wix - A command line wiki client


  wix [Options] command [Options] [filename]

  wix -h|--help
  wix --version

  mkdir wikistuff
  cd wikistuff

  wix [-q|-v] [-d <wikihost>] [-u <username>] [-p <password> ] login

  wix [-q|-v] update [<file> ..]
  wix [-q|-v] up [<file> ..]

  wix [-q|-v] commit [<file> ..]
  wix [-q|-v] com [<file> ..]


wix is a command line client whose purpose is to simplify offline editing of Wiki content. It allows you to get any number of pages from a given Mediawiki site, edit the pages with any editor, get and merge any concurrent updates of the pages, and then safely commit the users own changes back to the version of the page on the server.

The wix commands which take a filename argument only accept a single filename as so to avoid taking up too much server bandwidth.


Step 1: Create an account on the Mediawiki server.

This should be done the normal way, by visiting the mediawiki website to which you want to contribute and creating a new account, setting the preferences, etc.

It should hopefully go without saying that you will want to become familiar with the editorial, usage, and copyright guidelines of the site. You should probably also make some contributions through the normal UI, and learn about following recent changes before contributing using wix.

In addition for the sake of this test you should already have a user page like User:<username> with something on it, where <username> is the user name with which you estabilished the account.

Step 2: Create a working directory

Wix works with mediawiki formatted files with a .wiki extension and which are stored together with server information in a working directory. You will have to have at least one working directory for each Mediawiki site to which you contribute.

Simply use mkdir or the equivalent to make a new directory, and then before cd into that directory.

  mkdir wikitravel.en
  cd wikitravel.en

All of the operations below should be done from this directory.

Step 3: Login using wix login

To use login you will need to know the site_url for the Mediawiki site to which you want to contribute. This will simply be the regular URL for the site, with any language path extension. For instance for the english version of Wikitravel I would use the site_url

Now use the site_url with your username and password to login.

  wix -d -u <username> -p 'secret' login

Now anything you submit to the Mediawiki server will be credited to user "<username>".

Step 4: Use wix update to fetch one or more working files

You can fetch existing material off of the site, or create new pages with wix update, remembering that your files will need a .wiki extension:

  wix update User:<username>.wiki User:<username>/

This should produce the output:

  U User:<username>.wiki
  A User:<username>/

The U (for Updated) means that User:<username> was found on the server and its contents inserted into the local files. The A (for Added) means that the User:<username>/ page does not yet exist on the server, and will be added when you run wix commit.

Note that both of the pages we are working with are within your User Namespace. It's probably a good idea to restrict yourself to working with such pages while you are experimenting with wix

Step 5: Edit the files to make corrections and contributions

Use your favorite text editor to edit the files. You might want to check out this page to see if there is a Mediawiki syntax highlighting file for your editor:

Of course if you don't find a highlighting file for you editor you are welcome to create one and submit it to the page above.

Step 6: Use wix commit to submit your changes

When you are done editing a file and would like to submit your changes to the wiki server use wix commit to do so:

  wix -m 'commit message' commit User:<username>.wiki

Where 'commit message' is whatever you want to say about the changes you are submitting and why. You must provide a commit message or wix commit will fail. You might also find that wix commit fails complaining that the file has changed on the server. If this is the case you will need to use wix update again to get the most recent changes.

Step 7: Update your wiki files

You can use wix update again at any time to reconcile any of your files with the most recent changes from the server. Your changes will not be overwritten, but rather wix will try to merge any server changes into the files as they exist in your working directory. Note that update and commit only work on one file at a time, as so to help prevent accidents and server congestion.

If for some reason there is a conflict, ie. you and someone else have made changes which appear to be incompatible, and cannot be resolved then your file will contain a conflict message, as detailed in the documentation for wix update below. You must resolve any conficts before attempting to use wix commit on the file. This is usually a very simple matter of choosing one version of the change or another. You should use your best judgement, consulting the relavant Talk: page to try to work out an aggreement with the other contributor in cases where you just simply disagree.


You can continue editing and commiting changes with the files in your working directory. It might be a good idea for you to eventually create multiple working directories per site, perhaps grouping them by subject. This will work fine with wix since it does not need to have a complete copy of all of the pages from a given server in a given working directory to work.



The first argument after the options should be one of the following two commands:

wix login

Allows the user to login to the Mediawiki server using an existing login and password for that server. After calling login ll commits from the same working directory will be logged as from the logged-in user.

wix update

Updates the specified file[s] with content from the Mediawiki server. If a file does not exist it is created and populated with the current online version. If there is no online version, the file either created and left blank, or just left as it is. If there is content in both the specified file and in the cooresponding Wiki page, an attempt is made to merge the two, line by line. Files which are the same as the server version are ignored.

If no filenames are given on the command line, all visible files with the .wiki extension are processed.

Conflicting changes to a given line are detected on the basis of the date of the most recent update of the local file and date of the most recent change to the online Wiki page. If a line has changed in both the online page and the local file it is flagged as a conflict, as in CVS, but with a slightly differnt syntax:

  This is the version on the Wiki
  This is the local version

wix update reports the status of files which it touches to stderr with a letter indicating the file status, and then name of the file, again like CVS. The status letters are:

A (Added)

The file will become a new page on the wiki server.

M (Modified)

The file has been modified locally.

U (Updated)

The file has been updated with changes from the wiki server.

C (Conflicts)

The file contains conflict markers.


Commits any changes in the specified local files to the Wiki site. A check is made first to make sure that there are no changes on the server more recent than the most recent update. Files which are the same as the server version are ignored.

If no filenames are given on the command line, all visible files with the .wiki extension are processed.

When running wix commit you must use the -m flag to send a commit message to the Mediawiki server. eg:

  wix -m 'Added Hotel Eldorado' commit

File names

Any additional arguments are taken as local filenames to be processed. The local filename of a given Mediawiki page will be the same as its URL encoded name with the extension ".wiki". If no arguments are given then any filenames with the "wiki" extension and under the current directory are processed.



Display usage information.


Causes the command to be quiet. Informational messages are suppressed.


Specifies a username for wix login.


Specifies a password for wix login.


A commit message for wix commit. Use this to explain the nature of your changes.


The mediawiki edit path. For use with Mediawiki servers which have an altered path to a page's edit page.


The mediawiki action path. For use with Mediawiki servers which have an altered path to a page's action page.


The mediawiki login path. For use with Mediawiki servers which have an altered path to a page's login page.


This is an early version of this program. Future versions may have major differences which will effect your ability to use them interchangably with this one. In particular the initial "command" arguments may become options and the handling of conflicts might change dramatically.





Mark Jaroski <>


© Copyright 2004, Mark Jaroski

All rights reserved. This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

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