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Wikipedia (this article is in RussianВикипедия) — is a public multilingual universal Internet[ru] encyclopedia with free content, implemented on the principles of the wiki.

The site is owned by the American[ru] nonprofit organization Wikimedia Foundation, which has 37 regional offices. The name of the encyclopedia was derived from the English words wiki ("wiki"; in turn, borrowed from the Hawaiian language, in which it means "fast") and encyclopedia ("encyclopedia").

One of the main advantages of Wikipedia as a universal encyclopedia is the ability to present information in the user's native language. Wikipedia is open for free editing. The peculiarity of this encyclopedia is that absolutely anyone can create or edit any article. All the volunteers made such changes shall be promptly made available for viewing to all website visitors.

The company's slogan is"a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit."

The servers of the Internet project are located in the United States of America, in the cities of Ashburn, San Francisco, Dallas, Carrollton, Chicago. In the Netherlands: Amsterdam.

Programming language: PHP (LAMP platform-an acronym for a set (complex) of server software, widely used in the world wide web. LAMP is named after the first letters of its components:


The concept of collecting all the world knowledge in one place dates back to the ancient library of Alexandria and Pergamon, but the modern concept of a common goal, the well-known printed encyclopedia found shortly before Denis Diderot[ru] and the 18th century encyclopedists.

Denis Diderot (5 October 1713, Langre, champagne, Kingdom of France — 31 July 1784, Paris, France) was a French philosopher, educator, writer, playwright, foreign honorary member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1773). Founder and editor of the Encyclopedia or dictionary of Science[ru], arts and crafts (volumes 1-35, 1751-1780).

With the development of the world wide web, many people tried to develop projects of the Internet encyclopedia. The Free Software Foundation encourages people to "visit and contribute to the site". One of the lesser-known predecessors was the Interpedia, which Robert McHenry has linked conceptually to Wikipedia.

The formulation of the concept

Wikipedia was originally conceived as a successor project to the Nupedia, an earlier project founded by Jimmy Wales to create a public encyclopedia. Nupedia was founded on March 9, 2000 as the property of Bomis, Inc. - the company that owns the web portal of the same name. Nupedia was based on the use of highly competent participants and a complex multi-step peer review process. Despite the list of interested developers and the presence of a permanent editor-in-chief, Larry Sanger, a graduate philosophy student hired by Wales, writing content was extremely slow: only 12 articles were created in the first year.

Wales and Sanger discussed various ways to create articles faster. On 10 January 2001, Larry Sanger, on the Nupedia mailing list, proposed to apply the concept of "wiki "to" nupedia " in order to accelerate Its development. This led to the creation of the Wikipedia website —, which was originally conceived for the preliminary development of materials that would then be placed in the"Nupedia".

Photo founder: Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger:

Jimmy Donal Wales and Larry Sanger

Jimmy Donal Wales (also known as Jimbo (eng. Jimbo); born[ru] on August 7, 1966 in Huntsville, Alabama, USA) is an American Internet entrepreneur, wiki concept ideologist, founder of Wikipedia, Chairman of the Wikimedia Foundation (2003-2006). Since the summer of 2011 — the Chairman Emeritus of the Wikimedia Foundation; Director of the company Wikia, Inc. Winner of the Niels Bohr gold medal (2013). Since March 2012-adviser on public policy and openness to the UK[ru] government. Since January 2014 - co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the charitable mobile operator The People's Operator (TPO).

In 2011, Wales came to Russia[ru]. On June 15, 2011, he gave an open lecture at the Pushkin cinema, which lasted about an hour, and the audience asked him questions for another hour. The next day, June 16, Wales spoke to students and faculty at MIREA. In 2011, he left the jury of the German political award "Quadriga" because of the decision to award the award to Vladimir Putin[ru]. This was one of the reasons why the award was never awarded to the Russian Prime Minister. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev considered the whole story a manifestation of" cowardice and inconsistency "of the members of the organizing Committee and said that after that"the award ended, at least for the international community."

Larry Sanger (persistent. Larry Sanger, full name of Lawrence mark Sanger, persistent. Lawrence Mark Sanger; born July 16, 1968 in Bellevue, Washington, United States) — one of the co-founders and chief editor of the Wikipedia during work in the company "Bomis", doctor of philosophy.

The Basis Of Wikipedia

There was considerable resistance from the editors and reviewers of Nupedia to the idea of linking it to a wiki-style website. Sanger offered to give the new project its own name — Wikipedia — and on January 15, 2001 it was launched under this name on its own domain

The server, located in San Diego and used for these projects, was donated to Bomis. Many current and former Bomis employees have contributed to the content of The encyclopedia, especially Tim shell, co-founder and current chief administrator of Bomis, and programmer Jason Richie.

It is commonly believed that the first changes ever made to Wikipedia are trial edits of Wales. However, the oldest article still exists is the article about UuU, created on January 16, 2001.

The project got a lot of new supporters after the triple mention on the web site Slashdot and two minor mentions in March 2001, and At the same time, he received a prominent figure in the story on the website about created by the community technology and culture Kuro5hin on 25 July. In addition, a significant flow of visitors was sent from other sites, among which Google is worth highlighting, daily adding hundreds of new visitors to the site. The site was first published in the new York times on 20 September 2001.

On 12 February 2001, the number of articles in the draft exceeded 1,000 and on 7 September it exceeded 10,000. During the first year of Wikipedia's existence, more than 20,000 encyclopedic articles were created — an average of more than 1,500 articles per month. On 30 August 2002, the number of articles reached 40,000. The growth rate has more or less steadily increased since the project's launch, except for a few slowdowns caused by software and hardware.


Wikipedia early in its development began to expand internationally, with the creation of new language sections. The first domain reserved for non-English Wikipedia was (16 March 2001), a few minutes later accompanied by Catalan; the latter for about two months was the only one with articles in non-English. The first information about French Wikipedia appeared on March 23, and then in may 2001 it was accompanied by a wave of new language sections in Chinese, Dutch, Esperanto, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Russian[en], Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish. Soon they were joined by Arabic and Hungarian. In September 2001, a prerequisite was announced for the multilingualism of Wikipedia, including the rollback of all major languages, and the establishment of core standards and translation of the main pages for new wikis. The African, Norwegian and Serbian sections were announced at the end of 2001.

In January 2002, 90% of all Wikipedia articles were in English. By January 2004, less than 50% were English, and internationalization continued to grow. In 2007, approximately 75% of all articles were within the non-English Wikipedia sections.


The Wikipedia project has grown rapidly in the course of its life so far on several levels. Individual wiki projects have grown organically, complementing it with new articles; new wiki projects have been added in English and other languages, and all new projects copying these growth methods in other related fields (news, citations, reference books) have been founded in the same way.

To accomplish this, Wikipedia itself grew with the creation of the Wikimedia Foundation, which worked as an umbrella body, and with the growth of software and policies to address the needs of the editorial community.

In December 2002, the first related project was created — Wiktionary. It uses the same software as Wikipedia.

June 20, 2003, the same day when was founded the Wikimedia Foundation, created Wikicity.

On October 28, 2003, the first" real " Wikipedia Meeting took place in Munich. The meeting was followed by other cities, and soon many of the regular meetings of Wikipedians were installed worldwide. Also, several online communities have emerged since then, including one on the popular LiveJournal website.

On September 17, 2004 the trademark "Wikipedia"was registered. The trademark was protected by Japan on December 16, 2004, and in the European Union on January 20, 2005. A on 10 January 2006, the mark was granted registered status.

In may 2006, a new feature of "oversight" was introduced in English Wikipedia, allowing a group of highly trusted users to erase pages containing copyright violations or defamatory or personal information. Before that, deleting pages was time-consuming, and deleted versions remained visible to other administrators and could be restored by them.

On August 15, 2006, the Wikimedia Foundation launched Wikiversity.

On September 28, 2007, Italian politician Franco Grillini initiated a parliamentary inquiry with the Minister of cultural resources and activities on the need for freedom of panorama. He said that the lack of such freedom forced Wikipedia, "the seventh site most consulted", to ban all images of modern Italian buildings and art, and said that it had caused very serious damage to the tourism industry.

In November 2011, Sergey Brin donated 500 thousand dollars to the Wikipedia project.

July 13, 2012 in the English Wikipedia was published 4-million article Izbat al-Burj.

In December 2013, a UNESCO statement on the occasion of the awarding of Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, the Niels Bohr gold medal about Wikipedia said that it is "a symbol of the era of interaction in which we live, and it is not just a tool, it is the embodiment of a dream as ancient as human intelligence and collections of the library of Alexandria".

On June 30, 2015, the project reached 290 language sections, 51 of which contained more than 100,000 articles, and 237 — more than 1,000 articles.

Wikipedia is now the largest and most popular directory on the Internet. In terms of volume of information and thematic coverage Wikipedia is considered the most complete encyclopedia ever created in the history of mankind. In 2015, the number of registered Russian Wikipedia users exceeded 1.7 million, It contains more than 40 million articles. As of September 5, 2017, the Wikipedia website was the fifth most visited website in the world.

According to may-a month in 2018, according to Alexa, Wikipedia was ranked the 5th place among the most visited sites in the world, in the Russian Internet — 9-th place. In the top ten, Wikipedia is the only non-profit site. About 50% of the traffic from search engines to Wikipedia then went from the Google search engine.

Software and hardware

The functioning of Wikipedia depends on MediaWiki, a software mechanism for websites running on wiki technology. MediaWiki was written in PHP and uses a relational database to store data (you can use MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite) and supports the use of memcached and Squid programs. MediaWiki provides an interface for working with the database of pages, differentiation of access rights to the system administration, the ability to process text in its own format, and in HTML and TeX formats (for formulas), the ability to download images and other files, as well as other features. A flexible extension system allows users to add their own new features and programming interfaces.

MediaWiki is licensed under the GNU General Public License and is used by all Wikimedia projects, as well as many other wikis. Wikipedia originally worked on UseModWiki, written in Perl by Clifford Adams ("Phase I"), which originally required CamelCase to indicate article references; the now-used style of double brackets was included later. From January 2002 ("Phase II") Wikipedia has started to work on PHP vicevice with a MySQL database; this software (the software) was custom made for Wikipedia by Magnus Manske. Phase II SOFTWARE has been modified several times to meet exponentially growing demand. In July 2002 ("Phase III"), Wikipedia moved to the third generation of software, the MediaWiki engine, originally written by Daniel Lee Crocker.

Wikipedia currently runs on dedicated clusters of Linux servers (mainly Ubuntu), with a few OpenSolaris machines for ZFS. The wikis of the Wikimedia Foundation, the largest of which is Wikipedia, were supported by several clusters of 974 servers as of March 2013.

Wikipedia worked on a single server until 2004, when the server setup was extended to a distributed multi-tier architecture. In January 2005, the project was running on 39 dedicated servers located in Florida. This configuration included a single master database server running MySQL, multiple slave database servers, 21 web server running Apache HTTP Server and 7 of the cache servers in the Squid.

depending on the time of day, Wikipedia receives between 25,000 and 60,000 page requests per second. The page request is first passed to the external level of the Squid caching servers. Requests that cannot be served by the Squid cache are routed to a load-balancing server running Linux Virtual Server, which in turn sends a request to one of the Apache web servers to render (HTML) pages from the database. Web servers deliver pages on demand by rendering the page for all language sections of Wikipedia. To increase the speed in the future, translated HTML pages are stored in a distributed cache in memory for some time. This allows you to skip the page rendering process for the most frequently requested articles.

Copy of website on CD and DVD

The encyclopedia was released on CD and DVD for some time. The latest was issued on DVD by the Polish section. It was published by Helion in late July 2007. Work on the edition was conducted more than a year, on the basis of a dump of June 4, 2006. The database of articles available at that time was copied to a separate server, and they were finalized by 13 paid editors and about 20 volunteers. In the end, the CD contains about 239 000 articles and 59 000 pictures. The cost of the disc at the time of release was 39 zlotys.

A copy of the website on paper

In 2009, the artist Rob Matthews (eng. Rob Matthews) printed selected articles of the English Wikipedia section of 5,000 pages and sewed them into a hardcover book. In an explanation of this project, he wrote: "reproducing Wikipedia in a defective physical form makes it easier to question the reasonableness of its use" (the phrase in English: "Reproducing Wikipedia in a dysfunctional physical form helps to question its use as an internet resource").

Related projects

The Wikimedia Foundation, the owner and organizer of Wikipedia, supports other projects to create free publications on the Internet:

Meta wiki is a website dedicated to the coordination and documentation of Wikimedia Foundation projects.

Literature about Wikipedia:

Limit access to project

From time to time, some countries[ru] close or threaten to close access to Wikipedia, for example:


Wikipedia won two major awards in may 2004:

On January 27, 2013, the main asteroid belt 274301 was officially renamed "274301 Wikipedia". 25 Aug 2008 Ukrainian[ru] astronomers in the "Andrushevka astronomic Observatory", located in Zhytomyr region opened the asteroid called "Asteroid 274301".

On October 22, 2014, the first Wikipedia monument was built in the Polish city of Slubice.

It became known who made 3 million edits "Wikipedia" (as of January 2019)

A 35-year-old hermit and history buff[en] spends several hours a day on an Internet encyclopedia for 13 years.

CBS News has prepared a story about American Steven Pruitt, who is the most active member of the Wikipedia community. 35-year-old man said that the environment considers him crazy, and he has Russian roots.

The man works with the archives of the us customs and border control service, is interested in history and helps Wikipedia. Every day for edits and new articles it takes at least three hours. The first article he wrote about his distant descendant, military leader Peter Francisco, and then began to engage in volunteering on a permanent basis.

Pruitt lives with his parents, who because of a strange hobby in his youth considered him a little crazy. The enthusiast made almost 3 million edits, but does not get a cent for his work, nevertheless, it suits him completely. "The ideas of free learning fascinate me. My mother grew up in the Soviet Union[ru], so I understand very well how important it is for information to be free," Stephen said.

Despite his ascetic lifestyle and nonpublic nature, the enthusiast is on the list of the most influential people on the Internet, compiled by Time magazine in 2017 — along with President Donald trump[ru] and "mom" Harry Potter J. K. Rowling. "People like Stephen are the lifeblood of the project", — said the Vice-President for communications "Wikipedia" kui Kinyanjui.

Stephen Pruitt has been interested in editing Wikipedia for more than 13 years and is currently ranked first among all authors. His closest rival behind him at 900 thousand edits. When asked how he would mark the three-million mark, Stephen said: "I will Write another article, I will make another one edit."

The Russian equivalent of "Wikipedia

July 1, 2019 in Russia started the project "Big Russian encyclopedia" (BRE). Managing editor of GRE Sergei Kravets said that the project will last 33 months. It is planned to finish the development by April 1, 2022.

About 1.7 billion rubles will be allocated for this work in the next three years for the creation of a national Internet portal, which should become a "quality alternative to Wikipedia".

This figure is indicated in the draft Federal budget for 2020 and for the planning period 2021 and 2022. About 300 million more will be included in the state budget in 2019. Thus, the development of the domestic "Wikipedia" will cost the Russian state 2 billion rubles.

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