This Forum has been archived

Visit the new Forums
Forums: Index Help desk Semantic MediaWiki update
FANDOM's forums are a place for the community to help other members.
To contact staff directly or to report bugs, please use Special:Contact.

50px-Replacement filing cabinet.svg

Note: This topic has been unedited for 2768 days. It is considered archived - the discussion is over. Do not add to unless it really needs a response.

So Semantic Mediawiki 1.0 is out... and is on test at Wikia! Anyone interested in testing it, please email me at or ping me on IRC, and I'll give you the link. If all goes well, I hope that we can have this extension on all of Wikia's wikis. -- sannse@fandom (talk) 17:58, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

What's the good place to discuss issues with Semantic Mediawiki on the test wikia? --Lirielle 08:37, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Here's fine... what have you found? -- sannse@fandom (talk) 21:47, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
I was about to comment about n-ary properties not being implemented but when I went back to the wikia today, all the Semantic support seems to have disappeared?? --Lirielle 10:51, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
It's on again now - the problems with test wikis ;) -- sannse@fandom (talk) 11:43, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

1st questions

  • n-ary properties don't seem to be implemented. What arre the plans?
  • inline queries: {{#ask:}} doesn't seem to work, when 'old' syntax does (<ask></ask>). I wonder: is our version an old one or is the doc updated to an unreleased version??

--Lirielle 21:23, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

Ontoworld is running a latest, devel version of SMW. Could you please check if they have (a) n-ary properties (b) {[#ask:}} syntax there? I'll try to install a devel version if you succeed with either one. -- Nef @fandom (talk) 22:58, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
n-ary relations are illustrated on their Einstein page, which I copied to the test wikia.--Lirielle 03:39, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
those are not n-ary relations! — MovGP0 02:11, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

fp007 is running SMW code straight from MW repository. (Last change: 2008-02-09.) Could you please test it against this two issues? -- Nef @fandom (talk) 19:00, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

The inline queries {{#ask:}} is working now. Will test n-ary properties later. -PanSola 20:02, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
N-ary relations are also functional now. -PanSola 20:21, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
no - they aren't. n-ary relations are not implemented in SMW. There are just 'combined' types that are described as "n-ary", but they aren't. — MovGP0 02:11, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Type:Number vs Type:Integer/Float

The official documentation says that in SMW 1.0, Type:Number is going to replace Type:Integer and Type:Float. However, on current installations we have, Type:Number is not yet recognized, while Type:Integer still works. -PanSola 02:49, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

I've upgraded SMW on fp007 to the latest version from MW repo. Pls check it now. -- Nef @fandom (talk) 17:28, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Resolved, thanks! -PanSola 19:01, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Its (a)live!

SMW is enabled on Psychology Wiki (stats). Please drop by, help them set up basic properties/relationships, learn a thing or two yourself, and... request it for your wiki! -- Nef @fandom (talk) 12:13, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Pls. visit for info about SMW. -- Nef @fandom (talk) 13:21, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm really not sure how this thing could be usefull on fr.guildwars. I think i'll start a discussion there to see what uses we could make of this but we are so few users that it wont help us if we have to edit many pages to take advantage of the new features. — TulipVorlax 01:29, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

SMW is enabled on these Wikia projects

See the list (and add your own if it has SMW) at Help:Semantic MediaWiki

Awesome, welcome, join semediawiki-user, I can help

This is a great development!

-- Skierpage (Semantic MediaWiki junior developer, doc writer, janitor 00:48), 13 March 2008 (UTC)

It's a tad too soon, i think there only a couple of Wikia using it. — TulipVorlax 01:29, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
I'll keep this thread up to date with info about wiki with SMW enabled. -- Nef @fandom (talk) 12:10, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Learning by example

SMW is a general-purpose extension that has a great number of possible applications. To get the idea, and to use it in a productive way, it is helpful to look at some reasonably well-done example wikis. So here are some that might be inspiring to learn from:

-- Markus Krötzsch, Mar 3 2008, 13:38 CET

Isn't there anything in french ? Lol. I think it would help my users to find this usefull. — TulipVorlax 16:28, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
Translation is in progress. Visit this page as a starting point. --Avatar@fandom 17:35, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

How can you tell?

I'm sure the answer will be obvious, but it has eluded me. How can I tell whether a wiki I'm working on already has the SMW extension enabled? —This unsigned comment is by Elwynd (wallcontribs) . Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

Try checking Special:Version; the extension should be listed there if it has been enabled. --Michaeldsuarez (Talk) (Deeds) 17:59, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Aha! That's it - thank you :) Elwynd 20:20, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
You're welcome. --Michaeldsuarez (Talk) (Deeds) 23:37, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Is SMW a solution in search of a problem?

That title may sound provocative but I am actually being sincere. In the past I have read Dantman's enthusiastic praises of SMW and I have waded through documentation (very dry) and browsed wikis that purport to use the SMW extension but I just fail to understand what the virtues of SMW are. WHen I think I understand what those virtues might be I fail to find examples of that in poster-child wiki applications that are touted as "utilizing SMW extensions".

  • I suppose I need some very specific links (and possibly some commentary to highlight what it is I am looking at) and not just a vague, "go check out that wiki," because when I do 'check out that wiki' I am sorry to report that the virtues of SMW are not at all obvious. ... am I the only person who feels this way?
I think I might want to use SMW 
I very much appreciate how complex
(i) managing a database of game data and
(ii) displaying portions of that data
can become when implemented using templates. I took that approach with (skill data templates and skill presentation templates). That was my first wiki experience and I felt I should crawl before I walked. 12 months later I am tackling a brand new wiki community ( and I can imagine a different kind of database becoming useful. I think I am ready to progress from walking to at least a jog if not a run!
  • So am asking the big question:
    should I learn SMW and use it or should I muddle along with templates again?

Guided by the list of wikis mentioned in this thread and at I visited each one to try to understand and appreciate the virtues of using SMW. Whatever those virtues may be they simply do not jump out of the page and announce themselves.

  • I reviewed the history of changes and notice that changes are not very frequent or even recent on some example wikis.
  • I pick on a few articles to examine the revision history - no clues there either.
  • I do the same for a category or two - still no joy!
  • I search the forum if they have one for any reference to SMW - again no evidence of SMW hemoglobin coursing through the veins of the subject wiki.

Without a doubt I must be looking at the wrong pages or searching for the wrong things.

  1. What exactly is the problem that SMW is meant to solve?
  2. Where are the application notes?
  3. Is there a quick start tutorial to review?
  4. Where's the beef?

All jesting aside, I am genuinely wanting to understand how SMW could help with this new wiki. Possible ideas I have include:

  1. There is a rule book (the ISAF RRS) that has about 20 or 30 relevant rules that apply to the game in question. The interpretation of those rules for a real life sailboat race is not always precisely the same as the way the rule is interpreted in the game. So it seems there could be lively discussion about this interpretation and the possibility of fracturing the rule book into a database entry for each rule or each section of each rule may or may not have some benefit in this regard.
  2. The users who play the game play on public servers hosted by other members. As such there is no central game server and no permanent database of users where such information as past race results sailing different types of boat or different race course can be stored. So I speculate that maybe a wiki community hosting such a data base might allow some clever things to be done in that area such as recording the fastest completion time for each course for some range of wind speed or wave height. Perhaps a link to the favorite boat "skin" used by each user can be stored in that database so other players can remind themselves who was who.
  3. Scoring the results of a each race seems like a perfectly good use for a database whether or not those results are automatically populated via a script or manually loaded by a patient community member.
  4. Each class of sailboat has performance characteristics shared by an skipper of that same class of boat. Currently that data is not well documented and so a wiki hosted database might lead to a better collection of documentation of this performance data.

So there you have it a few possible problems looking for solutions or a solution.

The question is 
does SMW have anything to offer this set of applications?

najevi 09:42, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

"Is there a quick start tutorial to review?" - every Wikia should have "shared help" called Help:Semantic MediaWiki (mentioned above). — Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:50, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Many thanks. I am now zeroing in on the page Special:SemanticStatistics at each wiki I study that is reported to be using SMW. That seems to indicate to what extent they are utilizing properties and feel I am on the right trail. Seeing your

A few more days reading and research maybe! najevi 14:48, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

The main consideration is not "do I have information that can be broken down into a database"; the wiki is a database in its own right, and I'm sure you could simply break the rulebook pages into a set of wiki pages, the talkpages could then discuss the sections specifically, and if you need the larger rulebook, you transclude the sections together.
The main reason for SMW is that you want to find out stuff about the data you have, to write queries. To simply make lists of things (like a list of users and their favorite skins), DPL is quite sufficient; only when you envision more complex queries over your data being useful is when you really have a case for SMW. Until then, collecting the data via infobox templates (these are useful even when you have SMW) is sufficient. Your list above really doesn't have much of that. Scoring each race -- when somebody adds the race times to the wiki, they already know who the winner is. It's not complex. "What was the fastest time ever on course XY by a Dutch boat" is the type of query that needs SMW. Now you can of course fall into the trap of thinking you need that type of query so you can toy with SMW! :)
Maybe somebody else can comment on another problem: as far as I'm aware, the rich text editor doesn't cope well with editing template calls. If you have Semantic forms, editors can edit template calls on a page via input masks. Does it make sense to use SMW to provide for template accessibility when people are using the rich text editor? --◄mendel► 13:15, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Apparently the new rich text editor does generate forms for editing templates, so the answer to my question is "no". --◄mendel► 22:38, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
I have no idea what your application is but take a look at the autocompletion feature, the ability to set various input types, specify a picklist of acceptable values and the ability to prefill parameter values. Semantic forms provide the ability to create extremely sophisticated forms. This sophistication may or may not be relevant to your objectives. -~ Phlox 02:01, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Yes that does makes sense. In fact the rule book mentioned above has developed almost exactly as mendel described. By the way what does DPL stand for? As I studied the genealogy wiki pages that define SMW properties inline I realized that the pages of the wiki I am working on are not really filled with much data that needs to be queried by anything more complex than the keyword search function that is standard with every wiki.

Even as I reflect back on the rather complex skill "data templates" and skill "presentation templates" used at I realize that what I wanted in that case was not so much to extract data from wiki article but rather to construct uniform presentations of data from a centrally maintained database for each skill.

A possible application 
When it comes to images uploaded to a wiki it would be nice if a semantic property was assigned to each image identifying the license-type specified at the time of upload. I can imagine how the templates listed at MediaWiki:Licenses could be adapted to do exactly this. Then I could construct a query to produce a list of say, Self or No license images as opposed to creating a plethora of categories in anticipation of maybe wanting one of those categories at some later time.

najevi 13:43, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Isn't your "possible application" solved by the "What Links Here" for the license template in question, possibly limited to File: namespace? Using Categories is superior because a category also allows you to browse and review the media. If you think you won't need the category, why do you have the license in the first place?
DPL stands for Dynamic page list; it's installed on every wikia wiki because it drives the forum. Basically it allows to query pages by categories and redisplay information included in templates in various ways. (See also ). Axe/Gallery is a DPL-generated page that uses the information in the infobox template that is on each weapon page to create a visual list automatically. Category:Fansite_kit_image_license/no_icons is a pseudo-category that is created by using DPL to "subtract" a category from another; the fact that some icons show up in it means that we have to go and properly categorize some of them. :)
I was looking for your skill database on Rappelz wiki but couldn't find anything, could you point me there? GuildWiki has a skill database build from decentral templates (a template per skill) that can be made to do amazing things; we haven't actually found out yet whether using SMW would have advantages; the way we structure information in them would most certainly have to be redesigned. My biggest concern is that SMWifying makes the system less flexible, that it's not as simple to add new functionality because the learning curve is so steep. I have some old thoughts on using wikis as databases at Wikibase. --◄mendel► 22:38, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Familypedia has set the standard for this. Take a look at how we do our media facts form: Abraham lincoln photo example. This allows us not only to record rights info, but we can retrieve captions by language, can display photos by period, by location, and by persons depicted. An example of how we do search image by time/space coordinates set on the Media form may be found at [1]. An example of how we do multilingual location names using SMW may also be found in the parent article of the Hague. -~ Phlox 21:31, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

SMW is solving huge problems on the Genealogy Wikia

See the bottom two or three screenfuls of Genealogy:Forum:SMW. Understandable that Najevi didn't check out that wiki. It wasn't on "the list of wikis mentioned in this thread" because it had no SMW seven weeks ago. The wiki can now take off. I think it has passed the NASCAR Wikia (whose new name I forget - Third Turn? - and which by the way might give User:Najevi some specific help). It's set for world domination (if you believe User:Phlox; I tend to). — Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:50, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.