The MediaWiki 1.41 update, the latest for this open-source wiki software, is now available. It was published at the end of December 2023 and will be maintained for a year until December 2024.
The new updates to MediaWiki in 2023. bring advancements and refinements that focus on improving compatibility with the latest technologies but also bring changes for administrators and improvements to user experience.
Let’s dive into the main aspects of this update:
- The date-selection menu on the ‘Special:Contributions’ special page was updated for improved relevance, allowing users to explore wiki edits in MediaWiki more efficiently. It will now display year ranges from the current and previous decade rather than the current and upcoming decade, enhancing the tool’s practicality for historical data review. Moreover, it also shows the user’s edit count and the account’s creation date.
- Administrators can directly add a user’s page to their watchlist from the ‘Special:UserRights’ interface. This refinement streamlines MediaWiki’s user interface enhancements.
- The ‘Special:SpecialPages’ special page has been updated for enhanced usability, now featuring a clearer distinction of links for user management. Two new sections are available: ‘Users and Rights,’ which contains links applicable to all users, and ‘Account Management,’ dedicated to links related to an individual’s user account. This change is part of MediaWiki’s administrative tools enhancements.
- The “aria-level” HTML attribute is now allowed in wikitext. The attribute helps organize information on a webpage in a way that’s easy to understand, especially for people with disabilities. It is another step in enhancing MediaWiki’s accessibility options. This attribute allows editors to define the structure for your content further, going beyond defining just headings within wikitext. An syntax example of this is
<div role="heading" aria-level="2">Example</div>.
- A link to the special page for showing random page can now take multiple namespaces, separated by a comma like, e.g.,
- Preloading text to new pages or sections now supports preloading from localized interface messages like, e.g.,
- The MediaWiki interface was updated with numerous additional translations. Furthermore, six more languages were incorporated, enhancing the existing repertoire of over 400 and contributing to a more diverse MediaWiki experience.
While the user-facing updates to the software may not be groundbreaking, they collectively enhance the overall user experience. These incremental improvements make the software more user-friendly and efficient, ensuring a smoother, more intuitive user experience.
In this latest MediaWiki update, developers and extension creators will discover numerous impactful changes, whereas system administrators will find only a few adjustments. The RELEASE NOTES are your go-to resource for a comprehensive overview detailing every relevant modification.
As we have delved into the specifics of this update, it’s crucial to highlight key compatibility and upgrade details essential for a seamless transition. Here’s what you need to know:
- Note that a straight upgrade from MediaWiki 1.33 or any preceding version is not viable. To mitigate the risk of data loss, it is necessary to transition to MediaWiki 1.35 before upgrading to the new MediaWiki 1.41 version.
- MediaWiki 1.35 is the oldest supported version for direct upgrading to MediaWiki 1.41.
- Furthermore, this release continues to require PHP 7.4.3 or higher. This prerequisite has stayed the same since MediaWiki version 1.35. It also supports PHP 8.0.x and PHP 8.1.x, continuing MediaWiki’s PHP support for the latest standards.
For those looking to reduce the administrative effort in updating their MediaWiki instance, sticking with MediaWiki 1.39 remains a practical choice, although upgrading to MediaWiki 1.41 offers the latest features and improvements mentioned in this blog post. Remember that long-term support for this version is available until November 2025, providing plenty of time to plan and execute your MediaWiki upgrade if you’re already using 1.39.
The release of MediaWiki 1.41 marks a step forward for the platform, offering a range of enhancements and new features. These improvements further harden its position as a vital resource for creating and managing wikis, bolstering its functionality and user experience. However, if you’re currently operating your wiki with version 1.39 and do not require the new features of this and the MediaWiki 1.40 release, there is no urgent necessity to upgrade.
- Exploring the New MediaWiki 1.41, January 4, 2024