In the RCC session 'Printing books out of wikis', we discussed
software improvements that would improve the process of creating
textbooks from wiki pages.

One of the development projects which came out of this was improving
OpenDocument support in the mediawiki software.

In order to encourage the development of the desired software, this
proposal recommends that Wikimedia Australia provides bounties which
would be payable to the person who completes the development to the
WMAu committees satisfaction.

To read more about how bounties work, see

The committee has seen and commented on this proposal, but it is being
distributed here for more feedback.
I have suggested bounty amounts below each development task, however
it would be good to hear whether these are too high or too low, so we
can pick an appropriate amount.


The ability to share and collaborate on ODT files is critical for
printed books and pamphlets.  Two of the Wikimedia projects are
devoted to books (Wikibooks and Wikisource), and the Wikimedia
community is often creating printed matter for promoting and training
on all aspects of Wikimedia.

A lot of tools exist to transform a wiki page, or pages, into a PDF
automatically for distribution or printing.  The most advanced of
these is provided by PediaPress and deployed onto the Wikimedia
Foundation projects.

There are ongoing efforts to improve this automated approach, however
there will always be times when a book needs to be slightly modified
by a human prior to printing.

Two open formats suitable for this off-wiki editing phase are Latex
and OpenDocument (ODT).

The OpenDocument option was explored in more detail during RCC as
mediawiki already has an ODT export capability in the 'Collection'
extension which is installed on all WMF projects.

Example workflow
# Create a collection of wiki pages using the Collection tool
# Export the collection as an ODT
# Save the ODF to a wiki
# Use desktop tools to improve layout and add additional content or presentation
# Save the modifed ODT to wiki, possibly over the top of the original
ODT file if the original is unlikely to be used, except as a basis for
creating other improved documents.  The original will always remain
available in the file history.

== Existing software ==


== Current situation on Commons ==
At present ODT files can not be uploaded back into Commons due to the
fact that these files are ZIP files, and ZIP files may contain
undesirable and malicious contents.

When a wiki, such as Commons, must contend with uploads from the
general public, the software must detect and reject any undesirable
files which might be uploaded.  It is not appropriate to expect that
the community will check the uploads and delete problematic files;
community members do not want to be exposed to any problems they
contain.  There has been a lot of discussion about various options to
resolve this.

  (Bug 24230 - Implement JAR detection)
  ([Wikitech-l] Commons ZIP file upload for admins - Oct 26, 2010)
  ([foundation-l] PediaPress - Nov 11, 2010)

However many wikis do not have unrestricted uploading.  For example,
access to the Wikimedia Foundation wiki is only given out on request,
and only members may edit the Wikimedia Australia wiki.  As a result,
Wikimedia Australia can provide a file store for our members wanting
to upload documents which fit within our statement of purpose.  A
small configuration change is all that is needed.

== OpenDocument validation ==
Whether or not a solution is found to allow any ZIP file to be safely
uploaded to Commons (or other wikis), it would be useful to have
OpenDocument files validated, so that the user downloading the file
can be certain that any OpenDocument file in a wiki is a valid
OpenDocument file, and that it does not contain any additional

This validation capability is not critical for Wikimedia Australia, so
I suggest that a small bounty of $200 would be offered.

== OpenDocument renderer ==
It would also be useful for OpenDocument files to be supported in the
same way that PDF and DjVu files are supported.  This includes two
* allow users without PDF software to flip through the PDF pages on
Commons, with each page being displayed as a simple image.
* allows individual pages can be linked and viewed using the 'page=x' syntax.

An example of a file format handler is PdfHandler.

An extension that handles only OpenDocument files can provide similar
functionality.  The renderer needs to accept a large range of files
conforming to the OpenDocument standard, however it can gracefully
degrade the quality of the output as it is intended for 'screen'
rather than 'print'.

Again this is not critical, but it is a bit more involved, so I
suggest a bounty of $500 on this functionality.

== OpenDocument printing ==
While OpenDocument is supported by a wide array of software packages,
requiring users to obtain and install OpenDocument software is a
barrier.  To remove this barrier, the wiki should provide the user
with a PDF version of the document.  PDF readers are smaller, and more
ubiquitous, and the PDF file format is more readily accepted by

The PDF output must be print quality.

As this functionality is critical for ease of use and adoption, I
suggest a bounty of $1000.

John Vandenberg

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