UESPWiki:MediaWiki 1.14 Upgrade

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The MediaWiki software that powers UESP has been upgraded from version 1.10 (originally released May 2007) to version 1.14 (originally released February 2009). Simultaneously with the core software upgrade, numerous other upgrades and configuration changes were also made. All of these changes are summarized here.

Note that MW1.14 is no longer the most current version of MediaWiki: version 1.15 was just released on June 10, 2009. However, the improvements introduced by MW1.15 are less significant, so it doesn't seem worth restarting the UESP upgrade process. The next UESP upgrade is probably going to be to version 1.16 (likely to be released in about 4 months).

New Features of MediaWiki 1.14[edit]

Complete details of the changes made to MediaWiki between 1.10 and 1.14 can be found in the notes for each release:

The following list only summarizes the features that seem most likely to be of interest to UESP editors:

  • Image-related changes:
    • Images can be moved (although only by admins and patrollers)
    • Redirects are allowed in image/file namespace
    • Image namespace has been renamed to File namespace, but all existing image links will continue to work
    • .bmp images are automatically converted into .png for display in articles
    • New "upright" keyword for images that allows better thumbnailing of tall images
    • New "link=" keyword controls where clicking on image takes reader -- but cannot be used with thumb or frame. (New #icon function provides same functionality; ImageMap provides more advanced link options).
  • Editing changes
    • Double redirects created by page moves can be automatically fixed (but disabled for now)
    • Subpages can automatically be moved along with a main page (users and admins)
  • Changes to parsing (i.e., the process of converting wikitext to HTML)
    • Parser has been revamped [1] which has the potential to cause some minor differences in how pages are converted from wikitext to HTML (primarily by fixing numerous obscure bugs)
    • $wgExpensiveParserFunctionLimit limits number of times #ifexist can be used in a single page (default is 100; we're using 500, as is Wikipedia)
    • Tidy now uses built-in PHP Tidy module
  • Special page changes
    • Specialpages has a revamped appearance/layout, along with some new special pages.
    • On What links here inclusions/links/redirects can each be separately toggled on/off.
    • On List Users edit counts can optionally be displayed (however, by default this is not done; to enable this feature on UESP, need to set $wgEdititis = true in LocalSettings.php)
    • New "isActiveEditor" flag defined based on number of edits within a given number of days (default 30 edits with 30 days). However, this won't affect our ActiveUsers page -- unless the page is modified.
  • Administrator changes
    • wgAddGroups and wgRemoveGroups parameters that can be used, for example, to give admins the ability to promote/demote patrollers
    • Nonexistent/deleted pages can now be protected (instead of needing spam-blocker pages)
    • Predefined list of article deletion reasons
    • Blocks can be modified without unblocking first
  • Patroller changes
    • More patroller-related features added to Special:Newpages
    • "mark as patrolled" links available any time a diff is viewed
  • Performance changes
    • Improved performance for pages that display the same image more than once (will this help pages with lots of icons, e.g., old version of Morrowind:Merchant_List?)
    • $wgMaxShellTime parameter to set maximum execution time for shell processes: will this fix some time-out bugs?
  • Other changes
    • Wikilinks to redirects can be given a different appearance from standard wikilinks (via CSS redirect class)
    • Time zone in user preferences can be specified by location, so time offset automatically updates for daylight savings time
    • There's a built-in feature to change whether namespaces are included in category sort keys, but the feature is overridden by UESP's customized sort keys (which do more than just drop the namespace: "The" and "A" are trimmed from sort key; subpages are handled better).

New Features of Existing Extensions[edit]

All of the MediaWiki extensions installed on UESP have been upgraded to the latest version. The most obvious changes introduced by these upgrades are:

  • CheckUser can now look at last 3 months' worth of edits (although info prior to MW1.14 upgrade will never be available); reason for accessing CheckUser is now requested and logged.
  • Cite now allows grouped references. (Note that Cite is not the very latest version, because a MW1.15-specific version has been released. We're using the MW1.14 version.)
  • ProtectSection bugs have been fixed. (ProtectSection was actually upgraded a month prior to the MW1.14 upgrade, and some UESP-specific features were also added.)

Newly Installed Extensions[edit]

All extensions that have been requested at some point or another have been added:

  • Editcount
  • ExpandTemplates
  • ImageMap (this was requested quite a while back, so it's here more because I think it would be useful. The Battlespire quest walkthrough maps, for example: the letters could be turned into links to the appropriate page section).

Several other extensions that are potentially useful for UESP have been added. In some cases, there's no obvious immediate use for the extension, but it seemed like it might be helpful at some point and there's no harm in adding it now rather than later.

  • CustomCategory: allows sort labels to be displayed instead of article names on category pages
  • DeleteBatch: may be useful for Tamold deletions. However, only Daveh has permission to use the extension by default (this can be changed if there's a consensus). Also, Nephele and rpeh are able to effectively do the same thing using maintenance scripts on the server.
  • Dismissable Site Notice
  • DynamicFunctions: parser functions to access dynamic information (in particular, arguments provided in URL)
  • Icon: provides similar functionality to Template:Navimg, but far more efficiently (and without bugs as mentioned at Template talk:Navimg; generally permits icons to be created with less overhead. (However, may be somewhat redundant with new link= keyword for images)
  • Labeled Section Transclusion: allows sections of an article to be transcluded, with better control than standard noinclude/includeonly tags
  • MediaFunctions: parser functions to access image size, type
  • RegexFunctions: parser functions for regular expressions
  • WikiTextLoggedInOut: tags to allow different text to be displayed for anonymous or logged-in users

Configuration Changes[edit]

  • Admins can add/remove patroller rights. Change made given that admins already make the final call on patroller nominations; there's no reason to add an additional approval step.
  • Admins can rename users. Not that renaming users is a frequent occurrence, but it seems like a task that can be entrusted to admins.
  • Patrollers can move (rename) files/images. By default, only admins are able to do this (although mediawiki almost allowed it for all registered users, so it is an "almost safe" action)
  • Patrollers can add/remove/edit <protect> tags.
  • $wgMaxRCAge = 28 days, meaning that Special:Recentchanges keeps the last 28 days' worth of edits (instead of just 7 days).
  • removed clear=none overrides for div.floatleft, div.floatright, div.tright, and div.tleft
  • removed 'prettytable' class from CSS (identical to wikitable and not being used anywhere)
  • New parameter $wgMaxShellTime=180 (default setting): shell processes will be killed after 180 seconds (might prevent large-page diffs from causing such extreme problems)
  • New parameter $wgFixDoubleRedirects=false (default setting), since "Tends to conflict with page move vandalism, use only on a private wiki."
  • $wgUseImageMagick=true

Other Recent Site Changes[edit]

Several other changes have been introduced on the site over the last few months. Although these changes are not directly related to the MW1.14 upgrade, many readers might not have noticed them until now and therefore may think they are part of the upgrade.

Most of the changes have been introduced by two new UESP-specific extensions, UespCustomCode and MetaTemplate.

  • The new functions added by these extensions are summarized at Help:Magic Words
  • The MetaTemplate extension will enable many upgrades and improvements to the site templates. It will probably take several months before most of the template revisions are implemented.
  • The Search function has been upgraded. The most obvious change is that by default searches only scan article titles; full text searches now need to be explicitly requested. The Searching help page documents most of the changes.
  • A new format for bread crumb trails has been introduced and implemented on nearly all UESPWiki articles.
  • Default category sorting changed, so {{DEFAULSORT:{{PAGENAME}}}} and similar tags are no longer necessary.
  • New "clear=none", "clear=right", "clear=left", "clear=both" options for images.