handyfloss

Because FLOSS is handy, isn’t it?

Wikipedia fever

Posted by isilanes on June 1, 2007

Yesterday was the last day of May, and an incredibly fruitful month ended, regarding my Wikipedia edits. As you can see in the previous link, I was 75 edits short of making 1000 edits that month! Approximately one half of all the edits I have done in Wikipedia in one year (in 18 days it will be the birthday of my first edit as Isilanes), where done in May 2007!

This huge (for me) amount of edits was possible due to the kind of activity I have had in Wikipedia as of lately. I realized there are a lot of chemical structures in Wikipedia that are of low quality, and I started to improve them. The main flaw of low q images is that they are done in raster format (PNG, GIF, JPEG). This implies that they lose quality upon magnification, and that the larger they are, the more space they occupy. In contrast, vector graphics (e.g. SVG) offer a perfect quality regardless of magnification, with a constant file size, no matter what output size we ask of them.

Actually, there is a page in Wikipedia specifically devoted to listing the (chemical) images that, due to being easily translated to SVG (most chemical skeletal formulae fall in this category), and showing a low quality, are suitable for being substituted by SVG counterparts.

Once I found this page, I started using the superb free software programs ChemTool and Inkscape to draw SVG counterparts for many structures. For each structure, a file has to be uploaded, the article including the raster image has to be modified to include the SVG instead, then the raster image has to be tagged as already superseded by a SVG, and depending on the case, it can be tagged with a proposal for deletion. In that case, it has to be included in a page listing the images and media for deletion, and the original uploader of the image should be notified, as a polite measure. This implies a bunch of edits per superseded image.

A great part of my May edits also correspond to the fact that I modified a previous SVG image that was to replace a PNG of some Free Software logos. Apparently the “old” SVG had some errors, which I corrected:




PNG version of the SVG image

This logo picture was used by a tag that appears in all articles related to free software, and I starting changing the appearance of the old pic in every tag with the new pic. The result: a whole lot of edits.

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