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MediaWiki by Daniel J. Barrett

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Chapter 14. Installing Extensions

Powerful as MediaWiki is, you can make it even more so by adding extensions: third-party plug-ins that provide additional features. Extensions cover a wide range of functionality, such as:

  • Converting wiki articles to PDF format

  • Inserting Google maps into an article

  • Adding a CAPTCHA image to the login page

  • Creating fill-in-the-blanks web forms

  • Automatic syntax-highlighting of displayed source code

  • Replacing the wiki’s search engine

In this chapter, we’ll install extensions and survey some recommended ones. And in Chapter 15, you’ll see how you can create your own extensions (programming is required).

Obtaining Extensions

Apart from ordinary Googling, here are two effective ways to learn about and locate extensions:

  • Examining your favorite MediaWiki sites to see which extensions they have installed

  • Visiting MediaWiki.org’s catalog of extensions

Viewing Extensions on a Wiki

While working on a MediaWiki site such as Wikipedia, you might see a feature that other MediaWiki sites don’t have. Suppose you notice an article with an image link: that is, a graphical image that is a link to another page, produced by the tag <imagemap>. Image links are not built into MediaWiki. What is this feature, and how can you obtain it for your own wiki?

To locate the origin of an extension, visit the Special:Version page, which lists all extensions installed on a wiki (see Version). Among the many entries on http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Version, you’ll see a “parser hook” extension ...

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