Wiki Loves Monuments 2012 in Belarus

Wiki Loves Monuments Belarus logo

Honestly, I doubted if we should run Wiki Loves Monuments in Belarus the year after we messed up everything. I was personally ashamed that we couldn’t make a contest in Belarus in 2011.

But then a wiki meeting was held in January, and I decided that we should give it a try and make a real contest this year – sponsored by companies and organizations of Belarus, covered massively in press – all that kind of things.

I can see now a start of real collaboration between Belarusian Wikipedians. The monument lists are being processed, new acquaintances are made, sponsorship strategy is decided.

I have de facto became the coordinator of the contest in Belarus, and it’s a big responsibility for me. I’m a perfectionist by my nature, but I ruin everything big enough to be noticed by other people. :) That’s why I’m not the sole organizer of the contest. Belarus will have a team, and I hope that one of Belarusian photos will win the international contest.

P.S. This year a governmental program called “Castles of Belarus” starts. I think Ministry of Culture of Belarus would be glad to help us to hold the contest. ^_^ Wish us some luck!

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Just one word: Java

Oh, Lord! I’ve finally brought closer the day when I am a Java-man. I wrote my first application in Java tonight.

It was a simple test: based on a given number, language (English and Belarusian supported only), and a list of format strings, choose a correct form. For instance, giving number 3, the English language, and forms “There is a cat.” and “There are %d cats”, you get “There are 3 cats”. This thing is not simple in Belarusian or in almost every Slavic language, but I succeeded.

I should thank twitter folks who directed to read “Thinking in Java“. I’ve got the point and now I’m going to start writing first some test console apps, and then move to Android apps development..

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The News of Teh World

I’ve been silent for a couple of months, maybe about a half a year. That’s cool and it’s not at the same moment. Let’s see what changed in this life:

  • I’ve got a new job and I like it (now I can fuck with Zend Framework and just deep-throated WSO2 WSF/PHP which was quite rough)
  • I seek to become a musician. Now I mean it. I’m gonna buy a new guitar, hope it will be some used japanese Ibanez or Jackson (after those Fender style synchronized tremolos the only bridge type I am to play is Floyd Rose, no exceptions)
  • I want to obtain the driving license and buy a car. The only problem is fuel which is getting higher and higher not in terms of drugs, but costs. It costs about $0.61 for 95 Octane gasoline now. It’s not really affordable for me. (‘sup, Stop-Benzin!)
So, this is almost the every possible major moment in my life for the past time. See me in your local rock club soon ;)
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Great Wikimeetup in Minsk

Disclaimer: this report seems to be incomplete. These words are what I’ve managed to remember.

Hey, guys! We’ve got a great, fantastic Wikimedians meeting in Minsk, Belarus on June 26. Its preparation lasted for about a month – that’s quite long for Belarus. :) Let’s go step-by-step as it’s a long story to tell.

I received an e-mail from Liam Wyatt (User:Wittylama) in the middle of May where he was asking to arrange a wikimeetup. I was shocked, then surprised, and then an idea came into my mind: “Why not?” Liam was suspiciously interested in Belarusian wiki community. It’s rather small, so it was not a real problem to gather people concerned with Wikimedia BY project in one place. So, Liam was going to attend EIFL GA 2011 and give a lecture and a workshop about Wikipedia.

Wikipedians during conference break

Thanks to Liam, guys from our community were allowed to visit the conference and enter into cooperation with the director of National Library of Belarus, deputy directors, etc. Viačasłaŭ Bryčkoŭski (Вячаслаў Брычкоўскі) from NLB staff even proposed us some ideas for collaboration! It was a surprise for me and other Wikimedians as well.

Now let’s get straight to the meeting. Continue reading

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Belarusian Wikipedia getting popular even more

Belarusian civil campaign “Budźma Biełarusami” (Let’s be Belarusians) has just released a cartoon “Budźma Biełarusami” which depicts all Belarusian history in a 5-minute movie. It’s very amazing. The soundtrack is a song in Belarusian which narrates vital steps of Belarusian history as new details in the video emerge. Here it is:

So, what’s about Belarusian Wikipedia? Look the video starting @ 1:18 and you’ll see. There are lyrics from this part:

Пакрочым далей сваім шляхам плынным…
Князь Гедымін засноўвае Вільню.
Сон легендарны — ваўчара ў латах —
На Вікіпэдыі пра гэта багата.

Going on with our story…
Vilnia founded by Duke Gedimin, oh his glory.
An iron clad wolf he has dreamt himself -
Wikipedia has a lot to say.

I’ve messed up the translation a bit to save presence of rhyme. :)

Well, perhaps I was a bit pessimistic about the future of Belarusian Wikipedia.

P.S. the screenshot of Wikipedia depicts article “Вежа Гедыміна” (Vieža Giedymina, Gedimin’s Tower) which is actually a stub. Hope there is a guy in this cruel world to write a great article. :)

Posted in Belarus | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Music rush to my head

From some point, I have no thoughts in my head, but on music. Started from my favourite bands’ themes, I’ve noticed that something went wrong – I hear something in my head I’ve never heard to. It was weird, and at the same time it was fascinating.

I wish I could record every melody I ran against. They were stuck into my head when I was in public. It’s a bit tricky for me to start singing and mumbling right on the street and people are staring at you. That’s my problem.

It’s fantastic, but I managed to record a sample at my workplace. Today, after a night walk with a friend of mine, lyrics came into my head and I wrote them down. Dunno what they would come.

I hope there’s something great to come up.

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Google Doodles: brilliant opportunity for popularity gain

Courtesy of Google.

In Belarus, its population is mostly Russian-speaking. Even if an individual is Belarusian-speaking, they still google in Russian as they know that they can hardly ever find something interesting in Belarusian (instead of Russian, which is rich in scientific works and terminology). They are right. At least, they were. Continue reading

Posted in Belarus, Science | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Per aspera ad MW1.17

This upgrade was really a way through hardships. It failed at the first try, and it wasn’t easy at the second try as well. It wasn’t easy for Belarusian (Taraškievica) Wikipedia, too.

First, there was a problem with bits.wikimedia.org rewrite engine which couldn’t process addresses with dashes include (be-x-old is so be-x-old, btw. when will it be moved to be-tarask?).

Second, ResourceLoader is a good thing indeed. Moving accessory stuff to the end of the page is a good idea, but the page rendering process is not so fine for my eye now. For a moment I can see the page with no styles applied and JS’s executed.

For now, Belarusian (Taraškievica) Wikipedia feels better and serves as the most substantial and outstanding source of knowledge in Belarusian.

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Don’t feed the… no-tards

Just for the record.

You know, when you scroll through /b/, or some other internet-meme related stuff, it’s always funny. For you, and other /b/tards same to you, and eventually for Anonymous.

Today I’ve got it may not be funny for people who don’t give a f*k about this stuff like memes: grammar nazis, Pedobear, over9000 and over 9000 other cool things we all have here. They, people, suppose that the stuff you’ve posted for them is addressed to them and claim it being offensive.

So, don’t post your /b/tardy stuff to Facebook or any other network where you have friends who don’t get the deal.

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Connectivity Project to come up again with a bang

8 BIT : OBJECT ORIENTED PROGRAMMING

Image by mediateletipos via Flickr

Finally! I have finally rewritten the bot implementing object-oriented approach. It took me almost 2 weeks to fully rewrite the code. To be honest, not everything was written, say, from scratch. I took some code from the old version and turned it into methods and properties.

In summary, what the new bot is itself and what it is able to do:

  • object-oriented code with almost fully automated editing process,
  • fully automated localization retrieving, storing and loading,
  • custom per-wiki processing rules,
  • marking orphaned, non-categorized and dead-end articles with specified template tags (it’s the main part, yeah :)).

The next step in development is to integrate Melog (it’s my bot codename) into Golem (the main bot for Connectivity Project). Golem processes wiki database to find isolated articles of three different types:

  • orphans – articles which are not linked from other articles,
  • non-categorized articles – articles without categories,
  • dead-end articles – articles not linking other articles.

It was noticed that orphaned articles can form clusters with complex topology. Golem determines if the specified article is of ‘orphan’, ‘ring’, or ‘cluster’ cluster topology type.

For example, orphan is not only an articles not linked from other articles. Orphans can form much more complex orphan clusters. A pure orphan can link another orphan – and now they form a new cluster. And so on…

Imagine Wikipedia in which every single article can freely be accessed through other articles. That’s our commitment.

P.S. Melog’s code is stored in Toolserver SVN. New codes are in /actstack/melog.*.php. I still haven’t decided its license status, maybe GPLv3.

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