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The Mundipedia Project


In November 2008 we have launched http://de.mundipedia.com. Mundipedia is an online encylopedia based on the wiki TWiki http://www.twiki.org. Mundipedia differs in at least two aspects from other online encylopedias:

  • Mundipedia shares its incomes with their authors. Therefore Mundipedia is a commercial project! For the authors the contribution is free. The incomes are generated by commercials, donations and further incomes.
  • Mundipedia is based upon certain plugins to Twiki to provide a semi structured information solution. Any article must fit in the given information structure (semantic categories) and is additionally stored in a structured database

The software solution is based upon work done by http://www.mundiamedia.org and certain open source products.


This document describes the core elements of design principles in Mundipedia and the techniques this system use. Mundipedia is a wiki based upon TWiki and uses the common features of wikis. Mundipedia is also an encylopedia. But Mundipedia differs in at last two aspects from similar projects:

  • for the authors the free contribution but their participation on the earnings of the project
  • free authorship but any contributed article must fit in the given information structure (semantic categories)

The first item will discussed in the next section, the second in the following.

Authors Participation

Authors collecting points for various reasons

  • by creating and modifying articles
  • by the number of views on their pages
  • by fulfilling roles on articles

The points are calculated daily. Monthly authors get a revenue based upon their percentage of the total sum of points.

Semantic Infrastructure

As we have started to design the Mundipedia project we realized that two goals would be the key to success

  • providing the users a clear taxonomy as an information structure model (categories)
  • store as much as possible of meta data to a category in a semi structured way so it may be possible to remain those accessible

This premisses resulted in the need of using Twiki form for maintaining these meta data and the integration of a database into Twiki to access this meta data afterwards.

The use of a database also provides the possibility to

  • separate text search - commonly unstructured - and structured database search
  • the possibility to render some indices automatically
  • presenting the meta data in defined way by using templates
  • automatically calculating relations between topics

Finally spoken the extension done here are a approach to a semi structured wiki. This ongoing development will be continued by http://www.mundimedia.org.

The System Components

Mundipedia is based upon Twiki which is written in PERL in opposite to common other wikis, eg MediaWiki, which are based upon PHP. And Twiki has proper interfaces for plugins and extensions.

For the structured storage module Mundipedia needs a database and the choice was PostgreSQL http://http://www.postgresql.org/ since PostgreSQL provides a lot of database types and allows structs and aggregates of simple types, which may be used to store meta data out of the structured form.

Mundipedia offers a structured search within the PostgreSQL database and for causes of speed and comfort a replacement of the Twiki built-in text search, which is provided by SWISH-e http://www.swish-e.org/.

The forum solution is provided by ARoMaXT http://www.aromaxt.net/.

Some Implementation Details

The key issue was the integration of the Mundipedia database with Twiki. Most of this task is done by the a Twiki plugin, the "Mundimedia Database Gateway". Especially it uses the "afterSaveHandler" to connect to the database and realizing a parasitary gateway

Another plugin, the "Mundimedia Rendering Engine" provides handlers for various display tasks (indices, rendering of meta data) on the Mundipedia pages.

Several CGI scripts have been created to add features needed by Mundipedia. But these handle just special purpose tasks.

In fact, by now the shortly mentioned approach is not yet a complete solution, but further work will be done by the Mundimedia team. Some parts of the system will be remain open source and in the public domain.

Some changes were needed to be done in the Twiki library code reflecting:

  • features regarding forms - adding multiple fields
  • building the urls - removing the web name
  • some minor changes in the Twiki rendering engine

After finishing the beta phase Mundipedia will discuss these changes with the Twiki community.

Back to TWikiInstallation

-- MarkusHasleder - 2009-04-22

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Topic revision: r2 - 2009-04-22 - MarkusHasleder
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