Hackathon/Laptop setup

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The goal of the Hackathon laptop setup is to help you get a working development and community communication environment quickly! These steps should take somewhere between 30 minutes and 1 hour.

Goal #0: Connect to the intarwebs (wireless)

If you are having issues:

  • SSID: gw_event
  • username: WIKI12
  • password: WI12KI

Goal #1: install an IRC client

IRC is a real-time chat protocol that MediaWiki developers and others use to talk about the project and as a medium for users and developers to help each other.

During the hackathon, you will all be chatting with each other on the #wikimania IRC channel!

If you'll be doing anything that resembles software testing or development, or if you just generally enjoy installing things on your computer, read on!

Goal #2: practice navigating from the command line

Many of the tools of MediaWiki development are primarily used via the command line, including git and git review. Let's get some practice with navigating the computer from the command line.

Goal #3: install git

Git is a popular revision control system that is used by MediaWiki.

Goal #4: prepare SSH

SSH allows you to securely access a shell (like the command line window you used earlier) on a remote machine. You will need to set up ssh to use Git and Gerrit successfully.

Goal #5: Request a Gerrit account

Gerrit is the code review tool used within Wikimedia projects, including many MediaWiki extensions. You'll need an account on it before you can make changes to projects hosted there.

Goal #6: set up Python

This section has instructions for installing Python and running Python from a command prompt. You will need that to use the "git review" tool.

Goal #7: Install git-review

"Git review" is a tool that simplifies code review. It automates the process of sending changes to Gerrit.

Goal #8: practice using a plain text editor

Make sure you know how to use a plain text editor. If you don't have experience using one of those, ask an instructor for help installing one.

Goal #9: Install a web server that can run PHP

PHP is the language in which MediaWiki is written. We will run it in conjunction with Apache, a very common web server.

After following these instructions, you will have a working web server on your personal computer.

Goal #10: Install MediaWiki into that web server

MediaWiki is the software that runs Wikipedia. Getting MediaWiki running locally, with a fully-functioning environment, is what this laptop setup is really about. So this is the fun part!

It's possible to install MediaWiki without having done all the above. But now that you have all the above ready, you have a state-of-the-art MediaWiki development environment. (Aren't you glad you came to the Hackathon?) (-:

Step 11: Check-off

Finally, you need to find a volunteer and demonstrate that you've gone through all these steps properly. Find a staff person (if you're not sure who can help you, raise your hand).

The staffer and you will check that you can do the following things:

  • Type a message into the #wikimania IRC channel indicating that you're done setting up your computer, then send it!
  • Open a command prompt, and explain what "cd" does.
  • Open a command prompt (in Windows open Git Bash) and type "git". Demonstrate that the command is found!
  • In a command prompt, type "git review" and press enter, and show that the command is found.
  • Open up the Gerrit developer accounts page, and show that you have requested a Gerrit account.
  • Open up your personal wiki in a web browser and show the helper that you can log in and log out.

Hooray!

Success!

You are done with laptop setup!

Take a break, stretch, meet some neighbors, and ask the staff if you have any questions about this material.

Now, back to the Hackathon

« Back to the Hackathon