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edit index GetWiki:1.0

Introducing GetWiki 1.0

GetWiki 1.0

Despite the wonderful aspects of what the software could do, had many nagging problems, along with many hidden defaults which may not serve other sites beyond Pseudopedia's reach. After a series of bugfixes to Mediawiki 1.1.0, it became apparent the Internet-Encyclopedia software had been "forked", and GetWiki 1.0 was born. Of course, one developer's fork is another's spellcheck, but in this case, it is clearer to call it a fork and move on from there.

It is now clear most of the small problems have been addressed, and users of both applications can easily see the visual user interface differences. Also, Wikinfo may have been the first large Wiki site to use the XML export Mediawiki 1.1.0, and now GetWiki 1.0, now offers. This feature allows a Wiki site to have instant access to the latest version of a Wikipedia article, and in this case, use that GNU FDL content to build differing and alternate connections of thought.

This addresses one of the most prevalent criticisms about editing for Internet-Encyclopedia: The fact that so many hundreds of thousands of articles already exist on Wikipedia, why would one bother with a "spin-off"? Manually importing articles is labourious, and requires dedicated editors to decide what needs to be imported. Automatic XML importing eliminates these problems, and encourages editors to edit and save whatever articles are missing when they click on green links.

Technical Features

  • Auto-import of Wiki articles via XML using PHP's Expat Library
  • Improved use of CSS styles (colours, positioning)
  • Cleaner output to the browser, PHP code underneath
  • Well-formed XHTML, replacing deprecated HTML 4.0 versions
  • More integrated and effective use of CSS2, beyond font colours
  • More intuitive User Preferences page
  • Clearer labeling and checkbox placements
  • Fixed user login retention and other fixes
  • Better use of licensing notices on pages
  • Image thumbnail display
  • Enhanced whitelist settings, default blocking of non-account edits
  • Integrated blocks of edits, new accounts and uploads from IP range blocks
  • Display of wiki messages from both GetWiki and MediaWiki namespaces
  • Conversion of TeX code for formulas into XHTML

Future Improvements

  • Further organization of functions and classes, filenames and variables
  • More comprehensive administrator tools
  • Interface language selection
  • Multiple Wiki importing
  • Dynamic user rights categories
  • Additional/different visual styles

Given world enough and time, these suggestions and improvements could be made for a potential 2.0 release. In the meantime, though, GetWiki 1.0 should be put to the test right here, and on other Wiki sites where developers wish to try it. Many thanks to the developers of MediaWiki for creating such a flexible package in the first place.

Licensing Explained

GetWiki uses a "split" license, where part of the code and the images are not released under the GPL, but under the CCL. The relevant files are under the Attribution-NonCommercial 1.0, while the README is under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 1.0. The remaining modified files are under the GPL.

The intention has been simply to bar the commercial application of GetWiki rather than prevent developers from making derivative works from it, and to move away from the policies of the FSF, where possible. MySQL, for example, uses a "dual" license, offered under the GPL as well as commercial licensing. Commercial usurping of MySQL is prevented in all practicality by the centrality and influence, documentation and training MySQL AB provides. The case with GetWiki is not different in principle, but due to its lack of centrality or influence, a dual license would not prevent commercial usurpation, and the GPL used alone would encourage it.

In fact, there is no prevention of developers, such as those making up , from taking GetWiki and incorporating the changes and improvements into their application (as they have more recently, using the CCL'ed Sajax Toolkit). There is also nothing preventing developers from creating their own XML import solution. The technical task GetWiki performs in importing articles from other Wikis is actually a "trivial" one, and the code to do so is readily available on the internet from a variety of sources. Therefore, the split licensing of GetWiki may break spirit with the GPL, but it is not meant to prevent otherwise open source applications or derivative works - it is not a patent.

Releases and Downloads

GetWiki 1.0 is available, and the current download is the first release. It is a substantial fork of MediaWiki 1.1.0, and is currently running Wikinfo as included in the tar archive(or different, as noted). Changes will be noted here as a simple changelog. By requirement, GetWiki 1.0 is released under GPL, but new code, documentation and images are released under CCL, which is not intended to preclude code-merging back into MediaWiki.

  • 07/04/2007 - removed "index.phtml, duplicated "wiki.php" as "index.php"
  • 07/04/2007 - updated "getwiki.sql, interwiki entries, "README", installation
  • 07/04/2007 - updated "DifferenceEngine.php" to function under PHP5
  • 07/07/2005 - updated "getwiki.php" to ignore extra XML elements
  • 09/06/2005 - simplified remote language support, updated languages
  • 04/04/2005 - supported streaming protocols, sans-serif font defaults
  • 07/03/2005 - tweaked "go" button to create new pages, output nitpicks
  • 04/03/2005 - overhauled interwiki map links, added new links
  • 28/02/2005 - added edit buttons/special chars to wikibits.js
  • 05/02/2005 - fixed image caption link support, related CSS
  • 02/12/2004 - updated "watchusers" information, layout, language bits, etc
  • 27/11/2004 - created "admin" level, "watchusers"/"promoteuser" special pages
  • 22/11/2004 - updated blocking mechanisms, blocked IP language, etc
  • 08/11/2004 - added forums, missing images, tweaked/fixed special pages
  • 21/10/2004 - tweaked statistics and special pages links/language
  • 28/09/2004 - fixed MW's "mail password" bug to work as intended
  • 06/05/2004 - fixed "pre"-formatting spacing/CSS, from previous tweaks
  • 05/05/2004 - fixed TeX support by outputing XHTML, PNG a server option
  • 26/04/2004 - fixed nested "a" elements and other output bugs
  • 25/04/2004 - fixed many nagging XHTML/CSS problems, cologne skin
  • 23/04/2004 - consolidated settings, changed XML export schema to blank
  • 17/04/2004 - fixed block user form to accept ranges, tweaked language
  • 17/04/2004 - fixed yet another MW login bug, "remember across sessions"
  • 14/04/2004 - fixed more namespace bugs, better error, readme, various
  • 13/04/2004 - updated sql, stats, added MSG support for GetWiki Namespace
  • 09/04/2004 - updated getwiki.sql, language, prefs, removed more defaults
  • 08/04/2004 - strengthened blocking mechanisms, accounts, edits, uploads
  • 07/04/2004 - added curl support in getwiki.php, updated readme
  • 04/04/2004 - fixed and fmt log pages, moved to GetWiki NS
  • 04/04/2004 - set blocks MW 1.1.0, were 1.3.0, see language.php
  • 03/04/2004 - fixed preview doubles, removed more MW defaults
  • 17/03/2004 - fixed fullwidth editbox, better protected editpage, various CSS
  • 14/03/2004 - added metanamespaces "localsettings", printable skin tweak
  • 14/03/2004 - fixed MW whitelist settings, blocked anon edit as default
  • 14/03/2004 - updated list handling for non-closed tags
  • 11/03/2004 - fixed enhanced recent changes, added arrow images
  • 10/03/2004 - fixed display bugs from localsettings and CSS
  • 09/03/2004 - revised "readme"
  • 08/03/2004 - added omitted interwiki links to "getwiki.sql"
  • 08/03/2004 - updated talk indexing in "Namespace.php"
  • 07/03/2004 - fixed wp/mw namespaces, msg's, and tweaked "Article.php"
  • 04/03/2004 - updated user agent string with local url, cookie tweaks
  • 04/03/2004 - fixed old account/new account logins (from MW/GW versions)
  • 03/03/2004 - set password salt false in "DefaultSettings.php" (new DB only)
  • 02/03/2004 - fixed wikitable display in "OutputPage.php"
  • 02/03/2004 - various tweaks to "language.php" and "editpage.php"
  • 02/03/2004 - fixed pre/unformatted text, and "p" elements
  • 02/03/2004 - fixed admin passwords in "getwiki.sql"
  • 28/02/2004 - changed user agent string in "getwiki.php" to GetWiki 1.0
  • 27/02/2004 - removed Special:Asksql feature
  • 27/02/2004 - removed "wrap=virtual" from edit box for Mozilla 1.x
  • 27/02/2004 - cleaned print styles, nitpicks to CB/WS styles
  • 27/02/2004 - blocked filesystem-only save of large/bad uploads
  • 27/02/2004 - fixed debug page to display "phpinfo()" correctly
  • 27/02/2004 - various "language.php" tweaks
  • 07/02/2004 - added standard interwiki hotlinks to "getwiki.sql"
  • 07/02/2004 - various nitpicks to CSS stylesheets
  • 07/02/2004 - initial upload of 1.0

  • Apache under Unix/Linux installation recommended
  • PHP 4.3.2 - PHP 5 required for application
  • MySQL 3.23 - MySQL 4.1 required for database
  • MediaWiki 1.1.0 data schema required (existing/updated database)
  • GetWiki 1.0 (MW 1.1.0 equivalent) data schema provided (new database)
  • No other server dependencies (LaTeX, Ghostscript, etc, from MediaWiki not used)


  • NOTE: A working knowledge of PHP and MySQL, as well as file transfer/permissions at the command line is highly recommended
  • FTP or Copy files to webserver directory
  • Ensure file permissions are correctly set for server
  • Configure settings in the "LocalSettings.php" file (if advanced, customize "getwiki.sql" file)
  • Import via MySQL the "getwiki.sql" file (for NEW GetWiki databases only!)

$wgDBserver may be remote or local, -p means $wgDBsqlpassword is needed:
mysql -p -h $wgDBserver $wgDBname < /path/to/getwiki.sql

  • Login with browser to "GetStarted" with the password "getwiki" to verify installation (you can customize this user in "data/getwiki.sql")
  • Change password for this default user while logged in!
  • Customize your webserver's short URL trick (depends on server!), for example:

Using our short URL trick (Apache's .htaccess file):
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^-(.*)$ wiki.php?title=$1 [L]


GetWiki 1.0 designed by M.R.M. Parrott (proteus) and rimric design, with huge thanks to:

Some content adapted from the Wikinfo article "GetWiki:1.0" under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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