Grants:PEG/WM IL/Software Development for Wikipedia on OLPC

This submission to the Wikimedia Foundation Grants Program was funded in the fiscal year 2009-10. This is a grant to an organization.

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Legal name of chapter
Wikimedia Israel
Grant contact name
Tomer Ashur
Grant contact user-name or e-mail
Tomer A. (
Grant contact title (position)
Wikimedia Israel chairman
Project lead name
Asaf Bartov
Project lead user-name or e-mail
Ijon (
Project lead title (position), if any
Chief programmer
Full project name
Software Development Budget for putting static Hebrew Wikipedia on Israeli One Computer Per Child computers
Amount requested (in USD)
USD 5,000
Provisional target start date
June 1st, 2009
Provisional completion date
November 31st, 2010

Budget breakdown edit

  • Software development (contractor): USD 5,000 -- we figure this should buy us between 150 and 180 man-hours of a software developer with relevant skills. Most of the effort is aimed at adapting existing tools, namely Kiwix (based on OpenZIM) and HebMorph -- all free software -- to the problems specific to Hebrew (and other right-to-left languages, such as Arabic and Farsi).

Project scope edit

We have one or two developers who have both the skills and the passion to work on this, but unfortunately cannot afford to undertake the project within a reasonable time frame without some financial support. This grant would allow us to achieve this potentially high-profile cooperation (we are already in contact and basic agreement with the Israeli government's OLPC project; they are waiting for us to come up with a usable static version of the Hebrew Wikipedia) sooner rather than much later.

The grant will be used exclusively to pay developers for their time. The developers are committed to continued support for the software on a volunteer basis after its initial, paid development.

Project goal edit

The goal is to provide a high-quality subset of the Hebrew Wikipedia (text, categories, and some images) with offline browsing software, in a Hebrew interface useful for the disadvantaged children and youths without an Internet connection, who are the intended beneficiaries of the Israeli OCPC project.

Non-financial requirements edit


Fit to strategy edit

OCPC computers containing a usable Hebrew Wikipedia, especially when given to children who cannot afford a sustained account with an Internet Service Provider, is clearly in line with achieving the goal of disseminating free knowledge.

Other benefits edit

  • We expect excellent publicity once the first Wikipedia-containing OCPC computers are delivered. Beyond several rounds of press releases, we expect to include it prominently in expositions of the Wikimedia mission in presentations and talks in various Israeli venues, including in fundraising and outreach.
  • All software/patches developed will of course be Free Software, either GPLed or licensed under the same terms as the product we'd be patching/contributing to. Future initiatives, e.g. by an Arabic-speaking Wikimedia chapter or volunteer group, will enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Measures of success edit

At the end of ~150 man-hours, we expect to have a bundle/image we can deliver to the OCPC packagers, containing a near-complete version of the Hebrew Wikipedia text, including categories and some images, ready for inclusion in new OCPC machines. Further development/maintenance would be on a voluntary basis.