Requests for comment/Reimplement info action

This is a request for comment regarding reimplementing the info action.

Request for comment (RFC)
Reimplement info action
Component General
Creation date
Author(s) MZMcBride
Document status implemented



The info action (?action=info) has existed in MediaWiki since rev:4242. Since rev:4247, the action has been disabled by default behind the $wgAllowPageInfo global variable due to performance issues.

Currently, to obtain the information that this proposed action would provide, a user needs to manually query the wiki database, query the MediaWiki API, or hunt down the appropriate MediaWiki Special page (e.g., Special:WhatLinksHere). Many of the proposed additions to the info action are currently completely unexposed in the MediaWiki interface, but these additions provide demonstrable value to readers, editors, and power editors.

Due to the info action being disabled by default in MediaWiki core, it has received very little attention since its introduction in 2004. The current output is below, using the English Wikipedia's w:Talk:Barack Obama page as an example.

Current design
Information for "Talk:Barack Obama"
Page Talk page
Number of edits 22,248 39,405
Number of distinct authors 5,921 5,368
Number of watchers 2,233



The "info" action should provide human-readable metadata about a particular page title (e.g., "Main Page" or "Barack Obama"). Some of this data is a view into the page_props table; other data is simply interesting to editors and readers.

The data contained in this info dashboard will likely need to be split between expensive and inexpensive queries. For larger wikis, $wgMiserMode can be relied upon to block the expensive queries.

Inexpensive properties


Expensive properties

  • number of total edits
  • number of unique contributors (anonymous and logged in)
  • number of views (link to outside service?)

Action interface exposure


Currently the "info" action is not exposed in the user interface, regardless of the value of $wgAllowPageInfo (bugzilla:16362). A tab or a link in the sidebar in the "Toolbox" section should provide easy access to the "info" action.



Action interface




Proposed redesign
Information for "Talk:Barack Obama"

The following is an overview of the page "Talk:Barack Obama", as of 01:30, 22 July 2012 (UTC):

Basic information
Display title Talk:Barack Obama
Default sort key Obama, Barack
Page length (in bytes) 92991
Page ID 7777393
Search engine status marked as "noindex"
Page protection (edit) anyone may edit this page
Page protection (move) only administrators may move this page
Number of page watchers 2,233
Redirects to this page 2 (list)
Subpages of this page 93 (9 redirects, 84 non-redirects; list)
Edit history
Page creator Maximusveritas
Date of page creation 21:01, November 4, 2006
Latest editor Wikidemon
Date of latest edit 21:30, July 12, 2012
Total number of edits 39,405
Total number of distinct authors 5,368
Recent number of edits (within past 30 days) 194
Recent number of distinct authors 49
Page properties
Magic words
  • __NOINDEX__
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Hidden categories (4)
  • Category:Hidden templates using styles
  • Category:Noindexed pages
  • Category:United States articles with listas parameter
  • Category:Wikipedia move-protected talk pages


  • File tracking bug about reimplementing the info action
  • File bug about killing $wgAllowPageInfo and enabling the "info" action by default
  • File (many) bugs about adding specific data to the action, as detailed above

Change sets