MediaWiki in Depth

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Why Wiki?

  • Purpose of wiki in the workplace
  • Ideals, culture
    • Collaboration as a practice
  • Wiki vs Web, vs traditional documentation

A Quick Look at Wiki in Action

  • What wiki can do in just minutes

A Look at MediaWiki

What MediaWiki is What MediaWiki is not
Solid A Content Management System
Actively developed Easy to theme
Handles massive data w/ease Easy to extend
Tunable Easy to debug
Excellent revision control Easy to configure
Excellent moderator tools Easy


  • How it was developed; core design goals of the MediaWiki project
  • A little thought, A lot less trouble

Restrictions and MediaWiki

  • The fallacy of false security
    • Issues of fighting the core design of a product
    • Where investment went
  • Collaborative culture and restriction
    • The purpose and usage model of a wiki

Other Wikis

  • Advantages, disadvantages
    • Picking your battles

Your Resources

These are the resources that you are going to be using again and again. Let's learn how to use them!


MediaWiki in Depth/Setup



  • Why is it weird? It's a php file!
    • Associated gotchas
Directives you should be aware of
User permissions

Image Uploading

Configuring File Uploads

Installing Extensions

Finding extensions

Installing your first extension: Breadcrumbs!

  • The MediaWiki directory layout
  • LocalSettings config

Extensions you may find useful

Creation and Editing

Creating a Page

Page structure


Interwiki linking (if we have time)


  • The main page
  • Searching


  • Categories
  • Namespaces
  • Customizing the sidebar
    • MediaWiki:Sidebar
    • Different syntax-- links are not surrounded by brackets

Tracking, Maintenance and Moderation

  • Watching
    • Marking patrolled
  • Protecting
  • Revisions and Diffs
  • Users, Groups, and Permissions
  • Protecting against spam
  • Deleting
    • Wiki culture and deleting
  • Undeleting
  • Moving, Renaming and Redirecting

Maintenance Scripts

Backing up and Restoring

  • Backing it up
    • sudo mysqldump -h hostname -u userid --password dbname | gzip > backup.sql.gz
  • Restoring
    • sudo mysql -u wikidb_user -p wikidb < dump_of_wikidb.sql


  • The reason for Wikipedia's continued success: bots
  • What they can do
  • A bit of history on bots (I can't resist)
  • Pywikibot

User Pages, Talk Pages, And Community on Your Wiki

  • Flagging

The Future

  • Platform changes
  • Flow, VisualEditor
  • The future of wiki itself

Dave's Class Notes