I can’t remember exactly what the inspiration was but I realized that the astronomy articles I wanted to create would be better served on a wiki.  I had original planned to write articles in HTML and also add a printable PDF version.  However, I realized the wiki options would give me a way to start an article and add to in the future whenever I had new information to add.

I did some searching for wiki software and found MediaWiki.  I didn’t know that MediaWiki is the software that powers Wikipedia.  So, that made the choice easy.

I read through the installation instructions and there is the general series of steps to install MediaWiki.

  1. Download software
  2. Extract software – I needed to also download 7-Zip since the files are compressed in .tar.gz file and I use Windows.
  3. Upload to web server – They recommend creating a folder named “w” on your web server for the software.  I created the “w” folder in the root folder.
  4. Create database – I then created a MySQL database.
  5. Run installation script – Browse to the web page /w/index.php to start the installation script.  The installation script has steps to enter the database information.
  6. Short URL – By default, the URL is long with different parameters.  The LocalSettings.php file can be modified to using a short URL that becomes /wiki/Page Title.
  7. Logo – The last initial installation step was to upload a JPG to be the logo.