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From Strategic Planning

The product is the software architecture allowing for efficient and effective offline resources leveraging the wealth of rich content available on Wikimedia projects. The primary product(s) formally developed and distributed will be ones targeted toward the identified target market. Of course, grassroots and localized offline projects have been going on for years and most certainly should continue to progress and expand.[1]

Article collection

Many stages exist in the selecting of the best articles to use for the slice of the Wikipedia to distribute.

General process of creating an offline version for release. This section focuses on the chain leading up to the public release.

Which collection of articles

Depending on the ultimate product, this is to ensure the materials are the right size and relevance for the target recipients.

There are many factors to consider in the development of the most applicable and appropriate collection of articles:

  • Audience
    • General/adults - Wikipedia pared down to the most essential content'
      • Popularity of a given page
      • Number of times given page is linked to/referenced by other sites
      • General category of page (eliminated, for example, pop bands, actors, and sexual paraphernalia)
    • Student/children - Wikipedia pared down to most essential and child appropriate content
  • Article complexity
    • Alternate languages
    • Simplified English
  • Purpose
    • General - more or less any/all content from Wikipedia is acceptable
    • Niche - only desire a specific subset of articles
      • Specific subject matter for specific audience (e.g., "WikiJunior" - 'textbooks' for children)
      • Specific articles surrounding a topic (e.g., "Wikiosity" - selects relevant articles surrounding a specific topic)

What quality of articles

Which version of an article to download. Various projects are currently underway to help identify these, for example WikiTrust.

Export Wikipedia to file & store

Work here is currently being done by a group of volunteers in a project called openZIM, which is supported by the Wikimedia Foundation.

The Pediapress Collection extension now also exports ZIM files (in addition to PDF).


Jimmy Wales introduces Malayalam Wikipedia CD of 500 selected articles to WikiManinas during his key note address at Gdansk

Various formats could be used to host the ultimate offline viewing of the offline Wikipedia:

  • Download/CD/USB' - Kiwix (ZIM-compatible)
  • DVD - For example, Microsoft Research work[2]
  • Print - For example, PediaPress
  • Mobile Phone - For example, WikiPock. A more recent example includes WikiOnBoard (ZIM-compatible), which would allow the reading of Wikipedia on a mobile phone without requiring Internet connection.

A key question to consider when thinking about which form to distribute is how and when to package the various readers together in order to most effectively reach the intended audiences.

Update software and editing linkages


  1. Project learnings from different individuals and/or groups at the local level should be shared whenever possible! The distribution email list (offline-l) has been developed for this purpose and should be used freely and accordingly.
  2. Gaikwad, K., G. Paruthi, and W. Thies, Interactive DVDs as a Platform for Education, December 2010. [1]