Some installer tasks

Been poking about at MediaWiki, but not sure what to do? Here’s a few tasks that would help with some common problems for third-party users:

  • 1379: Install can’t find config/index.php
    Some hosting services put a “control panel” of some sort at the “/config” URL, making it difficult to get at the MediaWiki installer. Renaming this to something more unique, and providing a compatibility link for convenience, would not be very hard but would help people stuck on this sort of host.
  • 9954: Detect “extra whitespace” / BOM conditions
    PHP is very picky about extra whitespace at the start and end of source files. Unfortunately it’s not uncommon for people to end up with extra blank lines or a hidden Unicode BOM sequence at the start or end of files they’ve customized. This leads to weird, hard to diagnose problems like cookies not getting set or RSS feeds that break with little explanation. Some software support to detect this and report which file is broken (and how to fix it!) would be very helpful.
  • 10387: Detect and handle ‘.php5’ extension environments
    More and more hosting services are providing PHP 5.x, but some are putting it alongside existing PHP 4.x services, requiring that files be named with a .php5 extension. With a little care, the installer could detect this out of the box and set things up to work on such systems with few problems.
    Update 2007-06-28: Edward Z. Yang whipped up a good patch for this, which I’ve commited to trunk.

One thought on “Some installer tasks”

  1. With respect to detecting whitespace and the like, Tim suggested (a few minutes after the bug was opened) that we could just buffer the output generated when the configuration (and extension) files were loaded, and discard the output.

    This seems like quite an elegant solution, although I gather he mentioned some issues with old output buffer initialisation left over in LocalSettings.php files which might conflict with this.

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