KB wiki supplement/replacement?

Talk about stuff specific to the site -- bugs, suggestions, and of course praise welcome.

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Post Posted February 1st, 2020, 6:54 pm

A lot of the KB articles need updating and its not clear when kerz (the site admin) will be reachable. I'd like to copy some KB articles to some other MediaWiki based wiki and update them. I'm thinking of initially doing this just for a couple dozen Thunderbird articles, but might get more ambitious later on and update some Firefox KB articles too. I could create a post in the existing KB thread with a link to the new wiki.

I thought about trying to find some volunteers to help move and maintain the entire wiki but I don't think that is realistic. For several years I've been the only frequent KB contributor. Most of the other editors that were fairly active such as Alice Wyman seem to do that only for the SUMO Knowledge Base now. I want to maintain fairly technical KB articles such as mail and news settings and files and folders in the profile and opinion based articles such as Keep it working which would be unwelcome there. I want to stick with MediaWiki because I'd hoping that eventually I can move the updated KB articles back. I'm also hoping that when that occurs there might be renewed interest in maintaining the KB articles. Having a prominent "The End" thread doesn't exactly encourage people to help out :)

Suggestions on where/how to create this wiki? I'd prefer to use a existing MediaWiki service rather than install the software on a web host. If the entire wiki is not being migrated it doesn't seem to make sense to use a commercial service such as HostGator or MyWikis offer. I'm thinking of one of the following:

Miraheze (free, no ads, most servers in Netherlands but three in USA and one in Singapore)
ShoutWiki (free but has ads, servers in USA)

Does anybody have any experience with them? is an example of a wiki created at ShoutWiki. Notice the gardener prefix. I don't think I have the right to use MozillaZine as its name (even though I'm a MozillaZine KB admin creating a supplementary wiki for MozillaZine) so I'll have to use a slightly different name. Suggestions?

I re-read ... e_problems which talks about license issues. Both of those wikis state something like "Content is available under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported unless otherwise noted." which is compatible with both what we and SUMO use.


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Post Posted February 3rd, 2020, 11:34 pm

I created an account at Miraheze and requested a MZLAZine wiki. That request has to be reviewed by a volunteer.


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Post Posted February 4th, 2020, 12:21 am

Ok thank you tanstaafl
What sort of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.
"Terry Pratchett"


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Post Posted February 9th, 2020, 6:04 pm

I created the wiki and started to migrate a article and realized I had overlooked something critical. I was editing HTML for a table, not wiki markup. I had been thinking in terms of copying the source for an existing article to the new wiki, and editing it. I had been mainly worried about backwards compatibility. However, I only have access to the HTML created by the server processing the wiki markup. I forgot that when kerz put the KB in read-only mode he also disabled the side panel (which I need to view the source). Oops. Embarrassing.

MediaWiki supports extensions. There is a Html2Wiki extension that can be used to import HTML content (including images) into your wiki. However, "Only someone with administration access to the filesystem (and often the database too) on a server can install extensions for MediaWiki, but anyone can check which extensions are active on an instance of MediaWiki by accessing the Special:Version page". I only have rights for the wiki. Looking at Special:Version on the wiki I created it lists a good number of extensions but not that one.

In many cases its not that bad copying&pasting the text and adding the formatting again. But its a disaster for some articles such as mail and news settings. And the wasted time adds up quickly if I ever try to migrate a lot of the articles. ... iki_markup has a link to a demo for Pandoc, a tool to convert HTML to many different markup formats. I tried that with . Not bad, but the demo is too crippled, it loses all of the source after the first paragraph. There is a version for Windows which I'll try. OpenOffice supports exporting a document as mediawiki so maybe I can use LibreOffice to convert HTML to mediawiki. Another possibility is to install html2wiki software (requires Perl so probably safest to do that under Linux) but it doesn't look like its been maintained for over a decade.

I'll start with Pandoc first.


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Post Posted June 17th, 2020, 10:13 am

I'm finally getting around to starting to port the Thunderbird KB articles. When I have enough ported and updated to be useful I'll create a thread in Thunderbird General announcing that, and also mention it in the sticky "Is Thunderbird dead and other FAQ" thread. These are notes to myself which somebody else might find useful if they do something similar.

Sample command line from powershell window:

pandoc -f html -t mediawiki "64 bit builds.html" >"64 bit"

Create a web page and paste the contents of "64 bit" in it. Then

Delete the masthead div (otherwise you get MozillaZine as the first section)

Pandoc seems to create a section named after the KB article, as the first section. Delete it to avoid duplicating the title.

Delete all indexs, such as [[[index.php?title=64_bit_builds&action=edit&section=6|edit]]]

Delete the footer div at the bottom. For example

This page was last modified 21:00, 2 June 2019. This page has been accessed 159,792 times. About MozillaZine Knowledge Base - Disclaimers
MozillaZine and the MozillaZine Logo Copyright © 1998-2019 MozillaZine. All Rights Reserved - Privacy Policy

I'm leaving many of the rest of the div and span statements alone for the moment as they don't seem to cause any harm. Long term they should be deleted to make it easier to edit the markup (less visual clutter). Our mediawiki doesn't support them but if we ever backport the articles I assume that will be after the mediawiki software is updated.

The wiki uses :Category instead of Category and doesn't add a Categories: prefix. I replaced

[[Category:Thunderbird|Thunderbird]] [[Category:SeaMonkey|SeaMonkey]] with Categories:[[:Category:Thunderbird | Thunderbird]] for example

Quotes are remapped to HTML by pandoc. "supposedly" becomes "supposedly" for example

It also remaps some words with apostrophes. For example doesn't becomes doesnΓÇÖt , which you have to manually fix.

You need to add class="wikitable" to each table to have basic styling. It used to occur by default.

Indenting a ordered list by using multiple '*' characters as described in doesn't seem to work. It doesn't indent and displays multiple '*' characters with embedded spaces. Using one or more ':' characters for the indented entry instead seems the best workaround, though that omits displaying a '*'.

It seems easiest to add categories by tagging them in the wiki page, and after saving the page click on the Category link, and save it as a empty page.

In general, pandoc seems to work well. I was most worried about the mail and news settings article due to its very large size and heavy use of tables but it wasn't a problem.

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