Using MediaWiki to Go

By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2008-09-08 Print this article Print

Among those details was a pointer to my own Etelos Development Environment, a Web-based console for accessing and editing the files and folders that comprised my MediaWiki installation, for administering my database instance and for accessing other Etelos functionality.

My on-demand MediaWiki installation came with a PostgreSQL database, which I could administer with the popular Web-based phpPgAdmin tool. The folder that housed my project code was deployed by default in a Subversion repository, which kept track of my files' versions whether I edited them using the Web interface, the provided WebDAV (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning) interface or a standard Subversion client on my local computer.

Due to a bug, Ubuntu Linux annoyingly lacks support for SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) WebDAV folders right now, so I opted for a local Subversion client to manage my code. I checked out the remote files to my notebook computer using a Subversion client and set about making my modifications locally, before committing them back into my site hosted at Etelos.

I ran into a software snag when I set out to install the Semantic MediaWiki extension on my Etelos-hosted instance, since the latest version of SMW does not support PostgreSQL.

Since MySQL is the primary database for MediaWiki, and most deployments and development are tied to MySQL, MySQL would have been a better choice for the on-demand service.

However, this incompatibility gave me a good reason to try the MySQL flavor of Etelos' developer kit-currently free to use.

Spawning myself a developer kit account was as easy as ordering up the MediaWiki service had been, and my new developer kit greeted me with all the same access options and Web-based tools that came with the MediaWiki service.

For a flash demo of Etelos' developer kit, go here.

Part of the Etelos pitch is that LAMP applications install on the platform with little or no code changes, and this was certainly my experience installing MediaWiki. To install the application, I committed the MediaWiki code into my development account with Subversion, visited the Web address of my new account and set about configuring my new instance through the software's Web setup interface.

I grabbed the database name, user name and password for my MySQL instance from the "info" tab of the EDE, and adjusted the permissions on MediaWiki's config directory to allow the setup script to do its work.

From here, I was able to install my desired Semantic MediaWiki extension without issues.

eWEEK Labs Executive Editor Jason Brooks can be reached at

As Editor in Chief of eWEEK Labs, Jason Brooks manages the Labs team and is responsible for eWEEK's print edition. Brooks joined eWEEK in 1999, and has covered wireless networking, office productivity suites, mobile devices, Windows, virtualization, and desktops and notebooks. JasonÔÇÖs coverage is currently focused on Linux and Unix operating systems, open-source software and licensing, cloud computing and Software as a Service. Follow Jason on Twitter at jasonbrooks, or reach him by email at

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