Installing and Customizing MediaWiki

All you need to know to install and use the powerful MediaWiki system.

Wikipedia has generated a number of headlines over the last few months, and its future as a reliable, neutral, volunteer effort remains to be determined. But Wikipedia has demonstrated the power that a wiki can bring to an organization looking to collect information from a wide variety of participants. If your organization would benefit from a centralized repository created in a decentralized manner, a wiki might just fit the bill.

And, although MediaWiki is far from the only available package, it is highly polished, reliable and easy for both administrators and users. Producing new dynamic pages, known as special pages in the MediaWiki world, requires a fair amount of knowledge of the underlying system. But, getting started is not that difficult, and it is possible (and desirable) to take advantage of the tremendous infrastructure that MediaWiki brings to the table.

Reuven M. Lerner, a longtime Web/database consultant, is currently a PhD student in Learning Sciences at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He and his wife recently celebrated the birth of their son Amotz David.



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Slight clarification in capitalization of call to addMessages

Anonymous's picture

In the text above: "Note that the page name must begin with a lowercase letter in the call to addMessages" doesn't appear to be correct, at least in MediaWiki 1.6.10 where I just tried it---it's not the -first letter- that must be lowercase, but the -entire name-. So if you have a function called MySpiffyPage and a corresponding page name, you need to say "$wgMessageCache->addMessages(array('myspiffypage' => 'My Spiffy Page'));" and not "$wgMessageCache->addMessages(array('mySpiffyPage' => 'My Spiffy Page'));"