In this week's "Technology report", we look at how the growth of Wikidata can benefit Wikipedia. Gerard Meijssen is a highly active contributor and frequent blogger about Wikidata. We asked him to share his thoughts on how the new project benefits Wikipedia:
As you are reading the Signpost, you are probably a Wikipedia editor and thus probably subscribe to the idea that information should be shared widely. The good news is that Wikidata is great for this type of sharing. Information is being added to Wikidata from multiple sources, including other Wikipedias—and yes, that does include information that is not currently available on the English Wikipedia. When an infobox gets information from Wikidata, it can be updated with enhanced information about the subject from a variety of sources. Different types of information can be added, such as geographic data or information about people's alma mater or date of birth. What happens when information is updated from Wikidata? Yes, your watchlist will be triggered; and yes, the change will appear in recent changes.
Articles in many Wikipedias now consist of templates populated with data served from Wikidata. In a way, such articles are the ultimate stubs; as more information becomes available in Wikidata, that information automatically becomes a part of each of these articles. The information served to these stub articles is often a stub in itself. I found, for example, that the Wikidata item for Dan Quayle does not indicate that he was ever Vice President of the United States. This is probably true for almost all Vice Presidents of the United States, but it only takes a few edits to add this information and it instantly becomes available to all projects that make use of Wikidata.
The VisualEditor talk from Wikimania
VisualEditor at Wikimania 2013: A recording of the VisualEditor talk from Wikimania has been released. It's well worth watching.
Classifying everything: How do you classify all the information in the world? A new blog post by Gerard Meijssen details the current concept for classification in Wikidata as the project switches from one classification type, GND— a system developed for libraries that categorizes items as persons, places, events, organizations, works, or terms—to a semantic-web-based classification scheme.
"Getting Started" extension being tested: The "Getting Started" extension is entering into its final round of testing. The extension gives new users a brief overview of Wikipedia and encourages them to try some simple tasks.
Flow development continues: Revision control, moderation, and display code have been added to the Flow prototype atop the basic framework, and the Flow team is getting ready for its first big development sprint.