Wikipedia used the usemod system for its first year (2001), using a new code base (now called MediaWiki
) since January 2002.
The following text is probably pretty old.
I'm comparing the systems to decide which to deploy for various uses, and here are my
personal notes. For a lot of uses, especially more lightweight sites, Usemod is probably preferable. On some of the control panel appliance softwares, there is a considerable penalty for the use of PHP, which MediaWiki requires. Also there are the resource issues associated with MySQL?.
To test the two systems, I prepared a Garnet/Directory? of my bookmarks to spend some time using this system.
This test uses subpages. I tried a similar experiment at [Garnet's Bookmark's at Wikipedia].
I also prepared [Garnet's Bookmarks]? to try out the system without worrying about subpages. I've prepended the additional pages with "Garnet's Bookmarks -" to avoid naming conflicts with anything else in this system. I have not duplicated this experiment at Wikipedia to avoid creating any problems in their global namespace.
Here are some of the differences I've come across:
- MediaWiki uses SQL data store.
- MediaWiki uses PHP, Usemod uses Perl.
- Semantics for editing pages are somewhat different. See the section below on semantics
- An article with 3 or more ==text== sections will get a small table of contents after the first paragraph.
- There was a reference in MediaWiki about how to have links to sections (anchors) within a page.
- MediaWiki will allow any individual section of the page to be edited without seeing the rest of the contents of the page in the edit window.
The WikiPedia editing semantics are covered [here]. I'll just mention some of the more obvious differences a user of these systems will notice.
- # ==TEXT== on MediaWiki will make this text H1
- # ===TEXT=== on MediaWiki will make this text H2
- The leading *# would cause the MediaWiki to indent a level of indentation.
- MediaWiki allowed for piped links to subpages, (giving a subpage, but showing different link text). I couldn't figure out how to get that to work with UseModWiki.
- Single CRLF on end of line (single line break) does not start a new paragraph on MediaWiki. MediaWiki requires a double line break.
Bugs in UseModWiki?
It might not be fair to call these bugs, lets just say they are unexpected behaviour, or lacking features.....
- /USA_States doesn't create a link to that named subpage. Would expect a link to that subpage, with a the text shown having any _ replaced by spaces. /USAStates? (as in Garnet/USAStates?) works ok.
- Garnet/USAStates? creates an unexpected link to the USAStates subpage of the current page. Double bracketing the text, Garnet/USAStates? create a link to the expected place.
- [Garnet/Cats Cats]? One might expect that to go to /Cats? subpage of Garnet with text of simply Cats, but instead it wants to go to a subpage named Cats_Cats.
Written by Garnet (Last update 14Jan2004)
Two of these "bugs" are just quirks of combining non-WikiWord
s with subpages.
- [/USA States]? requires double-brackets because it's not a WikiWord.
- Garnet/USAStates? also requires double-brackets because Garnet is not a WikiWord, notice that GarNet/USAStates? works as expected.
- Your third example seems to be an actual bug.
- Does it? I would expect that link to go where it currently goes. Cats? should be used to get the author's expected behaviour. -- PEZ
Why am I testing this.....How does it work?