I try to explain how to create a MediaWiki user script

A “user script” is typically a JavaScript program that allows you to change how a website behaves. Within Wikipedia, Uncyclopedia, and other MediaWiki wikis, user scripts are often used to allow users have extra features that they wouldn’t have without them, like the use of Twinkle to easily warn, block, or welcome users.

Now you probably came to this article to find an answer to the question in the title: “How do you create a MediaWiki user script?” I’ll go over that now.


Firstly, you need to be able to understand the MediaWiki API. The API has several different actions, all corresponding to either a GET request or POST request. A few GET requests are “revisions” (which requests the history and/or the actual content of a given page), “parse” (to convert the content of a page from wikitext to HTML), “search” (self-explanatory), and “query” (to request general information not covered by the other GET requests). A few POST requests are “edit” (self-explanatory), “revisiondelete” (to hide or suppress a revision), “rollback” (to revert a user’s recent contributions using the rollback feature), and “block” (to block a user).

Have I confused you yet? No? Well then here’s some basic JavaScript to let you make use of the API. It will request the gender, edit count, and user rights of a user named “JJPMaster” (that’s me!).

What is the output of this request? It’s written in JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), and it’s right below.

Are you bored yet? If not, let’s create a script that will edit a page, rather than just ask for information about a given user and/or page.

This script will edit a page with the title of User:JJPMaster/sandbox, by replacing the text with “This edit is being automatically made as part of my new blog post.”, and will mark it as a “minor edit”.

Output can be seen in the diff below.

We can see that the API actually lets us do stuff, but what can do to make this script useful? Perhaps a script that automatically adds an “{{ICU}}” to the top of an article? We can use the API for that too!

We can create a function that uses the API to add an ICU to an article, and then create a special link that, when clicked, runs that function. We can use jQuery’s “.click” parameter to do this. Specifically, the edit will add “{{ICU|~~~~~}}” to wgPageName (that’s the MediaWiki variable used to define the page the user is looking at), with the summary “Adding ICU tag to article”, and the edit will be marked as minor.

The output can be found in the diff below.

Using the API, we can do things like this, but sometimes on an even larger scale. Scripts like Twinkle, RedWarn, and Lupin’s anti-vandal tool all use the API to do whatever the script developer wants them to do, albeit far beyond what I’ve shown you in this barely educational article.


If a website has an API, that’s a very good thing. Just don’t create a sequel to Twitter’s RedScareBot

Hi. I focus on making articles on very niche concepts in programming. I am very certain that everything I write will be very uninteresting and useless info.