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.
- 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.
- The MediaWiki roadmap shows rough information about when major development work is scheduled.
- 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 labsconsole Help:Access article if you'd like access.
- 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.
Code, development and style
Debugging and testing
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.
- Parser Functions – create a new command like:
- Skins – change the look and feel of MediaWiki.
- Special Pages – add a new special page.
- Tag Extensions – create a new tag like:
Help for extension developers
- Manual:Developing extensions – a guide to developing extensions.
- Project:WikiProject Extensions
- Extensions FAQ
- Extension Matrix – an auto-generated list of extensions. See also Category:Extensions, a less complete list of extensions.
- Manual:$wgExtensionFunctions – use to defer setup (or run other callbacks) for extensions until after the MediaWiki core is setup.
Help for skin developers
- Manual:Skinning – instructions on how to create a skin for MediaWiki.
- Manual:Skin configuration – a guide to configuring skins for a wiki.
Third-party wiki uses
- 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.
- Not all of MediaWiki is written in PHP. Some supporting tools are written in other languages, including batch files, shell scripts, makefiles and Python.
- 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.
- MediaWiki has support for DBMS other than MySQL, including Oracle, PostgreSQL and SQLite.
- 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
- Visit http://news.gmane.org/gmane.org.wikimedia.mediawiki.bugs to see recent changes to bugs and issues in the MediaWiki Bugzilla instance.