We spent the week end of November, 22th in Germany, where took place an openZIM developer meeting.
The openZIM project aims to define a new standard for the archiving of Wikimedia content. Based on the ZIM standard, the openZIM format will be open source, so that the users will be given the possibility to browse ZIM files with a variety of ZIM able readers.
Okawix currently uses the Zeno format, which has been a precursor to the ZIM format. Our participation in this meeting aimed to decide if it could be of interest to us to integrate the ZIM format into Okawix, or even to switch from Zeno to ZIM in all of our Wikipedia-related applications.
Indeed, in addition to the development of Okawix, our company, Linterweb, also makes available for download archives of the various Wikipedia projects, in all languages. Presently, those archives are available uniquely as Zeno files, either directly through the Okawix user interface or as BitTorrent links. A switch to an exclusive use of the ZIM format would therefore mean much more to us than a mere integration into Okawix, it would mean deep, substantial changes to the architecture of our applications.
However, after careful consideration, we decided to take the plunge: not only are we going to integrate the ZIM format into Okawix, but we are also going to generate and make available ZIM files. Of course, good things take time, and such changes won’t happen overnight, but the integration into Okawix of the ZIM format should be complete by the end of the year, and ZIM archives of Wikipedia should be available for download by the end of the first trimester 2010.
The openZIM project is approved by the Wikimedia Foundation; it will thus be, after our collaboration with TranslateWiki, our second collaboration with a project supported by Wikimedia.
Yours sincerely, Guillaume, Linterweb developer.
Linterweb is a web company that, for now several years, has been developing various Wikipedia oriented programs, including:
- Wikiwix, a semantic web search engine that gives only results out of the databases of the Wikimedia Foundation’s projects; My Wikiwix, your own search engine for your own website; wikiwix.mobi, a mobile version of Wikiwix;
- Okawix, the offline Wikipedia browser free of copyrights and free of charge that allows you to read offline archives of the articles of the various Wikimedia Foundation projects, as well as archives of your own website; those archives are available for download on the website of Okawix;
- a DVD of around 2000 articles from the English speaking Wikipedia; a USB flash drive that contains the version 0.7 of the English speaking Wikipedia;
- a program that archives the external web pages of the Wikipedia articles (that is, the web pages outside Wikipedia but linked from a Wikipedia article), so that their content remains available and that those external links don’t get broken; this program is used automatically, in particular, for all external links of the French speaking Wikipedia.