The word "Free" in "The Free Encyclopedia" refers first and foremost to the licensing terms of Wikipedia's content. Text is contributed to Wikipedia under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (CC-BY-SA) and the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) — copyleft licenses for free content.
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The Wikipedia Library The Wikipedia Library is an open research hub, a place for active Wikipedia editors to gain access to the vital reliable sources that they need to do their work and to be supported in using those resources to improve the encyclopedia. We aim to make access and use of sources free, easy, collaborative and efficient.
- Featured and Good Topics
Each book has its own Wikipedia page, which contains a Contents list of the articles included in it together with formatting metadata such as Chapter headings. You can create a book as a sub-page in your own user space, or as a community book in the Book:namespace. The Book Creator tool automates much of the book design work, although experienced e...
Featured topics and Good topicsare collections of some of Wikipedia's best articles. Some topics may have a dedicated book linked in the upper-left corners of the topic boxes.
Wikipedia Books was first rolled out in 2009. It comprised two main parts: 1. The Book Creatoruser interface, for designing the book and for selecting an electronic format to render an individual copy as an e-book. 2. The Offline Content Generator(OCG) back-end service, which rendered the book in the chosen format and made it available for download. But Wikipedia does not print books or handle ordering, as that costs money. An agreement was reached with PediaPress, who built their own rendere...
2017: On-wiki PDF withdrawal
Eventually the OCG service became outdated and unmaintainable. It became unreliable, while bugs and evolving security issues could no longer be fixed. The Wikimedia Foundation turned off the book rendering service on all Wikimedia wikis in October 2017. Since then, Wikipedia books have only been available from third-party providers.
2017 ff: Candidate replacements
A candidate replacement, called Electron, was based on the open-source Chrome HTML-to-PDF rendering engine but proved unsuitable for books, although it replaced the OCG for the PDF download of single articles. A second attempt, named Proton, also failed at book rendering but succeeded Electron for article rendering in 2019. During this period Dirk Hünniger independently wrote MediaWiki2LaTeX, which also compiles Wikipedia books in PDF format. However the Wikimedia Foundation were reluctant to...
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As a result, many wikis now have "free linking" using brackets, and some disable CamelCase by default. Searching. Most wikis offer at least a title search, and sometimes a full-text search. The scalability of the search depends on whether the wiki engine uses a database. Some wikis, such as PmWiki, use flat files.