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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.
Upgrading to MediaWiki 1.35.2
MediaWiki 1.35.2 can be upgraded to (or installed) using any of Installatron’s products. Use Installatron’s optional Automatic Update feature to automatically apply MediaWiki updates as new versions are released, or use Installatron’s Clone feature to duplicate an existing MediaWiki install to test the 1.35.2 upgrade prior to applying it live.
What’s New in MediaWiki 1.35.2
- Special pages Special:EditPage, Special:PageHistory, Special:PageInfo, and Special:Purge have been created as shortcuts for each action. Special:EditPage/Foo redirects to title=foo&action=edit, with PageHistory, PageInfo, and Purge corresponding to &action= history, info, and purge respectively. When linked to, its subpage is used as the target. Otherwise, it displays a basic interface to allow the end user to specify the target manually (see task T13456).
- The form at “?action=watch” has a new dropdown list to support expiry dates for watchlist items (if
New bundled extensions
MediaWiki 1.35 bundled the VisualEditor extension, which provides a visual editing experience as an alternative to the traditional source editor. It will not be necessary to setup a separate instance of Parsoid, as it is built into MediaWiki core.
In addition SecureLinkFixer and TemplateData are bundled. They force https links on your wiki, and add a tag and an api to allow editors to specify how templates should be invoked.
Action API changes
- The ‘suggest’ parameter of action=opensearch has been deprecated. The API behaves the same with and without this parameter. It was previously used by $wgEnableOpenSearchSuggest to partially disable the API if set to false. Specifically, it would deny internal frontend requests carrying this parameter, whilst accepting other requests.
- Integer-type parameters are now validated for syntax rather than being interpreted in surprising ways. For example, the following will now return a badinteger error:
- “1.9” (formerly interpreted as “1”)
- ” 1″ (formerly interpreted as “1”)
- “1e1” (formerly interpreted as “1” or “10”, depending on the PHP version)
- “1foobar” (formerly interpreted as “1”)
- “foobar” (formerly intepreted as “0”) parameters. Ranges should be assumed to be enforced.
- Many user-type parameters now accept a user ID, formatted like “#12345”.
- The ‘assert’ parameter used by all API modules now supports the value ‘anon’. When specified, the API will return the ‘assertanonfailed’ error if the user is logged in.
- action=edit now supports the ‘baserevid’ parameter for edit conflict detection, as an alternative to ‘basetimestamp’. Note that self-conflicts will continue to be ignored if ‘basetimestamp’ is set, but not if only ‘baserevid’ is set.
- A new module was added to change the content model of existing pages. Use action=changecontentmodel. Unlike Special:ChangeContentModel, the api module does not work for pages that do not already exist.
- If $wgWatchlistExpiry is true, the following API changes are made:
- action=watch accepts a new ‘expiry’ parameter analagous to the expiry accepted by action=userrights, action=block, etc., except it must be no greater than $wgWatchlistExpiryMaxDuration, or an infinity value.
- action=query&list=watchlistraw returns pages’ watchlist expiry dates.
- (task T249526) action=login will now return Failed rather than NeedToken on session loss.
Action API internal changes
- The Action API now uses the Wikimedia\ParamValidator library for parameter validation, which brings some new features and changes. For the most part existing module code should work as it did before, but see subsequent notes for changes.
- The values for all ApiBase PARAM_* constants have changed. Code should have been using the constants rather than hard-coding the values.
- Several ApiBase PARAM_* constants have been deprecated, see the in-class documentation for details. Use the equivalent ParamValidator constants instead.
- The value returned for ‘upload’-type parameters has changed from WebRequestUpload to Psr\Http\Message\UploadedFileInterface.
- Validation of ‘user’-type parameters is more flexible. PARAM constants exist to specify the type of “user” allowed and to request UserIdentity objects rather than name strings. The default is to accept all types (name, IP, range, and interwiki) that were formerly accepted.
- Maximum limits are no longer ignored in “internal mode”.
- The $paramName to ApiBase::handleParamNormalization() should now include the prefix.
- (task T245931) meta=siteinfo&siprop=interwikimap no longer reports language or extralanglink when $wgInterwikiMagic is false.
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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