Extension:AdvancedBacklinks

MediaWiki extensions manual
OOjs UI icon advanced.svg
AdvancedBacklinks
Release status: beta
Implementation Database , Special page
Description Adds more backlink tracking capability to MediaWiki
Author(s) Ostrzycieltalk
Latest version 2.2.0
Compatibility policy master
MediaWiki 1.34+
PHP 7.2+
Database changes Yes
License GNU General Public License 2.0 or later
Download
Example Pages linking to an image on Nonsensopedia grouped by templates that include the image
Translate the AdvancedBacklinks extension if it is available at translatewiki.net
Check usage and version matrix.

The AdvancedBacklinks extension greatly extends MediaWiki's backlink tracking capability by tracking through what templates a page is linked through. It indexes wikilinks and imagelinks while preserving more information about them than MediaWiki's parser.

It's main purpose is to help with tracking backlinks on wikis that use navboxes or similar templates with large amounts of links. This extension can filter out backlinks that are added through templates and show the user only direct wikitext links. This has been a long-requested feature on Wikipedia and other wikis, see these three tasks on Phabricator for more details: T3392, T5241, T14396. This extension is currently under active development lead by Nonsensopedia's community.

InstallationEdit

Patch coreEdit

This is a truly crazy extension, so it requires two new hooks deep in the parser to function: PPFrameBeforeExpansion and PPFrameAfterExpansion. The task to add them to MediaWiki core is T232305, you can find the relevant Gerrit patch there.

Keep in mind though, that this patch may never be merged into core and instead the extension may be reworked to rely on a completely different hook. Who knows.

Install the extensionEdit

  • Download and place the file(s) in a directory called AdvancedBacklinks in your extensions/ folder.
  • Add the following code at the bottom of your LocalSettings.php:
    wfLoadExtension( 'AdvancedBacklinks' );
    
  • Run the update script which will automatically create the necessary database tables that this extension needs.
  • Run the refreshLinks.php maintenance script to build the link index.
  •   Done – Navigate to Special:Version on your wiki to verify that the extension is successfully installed.

ConfigurationEdit

$wgAdvancedBacklinksTrackExtlinks
Whether to include external links to the same wiki (like [https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki MediaWiki]) during indexing wikilinks. Default is true, which is consistent with default MediaWiki's behaviour.

Magic wordsEdit

__DIRECTLINK__Edit

If you want a certain template not to appear in the transclusion tree on Special:AdvancedBacklinks, you can do so by placing a __DIRECTLINK__ magic word in that template. This will make the template transparent to the extension during indexing. One possible use case is templates for making a certain type of link easily, like colored links.

__REDLINKALLERGIC__Edit

This magic word is used to mark pages that should not contain any redlinks, i.e. links to non-existent pages. This can be useful for various lists, templates and reports.

Pages marked with the __REDLINKALLERGIC__ magic word can be later inspected on the Special:UndesiredRedlinks page.

__IGNOREORPHANED__Edit

In case you don't want a page to show up in the orphaned (lonely) pages reports (Special:LonelyPages, Special:WikitextLonelyPages and Special:WikitextContentLonelyPages), you can use this magic word to do so. This can be an alternative to the commonly used method of linking said pages on a single meta page.

Special pagesEdit

AdvancedBacklinksEdit

A page that replaces Special:WhatLinksHere. The What links here link in sidebar is automatically changed to point to Special:AdvancedBacklinks. This special page exposes a very similar interface to that of Special:WhatLinksHere, but with a couple new features:

  • The ability to show only direct links from pages (in wikitext). That excludes all links that are transcluded by templates. To do that, please check the Wikitext links only option.
  • Links are displayed in a tree-like structure. Links that are transcluded through a template are shown as children of that template.
Example

Let's assume we have four pages on our wiki, A, B, C and D. We also have a template called Navbox that has a link to A in it. This template is transcluded by B and C. D has a direct link in wikitext to A.

What would Special:AdvancedBacklinks/A show?

  • D
  • Navbox (through transclusion)
    • B
    • C

UndesiredRedlinksEdit

A report showing a list of redlinks on pages that should not contain them. To mark pages for being redlink allergic, you should use the __REDLINKALLERGIC__ magic word. This page also supports showing which templates transclude the undesired redlinks.

This an expensive special page, if you have $wgMiserMode enabled, it will be refreshed only with the updateSpecialPages.php script and its results will be cached.

MaintenanceEdit

If you find in your database wikilinks or imagelinks from a nonexistent page, you can clean them up using the RemoveBrokenLinks.php script provided in the maintenance folder. Broken links can appear in the database after some kind of software failure or manual intervention. They should not appear during normal operation.