Alphabet Soup Challenge – W

Wikipedia, Google, and other search engines have pretty much replaced the old Encyclopedia Brittanica, World Book, and Collier’s volumes of information. When my children were tiny, we bought a set of Collier’s encyclopedias and they were well used by all of us.  The neighbors had the World book set and the kids preferred them because of their colorful illustrations. I’m sure our set is in storage somewhere in Colorado.  We ordered all the updates, but of course they are antiques now.

With the gift of an Apple IIe computer, we thought we were in seventh heaven.  Even with a dial up connection, it was fascinating to have such easy access to information and be able to print out just the part you needed.

“In January 1995, Project Gutenberg started to publish the ASCII text of the Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th edition (1911), but disagreement about the method halted the work after the first volume. For trademark reasons this has been published as the Gutenberg Encyclopedia. In 2002, ASCII text of and 48 sounds of music was published on Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition[1] by source; a copyright claim was added to the materials included.[original research?] Project Gutenberg has restarted work on digitising and proofreading this encyclopedia; as of June 2005 it had not yet been published. Meanwhile, in the face of competition from rivals such as Encarta, the latest Britannica was digitized by its publishers, and sold first as a CD-ROM and later as an online service. Other digitization projects have made progress in other titles. One example is Easton’s Bible Dictionary (1897) digitized by the Christian Classics Ethereal Library.[2] Probably the most important and successful digitization of an encyclopedia was the Bartleby Project’s online adaptation of the Columbia Encyclopedia, tenth Edition,[3] in early 2000 and is updated periodically.”


Ward Cunningham created the first wiki in 1995. His “WikiWikiWeb” lets software developers create a library of “software patterns.” The name “Wiki” was inspired by the Hawaiian word wiki or wiki-wiki, which means “quick” and is often used as a term for taxis and airport shuttles.

There was considerable resistance on the part of Nupedia’s editors and reviewers to the idea of associating Nupedia with a wiki-style website. Sanger suggested giving the new project its own name, Wikipedia, and Wikipedia was soon launched on its own domain,, on Monday 15 January 2001. The bandwidth and server (located in San Diego) used for these initial projects were donated by Bomis. Many former Bomis employees later contributed content to the encyclopedia: notably Tim Shell, co-founder and later CEO of Bomis, and programmer Jason Richey.

In January 2002, 90% of all Wikipedia articles were in English. By January 2004, fewer than 50% were English, and this internationalization has continued to increase as the encyclopedia grows. As of 2014, about 85.5% of all Wikipedia articles are contained within non-English Wikipedia versions.[1]”

(Info from Google and Wikipedia)


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