Mark and John are concerned about the future of Wikidot, the software is becoming unreliable with Ajax errors and timeouts, and there seems no development going on, and the support forum is moribund. So we are considering porting to a new platform. Mediawiki seems the obvious choice, John is very familiar with hosting wikis based on it, though Mark has some reservations about ease of use.


We have chosen dreamhost, which meets our requirements, and is free for 501(c)3 non-profits like F.A.N.A.C

There are vast numbers of mediawiki hosting companies, and we could spin up our own physical or virtual machine to run the software. Our own machine could also take on fanac.org, but would need monitoring for security patches, a non-trival task, so an account on a hosting site would be preferable if flexible enough. Wikidot currently costs $120/year

Mediawiki list of hosting service
Hosting pricing site



  • Can have Fancyclopedia.org addresses and can support existing external references to the site.
  • Has a solid replacement for tables, quoted material, includes, photos, and simple formatting
  • Has redirect capabilities
  • Has an API for reading and writing pages using pure text
  • Has a plausible case for being longer-lived than Wikidot (!)
  • *Simple* editing is easy for non-experts, requiring no training or experience
  • Backups


  • Has displayable page counter
  • Has a pure text editor, at least as a useful option
  • Allows us to keep the visible look and feel similar enough that it looks like the same site
  • comment facility which we can control tightly enough that we can prevent spam and flame wars, able to grant individuals the privilege to comment on pages. I do *not* want it to be the default, since we'd get spam and — possibly worse — the internet mob would start flame wars over this or that unpopular person.
  • Command line access, for python processing to convert and import files
  • Extensions (John's experiments suggest CategoryTagSorter , WikiCategoryTagCloud| MsCatSelect, ParserFunctions, CategorySuggest ,DynamicPageList could all be useful, especially for implementing Wikidot categories as tags. Sites are very poor at explaining how you can add and enable extensions


  • Importing history
  • Transferring users


http://johnbray.wikidot.com is John's wikidot sandbox. As a free account, its crippled. Its hidden from the world. We may populate it with a subset of files for direct download and conversion, or may just work directly on backup textfiles. is John's mediawiki implementation running on his home machine. Its a sandbox for changes, has extra extensions, repeated passes of conversions scripts, so its history is a mess. The firewall only let's Marks home router through. is John's mediawiki implementation running on his home machine. It is designed to be a clean version of files ready for Dreamhost uploading, without any extensions or clever stuff. The firewall only let's Marks home router through.

fancyclopedia@dreamhost tbd.

Conversion tools

wikidot native backup just stores page text and files, not tags and history. Its flaky and bad at scaling

Mark has a https://github.com/mlo31415 GitHub account with backup and conversion tools.

John has been using python library https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:Pywikibot to run bots that text process mediawiki pages. He can change include logic, tables, and fancy1/2 info boxes from wikidot format, external links, italics, con sequence pages.

John has hacked a bash tool to get lists of wikidot pages for each tag

Github tool, doesn't look much use