Sunday 4th November 2007

I’ve now added the ability for some pages in the Encyclopedia to automatically pull in relevant content from Wikipedia.

What does this mean in practice? It means that several pages will featurea an extra tab containing text and images from a page at Wikipedia. For example, the Royal Exchange page has content from this Wikipedia page and George Monck has been fleshed out thanks to this page. Some of the Wikipedia images will also appear in the right-hand column whichever tab you view on an Encyclopedia page.

Hopefully this helps expand the information we have in the Encyclopedia, and the inclusion of these pictures will bring things to life a bit more, with very little work on my or your parts. Occasionally the images might be slightly irrelevant — for example, photos of the Royal Exchange building that replaced the one from Pepys’ time — but hopefully that won’t cause too much confusion.

This isn’t intended to replace any efforts by the volunteer editors (and you can still volunteer). The Wikipedia text will provide a good general background on a topic, but editors can write something that’s more directly relevant to the world of Pepys. See, for example, Jeannine Kerwin’s piece on Sir Edward Mountagu.

I’ve only added the Wikipedia text for a few topics at the moment, and will work my way through everything else gradually. It will mostly be people who were prominent enough to deserve Wikipedia pages, and places that are well known enough. The are some topics with Wikipedia pages that it might not be worth including. For example, I’m not sure there’s much to be gained from using content from the Wikipedia page on wine on our own wine page as it’s of such a general nature. But I’d be happy to hear your opinion.

Anyway, I hope this adds to the usefulness of the Encyclopedia and makes the diary even more interesting!


Phil Gyford   Link to this

I've noticed that a few of the pages have some odd formatting errors at the moment -- I'll get on to clearing them up in the next day or two.

Phil Gyford   Link to this

I've now finished going through all 2,797 Encyclopedia entries to find corresponding Wikipedia pages. So, at time of writing, we now have 535 entries including Wikipedia text.

Because the text is pulled in from a third party (Wikipedia) where it can be edited and changed, things might break on some pages occasionally -- as ever, let me know if you see something that looks obviously broken!

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