Wiki, what’s going on? (Part 8-Akademy2016)



Hello everybody,

It’s august and probably you are on holiday, life seems beautiful and you hope this period never ends, but… Happy or not September is about to arrive, and your daily routine is too. Don’t be afraid though: in these months the WikiToLearn community is working hard to provide you the best WikiToLearn you’ve seen so far.


From a brand new homepage to a better organization for news and social pages: you’re going to love it! September is not that sad though: why? If the new WikiToLearn isn’t enough for you, probably Akademy is: the annual word summit of KDE, this year happening in Berlin with QtCon, is one of the greates events for FOSS and we are taking part to it! Why is it so special for us? First of all because we’re part of the KDE community and we are looking forward to meet other members, share opinions and help each other, but also because this period is going to be special: KDE has its 20th birthday while Free Software Foundation Europe and VideoLAN both have their 15th birthday. Not over yet: you know who’s celebrating its birthday too in the same period? WikiToLearn! 😀


During these months we worked hard to create local communities, to spread the word about our project, to give more attention and help to new users and to come up with a better communication plan that allows you to be always up to date on what’s going on in our community. September is not that far and it’s full of great news, get ready and prepare yourself!

Watch out: #wtlatakademy #wtlbirthday and others can become viral on our social pages in few weeks, we’re going to Akademy! 😉




Wiki, what’s going on? (Part 7)



Tears followed by joy and happiness, discussions followed by great moments all together, problems followed by their solution and enthusiasm. Am I talking about my family? More or less, because actually I am talking about a family: the WikiToLearn community!

This last period was full of ups and downs, but that is inevitable in such a project. We are a big family and we do have to face problems, but with willingness and devotion to what we are doing we can manage to overcome such problems and make things go as we want to – or, at least, try to do so.

We are putting our best efforts in what we are doing: our devs are working hard to release the 0.8 version, a first step toward our main goal – the 1.0; promo team is now trying to start local hives (or groups) in different countries; editors have their summer plans to review contents and to create new ones; the importing group is ready and very soon we are having more and more high-quality books available. Members of our family are working together to make WikiToLearn great and to give you (yes, you!) the best place we can give you to study and to create collaborative textbooks!

We are focused on September: with the beginning of the new academic year we have to fully exploit our potential and move toward #operation1000; moreover in September we are also celebrating our first birthday!

Guys, great things are coming: stay tuned!

Wiki, what’s going on? (Part 6-WikiMania2016 Esino Lario)



Take a little town of 700 souls. Take more than one thousand wikipedians from Wikipedia and its sister projects who are organized for the most important conference about themes such as free education, open software and textbooks and free knowledge. Ok, now put these two elements togheter: what do you get? WikiMania 2016, held in Esino Lario: the annual conference celebrating Wikipedia and its sister free knowledge projects with conferences, discussions, meetups, training and a hackathon.


Themes such as free education and open textbooks, which are fundamentals in our philosophys, were deepened in details: we had the possibility to meet different members from WikiEdu and WikiMedia communities and we talked about our project with them. It’s amazing to see that there are so many people willing to create strong projects to spread knowledge all around the world! Workshops, talks and discussions with members of these communities have made these days simply amazing!


We made great contacts with lot of contributors and found lot of people interested in what we are doing: stay tuned! Great news are coming very soon!





Foto Group Wikimaniapeople wikimania

Wiki, what’s going on? (Part 5-WikiToLearn is magical)




Hello everybody,
Back again with “Wiki, what’s going on?”

I’ve decided to give the title “WikiToLearn is magical” to this post because recently we had an informal dinner with some members of our community and it turned out that I am able to do magic, especially card tricks. Are you wandering if this is somewhat related to our project? Well, look at this video to discover it. Our project is strictly linked with magic: for example when you are trying to study and your pen vanishes you can do nothing but use WikiToLearn. So yes, WikiToLearn definitely is a magical project – lol.

Anyway, things are getting more and more serious: tomorrow, mainly with the core team, we are having an extremely important discussion (clearly open to anyone who’s interested) in which we are going to program our work for the incoming months. We want to be ready to rock during the next year: that’s why we are going to set up well defined tasks, start focusing on them and do our best to complete them. Probably we are going to talk about the implementation of the visual editor on our site; the developement of a new, more user friendly, interface; technical features such as templates, badges and the “user journey” feature. I know that I always say it, but still we have to work hard: we are determined, so let’s rock!

Good things are coming: stay tuned!


Wiki, what’s going on? (Part 4-Participation Sprint)



Hello everybody,

Once again “Wiki, what’s going on?”. Today I’m here to give you some updates on our work with the WikiToLearn community.

First of all our activity of the last two days: the participation sprint. On Wednesday Daniele (@Mte90) came to Milan for a two-days sprint on a very important theme for us: participation. What can we do to improve the way we work? How can we help new users participating and feeling involved? These, and many others, are important points to us and we’d like to come up with good decisions and conventions to go straightforward to succeed.

During the first day we had a great brainstorming and we have discussed important points on how we intend to plan our work. We have realized that both internal organization and new users involvement have some lacks that have to be fixed: communication channels, user experience, “taskization” and detailed documentation to help people not to be lost on our website.

In this second day we have discussed different workflows for new users; we have tried to understand how to better set our internal organization and way of working. We have also had an important discussion to try to clarify how to engage successful students that do not feel involved in the community. We have also wrote down all the ideas that came up, trying to find their pros and cons: this is the (more or less) the first time we try to take notes live, during a discussion. I think this is an extremely useful strategy and we can adopt it during our future discussions.

There is another thing I’m proud of: remember the course I was writing of which I talked you about in the last part of “Wiki, what’s going on”? Well, I’m happy to announce that now the online course and the pdf book are complete! 🙂


Participation Sprint





Wiki, what’s going on? (Part 3-TeXLa is alive)






Hello everybody,

Once again here we are with “Wiki, what’s going on?” 🙂

Today is a great day because the question “Wiki, what’s going on?” has a precise answer: “TeXLa is alive!”

TeXLa is the parser created by Davide (@valsdav) to import .tex documents by converting them into wikitext. It has been a great effort, especially for him who was the core contributor, to make it properly work and completely usable without crashes while converting the document and during its importation. As I was saying, today is a great day because, using TeXLa, we have imported a complete course: the first step of a long journey for our importing working group. I’m extremely happy with this news also because I was the editor of the document we have imported, lol. Moreover, now that TeXLa is alive, our importation working group is getting ready to import many .tex documents in the next months!

As an editor I can consider myself satisfied also because I’m studying for an exam and I’m writing my notes on WikiToLearn and Davide, who’s studyin for the same exam, started working on the same course with me: it has been a great satisfaction to see a collaborative textbook being “collaborative”!

Once again I can tell you that we are working hard and we are looking forward to see the result of our daily efforts because, as you already know: “knowledge only grows if shared”.




Wiki, what’s going on? (Part 2)



Hello everybody,

I’m here to give you some updates on our work with the WikiToLearn community and, since I like this idea, I was thinking that “Wiki, what’s going on?” could become a nice section of our blog where to give updates on our work and things like that.


So, let’s start: recently the promo team had a (mini) sprint where some important features were discussed. Mainly we focused on participation: both on how to involve new users and on how to enforce the community structure. In my opinion, this is an extremely important task to be accomplished and I appreciate all the efforts we are doing to come up with an effective organization. We came up with cool ideas, such as local groups, “wiki-thons” and others but now it’s time to test them. The editors group is working hard as well: review of the contents, definition of an internal structure and writing new contents are our daily work. Actually I’m not part of the tech group, so I can not give you any update but the certainty that our guys work day after day to improve ux experience, to a better and always effective infrastructure and to solve other problems of which I have no expertise to talk about.


For today it’s everything. I’d like to conclude this post with something I am pretty sure about: if you ask “Wiki, what’s going on?”, “working hard to improve” can be a good answer!




WikiToLearn: the show goes on

Hello everybody,

It’s been a while since I last wrote here, so I’ve decided to write a brief post to present recent updates in our community.

The past week we had the pleasure to meet Daniele Pannozzo (@Atakanz) – he has a personal blog where he already talked about it… take a look 😉 – who came from Rome to Milan in order to meet the rest of the community and to work all together for a couple of days. I really appreciated this experience because it made me realize how much close our community is!

We often say that “WikiToLearn is growing faster and faster”: nice to hear it! Keep in mind that this also mean that we have to work hard both from the technical and from the organizational side, and that’s what we are doing. We are working on how to solve some organizational problems related to multiple versions of a book, we are improving the way new material from .tex sources is imported and we are getting closer and closer to new users both on our website and on our communication channels.

Our social channels (mainly Facebook and Twitter) are giving us good feedbacks on what people think about us. Recently “Wired ITA” and “Il Fatto Quotidiano” (one of the main Italian newspapers) wrote about us and our adventure. Day after day I realize how good we are doing and how hard we have to work to succeed: the show goes on, wikitolearners!

With Atakanz and Dario


Wiki, what’s going on?

It’s been two weeks since we are back from the Sprint @CERN: we came back with lot of work done but much more to be done, that’s why I’ve decided to post something about our post-Sprint activity up to now.

These weeks have been full of important work for us and since I’m part of the editor team let me tell you two words about what we are working on.

We are focusing very much on organizational aspects such as the introduction of new users, our internal structure, solving some bugs related on how math is rendered in some browsers and the conversion from tex (or any other format) to mediawiki. According to me our strength is the fact that we are a young – and extremely willing – community: all these points are very important to us, since we understand that the future of the community is based on them and that’s why we are trying to do our best to deepen these aspects and not to leave anything to chance.

One of the things that I really appreciate is the attention we are paying to new users: we really care about them! We though about the idea of creating the role of “tutors” (i.e. more experienced users) to help newcomers, because we want everybody to be perfectly introduced in the community and to feel free to ask for any doubt. Moreover we’ve also decided to make editing experience even more user friendly than it is by using buttons and interactive tools on the personal userpage and on the editor environment. More precisely: new users are really important to us and we care about them, that’s why this point has been so fundamental in these weeks.

We are working, we are growing and the best is yet to come: #operation1000 is coming! 😀



CERN Sprint 2016

WikiToLearn Community

WikiToLearn, KDE VDG and KDE Plasma Desktop team at IdeaSquare


“together we stand, divided we fall” were singing the Pink Floyd in Hey You.

We, humans, have always tried to improve our skills and our knowledge, in order to live a better life.
The creation of communities have helped us archieving huge progresses in every field.

WikiToLearn is an open-source community and everyone is free to join and play an active role in it.
We think that working together, sharing ideas and socialize are essential for communities, that’s why last week we have been at CERN for our first sprint of 2016!
We have been there thanks to KDE eV and professor Marco Paganoni.

We have worked a lot on WikiToLearn, we have visited CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid), but first of all we had a lot of fun learning from each other!
This is great because we didn’t just believe in WikiToLearn motto “Knowledge Only Grows If Shared”, but we proved that it works!

I want to thank you all, even from Riccardo, Luca and Irene, for being there and for being such an awesome community!


Davide Maggiorelli

P.s. I also want to thank pipsin personally for her great advices!

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