A Wikimedia project and free media repository, the Wikimedia Commons, reached two million media files, on Monday, 8 October. A press release has already been written in English and German; the tentative release date is Tuesday.
According to a post on the Village Pump, growth there is steadily rising, with 120,000-140,000 uploads from July to October of this year. In addition, uploads day-by-day have risen from just triple-digit numbers in 2005 to about 1,000-2,000 in 2006, and then to over 4,000 a day in 2007. New contributors, as with the English Wikipedia's milestone, also continue to rise, and so do new uploads that are uncategorized, unlicensed, and/or permanently orphaned.
Commons users have provided more features related to browsing and manipulating the repository, including Mayflower search and a user script that easily provides ready to use user talk messages. As Wikimedia Commons is powered by MediaWiki, its default search is the search featured provided by MediaWiki. As a result, the quality of searches is often very low, as it mainly searches the image name, and not always what is in the description. This makes it hard for Commons to grow faster, and it makes it harder for free content-seekers to find free media that is suitable for their use.
Contributing to the low quality of searches, contributors there often upload media that is non-descriptive and uncategorized, making it hard for everyone to find media. Renaming files is not easy either; instead, one must upload the file again under a new name, and then tag the old one for speedy deletion. This is similar to transferring media from Wikipedia to Commons; one must download the file and then upload it again in Commons. A bug regarding this issue, reported three years ago, still has not been fixed.
As evident from an anonymous user's first view of its Main Page, the lingua franca is English. However, as English is only the third most-spoken language in the world, this leads into a localisation (L10n) problem for the rest of the world accessing and manipulating the repository. However, as a post on that thread points out:
|“||If multilanguage support would be seamless, with ability to browse Commons in any language of both page and interface text, there would be greater interest in the project as well as greater interest in localizing a bigger part of it. I don't think that there would be more languages than currently on the main page (77). Even now, wherever it is possible, multilingual support is quite strong. Nikola Smolenski 19:35, 11 October 2007 (UTC)||”|
Another post agrees:
|“||Agree completely, we are only a small notch away from multilanguage. Wiki is still in its infancy, so a more realistic language count might be in the order of 086w. (in 2008) and a potential of 1000+.||”|
Much like the good article and featured article processes present in Wikipedia, Commons has its similar Quality Images and Featured Pictures processes. Quality Images was started in 2006, and since then, there were a thousand images nominated and passed in over a year. Featured Pictures will reach 1,000 pictures soon.