Sunday, February 11, 2007

Why compete when you can collaborate ?

All words of all languages of the world.. that is what we eventually aim to include in OmegaWiki. This aim is of such a magnitude that you have to be certifiable to come up with such a project. The functional design for the project includes much more; everything including the kitchen sink..

When everything is to be included in one project, it is easy to suggest that people contribute to the project. When the project includes everything why have another?

In an Open Source / Open Content environment this is not necessarily how it works. Why should the others be seen as competitors? They do their own thing, sure. You may want to achieve the same thing, also true. It is however much possible to find the synergy between projects. This way you can build on each others accomplishments.

The Shtooka project is something I learned about the other day. The one thing it does really well is the way they make recording pronunciations easy. You can record a string of words and it will save them for you one at a time.

Wiktionarians saw this and they are working an upload facility so that it will also be saved automatically to Commons. I warned that the files should not only be saved as .ogg files. In order to make sure they are relevant for scientists there should also be a .wav file. The current thinking is that the flac file format will work as well and the benefit is that it provides a loss-less compression. To make sure that this is the case, the praat software, software that is also available under a GPL license, was analysed and it was considered that it is easy to incorporate this flac file format.

People from effectively five different communities are now working together. It will be even possible to include links to OmegaWiki in the Shtooka meta data. This will be possible even though both projects do their own thing. Both the data and the functionality can be shared.

I may be certifiable, but this kind of collaboration is awesome and, it is why there may be method to this madness.. :)


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