Oct 20, 2009

Wikipedia Page Analysis

Wikipedia has lots of scientific information, however, due to its nature, it is still not considered as a research resource.  This doesn’t mean it has to be ignored. I have checked some pages related with various topics in GIS field. Most of them are well-written, the information are actually quite accurate, several contributors are the professionals in the field. In this post, I like to check some metadata information of  “Mathematica” Page on Wikipedia, it may gives us some ideas about its quality.

Tools we need: Mediawiki API and Mathematica. There are plenty examples on how to use Mediawiki api. Basic procedure is to use Import[queryurl,”XML”], then parse xml to get the information we need.

Page revision history:

(* import  contributor and timestamp *)

url = "http://en.wikipedia.org/w/api.php?action=query&prop=revisions&\

xml = Import[url, "XML"];
rawdata= Cases[xml, XMLElement["rev", w_, _] :> w, Infinity];
data = {"user", "timestamp"} /. rawdata;





This page is constantly revised, we probably can assume the information on “Mathematica” page is up-to-date.

The information on the contributors is also interesting.


We can dig out more information on the contributors:

(* import paged edited by each user *)

userpages[usr_] :=
  Module[{url, uxml, udata, unicase},
   url = "http://en.wikipedia.org/w/api.php?action=query&list=\
usercontribs&uclimit=500&format=xml&ucuser=" <> usr;
   uxml = Import[url, "XML"];
   udata = Cases[uxml, XMLElement["item", w_, _] :> w, Infinity];
   unicase = DeleteCases[Union["title" /. udata ],
     x_ /; (StringMatchQ[x, "User talk:" ~~ __] || StringMatchQ[x, "Talk:" ~~ __] || StringMatchQ[x, "User:" ~~ __])]; Map[usr -> # &, unicase]];



The common pages edited by these top5 contributors:


From the pages they have edited, they have worked on several topics closely related with Mathematica. This looks good, we may say they probably know what they are doing.


Download Wikipedia Notebook for the details.

Oct 15, 2009

Mathematica 7 on Windows 7

We just updated our machine from Windows Vista to Windows 7. I re-installed Mathematica 7 and tested with several notebooks. I didn’t notice any difference on performance.

You can re-use the license file from Vista.


One feature I tested is Handwritten Math Recognition in Windows 7. It works very well with some simple on-screen drawings. If you use a tablet PC, this may be quite convenient in classroom.