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Handling internal data in MediaWiki

 ·  ☕ 2 min read

At EMWCon 2022 I gave a talk called “Handling Internal Data in MediaWiki.” This is a topic I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about for over a year, but it’s the kind of thing I have too much to say about, and so I figured that it would make a better conference presentation than blog post; this way I’d be limited by what I remembered to say in 30 minutes, and the drive of perfectionism to include everything couldn’t get in my way. Next year we’ll do why I hate infoboxes.

One topic I did forget to bring up is the level of trust you have in your users. Low-trust users should have data hidden from them, while high-trust users should be shown everything. (Do you put data in front of the users in the main namespace, or hide it in the data namespace? Or, if it’s going to be in the data namespace no matter what, do you create easy paths to finding this data from the main namespace? Such links could be provided via templates, Extension:Header Footer, or JavaScript, etc.) And this level of trust will be a self-perpetuating cycle; for example, if your users can’t see what’s going on, they’ll never learn enough to become high-trust users. (“Trust” here can mean either “won’t vandalize” in a public wiki or “understand what’s going on” in a private enterprise wiki.)

(You see, I could never have completed a blog post about this topic.)

Here’s a link to the slides.

And here’s a link to the conference at the start time of my talk.

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River is a developer most at home in MediaWiki and known for building Leaguepedia. She likes cats.

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