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       mvs - A command line Mediawiki client


         mvs [Options] command [Options] [filename]

         mvs -h|--help
         mvs --version
         mvs -D

         mkdir wikistuff
         cd wikistuff

         mvs login [-q|-v] [-T] [-d <wikihost>] [-l language_code ] [-u <username>] [-p <password> ] [-w <wiki_path>]

         mvs update [-q|-v] [<file> ..]
         mvs up [[-q|-v] <file> ..]

         mvs commit [-q|-v] [-M] [-W] -m "commit message" <file>
         mvs com [-q|-v] [-M] [-W] -m "commit message" <file>
         mvs preview [-q|-v] [-M] [-W] [-m "commit message"] <file>


       "mvs" is a command line client whose purpose is to simplify offline editing of Wiki
       content.  It allows you to get any number of pages from a given Mediawiki site, edit the
       pages with any editor, get and merge any concurrent updates of the pages, and then safely
       commit the users own changes back to the version of the page on the server.

       The "mvs" commands which take a filename argument only accept a single filename as so to
       avoid taking up too much server bandwidth.

       Note:Users of "mvs" from before version 0.27 will notice that in this documentation the
       options are mostly listed after the "mvs" sub-command.  This makes "mvs" behave more like
       "cvs", "svn", or "tla", and so should make it easier for people who are used to using
       those programs.  If you prefer to use "mvs" the old way, that will still work, at least
       for the next few versions.


   Step 1:  Create an account on the Mediawiki server.
       This should be done the normal way, by visiting the Mediawiki website to which you want to
       contribute and creating a new account, setting the preferences, etc.

       It should hopefully go without saying that you will want to become familiar with the
       editorial, usage, and copyright guidelines of the site.  You should probably also make
       some contributions through the normal UI, and learn about following recent changes before
       contributing using mvs.

       In addition for the sake of this test you should already have a user page like
       User:<username> with something on it, where <username> is the user name with which you
       established the account.

   Step 2:  Create a working directory
       "mvs" works with Mediawiki formatted files with a ".wiki" extension and which are stored
       together with server information in a working directory.  You will have to have at least
       one working directory for each Mediawiki site to which you contribute.

       Simply use "mkdir" or the equivalent to make a new directory, and then before cd into that

         mkdir wikitravel.en
         cd wikitravel.en

       All of the operations below should be done from this directory.

   Step 3:  Login using "mvs login"
       To use login you will need to know the hostname for the Mediawiki site to which you want
       to contribute.

       Now use the host with your username and password to login.

         mvs login -d -u <username> -p 'secret'

       If "mvs" knows about your Mediawiki host it will set set the "wiki_path" to the correct
       default for that server.  In this case it will also be able to select the language version
       of that Wiki for you if you specify a "language_code":

         mvs login -d -l fr -u <username> -p 'secret'

       The code must match the one which your wiki host uses for a given language, and of course
       the language version must exist for the given host.

       If your Mediawiki install uses a nonstandard path to the wiki script you can specify it on
       login.  The path to the wiki script is the part of the URL after the host name, and before
       the '?':

         mvs login \
           -d \
           -u <username> \
           -p 'secret' \
           -w 'mw/wiki.phtml'

       You can change the edit and action paths in the created .mediawiki file after successful
       login accordingly.

       Now anything you submit to the Mediawiki server will be credited to user "<username>".

       NOTE: If you have been using an earlier version of "mvs" you should probably delete the
       .mediawiki file in your working directory.

   Step 4:  Use "mvs update" to fetch one or more working files
       You can fetch existing material off of the site, or create new pages with "mvs update",
       remembering that your files will need a ".wiki" extension:

         mvs update User:<username>.wiki User:<username>/

       This should produce the output:

         U User:<username>.wiki
         A User:<username>/

       The U (for Updated) means that User:<username> was found on the server and its contents
       inserted into the local files.  The A (for Added) means that the
       User:<username>/ page does not yet exist on the server, and will be added
       when you run "mvs commit".

       Note that both of the pages we are working with are within your User Namespace.  It's
       probably a good idea to restrict yourself to working with such pages while you are
       experimenting with "mvs"

   Step 5:  Edit the files to make corrections and contributions
       Use your favorite text editor to edit the files.  You might want to check out this page to
       see if there is a Mediawiki syntax highlighting file for your editor:

       Of course if you don't find a highlighting file for you editor you are welcome to create
       one and submit it to the page above.

   Step 6:  Use "mvs commit" to submit your changes
       When you are done editing a file and would like to submit your changes to the wiki server
       use "mvs commit" to do so:

         mvs commit -m 'commit message' User:<username>.wiki

       Where 'commit message' is whatever you want to say about the changes you are submitting
       and why.  You must provide a commit message or "mvs commit" will fail.  You might also
       find that "mvs commit" fails complaining that the file has changed on the server.  If this
       is the case you will need to use "mvs update" again to get the most recent changes.

   Step 7: Update your wiki files
       You can use "mvs update" again at any time to reconcile any of your files with the most
       recent changes from the server.  Your changes will not be overwritten, but rather "mvs"
       will try to merge any server changes into the files as they exist in your working
       directory.  Note that update and commit only work on one file at a time, as so to help
       prevent accidents and server congestion.

       If for some reason there is a conflict, i.e. you and someone else have made changes which
       appear to be incompatible, and cannot be resolved then your file will contain a conflict
       message, as detailed in the documentation for "mvs update" below.  You must resolve any
       conflicts before attempting to use "mvs commit" on the file.  This is usually a very
       simple matter of choosing one version of the change or another.  You should use your best
       judgement, consulting the relevant "Talk:" page to try to work out an agreement with the
       other contributor in cases where you just simply disagree.

       You can continue editing and committing changes with the files in your working directory.
       It might be a good idea for you to eventually create multiple working directories per
       site, perhaps grouping them by subject.  This will work fine with "mvs" since it does not
       need to have a complete copy of all of the pages from a given server in a given working
       directory to work.


       All of your ".wiki" files should be stored with UTF-8 encoding.  Upon login to a given
       server mvs will determine the encoding used by that server, and will upload in that
       encoding only.  For servers using non-UTF-8 character sets you should use HTML entities
       for any character you want to represent which is outside of the server's character set.
       This includes the english Wikipedia.  Most newer Mediawiki sites however do use UTF-8, on
       these sites HTML entities are never needed.


       The first argument after the options should be one of the following two commands:

       mvs login
           Allows the user to login to the Mediawiki server using an existing login and password
           for that server.  After calling "login" all "commit"s from the same working directory
           will be logged as from the logged-in user.

       mvs update
           Updates the specified file[s] with content from the Mediawiki server.  If a file does
           not exist it is created and populated with the current online version.  If there is no
           online version, the file either created and left blank, or just left as it is.  If
           there is content in both the specified file and in the corresponding Wiki page, an
           attempt is made to merge the two, line by line.  Files which are the same as the
           server version are ignored.

           If no filenames are given on the command line, all visible files with the .wiki
           extension are processed.

           Conflicting changes to a given line are detected on the basis of the date of the most
           recent update of the local file and date of the most recent change to the online Wiki
           page.  If a line has changed in both the online page and the local file it is flagged
           as a conflict, as in CVS, but with a slightly different syntax:

             ********************Start of conflict 1  Insert to Primary, Insert to Secondary ************************************************************

             The line as it appears on the server


             The line as it appears locally
             ********************End of conflict 1********************************************************************************

           "mvs update" reports the status of files which it touches to STDERR with a letter
           indicating the file status, and then name of the file, again like CVS.  The status
           letters are:

           = (Unchanged)
               The file is the same as the page on the server.

           A (Added)
               The file will become a new page on the wiki server.

           M (Modified)
               The file has been modified locally.

           U (Updated)
               The file has been updated with changes from the wiki server.

           C (Conflicts)
               The file contains conflict markers.

           ? (Unknown)
               Neither the file, nor a corresponding server page exist.

           Commits any changes in the specified local file to the Wiki site.  A check is made
           first to make sure that there are no changes on the server more recent than the most
           recent update.  Nothing will be comitted if the file and server version are identical.

           When running "mvs commit" you must use the "-m" flag to send a commit message to the
           Mediawiki server.  e.g.:

             mvs commit -m 'Added Hotel Eldorado'

           This command functions identically to "mvs commit", except that nothing is actually
           committed.  Instead, the file is uploaded and the Mediawiki server sends back a
           formatted preview.  The "-m" flag is optional.  If you set the MVS_BROWSER
           environmental variable to the path and filename of your favorite browser, mvs will
           launch it with the preview page.

           This command removes any local version reference files relating to pages you've

             mvs clean

   File names
       Any additional arguments are taken as local filenames to be processed.  The local filename
       of a given Mediawiki page will be the same as its URL encoded name with the extension
       ".wiki".  If no arguments are given then any filenames with the "wiki" extension and under
       the current directory are processed.


       Display usage information.

       Print information about known Mediawiki servers, then exit.

       Causes the command to be quiet.  Informational messages are suppressed.

   -u "<username>"
       Specifies a username for "mvs login".

   -p "<password>"
       Specifies a password for "mvs login".

   -l "<language_code>"
       The language code the wiki server uses to differentiate between language versions.

   -m "<your message>"
       A commit message for "mvs commit".  Use this to explain the nature of your changes.

   -s "<your message>"
       Same as "-m"

   --minor <yes|no|default>
       Choose whether to mark change as a minor edit.  The default is to mark changes as minor if
       the Mediawiki user profile is set to do so by default.  Use this when committing a change
       with "mvs commit" or previewing with "mvs preview".

       Same as "--minor yes".

   --watch <yes|no|keep|default>
       Choose whether to add the edited page to your watchlist.  Specifying "keep" will maintain
       the current watched status.  The default is to watch the page if it is already being
       watched, or if the Mediawiki user profile is set to do so by default.  Use this when
       committing a change with "mvs commit" or previewing with "mvs preview".

       Same as "--watch yes".

   -w "<wiki path>"
       The path on the given "host" to the Mediawiki script.  This defaults to wiki/wiki.phtml
       which is correct for a vanilla install of Mediawiki 1.4.x.

       Verbose.  If this is set "mvs" will give you lots of extra information about what it's
       doing.  The -q flag overrides this.


       The browser you prefer to use for previewing changes.

       A proxy server to use (if any), expressed as a standard URL, something like this:

         export HTTP_PROXY=http://[username:password@]


       This is an early version of this program.  Future versions may have major differences
       which will effect your ability to use them interchangeably with this one.  In particular
       the initial "command" arguments may become options and the handling of conflicts might
       change dramatically.


       Please submit bug reports to the CPAN bug tracker at


       There is a discussion list.  You can subscribe or read the archives at:





       Mark Jaroski <>
       Bernhard Kaindl <>
           Improved error and usage messages.

       Oleg Alexandrov <>, Thomas Widmann <>
           Bug reports and feedback.

       Adrian Irving-Beer <>
           Preview support, export support for multi-page update, more 'minor' and 'watch'
           settings, and bug reports.


       (C) Copyright 2004-2005, Mark Jaroski

       This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same
       terms as Perl itself.