Offline Projects/Reports/June 2022

Objectives of the UserGroup edit

There have been many efforts to distribute offline snapshots to places with little connectivity, via schoolservers, wikireaders, and pocket-sized servers that run on batteries.
In 2017, a retreat for offline-wiki developers, users, and deployers was organized by Martin Walker at Potsdam University. In addition, Kiwix has organized hackathons for their toolchain and related use cases for many years. This user group is a shared community for people developing any of these offline related initiatives!

This group was formed at the WMCON in 2018 to

+ Consolidate and support offline snapshots of wiki knowledge, and deployments of them in schools, clinics, and rural communities.
+ Update and maintain the offline projects portal on Meta.
+ Advocate for better distribution of and awareness of offline wikis, in all parts of the world where internet access is restricted, expensive, or unavailable: including schools, clinics, prisons, refugee camps, disaster areas.

Activities in 2021-2022 edit

Note: the best place to follow-up activities and news of the group is the mailing list:

Kiwix edit

ca. 6-7 million users worldwide (that we are aware of, ie have direct confirmation either from deployment partners or server ping), so that is likely to be a lower bound estimate.

  • Bunch of improvements and new releases to backend services mostly (released Libzim 7.0, libkiwix 10.0, Kiwix-serve 3.0; implementation of OpenSearch)
  • Service workers expanded to Kiwix-JS, which allows for access to a broader set of websites thanks to zimit, an off-the-shelf tool we had released last year
  • Kiwix has been kept up to date in Debian (blog post); it is on track to be released with Debian 12 Bookworm next year. Specific improvements have included better automated testing to find regressions caused by dependencies faster.
  • WikiHow is now available in 20 languages (along with a few dozen other pieces of content, but that's the major release for this year). All Wikimedia sites remain on a monthly update schedule.
  • The Russian invasion of Ukraine and Roskomnadzor's subsequent threats to Wikipedia accesss have sent Kiwix downloads through the roof, particularly in March-April 2022, with Russia-based downloads accounting for up to 40% of our global traffic.
  • First hackathon since 2019, in France. Deepening collaboration with Libraries without Borders

WikiChallenge Ecoles d'Afrique/en edit

Presentation of WikiChallenge contest during Open Education Global Conference
WC Winning ceremony hosted in Dakar during Prix du Livre Orange
Full jury WikiChallenge report 2021-2022

The WikiChallenge Ecoles d'Afrique is a training and writing program designed for schools in French speaking Africa, using WikiFundi software. It is targeted at the education community towards using wikimedia tools to acquire and share knowledge to develop skills of the youth and of their teachers. Most of those schools are offline, having only access to Kiwix content. The articles produced are posted on Vikidia, and the pictures on Wikimedia Commons. The initiative successfully took place in 2021-2022 along similar lines than previous years :Écoles_d%27Afrique

In 2022

  • 9 participating countries (Tunisie, Guinée Conakry, Madagascar, Mali, Cameroun, Sénégal, RDC, Côte d’Ivoire et Burkina Faso)
  • 69 participating schools
  • 80 texts proposed by the students (all texts)
  • 442 photos, drawings and videos produced by the kids (all images)
  • 12 winning schools !

Contest is run by Wiki in Africa, in partnership with several usergroups (Mali, Cameroun, Tunisia, Guinea) and Fondation Orange

WikiFundi, offline editing wiki software edit

Certificate of Open Infrastructure Award from OEG 2021 - WikiFundi
  • A new version of the software was published late 2021. It includes content updates and general refresh for the English and French version and the development of a Spanish version. See WikiFundi/2021 for more details. This release was supported by Wikimedia CH.
  • In October 2021, WikiFundi received the Open Infrastructure Award during Open Education Global Awards 2021

In terms of tool promotion :

Wakoma edit

  • In November 2021 Wakoma won best overall Proof-of-Concept in the IEEE Future Networks Connecting the Unconnected Challenge for the nimble.
  • nimble units are now being used to support offline projects in South Africa, Canada, and Czechia, with new models under construction in India and the US. We continue to work towards decentralized manufacturing of connectivity and edtech infrastructure, particularly in offline and humanitarian contexts.
  • New services curated by several community networks and P2P Web support have been added to the Lokal platform which is currently being restructured.

Internet-in-a-Box edit

We shipped 13 units in 2021 and 29 units so far in 2022 (As of July 23rd 2022). We at Wiki Project Med are still shipping for the cost of the underlying hardware (40 USD).

Offline medical ZIMs edit

We continue to develop MDWiki and build an offline ZIM from the site. This ZIM now powers the English offline Android app we build in collaboration with Kiwix. It contains a couple of thousand medical articles developed beyond those found on Wikipedia as well as about 40,000 additional articles from Wikipedia.

Anything else ? edit

A telegram group was created :

In octobre 2021, publication of a video which relates to offline : Using offline tools to build open content and introduce to open knowledge movement.

Update of WikiAfrica Offline Resources in English, French and Spanish.

Wikimedia related edit

  • Board election 2022 :
    • The members of the UG were invited to propose questions to be asked to the 12 candidates. A question from the group was submitted to the new Movement Strategy Forum, based on the open-source platform Discourse
    • The members of the UG were invited to cast private votes for the board candidates selection. Then the UG casted its vote to get candidates from 12 to 6
  • Wikimedia Strategy 2022 : we attended a few online sessions related to the Strategy.
  • Wikimania : several submissions to the program were made and were unfortunately rejected
  • Other surveys :
    • we participated in the affiliates’ perceptions and activities in higher education survey.
  • Wikimedia Summit : we were invited to participate to Summit 2022. User:Anthere will be the group representant. The UG was also offered two online spots to participate. Members were informed but no one volunteered.
  • We were invited to give our opinion on the selection of the candidates for the movement charter drafting committee (but apparently failed to do so)

Membership in 2021-2022 edit

Administrative edit

Affiliation edit

This group was formed at the WMCON in 2018, by implementers in different countries who found one another and realized that we were not coordinating efforts as well as we might -- and did not know the current status of many important offline projects, as these were not gathered in a single place. The UG was subsequently approved Wikimedians for Offline Wikis

Contacts edit

Group contacts as of mid 2022

See also edit