Help:MediaWiki namespace

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The MediaWiki namespace is a namespace containing the text to be displayed in certain places in the interface. Only administrators can edit pages in this namespace, but all editors can propose changes on appropriate talk pages or on our Discord server. The namespace also contains the css and less pages, the site notice as well as the various gadgets files.

Overview[edit source]

The MediaWiki namespace allows administrators to customize or translate the MediaWiki web interface among other things.

Some messages must have HTML links, and others must have wikilinks. To find out which is which, you must know where the message is used in the interface.

Because the changes to these pages have a global effect, they are protected from editing, and only administrators and interface editors have the ability to edit them.[1] Non-admins who would like to request a minor change can do so by requesting it on the talk page of the MediaWiki page or by contacting an admin via their talk page or on discord. More substantive changes should be discussed via an appropriate discussion in the Forum:Avengers Compound. An admin can then be made if there is consensus for the change.

A list of all system messages which change interface text can be found at Special:AllMessages. These are defined by core MediaWiki or any of the installed extensions. Changes that can benefit other wiki sites and are not specific to Wikipedia can be submitted to (also known as TWN, formerly known as BetaWiki). See Translating:MediaWiki at Since English is the original language of the messages, changes to them cannot be directly edited in, and have to be discussed in the support page there. Individual messages can be overwritten on the Tesseract Wiki by creating a MediaWiki namespace page with the same name, or clicking the message name on Special:AllMessages.

MediaWiki pages can not and should not have documentation on the page itself for several reasons: among other things <noinclude> tags usually do not function in this namespace and the amount of data in MediaWiki space needs to be kept low for performance reasons. Instead a description of the message can be put at the top of the talk page.

The message names for a particular interface element can be easily found using the Message-names gadget in the Special:Preferences. Once enabled a "message names" item appears in the tool box (bottom of the left menu), when clicked the names of all items are displayed.

Overview of messages[edit source]

MediaWiki messages serving the software default are called "unmodified" and appear as red links in the Allmessages list, and do not appear in a Prefix-based search as they don't technically exist as pages.

Because Special:Allmessages displays all system messages (the page is over 1 MB) some users might prefer to view these messages alphabetically (note these include all pages in the namespace, even those not dedicated to interface text): @ A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

For a list of all MediaWiki pages, see Special:Prefixindex/MediaWiki:, or search the MediaWiki namespace.

See also[edit source]

Notes[edit source]

  1. ^ By default, all messages are protected. This is necessary for a number of reasons:
    • Many messages are in plain HTML, so users could insert malicious scripts
    • Vandalism of some messages would be extremely disruptive, for example changes to the text of the links in the sidebar would immediately be visible to all users
    • A few messages can in theory cause the software to stop working if they are changed.
    If an administrator wishes to allow non-admins to edit a MediaWiki page, a method is to place the message on a template, and then transclude the template back onto the MediaWiki page. Another method is to redirect the page to one in a non-MediaWiki namespace.