Social tools

Jump to: navigation, search
Social tools
Component Contains many components/extensions, listed below.
Creation date 2005
Original authors
  • Aaron Wright
  • Ashish Datta
  • David Pean
  • Jeffrey Tierney
  • Robert Lefkowitz
Current authors
In progress
Implemented on Brickimedia and many ShoutWiki wikis, along with other third-party wikis

Social tools is a term which refers to the SocialProfile extensionExtension:SocialProfile and various other related extensions, most of which depend on the SocialProfile extension.

Many of the social tools were developed by Aaron Wright, Ashish Datta[1], David Pean, Jeffrey Tierney[2] and Robert Lefkowitz for ArmchairGM. Currently the SocialProfile extension and other related social tools are maintained by Jack Phoenix (the lead maintainer) in collaboration with a few other people, UltrasonicNXT and SamanthaNguyen. FilipGCI is also another contributor who mainly focuses on PictureGameExtension:PictureGame, PollNYExtension:PollNY, and QuizGameExtension:QuizGame.

For a complete list of social tools, see Category:Social tools.

MediaWiki compatibility[edit]

  • MediaWiki version: Extensions under the social tools umbrella are only supported on the latest, stable version of MediaWiki core software (currently MediaWiki 1.30). We do not provide support for any earlier releases (including LTS releases) or alpha releases of MediaWiki, and thus any task for social tools reported against these unsupported releases will be closed as invalid. Learn more about MediaWiki's development model for versioning.
  • Branches: For any social tool software you want to install, you must install from the master branch. We don't develop for any other git branch since we lack the resources for such support.

Differences between wikis and social networks[edit]

Wikis have many pros and cons compared to social networks. While wikis are designed to help people monitor their adversaries (e.g. vandals) through the Recent Changes page, social media is designed to help people monitor their friends. Wikis generally lack befriending features that update them on what their friends are doing; it would be necessary to check the contributions of individual users one by one, except on small wikis where Recent Changes is easy to monitor.

Userboxes are a prime example of a social networking tool that wikis have but sites such as Facebook don't. Userboxes can be collaboratively customized by editing the wiki code and they can be put into categories whose hierarchy is organized collaboratively as well.


Notice that your language isn't translated at all or that the translation is incomplete? TranslationLocalisation patches are always welcome. See how to submit a patchHow to become a MediaWiki hacker#Posting a patch to learn more. Once you've finished your patch, please submit it to gerrit to have it reviewed and merged.

For other patches, add Jack Phoenix and SamanthaNguyen as reviewers for your patch. Once the patch is done, it'll usually need to be deployed to the dedicated testing environment for further testing and checking to see if there's anything that was missed. After the design review has been done and the change has been amended, one of us will +2 the change to have it merged into the source code.

Testing environment[edit]

The extensions under the social tools umbrella have a dedicated testing environment which is hosted on Wikimedia Cloud VPS, which will almost always be running the most recent commit from the master branch of each social tool extensions. Documentation of the Cloud VPS instance is available on Wikitech.

Reporting bugs and feature requests[edit]

Bugs, feedback, and feature requests should be reported on Wikimedia Phabricator, a dedicated application to ticketing and software collaboration. If you don't already have an account yet, you can read a tutorial on how to. Please note that any that are reported on the talk page of any of the social tool extensions will either:

  • Fly under the radar of the maintainers as we might likely not notice it.
  • Be closed as declined if the bug isn't reproducible or doesn't have enough information.
  • Be migrated upstream if determined that such a report is valid. It's recommended that you migrate your report upstream yourself if you know how to.

Support for notifications[edit]

Social tools are in development for supporting Echo notifications currently; see the above link for more information.


By default, almost every social tools extension is licensed under the GNU General Public License, version 2 (GNU GPL v2) unless otherwise specified. The only current exception is the TopLists extension.


  • December — ArmchairGM is founded and eventually social tools are being developed
  • December — Wikia, Inc. buys ArmchairGM for $2 million[3]
  • 28 February — First public release of the SocialProfile MediaWiki extension [4][5]
  • 21 June — Wikia opens its SVN to the general public, revealing that many SocialProfile features were taken out before the public release.[6]
  • 1 July — Rob Lefkowitz's staff access on Wikia is revoked[7]
  • July — slowly more features from Wikia codebase are being added into SocialProfile extension
  • 12 August — Aaron Wright (Awrigh01), the co-author of SocialProfile leaves Wikia[8]
  • 4 September — release of SocialProfile version 1.2 with merely one big changed thing: special page aliases[9]
  • 20 September — release of SocialProfile version 1.3 with SystemGifts and UserGifts features and E_STRICT & E_NOTICE bugfixes[10]
  • 8 December — Halopedia is moved back to the standard Wikia codebase [11]
  • 20 January — Jack Phoenix contacts Jimmy Wales (who in turns contacts Gil Penchina, who contacts Jack) about open-sourcing ArmchairGM's skin; in the end, nothing becomes of it[14]
  • 8 February — In a private email to Jack Phoenix, Gil Penchina admits that Wikia "dropped support" for social tools
  • February — PictureGame, QuizGame, PollNY, FanBoxes and possibly some other related extensions disabled on Halopedia per community consensus[15]
  • December — Wikia begins to update their codebase to MediaWiki 1.16 and in the process social tools are removed from their SVN[16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26]
  • 14 August — social tools are migrated from Subversion (SVN) to git
  • January — ArmchairGM codebase also duplicated to Wikimedia Phabricator
  • 10 September – (task T145286) Extensions under the social tools umbrella which didn't already have officially removed their deprecated entry points (any other extensions that weren't listed had already removed their old entry point, besides Challenge and MiniInvite), which are: BlogPage, Comments, FanBoxes, LinkFilter, MediaWikiChat, PollNY, QuizGame, RandomFeaturedUser, RandomUsersWithAvatars, Video, WikiForum, and WikiTextLoggedInOut.
  • December — Gerrit change 325133 and version 1.10 (Gerrit change 278868, Gerrit change 325141) of SocialProfile released: SocialProfile now has support for Extension:EchoExtension:Echo, the notifications extension (task T64520)
  • 22 January — The ImageRating extension was requested to be migrated as a gerrit repo in Special:Diff/2369518.
  • 24 January — The ImageRating extension was migrated as a gerrit repo by QChrisNonWMF in Special:Diff/2371164 and officially recognized as an extension under the social tools umbrella.

List of extensions by stability[edit]

The following list contains extensions under the social tools umbrella, ranked by stability.



  • ChallengeExtension:Challenge – Allows users to challenge each others, and have the loser of the challenge do a specified task (i.e. "edit page X and add info about event Y") and gain points while at it
  • MiniInviteExtension:MiniInvite – Adds two new special pages, Special:InviteEmail and Special:EmailNewArticle, for sending out invitation emails to your friends. This is needed, together with the NewSignupPage extension, if you want to give out points for recruiting users to your wiki.
  • SiteScoutExtension:SiteScout – Adds an automatically updating special page for monitoring recent social changes (edits, comments, votes and network updates)
  • SportsTeamsExtension:SportsTeams – Adds networking features to a user's profile regarding sports teams.
  • UserStatusExtension:UserStatus – Allows users to add status updates to their profiles.
  • VideoExtension:Video – Allows users to import videos from external services such as YouTube and Dailymotion.
  • WikiForumExtension:WikiForum – Enables a forum on the wiki for users to post in topics and create different boards.


The following are extensions that are not under active development or maintenance currently and as such, they are broken under modern versions of the MediaWiki software.


  1. Ashish Datta's résumé
  2. Reference to Jeffrey's e-mail address on the source code of the MarchMadness extension
  3. Wikipedia's article about Wikia
  4. Jimmy Wales' blog post about SocialProfle
  5. r31383
  6. Changeset 10 on Wikia's Subversion
  7. Changeset 150 on Wikia's Subversion
  8. Changeset 958 on Wikia's Subversion
  9. r41067
  10. r41068
  11. Blog:Halopedia upgrades on Halopedia
  12. r45982
  13. r51713
  14. Department of Justice: Idealism is dead
  15. Forum:Abolishing the Polls, Quizzes and Picture Games on Halopedia
  16. Changeset 31795 on Wikia's Subversion — eloy removes UserGifts
  17. Changeset 31796 on Wikia's Subversion — eloy removes UserProfile extension
  18. Changeset 31798 on Wikia's Subversion — eloy removes PictureGame extension
  19. Changeset 31799 on Wikia's Subversion — eloy removes PollNY extension
  20. Changset 31802 on Wikia's Subversion — eloy removes QuizGame extension
  21. Changeset 31803 on Wikia's Subversion — eloy removes FanBoxes extension
  22. Changeset 31817 on Wikia's Subversion — Sean Colombo removes a lot of social code
  23. Changeset 31908 on Wikia's Subversion — Sean Colombo removes CommonNY.i18n.php from Wikia's SVN
  24. Changeset 31911 on Wikia's Subversion — Sean Colombo removes Wikia's version of RandomUsersWithAvatarsExtension:RandomUsersWithAvatars
  25. Changeset 31947 on Wikia's Subversion — eloy removes FlickrImport extension from Wikia's SVN
  26. Changeset 39110 on Wikia's Subversion — Sean Colombo removes UserProfileStatus, a Wikia Search-specific fork of UserStatus, from Wikia's SVN
  27. MediaWiki selects eight students for Google Summer of Code 2011 on Wikimedia blog
  28. Changeset 40097 on Wikia's Subversion
  29. Gerrit change 76219
  30. Gerrit change 81687, Gerrit change 81688
  31. Gerrit change 164689
  32. gerrit:164770

Social toolsSocial tools
SocialProfileExtension:SocialProfile OverviewExtension:SocialProfileDeveloper infoExtension:SocialProfile/For developersScreenshotsExtension:SocialProfile/ScreenshotsHistorySocial tools#History
Other social extensions Automatic Board WelcomeExtension:Automatic Board WelcomeBlogPageExtension:BlogPageChallengeExtension:ChallengeFanBoxesExtension:FanBoxesMiniInviteExtension:MiniInviteNewUsersListExtension:NewUsersListPictureGameExtension:PictureGamePollNYExtension:PollNYQuizGameExtension:QuizGameRandomFeaturedUserExtension:RandomFeaturedUserRandomGameUnitExtension:RandomGameUnitRandomUsersWithAvatarsExtension:RandomUsersWithAvatarsSiteMetricsExtension:SiteMetricsSiteScoutExtension:SiteScoutSportsTeamsExtension:SportsTeamsUserStatusExtension:UserStatusUserWelcomeExtension:UserWelcome
Other related extensions

(which do not depend on SocialProfile)