MediaWiki was originally written for Wikipedia by Magnus Manske . The site previously used UseModWiki (aka "Phase I"), and switched to the new version ("Phase II") on January 25, 2002. The day is known within the Wikipedia community as Magnus Manske Day , after the original author of the new software.
A further rewritten and improved version of the Phase II software was at one time known as "Phase III". It was renamed MediaWiki in recognition that the software was capable of supporting not only Wikipedia but also other projects, and that a more meaningful system of version numbers was needed. The software was named MediaWiki as a play on Wikimedia Foundation, the Wikipedia parent organization. The name is occasionally criticised for its similarity to "Wikimedia", which leads to confusion among people new to the project.
Features under development in the experimental version of MediaWiki include PostgreSQL support and a system to validate articles which are accurate and complete.
PHP first compiles code into bytecode, which often takes most of the time to generate a page. On Wikimedia servers a PHP cache system is used to avoid this.
For version 1.4 the code has been cleaned up a bit, so that in some cases there is a 100% speed up.
There is also some improvement on the amount of harddisk storage used. Since MediaWiki 1.4 gzip is used to store text, which results in compression to about 15% of the orginal. For future versions storing differences are being investigated, instead of the complete text for every revision. Algorithms such as LZ77 are interesting for achieving high compression ratios.
The interface language can now be chosen by the user, making other language projects more accessible.
- MediaWiki on Sourceforge
- MediaWiki users guide and sites using MediaWiki on Wikimedia's meta-wiki site