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MediaWiki (Wikipedia and Beyond) [Paperback]

Daniel J. Barrett
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 30.99
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Book Description

24 Oct 2008 0596519796 978-0596519797 1

"A good book! It's a nice overview of wiki editing and administration, with pointers to handy extensions and further online documentation." -Brion Vibber, Chief Technical Officer, Wikimedia Foundation

"This book is filled with practical knowledge based on experience. It's not just spouting some party line." -Rob Church, a developer of MediaWiki

MediaWiki is the world's most popular wiki platform, the software that runs Wikipedia and thousands of other websites. Though it appears simple to use at first glance, MediaWiki has extraordinarily powerful and deep capabilities for managing and organizing knowledge. In corporate environments, MediaWiki can transform the way teams write and collaborate.

This comprehensive book covers MediaWiki's rich (and sometimes subtle) features, helping you become a wiki expert in no time. You'll learn how to:

  • Find your way around by effective searching and browsing
  • Create and edit articles, categories, and user preferences
  • Use advanced features for authors, such as templates, dynamic lists, logical parser functions, and RSS, to organize and maintain large numbers of articles
  • Install and run your own wiki, and configure its look and behavior
  • Develop custom wiki features, called extensions, with the PHP programming language and MySQL database

This book also provides special guidance for creating successful corporate wikis. For beginners who want to create or work on collaborative, community-driven websites with this platform, MediaWiki is the essential one-stop guide.

"I was a MediaWiki newbie before reading this book. Now, many aspects of the platform that were murky before are crystal clear." -JP Vossen, author of O'Reilly's Bash Cookbook


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MediaWiki (Wikipedia and Beyond) + Wikis For Dummies + Professional Wikis: Collaboration on the Web (Programmer to Programmer)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (24 Oct 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596519796
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596519797
  • Product Dimensions: 22.7 x 15.6 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 607,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

Book Description

Wikipedia and Beyond

About the Author

Daniel J. Barrett has been immersed in Internet technology since 1985. Currently working as a software engineer, Dan has also been a heavy metal singer, Unix system administrator, university lecturer, web designer, and humorist. He is the author of O'Reilly's Linux Pocket Guide, and he is the coauthor of Linux Security Cookbook, and SSH, The Secure Shell: The Definitive Guide.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just what I wanted 28 Nov 2008
Format:Paperback
Pleased with book, exactly the level I needed, all layed out in a way that I like reference books to be. Well written and topics spread 50/50 between MediaWiki administration and end user. Worth the money and the wait for release date.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mediawiki is easy... 25 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mediawiki is easy... Just need a good book to help you out.
Yes, there's plenty of online material to get Mediawiki up & running, but this book seems to be all the best bets rolled into a single book.
Mediawiki is a product I love to use. This book offers so much information for both the beginner and the seasoned Mediawiki tech.

If you maintain Mediawiki, I recommend you keep this book on your bookshelf as an excellent tech reference
If you are new to Mediawiki, I recommend you buy this book as you'll most certainly need it.
If you're thinking about using Mediawiki, buy the book. It'll mould your mind and let you decide if you think Mediawiki is the solution that you're looking for.

Well written, easy to follow.

I give it 5 stars (as most O'Reilly books deserve)
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars does the job 11 Feb 2009
By J. Kane
Format:Paperback
covers a lot of ground for the uninitiated but there is a lot more that could have been put in. No doubt an advanced version will appear soon.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great way to familiarize yourself with MediaWiki 14 Nov 2008
By calvinnme - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is for anyone who wants to read wikis, add material to a wiki, or install and run their own MediaWiki site. Each type of user is granted their own section in this book. Part 1 of this book is dedicated to wiki readers, explaining how to navigate a MediaWiki site effectively. Part 2 is for authors, and discusses how to write and edit wiki articles, beginning with the basics and moving to more complex tasks. Part 3 is for administrators and programmers. It covers how to install and maintain a MediaWiki site, how to configure its many settings, and how to program its own features, called MediaWiki extensions. It's a pretty easy and well-organized read in the O'Reilly tradition of technical books. However, if you plan to write extensions, you'll need to know, at minimum, the PHP programming language. This book assumes you already know it. For anything complicated, you'll also need to become familiar with MediaWiki's PHP code - particularly its classes, constants, and global variables - and its database schema. The following is the table of contents, not yet available as part of the product information:

Part 1: Getting Started
Chapter 1. A First Look
Section 1.1. What's MediaWiki?
Section 1.2. A Typical Day on a MediaWiki Site
Section 1.3. When to Use MediaWiki
Section 1.4. When Not to Use MediaWiki
Section 1.5. Additional Resources
Chapter 2. Basic Use
Section 2.1. Quick Tour of a Wiki Page
Section 2.2. Articles
Section 2.3. Editing Primer
Section 2.4. Menu Reference
Section 2.5. Getting Help
Chapter 3. Your User Identity
Section 3.1. Creating an Account
Section 3.2. Logging In and Out
Section 3.3. User Pages
Section 3.4. Signatures
Section 3.5. Watchlists
Section 3.6. Tracking Your Contributions
Section 3.7. Preferences
Section 3.8. User CSS and JavaScript
Part 2: Writing and Editing Articles
Chapter 4. Editing Articles
Section 4.1. Getting Started with Editing
Section 4.2. Creating an Article
Section 4.3. Paragraphs and Headings
Section 4.4. Typestyles and Fonts
Section 4.5. Links
Section 4.6. Images and Uploaded Files
Section 4.7. Lists
Section 4.8. Tables
Section 4.9. Mathematical Formulas
Section 4.10. Escaping Wikitext with nowiki
Section 4.11. Conflicts
Section 4.12. Beyond the Basics
Chapter 5. Links
Section 5.1. Internal Links
Section 5.2. External Links
Section 5.3. Interwiki Links
Section 5.4. Interlanguage Links
Section 5.5. Graphical Links
Section 5.6. File Links
Section 5.7. Linking Tips
Chapter 6. Organizing Articles
Section 6.1. Categories
Section 6.2. Namespaces
Section 6.3. Subpages
Section 6.4. Redirects
Section 6.5. Disambiguation Pages
Section 6.6. Renaming Articles
Section 6.7. Deleting Articles
Chapter 7. Advanced Article Construction
Section 7.1. Maintaining a Consistent Wiki
Section 7.2. Variables
Section 7.3. Templates and Transclusion
Section 7.4. Logical Parser Functions
Section 7.5. Dynamic Page List
Section 7.6. Recipes for Refactoring
Chapter 8. Special Pages
Section 8.1. Maintenance Reports
Section 8.2. List of Pages
Section 8.3. Login/Sign Up
Section 8.4. Users and Rights
Section 8.5. Recent Changes and Logs
Section 8.6. Media Reports and Uploads
Section 8.7. Wiki Data and Tools
Section 8.8. Redirects and Random Pages
Section 8.9. High-Use Pages
Section 8.10. Page Tools
Section 8.11. Other Special Pages
Section 8.12. Special Pages Grouped by Task
Part 3: Running and Administering MediaWiki
Chapter 9. Installing MediaWiki
Section 9.1. Before You Begin
Section 9.2. Installing the Prerequisites
Section 9.3. Installing MediaWiki
Section 9.4. Important Optional Features
Section 9.5. A Tour of MediaWiki's Files
Section 9.6. Maintaining the Code
Chapter 10. Practical Wiki Design
Section 10.1. Adopting MediaWiki
Section 10.2. Planning
Section 10.3. Establishing Standards
Section 10.4. Governance
Section 10.5. Integrating with Other Websites
Chapter 11. Configuring MediaWiki: An Overview
Section 11.1. Administrative Roles
Section 11.2. Advanced Page Constructs
Section 11.3. Special Pages for Sysops and Bureaucrats
Section 11.4. System Messages
Section 11.5. Cascading Stylesheets
Section 11.6. JavaScript
Section 11.7. Configuration Settings
Section 11.8. Extensions
Section 11.9. Skinning
Section 11.10. SQL Programming
Section 11.11. Maintenance Scripts
Chapter 12. Controlling Wiki Features
Section 12.1. Users
Section 12.2. User Rights and Permissions
Section 12.3. Article Content
Section 12.4. Configuring the Editing of Articles
Section 12.5. Maintaining Articles
Section 12.6. Configuring Namespaces
Section 12.7. File Uploads
Section 12.8. Search
Section 12.9. Special Page List
Section 12.10. Database Configuration
Section 12.11. Email Configuration
Section 12.12. JavaScript Configuration
Section 12.13. Logging and Debugging
Chapter 13. Changing Appearances
Section 13.1. The Basics
Section 13.2. Menus
Section 13.3. Search Box
Section 13.4. Tables of Contents
Section 13.5. External Link Appearance
Section 13.6. Page Credits
Section 13.7. Overall Look and Feel
Section 13.8. International Support
Chapter 14. Installing Extensions
Section 14.1. Obtaining Extensions
Section 14.2. Installing an Extension
Section 14.3. Recommended Extensions
Chapter 15. Creating Extensions
Section 15.1. Overview of Extension Types
Section 15.2. Creating a Variable
Section 15.3. Creating a Parser Function
Section 15.4. Creating a Tag Extension
Section 15.5. Behavior Changes
Section 15.6. Creating a Special Page
Section 15.7. Useful Tasks for Extension Writers
Section 15.8. Creating a Skin
Section 15.9. Publishing an Extension
Section 15.10. Other Extension Topics
Section 15.11. Finding a MediaWiki Programmer
Chapter 16. Wiki Administration
Section 16.1. Maintenance Scripts
Section 16.2. Backups
Section 16.3. Upgrades
Section 16.4. Read-Only Wiki
Section 16.5. Performance and Scaling
Section 16.6. Security
Section 16.7. Vandalism
Section 16.8. Common Maintenance Tasks
Section 16.9. For More Information
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Guide To MediaWiki for Users, Administrators & Developers 3 Feb 2009
By Ira Laefsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This O'Reilly Technical Guide provides an excellent introduction and reference to the most popular and successful wiki software for a variety of audiences. Whether you are a newbie who wants to know how Wikipedia works, a site administrator hosting a corporate wiki, the author of an entry who wants to ensure optimal presentation and usability, or the software developer who needs to extend this technology; you will find reference material to meet your needs. Two minor nits, which may be a result of my personal predilections are: I could have used a top-down architectural summary to guide my understanding of the MediaWiki architecture, and would have liked more than a one page reference to Semantic MediaWiki an important extension of this technology. But in being a valuable reference to a wide range of audiences on how to use, administer and extend this technology--the only reference on the internals of this important technology; this book provides an invaluable service.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good basic primer 28 Dec 2008
By Cindy Krueger - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
For someone who is just getting started with MediaWiki this is a good basic primer. Using this book I was able to answer many of the questions directed to the wiki development team. This book is very well organized and written in easy to understand language for anyone technically minded. It meets or exceeds expections of O'Reilly books.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm glad I reviewed a copy from the lib before buying 18 Jan 2013
By Voracious Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I'm quite technical, and normally I only buy books on complicated subjects that I'll refer to often. Otherwise I just print out the docs on my elderly laser printer. MediaWiki is certainly a complicated subject on a technical level, so I was (am) in the market for a reference book.

Regretably, this book isn't it.

If you are a newcomer who will be *using* a wiki, this could well be a good choice as a *user's* reference book. But if you, as I, will be setting up and managing one, and need to know the many technical details of security, system management, creating local mods, etc. in an easily-digestable form, look elsewhere.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A review from an experienced wiki editor but new administrator. 2 Mar 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After years editing many other wikis online I recently created a private family wiki for genealogy, so I got this book (the Kindle version) and read it to fill in the gaps in my knowledge.

It did fill quite a few gaps. It was chock full of helpful information, and the parts covering things I already knew were still engaging enough to keep me from skipping ahead. I feel qualified now to answer novice editor's questions about how to do things.

The parts on CSS and PHP, etc began to feel over my head, though. Often there are several pages of coding you don't understand, nor understand what it is useful for. They assume you already know all this information - but people who have no administrator experience nor computer backgrounds often don't. (This is the only reason for the one-less-star) Still, seeing these parts showed me additional gaps I'll need to fill in before understanding those parts.

So yes. Good book, glad I bought it. Showed me I still have some work ahead of me, too.
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