Extensions are features and add-ons developed for Help:MediaWiki, the software platform that Wikia runs on. They are designed by third-party developers (that is to say, not Wikia or MediaWiki staff) for the purpose of either expanding the function of a wikia or overriding a built-in MediaWiki feature for customization purposes.
How to request an extension
First, verify that the extension you are looking for does not exist already on your wikia. You can check this by going to Special:Version and looking under the "installed extensions" section or checking the extension's parser function or tag against the "tags" and "hooks" section at the bottom of that page. Wikia already has a significant number of extensions enabled by default.
Many other extensions are already in our codebase and can be enabled upon request. You can check what extensions Wikia offers later in this page. Some basic content tools, such Maps and Help:Variables, are automatically enabled by staff. Other complex extensions, such as DPL, usually have a staff member ask a few questions to ensure that the extension you are asking for is in fact the ideal solution. Other extensions, where wikia configuration may be dramatically changed (such as Abuse Filter, will be enabled at staff discretion depending on the context of the request.
If Wikia does not offer a particular extension, you may request our engineering staff investigate installing it by using Special:Contact and linking to the MediaWiki extension page along with some rationale as to why it's needed. Please be aware that our engineering staff may take a few months to review the extension and that most extensions will be rejected. This is mainly due to the amount of rewriting an extension would face to live on the Wikia codebase servers. As such, it's always good to ask yourself when looking an extension on MediaWiki.org if the extension is up to date, is well-maintained, and allows for a caching layer. If the answer to any of these questions is no, chances are we will not be able to install the extension.
List of Extensions
Users and admins
- Deleted user contributions
- Gives sysops the ability to browse a user's deleted edits
- Help:Global CSS and JS
- Displays edit count of a user
- AJAX based gadget to display the category structure of a community
- DPL-based forum extension using article pages.
- Timeline extension
- Adds <googlespreadsheet> tag for Google Docs' spreadsheets display
- Allows client-side clickable image maps using <imagemap> tag
- Allow inclusion of predefined HTML forms
- Adds <ref[ name=id]> and <references/> tags, for citations
- Search for Weblinks
- Get list of most popular articles
- Get list of most popular categories
- Allows users to upload up to 20 files at once
- Enhance parser with logical functions
- Adds <poem> tag for poem formatting
- Set up single-choice polls.
- Provides a random media picker using <randomimage />
- Displays a random option from the given set
- RSS feed extension
- Displays an RSS feed on a wikia page
- TabView and Tabber
- Methods for having "tabbed" content
- Editors can create timelines of events using this tool's syntax.
- Video Embed Tool
- Embeds videos from YouTube, Metacafe and many other sites, and adds Video pages
- Syntax to display hieroglyph
- Embeds YouTube and Google Video movies
Spam and blocking
- Simple spambot blocking mechanism
- Simple captcha implementation
- Regular Expression Name Block
- Alternate user block (by given name, using regular expressions, controlled globally)
- Regular Expression Spam Block
- Filters out unwanted phrases in edited pages, based on regular expression
- Regex based anti url spam tool
- Dynamic box which allow users to login and remind password
- Code syntax highlighter - supports many languages
- Adding meta-description tag containing snippet of the Article
- Allow users to upload new files directly from edit page
- Allows drawing "shared" template messages from the shared DB
- Shared Help
- Provides the Help namespace pages from this wikia into all wikias (controlled globally)
- Provides an interface for sending messages seen on all wikias
- Tool for automatically catching non-constructive edits.
- Allows for embedding of a calendar into wikia pages.
- Universal reporting tool for wikias, which adds the <dpl> tag
- Maps Extension
- Easily create maps with wiki-fied markers
- Allows you to define a variable on a page then use it later in that same page.
- Grants users with the appropriate permission the ability to check user's IP addresses and other information (This is generally a staff-only tool. A few wikias have a few users with this access, but it is not requestable.)
- Protect site
- Allows a site administrator to temporarily block various site modifications (this is enabled as deemed needed)
- Semantic MediaWiki
- Never officially supported but was available on request for several years. Problematic. Works quite well, but with definite limitations, on some wikis such as The Third Turn and Familypedia. See c:Familypedia:Help:Semantic MediaWiki.
- Here's a staff comment, June 2013, that probably sums up the current approach:
I wanted to clear up what is happening from Wikia's perspective. For the last five years, Wikia has supported Semantic MediaWiki on our wikis and up until late last year offered installation of it upon request. In spite of this, SMW has never been particuarlly easy to maintain for Wikia. SMW is an extremely powerful software that adds significant strain to our database servers.
Part of this was due to some of the ways SMW was initially written (which to the extension developers' credit, they have mostly fixed) and another part was due to the inherent nature of the platform. Setting and querying annotated data is always going to be a technically expensive process. Essentially, you are layering on a top-level database over the underlying running MediaWiki runs on. On just one wiki, this creates noticably lag in site speed. Now multiply that times 200 wikis and you begin to understand where the issues begin.
Wikia has tried a number of unique solutions to the Semantic MediaWiki platform. We worked with SMW to fix a number of the performance issues in 2011 and that year we also took the Semantic MediaWiki tables and put them on a dedicated server (this has caused some of the peripheral bugs Simant mentioned).
After MW1.19 upgrade in July, we began to put wikis on a waiting list for the software. There were so many bugs in the SMW-specific parts of our codebase relating from the upgrade, I personally, as our team's SMW contact, did not feel comfortable "spreading" the bugs to more wikis and further impacting performance. After another reevaluation this spring, I could not in good faith keep telling users to wait. There is no breakthrough in sight with the issues we face with the platform and I have changed our messaging to adequately reflect this. SMW is tough to run on a wiki, it's almost impossible to run effectively on a farming platform like Wikia.
I'm genuinely sorry that Wikia can not offer this extension to new wikis going forward. We remain committed to keeping it active and useable on wikis that already had the tool, and maintaining their uptime and performance was part of the reason we had to cut off new installations of the extension.
Wikia is committed long-term to offering some sort of annotated data service. There is no doubt in our minds that semantics are the future of effeciently distributing information on the internet. We have investigated building an in-house tool specifically designed to meet how Wikia's backend is design and it does appear we will be heading in that direction but I can not give a timetable on that.
I hope this clears up some of the questions.
- 2013-06-07 by DaNASCAT @wikia
- MediaWiki Extensions List at MediaWiki.org, the homepage of MediaWiki software