Project team: Maximilian Klein, Untrikiwiki and Yoran Koren, WikiWorks
“The purpose of this project was to allow MediaWiki-based Open Educational Resource (OER) communities to adopt LRMI. This was done in two ways. Firstly, we built the technical infrastructure necessary for MediaWiki-based OER communities to implement LRMI. Secondly, we approached MediaWiki-based OER communities in attempt to convince them to use LRMI.”
The primary aim of the Untrikiwiki LRMI project was to build a Mediawiki extension to enable WikiMedia based open education communities to adopt LRMI and schema.org. At the time the project was funded, September 2012, Mediawiki did not alow the arbitrary HTML markup required to embed LRMI and schema.org properties. This extension, HTML Tags, was developed by Yoran Koren, technical developer of WikiWorks. The open source HTML Tags extension is fully documented and available here Extension:HTML Tags Further documentation on implementing LRMI using HTML Tags is available here Extension:HTML Tags/Implementing LRMI
In order to make is as simple as possible to embed LRMI properties in wiki pages, the project developed a series of MediaWiki templates to enable uses to write LRMI using wikitext markup. These templates were also integrated into MediaWiki’s GUI, WikiEditor, so that users do not have to remember the full syntax of the template (LRMI Untrikiwiki Exit Report, p.4). The MediaWiki extension does not include the ability to link out to external vocabularies.
HTML Tags LRMI Template
(LRMI Untrikiwiki Exit Report, p.4)
Although developing HTML Tags was not difficult, gaining the necessary approval to launch a new MediaWiki extension proved to be very difficult. Schema.org and LRMI were not widely used at the time so people were unwilling to gamble on a new web technology and had a tendency to see the extension as an unnecessary complication for little benefit.
The project approached a number of Wikimedia Foundation initiatives including English Wikibooks and the English Wikiversity, before the extension was adopted by the German Wikiversity. Other initiatives that the project liaised with in order to raise awareness of LRMI include English Wikisource and Wikieducator. The LRMI Untrikiwiki Exit Report presents a full appraisal of the project’s engagement with these communities and evaluates their successes, challenges and lessons learned.
The project outputs were also picked up by Brian W. Carver, University of California, who installed HTMl Tags and implemented LRMI on his Cyberlaw wiki.
Sample of LRMI markup from Brian’s Cyberlaw Wiki
Shortly after the end of the UntrikiWiki project in May 2013, MediaWiki started to support Schema.org markup, however arbitrary HTML markup is still not supported so HTML Tags still provides valuable funcationality. By the end of the project, 27 different non-Wikimedia Foundation Wikis were using the MediaWiki extension and it is still being widely used, though often for HTML rather than LRMI markup. The project team concluded that
“With our successful communities we were able to tap into pre-existing enthusiasm about metadata and Creative Commons in ways that meant communities were more likely to adopt LRMI than they would otherwise had been. LRMI’s goals match up well with the goals of the Wikimedia Foundation; both LRMI and the WMF aim to increase worldwide accessibility of knowledge.”
LRMI Untrikiwiki Exit Report, p. 13.