Be Bold!

Girolamo Savonarola

Maybe it’s been there forever but I just realized that Wikipedia has a .pdf generator that creates a nicely templated printable document out of Wikipedia articles.  So, for example, here’s the article on Savonarola., and here’s the link to the .pdf generator (and the output, at least today’s, of that generator, for the truly lazy.)

This goes a long way, I think, to addressing the doubts that rotary dial people still have about Wikipedia.  The presentation layer is very very important and the clean, professional-looking printable version, bristling with scholarly apparatus and legal boilerplate, is effective for a certain kind of reader.  Not everyone, but the beauty is that you can create as many presentation layers as needed; this printable version, like the version on my iPhone, for instance, strips out the discussion and history pages.  Others, looking for semantic links in Wikipedia, will parse and present it in other ways.