Semantic MediaWiki 1.5.0

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Semantic MediaWiki 1.5.0
Release date: March 7, 2010
Previous version: SMW 1.4.3
Next version: SMW 1.5.1
Compatible with: MW 1.14.x - 1.17.x
Current version
SMW 2.0

Version 1.5.0 of Semantic MediaWiki is the next major release after SMW 1.4.3 that adds some new features and includes a number of internal fixes and software architecture improvements that improve SMW's extendibility.

Upgrading existing installations

Most installations of SMW 1.4.* can be upgraded by simply replacing the SMW extension files and re-running the database initialization on Special:SMWAdmin. Additional steps are only required if the wiki uses n-ary (multivalued) properties or properties of type Geographic coordinate; see Installation 1.5.0 for details. Moreover, SMW 1.5.0 finally removes all backwards compatibility to SMW beta versions below SMW 1.0. If your wiki still uses the setting $smwgSMWBetaCompatible = true then you should not upgrade until you find that disabling this setting works properly and without complications.

Upgrading older installations of SMW may require additional steps as described for SMW 1.4.0.

Extensions that are compatible with SMW 1.4.3 should typically work with SMW 1.5.0 as well, but there can be exceptions if extensions rely on internal details of SMW's implementation or use functions that had already been deprecated in SMW 1.3.*. Please contact your extension provider if you are unsure about compatibility. Reverting to SMW 1.4.3 after installing SMW 1.5.0 should be possible if no pages have been written since the upgrade, but is generally not recommended.

Changes

Inverse properties

It is now possible to invert the direction of a page type property in queries and browsing interfaces. Simply write "-" in front of property names anywhere in SMW to refer to the inverse direction of a property, that is to the property that relates the same pages but with annotated page and annotation value exchanged. For example, the inverse of "parent of" is "-parent of" and intuitively means "child of" (however, note that "-father of" corresponds to "has male parent" not to "son of"!).

SMW does not support naming of inverses, but allows them to be used for retrieving data. This works in browsing interfaces, queries, and query output directives. In queries only for properties of Type:Page.

Better control of query printouts

SMW now supports additional parameters for ?printouts in inline queries, specified by entries of the form |+parameter=value after the printout. Currently supported parameters are:

  • limit: set the maximum number of values for this printout
  • order: order values ascending or descending
  • align: right/center/left alignment for printouts in tables
  • index: directly address one value of a record property

These parameters are not supported by Special:Ask yet and will be forgotten when clicking on "further results".

Extended Special:Ask

The page Special:Ask was overhauled to include inputs for entering values for the selected format's parameters, and to provide a more interactive Ajax interface where possible.

New datatype for phone numbers

A new datatype Telephone number has been introduced for validating phone numbers based on RFC 3966. This helps sites that need a more standardized processing of phone numbers, e.g. for creating FOAF exports. Only global phone numbers are accepted (including country codes), and no vanity numbers (those containing letters) are allowed. Use Help:Type String if you want to store more general strings as telephone numbers.

Enhanced datatype for dates

Help:Type Date has been revised particularly with regard to the processing of historic dates. It supports different calendar models now: calendar model annotations to dates such as [[news date::26 12 1510 Jl]] (Julian calendar) or [[news date::10 11 1490 Gr]] (Gregorian calendar) are recognized as well as the direct input of Julian Date Numbers (e.g. [[news date::1000 JD]]). Minor changes to the internal representation of dates raise the precision of ancient dates. Besides, the handling of times has been improved. Timezone abbreviations such as GMT and EST are understood (e.g. [[news date::20 11 2010 10:00 GMT]]). Military time is supported as new input format for time strings.

Semantic Result Formats compatibility

The Semantic Result Formats extension has long been compatible with the developer version of SMW. SMW 1.5.0 is the first release of this recent code, and thus restores full compatibility with the SVN version of Semantic Result Formats that some sites have already been using. This specifically improves the vCard export support.

MediaWiki compatibility

SMW 1.5.0 now properly supports the new vector skin of MediaWiki, and was tested with MediaWiki up to version 1.17alpha (r63248).

Changed configuration options

The "like" comparator ~ in inline queries is now enabled by default. To use the former setting, use $smwgQComparators = '<|>|!'; in your LocalSettings.php.

Extended translations

As usual, translations have been extended thanks to the Translatewiki.net project.

Bugfixes

SMW 1.5.0 closes a significant number of bugs and minor issues that have been identified in earlier versions.


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