Wikipedia heads offline

WIKIPEDIA volunteers have begun working on an offline version of the online encyclopaedia that can be distributed on CD. A preliminary version of the CD was released earlier this month. The goal is to extend Wikipedia to those with limited or no internet access. Success with the CD could ultimately lead to Wikipedia in book or other forms. The move will what contradict what Wikipedia's advocates view as the online encyclopaedia's key strength: Volunteers can quickly respond to new developments and errors in the collaborative online encyclopaedia by adding or changing entries themselves.

"Plenty of people do not have internet access. They have a computer and no internet, or just a slow internet connection," Martin A. Walker, the Wikipedia volunteer who helped coordinate the project said. "There are many times when you may be offline anyway. You may be at a camp or something like that." The development comes as the Pew Internet and American Life Project reports that 36 per cent of US adult internet users have consulted Wikipedia - 8 per cent on any given day. The telephone-based study issued Tuesday also found Wikipedia usage higher among college graduates and younger internet users.

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News source: AustralianIT

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16 Comments

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I don't see why the need to update the Offline version is required, it's not like Encarta or anything ever had that problem. New versions will be released with more up to date information, but that's normal.

Either way I think it's an excellent idea although I wonder just how much information you can actually fit onto one CD.

I can see this idea working. Have some way for an installed version or something to update, and be burned to CD or put on a flash drive on request. Flash drive probably being the best.

Historical information cannot become outdated. It can change if new evidence is found but that's about it. I would advise against putting any current or future events in the CD as that would be completely useless.

Good idea. Probably it holds much more information than any other media type encyclopedia out there, like Encarta or whatever. The only concern is its reliability. You know, anyone can edit Wikipedia pages.

Don't mean to be rude, but this news is old. There's already the German wiki out already, I think.

Be good on DvD like M$ Encarta, with an update facility.

Look forward to that being for sale via retail outlets or their website.

leesmithg said,
Be good on DvD like M$ Encarta, with an update facility.

Look forward to that being for sale via retail outlets or their website.


M$? Whats that?