Creating Internal Backlinks for MediaWiki for Digital Gardeners

I’d spit-balled the general idea of showing backlinks or bidirectional links on a MediaWiki instance last year when thinking about and adding Webmention to one. Tonight I tinkered around and actually set it up on an instance. Within a MediaWiki, one can transclude all the backlinks from other pages to a particular page by adding a line for transcluding content like the following when editing a page:


You can see a live example of the practice on my user page on the IndieWeb wiki at along with the code I used by clicking on the edit tab. The effect is rather nice, particularly when put into columns when there are lots of entries. I’ll have to look into automatically coding something like this into every page now, but being able to do it manually is most of the battle, right?

Doing this along with adding display for external webmentions quickly vaults MediaWiki to a solidly first class web-enabled digital commonplace book/digital garden/Memex/zettelkasten tool that can communicate with other similarly enabled tools. (Now if only Webmention were supported natively on MediaWiki… but there are definitely ways around this in the meanwhile.)

To go the extra mile, I know there’s the ability to interlink wikis with some custom syntax or even to show hovercards within a wiki. Both MediaWiki and Wikipedia already allow this after enabling page previews using hovercards in 2018. (I’ll have to check out if one could do hovercards across wikis as well!?!)

I’ve slowed down some of my experiments with my personal MediaWiki in preference to using Obsidian lately. Perhaps, for working in public, I’m going to have to resume some of my experiments and/or figure out a way to mirror the content?

Sister Heather Kristine in knowledge-management discord for Obsidian () for re-sparking idea.


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Chris Aldrich

I'm a biomedical and electrical engineer with interests in information theory, complexity, evolution, genetics, signal processing, IndieWeb, theoretical mathematics, and big history. I'm also a talent manager-producer-publisher in the entertainment industry with expertise in representation, distribution, finance, production, content delivery, and new media.

10 thoughts on “Creating Internal Backlinks for MediaWiki for Digital Gardeners”

  1. Creating Internal Backlinks for MediaWiki for Digital Gardeners

  2. Creating Internal Backlinks for MediaWiki for Digital Gardeners

  3. I’m using the DynamicPageList3 extension to show backlinks and the NamespacePreload extension to preload this in all new pages:
    |ordermethod = lastedit
    |order = ascending

    1. Doug Holton says:

      This one will also show backlinks to redirect pages {{#dpl:
      |ordermethod = lastedit
      |order = ascending

    2. Doug Holton says:

      So for example, I have [[OER]] & [[Oer]] pages that #REDIRECT to [[Open educational resources]]. Now pages that link to [[OER]] or [[Oer]] will also show up in the backlinks list on [[Open educational resources]]. I put that and other stuff in a {{topicfooter}} template.

      1. Chris Aldrich says:

        These are awesome Doug! Thanks for sharing. Do you have more? Examples online that one could look at?

        Syndicated copies:

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