Millionth article preparations

Wikipedia preparing for millionth article this week

Wikipedia is getting ready to see the creation of its one-millionth article in English this week, a milestone expected to be reached around Wednesday, 1 March. In terms of the number of articles, the English Wikipedia will have doubled in size in slightly less than a year, after reaching 500,000 articles last 17 March.

Among the preparations being worked on is a press release to be issued once the milestone is reached. The addition of a special banner to the Main Page celebrating the occasion has also been discussed.

Given the speed at which both new pages are created and others deleted, identifying the magic article is a challenge and was the subject of some disagreement at the previous milestone (see archived story). Sj said he hoped to get developers to provide a snapshot of the database that, combined with statistical analysis, could objectively identify the actual article in question. If not, an honorary millionth article may simply be designated as such.

While this milestone marks an impressive achievement in just over five years of Wikipedia's existence, size is not the only measure of accomplishment, and some have suggested it be de-emphasized as Wikipedia grows. As Jimmy Wales put it in last week's interview with The Signpost, "We should be tightly focused on the quality of our coverage and content. The goal of Wikipedia is to create and distribute a freely licensed high quality encyclopedia."

Among the tools anticipated to help with this are new features currently being worked on by the MediaWiki developers. These include a feature that allows readers to review and rate articles, and another that would allow a particular revision of an article to be marked as a "stable version". Both of these features could help efforts to publish print editions based on the English Wikipedia, similar to those already involving the German Wikipedia (see archived story).

Work is also being done toward a "single login" feature, so editors can have one account that works on all Wikimedia projects. It is hoped that this will encourage more people to help out across project boundaries and foster a greater sense of community. However, the transition will probably create some disruption as well, due to the technical difficulties of dealing with possible conflicts between existing accounts.

If expectations hold, the winner of the Million pool to correctly identify the date on which this article would be created should be András Mészáros. The next closest guess was 28 February by Kaizersoze, who might still win if it comes more quickly than expected. The pool was declared closed when the half-million article mark was reached.

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Are any statistics being done on the rate of article creation - ie are more being created this week in the hope of being the millionth article creator. (The equivalent of more people buying lottery tickets on a rollover draw.)

Jackiespeel 17:35, 1 March 2006 (UTC)[reply]

The final number

I'm wondering at what number of articles Wikipedia will "level out". I mean, we can't practically grow to infinity, and sometime the rate of growth has to slow down. What do others think? Karol 09:18, 2 March 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Our growth so far hasn't been linear, but exponential, so it will have to peak at some point. On that note, Jimmy said to the National Post recently that Mitch Kapor thinks 50 million is plausible. -- user:zanimum
In that case makes me wonder why he have AFD.
I have to confess that it would amuse me somewhat if the millionth article is (was? it's the 4th now) a redirect :) --kingboyk 00:47, 4 March 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Can't be done by definition. Redirects are excluded from article counts, else this would have happened long ago- we've got ~3.5 million articles once redirects and other such are factored in. --maru (talk) contribs 04:24, 6 March 2006 (UTC)[reply]


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