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delatbabel 10-31-2014 09:39 AM

Offline version of the wiki
Hi all,

I just built an offline version of the cruising and sailing wiki.

I have uploaded it to and the link to download it is here: | Download | cruiserswiki.zim

The file will stick around for about 3 weeks minimum, or about 20 days after the last download. It's about a 1.1GB download including all of the images, so make sure it's something you download before you go anywhere rather than trying to do so at sea.

In order to use it, you need an offline ZIM viewer, these are about for the Android and iPad type platforms. The one that I have been using is called kiwix, it gets pretty good reviews. Do a search for kiwix in the android or ipad app stores, it should be there. No doubt you'll need some kind of external storage such as a micro SD card.

I've loaded a copy on to my samsung tablet and it seems pretty good so far. There are a few formatting issues but most of the information is there just like in a web browser.

I'll try to update the offline copy at regular intervals if people find a use for it.


delatbabel 10-31-2014 09:41 AM

kiwix has windows, Mac and Linux versions as well.

Andy R 10-31-2014 07:03 PM

This is great news. Being able to access the wiki while at sea is very important.

Was the process of taking the data and getting into a zim file for kiwix easy?

1.1 GB seems awfully big the whole english language Wikipedia is available for 12 GB (without photo). I wonder how much our photos take up of that 1.1 GB? Maybe it's possible we can identify some unusually large photos and compress them without much loss?

Andy R 10-31-2014 11:38 PM

One idea might be to gather a group of people and offer up the most recent version of the wiki via bittorrent. I don't know what issues we might have with that such as old copies remaining online when newer copies are available. Just an idea since it's a big file. We have some server space too but I am concerned about bandwidth with such a large file. Another idea might be a download manager so people can keep downloading where they left off in the event their connection breaks. I'd hate to try and grab such a large file on a crappy connection and keep getting a large way through and have to start over.

delatbabel 11-01-2014 12:03 AM

I've used ADM on android and it works quite well, there are other download managers out there. A torrent download only works if there are enough people to seed -- usually only for a file that's quite popular. Then of course to seed the torrent you need a number of people to download the file and start seeding.

In terms of creating the file -- what I ended up doing was downloading the entire wiki using some scripts, then using some more scripts that I wrote to post-process the HTML and CSS (turn the CSS file names into something more sensible for local use), and then using zimwriterfs from the kiwix project to turn that into a zim file.

I will have another go at creating the zim file but doing a bit of image compression first -- some of the JPEG and PNG images could stand to be compressed a little better. I did try making a zip file of the zim file but didn't gain much out of it. It would be easier if I had access to the server because then I could optimise the images in situ rather than downloading and then optimising.

Images are most of the size of the zim file -- on disk the images are 1.1GB and the wiki text is 250MB.

delatbabel 11-01-2014 01:39 AM

Hi all,

I created a new copy after optimising the images, which brought the file size down to about 850MB. | Download | cruiserswiki.zim

I'm reluctant to do one without images -- a lot of the images are things like marina plans, pilot charts, etc, and would be useful to have even if they take up space.

haiqu 11-01-2014 09:13 AM

Awesome idea Del.

delatbabel 11-03-2014 08:55 AM

If you're after wikipedia in ZIM format to use in the same kiwix reader, this page has the links:

The 3.7GB download of a selection of 45,000 articles is quite good enough for casual reading. I'd like to have the 42B download of the full wikipedia but it's a bit large to store anywhere other than a USB hard drive. Maybe when 64GB Micro SD cards come down in price a bit.

Marinegirl405 12-03-2018 02:45 AM

Wow - great work delatbabel - I don't suppose you are willing and able to do an updated version? We've been using wikipedia offline (with Kiwix) for the last year or so and LOVE it. This thread is the only hint that CruisersWiki may be available offline and I see the version you have (I downloaded it) is still available but from 2014. An update would be fantastic (and I'd be happy to post to the beer fund if you did get around to it).

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