Sunday, May 17, 2015

#Bangladesh - Ananta Bijoy Das

When people are lynched because they express their point of view, it is murder pure and simple. It is the denial of basic human rights. When multiple people die for the same reason, people who are all connected to the same blog, it is obvious that some organisation, some planning is behind it.

When no action is taken, it is an afront to the rule of law. It is an indication that law enforcement is not functional. The law should be applied equally and there is no opinion that has the power to lift itself above the law. In the final analysis, even the law should support what a country has acknowledged to be universal and consequently law enforcement should apply itself.

Mr Ananta Bijoy Das is only one of several bloggers lynched by a small group of people in Bangladesh. There is a Wikidata item for him. There is no Wikipedia article yet. He is as relevant as so many other people that get killed for the wrong reasons, by people with wrong attitudes.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

#Wikipedia - #Farkhunda III

Farkhunda Zahra Naderi received the N-Peace award. This award celebrates important women in Asia and the award recognises leadership for conflict prevention, resolution and peace building, and promotes the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, and related resolutions, at regional, national and community levels.

Farkhunda is one, Bimala Kadayat is another. Of the eight women who are now known and recognised as N-Peace award winners, only Farkunda has an article in any Wikipedia. It is easy to add more women and add the dates when they were celebrated for their work.

The latest list functionality by Magnus could work on any Wikipedia and important subjects that are subject to change can easily be maintained in this way.

To make it even nicer, I would always link to Reasonator pages for the people mentioned on a list like this. Wikidata is where the data is but it is not informative. I would also like to sort on the date when an award was presented. Finally, these women do not have a description in any language. It demonstrates clearly why automated descriptions are preferable; they may exist in any language and they get updated whenever more details become available.

Monday, May 11, 2015

#Wikidata - #Farkhunda II

There are only three people called Farkhunda. I noticed when I checked to make sure that the lady who was lynched did not have an article yet. One of them Farkhunda Zahra Naderi, is an Afghan member of parliament and, winner of the N Peace award.

Adding more Afghan members of parliament was relatively easy. Many of them were categorized as such. The N Peace award is different. Its website is interesting because it makes the claim why the people who have been recognised by the N Peace award are so relevant.

Magnus has a new functionality in lists for Wikipedia. He blogged about this and the N Peace award is what I hope to use his new functionality for.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

#Reasonator on #mobile

Reasonator has been for a long time the only way to get information out of Wikidata. Magnus decided to improve on it even more and for good reason; traffic from mobile phones is more and more relevant. The latest update makes Reasonator usable on a mobile.

What I like is that you can collapse sections of information so you can see only that part of the information that you care for. In the example I used the International Prize for Arabic Fiction and, I show the timeline prominently.. For the people who care about such thing, there is a winner for 2015.

Monday, May 04, 2015

#Wikidata - #Farkhunda

Farkhunda is a woman who died in Afghanistan because someone said "she has burned the Koran". Some believed it and, now she is dead. The police stood by and did nothing.

In Afghanistan, the police cannot stand idly by while someone is lynched. In this line up of all the people accused of complicity you do not notice them. They wear the same clothes and they get the same respect.

They did not "serve and protect" and it is made plain to all the Afghani police officers what is expected of them.

When you search Wikidata for Farkhunda, there are now only three hits. One of them is for an Afghani politician who won a really prestigious award Wikidata does not know about yet.. There is always more to do..

Monday, April 27, 2015

#Google - thank you for pushing #mobile #phone support

Putting your money where your mouth is is a wonderful thing. Google just did that again. Not by serving notice that support for mobile phones is important but by giving it teeth.

Recently it did it with Fi. A new product that will shake up an industry.

From now those websites that are not providing proper support for mobile phones are out of luck. Google does it where it hurts them most; it is in their ranking.

When you "google" (the verb), you will see those web sites first that are ranked the highest. Websites that do not function properly on mobile phones will go the way of the dodo as their ranking will plummet; they will not get the same results and providing quality support for mobile phones is how damage may be repaired.

Wikipedia is said to have a problem here. It is not exactly a mobile friendly website. For that it has a special subdomain and, that does not count. So all the things we know that make life better for the one area where we are growing.

It is no longer a zero sum game. We will be hurt in our prime objective when we do not ensure that Wikipedia and all the sister projects. We rely heavily on the Google ranking. It is no longer a matter of personal preference and making noises to stop progress in its track. It is about the very essence of what we do: sharing in the sum of all knowledge.

It is great to know that our software is at a stage where it is quite good at supporting mobile phones. I am grateful for the forward thinking of the WMF to get us here. The next step is to bring it to all our projects and pages.

For old fogeys like me, we could have so that we can live in our past.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

#Wikidata -#UN Prize in the Field of Human Rights II

Mr Baba Amte received the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights in 1988. He must have done something good because he was awarded many more prizes. It is easy enough to add more awards to Wikidata and link them to Mr Amte and it does show his relevance.

When a red link is made into a Wikidata item like this, it is in fact an invitation to others to research those awards and add more people to them. Many of them are awards from India and it this way, people from India are celebrated. I do not think it is controversial to say that they are notable for the purpose of Wikidata.