Spotlight on Wiki

Fanlore Software Update

The Wiki Committee has an important announcement!

The OTW will be upgrading Fanlore’s MediaWiki software in the evening UTC hours on Tuesday, April 26th. If everything goes according to plan, there should be no downtime, but you will not be able to edit Fanlore for a few hours.

Why the upgrade?

MediaWiki is the software Fanlore and many other wikis, including Wikipedia, are built on.

Fanlore is currently using MediaWiki version 1.19.3, which was released way back in 2012. This version is no longer supported by MediaWiki, which means that we will miss out on security and other critical updates.

We believe that it is important for Fanlore to be upgraded to the latest stable version of the MediaWiki software, version 1.26.2.

What will change?

Sadly, one longtime feature on the site will be going away. The newest version of MediaWiki will remove page hit counters, including those found at the end of each article (“This page has been accessed X times.”), the Special:PopularPages link, and the “Most Viewed Pages” section of Special:Statistics.

There is an extension we could add to preserve the hit counters, but unfortunately Fanlore’s hit counters are not accurate, and the new extension wouldn’t fix them. This is because our server is behind a reverse proxy, which caches pages in their processed form and serves them to visitors. This means that MediaWiki never actually sees most requests, so the total hit count we do see is inaccurate and misleading. Therefore, we will not be adding the extension.

However, in addition to bug fixes and performance and security improvements, MediaWiki 1.26 will provide Fanlore with several new tools and features which the Wiki Committee would like your feedback on! You can find more details at Fanlore’s Dreamwidth community.