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Posts tagged ‘Wiki’

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.

Google SearchWiki

I think this was a long time coming. I still can’t see it when I search, I guess the deployment is taking some time.

My guess is despite what Google says, votes might end up effecting search results after all – despite the fear of manipulation, this is powerful user data that should be used for ranking.

A few days ago, launched in public beta. I’ve played with it a bit and I think it has the potential to become a great tool for programmers.

It’s basically a combination of blog/wiki/digg/forum. Seems like a most questions get answers (on various degrees of relevance) within minutes-hours. Here are some of the questions I’ve asked, in case you’re interested.

Here’s a review of the beta site (about a month old), but instead of reading it I encourage you to just try it next time you need a programming question answered and Google fails you (don’t forget to subscribe to your question’s RSS feed).

More Recommenders

A couple of cool things from the guys that run MovieLens:

* SuggestBot – A bot responsible for assigning users of Wikipedia articles to edit that would be interesting to them.
* WikiLens – A general “recommendation wiki”. A wiki with ratings, which aspires to be the one place to get recommendations for stuff. I don’t think it has that much users, which weakens it, but the concept is cool. I want an import/synch with MovieLens, but this feature does not exist as of now.

Read the publication list for more.