From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.[1] This is the incredible potential of Wikipedia and Wikimedia's other projects in their many languages. The possibilities are endless, and I'm glad to take part.

Nice quotes:

  • "I love a library that never closes—one of my childhood dreams fulfilled" (Ralph from the USA, upon donation of $100 to the 2008 fundraiser). I feel exactly the same way!

Wikisource · ויקיטקסט[edit]

I am most active at Wikisource, in Hebrew (especially) and also occasionally in English. My talk page here at Wikipedia is the best place to contact me in English. Also see:

If you are unfamiliar with Wikisource and would like to learn more about it, there is no better introduction than Danny Wool's fine article about the project. Read it!

I helped push forward the process of setting up language subdomains for Wikisource, first in Hebrew (August, 2004) and then later in English (September, 2005) and other languages (2005-2006). Wikisource is now at the point where it stands on its own feet in so many languages that my help is no longer needed to help establish new ones, a fact which gives me great pleasure.

I think it is extraordinary that the Wikimedia Foundation provides a framework for people of all languages and cultures to make free-content versions of the classic texts in their language available to the world, as well as to build the framework for editing, organizing, and displaying these classic texts in their own language.

Current Activities at Hebrew Wikisource:

Past Contributions to Hebrew Wikisource:

Wikipedia · ויקיפדיה[edit]

Besides Wikisource, I have also been contributing to Wikipedia since May 2004. I have written or contributed to a number of articles in the past, especially in the field of Judaica (but also on some completely unrelated topics). I don't contribute massive amounts, nor am I even around most days, but I do hope I have been able to improve quality over the long term in quite a few articles.

I am very interested in getting the two projects, Wikipedia and Wikisource, to use each other actively as resources.

Current Wikipedia Activities:

  • Parashah – Slowly but surely, since April 2007 I have been working to expand this article into the most comprehensive and definitive source of information on the topic available anywhere. Though currently incomplete it already has lots of great information, and I was gratified to find and read the outstanding French translation of my work.
    • Yes, I see that I need to get back to this... Dovi (talk) 21:21, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

The Mediawiki Software · תוכנת מדיה-ויקי[edit]

Mediawiki Software is the best tool in the world for collecting and organizing human knowledge, in all of its forms and in every language.

Explanation: It is true that a single wiki cannot accommodate all forms of knowledge in a satisfactory way. That is why we have complementary projects on different wikis (e.g. Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikisource). Nor can a single wiki accommodate all languages satisfactorily. But a single wiki can fully accommodate a project in any language, and that is why each language project gets its own wiki. It is a family of complementary wikis (like the Wikimedia projects) that has unlimited potential for collecting and organizing human knowledge. Yes, literally unlimited, especially because the communities using the wikis also support the continued open development of the software. This is the basis of what makes the Wikimedia Foundation great, as well as the most multilingual project in the world.

Useful links: (watch) | MediaWiki roadmap | OmegaWiki (watch) | Betawiki | Wikitech-l mail archives | MediaWiki-l mail archives | Mediawiki languages

Software improvements: There are several major software changes that have been talked about for years. Serious coding work has been done on all of them by dedicated programmers, and all of them are planned for the future. But most important, they spotlight the central technical needs of Wikimedia projects that have not yet been provided for.

As the programmers continue to make progress, the one-by-one implementation of these features will vastly increase the usefulness of all the Wikimedia projects:

  • For coordination: Single log-in for all projects in all languages. Since completion, this feature has done more than anything to turn the many Wikimedia projects and languages into a single family. Now it far easier to participate on more than one wiki and it feels natural. Here is my own SUL.
  • For reliability: Stable versions of articles. In my opinion, this is not really an "extension" at all but an essential part of the functionality of any wiki. Therefore, it should be enabled on all wikis (for all namespaces) as the default view. I disagree with those who consider it relevant only to very large wikis. The extension has been completed, but is still not well-implemented at Wikimedia projects.
  • For versatility:
  • Other details:


One thing I feel strongly about as a Wikimedian is that Wikimedia must not bow to government censorship. Wikimedia is committed to making information freely available in a neutral way. To hamper Wikimedia projects because of concerns about government censorship is not neutral, but a way of taking sides.

Therefore, congratulations on the creation of Chinese Wikinews! The Wikimedia Foundation is already an outstanding organization, and this makes it even better yet.

My prediction: The Chinese government will eventually stop blocking Wikimedia websites. Initially, this will be because blocking an open website, built by contributors, whose only "crime" is a committment to neutrality - will prove too embarrassing to them to continue blocking it. In the longer term, it will be because Wikimedia is simply too powerful an organization. Yes, powerful. Powerful not because of its armies and police (zero), but because it provides tools and products that are so important and useful—eventually, indispensible—that China will simply not be able to afford to do without it.

Instead, the government may try to influence Chinese Wikipedia, Wikinews, etc. by pushing its own views within the product itself. That in itself, of course, will be a victory, when the government will be forced to defend its positions by force of argument rather than force of arms.

Musings on Wikipedia Languages[edit]

  • Under 100 articles = future potential (because at least the wiki has been set up), but nothing worthwhile right now.
  • Over 100 articles = Signs of life.
  • Over 1000 articles = The community is small but now truly alive; the encyclopedia still has little current value. (As of 17.06.06 this is 54 languages.)
  • Over 10,000 articles = Already a resource that has significant value; built and supported by a small but significant community. (As of 17.06.06 this is 34 languages.)
  • Over 100,000 articles = A resource of great value, built and supported by a strong community. (As of 17.06.06 this is 9 languages.)
  • Over 1,000,000 articles = A tremendous resource the likes of which the world has never before seen, built and supported by a truly vast community. (As of 17.06.06 this is just 1 language.)

My predictions for 2007: Actual results at the end of 2007 in italics.

  • By the end of the year there will be Wikipedias in up to 100 languages that have 10,000 or more articles (i.e. 100 different languages with significantly valuable content and communities).
    • Result: 75 languages now have over 10,000 articles. The 100th largest Wikipedia currently has 4,721 articles.
  • At least a dozen more languages will have 100,000 or more articles (i.e. resources of great value with very strong communities behind them). The 10,000 to 100,000 jump is far bigger than the smaller ones, especially for smaller languages that will not be able to maintain a high exponential rate of growth forever.
    • Result: "At least another dozen" would have meant 9+12=21 Wikipedias with over 100,000 articles. There are now actually 15 such Wikipedias, and several others are very close. The 21st largest Wikipedia now has 84,467 articles.

Conclusion: I was too optimistic. The trend is true, but not quite as fast as I had thought. It may take up to another year for a full 100 languages to reach 10,000, and for the first two dozen of them to have over 100,000. But it will happen in the not-too-distant future, and that will be a happy milestone for Wikipedia. Be the numbers as they may, Wikipedia is the most multilingual project in the world, and the most successful multilingual project in the world. The current numbers are also an extraordinary achievement.


The following was my first "hello" to Wikipedia:

For the time being I plan to contribute to articles on Judaism, but avoiding the ones that spark polemics. (That unfortunately is one of the disadvantages of Wikipedia.)

Would love to be in contact with others working on the same topics.Dovi 08:58, 18 May 2004 (UTC)

Useful code[edit]

<span id="{{{1}}}" />



  1. ^ Vision; also see Mission.