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From mediawiki.org
MediaWiki extensions manual
Release status: beta
Implementation Special page
Description Provides a special page with information about a specific topic, inviting to create an article for the topic
Author(s) Lucie-Aimée Kaffee
Compatibility policy Snapshots releases along with MediaWiki. Master is not backward compatible.
MediaWiki >= 1.42
Composer mediawiki/article-placeholder
License GNU General Public License 2.0 or later
  • $wgArticlePlaceholderImageProperty
  • $wgArticlePlaceholderSearchEngineIndexed
  • $wgArticlePlaceholderReferencesBlacklist
  • $wgArticlePlaceholderRepoApiUrl
  • $wgArticlePlaceholderSearchIntegrationEnabled
Quarterly downloads 0
Translate the ArticlePlaceholder extension if it is available at translatewiki.net
Issues Open tasks · Report a bug
Video presenting ArticlePlaceholder during WikiArabia 2019 in Marrakesh - Lucie-Aimée Kaffee

The ArticlePlaceholder extension provides a special page with Wikidata information (or information from another Wikibase repo) about a certain topic inviting the reader to create an article for the topic.

Article placeholders are automatically generated content pages in Wikipedia or other mediawiki projects displaying data from Wikidata. They are clearly not actual articles but collections of data on topics which do not have an article yet. This project is mostly aimed at smaller Wikipedias with a small contributor base in order to increase access to free and open knowledge by using Wikidata’s resources. One of the objectives is to adjust the Article Placeholders so they suit the overall Wikipedia layout while at the same time making it clear that they are generated articles and not written by a human. The reader should then be encouraged to create or translate an article on the topic. In the long run, Article Placeholder may lower the amount of unmaintained articles generated by bots.

The documentation of the Lua Module used in ArticlePlaceholder to render the entities from Wikidata can be found at Extension:ArticlePlaceholder/Module:AboutTopic.

Special Page[edit]

Screenshot of an Article Placeholder Special Page
Screenshot of an Article Placeholder Special Page (as of mid-2016): eo:Special:AboutTopic/Q13520818.

The extension sets up a special Page (Special:AboutTopic) on a Wikibase client, which uses facts from the connected Wikibase repo page (item) to generate a simple content page (if none already exist) on the client. This page encourages the reader to write an article - in future versions it should use the data the article placeholder is displaying. If the page does exist, the user is redirected to the article.


Please keep in mind the extension is a work in progress, and it may not have all the functionalities as expected.


The ArticlePlaceholder extension requires the Wikibase Client extension, properly connected to a Wikibase repository (or be one itself).

Some main functionalities require the following extensions installed, but will degrade if not present:

  • Scribunto, for the display of the content;
  • Cite, for the display of references.

Getting the code[edit]

You can clone the extension from Gerrit to the extensions/ folder of your MediaWiki installation:

$ cd extensions
$ git clone https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/mediawiki/extensions/ArticlePlaceholder


Add to the end of your LocalSettings.php:

wfLoadExtension( 'ArticlePlaceholder' );

The setting ArticlePlaceholderImageProperty sets the property used to display the main image of an item (P18 on Wikidata). It needs to be set in LocalSettings.php.

$wgArticlePlaceholderImageProperty = "P18";

Replace P18 with the appropriate value.

The optional setting ArticlePlaceholderReferencesBlacklist takes a property ID and blacklists the references that use the given property. This is for example used for "imported from", the property indicating that the information was imported from a Wikipedia.

$wgArticlePlaceholderReferencesBlacklist = "P143";

The optional ArticlePlaceholderSearchEngineIndexed setting configures whether placeholders will be indexable by search engines. Setting it to true will unconditionally enable indexing, while setting it to false will disable indexing. Setting it to an Item id serialization, like "Q3000", will make all placeholders for Items that have an id up Q3000 indexable (that includes Q42, but doesn't include Q5000).

$wgArticlePlaceholderSearchEngineIndexed = true;


To use the functionalities of the special page and the Lua module, import (via Special:Import) the Template and Module AboutTopic. These are located in the extension folder in includes/Template. Read more on how to work with the display on Extension:ArticlePlaceholder/Module:AboutTopic.

Optionally to enable the ordering of properties on the ArticlePlaceholder pages, your Wiki needs a page with a list of sorted properties, an example can be found at Extension:ArticlePlaceholder/MediaWiki:Wikibase-SortedProperties. This page needs to be in the MediaWiki namespace with the the title Wikibase-SortedProperties.