Wikipedia Animate

By Deane Barker on June 24, 2005

Jon Udell: Visualizing change: I wish I was Jon Udell, as he gets everything he asks for. This time he — along with some help from Andy Baio — got someone to write a script that animates Wikipedia changes inline. See the picture at the above link, and he apparently has a screencast on it (that I haven’t watched).

Recently I wished out loud for an automated way to animate revision histories in Wikipedia. Andy Baio liked the idea and sponsored a contest for a script that would do that. There have been several entries, and today’s short screencast explores one of them: Dan Phiffer’s Wikipedia Animate.

The script is amazing. It’s keyed off the “action=history” in the URL, so it works on any Wikimedia wiki, (including the one on my intranet) which is awesome (you have to have Firefox with Greasemonkey installed, of course.)

To use it, go to the “History” tab of a Wikipedia page, and select two versions for comparison (for the best results, select the first and current versions). Start the script and watch. You can pause it, manually go forward and back, and even drag the little time indicator to move back and forth.

This script has convinced me that I suck to the extreme, and so I’m going to quit Web development and go work at McDonalds.