This page is a proposal for a new Wikimedia Foundation Sister Project.
Status Stale (could be re-opened)
Reason Inactive since 2017 except for addition of a category and some vandalism reversion. * Pppery * it has begun 13:55, 23 June 2019 (UTC)
What is the proposed name for the project? WikiCache - an archive project to capture, store and preserve external sources once referenced in a Wikipedia article.
Proposed project tagline Your consulted source will never be lost.
Project description
What is the project purpose? What will be its scope? How would it benefit to be part of Wikimedia?
The general purpose is to retrieve/mirror and preserve external sources once they are referenced in or from an article (and appear in the references or the appendix box), such that they are (always) kept and consultable even when they disappear, are deleted or change dramatically on the web later or in the future. This prevents references to external sources to break, become obsolete or irrelevant over time.
How many wikis?
Will there be many language versions or just on one multilingual wiki?
One wiki, servicing the various language-wikipedias (it will contain/preserve external sources in various languages)
How many languages?
Is the project going to be in one language or in many?
This project will contain (preserve/cache) sources/pages in many languages (as they are referenced from Wikipedia articles. (Articles in various languages may in turn refer to the same external source in a certain language.))

Technical requirements
If the project requires any new features that the MediaWiki software currently doesn't have, please describe in detail. Are additional MediaWiki extensions needed for the project?
I am afraid I cannot be certain about this - I believe the technology for this is existant (as it is similar to WikiCommons), but it may/will perhapsref require new or additional tags or directives in the <ref> and </ref> handlers to influence static/dynamic/refresh/cache circumvention behaviour for external references.
Development wiki
Interested participants

The purpose is to, once an external (web) source has been referenced in any Wikipedia article (in any language Wikipedia), and listed in the references or appendix box, it will (then and there) be fully retrieved and stored (mirrored) on that day at that time and preserved in a Wiki database. Optionally or ideally , the "consulted on" or "retrieved on" date/time stamp is automatically attached and/or tagged to or in between the <ref>-tags. When in the future, the referenced source disappears, is deleted or completely altered (such that it may even no longer be applicable to the Wikipedia article), the original source is still preserved (and ideally displayed "as was" - as opposed to "as is").

Technically, when external websources disappear completely, they may yield a "404 error", which are easily tracked down, so the reference can be removed from the article (but in doing so, losing a formerly valid source - although once detected, the reference could be changed to a cached copy if retrieveable from sites as the 'Wayback Machine' or 'Google Cache'). Nowadays, many servers catch "404 errors", attempting to present a "Pretty Page" (more user friendly), but again the original source/reference (content) is lost and these types are even harder to track down, and even more bothersome to replace by a 'Wayback Machine' or 'Google Cache' copy - if at all still findable by then.

Inherently, it would imply that once a referenced source has been retrieved/mirrored and preserved, consulting that source (clicking the link) will by default show the page as stored and preserved in the 'WikiCache' (rather than direct the browser to the original URL of the referenced source). Mechanisms or directives should of course ideally be implemented to force updates or refreshes, or circumvent cached sources and keep/force some references to external sources dynamic if so desired.

Proposed byEdit

Martix (Michel van der Laan) - User page on the Dutch martix

Alternative namesEdit

  • WikiPreserver
  • WikiArchive
  • WikiWebArchive
  • Source Saver
  • Ref-Retriever

Related projects/proposalsEdit

N/A to my knowledge at this time.

  • A very similar project is Wikisource, which has been largely unsuccessful. How would you overcome the issues of participation involved in that project, and also account for non-free pages? Ajraddatz (talk) 20:58, 18 May 2016 (UTC)

Domain namesEdit

N/A at this time. This may become one similar or equal to the name that is eventually selected from the list of proposed or alternative names, or it may be considered to fit and be folded into

Mailing list linksEdit

N/A at this time.

People interestedEdit

(Please add your name with ~~~~ (four tildes) at a bullet if you wish to add yourself as a supporter/interestee.)


Although I am technically savvy and an IT engineer by profession, I am not skilled, versed and knowledgable enough about the technical Wiki-internals. This project would rely and depend heavily on those that do possess these skills and knowledge.

Copyrights CaveatEdit

Possibly this initiative may pose a legal / copyright challenge regarding the content. Perhaps this is technically addressable by storing the date-, meta- and link-information et al only (tracking and linking this with (deep)links to content on the Wayback Machine or Google Cache), thus circumventing such legal issues or vulnerabilities. Again, at this point this is beyond my legal and technical knowledge and will probably need to be addressed by minds more clever than mine.

Hello, this project would be a fair use, third party repository. Wikimedia is about free licensed, community-developed projects. --NaBUru38 (talk) 13:04, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
Hi NaBUru38 - thank you for your comment. It is mainly because of my limited knowledge of applicable laws and legal issues that I probably do not fully understand what it precisely is that you are pointing out; can this proposal simply (legally?) not be fit into Wikimedia/Meta-wiki, and should as thus be dismissed/closed? Or, when tracking & storing (as I tried to explain) all applicable and needed meta-data for this (except the content of sources) be something that would therefor be outside of the scope of Wikimedia/Meta-wiki. As stated, applicable laws & regulations (for the US or Worldwide) are almost certainly well beyond the scope of my knowledge (which, for as far as I have any, is limited to the Dutch region and issues). Technically I am not knowledgeable enough about the (technical) internals and interaction of all the Wiki's. Note there is a currently small thread ongoing now as well on Wikimedia_Forum#New_project_proposal_.22WikiCache.22, where I announced my proposal. Basically I do not know if this proposal needs to/will be closed, discussed further or merged/folded into an existing similar project/proposal. And even then I m unsure how to do so. best regards, Martix (talk) 17:00, 17 May 2016 (UTC)


Beforehand, I apologize if a similar proposal has already been made or perhaps even rejected - I was/am unaware of any such projects. Martix (talk) 16:45, 14 May 2016 (UTC)