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MediaWiki is a free software open source wiki package written in PHP, originally for use on Wikipedia. It is now also used by several other projects of the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation and by many other wikis, including this website, the home of MediaWiki.
MediaWiki is a particular wiki engine, that is developed for and used by Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects. MediaWiki is freely available for others to use (and improve), and it is in use by all sorts of projects and organizations around the world.
What’s New in MediaWiki 1.28.1?
MediaWiki 1.28 is the latest release of MediaWiki. Consult the RELEASE-NOTES file for the full list of changes. It was deployed on Wikimedia Foundation wikis through incremental “wmf”-branches starting May 10, 2016. The 1.28.0 stable release was released on November 28, 2016. Download the latest snapshot or checkout the
REL1_28 branch in Git to follow this release.
Improved HTML file caching
The HTML file caching feature (controlled by
$wgUseFileCache) now supports caching ?action=history views (gerrit:310697). In addition, the emergency fallback of showing cached pages if the database is down was fixed and now works properly.
Upgrade notices for MediaWiki administrators
- Magic links are now disabled by default. They can be enabled by changing the value of
$wgEnableMagicLinks. It has been proposed to remove magic link functionality from MediaWiki in a future release, if you depend upon or use them it is requested that you comment at Requests for comment/Future of magic links.
- BREAKING CHANGE:
$wgHTTPProxyis now *required* for all external requests made by MediaWiki via a proxy. Relying on the http_proxy environment variable is no longer supported.
- The load.php entry point now enforces the existing policy of not allowing access to session data, which includes the session user and the session user’s language. If such access is attempted, an exception will be thrown.
$wgForeignUploadTargetsnow defaults to
[ 'local' ], where
'local'signifies local uploads. A value of
(empty array) now means that no upload targets are allowed, effectively disabling the upload dialog.
$wgPingbackis true, MediaWiki will periodically send basic information about the local MediaWiki installation to EventLogging on www.mediawiki.org. This data includes, for example, the type of system, PHP version, and chosen database backend. This behavior is off by default.
$wgEditSubmitButtonLabelPublishis true, MediaWiki will label the button to store-to-database-and-show-to-others as “Publish page”/”Publish changes”; if false, the default, they will be “Save page”/”Save changes”.
- The ‘
editcontentmodel‘ permission is now granted to all logged-in users (‘
user‘). instead of just administrators (‘
sysop‘). Documentation for this feature is available at Help:ChangeContentModel.
$wgRevisionCacheExpiryis now set to one week by default instead of being disabled.
- Magic links are now disabled by default, and can be re-enabled by modifying the value of
$wgEnableMagicLinks. Their usage is discouraged, but if they are manually enabled, a tracking category will be added to help identify usage and make it easier to migrate away from. If you depend upon magic link functionality, it is requested that you comment on Requests for comment/Future of magic links and explain your use case(s).
- New config variable
$wgCSPFalsePositiveUrlsto control what URLs to ignore in upcoming Content-SECURITY-Policy feature’s reporting.
User::isBot()method for checking if an account is a bot role account.
- Added a new ‘
slideshow‘ mode for galleries.
- Added a new hook, ‘UserIsBot’, to aid in determining if a user is a bot.
- (task T141604) Extensions can now provide a better error message when their maintenance scripts are run without the extension being installed.
- (task T8948) Numeric sorting in categories is now supported by setting
uca-default-u-kn‘ or ‘
uca-<langcode>-u-kn‘. If you can’t use UCA collations, a ‘numeric’ collation is also available. If migrating from another collation, you will need to run the updateCollation.php maintenance script.
- Two new codes have been added to #time parser function: “xit” for days in current month, and “xiz” for days passed in the year, both in Iranian calendar.
mw.Apihas a new option,
useUS, to use
U+001F(Unit Separator) when appropriate for sending multi-valued parameters. This defaults to true when the
mw.Apiinstance seems to be for the local wiki.
- After a client performs an action which alters a database that has replica databases, MediaWiki will wait for the replica databases to synchronize with the master database while it renders the HTML output. However, if the output is a redirect to another wiki on the wiki farm with a different domain, MediaWiki will instead alter the redirect URL to include a ?cpPosTime parameter that triggers the database synchronization when the URL is followed by the client. The same-domain case uses a new cpPosTime cookie.
- Added new hooks, ‘ApiQueryBaseBeforeQuery’, ‘ApiQueryBaseAfterQuery’, and ‘ApiQueryBaseProcessRow’, to make it easier for extensions to add ‘prop’ and ‘show’ parameters to existing API query modules.
What is MediaWiki good for?
MediaWiki is really, really good at allowing groups of people – be they groups of 3 people or groups of 100s of people – to contribute to documents (known as ‘articles’).
Users of MediaWiki can add and edit text within pages, and insert images in to documents. They can format text bold and italic, add links to other pages both within the wiki and externally. This is all achieved through the use of a simple ‘markdown’ language which translates certain characters within the text in to different formating.
Every version of an article within MediaWiki is stored, and users can revert an article back to a previous state if they feel it is better in quality than the current version.
MediaWiki can be used as:
- A framework for an intranet or extranet – a portal for members of a company or organisation – to use as a central resource to store documentation on a product or service (for example, many software companies use MediaWiki to store details about how their software works).
- A basic project management system, allowing users to monitor their tasks and outstanding issues for the project (so, MediaWiki can also be used as a bug-tracking tool for software projects).
- An encyclopaedia, such as Wikipedia.
- A dictionary or glossary of terms, such as Wiktionary.
- A way to store walk-throughs and how-to guides online.
And, of course, there are plenty of other uses for MediaWiki not seen yet.
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