Developer hub

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Crystal Clear app display.png UsersUser hub Nuvola-inspired-terminal.svg System AdministratorsSysadmin hub Source code project 1171.svg DevelopersDeveloper hub

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.

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.

  • Development discussion happens on various mailing lists and IRC channels. The main developer list is wikitech-l. The main developer IRC channels are #mediawiki and #wikimedia-dev. Read the Developers article to get a sense for who the people on the mailing lists and IRC channels are.
  • 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 GerritGerrit, 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


Debugging and testing

Architecture

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 six 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 its powerful "Action" web API
  • Hooks – every time a given event happens, do something.
  • Parser Functions – create a new command like: {{#if:...|...|...}}
  • Skins – change the look and feel of MediaWiki.
  • Special Pages – add a new special page.
  • Tag Extensions – create a new tag like: <newtag>...</newtag>

Help for extension developers

Help for skin developers

Help for library code reuse

Third-party wiki uses

Notes

  1. Developers are a mix of volunteers and paid staff (or contractors) for various organizations. For a full list of who works on the MediaWiki code, read the DevelopersDevelopers 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 and MariaDB, including Oracle, PostgreSQL and SQLite.
  5. Browse the source code and revisions at https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/diffusion/MW/ 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 https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/feed/ to see recent changes to bugs and issues in the Wikimedia Phabricator instance.