mvs - A command line Mediawiki client
mvs [Options] command [Options] [filename]
mvs [-q|-v] login [-T] [-d <wikihost>] [-l language_code ] [-u <username>] [-p <password> ] [-w <wiki_path>]
mvs [-q|-v] update [<file> ..]
mvs [-q|-v] up [<file> ..]
mvs [-q|-v] commit [-M] [-W] -m "commit message" <file>
mvs [-q|-v] com [-M] [-W] -m "commit message" <file>
mvs [-q|-v] preview [-M] [-W] [-m "commit message"] <file>
"mvs" 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 "mvs" commands which take a filename argument only accept a single
filename as so to avoid taking up too much server bandwidth.
Users of "mvs" from before version 0.27 will notice that
in this documentation the options are mostly listed after the "mvs"
sub-command. This makes "mvs" behave more like "cvs",
"svn", or "tla", and so should make it easier for people
who are used to using those programs. If you prefer to use "mvs" the
old way, that will still work, at least for the next few versions.
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,
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 mvs.
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 established the account.
"mvs" works with Mediawiki formatted files with a ".wiki"
extension and which are stored together with server information in a
. You will have to have at least
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.
All of the operations below should be done from this directory.
To use login you will need to know the host
name for the Mediawiki site to
which you want to contribute.
Now use the host
with your username and password to login.
mvs login -d www.wikitravel.org -u <username> -p 'secret'
If "mvs" knows about your Mediawiki host it will set set the
"wiki_path" to the correct default for that server. In this case it
will also be able to select the language version of that Wiki for you if you
specify a "language_code":
mvs login -d www.wikitravel.org -l fr -u <username> -p 'secret'
The code must match the one which your wiki host uses for a given language, and
of course the language version must exist for the given host.
If your Mediawiki install uses a nonstandard path to the wiki script you can
specify it on login. The path to the wiki script is the part of the URL after
the host name, and before the '?':
mvs login \
-d www.wikitravel.org \
-u <username> \
-p 'secret' \
You can change the edit and action paths in the created .mediawiki file after
successful login accordingly.
Now anything you submit to the Mediawiki server will be credited to user
If you have been using an earlier version of "mvs" you
should probably delete the .mediawiki file in your working directory.
You can fetch existing material off of the site, or create new pages with
"mvs update", remembering that your files will need a
mvs update User:<username>.wiki User:<username>/Test_Page.wiki
This should produce the output:
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>/Test_Page.wiki page does not yet exist on the server,
and will be added when you run "mvs commit".
Note that both of the pages we are working with are within your
Namespace. It's probably a good idea to restrict yourself to working with such
pages while you are experimenting with "mvs"
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
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.
When you are done editing a file and would like to submit your changes to the
wiki server use "mvs commit" to do so:
mvs commit -m 'commit message' 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 "mvs
commit" will fail. You might also find that "mvs commit" fails
complaining that the file has changed on the server. If this is the case you
will need to use "mvs update" again to get the most recent changes.
You can use "mvs update" again at any time to reconcile any of your
files with the most recent changes from the server. Your changes will
be overwritten, but rather "mvs" 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, i.e. 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
"mvs update" below. You must
resolve any conflicts
attempting to use "mvs 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 relevant "Talk:"
page to try to work out an agreement with the other contributor in cases where
you just simply disagree.
You can continue editing and committing 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 "mvs" 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
All of your ".wiki" files should be stored with UTF-8 encoding. Upon
login to a given server mvs will determine the encoding used by that server,
and will upload in that encoding only. For servers using non-UTF-8 character
sets you should use HTML entities for any character you want to represent
which is outside of the server's character set. This includes the english
Wikipedia. Most newer Mediawiki sites however do use UTF-8, on these sites
HTML entities are never
The first argument after the options should be one of the following two
- mvs login
- Allows the user to login to the Mediawiki server using an existing
login and password for that server. After calling "login" all
"commit"s from the same working directory will be logged as from
the logged-in user.
- mvs 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 corresponding Wiki page, an attempt is made to merge the
two, line by line. Files which are the same as the server version are
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 different syntax:
********************Start of conflict 1 Insert to Primary, Insert to Secondary ************************************************************
The line as it appears on the server
The line as it appears locally
********************End of conflict 1********************************************************************************
"mvs 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:
- = (Unchanged)
- The file is the same as the page on the server.
- 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.
- ? (Unknown)
- Neither the file, nor a corresponding server page exist.
- Commits any changes in the specified local file 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. Nothing will be comitted if the file
and server version are identical.
When running "mvs commit" you must use the "-m"
flag to send a commit message to the Mediawiki server. e.g.:
mvs commit -m 'Added Hotel Eldorado' Paris.wiki
- This command functions identically to "mvs commit", except that
nothing is actually committed. Instead, the file is uploaded and the
Mediawiki server sends back a formatted preview. The "-m" flag
is optional. If you set the MVS_BROWSER environmental variable to the path
and filename of your favorite browser, mvs will launch it with the preview
- This command removes any local version reference files relating to pages
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.
Print information about known Mediawiki servers, then exit.
Causes the command to be quiet. Informational messages are suppressed.
Specifies a username for "mvs login".
Specifies a password for "mvs login".
The language code the wiki server uses to differentiate between language
A commit message for "mvs commit". Use this to explain the nature of
Same as "-m"
Choose whether to mark change as a minor edit. The default is to mark changes as
minor if the Mediawiki user profile is set to do so by default. Use this when
committing a change with "mvs commit" or previewing with "mvs
Same as "--minor yes".
Choose whether to add the edited page to your watchlist. Specifying
"keep" will maintain the current watched status. The default is to
watch the page if it is already being watched, or if the Mediawiki user
profile is set to do so by default. Use this when committing a change with
"mvs commit" or previewing with "mvs preview".
Same as "--watch yes".
The path on the given "host" to the Mediawiki script. This defaults to
which is correct for a vanilla install of Mediawiki
Verbose. If this is set "mvs" will give you lots of extra information
about what it's doing. The -q flag overrides this.
The browser you prefer to use for previewing changes.
A proxy server to use (if any), expressed as a standard URL, something like
This is an early version of this program. Future versions may have major
differences which will effect your ability to use them interchangeably with
this one. In particular the initial "command" arguments may become
options and the handling of conflicts might change dramatically.
Please submit bug reports to the CPAN bug tracker at
There is a discussion list. You can subscribe or read the archives at:
- Mark Jaroski <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Bernhard Kaindl <email@example.com>
- Improved error and usage messages.
- Oleg Alexandrov <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Thomas Widmann
- Bug reports and feedback.
- Adrian Irving-Beer <email@example.com>
- Preview support, export support for multi-page update, more 'minor' and
'watch' settings, and bug reports.
© Copyright 2004-2005, Mark Jaroski
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under
the same terms as Perl itself.
Hey! The above document had some coding errors, which are explained
- Around line 517:
- You forgot a '=back' before '=head2'
- Around line 633:
- alternative text 'http://www.cvs.org' contains non-escaped | or /
- Around line 637:
- '=item' outside of any '=over'
- Around line 652:
- You forgot a '=back' before '=head1'
- Around line 654:
- Non-ASCII character seen before =encoding in '©'. Assuming