Trying to follow Buckminster Fuller's example in life, one step at a time to bring you brain scrapings for a new millennium.

Setting Up MediaWiki On A Windows Machine... Part 1

06 Apr 2012 - Nic Ho Chee

Have you ever encountered this; You've spent some time analysing a problem or investigating an issue and want the process you took or the results of the analysis available in a searchable form at a later date. You might have initially saved the input/output of your work in a series of text files which have grown over time making it more difficult to find a specific piece of information and/or increased the workload for backing up your data? Perhaps it's time you installed a Wiki.

What is a Wiki?

A Wiki is a series of web pages set up as a communal space for sharing information. Content can be added/deleted/modified by users through their web browser, and the wiki can be backed up to a source control repository as needed.

As a programmer, one of my primary tools is a workspace which allows me to log my work in a diary, store the output of various prototyping experiments and process ideas in a form which supports fast information capture without breaking my workflow. On my local machine I have Wiki running on which I've arranged my thoughts and coding snippets so a future me can sift through them when needed. This may not be a perfect solution for you if your Wiki is run from an external server which has frequent downtime or is particularly slow in saving/reading files, in this case using a local store of text files would seem a better choice. You can always upload them to a Wiki later.

After some experience with Confluence and TWiki, MediaWiki was used as:

  1. It is free...
  2. It seems to support all of the formats and functionality needed, if not out of the box, the functionality could be exposed with a small amount of tweaking. For example mathematical functions using LaTex markup can be supported using texvc.

What Do I Need To Try This Out

  1. MediaWiki. I'm using 1.15.1, however you can try the latest version from here;
  2. PHP. I'm using the thread-safe 5.2.12 version. Make sure that you don't use 5.3.1 as it's borked for MediaWiki at present. You can find various versions here;
  3. A database server. MediaWiki actually supports SQLite however for this install I used MySql 5.1.43. Have a look here for the full fat 109MB install.
  4. A webserver. I've used Abyss again for this installation. For more information have a look at a previous blog post here.

MediaWiki installation has been separated into two posts:

  1. Part 1 covers getting your initial workspace up and running.
  2. Part 2, to be written in a future post, covers extensions, LaTex support and creating mathematical functions for MediaWiki.

How To… Install

> PHP 5.2.12 installed
> Could not find a suitable database driver!
> For MySQL, compile PHP using --with-mysql, or install the module
Error 404

Not Found

Powered by Abyss Web Server X1
Copyright © Aprelium - 2001-2009
$wgScriptPath       = "/wiki";


Part 2 which will look at: