Simon Willison’s Weblog

Wikipedia enhancements

I don’t know when it happened, but Wikipedia has a stylish new design in mostly valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional (the front page validates, some of the inside pages do not) with a CSS layout to boot. They even have an option to turn off the single layout table used on their home page. The site seems much easier to navigate now and the organisation of the front page is a masterpiece of information architecture. When you’ve got over 250,000 articles just in the English version providing a useful home page is going to be a challenge, but Wikipedia pulls it off with aplomb.

Every time I visit Wikipedia I find something else to be impressed by. This time round it was the Community Portal, which provides resources for Wikipedia contributors including Things you can do, an Article of the week, a Tip of the day and a myriad of other links. This is seriously well-organised content. It’s interesting to see how they deal with the challenges of 250,000 items in a single namespace as well.

Their recent Webby award for best community was thoroughly deserved. And yes, they even encourage people to collaborate on writing their press releases.

This is Wikipedia enhancements by Simon Willison, posted on 31st May 2004.

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Previously hosted at http://simon.incutio.com/archive/2004/05/31/praise