Help:MediaWiki namespace

Wikipedia data structure
Subject namespacesTalk namespaces
0(Main/Article)Talk1
2UserUser talk3
4WikipediaWikipedia talk5
6FileFile talk7
8MediaWikiMediaWiki talk9
10TemplateTemplate talk11
12HelpHelp talk13
14CategoryCategory talk15
100PortalPortal talk101
118DraftDraft talk119
710TimedTextTimedText talk711
828ModuleModule talk829
Currently unused
108BookBook talk109
446Education ProgramEducation Program talk447
2300GadgetGadget talk2301
2302Gadget definitionGadget definition talk2303
-1Special
-2Media

The MediaWiki namespace is a namespace containing the text to be displayed in certain places in the interface. Only administrators and interface editors can edit pages in this namespace, but all editors can propose changes on appropriate talk pages.

Overview

The MediaWiki namespace allows administrators and interface editors to customise or translate the MediaWiki web 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 using the template on the talk page of the MediaWiki page. More substantive changes should be discussed at an appropriate section of the Wikipedia:Village pump; an edit request should then be made if there is consensus for the change.

Changes that can benefit other wiki sites and are not specific to Wikipedia can be submitted to translatewiki.net (also known as TWN, formerly known as BetaWiki). See translatewiki:Translate:MediaWiki. Since English is the original language of the messages, changes to them cannot be directly edited in translatewiki.net, and have to be discussed in the support page there.

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. A template {{interface explanation}} is available for this. Pages using this template can be found in Category:MediaWiki messages with interface explanation.

Some messages have old documentation available by setting the 'language' to qqq. For instance MediaWiki:Login has old, and somewhat incorrect, documentation at MediaWiki:Login/qqq. Don't update the /qqq messages, instead update the top of the talk page.

The message names for a particular interface element can be found using the "Add a toolbox link to reload the current page with the system message names exposed" Advanced Gadget in the Special:Preferences. Once enabled a "message names" item appears in the tool box, when clicked the names of all items are displayed.