Any interest in LibriVox's representation on wikipedia?

Comments about LibriVox? Suggestions to improve things? News?
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TimoleonWash
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Post by TimoleonWash » February 9th, 2015, 1:13 am

:idea: Hi All,

Our goal is to make available free audio files and I reckon we would like as many folks to listen to them as possible. Towards that goal I have been thinking about wikipedia as a conduit for our recordings to be heard.

LibriVox is already represented on wikipedia in a piecemeal fashion. While there can be no doubt that our base of listeners would increase if we had a more systematic representation there, the question becomes what, if anything, should be done toward that end?

In the best of all possible worlds, every LibriVox recording would have a link on the corresponding wikipedia page.

Is there any interest at LibriVox in such a project?

I would like to be involved in something like this if our processes could be modified to automate this, as much as possible, but that would require trivial though time consuming programming changes.

Would such as the above be possible, and should we do it? :hmm:
If you create and your creation is destroyed, create anyway. (paraphrasing Mother Teresa) . . Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

annise
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Post by annise » February 9th, 2015, 1:29 am

I think having the links is a great idea.
However I'm not sure Wikipedia would accept an automated addition - we have had problems before with the links being removed by people there who did not think we should be see the sticky viewtopic.php?f=22&t=1736


Anne
Our objective is to make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet. - Hugh McGuire.

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Post by kayray » February 9th, 2015, 9:14 am

Back in the old days, adding a link to the wikipedia page for a book was part of the cataloging process. And then wikipedia got mad at us for promoting ourselves. Go figure.
Kara
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--------
"Mary wished to say something very sensible into her Zoom H2 Handy Recorder, but knew not how." -- Jane Austen (& Kara)

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Post by Cori » February 9th, 2015, 11:58 am

I think the important things are to a) use the special LibriVox markup to make the links (which tells other editors that this is 'semi-official' rather than some bozo adding a random quality link ... and b) to link to the *book* page and never the author page. Plus, c) some luck. :roll:

Since I'd guess that many of our books don't actually have a wikipedia page, I think automating anything is highly unlikely. Adding links is fine, but again, it's best if it's done manually by a range of people, rather than a tiny few editing many pages (which tends to set off the flags for spam / self-promotion.)
There's honestly no such thing as a stupid question -- but I'm afraid I can't rule out giving a stupid answer : : To Posterity and Beyond!

TimoleonWash
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Post by TimoleonWash » February 9th, 2015, 12:24 pm

I am gladdened by your responses, thanks.

I would like to volunteer to try and see how the wikipedia community feels now that so many years have passed since some of those old problems.

And since adding a wikipedia link was part of the cataloging process in the past, does this mean it is possible that our computer programs can be modified to help with this task?
If you create and your creation is destroyed, create anyway. (paraphrasing Mother Teresa) . . Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

annise
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Post by annise » February 9th, 2015, 12:27 pm

No - we catalogued by hand in those days. It was more "a nice thing to do" even then than an essential part of the process

Anne
Our objective is to make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet. - Hugh McGuire.

TimoleonWash
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Post by TimoleonWash » February 9th, 2015, 12:33 pm

annise wrote:No - we catalogued by hand in those days. It was more "a nice thing to do" even then than an essential part of the process

Anne
Does this mean that there is no possibility of modifying our programs? And if so, may I ask why?
If you create and your creation is destroyed, create anyway. (paraphrasing Mother Teresa) . . Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

Cori
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Post by Cori » February 9th, 2015, 12:46 pm

How would you automate around Wikipedia pages having different URL formats, different page sections ... or simply not existing at all? Not to mention books in languages other than English, which ought to go into that language's Wikipedia if at all possible?


In practice, suggestions for changes to the software are noted for consideration when we have funding available. However, our highest priority is keeping things running as smoothly as they do now (which in itself is not free.) I wouldn't see this as a high priority, not least because there's the risk that by automating it, we'd again fall foul of Wikipedia policy. We don't have the money to do things which are risk-free, let alone exploratory coding.
There's honestly no such thing as a stupid question -- but I'm afraid I can't rule out giving a stupid answer : : To Posterity and Beyond!

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Post by TimoleonWash » February 9th, 2015, 9:22 pm

Cori wrote:How would you automate around Wikipedia pages having different URL formats, different page sections ... or simply not existing at all? Not to mention books in languages other than English, which ought to go into that language's Wikipedia if at all possible?

In practice, suggestions for changes to the software are noted for consideration when we have funding available. However, our highest priority is keeping things running as smoothly as they do now (which in itself is not free.) I wouldn't see this as a high priority, not least because there's the risk that by automating it, we'd again fall foul of Wikipedia policy. We don't have the money to do things which are risk-free, let alone exploratory coding.
Yes, it would be great if we could "automagically" update wikipedia and maybe someday we could. What I have in mind is much less ambitions and would only require minor changes to our programs.

This is what I have in mind:

We modify our data structures to include two flags on every completed project. The first flag would indicate whether the link(s) in wikipedia had been completed, a Yes/No wikipedia updated flag. The second flag would indicate if there was a wikipedia page or not.

Once our data contained this info, it would be a small matter to provide access to this info in some way so that whoever wanted to contribute to our wikipedia effort could check and see if the link already existed, and if not, either link to the existing wikipedia page, or, create the page to link to. This second flag would exist as date stamp indicating that on such-and-such a date there was no wikipedia page.

With this information easily available, potential project helpers could quickly discover where there time could be used effectively.

Without such a flag there would be no way to keep track of what was linked on wikipedia and what wasn't, and without such a process in place I think it would be difficult to encourage any LibriVox folks to contribute.

Regarding the programming cost, I can't estimate too closely because I know nothing about the architecture of our system, nor how easy the code is to maintain. Assuming an industry standard regarding these two items, I would estimate it would take less than a week, that is 40 hours, to make the needed modifications.

If we do a cost/benefit analysis, I wonder where it would come out. Our purpose here, I think, is to get people to actually listen to our recordings, rather than just creating them and putting them on the web.

With this in mind I can think of no single thing we could do toward LibriVox's goal that would help us the more than putting us on wikipedia.

And regarding possible issues with wikipedia, we do need to research this. I suspect there will be much less resistance to our desires than there was so long ago.
If you create and your creation is destroyed, create anyway. (paraphrasing Mother Teresa) . . Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

Availle
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Post by Availle » February 9th, 2015, 10:46 pm

I like the idea with the flag, but

- where do you show it? In our database would mean that only admins could see it or people who know how to access the API (if we make this flag accessible through it). This would dramatically limit the amount of people who can help. On the catalog page itself? I would think that this is rather irrelevant information for the casual downloader of our files, so...?

- how do you update it? As Cori said, there are too many variables to make such an update automatic, so it would have to be manually done. As we cannot allow random people write access our database, that would mean some admin would have to do it.

- also, remember that anyone can edit wikipedia. Even if we're adding links to pages now, that doesn't mean that in 6 months they are not removed by somebody who finds them irrelevant. And that would require periodic rechecking everything we have in the database already...

- we currently have no money to hire a programmer to review the things that need improvement or even fixing. So, while we can all speculate about the perfect Librivox, it's not happening any time soon, I'm afraid. (And yes, it annoys me too, in case you thought I was just being snarky).


Besides, if we can believe this page on archive (who hosts all our recordings),

https://archive.org/details/librivoxaudio/v2#about
(Not sure if the link works - click on the "about" tab and then scroll down a bit, the number is on the right)

then our not even 8500 books got downloaded (they call it "views") more than 350 million times over the past 9 years. Seems we're not doing this solely for our own enjoyment. :wink:


Anyway, I like the wikipedia idea and I have added my own links here and there, but I cannot see at all how this can be done efficiently without adding another layer to the admin tasks.
Cheers,
Ava.

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ekzemplaro
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Post by ekzemplaro » February 10th, 2015, 4:32 am

Hello Timoleon san,
TimoleonWash wrote:We modify our data structures to include two flags on every completed project. The first flag would indicate whether the link(s) in wikipedia had been completed, a Yes/No wikipedia updated flag. The second flag would indicate if there was a wikipedia page or not.
I have a catalog. http://ekzemplaro.org/librivox/catalog/
I can add these 2 flags to this catalog, or create another catalog with these 2 flags.
This is not automated. But I think you can easily monitor the current status.

As this catalog is independent from LibriVox, the change doesn't affect LibriVox.

Cheers,
Masa

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Post by ekzemplaro » February 11th, 2015, 4:05 am

Hello,

I added a column wiki to my catalog. http://ekzemplaro.org/librivox/catalog/

As of now I'm thinking to show the status using the following rule.
-1 ---> Not checked yet.
0 ---> Checked. No link to Wikipedia
1 --> Checked. Exists link to Wikipedia.
2 --> Checked. Exists link to Wikipedia plus exists link from Wikipedia.

As of now the satsus of all projects are -1.

I welcome your suggestion.

Cheers,
Masa

TimoleonWash
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Post by TimoleonWash » February 12th, 2015, 9:14 pm

ekzemplaro wrote:Hello,

I added a column wiki to my catalog. http://ekzemplaro.org/librivox/catalog/

As of now I'm thinking to show the status using the following rule.
-1 ---> Not checked yet.
0 ---> Checked. No link to Wikipedia
1 --> Checked. Exists link to Wikipedia.
2 --> Checked. Exists link to Wikipedia plus exists link from Wikipedia.

As of now the satsus of all projects are -1.

I welcome your suggestion.

Cheers,
Masa
Wow, what a load of great info in your catalog. Is the catalog an "official" part of LibriVox? Does it get updated as a normal part of the project process, in other word, it is guaranteed to be updated if the project has been published on the LibriVox site? How does this table get updated?
If you create and your creation is destroyed, create anyway. (paraphrasing Mother Teresa) . . Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

TimoleonWash
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Post by TimoleonWash » February 12th, 2015, 9:17 pm

Availle wrote:I like the idea with the flag, but

- where do you show it? In our database would mean that only admins could see it or people who know how to access the API (if we make this flag accessible through it). This would dramatically limit the amount of people who can help. On the catalog page itself? I would think that this is rather irrelevant information for the casual downloader of our files, so...?

- how do you update it? As Cori said, there are too many variables to make such an update automatic, so it would have to be manually done. As we cannot allow random people write access our database, that would mean some admin would have to do it.

- also, remember that anyone can edit wikipedia. Even if we're adding links to pages now, that doesn't mean that in 6 months they are not removed by somebody who finds them irrelevant. And that would require periodic rechecking everything we have in the database already...

- we currently have no money to hire a programmer to review the things that need improvement or even fixing. So, while we can all speculate about the perfect Librivox, it's not happening any time soon, I'm afraid. (And yes, it annoys me too, in case you thought I was just being snarky).


Besides, if we can believe this page on archive (who hosts all our recordings),

https://archive.org/details/librivoxaudio/v2#about
(Not sure if the link works - click on the "about" tab and then scroll down a bit, the number is on the right)

then our not even 8500 books got downloaded (they call it "views") more than 350 million times over the past 9 years. Seems we're not doing this solely for our own enjoyment. :wink:


Anyway, I like the wikipedia idea and I have added my own links here and there, but I cannot see at all how this can be done efficiently without adding another layer to the admin tasks.
These are all good questions and would need to be addressed if we move forward on this. Thanks for bringing them up.

p.s. Do we know what programming tools were used to create the LibriVox systems? What languages, etc? What would happen if we could get free programming?
If you create and your creation is destroyed, create anyway. (paraphrasing Mother Teresa) . . Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

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Post by knotyouraveragejo » February 12th, 2015, 10:43 pm

It's not as simple as free programming. We currently don't have a development area set up where we could test any changes we might like to make. Once that happens we have a list of bugs to fix and features to add that directly affect the LV systems waiting in the wings. Don't take this the wrong way, but I'm afraid adding programming to facilitate posting links to Wikpedia would be very far down that list.

There is only one official LibriVox catalog. There are many sites that provide access to LibriVox files. The catalog that ekzemplaro has set up is probably one of the more extensive, but far from the only one out there.
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