MediaWiki is the software which powers many websites which serve collaborative projects. The software was originally created to power Wikipedia, and, as it is free software, is now used to power many other sites of varying size, including CreationWiki, Conservapedia, the various projects of the Wikimedia Foundation, and Jimmy Wales's for-profit company, Wikia, as well as being applied in small wikis for a single group. A notably different use of the MediaWiki software is by the company Novell, which uses it to power several of its high-traffic websites, which are only editable by a select group, not the general public. As Wikipedia is an extremely high-traffic website, MediaWiki is highly optimized for preformance.
The MediaWiki codebase is primarily written in PHP, and can utilize either the MySQL or PostgreSQL relational database systems. MediaWiki is free software, licensed under the GNU General Public License, or GPL.
Namespaces in MediaWiki
MediaWiki divides pages into logical subdivisions by means of namespaces, which, in MediaWiki, are denoted by a text string, descriptive of the purpose of the page, followed by a colon, all of which preceeds the title. This yields titles in the form of Namespace:Title. MediaWiki is by default configured with certain stock namespaces, and others can easily be added for a website by those with access to the code. Different properties apply to different namespaces. The only exception to the naming scheme is that of the main namespace, which has no prefix.
Like many wikis, MediaWiki has a semi-WYSIWIG (an acronym for What You S Is What You Get) language for the editing of the content on the sites it powers, allowing users who do no know HTML to relatively easily generate web content of high technological quality.