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MediaWiki Administrators' Tutorial Guide: Install, manage, and customize your MediaWiki installation Paperback – March 15, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (March 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904811590
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904811596
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 7.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #804,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mizanur Rahman from Bangladesh is a Senior Software Engineer at Relisource Technologies (http://www.relisource.com). He loves to work with Java, PHP and other web-based technologies and is a moderator of PHPXperts, the largest PHP user group in Bangladesh.

Customer Reviews

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See all 11 customer reviews
A book is so much easier than an online source!
M. de Ruiter
I was disappointed in a few typos early in the book related to linking, the errors made things much more confusing than they needed to be.
Michael E. Tacelosky
None of these people deserve any credit whatsoever, as the quality of this book is below what I would expect from a 15-year old.
Dirk Manuel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By M. de Ruiter on May 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
Although a comparison cannot be made, because of the lack of competition (discarding the online help at MediaWiki.org) the MediaWiki Administrators' Tutorial Guide is a good and must have reference for anyone working with MediaWiki as administrator but also as user, offering almost anything one would want to know to start off with, to maintain and to customise and even hack a wiki installation. For those wanting to go a bit further with writing real PHP code for creating extensions, custom wiki markup and special pages, the book offers some nice code examples to work with and to modify to one's needs.

The book could have benefited from somewhat richer content, such as more references to additional sources on the Internet and especially something like break-out boxes presenting experiences from admins of major wiki real life implementations. Next to that it appears that some more time should have been spend on a better index, correcting language, typos and structuring in general.

My book rating: 8

To summarise: the pros and cons

Pros:

+ Almost everything you will need for a basic MediaWiki installation, its maintenance and some customisation is available in this book. It is a complete reference for admins but certainly also for users, that would like some basic understanding of MediaWiki.

+ Very nice and easy to grasp examples of skin customisation and creation (I am no PHP expert!).

+ Good example on creating an article rating system extension and accompanying special page. With this knowledge and some additional PHP you will be able to try out a couple of your extension idea's quite easily I guess.

+ There is a nice bonus chapter (11) presenting 7 extensions and some support on how to install them.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Dirk Manuel on August 18, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think this book sells purely because there is little in the way of alternatives. The documentation in the MediaWiki wiki itself is patchy, jumbled, and confusing to navigate. I wanted a more 'polished' reference book, and this is the only book on Amazon devoted solely to MediaWiki.

Content-wise it is _OK_. There is very little in here that isn't already available on-line, but at least it is presented in a more logical manner. The first half of the book is really aimed at contributors to MediaWiki, such as creating and editing a page, uploading and inserting images, and creating tables. True, Administrators will also need to know this, but it's probably safe to assume that anyone purchasing an "Administrator's Guide" already knows this. Certainly, it didn't teach me anything new. The second half gets more useful, covering administration of access rights, creation of skins, managing namespaces, and so on. That said, it does include huge swathes of code, which take up a fair bit of room - if you don't want to add the 'page rating' the author provides, then it's just a waste of space.

The book is also missing some key information. There's a section on thumbnailing images, but the book neglects to mention that the functionality to deliver this isn't included in MediaWiki and has to be installed separately. (At least in the version I installed, but as there's no information provided on the different versions of MediaWiki there's no way of knowing whether this is why...) It's also vague on some tasks, such as "Figure out how to run PHP scripts from the command line."

My biggest problem with the book is the quality of the writing. This is absolutely appalling.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Michael E. Tacelosky on May 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
I downloaded the mediawiki code and configured a simple wiki, and then said "Now what?" Fortunately, I ordered this book, and happened to have a flight shortly after receiving it, so I had a few relatively uninterrupted hours to read it. I felt like I moved from just scratching the surface of this powerful tool to really being able to tweak it and stretch it to do some really interesting things.

I was disappointed in a few typos early in the book related to linking, the errors made things much more confusing than they needed to be. But other than that, I found the flow of the book to be very good, moving from installation to basic editing to templating to adding custom tags (which I've now done for my install).

I've pretty much read the book cover to cover, and left it with my client last time I saw him. He, too, read it on his flight home, and told me he is quite jazzed about doing some new things with the system that he never knew were even options.

If you want to manage a wiki, reading this book is much, much easier than using the online documentation. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brian OSULLIVAN on October 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because I'd been looking in vain for information on customizing MediaWiki, having hit the proverbial brick wall trying to get beyond the basic configuration on my team's intranet wiki. I was a bit hesitant after reading earlier reviews mentioning that this book was poorly written, but bought it anyway being the *only* book available on MediaWiki.

Given my prior (although minimal) exposure to MediaWiki, I was able to skim through the first four chapters rather quickly. The second half of the book has promising chapter titles, and does contain several code snippets & hacks, but I continually found myself wondering how a professional title made it to press with such poorly written prose. I found the explanations of key concepts to be rather circular, never clearly communicating "the big picture".

Bottom line: If you're starting from scratch, this book should get you started & help as a reference if you need some hacks later on. Otherwise I'd skip it.
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