Discover MediaWiki 1.42 Features

Professional Wiki
5 min readJun 27, 2024


Sunflower field in Kurihara, Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, by surimu, CC BY 3.0

The latest version of MediaWiki, 1.42, the most popular wiki software, is now available as of June 2024. This release introduces new features and enhancements to improve the user experience. MediaWiki 1.42 will be supported until June 2025, ensuring a year of user updates and assistance with this open-source wiki software.

This release further enhances MediaWiki’s functionality and performance. In this blog post, we explore its key highlights.

Improved Edit Recovery: Preserving Your Work

MediaWiki’s Edit Recovery feature, introduced in version 1.41, matured and now offers enhanced protection for your edits. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Functionality:
    Quickly restores unsaved edits when you return to the editing interface
  • Purpose:
    Guards against browser crashes, accidental navigation, and other disruptions

Key Benefits:

  • Minimizes risk of losing valuable contributions
  • Boosts user confidence during editing sessions
  • Improves overall editing experience


  • Default HTML Textarea element (2003 wikitext editor)
  • WikiEditor (2010 wikitext editor)
  • VisualEditor, already built-in

This feature significantly enhances the reliability of the editing process across MediaWiki platforms.

For more details and setup instructions, visit the Edit Recovery user information and Edit Recovery system administrator documentation on

Conditional User Options: Tailoring Default Preferences for Enhanced User Experience

MediaWiki’s new Conditional User Options feature offers a new level of personalization for default user preferences. Important details at a glance:

  • Functionality:
    Intelligently sets default user preferences based on specific user criteria, such as registration date
  • Purpose:
    Enables different default settings for newly registered users compared to existing users

Essential Advantages:

  • Streamlines onboarding process for new users
  • Provides a more personalized and intuitive user experience
  • Allows strategic rollout of new features to specific user groups

Use Cases:

  • Automatically enabling new features for users who register after a specific date
  • Tailoring default preferences to suit the needs of different user segments better
  • Minimizing disruption for existing users when introducing new functionalities

This feature significantly enhances the reliability of the editing process across MediaWiki platforms.

For more details and setup instructions, visit the Conditional user options documentation on

Enhanced Category Sorting

MediaWiki’s {{DEFAULTSORT}} variable now offers improved functionality by extending category sorting to categories added by templates within footnotes.

Main Benefits:

  • Ensures consistent categorization across entire pages
  • Applies default sort keys universally, including in footnotes
  • Improves on previous behavior where footnote categories used page titles as sort keys

This enhancement provides a uniform categorization experience, simplifying page management and improving usability for editors and readers.

CSS “filter” Property Now Allowed

MediaWiki has lifted its long-standing restriction on the CSS filter property and the respective filter functions, marking an intriguing update for the software platform.

Why It Matters:

  • Enhanced Customization:
    Users can apply various visual effects to wiki page elements.
  • Simplified Workflows:
    Provides an easier way to implement visual effects without complex workarounds.
  • User-Friendly:
    Offers a straightforward option for those who find the so-called template styles challenging.

This change opens up new possibilities for visual customization without compromising security. It’s particularly beneficial for wikis that have yet to adopt template styles, as users still seek more design flexibility.

Changes for System Administrators and Developers

System administrators will encounter only a few adjustments in MediaWiki 1.42. They should review the configuration changes section in the RELEASE NOTES to understand the specific changes and their potential impact on the MediaWiki instance.

Developers and extension creators will find multiple essential changes in this MediaWiki update. These modifications offer new opportunities for customization, integration, and performance optimization, enabling developers to create more powerful and efficient extensions that enhance the functionality and versatility of MediaWiki-powered websites. The RELEASE NOTES (sections New developer features, Breaking changes, and Deprecations) provide a comprehensive overview detailing every relevant modification.

Compatibility and Upgrade Considerations

As we explore the specifics of MediaWiki version 1.42, we must know the compatibility and upgrade requirements to ensure a smooth transition. Here are the key points to keep in mind:

Upgrade Path:

  • Direct upgrade from MediaWiki 1.33 or earlier versions is not supported
  • Upgrade to MediaWiki 1.35 before transitioning to MediaWiki 1.42 to prevent data loss
  • MediaWiki 1.35 is the oldest version compatible with a direct upgrade to MediaWiki 1.42

PHP Requirements:

  • MediaWiki 1.42 introduces a significant change in PHP requirements. It now requires PHP 8.1.x, a large shift from previous releases since MediaWiki 1.35 (which supported PHP 7.4.3 onwards).
  • PHP 8.2.x is also supported by MediaWiki 1.42

Considerations for MediaWiki 1.39 Users:

  • Staying with MediaWiki 1.39 is a viable option to minimize administrative effort
  • Long-term support for MediaWiki 1.39 is available until November 2025, providing ample time for upgrade planning to the upcoming long-term support release

Looking Ahead:

  • MediaWiki 1.43, the next long-term support release, is scheduled for release in just half a year (December 2024)
  • Upgrading to MediaWiki 1.42 offers access to the latest features and improvements highlighted in this blog post

It’s essential to carefully review the compatibility and upgrade requirements before transitioning to MediaWiki 1.42. Following the recommended upgrade path and ensuring PHP compatibility can minimize potential issues and guarantee a smooth upgrade process.

For those currently using MediaWiki 1.39, the extended long-term support provides flexibility in planning your upgrade timeline. However, remember that MediaWiki 1.43, with its long-term support, is just around the corner.

As always, we recommend thoroughly testing the upgrade process in a staging environment before deploying it to production to identify and resolve potential issues.

For comprehensive assistance on handling MediaWiki, check out our help center’s upgrade guide. It contains detailed instructions for installation and configuration.


MediaWiki 1.42 significantly improves user experience, and customization options. With enhanced Edit Recovery and Conditional User Options, this release offers valuable upgrades for wiki communities of all sizes. While upgrading requires careful consideration of compatibility, the new features make 1.42 a compelling update. As MediaWiki continues to evolve, we encourage users to explore these enhancements.

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Blog credit:
Discover MediaWiki 1.42 Features, June 27, 2024

Image credit:
- Discover MediaWiki 1.42 Features: Sunflower field in Kurihara, Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture 252–0013, Japan by surimu, CC BY 3.0 Generic, via Wikimedia Commons