Extension:News Channel

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News Channel

Release status: stable

NewsChannel ScreenShot.PNG
Implementation Notify, Special page, Data extraction
Description This extension allows you to set up a full-featured RSS/Atom news channel on your wiki in a minute.
Author(s) Iaroslav Vassiliev
(CodeMonktalk)
Latest version 1.66
 (2013-05-31)
MediaWiki 1.8 or higher
License GPL
Download latest version

1.66
1.65
1.61
1.52
1.33
1.31


(special version for WikiMedia projects, do not use it on other sites)

Example ICT for education wiki

Il Mondo dei Doppiatori

Hooks used
BeforePageDisplay

Translate the News Channel extension if possible

Check usage and version matrix; code metrics

If you would like to make a custom RSS 2.0/Atom 1.0 news channel on your wiki, you can simply install this extension, create some category (e.g. [[Category:News]]) and set it as news category. Then, the next time you want to publish a news item on your channel, you just need to create an article, include it in that news category and save it. The article will be instantly published on the channel: its title will be the headline and its text will be the description of news item. Wikimarkup is automatically converted into HTML. Feed is automatically linked from every page of the wiki. Extension was first released on April 29th, 2008.

Installation[edit | edit source]

  1. Download the extension.
  2. Unzip and save the files in NewsChannel subdirectory of MediaWiki's extensions directory.
  3. Change your wiki's LocalSettings.php file to include the following line:
require_once("$IP/extensions/NewsChannel/NewsChannel.php");

Configuration[edit | edit source]

Since version 1.6 all configuration settings must be specified in global variables in LocalSettings.php file. These variables must be set after require_once(...) directives.

Channel title:

$wgNewsChannelTitle = 'MyWikiSite.com IT News';

Channel description, preferably just one sentence:

$wgNewsChannelDescription =
     'Most hot IT news on MyWikiSite.';

Channel's language code and optional country subcode, e. g. 'en-US'. By default it's a language, specified in $wgLanguageCode variable in LocalSettings.php file.

$wgNewsChannelLanguage = 'en-US';

Channel copyright note:

$wgNewsChannelCopyright =
     'Copyright (c) MyWikiSite.com. All rights reserved.';

Channel logo. In RSS 2.0 specification only JPG, GIF or PNG formats are allowed; recommended size is 88x31. In Atom 1.0 format an image should have 1:1 aspect ratio. The image should be suitable for presentation at a small size.

$wgNewsChannelLogoImage =
     'http://www.mywikisite.com/rssicon.png'

;

Time in minutes before channel cache invalidation occurs (in other words, update interval):

$wgNewsChannelUpdateInterval = '60';

Default number of recent (most fresh) news to list on the channel:

$wgNewsChannelDefaultItems = 10;

Absolute limit of news items to list on the channel. It protects site from being overloaded.

$wgNewsChannelMaxItems = 50;

Name or alias of channel editor-in-chief:

$wgNewsChannelEditorName = 'John Doe';

E-mail of channel editor-in-chief:

$wgNewsChannelEditorAddress = 'newseditor@mywikisite.com';

Name or alias of channel webmaster:

$wgNewsChannelWebMasterName = 'Jane Doe';

E-mail of channel webmaster:

$wgNewsChannelWebMasterAddress = 'webmaster@mywikisite.com';

Title of category, containing news articles:

$wgNewsChannelCategory = 'News';

Title of category, that must be excluded from feed:

$wgNewsChannelExcludeCategory = 'Delayed publications';

Optional prefix to remove from news article titles to clean up channel headlines (don't include namespace prefix here, it will be removed automatically):

$wgNewsChannelRemoveArticlePrefix = 'News/';

Names (wiki accounts) of users, who are allowed to publish news on the channel. Remove all names inside braces and leave just array() to allow everyone to publish news.

$wgNewsChannelAuthorizedEditors = array( 'John Doe', 'Jane Doe', 'Alex' );

Option to export text only. If set to "true", links to images and media files are removed from the feed.

$wgNewsChannelExportTextOnly = false;

Feed access and subscription[edit | edit source]

When configuration is finished, feed subscription option appears in browsers of your site visitors. The feed can also be manually accessed by pressing "Create feed" button on "Special:NewsChannel" page of your wiki. Some additional optional parameters can be specified on that page too. When the feed with custom parameters is created on that page, you can get it's URL address from your browser and send it to FeedBurner or wherever you like.

Please, note, that when you specify additional news category on "Special:NewsChannel" page and press "Create feed" button, then only the articles which are included in both news categories at once are exported to the created feed. Logical AND is used here, not logical OR. That is done so to enable several different feeds on one site. For example, one feed about IT news contains articles in categories "News" and "IT", another feed about politics contains articles in categories "News" and "Politics", etc.

Version history[edit | edit source]

  • 1.66 — Update to suit MediaWiki 1.21.
  • 1.65 — Update to suit MediaWiki 1.18.
  • 1.64 — "author" field has been added to individual news items.
  • 1.63 — Minor bugfix.
  • 1.62 — Many translations were added; two minor bugs were fixed.
  • 1.61 — Several translations were added; minor bug was fixed.
  • 1.6 — Configuration settings have been completely transferred to global variables. Many internal improvements have been applied.
  • 1.52 — Minor internal improvements.
  • 1.51 — Code documentation has been reformatted.
  • 1.5 — MySQL 4.0 support was added; configuration by global variables was allowed; French translation was added; several minor improvements were applied.
  • 1.41 — "atom:link" has been changed.
  • 1.4 — An option has been added to enable several different feeds on one site and to exclude unwanted categories.
  • 1.33 — News item's timestamp is now set to time, when corresponding article was added to news category (in previous versions it was the time of article creation or last edit).
  • 1.31 — RSS/Atom HTTP content headers have been added.
  • 1.3 — An option to convert wikimarkup to HTML was added; German interface translation was added.
  • 1.21 — A minor bug has been fixed.
  • 1.2 — Atom 1.0 format was added; authorization for news publication was added; compliance to W3C Best Practice Guide was improved.

Feedback[edit | edit source]

If you would like to report a bug or request a feature, you can do it on discussion page or on SourceForge. If you could help with translation, please, send me a letter to codedriller@gmail.com. By the way, if you need advanced bot functionality for your wiki project, take a look at free DotNetWikiBot Framework, that I maintain.

See also[edit | edit source]