Manual:wg variable

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wg refers to an important non-constant programming element used in the MediaWiki software, and is an abbreviation for "Wikipedia Global" (the naming pre-dates the spread of MediaWiki beyond Wikipedia).

In general, any global variable (variable that has global scope) within the software has this prefix to make it easily identifiable when programming. However, a casual hacker will mainly come across such variables in the files includes/DefaultSettings.php and LocalSettings.php , which define variables to control the behavior of the software in various ways.

The DefaultSettings.php file stores the defaults for these values and should not be edited; the LocalSettings file is used to override these values for a specific site — if a particular variable is not mentioned in your LocalSettings file, copy the entry from DefaultSettings and amend as appropriate.

Confusingly, MediaWiki code (mainly in OutputPage.php) and extensions set a different (though overlapping) set of configuration variables in browser JavaScript, and many of these variables also have a wg prefix (without PHP's $ sign). See Manual:Interface/JavaScript#mw.config for a list.

Starting with the introduction of the Config class in MediaWiki 1.23, the "wg" prefix for PHP global variables is being phased out as configuration settings are moving away from global scope.

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