User:Brion VIBBER/Scale 4x roundup
- Event: http://www.socallinuxexpo.org/
- Location: Los Angeles, California
- Date: February 11-12, 2006
A few quick notes...
.orgs and .comsEdit
The Open Document Fellowship booth was next to ours, so I got some proselytizing. :)
When we start formalizing our markup, it might be worth taking a peek at OpenDocument; a subset of an existing format/vocabulary might be useful when looking at a document model/tree/XML output format. (And could be convenient for export to document-style formats; lots of wikis target documentation or other such reference-y material, and want to be able to export to book-like form.)
Talked briefly with Andi Gutmans of Zend about helping test the Unicode support in upcoming PHP 6 and making sure it does the kind of stuff we require.
Zend think we're pretty neat, and they use some MediaWikis internally. Discussed possibility of donating some copies of the Zend Studio IDE for a few of our developers; the debugger is handy in it.
Met a KDE guy whose name unfortunately I didn't catch. Trying to get momentum going again on the proposed web service (see KDE and Wikipedia).
Hit a MySQL talk, noticed a couple tidbits:
- Wondering offhand if the 'federated' table stuff could be of any use for us (passing through to central server), maybe not
- 'Black hole' backend for limited replication intermediary without having to store an extra copy of the data. Are we already doing this, or would we want to, for certain applications?
- Still no full Unicode support. There's no commitment to having this in a specific version yet, but at least they acknowledge that it could be useful when I ask about it this year. :)
As typical of these events, a lot of the visitors can be grouped roughly into these groups:
- "Now I've heard of Wikipedia before, but what's Wikimedia?"
- "I love Wikipedia, I use it / my kid uses it all the time! Keep up the good work!"
- "Yeah, it's pretty cool. I heard though there was this guy that somebody wrote he killed Kennedy..."
Everybody who stopped by to talk had at least heard of Wikipedia. Many were unfamiliar with Wikimedia, the existence of the nonprofit and the other projects; I tried to talk up Commons and WikiNews a bit. I had some of the German-language WikiPress publications out (DVD-ROM and a couple books) to show off the reuse potential; several people expressed interest in the idea of English-language versions. (Alas none of them were publishing houses. ;)
A couple people were familiar with the Nature article and similar comparisons on quality. More were aware of press storms such as the Seigenthaler incident and the latest thing with Congress, but generally considered them cases of "all press is good press".
One guy grilled me the ability of something like WikiNews to be accountable and clear about the biases of its authors, etc, but I think he came away with a reasonably positive impression. Another guy claimed smugly that Wikipedia is in fact under the control of the Republican party, thanks to massive sockpuppet campaigns by unnamed minor local party officials.
MediaWiki corporate usersEdit
Talked to a couple people using or wanting to use MediaWiki in corporate intranets wanting multiple access levels.
It completely mystifies me why people want this in MediaWiki instead of just using software that actually does what they want, but from talking to a couple of them it seems to be mostly that they tried TWiki and hate it. ;)
One guy who came by the booth gave me $20 on the spot to donate to the foundation; his son's way into Wikipedia, and I think he's very excited to see the kid doing something productive and educational on the computer.
Had one person ask me if Wikimedia has a summer internship program; I told her not at this time but who knows...