Open Codex HISTORICAL entry

2011 Feb 10 | MW: a command line interface to MediaWiki

The MediaWiki experience can be as frustrating to a hacker as it is for a newbie. Editing on the Web page is annoying and the syntax is atrocious. For myself, I prefer using Markdown syntax, a good text editor, pandoc, and a distributed version control system (VCS). (That's how I wrote my book.)

I, and others, crave a similar toolset for editing MediaWikis. I tried WikipediaFS once, but looking at a versioned wiki as a simple filesystem didn't do the trick and the project is unmaintained. The mvs Mediawiki client comes with Ubuntu, but I could never get it to work. wikish is OK but doesn't do all that I would like.

Recently, I stumbled upon Ian Weller's mw, "VCS-like nonsense for MediaWiki websites". He provides a great foundation and the basic pull, diff, commit and status commands. Since it's written in Python, I could actually grok it, extend pull so it can pull new updates and warn of conflicts, and provide simple merge functionality.

You can see examples of the pull, conflict, and merge functionality in a short MW tutorial I drafted.

Open Communities, Media, Source, and Standards

by Joseph Reagle