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Archive for December 2012

How to setup a free MediaWiki on Heroku

I had to setup a wiki for some project, and thought of using Heroku for this purpose.

Heroku doesn’t cost anything for 1 dyno, and comes with a bundled 5MB database that might just suffice for this project’s need. To my surprise, I didn’t find any guide on how to do it … but the task didn’t prove to be difficult at all:

  1. Create a new git repository
  2. Populate it with the latest MediaWiki installation
  3. heroku create <app_name>
  4. git push heroku master
  5. Setup a CNAME record pointing to
  6. git config | grep DATABASE
  7. Go to, follow the wizard and configure your database
  8. This creates a LocalSettings.php file – download it but DO NOT COMMIT IT yet.
  9. Edit it, and replace all the local database settings with this:

## Database settings
$_wgDBConnectionString = getenv('DATABASE_URL');
if (preg_match('%(.*?)://([^:]+):([^@]+)@([^:]+):(\d+)/(.*)%', $_wgDBConnectionString, $regs, PREG_OFFSET_CAPTURE)) {
$wgDBtype = $regs[1][0];
$wgDBuser = $regs[2][0];
$wgDBpassword = $regs[3][0];
$wgDBserver = $regs[4][0];
$wgDBport = $regs[5][0];
$wgDBname = $regs[6][0];
} else {
die("Failed to parse DB connection string");

(Obviously, it’s important not to commit your user/pass to a public git repository. If you accidentally did, just remove all reference to it from source control, parse the connection string as above, and then reset your db password).

For your convenience/reference, here is the github repository, although I recommend to just follow the procedure above in order to get the latest MediaWiki and setup wizard.

A few Chrome debugging tricks

  1. If you’re not interested in web development, you can stop here.
  2. Go spend 10 minutes reading this post.

A few things I’ve learned:

  1. Open chrome dev tools, click the gear icon to the bottom right, and take a look at the options … I never bothered to do it, but it’s worth going over this.
  2. Going to try Dock To Right … I always feel there’s not enough room at the bottom of the screen, and it doesn’t have to be this way.
  3. Hitting Ctrl+Shift+F will search all js sources. I’ve wished for this features for a long time and didn’t know it existed!
  4. Ctrl+O will let you lookup a specific source file … much more convenient than browsing through the list of sources.