MediaWiki:Architecture of SAR service

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Items & properties

Items and properties are core to wikibase. They operate like a very flexible database. The SAR service relies on some information being properly entered. See Item:Q102 for an example.

This site hosts many items and properties. Only some are data controllers, though, for which a SAR should be generated.


Templates are a MediaWiki system that allow filling text modularly. There is extensive documentation on the MediaWiki docs. Here is a full list of pages in the template namespace on this site.

Templates admit all kinds of parameters, and are extremely flexible in what you can template. For instance, you can template away which template to use!

Note that templates can be used from within gadgets or user scripts (see below) as well as regular pages.

This is what we use to build access requests, relying on three templates principally:

Note that default view on templates is not always accurate. One needs to look at the content (edit) to know more.

Gadgets, user scripts and CSS

MediaWiki has many extension systems. There is a way to add javascript code or CSS upon page load, and to configure for this to happen independently for each user or site-wide. See MediaWiki's documentation here and here.

  • common.js is site-wide javascript, called during any page load and defined on PersonalData.IO at MediaWiki:Common.js
  • gadgets are site-wide javascript, which can be pre-packaged and configured by the admin to be opt-in or opt-out, with users able to change the choice in their preferences page.
  • user-scripts are custom javascript, set up by each user separately. It is always located at Special:MyPage/common.js.

MediaWiki:Common.js is currently used to:


This relies on the Module:Wd module, which helps combine retrieve items, properties and values from templates.

Splitting the work

Given the many options available, there is some trickiness in splitting the work between these options.