Sunday, June 17, 2007

OmegaWiki only a translation dictionary ?

There is some misinformation about OmegaWiki, it is said for instance that OmegaWiki is only a translation dictionary. There are also people who do not consider OmegaWiki as relevant because it is not a Wikimedia Foundation project.

It is for the people that have not looked at OmegaWiki for a long time or have not really looked well that we want to state the obvious; OmegaWiki is not only but also a translation dictionary. When you look at the number of expressions per language, you will find that we have almost 30.000 DefinedMeanings, the reason why we have 11.000 more English Expressions then what we have for any other language is because we have collections that are at still mostly English. Collections like the ISO-DIS-639-6 are relevant because of the information that is included in the data.

OmegaWiki is becoming relevant because our data is starting to be used outside our project as well. Positano News uses OmegaWiki data for "assisted reading", this helps people to understand terminology that is in an Italian news article. It does give you definitions and translations.

It may be that the current possibilities at OmegaWiki are not immediately obvious; there are many DefinedMeanings that do not have any annotation. An annotation can identify the part of speech for a word, it can provide you with a sample sentence or how to hyphenate a word. We want to include links to other websites; we want to link to Wikipedia articles in order to make it convenient to our users to find good encyclopaedic information.

OmegaWiki is not feature complete. We want to add many more features, but our first priority is to make sure that it works well and that the features that matter most are included. We need to improve on our performance and, we need to make sure that we provide a framework that facilitates collaboration with other organisations.

The Wikimedia Foundation is one organisation that we really want to collaborate with. On a personal level we have been involved and we want to extend this by collaborating on an organisational level as well. This often repeated intention may be one reason why certain people are so apprehensive about OmegaWiki; we wanted it to be a WMF project, it is not a WMF project but we still see room for doing good together.


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