For developers working in an offline environment such as public transit or rural dead zones, looking up information on sites like Wikipedia or StackOverflow might seem impossible.
Lately, I’ve been using Kiwix to keep offline copies of popular sites like Wikipedia and StackOverflow, aided by the availability of cheap USB mass storage devices. Kiwix is an offline web browser that uses a specialized archive file format to store copies of reference material. It was built to view Wikipedia articles but later expanded for other data sources like StackOverflow and Open Street Map.
Keeping an offline copy is simple:
- Download Kiwix Reader
- Find relevant ZIM packages, downloading them via BitTorrent. The files are large, often several hundred GB in size. A new USB drive may be helpful.
- Open the files using Kiwix.
The experience is like the web version but with a blazing fast load time and the ability to look things up when the internet cuts out.