Proposal talk:Wikipedia for MS-DOS

From Strategic Planning


Until 1997, I had a computer with nothing but MS-DOS and a proprietary shell program. There are still some people who cannot afford a new computer and rely on MS-DOS as a primary part of their computer needs. We need to start creating Wikipedia for them (in a large series of floppy disks) because Microsoft Internet Explorer will probably never make a version 8 (or beyond) just for MS-DOS. GVnayR 02:44, 22 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

At first i thought this was an in-fessible idea, but if you stick to only the important articles, strip out images, and really anything fancy (perhaps render infoboxes down to ascii-art style boxes, or something). 30 floppies = 1.44 mb *30 = 42 mb. If you gzip the text, you'll probably be able to fit about 90mb of text (I'm pulling these numbers out of nowhere. they're probably wrong). 90mb = 90 000 000 letters (we're assuming pure ascii text (dos would probably disagree with utf-8), no images, math formulas made into TeX, etc) I wonder how many articles rated top importance that would be. Bawolff 02:35, 23 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not only we would have to stick to the top importance articles for this "retro version" of Wikipedia, we would have to make sure that we only put in articles about common knowledge things (no Japanese video games, no information about NASCAR prior to 2004, and definitely no film articles except those made by American film companies). Getting the information into 30 floppy disks means plenty of sacrifices but it will be worth it to people who cannot afford a newer computer. GVnayR 03:28, 23 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No film articles except American Films? Sounds a very narrow and parochial type of encyclopaedia to me. If we were to do a text based subset I would suggest selecting by popularity of article in terms of how frequently its been accessed. A text based extract might have some utility - even as a cache on mobiles. But I'm not convinced we should be making great efforts to cater for an obsolete set of computers running a discontinued operating system. I can believe that many people were running MS-DOS in 1997, I'd be surprised if there were many running it in 2009, and doubt if many of those machines have long to run. Our Strategy should be about reaching out to large and growing audiences, not a small and declining one. WereSpielChequers 19:09, 22 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]