Gadget kitchen

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It's easy to cook up your own enhancements in no time

Welcome to the gadget kitchen. This is intended to become a space where developers far and wide can coordinate their work on user scripts and gadgets to the benefit of the MediaWiki community far and wide. Right now, it's a quick tutorial to get you started.

What are user scripts and gadgets?[edit | edit source]

One of MediaWiki's coolest features is that it enables anyone to immediately write enhancements to the software, and to share those enhancements with other users.

  • User scripts are publicly visible scripts (written in JavaScript) which are executed for a given user
  • Gadgets are user scripts which have been promoted to become available in the user preferences of all users.

If you're running your own copy of MediaWiki, $wgAllowUserJs needs to be enabled for user scripts to work, and the Gadgets extension needs to be installed to make it possible to promote individual scripts to gadget status. Both are enabled for all Wikimedia Foundation sites, including Wikipedia.

I want to try![edit | edit source]

  1. Ensure you are logged in, then visit Special:MyPage/common.js.
  2. Create this page with the following text:
    importScript('MediaWiki:Tutorial-QuickRC.js');
  3. Save. You should now have a link in the toolbox section called "Quick changelog" which shows you a subset of recent changes in a quick pop-up.
Tutorial by Brion Vibber regarding gadgets and user scripts at the San Francisco Hackathon January 2012

I want to do more![edit | edit source]

  1. For a nicer (experimental!) development experience, go to your gadget preferences and enable the "Code Editor" gadget
  2. Now, copy and paste the contents of MediaWiki:Tutorial-QuickRC.js into your Special:MyPage/common.js.

The result should be the same as above, but now you can modify the script, play with it, and replace it with something else entirely.

Note Note: Clicking "Preview" (or using the keyboard shortcut, typically Shift+Alt+P) in the editor will also execute the latest version of the script. This is a good way to iterate without saving the page. But remember, nothing is saved until you press "Save page".

Are there additional tutorial scripts?[edit | edit source]

Please contribute additional tutorial scripts in this section:

What's this ResourceLoader thing?[edit | edit source]

ResourceLoader is a core feature of MediaWiki used to deliver JavaScript and CSS assets to users and readers. Because Gadgets are coded in JavaScript, as a Gadget coder you're bound to interact with ResourceLoader.

  • Default modules — A list of JavaScript libraries, plugins and scripts that already exist within ResourceLoader for your perusal.
  • Developing with ResourceLoader — A list of useful practices, like enabling the debug mode.

Note Note: The upcoming version of ResourceLoader comes with a lot of features related to gadgets, that will make managing gadgets even simpler.

What should I work on?[edit | edit source]

How do I use my script on other wikis?[edit | edit source]

Let's say you want to run the script on English Wikipedia instead of MediaWiki.org. Visit your common.js there and add the following:

mw.loader.load("//www.mediawiki.org/w/index.php?title=MediaWiki:Tutorial-QuickRC.js&action=raw&ctype=text/javascript");

Of course, you could also load the user script you just created using the same mechanism by changing MediaWiki:Tutorial-QuickRC.js in the URI above to User:YourName/YourScript.js. Ta-da! It's really that easy to customize your site experience on one of the largest sites on the planet.

Note Note: If your gadget uses the MediaWiki API, add the "?callback=?" parameter to the API URL if you are trying to make an API request that would violate the same-origin policy (e.g. making a request to the Commons API from Wikipedia). This triggers the use of JSONP and enforces certain restrictions.

Got any tips for writing or debugging JS?[edit | edit source]

  • Check out the JavaScript coding conventions to write JavaScript that complies with MediaWiki's style.
  • JavaScript performance links to some helpful resources to write faster performing code.
  • Read the Google Chrome developer tools documentation or Firebug documentation for getting the most out of the powerful debugging tools built into your browser.
    • If you're experiencing issues with cached versions of scripts, it can be helpful to disable all caching. This can be accomplished by clicking the settings (gears) icon in the Chrome developer console and selecting "Disable cache", or "Disable Browser Cache" in the Net panel in Firebug.

Where can I find more docs?[edit | edit source]

These are key resources:

Live chat[edit | edit source]