Assuming we make it out of beta alive, it looks like SE sites get a Creative Commons licensed data dump.

I'd like to start a discussion on how we can make these dumps useful for users.

The data dump is now available.

3 Answers 3


There are plenty of places left in the world that don't have good connectivity. It's not uncommon for someone to burn CDs in a location and then take that to people who don't have the means to acquire Ubuntu over the internet.

We could start a project that takes all the data and generates a CD ISO image of all the best answers and questions so people can pass those around like people do for wikipedia.

  • Keep in mind that the data is provided as an SQL file, so the CD would need to include tools to view the data. Sep 16, 2010 at 5:23
  • Right - like offline packages for some SQL reading tools, etc. Sep 16, 2010 at 11:15
  • @George I was thinking something along the lines of seeing the data exposed via the GNOME help tool or something slick and integrated, but whatever works. Sep 16, 2010 at 13:01
  • @George: Wouldn't it make more sense to pre-format as HTML for such a CD?
    – Roger Pate
    Nov 11, 2010 at 7:35
  • The problem with that is its usefulness comes from being searchable in a fuzzy sense... We could ship Lucene (or other) with pre-built indexes but I think it's probably harder than I'm making it sound.
    – Oli Mod
    Nov 11, 2010 at 13:31
  • @Oli: The files turned out to be XML files, so I'm thinking of Qt here. Nov 12, 2010 at 4:51
  • @George: They don't have to stay as XML. They could easily be sharded into JSON files (one file per question, containing all its answers, comments, denormalised user information, etc) and some search indexes.
    – Oli Mod
    Nov 12, 2010 at 10:00

I'd love to see e-reader versions of the data, so I could load up askubuntu.com on my kindle for example.


You would need to make it DE independent, or make it work in both KHelpCenter and GNOME's help tool then. Or would you split out the questions/tags for each main distro (Xubuntu, Kubuntu, Ubuntu)???

Otherwise you are missing some of the people who would need to use the information. Imagine being excited to use this information but having to install GNOME packages over dialup in order to better understand

  • 2
    I'm actually just interested in the idea, whatever the implementation detail is someone will figure out. I don't see why we would make something broken on purpose. Sep 16, 2010 at 19:16

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