Wikis as publishing platforms




Wikis as writing interface with separate reading interfaces



wiki elements

For a more extensive list see Wiki


To edit a wiki you need most wikis to register as user.

Different user's groups have different privileges:

Wiki Markup language

Wiki Markup: structured text, simplified version of HTML, easily converted to HTML.

Wiki Markup Cheatsheet


Pages Creation

Pages can be created by:

Talk Pages

Every Page has its respective Discussion or Talk page.

Talk pages are the site of discussion and conflicts that go on to the making of an article.

An example: Talk page on Invisible Pink Unicorn Wikipedia article

User Pages

[ Beyond Social Users & Articles Map]. A SVG map of the Users and the articles each has edited in the Beyond Social wiki. It uses:

Source code

Files and Images

To include non-text media (images,pdfs,audio-video) on the wiki, a File page needs to be created as a place-holder for the file

Pages' Revision History

The history of versions or revisions of a page is stored.

They can be accessible via "View History"

Each revision shows its author, time, action, and at times summary.

Revisions can be compared, edited and undone.

Artworks exploring Wikipedia's Revision History

The Iraq War: A History of Wikipedia Changelogs, James Bridle, collects the history of changes from the Wikipedia's article on The Iraq War between 2004 and 2009.

Epicpedia Annemieke van der Hoek transforms Wikipedia's revision history into a theater script.

Cramer, Florian. 2011. “A Brechtian Media Design: Annemieke van Der Hoek’s Epicpedia.” In Critical Point of View: A Wikipedia Reader, 221–26. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures.

Structuring a wiki

What situations require an overall structure, more elaborate than its "flat" systems of pages?

Subpages: simple hierarchy

Subpages are useful for organizing information hierarchically, as parent/child/grandchild

A subpage of a given main page, is create by adding a slash, followed by the sub-page's name, to the main page name.

[[main page/subpage/sub-subpage]]

Example: this very page Courses/Wikis-Publishing Platforms is a sub page from the Courses page

{{Special:PrefixIndex/{{FULLPAGENAME}}/}} can be placed on a parent page to display all its children.

Namespaces: separate spaces

Namespaces are container for specific content.

Categories: Tags, Hierarchies, Spaces, States

Categories are (the only) ways to tag content.

[[Category:courses]] a page to the courses category

Problems: No limit to the categories that can be added to a page.

Sematic Mediawiki

Semantic MediaWiki (SMW) to MediaWiki

While traditional wikis contain only text which computers can neither understand nor evaluate, SMW adds semantic annotations that allow a wiki to function as a collaborative database.

Properties and types (datatypes) are the basic way of entering semantic data in Semantic MediaWiki. Properties can be viewed as «categories for values in wiki pages». They are used by a simple mark-up, similar to the syntax of links in MediaWiki:

   Property name::property value


An API or application programming interface is an interface that allows interaction via other software. It allows things such as apps to be build on top of existing services, where the apps use the API to interact with the service.

Web APIs

Mediawiki API is a Web API.

Essentially it means that the API is accessed thought HTTP requests and responds using JSON or XML object.

Note: might be helpful to install a JSON add on to your browser, to pretty-prints JSON content.

Mediawiki API

Mediawiki API allows many and very intricate request for information (and editing) from Mediawiki installations.

A few examples will follow, you can request using your web browser. Including a Pretty-prints JSON extension on your browser, as it will help you read the API's responses.

Example: Page basic info PZI MD wiki Main Page This page

Example: Page content This page Page



Action render is a simple way of obtaining just the page content as HTML markup.

Decomposing an API request format=json & action=query & titles=Wiki_publishing & prop=revisions & rvprop=content

Then comes the action specific parameters

Example: Page revisions

Example: Images in a page

Example: categories a page belongs to

Example: Category members - Pages belonging to a category Issue


Examples: Contributors to a page

Example: Users of a wiki

limit of 100 users