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English Wikipedia Gets Two Millionth Article 125

Posted by kdawson
from the tracking-the-milestone dept.
reybrujo writes to inform us of a milestone for the English-language Wikipedia: the posting of its two millionth article. At the time of this posting there is uncertainty over which article achieved the milestone. "Initial reports stated that the two millionth article written was El Hormiguero, which covers a Spanish TV comedy show. Later review of this information found that this article was most likely not two million, and instead a revised list of articles created around two million has been generated, and is believed to be correct to within 3 articles. The Wikimedia foundation, which operates the site, is expected to make an announcement with a final decision, which may require review of the official servers' logs."
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English Wikipedia Gets Two Millionth Article

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  • by Refried Beans (70083) on Monday September 10, 2007 @09:09AM (#20537323) Homepage
    Two million does sound impressive. Congratulations, Wikipedia. But how does this compare to other encyclopedias? Does anyone have numbers for Britannica or World Book?
  • and then of course (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sdedeo (683762) on Monday September 10, 2007 @09:12AM (#20537349) Homepage Journal
    Nominated for deletion [wikipedia.org], amusingly enough.

    It was "speedy kept", but amusing that a stratified sample [wikipedia.org] shows not only that wikipedia is filling these days with trivia, but also bureaucracy.

    (Yes, I have a bee in my bonnet about wikipedia even though I love it -- see my sig.)

  • Re:Just one question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by h2g2bob (948006) on Monday September 10, 2007 @11:58AM (#20539915) Homepage
    Clicking the cite this page [wikipedia.org] link on any page will tell you:

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Most educators and professionals do not consider it appropriate to use tertiary sources such as encyclopedias as a sole source for any information -- citing an encyclopedia as an important reference in footnotes or bibliographies may result in censure or a failing grade. Wikipedia articles should be used for background information, as a reference for correct terminology and search terms, and as a starting point for further research.

    As with any community-built reference, there is a possibility for error in Wikipedia's content -- please check your facts against multiple sources and read our disclaimers for more information.
  • by fm6 (162816) on Monday September 10, 2007 @12:16PM (#20540187) Homepage Journal
    In computing, zero has always been been a valid index, and often makes more sense as the lower bound than 1. For example, if you have a multidimensional array stored contiguously, it's easier to calculate the memory location holding a given element if the array's lower bounds are 0.

    So "zeroth" is perfectly good word, and Asimov (who really didn't understand computers all that well) probably didn't coin it.

    I once had a CS professor who insisted that his students number the sections in their papers from 0 instead of 1!
  • Re:Just one question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Monday September 10, 2007 @12:20PM (#20540231) Homepage Journal
    Except for that Han Chauvinism and some parts of the Islamophobia article (which was a complete mess), all of the articles you quoted look like a pretty neutral starting point for someone trying to learn about them for the first time. They cited lots of sources that a reader can go to for additional research and for the most part kept a neutral point of view. I'd wager that you'd have a tough time finding a more balanced approach to some of these topics, Islamophobia and Afrocentrism especially, from any other source. The kind of people who coin terms like that are generally less interested in neutrality than Wikipedia is.
  • by fm6 (162816) on Monday September 10, 2007 @12:38PM (#20540529) Homepage Journal
    Your complaint about Wikipedia is a special case of my #1 complaint about Wikipedia. Which is that its content mostly lacks focus. I write technical documents for a living, and in my job it's important to structure content carefully and only put in the facts that your readers are likely to need. (The most difficult and most enjoyable aspect of my work.) Because nobody "owns" a given article, it's impossible to impose this kind of discipline on Wikipedia. To my mind, that's the biggest drawback to editing reference material on a Wiki, and a fatal flaw in the Wikipedia concept.

    Don't get me wrong. I like Wikis (I manage my department TWiki) and I like the idea of "open-source" documentation. But the two just don't go together. Open Source allows its developers a maximum of freedom, but every good OSS project has a code nazi who makes sure that only code that actually enhances the product get integrated. I'm reminded of that Heinlein character who said his household was a combination of fascism and anarchy, with no trace of democracy. Wikipedia has the anarchy part down. And, despite what Colbert says, it's not at all democratic. But a Wiki is incompatible with fascism.

    I often refer to Wikipedia (always with an eye to guessing what's serious content and what's some idiot's ramblings) but I never enjoy reading it. I'm enough of a dweeb to enjoy reading real encylopedia, which is what Wikipedia will never be.

How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else. -- R. Buckminster Fuller

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