Wiki Garden

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Wiki Garden is an extension created by Yaron Koren to support the running of Referata. It enables an easy-to-administer, user-friendly MediaWiki "wiki farm". Its source code has not been publicly released, and there are no plans to release it at the moment. If you would like to run your own wiki farm using Wiki Garden, it is available to be licensed - contact Yaron at yaron57@gmail.com for more information.

The basic approach of Wiki Garden is that each site/wiki has its own MediaWiki database, but a single set of code is used to run all the wikis, including a single copy of LocalSettings.php. Site-specific settings are mostly stored in a separate (new) database table, which is used to override the values of LocalSettings.php.

Wiki Garden defines a number of special pages, which can be divided into three groups: those meant to be accessed from the main wiki (e.g., referata.com) by regular users, those meant to be accessed from the main wiki by "super-administrators", and those meant to be accessed from individual wikis (e.g., wiki-name.referata.com) by those wikis' administrators.

Special page for administrator(s) of the main site:

  • Special:DeleteOldSites - allows for marking for deletion (but not actually deleting) sites that have been inactive as of a certain date.
  • Special:EditStats - shows general per-day and per-month editing statistics for the whole set of wikis.
  • Special:EmailAdmins - allows for emailing all the administrators of individual sites.
  • Special:ManageSite - allows for toggling a small set of values (like service level) for any one site.
  • Special:SiteList - lists all the sites in the system, and descriptive information for each.

Special pages for regular users from the main site:

  • Special:MySites - lists the sites (wikis) that are owned/created by the current user.
  • Special:CreateSite - lets the user create a new site.

Special pages for administrators in individual sites:

  • Special:SiteSettings - an extended form, modeled after Special:Preferences, that lets the user change the settings for a site.
  • Special:ServiceLevel - lets the user change the service level for the site, via PayPal.
  • Special:SiteDeletion - lets the user request/unrequest the deletion of the site.

In the future, parts of Wiki Garden may get spun off into, or replaced with, other, public, extensions. The Admin Links extension, for instance, started its life as a component of Wiki Garden.

Wiki Garden does not handle all of the running of Referata: there are some system-level changes, including modifications to httpd.conf; and some minor changes to MediaWiki code itself.