Why bother with an offline release at all? Wouldn't that be a backward step?
The goal of Wikipedia is to make knowledge freely available to the world. That knowledge is now mainly available to those with a broadband Internet connection. This project is helping it reach others:
- Many people in the world have easy access to a computer, but not to the Internet.
- Many who have Internet access use slow modem connections - on which Wikipedia is frustratingly slow.
- A DVD/USB stick version can be used when Internet access is difficult, for example when travelling. A paper version can also be useful to browse on a sofa, to have on a kid's bookshelf, or read on a bus or train.
Other benefits of offline releases include:
- Once we have established reliable RevisionID selection, free from obscenities and vandalism, we can produce static releases that are safer for schoolteachers and homeschoolers to use with younger children. Version 0.8 used an adaptation of WikiTrust that (we believe) should achieve this.
- The very exercise of organising Wikipedia articles has so far appeared to help the community, not hinder it. We believe it contributed to the culture change (around 2006) from "more, more articles!" to a focus on improving article quality.
What are the team’s first releases?
Version 0.7 was released at the beginning of 2010, and it contained around 31,000 articles. Both Kiwix and Okawix versions were made available in a variety of offline formats, and used for example in schools in South Africa.
Version 0.8 was released on March 3, 2011, and it contained around 47,000 articles. Both Kiwix and Okawix versions were made available in a variety of offline formats.
What about 1.0?
We successfully completed early tests such as Version 0.5/0.7/0.8, but lack of people with technical skills delayed us reaching V1.0. As of 2017, that appears to be changing, and we are beginning work on Version 0.9, which we hope will be the last "test" version before we work on Version 1.0. If Version 0.9 goes well, we will probably aim to release Version 1.0 in early 2019.[needs update]
What about other types of releases?
How do articles get picked for the releases?
Articles are selected based on their importance and quality, as described at Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Article selection. Then specific article versions (called "revisionIDs") are picked, then the WikiProjects are consulted before the collection is published. It is also possible for the group producing the collection to add extra weight (or reduce emphasis) on certain topics; for example, a release for Uruguay could include all Uruguay-related articles and give extra weight to all South America-related articles.
What’s going on with article assessments?
Participating WikiProjects rate articles, such as B Class, C Class and Start, using this assessment scheme, and receive a worklist, log and stats table for tracking their articles. This scheme is in use by most WikiProjects, with small variations in how it is applied. If you have technical problems relating to this (if the bot stumbles, etc), please leave feedback at Wikipedia talk:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Index. The quality assessments from all WikiProjects are used, along with importance, in compiling article selections.
How can I get my project set up to use the bot?
This project is so complicated, how can I find where things are?
A good starting point is here. We are working on a site map, please be patient! Till then, just ask on the talk page. If you want to help out, please sign up as a participant, then take a look at the To Do List from version 0.9, and the newest bot To Do List on the team's Talk page.