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You are here: Home Blogs Sysadmin Sonali's Internship work on the Free Software Directory, part 2

Sonali's Internship work on the Free Software Directory, part 2

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Sep 21, 2018 10:55 AM
Contributors: Sonali Singhal

For context, see the previous blog post, Sonali's Progress on the Free Software Directory, weeks 1-2

Also, by the time this blog was published, more progress has been made. Stay tuned for more updates.

Mobile view project

I made the licenses section of the Directory mobile-friendly by:

  • Changing table tags to divs.
  • Using media queries and mobileonly and nomobile tags that are provided by the MobileDetect extension to enable vertical table view for small screens.
  • Using if statements to hide headings for table cells with no content in mobile view.

I added a mobile-friendly logo in the header and footer by adding $wgMFCustomLogos in LocalSettings.php.

Mediawiki Upgrade

I took up the task of upgrading Free Software Directory from MediaWiki version 1.27 to 1.31. This version is a long-term stable release of MediaWiki. This project has been a great opportunity for me to learn things like importing MySQL database and troubleshooting site issues on a GNU/Linux server.

MediaWiki version 1.31 comes with more bundled extensions than in version 1.27, like a code editor and a mobile-friendly Timeless skin. I spent my time this week trying to get the site to work correctly, importing the wiki database, and then setting up a new wiki on the development server.

To begin upgrading the wiki, I went through upgrade instructions given in, and then I downloaded the files for the new release locally and performed a GPG signature check on tar file using their public keys and signature available at After verifying that the file is secure, I decompressed the tarball in /var/www. I went through the release notes of versions between 1.27 and 1.31, to get an idea of the changes that were made. Then I created a user in MySQL and used myloader to import the wiki database. The site wasn’t working so I checked for errors in Apache by checking error logs and used netstat and netcat to check if the Web server is running properly. After fixing a few other bugs, the site began working correctly. Then I set up the new MediaWiki installation, added new versions of extensions in the extensions directory, and added older customizations of the Vector module to the new code.

Things I plan to work on in the coming weeks

  1. Modify the Vector module further to obtain correct arrangement of content in the wiki.
  2. Add semantic MediaWiki extensions to the new installation.
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