MediaWiki: Wikipedia and Beyond


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They are defined with parameters , to which are assigned values when transcluded on an article page. The name of the parameter is delimited from the value by an equals sign. A class of templates known as infoboxes is used on Wikipedia to collect and present a subset of information about its subject, usually on the top mobile view or top right-hand corner desktop view of the document. A related method, called template substitution called by adding subst: at the beginning of a template link inserts like a copy and paste operation the contents of the template into the target page, instead of loading the template contents dynamically whenever the page is loaded.

This can lead to inconsistency when using templates, but may be useful in certain cases, and in most cases requires fewer server resources the actual amount of savings can vary depending on wiki configuration and the complexity of the template. Templates have found many different uses. Templates enable users to create complex table layouts that are used consistently across multiple pages, and where only the content of the tables gets inserted using template parameters. Templates are often used to identify problems with a Wikipedia article by putting a template in the article.

This template then outputs a graphical box stating that the article content is disputed or in need of some other attention, and also categorize it so that articles of this nature can be located. Templates are also used on user pages to send users standard messages welcoming them to the site, [76] giving them awards for outstanding contributions, [77] [78] warning them when their behavior is considered inappropriate, [79] notifying them when they are blocked from editing, [80] and so on.

MediaWiki offers flexibility in creating and defining user groups. For instance, it would be possible to create an arbitrary "ninja" group that can block users and delete pages, and whose edits are hidden by default in the recent changes log.

It is also possible to set up a group of "autoconfirmed" users that one becomes a member of after making a certain number of edits and waiting a certain number of days. Bureaucrats have power to change other users' rights. Sysops have power over page protection and deletion and the blocking of users from editing.

MediaWiki's available controls on editing rights have been deemed sufficient for publishing and maintaining important documents such as a manual of standard operating procedures in a hospital. When a page consists only of useless content, there are several ways to remove that content. The simplest way, available to all users, is simply to blank the page. However, this interferes with page existence detection, unless an extension is installed to treat blanked pages as though they were nonexistent. Another option is for a sysop to delete the page, and thereby prevent it from being viewed by non-sysops.

Another level of deletion, called RevisionDelete, can be used by a group e. MediaWiki comes with a basic set of features related to restricting access, but its original and ongoing design is driven by functions that largely relate to content, not content segregation.

As a result, with minimal exceptions related to specific tools and their related "Special" pages , page access control has never been a high priority in core development and developers have stated that users requiring secure user access and authorization controls should not rely on MediaWiki, since it was never designed for these kinds of situations. For instance, it is extremely difficult to create a wiki where only certain users can read and access some pages.

The MediaWiki codebase contains various "hooks" using callback functions to add additional PHP code in an extensible way. This allows developers to write extensions without necessarily needing to modify the core or having to submit their code for review. Installing an extension typically consists of adding a line to the configuration file, though in some cases additional changes such as database updates or core patches are required.

Five main extension points were created to allow developers to add features and functionalities to MediaWiki. Hooks are run every time a certain event happens; for instance, the ArticleSaveComplete hook occurs after a save article request has been processed. These pages are dynamically generated. For example, a special page might show all pages that have one or more links to an external site or it might create a form providing user submitted feedback. MediaWiki can be made more advanced and useful for various purposes through its extensions.

Wikipedia: Editing Basics (Visual Editor)

These extensions vary greatly in complexity. The Wikimedia Foundation operates a Git server where many extensions host their repository. Most of them also have a documentation page on the MediaWiki website. MediaWiki code review was itself historically facilitated through a MediaWiki extension. Since version 1. Among the most popular extensions is a parser function extension, ParserFunctions, which allows different content to be rendered based on the result of conditional statements.

At first, only conditional text and the computation of simple mathematical expressions was implemented, but this already increased the possibilities for wiki editors enormously. With time further parser functions were introduced, finally leading to a framework that allowed the simple writing of extension function to add arbitrary functionalities, like e. This time the developers were clearly reacting to the demand of the community, being forced either to fight the solution of the issue that the community had i. Another parser functions extension, StringFunctions, was developed to allow evaluation of string length, string position, and so on.

Wikimedia communities, having created awkward workarounds to accomplish the same functionality, [] clamored for it to be enabled on their projects. Scribunto has been installed on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites since , and is used heavily on those sites. Scribunto code runs significantly faster than corresponding wikitext code using ParserFunctions. Another very popular extension is a citation extension that enables footnotes to be added to pages using inline references.

A gadget called RefToolbar attempts to make it easier to create citations using common templates. MediaWiki has some extensions that are well-suited for academia, such as mathematics extensions [] and an extension that allows molecules to be rendered in 3D. A generic Widgets extension exists that allows MediaWiki to integrate with virtually anything. Other examples of extensions that could improve a wiki are category suggestion extensions [] and extensions for inclusion of Flash Videos , [] YouTube videos, [] and RSS feeds. Senate and House floor proceedings, was created using code extending MediaWiki into the domain of collaborative video authoring.

There are many spambots that search the web for MediaWiki installations and add linkspam to them, despite the fact that MediaWiki uses the nofollow attribute to discourage such attempts at search engine optimization. MediaWiki comes pre-installed with a standard text-based search. Extensions exist to let MediaWiki use more sophisticated third-party search engines, including Elasticsearch which since has been in use on Wikipedia , Lucene [] and Sphinx. Various MediaWiki extensions have also been created to allow for more complex, faceted search , on both data entered within the wiki and on metadata such as pages' revision history.

When this upgrade was applied to Wikipedia, the site was locked for editing, and the schema was converted to the new version in about 22 hours. Some software enhancement proposals, such as a proposal to allow sections of articles to be watched via watchlist, have been rejected because the necessary schema changes would have required excessive Wikipedia downtime.

Because it is used to run one of the highest-traffic sites on the Web, Wikipedia, MediaWiki's performance and scalability have been highly optimized. MediaWiki developers have attempted to optimize the software by avoiding expensive algorithms, database queries, etc. MediaWiki code is designed to allow for data to be written to a master database and read from slave databases, although the master can be used for some read operations if the slaves are not yet up to date.

Metadata , such as article revision history, article relations links, categories etc. The software is suitable for the operation of large scale wiki farms such as Wikimedia , which had about wikis as of August Empirical evidence shows most revisions in MediaWiki databases tend to differ only slightly from previous revisions. Therefore, subsequent revisions of an article can be concatenated and then compressed, achieving very high data compression ratios of up to x.

For more information on the architecture, such as how it stores wikitext and assembles a page, see External links. The parser serves as the de facto standard for the MediaWiki syntax, as no formal syntax has been defined. MediaWiki is not designed to be a suitable replacement for dedicated online forum or blogging software, [] although extensions do exist to allow for both of these.


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On the other hand, the format of these discussion pages has been cited as a strength by one educator, who stated that it provides more fine-grain capabilities for discussion than traditional threaded discussion forums. For example, instead of 'replying' to an entire message, the participant in a discussion can create a hyperlink to a new wiki page on any word from the original page. Discussions are easier to follow since the content is available via hyperlinked wiki page, rather than a series of reply messages on a traditional threaded discussion forum.

However, except in few cases, students were not using this capability, possibly because of their familiarity with the traditional linear discussion style and a lack of guidance on how to make the content more ' link-rich '. MediaWiki by default has little support for the creation of dynamically assembled documents, or pages that aggregate data from other pages.

Some research has been done on enabling such features directly within MediaWiki. The Wikibase Repository and Wikibase Repository client are however implemented in Wikidata and Wikipedia respectively, and to some extent provides semantic web features, and linking of centrally stored data to infoboxes in various Wikipedia articles. Upgrading MediaWiki is usually fully automated, requiring no changes to the site content or template programming. Historically troubles have been encountered when upgrading from significantly older versions.

MediaWiki developers have enacted security standards, both for core code and extensions. MediaWiki developers are spread around the world, though with a majority in the United States and Europe. Face-to-face meetings and programming sessions for MediaWiki developers have been held once or several times a year since Users of online collaboration software are familiar with MediaWiki's functions and layout due to its noted use on Wikipedia.

Compared to other wikis, MediaWiki is also fairly aesthetically pleasing, though simple, and has an easily customized side menu and stylesheet. The authors noted that TWiki has been considered as a collaborative tool for development of educational papers and technical projects, whereas MediaWiki's most noted use is on Wikipedia. Although both platforms allow discussion and tracking of progress, TWiki has a "Report" part that MediaWiki lacks.

Students perceived MediaWiki as being easier to use and more enjoyable than TWiki.

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When asked whether they recommended using MediaWiki for knowledge management course group project, 15 out of 16 respondents expressed their preference for MediaWiki giving answers of great certainty, such as "of course", "for sure". A study that compared students' experience with MediaWiki to that with Google Documents found that students gave the latter a much higher rating on user-friendly layout.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Wikimedia. Wiki software. Main article: MediaWiki version history. See also: Category:MediaWiki websites. Play media. A dialogue. See also: VisualEditor. This section's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. March MediaWiki page tabs, using the "Vector" skin. The red coloration of the "discussion" tab indicates that the article does not yet have a talk page. As with any other red wikilink, clicking on it prompts the user to create the page.

For talk pages on Wikipedia, see Help:Talk pages. Main article: MediaWiki extension. Main article: Comparison of wiki software. Free and open-source software portal. Retrieved October 7, MediaWiki-announce Mailing list. Retrieved June 8, Archived from the original on September 19, Retrieved September 7, MediaWiki website. Retrieved August 4, October O'Reilly Media. Retrieved April 23, Retrieved May 30, September 11, Archived from the original on November 10, Retrieved September 11, Archived from the original on September 11, Retrieved September 6, Retrieved August 17, July 19, March 26, Open Hub.

Archived from the original on September 14, Retrieved November 15, Approximate counts not deduplicated as of for core, for extensions supported by WMF, and 42 for extensions only hosted on WMF's Git and SVN repositories respectively.


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  • September 5, Retrieved October 21, Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved October 2, Wikipedia-L mailing list archives. May 25, Archived from the original on July 1, Retrieved March 14, Retrieved February 3, Times Books. Presentation MediaWiki development video.

    Mediawiki : Wikipedia and Beyond

    April 28, Archived from the original on April 14, Retrieved September 23, Archived from the original on March 8, Retrieved July 6, Archived from the original on September 27, Retrieved September 15, Archived from the original on September 16, Retrieved August 16, Maron; M. Maron Knowledge Management for Development Journal. Archived from the original on May 4, Retrieved October 9, Archived from the original on March 18, Retrieved December 10, Archived from the original on June 25, December 12, March 29, Archived from the original on November 23, Archived from the original on May 1, WMF Labs.

    Archived from the original on July 13, Retrieved June 12, Archived from the original on December 19, Archived PDF from the original on March 10, Retrieved January 2, May 17, Archived from the original on May 27, Archived from the original on March 9, Retrieved March 16, Archived from the original on April 20, May 24, Archived from the original on June 26, May 21, April 10, August 31, Archived from the original on March 31, A "bare-bones" version of MediaWiki with an ability to hide and control most of its user interface.

    For example, pages related to the Wikipedia SOPA blackout or the Wikipedia donate page are built on MediaWiki, with most of MediaWiki's chrome hidden to better focus on the page's purpose and content. These are some of the projects we think can use Barebones MediaWiki, though any such use would have to be carefully judged on its merits, beyond user experience alone:. From MediaWiki. This page in a nutshell: This draft is a proposal to create a MediaWiki instance stripped of all of most of its UI to be used to make microsites for any projects.

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