Neville Hobson

Updating the Wikipedia experience

wikipedianew

A website I probably visit at least three or four times a day is Wikipedia.

To millions of people around the world, the free encyclopaedia that anyone can edit is a trusted source of easy-to-find information on almost anything, eminently sharable and citable.

The changes announced today include a range of new and improved features:

  • Look and feel: Weâ€ve introduced a new theme we call “Vector” which makes essential functions easier to find.
  • Navigation: Weâ€ve improved the navigation for reading and editing pages. Now, the tabs at the top of each page more clearly define whether youâ€re reading or editing a page. Thereâ€s also a collapsible navigation for the left sidebar that hides items that arenâ€t used often, but allows them to continue to be easily accessible.
  • Editing improvements: Weâ€ve reorganized the editing toolbar to make it easier to use. Now, formatting pages is simpler and more intuitive. And weâ€ve introduced a table wizard to make creating tables easier. Youâ€ll also discover a new find and replace feature to simplify page editing.
  • Link wizard: An easy-to-use tool allows you to add links to other pages on Wikipedia, or to pages on external sites.
  • Search improvements: Search suggestions are now improved to get you to the page you are looking for more quickly.
  • Pediapress book creator: Create a printed book by selecting Wikipedia articles and adding them to the Book Creator.  Your articles will be turned into a PDF (or OpenDocument) file so you can easily take Wikipedia wherever you go.
  • Updated Puzzle globe and wordmark: The well-known Wikipedia globe and wordmark have been enhanced and improved. Weâ€ve introduced Linux Libertine, an open source typeface to help support the creation of hundreds of localized Wikipedia wordmarks, and the internationally-recognized puzzle globe has been recreated in 3D and includes even more languages.

One new feature that looks especially interesting is the Pediapress book creator where you can assemble different Wikipedia articles and produce an ebook (check the screencast on how to do it). Looking forward to giving that a try.

Overall, I like the fresher look to the site’s appearance with better use of white space compared to the old look. Welcome changes.

An FAQ has more information about what’s new and Wikipedia’s ongoing plans.

The Wikipedia version I use is the English-language one which contains nearly 3.3 million articles. That’s the large tip of a large iceberg, one of 272 separate Wikipedias in many different languages.

An amazing resource, created by anyone and everyone.

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