[Noisebridge-discuss] Wikimedia / Wikipedia themed meetup (Bay Area WikiSalon) on March 29?

John Magolske listmail at b79.net
Wed Mar 29 22:02:14 UTC 2017

Hi Ben et al,

Sounds like a cool event, I'd swing by to check it out if I
weren't in the southbay now. But this brings to mind a possible
Wikipedia / hackerspace connection that I wanted to float by here
to see if it might have any merit...

There's this offline Wikipedia software Kiwix [1] that provides
offline access to Wikipedia [2] and a variety of other resources like
Project Gutenberg [3] and TED talks [4]. I've found it works pretty
well, allowing one to browse the complete Wikipedia while disconnected
from the Internet. Nice for when you want to leave the WiFi radio
off to conserve battery life, or when on deep space missions and you
simply don't want to deal with 5-minute+ latency...

Anyhow, one issue with Kiwix is that it takes a while to pull down the
content. Last I recall, downloading the 62GB wikipedia_en_all took
the better part of a weekend (no torrents were seeded so I just used
wget). And it's not possible to do incremental updates -- you need to
download an entire new ZIM file for any update.

But what if repositories of these large content files were hosted on
machines at a hackerspace or public library where folks could stop
by with a laptop / thumbdrive and grab a recent version of Wikipedia
via Gigabit Ethernet or USB port? This would make it easier to fetch
weekly/monthly updates -- taking 10 minutes instead of a couple days
and saving on bandwidth. Maybe the machines hosting these files could
also seed & feed torrents...

This is not necessarily a "thing that should be done at Noisebridge"
proposal, particularly given that I seldom make it over to the space
these days, more that I just want to put the idea out there to see
what folks think and maybe get some perspective on any associated




[1] http://www.kiwix.org/faq/

[2] http://download.kiwix.org/portable/wikipedia/

    kiwix-0.9+wikipedia_en_all_2016-12.zip 70GB, w/ thumbnail images
    kiwix-0.9+wikipedia_en_all_nopic_2017-01.zip 32GB, no images

    (you'll want the .zip files rather than the .zim files available
    elsewhere on this site -- the .zip files include an index which
    takes a long time to generate from the .zim files)

[3] http://download.kiwix.org/zim/gutenberg/

[4] http://download.kiwix.org/zim/ted/

* Ben Creasy <ben at bencreasy.com> [170319 18:25]:
> Hi folks,
> I dropped by for a Tuesday earlier this month (March 2) and mentioned that I
> was interested in doing a Wikimedia meetup on Wednesday, March 29th at one of
> the classrooms. It looks like that day will be open from the wiki and [1]meetup
> page (which I understand is more up-to-date). We've been meeting up the last
> Wednesday of the month at the Wikimedia Foundation HQ but are looking to mix it
> up every other month.
> I created a draft event page to potentially put on the wiki: [2]https://
> noisebridge.net/wiki/User:Ben_Creasy/Bay_Area_WikiSalon
> I realize this is late notice... let me know if anyone thinks is an issue. We
> can cancel and do it another month. Otherwise I'll probably put it up on the
> wiki [3]per these instructions in a couple days. I'm not sure about announcing
> it to the Noisebridge Announce list, as I lean towards starting low-key
> especially since it's late notice.
> Based on our history, I expect there will to be anywhere from 5 to 20 attendees
> and the event will run from 6PM to 8:30 PM. The agenda will be fairly loose and
> informal: we'll dedicate some time for community announcements or potentially
> lightning talks around 6:30PM, and maybe edit some articles or look at some
> code related to the topic, depending on who shows up and people's interests. 
> We might look at some of the work that came out of a hackathon a couple weeks
> ago. I work as a developer but don't usually work on Wikimedia open-source
> projects; interested in spending more time on that. Also, MediaWiki powers
> Noisebridge's wiki.
> I'm involved with Wikipedia as a long-time volunteer editor. The Wikimedia
> Foundation, which is headquartered in SF and hosts the servers for Wikipedia
> among many other projects, gave me some money for food/drinks to organize
> community meetups, which I've been doing along with some co-organizers for the
> past year or so. More information at [4]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
> Wikipedia:Bay_Area_WikiSalon
> --
> Ben Creasy
> [5]http://bencreasy.com
> References:
> [1] https://www.meetup.com/noisebridge/#upcoming
> [2] https://noisebridge.net/wiki/User:Ben_Creasy/Bay_Area_WikiSalon
> [3] https://noisebridge.net/wiki/Hosting_an_Event#Event_Listing
> [4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Bay_Area_WikiSalon
> [5] http://bencreasy.com/?t=email

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John Magolske

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