Sunday, March 15, 2009

Appreciating Semantic MediaWiki

I am spending a considerable amount of time working on the "Wikiation Extension Testing Environment" (WETE). This is software that is designed to test MediaWiki and its extensions in many configurations. Wikiation is a Dutch company that provides hosting and value added services in the Dutch language and with MediaWik as its platform. It is of extreme importance for Wikiation that the software just works. The customers of Wikiation rely on a quality service, they expect that the systems are running.

One of the customers of Wikiation is interested in Semantic MediaWiki. Installing SMW is complicated, there are many extensions, these extensions have their prerequisites and it is easy to get it wrong. All of SMW is under constant development and consequently the latest is not necessarily the greatest.

As I am working together with Wikiation to develop WETE, SMW is an obvious target to test. I blogged about the lessons learned and several people got into contact with me. I learned that SMW is used for a wide variety of topics, it is used for genomics and for chicks, it is used for contact information and for a science fiction MMO... There is even a hosting company who specialises in SMW.

What SMW helped me to appreciate even more is the great number of people and organisations that have their MediaWiki installation. SMW is great software and it deserves the best support. I am happy that WETE is starting to play a part in this.

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