Ok so you're not convinced that an offline version is a bad idea. Here's how
it should be done (in my not-so-humble opinion)

Basically, it should work like the online Wikipedia as much as possible

That means you view it in your browser using the same URLs.

I imagine this can be done with [[Gears (software)]] (previously known as
Google Gears), which adds a bunch of offline functionality to web browsers
for web sites that wish to utilise it.

Users could view pages online, and have them cached so they work "offline".
(this might work with browsers already with normal caching). The hard part
would be to allow offline editing, and then syncing when you get online
again (with the appropriate prompts and diffs if the target article has
since changed). But I imagine this would be possible using Gears.

Additional functionality could include: downloading all articles from a
plain text list of article names (which could be, for example, drawn from a
school curriculum), and storing these in the offlline cache, allowing
updating from the net when there is access. Specific reversions should be
selectable as well. Individual teachers may draw up lists, or use lists
developed by groups or organisations (who might make the list of articles on
a Wiki).

Allowing the offline cache to be copied would mean anyone can easily make a
"DVD" version of Wikipedia, without creating something entirely separate
from WIkipedia, and therefore not creating something which is instantly out
of date, incomplete, and uneditable.

I have not (intentially) mentioned any form of whitelisting nor blacklisting
(censorship) nor Wikipedia 1.0, nor Australian content, as those things are
separate issues, which have little to do with offline browsing and editing
of Wikipedia.

If there are keen developers and/or resources to get it done, I think
creating an offline Gears-based Wikipedia would be preferable to a plain
HTML based one, or one requiring the setup of a fork using Mediawiki
software.

However, for Australia, I think we should be pushing for better, cheaper
internet access to schools and homes rather than working around the problem.

Peter Halasz
User:Pengo
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