Wikipedia founder turns to search

Wales looks to fix ‘broken’ Internet search offerings

Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, is developing a wiki-based search engine to compete with existing commercial search engines such as Google.

He announced plans to develop the search engine, to be named “Wikiasari,” or “Wikia,” for short, in a posting on the Wikia website.

Wales said that current search engine technology, using complex algorithms to complete searches, is “broken.”

He went on to say: “It is broken for the same reason that proprietary software is always broken: lack of freedom, lack of community, lack of accountability (and) lack of transparency. Here, we will change all that.”

Wales promotes Wikia as “a new kind of search engine, which relies on human intelligence to do what algorithms cannot.” He invited members of the Wiki community to help design the Wikia search engine, which he described as “an open-source alternative for Web search.”

He cited open source search projects as Nutch and Lucene as related efforts that can help in the development of Wikia.

The Wikimedia Foundation, which manages Wikipedia.com, emphasised that the search engine project was not associated with the foundation.

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