I don’t have any in depth information or interesting anecdotes in today’s post, but I really wanted to talk a little about MediaWiki. MediaWiki is the wiki software, written in PHP, used by Wikipedia which has also been released by the WikiMedia foundation (who runs Wikipedia and her sister projects) as free and open source software.
MediaWiki is an incredibly powerful and robust system from a programming perspective; and spectacular in writing, editing, and organizing information from an editor’s perspective. The tagging/mark-up system is very well designed, easy to use, and easy to read when properly formatted.
The part that really caught my attention, however, is the documentation. I can say that, hands down, MediaWiki has the best documentation for a software package that I have ever seen in my life. They thoroughly document (link 2) everything in the software from all needed perspectives; including using the software as a reader, writer, editor, programmer, moderator, and administrator.
I was particularly happy with the template system, all of the available extensions out there, and the functions that allow dynamic content and manipulation of the software (Tag Extensions, Parser Functions, Hooks, Special Pages, Skins, Magic Words).