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The Myanmar Wikipedia projekt aims at 15,000 pages
A federation is urging all web surfers to give 15 mins of their free access to the Myanmar linguistic extension of the user-generated Wikipedia-encyclopedia. Currently there are only 4000 papers on Wikipedia in Myanmar and the Myanmar Computer Professionals Associations has started a "Wikipedia Myanmar Project" which is to be expanded to 15,000 by July next year.
Myanmars.net Web Development Manager Ko Zaw Htut said at a Yangon open forum on November 6th that the Wikimedia Foundation, which manages the site, initiated the work. Wikipedia contents are created by voluntary authors and editorial staff and almost all pages can be worked on by anyone.
The Wikipedia has more than 3.4 million English, 1.1 million French and 1 million French related content. Mr Zaw Htut said to the Myanmar Times last weeks that the new article in Myanmar would focus on geographic and life-style issues, but the user could also add to other sites, and Myanmar's policy and itinerary.
Said the shortage of items was due to a mixture of writing problems and a poor grasp of the type of website. However, the Wikimedia Foundation requires that items be in a Unicode typeface for universality. It has proved to be a big problem as the vast majority of Myanmar's web surfers use the non-Unicode Zawgyi type.
The Myanmar Times journalist Ko Nay Linn Aung is one of a small group of web surfers who are contributing to the Myanmar bilingual Wikipedia in their spare timeframe. Mint Yon Thi, who edited the article and provides tech assistance to Myanmar Wikipedia, said she expected the number of attendees to rise with increasing awareness of the encyclopedia on-line.
However, another webber, Kyaw Sithu, said he is not interested in making a contribution to an on-line encyclopedia if he is not on pay. "We have Google and we can find anything we want, so why do we need Wikipedia? As most Myanmar people, I spent my free day on the web with other things like chats and gaming.
When we don't get charged to process Wikipedia pages, why should we do that," he said.