Creating a wiki!

we just had a meeting today for phase space (our small diy collective in brooklyn), and one person brought up the idea of an online place for shared reference material. i remembered that in the past, i have installed my own instance of mediawiki (the open-source software that wikipedia runs on) – it didn’t end up being the best solution for my personal research needs, but i think it might be cool to set one up for the scanlines community (which overlaps with the phase space community).

the wiki posts function/category has worked well so far, and we have a lot of really great reference material gathered in there now. but i feel maybe it’s time for a dedicated wiki, perhaps things would be easier to find, and i think it would be simple to port our existing documents over.

it would also be neat if we could figure out how to link it with scanlines for SSO (single login) – it seems like it would be possible because there is a plugin for that.

but basically, i just wanted to see if this idea interests people and if it seems like it would be useful? let me know if anyone has any thoughts !


I think a wiki would be rad! I’ve run trac in the past a lot for small group wikis, but it had some scalability and maintenance problems. Mediawiki is probably better in general. I have seen some mediawikis get attacked by spambots; I don’t know if that was just old instances or if there’s work that needs to be done to mitigate that.

Something I liked doing was encouraging users to have a namespace prefix for their own pages. Something like username/some_page. It was a neat way to let people curate their own stuff. Various wiki software I’ve used at work have had different levels of enforcement of namespaces, but I’m blanking on all the details.

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I was just thinking about a dedicated wiki too!

I’ve spread some of my wiki work between here and LZX forums and made a meta post that gathered all those links up into one place already but it would be awesome to just have everything in one place period.

the wikis on github seem pretty decent and I’ve been seeing them get used more recently,

I’ll take a look at mediawiki


well, i think that’s probably enough interest for me to get started looking into server options so we can try this out ! mediawiki is very powerful, although it can be a little complex, i think it would be a good option for us. i think i should have some time to get it running some time in the next couple weeks, to start out we can just make logins by invite / request only (this will help with spam and ease of moderation too) then look into SSO down the road.

i like the idea of namespaces for users. it’s a nice way to give someone their own “space” but still have it all remain part of the main wiki. will also look into automatic backups and other anti spam features as well.


happy to help with this, especially around figuring out the sso - as you know already single sign on is my passion


that would be awesome @cyberboy666 !

i installed mediawiki on a new digitalocean droplet. i used their one-click LAMP option, then i followed this guide:

i had to install php-mbstring, php-xml, and php-intl using apt as well.

i also installed an SSL certificate and pointed this subdomain: to the droplet IP.

after that i just had to follow the install guide that automatically showed up at the new wiki’s URL.

i made a test edit and uploaded an image to make sure everything was working ok.

right now there is no configuration to send outbound email, no signups allowed, and no default creative commons licensing for content. i figured we could take those things one step at a time. i think i’m going to experiment with the install a bit before we move forward with editing content, just to make sure i don’t accidentally mess everything up while configuring things, but i wanted to write down what i did here before it escapes through the holes in my brain.

more soon!


actually realized i created this digitalocean droplet in my personal account instead of the scanlines account. whoops. will look into porting it over via a “snapshot.”

right now this project is just continuing when i have free time, but i will put out the word once it’s time to give more people access to edit the wiki. and i would like to consult @wednesdayayay about how to organize the information, so that we can create a hierarchy with an index on the front page to make things findable. and also @danyel has some tech experience and offered to help with this project also.

again, more soon :slight_smile:


i was able to re-create the droplet from a snapshot within the scanlines digitalocean project. this means that billing and access will be the same as our other servers.

i also installed a dark theme. i definitely need to change some of the colors though. (this orange is terrible) i am going to install some more plugins and stuff, including one called “gadget” in order to use this to create some global CSS for fonts and stuff (so i don’t have to do it separately on the light and dark themes): MediaWiki:Gadget-site.css - MediaWiki


cant stop laughing at the orange

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here are some things i did today. logging here for reference. the tl;dr is that there is a mobile theme and things are slightly more configured.

  • removed index.php from the urls using this guide (followed instructions for apache using .htaccess)
  • installed Gadgets
  • installed MobileFrontEnd extension and this theme for better mobile layout
  • set the default theme back to vector (gave up on re-styling the dark theme, it was too annoying.)
  • installed a dark mode extension but disabled it because i didn’t like it (just noting for posterity)
  • applied a global dark mode in common.css (we might want to change this later, i just don’t like looking at white screens but we should probably allow users to toggle, plus it inverts images i think?)
  • changed font

things i will probably do soon:

  • create a banner image
  • try and get the global css to apply to mobile view

…but i have to go cook some dinner now.


ok… so i made a banner, and got the mobile CSS going how i wanted. i think that’s about all i wanted to do for now in terms of configuring the layout.

next steps, i am going to start gathering and organizing the data we have in our wiki category, and picking how to organize a list of links to them from the main page.

if there is any content that we want to include from outside the scanlines forum wiki section, feel free to point me to it (@wednesdayayay you mentioned posts on the lzx wiki?)

or if anyone wants to help put data into the new wiki, especially if you are already familiar with using mediawiki, let me know here, and i can make you an account. i think @cyberboy666 is also working on setting up SSO (let me know if you want any help with that also tim!)

here’s the link to the wiki in its current state:

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I’m familiar with Mediawiki, both as user and admin, and I’m happy to help.
I’ve often spent even too much time writing wikis. Looking forward to another rabbithole! :sweat_smile:

:sos: I tend to overthink and sometimes overcomplicate the “how to structure this / categories / tags / criteria / processes” parts…it’s probably best if someone more pragmatic than me handles that


spent some time today playing around with sso - couldnt get it to work yet with some existing solutions i found online… think it will end up being easier to just write it myself… but also php… anyway maybe next week will have some more time for this. if anyone else wants to take a look in the meantime hmu im happy to help

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do you think it will mess anything up for the future SSO if i manually create a couple accounts with the same usernames we have on the forum?

Nah wshould be fine - go for it !

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