Execution Syntax/ UsageEdit

The loader is a PHP class which must be instantiated to use.

See the Example script below.

The loader has a few options that can be set in the instantiation code.


option input value explanation



Will force the loader to tell you more about what is going on behind the scenes. It's not very pretty output because it is activating print statements throughout the code, but it will tell you more than normal.


A valid Username from the wiki

This will use the given user's id as the owner of the loaded rows. It defaults to the WikiEntryBot user (which makes the rows public).



Tells the loader to go through all the steps of loading, but not actually do anything permanent. This has the effect of making things run much faster because the wiki isn't accessing the database to do writes.



Will print a few lines at the beginning of execution to tell you about what wiki and what user you're working with.

Public Methods/PropertiesEdit

Name Info Code / Usage Ex.


This is where you put code to interpret things in the 7th column. To make a string that goes in that column use the PHP function http_build_query(). This string then gets cut up into an array by parse_str().

see code below


This method takes care of when the incoming row gets appended to the box.

see code below


This method gets called when a new row is trying to be merged into an existing box. It can be overridden to behave differently.

see code below


This method gets called with the flag "clear" gets put in the update_type field of IFALT (col 6.) It will delete all the rows in a box. Useful for emptying tables for reloads.

see code below


TableEdit ships with a sample script, but I'll add it here, too. This is a basic script which will:

  1. set up the wiki to be used ( by setting the variable $wikidir)
  2. include the loader class ( by giving the right path to the loader class in the require_once())
  3. make an object from the loader class
  4. set up some options for the object (verbosity, etc)
  5. load info into the tables in the wiki ( by calling the method loadFromFile())
	Example loader script for TableEdit.

// Setup to use the wiki from the command line
$options = getopt('w:');
    if( is_file($options['w'] . "/AdminSettings.php") ){
        require_once($options['w'] . "/maintenance/commandLine.inc");
    } else {
        die("Cannot find AdminSettings.php in {$options['w']}. Please check the paths.\n");
} else {
    die("Please use the -w flag to set a path to the wiki.\n");

// Instantiate the object
    $loader = new TableEdit_Loader;

// set some options

// load pretty much anything into tables from either an *.ifalt file.
    $loader->loadFromFile( array_pop($argv) );

running the script (loading information into the wiki)Edit

Once you have a script like above, with the right variables and paths, you can then run that script to do the loading. In a command-line window, browse to the path where your script lives, and run it using the command

php5 loader.sample.php /path/to/input_file

If you want to save the output into a file for later viewing, you can pipe the output like so:

php5 loader.sample.php >& output.txt

You can also separate the output based on STDOUT and STDERR with this type of command:

(php5 loader.sample.php > load.out) >& load.err


It takes a path to a formatted input file, and has a few options.


The loader currently will accept one type of input:

  1. Extension:TableEdit/IFALT format


On the commandline the loader will tell you what page it's working on. It will print any error messages to STDERR.


logic casesEdit

There is a key method in the loader class which compares two rows. There are four return values:

  1. exact : the two rows match data regardless of whitespace
  2. disjoint : the two rows are totally different
  3. subset : the old row is a subset of the new row
  4. different : they could have some common elements, but are regarded as different

The new row and the old row match exactly.

old = a | b | c | d | e
new = a | b | c | d | e
  1. do nothing, as the data is the same
  2. append new row, creating a duplicate

A = B


The new row is a superset of the old row.

old = a | b |   |   | e
new = a | b | c | d | e
  1. replace entire old row with new row
  2. merge the two rows, keeping the old row data and adding-in the new row data to the blank fields.
  3. append the new row
  4. throw a [[Category:NeedsManualCuration]]

A is a subset of B


The new row and the old row dont' match at any field.

new = a | b | c | d | e
old = z | y | w | v | u
  1. append row

Pr(A ∩ B) = 0
They are mutually exclusive.


The new row only matches part of the old row.

new = a | b |   | k | e
old = a | g | h |   | e
  1. do nothing
    • this leads to a problem -- it makes the loading of the data dependent on line order in the Ifalt input file
  2. append
    • this is a better solution, and can be made to through a [[Category:Needs Manual Curation]] tag

A ∩ B = ø
They are disjoint.


How it worksEdit

  1. constructor sets up variables to use later
  2. options are set
  3. grabs a line from ifalt, parses it into data-structure
  4. creates object for page
    • if the page doesn't exist, check if the gene name redirects to another article, and use this one (follow the redirect)
  5. get content from the page
  6. create object for page template, get content
  7. get content from table template
  8. get the box_uid from the database using the page_uid
    • if that fails, try getting the box_uid from the database using the page_name
    • if that fails, then try and grab the box out of the wikitext of the page
    • if that fails, forget it--throw an error
  9. make a box object from the table info, make sure we've got the wikitext equivalent
  10. check what type of action we are doing (append, merge, clear)
    • if append:
      • append rows and save metadata
    • if merge:
      • compare new row to every row in the existing box
      • we can do a plethora of things here, see above
    • if clear, clear old rows from table
  11. save the box object to the database
  12. replace the any old wikitext with the new wikitext and save the page
  13. unset the box object to keep from messing up next iteration

Code ExamplesEdit


public function do_misc_features( $array ){
	foreach ($array as $name => $feature) {

		// Here is where you can add code to define what to do for things in the 7th column. 	
		if ($name == 'row_style')	$this->new_row->row_style = trim($feature);
		print "added row style";
		return true;


public function appendRow($new_row_obj){
	$this->box_obj->rows[] = $new_row_obj;
	if ($this->verbose) print "\tappended row, \n";		


public function mergeRows($new_row_obj){	
	// compare the new row to each of the existing rows
	$results = array();
	foreach ($this->box_obj->rows as $old_row) {
		$results[] = $this->compareRows($old_row, $new_row_obj);
	if (in_array('exact', $results)) {
		// skip, this row is already in the box
	} elseif (in_array('subset', $results)) {
		for($i=0, $c=count($results); $i<$c; $i++){
			if($results[$i] == 'subset'){
				foreach($this->box_obj->rows[$i]->row_metadata as $old_row_metadata_obj){
					$new_row_obj->metadata[] = $old_row_metadata_obj;
		$this->box_obj->rows[] = $new_row_obj;
	} else {


function clearOldRows($box, $time){
	// compare timestamps and delete row if older
		foreach($box->rows as $row){
			if($time > $row->timestamp){