Developer hub

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Crystal Clear app display.png Users Nuvola-inspired-terminal.svg System Administrators Source code project 1171.svg Developers

This is a high-level overview of MediaWiki development, including links to the key documents, resources and tools available to MediaWiki developers. It is written for skilled LAMP developers who have experience using MediaWiki.

For an introductory guide to developing MediaWiki, read how to become a MediaWiki hacker.

For help installing or customizing MediaWiki, visit the Sysadmin hub. For help using MediaWiki, visit the User hub.

Overview

MediaWiki is developed in an open source style[1] using the PHP programming language [2] primarily for the LAMP platform[3][4]. Core development is largely coordinated online.

  • Source code is managed using the Git revision control system. Read the Git article for an overview of how the MediaWiki developers use Git. Read the wikitech:Help:Access#Access FAQ article if you'd like access.[5]
  • Code review is performed on Gerrit, see this tutorial to get set up with git and gerrit in order to submit patches.
  • Developers extending or interfacing with MediaWiki (instead working on the core code) have several convenient extension points, including the API, the Hooks system and Skins – see the #Extending MediaWiki section of this page for an overview.

Key documents

Code, development and style

  • Code review guide – a guide for reviewers of commits to the MediaWiki source code.

Debugging and testing

  • Bugs – an overview of bug tracking in the MediaWiki project.[6]
  • Unit testing – learn to write unit tests for MediaWiki using PHPUnit.

Architecture

  • Manual:Code – an overview of the key parts of MediaWiki's source code.
  • Localisation – learn about MediaWiki's internationalisation system.
  • Manual namespace on this wiki – documentation for developers.
  • MediaWiki Class Reference – technical documentation generated from the MediaWiki source code. (Note: The class reference is a large, slow-to-load page.)

Sub-systems

  • API – MediaWiki's API provides direct, high-level access to the data contained in the MediaWiki databases.
  • ContentHandler – MediaWiki's framework for supporting custom types of page content.
  • Database access – an overview of using databases in MediaWiki, including a brief guide to the database abstraction layer.
  • Job queue – MediaWiki's framework for processing long-running tasks asynchronously.
  • Messages API – MediaWiki's framework for providing localized application messages with PHP or JavaScript.


Extending MediaWiki

MediaWiki has been designed to allow for modification without changing the "core code". This makes it easy to update to a new version of MediaWiki without having to manually merge in old extension code changes. There are five main extension points that allow developers to change or extend what MediaWiki can do. The extension points are:

  • API – access the data and metadata of MediaWiki instances through a powerful web API.
  • Hooks – every time a given event happens do something.
  • Skins – change the look and feel of MediaWiki.

Help for extension developers

Help for skin developers

Third-party wiki uses

Notes

  1. Developers are a mix of volunteers and paid Wikimedia Foundation staff (or contractors). For a full list of who works on the MediaWiki code, read the Developers article.
  2. Not all of MediaWiki is written in PHP. Some supporting tools are written in other languages, including batch files, shell scripts, makefiles and Python.
  3. MediaWiki runs on most platforms that can support PHP, however, the lack of certain utilities or operating system features may limit the functionality or performance of MediaWiki on non-LAMP platforms.
  4. MediaWiki has support for DBMS other than MySQL, including Oracle, PostgreSQL and SQLite.
  5. Browse the source code and revisions at https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/gitweb?p=mediawiki/core.git or clone the development version of the code using this Git command:
    git clone https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/p/mediawiki/core.git MediaWiki
  6. Visit http://news.gmane.org/gmane.org.wikimedia.mediawiki.bugs to see recent changes to bugs and issues in the MediaWiki Bugzilla instance.