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MediaWiki API

Quick overview:

v · d · e
MediaWiki version: 1.13

Requires the selected MediaWiki to have the following configuration settings set to true: $wgEnableAPI and $wgEnableWriteAPI. See Manual:DefaultSettings.php. This module is implemented by ApiEditPage.php.

Token[edit | edit source]

To edit a page, an edit token is required. This token is the same for all pages, but changes at every login. The preferred method to obtain an edit token depends on the MediaWiki version:

Currently, all older methods continue to work, but are deprecated.

If you want to protect against edit conflicts (which is wise), you also need to get the timestamp of the last revision, included in the example below:

Obtaining an edit token

When passing this to the Edit API, always pass the token parameter last (or at least after the text parameter). That way, if the edit gets interrupted, the token won't be passed and the edit will fail. This is done automatically by mw.Api.

When running on a MediaWiki page, the token can be obtained by calling mw.user.tokens.get('editToken') (more information).

Editing pages[edit | edit source]

Pages can be edited and created with action=edit.

Parameters[edit | edit source]

  • title: Title of the page you want to edit. Cannot be used together with pageid.
    Note: If $wgCapitalLinks is set to false, 'Article' and 'article' will not be considered as the same page, as in Wiktionary, for example.
  • pageid: Page ID of the page you want to edit. Cannot be used together with title MW 1.20+
  • section: Section number. 0 for the top section, 'new' for a new section. Omit to act on the entire page
  • sectiontitle: Title to use if creating a new section. If not specified, summary will be used instead MW 1.19+
  • text: New page (or section) content
  • token: Edit token. Especially if you are not using the md5 parameter, the token should be sent as the last parameter, or at least, after the text parameter, to prevent a bad edit from getting committed if transmission of the body is interrupted for some reason. This parameter is required.
  • summary: Edit summary. Also section title when section=new and sectiontitle is not set
  • minor: If set, mark the edit as minor [1]
  • notminor: If set, don't mark the edit as minor, even if you have the "Mark all my edits minor by default" preference enabled [1]
  • bot: If set, mark the edit as bot; even if you are using a bot account the edits will not be marked unless you set this flag [1]
  • basetimestamp: Timestamp of the base revision (obtained through prop=revisions&rvprop=timestamp). Used to detect edit conflicts; leave unset to ignore conflicts
    Note: Edit conflicts will be ignored if you are conflicting with the current user.
  • starttimestamp: Timestamp when you started editing the page (e.g., when you fetched the current revision's text to begin editing it or checked the (non-)existence of the page). Used to detect if the page has been deleted since you started editing; leave unset to ignore conflicts
  • recreate: Override any errors about the article having been deleted in the meantime[1]
  • createonly: Don't edit the page if it exists already[1]
  • nocreate: Throw an error if the page doesn't exist[1]
  • watch: Add the page to your watchlist. Deprecated. Use the watchlist argument (deprecated in 1.16)
  • unwatch: Remove the page from your watchlist. Deprecated. Use the watchlist argument (deprecated in 1.16)
  • watchlist: Specify how the watchlist is affected by this edit, set to one of "watch", "unwatch", "preferences", "nochange": MW 1.16+
    • watch: add the page to the watchlist
    • unwatch: remove the page from the watchlist
    • preferences: use the preference settings (Default)
    • nochange: don't change the watchlist
  • md5: MD5 hash (hex) of the text parameter or the prependtext and appendtext parameters concatenated. If this parameter is set and the hashes don't match, the edit is rejected. This can be used to guard against data corruption
  • prependtext: Add this text to the beginning of the page. Overrides text
  • appendtext: Add this text to the end of the page. Overrides text. Use section=new to append a new section
  • undo: Revision ID to undo. Overrides text, prependtext and appendtext
  • undoafter: Undo all revisions from undo up to but not including this one. If not set, just undo one revision
  • redirect: Automatically resolve redirects[1]
  • contentformat: Content serialization format used for the input text MW 1.21+
    • text/x-wiki for wikitext
    • text/javascript for javascript
    • text/css for css
    • text/plain for plaintext
    • application/json for json
  • contentmodel: Content model of the new content MW 1.21+
    • wikitext
    • javascript
    • css
    • text
    • JsonZeroConfig
    • Scribunto
    • JsonSchema
  • captchaid: CAPTCHA ID from the previous request MW 1.18-
  • captchaword: Answer to the CAPTCHA MW 1.18-
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 The presence of this variable is supposed to activate its feature. Due to a PHP $_POST quirk, however, you must supply a value with the parameter, even if it's an empty value (e.g., "recreate=" will suppress errors about the page being previously deleted, "recreate" on its own will be ignored).

Example[edit | edit source]

Note: In this example, all parameters are passed in a GET request just for the sake of simplicity. However, action=edit requires POST requests; GET requests will cause an error. Do not forget to set the Content-Type header of your request to application/x-www-form-urlencoded. The token that you received is terminated with +\, this needs to be urlencoded (so it will end with %2B%5C) before it is passed back. Adding a new section to en:Talk:Main Page

CAPTCHAs and extension errors[edit | edit source]

If an edit requires a CAPTCHA, you'll get something like:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
  <edit result="Failure">
    <captcha type="math" mime="text/tex" id="509895952" question="36 + 4 = " />

The specific information you get will depend on the captcha in use. In most cases, you won't get a math CAPTCHA, but a URL to an image (in the url field). When you've solved the CAPTCHA, retry the request (in this case with captchaid=509895952&captchaword=40).

Other extensions that use the APIEditBeforeSave hook may return failure results using either the format described above or the usual error format.

Possible errors[edit | edit source]

In addition to the usual stuff:

Code Info
notitle The title parameter must be set
notext One of the text, appendtext, prependtext and undo parameters must be set
notoken The token parameter must be set
invalidsection The section parameter must be set to an integer or 'new'
protectedtitle This title has been protected from creation
cantcreate You don't have permission to create new pages
cantcreate-anon Anonymous users can't create new pages
articleexists The article you tried to create has been created already
noimageredirect-anon Anonymous users can't create image redirects
noimageredirect You don't have permission to create image redirects
spamdetected Your edit was refused because it contained a spam fragment: "wikitext"
filtered The filter callback function refused your edit
contenttoobig The content you supplied exceeds the article size limit of bytes bytes
noedit-anon Anonymous users can't edit pages
noedit You don't have permission to edit pages
pagedeleted The page has been deleted since you fetched its timestamp
emptypage Creating new, empty pages is not allowed
emptynewsection Creating empty new sections is not possible.
editconflict Edit conflict detected
revwrongpage revid is not a revision of "pagename"
Thrown if an invalid revid is given for undo or undoafter
undofailure Undo failed due to conflicting intermediate edits
missingtitle (see above nocreate parameter)
mustbeposted The edit module requires a POST request
readapidenied You need read permission to use this module
writeapidenied You're not allowed to edit this wiki through the API
noapiwrite Editing of this wiki through the API is disabled. Make sure the $wgEnableWriteAPI=true; statement is included in the wiki's LocalSettings.php file
badtoken Invalid token
missingparam One of the parameters title, pageid is required
invalidparammix The parameters title, pageid can not be used together
invalidtitle Bad title "title"
nosuchpageid There is no page with ID pageid
pagecannotexist Namespace doesn't allow actual pages
nosuchrevid There is no revision with ID undo
nosuchrevid There is no revision with ID undoafter
undofailure Undo failed due to conflicting intermediate edits
badmd5 The supplied MD5 hash was incorrect
hookaborted The modification you tried to make was aborted by an extension hook
parseerror Failed to parse the given text.
summaryrequired Summary required
blocked You have been blocked from editing
ratelimited You've exceeded your rate limit. Please wait some time and try again
unknownerror Unknown error: "retval"
nosuchsection There is no such section.
sectionsnotsupported Sections are not supported for this type of page.
editnotsupported Editing of this type of page is not supported using the text based edit API.
appendnotsupported This type of page can not be edited by appending or prepending text.
redirect-appendonly You have attempted to edit using the "redirect"-following mode, which must be used in conjuction with section=new, prependtext, or appendtext.
badformat The requested serialization format can not be applied to the page's content model
customcssprotected You're not allowed to edit custom CSS pages
customjsprotected You're not allowed to edit custom JavaScript pages

Editing via Ajax[edit | edit source]

Below is sample code for editing a page via an Ajax request:

function addNewSection( summary, content, editToken ) {
        url: mw.util.wikiScript( 'api' ),
        data: {
            format: 'json',
            action: 'edit',
            title: mw.config.get( 'wgPageName' ),
            section: 'new',
            summary: summary,
            text: content,
            token: editToken
        dataType: 'json',
        type: 'POST',
        success: function( data ) {
            if ( data && data.edit && data.edit.result == 'Success' ) {
                window.location.reload(); // reload page if edit was successful
            } else if ( data && data.error ) {
                alert( 'Error: API returned error code "' + data.error.code + '": ' + data.error.info );
            } else {
                alert( 'Error: Unknown result from API.' );
        error: function( xhr ) {
            alert( 'Error: Request failed.' );

You can also use the mw.Api object:

var api = new mw.Api();
function addNewSection( summary, content ) {
	api.postWithToken( "edit", {
		action: "edit",
		title: mw.config.get( "wgPageName" ),
		section: "new",
		summary: summary,
		text: content
	} ).done( function( result, jqXHR ) {
		mw.log( "Saved successfully" );
	} ).fail( function( code, result ) {
		if ( code === "http" ) {
			mw.log( "HTTP error: " + result.textStatus ); // result.xhr contains the jqXHR object
		} else if ( code === "ok-but-empty" ) {
			mw.log( "Got an empty response from the server" );
		} else {
			mw.log( "API error: " + code );
	} );

Large texts[edit | edit source]

When using texts over 8000 characters, use "multipart/form-data" as it does not require escaping and will be significantly smaller than its urlencoded counterpart. Multipart has roughly 160 bytes of overhead for each parameter, so for seven parameters that's ~1.1kb overhead. Example:

POST http://en.wikipedia.org/w/api.php HTTP/1.1
User-Agent: Bot Framework
Content-Type: multipart/form-data; boundary=---------------------------8ce61ec834cf268
Host: en.wikipedia.org
Cookie: <removed>
Content-Length: 1348
Accept-Encoding: gzip
Connection: Keep-Alive

Content-Disposition: form-data; name="action"

Content-Disposition: form-data; name="title"
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

Title here
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="text"
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

Text here
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="summary"
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

Content-Disposition: form-data; name="token"

Content-Disposition: form-data; name="assert"

Content-Disposition: form-data; name="format"