I attended Wikipedia Meetup Bangalore 23 today. It was for the first time I ever attended such a meet up.It is held every 2nd Sunday of the month. No excuse for not attending it as it is very near my house (it could interrupt the Sunday afternoon nap though!)
Danese Cooper, Chief Technical Officer, Wikimedia Foundation, Alolita Sharma, Engineering Programs Manager, Wikimedia Foundation attended the meeting. I decided to attend this meet when I saw the email from Tinu Cherian, a very active member from Bangalore.
The meet was held at TERI auditorium, a very cozy and nice place to hold such events. There was good attendance from various professional fields – wildlife photographers, journalists, techies, students from Rajasthan (who were in Bangalore to attend FOSS.in) and many who were interested in Indic versions of Wikipedia (this was a surprise & heartening for me). Some points from the meet,
- There was a quick trivia – which character was dropped from the new Wikipedia logo? Ans: Klingon.
- Wikipedia has 250 language versions
- Their main data center is in Tampa (Florida), about to start another one in Virginia.
- Most surfers from India would be hitting their caching servers in Amsterdam.
- Primary data will always reside in the US as Wikipedia appreciates the freedom of speech provided by US govt.
- Just 4.5 resources maintain 450 Wiki servers (kudos folks)
- In 2011 some development work may happen from India (this shouldn’t be seen as outsourcing, but serious development work)
- Wiki has met many important government departments in Delhi for promoting the Indic versions of Wiki. Govt not willing to opensource the fonts that are developed by CDAC.
- Wiki wants to promote Indic versions on mobile in a big way.
- Keen to work with Indian mobile handset makers to have the offline version of Wikipedia shipped with handsets.
- English has about 3.5 million articles. Indic is far lesser, it can catch up provided people start contributing content.
- Indic editors can set up their own rules for content contribution and it need not be as tight as they have for English.
- Russia has been doing exceptionally well in adding Russian content.
- When it comes to achieving perfection, nobody is able to beat the Germans. They pay a lot of attention to quality. We Indians too should.
Danese asked the entire crowd on what issues we wanted to hear from her. I wanted to know more their caching, load balancing and CDN architecture. Got to know a little about it from the expert. Thanks!