a 420mb CD image? Where is the 4+GB DVD image their name implies?

Re:shouldn't it be wikipedia on CD? (4, Informative)

Hachey (809077) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873501)

Not only is this a test release of Wikipedia 0.5, but nominating articles for the release isn't a quick process. Get over there and nominate [wikipedia.org] some for 0.7; lets get this baby to fit on a DVD. I share your zeal.

Re:shouldn't it be wikipedia on CD? (5, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873559)

Wikipedia on CD was already taken by a guy providing only 1.44 MB floppy images.

Re:shouldn't it be wikipedia on CD? (2, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873971)

Wikipedia on CD was already taken by a guy providing only 1.44 MB floppy images.


Patrick Volkerding? Is that you?

Re:shouldn't it be wikipedia on CD? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18874221)

Coincidentally, I just had to Google "Patrick Volkerding" to find out what you were talking about, and the first hit was his Wikipedia entry.

no PPC? (1)

infundibula (1093259) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873491)

The Wikipedia Version 0.5 CD is compatible with Windows (back to 98), Macintosh (Intel) OS X and Linux x86.
So, "yes" for Windows 98 but "no" for OSX PPC? Or am I reading this wrong?

Re:no PPC? (1)

psxman (925240) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873639)

Why does this even have a compatibility list? Shouldn't it just be a bunch of HTML and images on a CD? Why do they need any programs?

Data compression (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18874051)

Why does this even have a compatibility list? Shouldn't it just be a bunch of HTML and images on a CD? Why do they need any programs?
To decompress the HTML perhaps? People are working on compressing Wikipedia 6 to 1 [fit.edu] . Though it's on a CD-ROM right now, the number of Good Articles will grow quickly once people become jealous that their pet WikiProject didn't get as much coverage on the disc as others. I'd guess that Wikimedia Foundation is looking to delay migration to BD-ROM or HD DVD-ROM as long as possible.

Re:no PPC? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873759)

Because it's developed on a shoestring - from the FAQ:

1 - Why is Kiwix not available for PPC Macs ?
        We do not have a PPC architectured Mac.
Egads, they should set up a donations account or something, a PPC Mac capable of running the Mozilla framework upon which they build this tool should cost all of about $100 in good condition. And that includes the candy-keyboard and hockey-puck mouse!

Re:no PPC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18873859)

Why does the Wikipedia CD have more requirements than the Wikipedia website, besides the CD reader?

I can't fathom why you would have anything more than HTML.

Re:no PPC? (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18874087)

Kiwix [kiwix.org] software features:
        * history
        * print
        * x86/Windows, x86/Mac & x86/Linux
        * search engine
        * skins

Admittedly, everything could be browser+JS with a little effort.

Re:no PPC? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#18874097)

It's a self-contained viewer complete with search and branding features (skins).

Performance (2, Insightful)

FunkyELF (609131) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873531)

Something makes me thing that having a local copy in place in your cdrom would take longer to load than a halfway decent network connection.

I saw the title of the article and initially thought : cool, that'd be nice to have a nice fast copy.

Then (in my head) I heard the sound of my cdrom spinning up to speed before reading an article and came to realize that most of what is on Wikipedia is just text and it loads fast enough for me and probably faster than the CD would.

Re:Performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18873723)

Obviously you're too used to having a good net connection, many countries don't even offer a connection that'd have faster access than a CD.

Congratulations: (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873783)

You're not the target audience!

Re:Congratulations: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18874015)

you're wrong smartass

Re:Performance (1)

J0nne (924579) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873879)

You could also just keep the iso (or even the files that make up the cd) on your HD, if you care about speed.

Wikis on a plane? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18874125)

Then (in my head) I heard the sound of my cdrom spinning up to speed before reading an article and came to realize that most of what is on Wikipedia is just text and it loads fast enough for me and probably faster than the CD would.
Dial-up Internet connections take a minute to spin up to speed. Dial-up Internet connections dominate in parts of the world where broadband is not cheap, such as inside a moving vehicle or in the bottom 90 percent of developed countries. Besides, with link prefetching, wouldn't the CD spin up after the text of the article is displayed?

Re:Performance (2, Insightful)

interiot (50685) | more than 7 years ago | (#18874273)

As someone else said, you're probably not the target audience. Wikipedia's benefits not only include the fact that it's constantly updated, but also that it's free as in beer, and free as in speech, both of which are designed to try to spread the wealth of knowledge to places that couldn't otherwise afford many textbooks or commercial encyclopedias, including third-world countries. Wikipedia also will be distributed on the One Laptop Per Child, another way that Wikipedia hopes to distribute the knowledge to far-flung areas.

Also, Jimmy Wales is trying very hard to encourage the growth of native-language Wikipedias in third-world countries, to make sure it's accessible to nearly everyone, but that's slower going since network infrastructure is still in its infancy in those places.

Its a writable CD (4, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873549)

so you can edit it. Also it will only work if you place it in a publically accessible network drive so others can make changes too.

The next offline CD release (4, Informative)

Hachey (809077) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873613)

This is a release for Wikipedia 0.5. The next release is Wikipedia 0.7, and if you see something you not in 0.5 that you want in 0.7, cruise on over to the nominations page [wikipedia.org] and let 'em know.

So then... (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873655)

How does it compare with Encarta in terms of article count?

Why? (1)

jqpublic13 (935916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873667)

But what's the point? What's the convergance of a) a person who would trust the information in Wikipedia, with b) have access to a computer, that c) wouldn't also have net access? Also, with such a small subset of articles, does this have any value beyond "gee, look what we did?"

Would be useful for me (2, Interesting)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 7 years ago | (#18874145)

But what's the point? What's the convergance of a) a person who would trust the information in Wikipedia, with b) have access to a computer, that c) wouldn't also have net access?

Would be handy for me at my vacation/retirement house.

For about 5 years it had no network connection whatsoever. Finally needed network on a vacation so now it has a dialup line that typically connects at 28.8 kbps. That's the best available in the area other than $atellite. But using it ties up the landline.

Nearest WiMax is Clearwire, 23 mi away on the other side of the mountain - on which I can't mount a relay. The area is served only by the LAST cell in the old AT&T network, which they haven't converted from TDMA (even though they're charging me extra for refusing to convert to GSM and thus make my cell phone stop working there.)

I'm sure that there are places in the world where browsing wikipedia would be far more troublesome, expensive, or flat-out impossible.

Also, with such a small subset of articles, does this have any value beyond "gee, look what we did?"

Probably.

Of course this is just a beta. If I read things correctly 1.0 will eventually be available on DVD once they get a suitable subset of articles picked and vetted.

Ask yourself "What good was a paper Encyclopedia Britannica?" Especially when you only had part of the set...

Wikis on a plane? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18874151)

What's the convergance of a) a person who would trust the information in Wikipedia, with b) have access to a computer, that c) wouldn't also have net access?
a) Given the Nature study, who would trust the information in Britannica or Encarta more than the information in Wikipedia good articles? b) and c) are common on an airplane, in the back seat of a car, on a bus, or on a train. They are also common in parts of the world that don't have cheap broadband. It doesn't take as long to spin up a CD as to spin up a modem.

Great! (5, Funny)

roelbj (95481) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873689)

Now my information can be wrong AND outdated.

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18873965)

If I were Wikipedia, I would distribute the CD's for a while, and then I would release some sort of online database that people could just connect to, maybe over the internet via a web browser, and look up entries... Wait - nevermind.

Press Release (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873775)

Besides someone sneaking a Goatse pic in on the George W. Bush page, this offline CD hopes to fill the gaping hole in the marketplace.

Guide (1)

xj (958167) | more than 7 years ago | (#18873925)

Wikipedia has largely replaced the encyclopedia Britannica as the source for all knowledge for two reasons
1) It is slightly cheaper.

2) The "facts" can be edited to reflect your own personal preferences.

Fact 1) Ninjas are mammals ...
        2) Chuck Norris counted to infinity ...twice

Meager Selection (1)

Manos_Of_Fate (1092793) | more than 7 years ago | (#18874089)

2000 seems like a pretty meager selection for an offline reference. Did they skip more commonplace, and thus commonly known, subjects? Or is it going to be mostly facts that the average 5th grader would know? By contrast, the software put out by Brittanica contains 10,000+ articles.

Didn't they... (1)

Glove d'OJ (227281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18874391)

Didn't someone do a TV show about this?

It's more exciting than online Wikipedia! (2, Interesting)

id3as (1067224) | more than 7 years ago | (#18874387)

I find browsing it much more exciting than browsin Wikipedia, because most are very familiar to my eyes, yet I don't know them in detail. It's much more about the selection of articles than the multitude of them.

Why so few articles? (2, Interesting)

GreedyCapitalist (559534) | more than 7 years ago | (#18874489)

Why only 1956 articles? I get that they want to show off the best, but Encarta 2007 has 42,000+ articles and includes tons of multimedia. There's no way a volunteer team can review anywhere near that number of articles, so I think they should scrap the "good articles only" policy and just stuff as much as possible onto the DVD.
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