History of Wikipedia

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The earliest known proposal for an online encyclopedia was made by Rick Gates in 1993,[1] but the concept of an open source web-based online encyclopedia was proposed a little later by Richard Stallman around 1999. Wikipedia was formally launched on 15 January 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger using the concept and technology of a wiki pioneered by Ward Cunningham. Initially Wikipedia was created as a complement and "feeder" to Nupedia, an expert-written online encyclopedia project, in order to provide an additional source of draft articles and ideas. It quickly overtook Nupedia, growing to become a large global project in multiple languages, and originating a wide range of additional reference projects. Today Wikipedia includes 15 million freely usable articles in over two hundred languages worldwide, and content from a million registered user accounts and countless anonymous contributors.[2][3][4]

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