Developer hub

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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.

Overview

MediaWiki is developed in an open source style[1] using the PHP programming language [2] primarily for the LAMP platform[3][4]. Core development is largely coordinated online.

Key documents

Code, development and style

Debugging and testing


Architecture

Sub-systems

  • API – MediaWiki's API provides direct, high-level access to the data contained in the MediaWiki databases
  • ContentHandler – MediaWiki's framework for supporting custom types of page content.
  • Database accessManual:Database access – an overview of using databases in MediaWiki, including a brief guide to the database abstraction layer.
  • Job queueManual:Job queue – MediaWiki's framework for processing long-running tasks asynchronously.
  • Messages APIManual:Messages API – MediaWiki's framework for providing localized application messages with PHP or JavaScript.

Extending MediaWiki

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 six 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 its web API
  • Hooks – every time a given event happens, do something.
  • Parser Functions – create a new command like: {{#if:...|...|...}}
  • Skins – change the look and feel of MediaWiki.
  • Special Pages – add a new special page.
  • Tag Extensions – create a new tag like: <newtag>...</newtag>

Help for extension developers

Help for skin developers

Help for library code reuse

Third-party wiki uses

Notes

  1. Developers are a mix of volunteers and paid staff (or contractors) for various organizations. For a full list of who works on the MediaWiki code, read the DevelopersDevelopers article.
  2. Not all of MediaWiki is written in PHP. Some supporting tools are written in other languages, including batch files, shell scripts, makefiles and Python.
  3. 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.
  4. MediaWiki has support for DBMS other than MySQL and MariaDB, including Oracle, PostgreSQL and SQLite.
  5. Browse the source code and revisions at https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/diffusion/MW/ or clone the development version of the code using this Git command:
    git clone https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/p/mediawiki/core.git MediaWiki