MediaWiki is a free and open-source wiki engine. It was developed for use on Wikipedia in 2002 and given the name MediaWiki in 2003.
It remains in use on Wikipedia and almost all other Wikimedia sites, including Wiktionary, Wikimedia Commons, and Wikidata. These sites continue to define a large part of the requirement set for MediaWiki.
Its development has since then been coordinated by the Wikimedia Foundation.
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Frequently Asked Questions
In addition to the MediaWiki software itself, you need:
A web server software to serve MediaWiki pages to the web browser.
PHP to run MediaWiki.
A database server to store MediaWiki pages and data.
In addition, there are various optional dependencies which are required if you want to use certain advanced features.
For more detailed information, refer to the MediaWiki system requirements.
MediaWiki, the open-source wiki software best known for powering Wikipedia, is a versatile platform with various use cases. Here are some common scenarios where MediaWiki is frequently employed:
Knowledge base and documentation, collaborative content creation, corporate intranets, project documentation, research and academic collaboration, FAQs and user guides, open educational resources (OER), public wikis and knowledge sharing, software and IT documentation, community websites and portals, language documentation, event planning and coordination, and emergency response and disaster management.
While MediaWiki is a great choice, several alternatives cater to different needs and preferences. Here are some popular options:
For Large-Scale Projects and Complex Content:
DokuWiki: Focuses on simplicity and ease of use with file-based storage, suitable for smaller wikis and non-technical users.
Confluence: Enterprise-focused with robust features like security, access control, and integrations, great for managing knowledge within organizations.
XWiki: Highly customizable and extensible with over 1000 extensions, caters to advanced users and developers for complex wiki needs.
For Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing:
Guru: Modern interface with AI-powered insights and intuitive drag-and-drop editing, ideal for knowledge capture and collaborative editing.
BookStack: Simple and elegant interface focusing on clear information presentation, perfect for documentation and knowledge bases.
Notion: Flexible workspace for tasks, notes, wikis, and project management, blending elements of traditional wikis with collaborative tools.
For Specific Niche Needs:
Zim Wiki: Offline-first wiki experience, ideal for personal knowledge management and note-taking on the go.
TiddlyWiki: Single-file wiki format, suitable for portable wikis and small knowledge bases.
MediaWiki, the open-source wiki software best known for powering Wikipedia, has distinct features and characteristics that differentiate it from other open-source wiki application platforms. Here are some key differences:
Structured Content and Templates:
MediaWiki supports structured content with templates. Templates allow users to create standardized structures for pages, providing a consistent format for information presentation.
Semantic MediaWiki Extension:
MediaWiki includes the Semantic MediaWiki extension, which adds semantic annotations to content. This extension allows users to define and query relationships between pages, enabling the creation of semantic data structures within the wiki.
Wikitext Markup Language:
MediaWiki uses wikitext as its markup language, which is a simple and readable syntax. The use of wikitext makes it easy for both novice and experienced users to contribute to the wiki.
MediaWiki has a robust ecosystem of extensions that enhance its functionality. Users can easily extend and customize MediaWiki to meet specific requirements by integrating various extensions.
MediaWiki includes a VisualEditor, a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor that simplifies the editing process for users who are not familiar with wikitext markup. This visual editor allows users to edit pages without directly interacting with the markup language.
Association with Wikipedia:
Lastly, MediaWiki is closely associated with Wikipedia, one of the largest and most popular wikis in the world. This association contributes to MediaWiki’s recognition and widespread adoption.
MediaWiki primarily uses a query language called SPARQL (SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language) in conjunction with the Semantic MediaWiki extension for semantic data querying. SPARQL is a query language and protocol designed for querying and manipulating data stored in Resource Description Framework (RDF) format.
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