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Working with MediaWiki Paperback – November 26, 2012
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About the Author
Yaron Koren grew up in Israel and the United States. He has been a professional programmer since 1998. He has been doing MediaWiki development since 2006, and MediaWiki consulting since 2007. He currently runs the MediaWiki consulting company WikiWorks, and the MediaWiki-based wiki farm Referata. He lives in New York City with his wife.
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Maybe the bigger problem with every other book on the Mediawiki software is their blinded by the success of Wikipedia so they basically give you enough details to re-create Wikipedia. This book, while conscious of the success of Wikipedia, isn't defined by that success and therefore doesn't assume you're just trying to re-create Wikipedia. It shows the power of the software to be a platform for all sorts of projects. If you're only buying one book start here.
This book is LIGHT YEARS AHEAD of ANY other book on wikis today! It is up to date, thorough, and perfectly paced for both beginners and advanced users.
The mistake many people make in considering MediaWiki is missing the deep power of Mediawiki NOT for "traditional" wikis, but as a database, with CSS, PHP, HTML and numerous extensions, skins and plug ins. Frankly, if I wanted to start a DBMS foundation for web X.Y (ala Amazon!) with advanced semantic web and text processing, I'd seriously consider Mediawiki, and this is the ONLY text that details all of the key applications OTHER than (as well as) Wikipedia-type objectives.
If you're new to Wikis, you are very fortunate this was published-- get it now! If you're an old pro, perhaps you're like a seasoned Excel user who is brilliant at dashboard and spreadsheet deliverables, but has never touched VBA, deep macros or other features "below the surface" of the program. THIS BOOK gives you the "inside" features that will allow you to inductively project (generalize) to MANY other applications, including your own creative ideas! Much simpler and more powerful than SQL in many ways (but also able to work with it if you choose), this will at least open your mind to MW in many additional lights.
Quick example: I worked with a retired teacher who wanted to start an online database to do instant background screenings for moms, screening potential day care providers. After exploring all the options, she opted for MW and got the whole project done for under $2,000 with MW, a project with estimates as high as $50,000 with other databases! This might seem "far astray" from the Wikipedia applications, but is just an example of the lesser known power of this program that this author explores.
You don't HAVE to know CSS, PHP, HTML etc. to profit from this volume, but at some point you'll have to bring in those aspects and skills to fully customize and take advantage of MW in applications other than straight wikis. For straight Wiki objectives: you STILL need this book, as there are up to date details not available in any current book, with wonderful "follow on" web suggestions to get and keep you continually current. If you're a teacher, this technology is a MUST for educators "with it" in today's online and e-learning technologies.
Library Picks has nothing to do with the authors, Amazon, publishers, etc. of the books we review, and we always buy the books we review. Our reviews are only for the benefit of Amazon shoppers and potential Library purchasers.
The book cover was bent and the pages were backward as well as the content - simply unreadable. Read all the other comments here and was very excited to get started. Incredibly disappointed now.
Please note, my comment does not reflect the actual material itself - I plan to change my rating as long as the material is good, and the new book that I am hoping to receive as a replacement matches the description and typical American book standards (e.g. page 1 is the fist page, not page 248. I also prefer to read left to right).
Amazon again reminded me why I choose to buy from them - overall great customer service. I got a new book within 2 days with the pages in the correct order!
I also got a chance to read the book and as others stated, it is very good. Clean and crisp and very easy to read. A good book to get started if you are looking to learn more about MediaWiki.
But it does so much more. This book introduces you to the concept of Semantic Media Wiki and forms, which allows you to create a crowd-generated and maintained database.
Wiki-style databases are great because the version history means you can open database editing to the public, and never worry about the integrity of the data being compromised. What could you create with a database run by the public? The possibilities are endless.
I read every page of this insightful, easy to understand book, and if you are interested in Wikis you will enjoy it very much.