Even though Srikanth had clearly explained most of the things, let me add
few things.

I am very much aware of Wikipedia CD/DVD project (and other offline
releases) across the world and about the different initiatives surrounding
it. In fact I was the project coordinator for the Malayalam wikipedia CD.
Malayalam wikipedians had done a thorough study about all the Wikipedia CD
releases and the Wikipedia for Schools project (and their release of special
edition of English wikipedia CD) before they started working on the
Wikipedia CD project.

Rest of the comments in your blog post are unwarranted for the topic of the
blog post (comments like IndiaTV channel story and all). It is really
difficult to understand things from Indian perspective.

My blog post clearly says:

   -  Indian language wikipedias also require wikipedia for schools or
   English wikipedia official CD release like efforts. But for that, much
   effort and cooperation with respective Indic language wikipedians are
   required. It is not as simple as taking the dump, convert it into ZIM, and
   create Wikipedia CD/DVD.
   - The content that we give to school children need to go through thorough
   review process.
   - Even the official general release of wikipedia CD/DVD, (that is, the
   CD/DVD that is not directed towards children) need to have some process. For
   the best example, look at the wikipedia CD effort by Martin walker and team
   for English wikipedia CD/DVD (I must say I am forced to write DVD along with
   CD everywhere [image: :)] )
   - The copyright of content and images are most important. We are very bad
   in respecting the copyrights.
   - The inclusion of explicit images and content in offline releases (let
   it be CD/DVD/Book/USB/Blue-ray disk, or any other offline material) will
   have serious after effects in India.

Since you can find it yourself, I am not providing you the links to some of
the explicit and copyrighted images (and content also) that contained in
Hindi/Marathi/Gujarati wikipedia CD/DVD that you already released.

Understanding the things from Indian context is a big thing. I think *Ashwin
Baindur* had tried to explain this through 2 emails.
http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediaindia-l/2011-February/001960.htmland
http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediaindia-l/2011-February/001964.htmlI
request all of you who are involved in offline efforts to take those
feedback very seriously.

Before I close this reply, let me tell one thing. Malayalam wikipedia CD was
NOT a Wikipedia CD released for school children. It was a general release.
We made all efforts to make it error free and free from copyright issues.
Still the CD release ran into controversies (for the inclusion/non-inclusion
of certain articles, images, and so on). So we do not want other Indian wiki
communities ran into similar issues especially because many of the so called
big languages in India (like Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, and all) doesn’t have
a big community to take up all these. See the statistics report to
understand the current state of different Indic language wikipedias.
http://shijualex.wordpress.com/2011/02/27/indian-language-wikipedias-2010-statistical-report/

Tamil community understood the importance of all these. That is why they
have adopted certain process to release Tamil wikipedia CD/DVD.


Shiju Alex




On Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 8:40 AM, CherianTinu Abraham
<tinucher...@gmail.com>wrote:

> Dear Nikhil (& et all),
>                         Request to NOT take it personally. Whatever you are
> doing is a great initiative and really appreciable. But these comments are
> not to undermine your efforts.
>                         Srikanth's reply should completely explain why
> Shiju was trying to make a point and IMHO, they are valid ones. These best
> practices are based on previous experiences and not any knee jerk comments (
> Sorry, No pun intended).
>                         Please note that even this is the practice for
> http://schools-wikipedia.org/ project for English wiki , supplied to
> schools of "more liberalized" countries.
>                         The question is neither about the format of this
> information provided nor about the number of articles. 500 ? 2500? 25000?
> Ship it on a CD, thumb drive, DVD or even Blueray discs or any other medium
> ..Any number of articles is accepted, provided we are able to provide them
> quality content. I can personally vouch that more than half the content on
> our Wikipedia is crap. Yes I mean it. And but the reason we are all here is
> to convert them this crap to more useful stuff.
>
> Regards
> Tinu Cherian
>
>
> On Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 7:18 AM, Srikanth Lakshmanan <srik....@gmail.com>wrote:
>
>>
>> On Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 00:50, Nikhil Sheth <nikhil...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> Hi All,
>>>
>>> I had a great time reading the blogpost. Very amusing. But had to clarify
>>> some things before we all pick up our pitch-forks and torches, so..
>>>
>>>
>>> http://nikhilsheth.blogspot.com/2011/03/clarification-about-wfsoe-and-english.html
>>
>>
>> I think you took it a bit personal. Shiju's blogpost IMHO is a good guide
>> especially for Indian languages CD creation project. Giving ZIM format dumps
>> has some adverse effects which was what Shiju tried to share as a best
>> practice. I think they are valid concerns. Let me explain.
>>
>> I think he clearly mentioned about the http://schools-wikipedia.org/ project
>> for English wiki and there is no problem in such approaches. I think the
>> blog post was mainly addressing the impact of giving whole dumps of Indian
>> language wikipedia's, all [except English(Yes, English is also an Indian
>> langugage)] of which are in their early stages.
>>
>> Sometime back i proposed a similar CD creation project on tamil wikipedia
>> and thought given that Santhosh's software is available, we could get a CD
>> in couple of month's time. My timeline was rightfully mocked at by the
>> community, with valid concerns on quality and we have just started
>> collecting articles, which will then be peer reviewed, copy edited etc
>> before we could use the software and create a CD. Along with Shiju's points,
>> I am sharing some important viewpoints(which i learnt from tamil community),
>> why i think the whole exercise of fact checking and releasing is very
>> important instead of just dumping them in the case of Indian language
>> wikipedia's.
>>
>> ** Who had checked the validity of the content provided in the CD? Once
>> the CD is created, the content is frozen for ever. We never know in what
>> ways the content in CD is going to get duplicated.
>>
>> >>This is very important. Imagine students using it to write answers for
>> exams using this and if there is a factual error and teacher fails to give
>> marks, the students will never ever turn back to Wikipedia again.We are
>> loosing young buds here. While you might say Wikipedia is not reliable for
>> information source, but you can use it, for a school kid, its always
>> binary.Indian language wikipedia's are bound to have more spelling
>> mistakes(since most of us use a non native keyboard / translation and we are
>> human), the error rate will be even higher. Its not just about schools,
>> anyone who is find such errors in a published form(CD is a published form
>> you cant change) will find it annoying and may arrive at a prejudice which
>> we wouldnt want.
>>
>> **How we are going to handle the copyright violation of text and images
>> included in the CD? Can we always point our fingers to WMF?
>>
>> >> This is very serious issue, its a different thing that we as
>> individuals might not respect copyright because of the climate in India, but
>> as a project Wikipedia holds copyright as one of the 5 pillars(Do I need to
>> tell this list about this, sorry *runs away* :D).
>>
>> **Who will answer the queries related to the  explicit images contained in
>> many articles. The inclusion of explicit images, controversial articles, and
>> factual errors in the CD supplied to the school children are not small
>> issues.
>>
>> >> Not many know, Shiju may be sharing this because malayalam community
>> actually burnt their fingers here. There was a (politically motivated?)
>>  article in leading malayalam daily/magazine criticizing the effort
>> regarding inclusion criteria / some factual erroneous information.This may
>> not have been shared widely to avoid multiplication of negative publicity.
>> While at personal level it hurts the people who worked hard for this after
>> spending weeks for the project, at project level it creates a negative
>> publicity / impact for language wikipedia which none of us would want.
>>
>> >> On the content side as well, Indian wikipedia's arent that
>> great(barring few). The Stub ratio may be high which will give a wrong
>> impression of language wikipedia's to people using the offline ZIM dumps
>> that language wikipedia's will only have templated content stubs. While its
>> good to have stubs online, since they help in improvement of articles, i
>> dont fancy stubs on an offline wikipedia.
>>
>> >> While giving ZIM format dumps might be useful for people without
>> connectivity, IMHO its definitely not suitable for mass consumption without
>> a bunch of disclaimers (which might not even be understood by well educated)
>>
>> >> While the intentions may be good, that shouldnt cause a negative impact
>> to the language wikipedia is the bottom line.I hope you understand.(This was
>> probably missing in Shiju's blog post which made you think it was a pointing
>> fingers, but I am sure Shiju's intention was to share his "bottom line")
>>
>> Regards
>> Srikanth.L
>> http://srik.me
>>
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>>
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