Last modified: 2007-03-29 21:36:57 UTC
Dear WikiMedia folks,
I am part of the management team for KnowItNow (www.knowitnow.org), the largest
and most successful virtual reference service in the United States. The
KnowItNow online service provides online research and homework help for all of
Ohio's residents, over 11 million people.
Many of the trained librarians who provide assistance have found the answers
they are looking for (yes, many librarians DO view Wikipedia as a reputable
resource!) in Wikipedia, but have been unable to actually point online patrons
to Wikipedia pages, due to their frame busting nature. The software the service
runs on uses frames. When a librarian attempts to "push" a Wikipedia page to an
online patron via the software (as is done with all web resources used to answer
a patron's question), it breaks the frame and the user is disconnected from the
Librarians are keenly aware of the need to protect intellectual property, and
However, we have had to start telling our librarians "don't use Wikipedia for
KnowItNow reference transactions" when they are being trained. It is a loss of
a valuable resource that could be used to answer literally thousands of
reference questions every year.
Would it be possible to add a bit of code to look for a referring URL? If
Wikipedia knew the download request was coming from the KnowItNow service, it
could avoid executing the frame busting code. The KnowItNow management team
would be happy to work with you on this solution. Thank you for considering,
and please don't hesitate to contact me if I can help pursue a solution in any way.
325 Superior Avenue
Web Applications Supervisor
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Frame-breaking can be toggled using $wgBreakFrames in LocalSettings.php, and
appears to have been disabled for Wikimedia web sites.