Originally created for Wikipedia, MediaWiki is an open source PHP-based wiki engine now used to run thousands of sites. It is officially classified as a content management system.
Any site that uses MediaWiki as its core software engine is considered a wiki. Wikia wikis are currently running on MediaWiki version 1.19.12.
Features of MediaWiki
MediaWiki is a highly-developed, multi-faceted software that has grown over time to encompass a number of needs for collaborative communities. As such, its features are numerous and usually in flux, but there are some key concepts and tools that MediaWiki is best known for.
- An interface that allows for editing of the wiki's content.
- Tools that allow for a structured and controlled system of user rights..
- Namespaces to help separate and prioritize content.
- Magic words to help construct information.
- A platform that allows for easy development of add-ons to the software, known in MediaWiki vernacular as extensions.
- A job queue that is designed to help a wiki perform background tasks at a rate that allows for the tasks to be completed in a timely manner without adversely affecting the technical performance of the wiki.
See the MediaWiki feature list for a full list of features of this software.
Wikia & MediaWiki
While Wikia runs on the MediaWiki platform, Wikia is not responsible for the development of the core software. Bugs can be reported to Special:Contact and Wikia will try to patch them, though occasionally you may be pointed to MediaWiki's bug-reporting software, Bugzilla if the bug in question is something that comes directly from a core MediaWiki file. You may also place feature requests through Bugzilla.
However, please be aware that Wikia, due to our unique situation as having to host over 300,000 wikis with a variety of topics and purposes, often optimizes MediaWiki coding for our servers. As such, copying Wikia code from our TRAC or SVN site to a local installation of MediaWiki may prove to be difficult as it will take some rewriting of the code to work on a normal local installation.