MediaWiki is written in PHP Jargon. While the titles' and pages' syntax would be familiar to those who edited Wikipedia, it uses a different title formatting system from some other wiki software; for example MediaWiki would use "Example_page" in the URL and "Example page" in the title while other programs (such as PmWiki) would format links and URLs with "ExamplePage" and would display it as "Example Page" (also known as CamelCase) Syntax often differs as well.
It has options which enable the people running a site to control things like who can edit and who can create or rename pages, and also to apply different levels of trust to different levels of user. There are also different software release versions and optional extras. So wikis can seem very different despite being run using the same software
Generally authoritarians prefer tightly controlled editing environments which are quite restrictive as to who can edit, whilst liberals and other anti-authoritarians prefer open editing models where anyone on the Internet can edit their pages. So Conservapedia doesn't allow IP edits, and is locked down for much of the time so that only certain approved
parodists editors can edit, whilst Liberapedia allows IP editing.
Wikipedia owes its success and much of its content to an open editing model that allowed IP editors to create much of its content. This so freaks out Conservatives that someone had to invent the phrase "Wikipedia works in practice not in theory" to appease them (Conservative Christian fundamentalists don't like the word "theory", though it is itself an acceptably short word, it reminds them of longer words like Evolution and Education).
The Wikimedia Foundation's projects are all based on it, though many unrelated wikis such as those hosted by Wikia as well as wikis independent from other sites such as RationalWiki are also based on it.
- ↑ consequently, MediaWiki would be incorrectly displayed as Media Wiki on wikis using that system unless a workaround is used.
Material deleted from RationalWiki has been added.