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Weekly News Digest

December 17, 2007 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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Wikis Go Printable

The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (http://wikimediafoundation.org) announced a partnership that will make it possible to obtain high quality print and word processor copies of articles from Wikipedia and other wiki educational resources. The development of the underlying open source software is supported by the Open Society Institute (www.soros.org) and the Commonwealth of Learning (www.col.org). It is led by PediaPress.com, a start-up company based in Germany.

Deployment of the technology will happen in three stages. The first stage, currently underway, is a public beta test running on WikiEducator.org of functionality for remixing collections of wiki pages and downloading them in PDF. WikiEducator is a project hosted by the Commonwealth of Learning and uses the same wiki technology as Wikipedia.

The second stage, planned for early 2008, will be the deployment of the technology on the projects hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, including Wikipedia. At this point, users will also be given the option to order printed copies of wiki content directly from PediaPress.com.

The third stage, planned for mid-2008, will be the addition of the OpenDocument format for word processors to the list of export formats. This will make it easy for educators to customize and remix content before printing and distributing it from any desktop computer. This work is funded through a $40,000 grant by the Open Society Institute.

The technology developed through this cooperation will be available under an open source license, free for anyone to use for any purpose. It ties into the MediaWiki platform, the open source technology that runs Wikipedia. As a result, thousands of wiki platforms around the world will have the option of providing the same services to their users.

Source: The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.



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