Upgrading to MediaWiki 1.35 and migrating to Gen2

MyWikis is excited to begin upgrading wikis to MediaWiki 1.35, the latest long term support version, beginning Friday, September 25, 2020. With MediaWiki 1.35, your wiki will gain exciting new features, as well as a more stable VisualEditor service.

TL;DR: If you are interested in upgrading your wiki as soon as possible, please open a support ticket under our Support department, subject line "Upgrading to 1.35". If you have multiple wikis, be sure to let us know which wikis you'd like upgraded to MediaWiki 1.35.

In mid-April 2021, we began the public process of moving everyone. Our goal is to move wikis to 1.35 before 1.31's end of life in June.

On this page, you can learn more about what the upgrade and migration process looks like.

Is this a migration or an upgrade?

Both! We are moving your wiki to a new system, which we have codenamed Gen2, that will allow us to scale better and speed up your wiki's loading times. Our new Gen2 distributed architecture will also provide speed improvements to wiki users outside of the Americas. Gen2 wikis can be distinguished from Generation 1 wikis by their URL; Gen2 wikis run on mywikis.wiki, while Generation 1 wikis run on mywikis.net.

How much does this cost?

It's free; upgrades are always included with your plan.

What changes after the upgrade and migration?

Most things will work the same as before. However, some things that will change:

  • Your wiki runs MediaWiki 1.35 instead of 1.31 (this one is obvious).
  • Your wiki will change URLs to mywikis.wiki. We set up an automatic redirect from mywikis.net to mywikis.wiki so that your old links don't break. We intend to keep this for at least one year, but then we reserve the right to decommission the redirect.
  • Files on your wiki are now stored on the cloud rather than the local server. Previously, we did not actively enforce the wiki file storage limit, but with this change, we will begin to actively enforce the limit on or before July 1, 2021. You will receive an email with the choice to buy more storage or upgrade your wiki. If you don't respond, your wiki will be automatically upgraded to the next available plan. Also, only the most recent revision of a file will be migrated to the new wiki.
  • Your wiki will run on a more efficient database. This required us to migrate your wiki to a different database system, so if there are any inconsistencies with the old wiki's data, please let us know as soon as possible.

How soon will I be migrated?

We are migrating people who want their wikis to be migrated first. To register your interest, please open a ticket indicating you'd like to be upgraded to MediaWiki 1.35, and we will prioritize your wiki. This will take less than a day to complete, unless unforeseen problems arise. Once we are finished migrating your wiki, we will reply to your ticket with instructions on how to visit your new wiki and how to verify the migration was successful.

After migrating volunteers, we will work our way through all other wikis. We will migrate wikis with less activity and less customization first. If your wiki is automatically migrated, you will not receive a notification.

Are all wikis currently eligible for the migration?

No, some wikis still can't be migrated because there are some functions that we haven't migrated to Gen2 yet.

As of recently, wikis on custom domains are now eligible for the migration. As of April 27, 2021, wikis using SAML-based SSO are now eligible for the migration. As of May 4, 2021, wikis using Backups Plus are now eligible for the migration.

Wikis are currently ineligible if any of the following are true:

  • The wiki contains files with accented characters or special characters, such as: é, ü, §, ©
  • The wiki's configuration is so heavily customized to the point that it cannot be migrated to Gen2 without additional work from our end

Rest assured, we aim to migrate every single wiki to Gen2. Our pledge to enable personalization of your wiki remains true despite the added difficulty it brings to the migration.

Will all files be migrated?

Files that have either been archived or deleted by your users may have been kept by MediaWiki just in case, but they will not be migrated during our migration process. We recommend you undelete these files or move prior versions to separate files if you wish for them to be preserved.

Why can't wikis with special character filenames be imported?

This is incompatible with our new cloud-based filestore. There are many encoding issues at multiple levels, making it infeasible for us to support filenames with special characters going forward. Therefore, all files in a wiki with these special characters will need to be renamed to fix this problem before the Gen2 import can begin.

Will I still have access to Self Service?

Yes. Recently, we made Self Service available for Gen2, and it is now available to use at selfservice.mywikis.com. Going forward, Self Service improvements will only be made to Gen2. We've taken the time to carefully design Gen2 so we can provide more powerful customization options on Self Service than previously possible.

What new features will be added to Self Service for Gen2?

In the order in which new features are expected to be added:

  • The ability to uninstall extensions you previously installed (added April 24)
  • The ability to add various configuration settings to your wiki (added May 3)
  • The ability to connect your custom domain
  • The ability to install extensions with special configurations

Will all of my extensions be migrated?

We intend to migrate as many of your wiki's extensions as possible, but if an extension doesn't support MediaWiki 1.35, we cannot install it on your wiki. Should we find an extension without MediaWiki 1.35 support, we will first attempt to find alternatives before resorting to not installing any replacement.

Do I need to do anything special if I have a custom domain?

Yes, you will need to change your NS record or A record into a CNAME record. Otherwise, visitors to your custom domain will be redirected to the non-custom domain. More details on how to do this at: https://panel.mywikis.net/index.php?rp=/knowledgebase/5/Pointing-an-existing-custom-domain-to-MyWikis.html

Can I defer/postpone the upgrade and migration?

Yes, we can deprioritize you and upgrade/migrate you last. Open a ticket and let us know about this if you have this concern. However, the migration will have to happen eventually, unless you are willing to upgrade to the VPS plan, in which case, you will have full latitude on what version to keep your wiki at.

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