MediaWiki architecture document


This project's goal is to write a comprehensive document about MediaWiki's architecture, and the decisions in its history that led to its current organization.

See the resulting document at Manual:MediaWiki architecture


In August 2011, Greg Wilson, editor of the Architecture of Open Source Applications book, contacted the engineering department of the Wikimedia Foundation to offer to include a 5000-word chapter on MediaWiki in volume 2 of the book.

The Architecture of Open Source Applications book presents case studies of the architecture of large-scale open-source projects; the content is freely available under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

It rapidly appeared that a document would also be generally useful to help new developers dive into MediaWiki development. For this reason, Guillaume Paumier and Sumana Harihareswara accepted the responsibility of leading the collaborative writing of the document by the MediaWiki community.


  • September 9th: Project plan and schedule
  • Sept. 9th to Sept. 30th: outreach to the MediaWiki community; specific outreach to identified experts (e.g. Tim, Brion, Magnus, Lee); collection of input, historical knowledge & opinions
  • Oct. 1st to October 24th: integration of input, writing, polishing
  • October 24th, 2011: Delivery of the first draft
  • October 24th to October 31st: Review by the MediaWiki community
  • October 31st, 2011: Delivery of the first draft
  • Review by the editors
  • November 21st: Delivery of the second draft
  • Late November: merge of the content into the appropriate pages on
  • Review by the technical reviewers
  • Delivery of the final document
  • February 2012: Publication