Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Ahead of the curve

WiktionaryZ is very much a project in its infancy. Many parts that are necessary to fulfil its promise are lacking. Nothing new here, WiktionaryZ is still pre alpha software. One of the great things of Open Source is that when a project has sufficient attraction people come along willing to collaborate.

WiktionaryZ and the Kamusi project have many similarities as well as differences. The most striking differences are the scope; Kamusi is about the Swahili language and its maturity. Kamusi has been going strong for quite some time. As Kamusi is so much ahead of the curve from where WiktionaryZ is, it is really interesting to look at its strengths.

I was reminded about Kamusi because of its recent newsletter; it offers a rich mix of facts about culture, updates of the project. Merchandise is offered with the Swahili clock being imho the most spectacular item on offer. All this to fund a project that runs as much on passion as it does on money.

Here too is a project that is life while continuously being developed. A project that depends on its community, it currently honours the people who contributed the most content with statistics and like WiktionaryZ it has supporters who are part of what makes Kamusi a reality.

I have met Martin Benjamin, the Kamusi editor at Wikimania 2006 in Boston. It was too short a pleasure. We have talked since using Google talk on several occasions and ast Kamusi is ahead of the curve I have been privileged to learn much from the Kamusi experience.

My hope is that at some stage we will have the maturity of Kamusi. It is likely that we will have this maturity first for some languages and slowly but surely for others as well.. WiktionaryZ is very much a journey, enjoy the ride :)



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