Help:Making bulk changes to content
This Help topic explains the two main options for making bulk changes to the wiki. Bulk changes might include renaming categories, and moving links or article names.
The wiki provides a special page (Special:ReplaceText) in which wiki administrators can specify text to be replaced and replacement text, along with which namespaces, categories and page prefixes the replacement is to take place in, and whether changes are to be made to content and/or page titles. The page supports specification of the text as a regular expressions, and is hence quite powerful.
This approach has two limitations:
- Its not easy to see what changes will be made in advance, particularly when using regular expressions
- There is no way to mark the changes as "minor" revisions. This means that even trivial changes are promoted.
The Mediawiki api allows bulk queries and changes against the wiki to be scripted. As the potential for malicious damage is high, access to this mechanism requires that users be authorised using both a username/password, and having a registered IP address.
The benefit of this approach is that it provides extremely flexible access query and modify the wiki: any change that can be made manually can be made through a script. This is currently used by wiki moderation to bulk change categories when needed, to fix up broken links and redirects, and to bulk import content when needed.
There are a number of helper libraries that can make scripting easier. For example, Python offers: