Ash_Crow is an active editor on Wikidata since December 2012 and Harmonia Amanda since March 2013. Both are administrators on Wikidata and the French Wikipedia, and members of a growing group of Wikidata editors meeting on a regular basis at the Local Cléry in Paris.
Another year and Wikidata is turning three! For those here since the beginning, we have come a long way and even these last months were filled with novelties. It's our pleasure to give this year our personal "state of the project", like Micru did last year and Sven Manguard did for the first birthday.
What has changed
So many things! The past year introduced quantities, ranks, statement ordering and monolingual text. We temporarily lost statement ordering but we gained many useful features, like featured portal badge, automatic deletion of links to a project page when the page is deleted there, the Flow extension, arbitrary access, label fallback in other languages, and so much more. All of these changes made the interface pretty much easier to use.
One of the big changes was the introduction of a much awaited datatype, number with units! This one proved to be a challenge for the development team as the choice of the best data model was a complicated one, but it fills one big gap on the data we can actually store on Wikidata, and makes it possible to store all (or nearly all) the missing infobox values from Wikipedia on Wikidata.
Another one is the brand new Wikidata SPARQL endpoint, which introduces at last the possibility to answer a question that was asked a long time ago: "list the largest cities in the world with women as mayors", all in one request. Of course, it also allows many other questions to be answered as well, and marks the entrance of Wikidata into the standards of the semantic web as defined by Tim Berners-Lee.
Wikidata's community is still great! The comments Sven made two years ago are still true to a large extent. It's still a pleasure to work on Wikidata, and the community is still a welcoming, friendly and enthusiastic one. In particular, we are happy to see that Wikidata shows none of the sexism that many female editors encountered on Wikipedia. We are also really pleased by the fact we cannot remember any big drama occuring over the past twelve months. Of course, working with so many people from different countries and with different backgrounds can make communication somewhat difficult and cause tensions, and disagreement can cause tensions as well, but overall, this never ends with a crisis. The same can be said for the relation between the development team and the community: it is really good, and we could say surprisingly good when compared to the reception some new features have met on Wikipedia over the last years.
The relation between Wikidata and the other Wikimedia projects continues to strengthen. Wikibooks, Meta, MediaWiki and Wikispecies all join the bandwagon of projects whose sitelinks are managed through Wikidata, and many features profit Wikipedia. The badges for good and featured articles are now mostly managed on Wikidata and most of the Wikipedias have deleted their local templates. Similarly, authority templates on several Wikipedias are now using Wikidata. The new translation tool on Wikipedia automatically adds a sitelink on Wikidata. Several Wikipedias are using dozens of Lua infoboxes which are using data from Wikidata when the information is not locally present. The addition of arbitrary access to Wikidata has made it possible to increase the data used in the infoboxes and, more important, to create dynamic lists.
But not everything is shiny. The large influx of data coming from Wikidata has sometimes received a dubious welcome. While many editors embraced the new possibilities offered by Wikidata, many others expressed fears of vandalism from outside their wiki of choice, of having to argue in a foreign language about cultural differences, and some doubts of the quality of the data itself. The German Wikipedia adopted a policy about integration of data from Wikidata, and a similar one is under discussion on the French Wikipedia, although things started to go out of control early October with editors losing patience on both sides, some of them taking wikibreaks, some of them making points and getting blocked, and in the end an administrator contest. While the tensions have cooled down since, the damage has been done and it will take time for the French Wikipedia community to have serene discussions about Wikidata again.
On a happier note, some non-Wikimedia projects have given a good reception to Wikidata, like OpenStreetMap which has thousands of objects tagged with Wikidata ID, and Google who decided to merge its Freebase database with Wikidata.
What's to come?
This year saw some big steps accomplished, but many things are still on the development roadmap. First, there are plans for a redesign of the UI, both for computer and mobile users. New datatypes are planned: multilingual text, formulas and geo-shapes, and improvements are planned on existing ones. The support of Wiktionary in Wikidata is in discussion.
Some raw numbers now.
- In October 2014 we had less than 23% of Wikidata items without statements (~53% in October 2013). This year, in late September, ~ 51% of all Wikidata items have none, one or two statements according to Magnus.
- Wikidata is now the third most active Wikimedia projects behind the English Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons, with ~5900 active users in June 2015.
- Wikidata reached 200,000,000 edits in February 2015.
- 93% of items about people have a gender set in July 2015
- We reached 70M statements in September.
- Oh, and the item Q20150617 was created on 2015-06-17 :)
All in all, while we have to keep an eye of the reception of Wikidata in the sister projects, it is still an amazing project, bustling with activity, with a thriving community, and the only thing we can hope is that it continues on this track.
Best wishes, Wikidata, and happy birthday!