MediaWiki-1.21.0rc1

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This wiki is created for testing and evaluation of the distribution of MediaWiki-1.21.0rc1 prepared by Mark A. Hershberger, summarizing job of many developers.

The package had been downloaded from http://mah.everybody.org/mediawiki-1.21.0rc1.tar.gz

Contents

Requirements

MediaWiki requires a computer, that provides the Web service. The administrator should be able to up this server if it is completely crashed by his/her errors during the installing.

Support of the programming language PHP should be already installed. In case of Macintosh, the PHP comes together with packet XCode. This way is recommended, although configuration of XCode may be a little bit tricky.

Support of database handler MySQL should be already installed. The installing is not trivial and may require some knowledge and investigation. In particular, some distributions, by default, do not supply the programs to stop MySQL nor to start MySQL.

The administrator should have basic knowledge in the programming, in the operational system he/she uses, and some experience using PHP and MySQL. Basic skills in saving and, especially, restoring of the software and the data at the server are strongly recommended.

The administrator should have basic knowledge in the Web search. Administrator should be able to formulate well the question and choose the efficient keywords, in order to find in the internet the hints to the solutions of problems, that arise during the installing and configuring of wiki. The questions of a style Which scissors are better to hummer a screw into the wall?, or Where should we put a horse to move the steam engine? are not efficient while search for such hints. So, knowledge of the terminology is also required. In particular, administrator should know the difference between MySQL and PHP, and the difference between MediaWiki and WikiMedia; the last two give a good example of non-commutative objects.

Problems

Many problems arise, if the administrator, configuring the MediaWiki, has no previous experience maintaining a Website, or in programming in PHP or handling databases with MySQL. Perhaps, some of them will be mitigated in the future releases of MediaWiki.

Extensions

Wikis, as they usually are seen in the internet, provide a lot of important options: Beautiful typing of formulas, arrangement of the cites, easy uploading of images, and many others. In general, these options are not default; they are not included in the basic package. After to set-up a new wiki, the administrator finds, that the most of options, that are believed to be properties of MediaWiki, are not supported at all. The support of these options is provided by so-called extensions. Usually, these extensions do not come together with the basic MediaWiki package. The installing and configuring of these extensions is heavy and long work.

The achievement by Mark A. Hershberger is, that many of the extensions are combined in the same bunch, and many of them are installed and configured automatically. However, the choice of the default extensions looks strange. Some very important extensions, such as MathJax and ShortURL, are not included at all. I could install the MathJax by myself, but I failed with the ShortURL, it is not supported until now, although twice the sites had beed broken in the attempts to install the ShortURL.

Loading of figures

Loading of figures is tricky. The directory "images" should have specific owner and permissions.

Support of PDF figures is declared, but I could not find the example for the loading. While, all the EPS and PDF figures are converted to the historical formats (JPG, GIF, PNG, etc.), that imply the loss of the resolution.

Skin

Here, term skin means the general look of the site, presented by the main script of MediaWiki. This script requires some thousands of files that determine the view. Configuring of skins is not trivial, although the files required are a little bit structured.

In particular, I could not find the option to move the left menu bar for a centimeter to the left; about of one centimeter of the screen from the left hans side is not used. While typing complicated formulas, every centimeter at the screen is important.

The configuration of the content of the menu bars is not trivial. In particular, I cannot find option to put images at the MediaWiki:Sidebar; the same refers to the menu at the bottom of the page. For example, the clickable logo of MathJax deserves to be placed there, while the formula typing here is suported namely by the MathJax.

Interaction with other Wiki

MediaWiki provides a lot of options for the interaction of several wikis, including the semi-authomatic transfer to the version of the article in the appropriate language. I still could not follow the instructions to arrange this.

While the basic language of this wiki is declared to be English. The Japanese and Russian articles are expected to be distinguished by the specific character sets. However, the naming of Spanish, Portuguese, German and Chinese articles may need some specifications to indicate the language. (While, not so many articles are expected in Chinese and German here.)

Examples of articles that were loaded first

The first articls, MathJaxTest, NoMathJaxTest, are very rough; they should be rewritten. Option Random page at the left seems to choose the worst articles in the wiki. This option can be used by opponents, who look for an appropriate object for their critics. The articles, which I consider to be useful not only for critics, will be listed separately.


Original message by the Installer program

The original message by the installer is moved here from the Main page:


MediaWiki has been successfully installed.

Consult the User's Guide for information on using the wiki software.

Getting started