MediaWiki extensions manual
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Semantic Annotations
Release status: unmaintained
Implementation Link markup , Tag , Extended syntax
Description Allows to add bits of information to other subjects
Author(s) David Bu (dbutalk)
Latest version 1.0-beta1 (2010-03-12)
MediaWiki 1.11+
Database changes Yes
License GPL
Download external source
Requires Semantic MediaWiki to be installed

Check usage and version matrix.

The Semantic Annotations extension allows a subject (page) to provide information about other subjects.


An article can 'inject' information to other article pages. The syntax is

 [[OtherPage!!Information about that page]] 

The above line results in a separate box on OtherPage with the name of this page and the String after the '!!'. If the target page is not yet existing, it is created automatically. The current page will display the information (without page name). It is possible to provide an alternate text for the current page, using the vertical bar |. The alternate text may not contain semantic constructs. The annotation may contain newslines for readability - on the target page, the annotation is shown on a single line.

You can place about any MediaWiki formatting into an annotation. Some content is treated differently on sender and target page:

  • Categories: If an annotation contains a category, the target page is put into that category, but /not/ the sending page.
  • Semantic information: You can place semantic links according to the SMW syntax into an annotation. The semantics is only processed in the target page. For the sending page, the information is treated as a standard link.

Further, it is possible to nest annotations. We always consider the first page as being the sender of the annotation. (The user should see where the information is originating from.)

An Example

The page 'Story' contains:

Peter [[Peter!!is watching [[TV!!a good show]] ]]

Will result in the following output:

  • Story: Peter is watching a good show
  • Peter: "Annotations from Story: is watching a good show"
  • TV: "Annotations from Story: a good show"

(the annotation is nested, but still sent by the containing page "Story")

If a page makes the same annotation to the same subject twice, it is stored and displayed only once.

Moving the sending page is supported. Its name is updated on all receiving pages. If the receiving page is moved, the annotations directed to the old page can not be transferred to the new page and thus become invisible. This is the same with Semantic MediaWiki.


Download the zip file and extract it to the folder of your MediaWiki installation.


  Note: This extension requires Semantic MediaWiki to be installed first.

To install this extension, add the following to LocalSettings.php :

include_once "$IP/extensions/SemanticAnnotations/includes/SA_Settings.php";
enableAnnotations('<domain name of your wiki installation>');

Fix Typo: Edit extensions/SemanticAnnotations/includes/SA_Settings.php and add */ after the introduction (line 6)

Then point your browser to the page "Special:SAAdmin" to complete the installation.


Semantic Annotations can be controlled by a couple of configuration options. See SA_Settings.php for available options.

See alsoEdit

The code concept for this extension is heavily inspired by Semantic MediaWiki . If you just want MediaWiki to automatically create pages referenced by Semantic Links, please see Extension:CreateVirtualPages.