Format issues under the PHP script

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

This page is largely obsolete, and describes the 'phase II' version of the wiki software, which ran on the English wiki from January to July 2002 and on the Meta wiki until October 2002. For more current info, see en:Wikipedia:PHP script and elsewhere.

This is a list of new style features under the PHP script, of UseModWiki features that are not supported under the script, the reasons for that, and a discussion. Be aware that some of these features will not work here, because the meta-wikipedia software version is usually some days or weeks behind...

New and intentionally changed features[edit]

Automatic heading numbering[edit]

As you can see in the line above, headings now get a number. This is not a bug (as some might think on first glance), rather a new feature, which can be turned off on your user preferences page. The reason is that, now that the subpages are effectively gone, and with topics becoming more mature than stubs, articles may become longer.

To structure long articles, headings and subheadings are very useful. But, as HTML goes, the headings are not very easy to tell apart (e.g., h3 vs. h4). The auto-numbering will detect the "highest" heading present (on this page, h2) and assign it with the main counter (1,2,3...). "Lower" headings get a sub-numbering (1.1, 1.2, 1.3, ... 2.1, 2.2, ...), and so on. This can be very helpful in longer articles (for an example, see [1]).

It does mean two things: 1) People are going to have to change some habits, and 2) It's going to make some of our current articles look screwy (see [2]).

Actually, that article looks "screwy" because the heading tags were not used for headings, but for big bold text. Anyway, I'll figure something out.--Magnus Manske

Also, it can later be used in other ways:

  • Show a "table of content" at the beginning of a long article.
  • Make headings "jump points", to link to a specific location within an article (the "a name=..." tag).

These features are not implemented yet!

Link extension[edit]

Foobar is [[foo]]bar in the source, but displayed like [[foo|foobar]]. Saves a lot of time;)

Paragraph justify[edit]

A setting on the user preferences page makes the text in wikipedia articles "justified", meaning it aligns on both left and right side. It is turned off by default to allow for maximum similarity with UseModWiki.

International wiki links[edit]

You can now link to the same topic in a different language. For example, in the [[Vikings]] article, [[de:Wikinger]] will link to the German article about the same topic, which is (guess what) "Wikinger". These links will not display within the article, but at the top of the page.

Interwiki links[edit]

[[w:Biology]] links to the biology article at wikipedia. From there, [[m:Format issues under the PHP script]] will link to this very page. (Or was it "meta:"? I forgot...)


Variables that are replaced upon saving[edit]

Currently, only the ~ ~ ~ signature thing.

Variables that are replaced upon display[edit]

These are all enclosed in {{ }}. There are only a few so far:

  • NUMBEROFARTICLES inserts an estimated number of articles.
  • CURRENTMONTH inserts the current month as a number.
  • CURRENTMONTHNAME inserts the current month as text.
  • CURRENTDAY inserts the current day as a number.
  • CURRENTDAYNAME inserts the current day as text.
  • CURRENTYEAR inserts the current year.

These were originally intended for use on the Main Page (automated date change, article number update). Later, there can be variables to organize article categories, and automatic crosslinks to the same topic in other language wikis.

Two new category variables:

  • CATEGORY, followed by a blank (space) and a comma-delimitered list of categories that an article belongs to. These are not displayed within the text, but at the bottom of the page, as well as in the sidebar.
  • THISCATEGORY displays a list of all pages that have a CATEGORY tag with the name of the current page.

Removed or altered features[edit]

CamelCase is gone[edit]

Subpages are gone[edit]

Per LMS decision. You can still use and create pages that have a "/" in the title, though. This causes problems for current entries which depend on the automatically generated link back to the main entry, such as [3].

I made a new conversion script that will append a backlink to the "main topic" if (and only if) there's no such link in the article anyway. So, all subpages will get their backlink to the "main topic", it just won't be an automatic one (and can thus be removed where unwanted).

Missing parser functions[edit]

Some features from the UseModWiki parser do not work here, or work slightly differently. The HTML generated by this script is more compatible with XML standards than the HTML from the UseModWiki (e.g., li tags now have a /li end tag). If you miss anything in particular that works in UseModWiki, please list what it is on the bug report page and why you like/want/need it.