37 Facts About MediaWiki


MediaWiki was originally developed by Magnus Manske and improved by Lee Daniel Crocker.

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MediaWiki is written in the PHP programming language and stores all text content into a database.

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Besides its use on Wikimedia sites, MediaWiki has been used as a knowledge management and content management system on tens of thousands of websites, and thousands of companies, public and private, including the websites Fandom, wikiHow, and major internal installations like Intellipedia and Diplopedia.

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MediaWiki is free and open-source and is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2 or any later version.

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MediaWiki's development has generally favored the use of open-source media formats.

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MediaWiki has an active volunteer community for development and maintenance.

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MediaWiki developers participate in the Google Summer of Code by facilitating the assignment of mentors to students wishing to work on MediaWiki core and extension projects.

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Major MediaWiki releases are generated approximately every six months by taking snapshots of the development branch, which is kept continuously in a runnable state; minor releases, or point releases, are issued as needed to correct bugs .

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MediaWiki is developed on a continuous integration development model, in which software changes are pushed live to Wikimedia sites on regular basis.

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The MediaWiki name was gradually phased in, beginning in August 2003.

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The double square brackets symbolize the syntax MediaWiki uses for creating hyperlinks to other wiki pages; while the sunflower represents the diversity of content on Wikipedia, the constant growth, and the wildness.

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Major milestones in MediaWiki's development have included: the categorization system ; parser functions, ; Flagged Revisions, ; the "ResourceLoader", a delivery system for CSS and JavaScript ; and the VisualEditor, a "what you see is what you get" editing platform .

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MediaWiki is used internally by a large number of companies, including Novell and Intel.

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MediaWiki provides a rich core feature set and a mechanism to attach extensions to provide additional functionality.

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Installation of MediaWiki requires that the user have administrative privileges on a server running both PHP and a compatible type of SQL database.

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Some aspects of MediaWiki can be configured through special pages or by editing certain pages; for instance, abuse filters can be configured through a special page, and certain gadgets can be added by creating JavaScript pages in the MediaWiki namespace.

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MediaWiki uses an extensible lightweight wiki markup designed to be easier to use and learn than HTML.

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MediaWiki has an extensible web API that provides direct, high-level access to the data contained in the MediaWiki databases.

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The use of MediaWiki to operate the Wikimedia Commons, one of the largest free content media archives, has driven the need for further functionality in this area.

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MediaWiki allows one to link to specific versions of articles.

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MediaWiki's wikilinks implement page existence detection, in which a link is colored blue if the target page exists on the local wiki and red if it does not.

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Each namespace on MediaWiki is numbered: content page namespaces have even numbers and their associated talk page namespaces have odd numbers.

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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.

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MediaWiki codebase contains various hooks using callback functions to add additional PHP code in an extensible way.

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MediaWiki can be made more advanced and useful for various purposes through its extensions.

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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.

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Various MediaWiki extensions have been created to allow for more complex, faceted search, on both data entered within the wiki and on metadata such as pages' revision history.

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MediaWiki developers have attempted to optimize the software by avoiding expensive algorithms, database queries, etc.

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MediaWiki code is designed to allow for data to be written to a read-write database and read from read-only databases, although the read-write database can be used for some read operations if the read-only databases are not yet up to date.

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However, MediaWiki comes with no built-in GUI to manage such installations.

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Empirical evidence shows most revisions in MediaWiki databases tend to differ only slightly from previous revisions.

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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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Upgrading MediaWiki is usually fully automated, requiring no changes to the site content or template programming.

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MediaWiki developers have enacted security standards, both for core code and extensions.

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MediaWiki developers are spread around the world, though with a majority in the United States and Europe.

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Face-to-face meetings and programming sessions for MediaWiki developers have been held once or several times a year since 2004.

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

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