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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Developer(s)Clifford Adams, Markus Lude
Initial releaseOctober 11, 1999 (1999-10-11)
Stable release
1.2.2 / November 10, 2023 (2023-11-10)
Written inPerl
Size62.6 KiB (compressed)
Available in20 languages
TypeWiki software
Websitewww.usemod.org/cgi-bin/wiki.pl Edit this at Wikidata

UseModWiki is a wiki software written in Perl and licensed under the GNU General Public License. Pages in UseModWiki are stored in ordinary files, not in a relational database. Wikipedias in English and many other languages were powered by UseModWiki until switching to MediaWiki.



After Ward Cunningham created the first wiki website WikiWikiWeb, there were various "WikiWikiClones" that implemented the functions and design of WikiWikiWeb's engine ("WikiBase"), mainly written in Perl. Peter Merel developed CVWiki which was an early WikiWikiClone released partially under the GNU Lesser General Public License, and Markus Denker then developed AtisWiki which was released under the GNU General Public License and based on CVWiki.[1]

In the 1990s, Clifford Adams initiated the Usenet Moderation project that would allow users to share rating, editing, and eventually summary/change information about Usenet postings.[2] It was replaced by the concept of wikis in 1999, and the development of UseModWiki started on October 11 as a simplified fork of AtisWiki. From version 0.4 ("WikiFour") in November 1999, more functions and improvements were introduced to UseModWiki.[3] In 2000, the second UseModWiki website MeatballWiki was launched and hosted in usemod.com, along with the official website of UseModWiki.

In 2001, as Adams was both of the UseModWiki developer and a Wikipedian, he brought many improvements for the usages of an encyclopedia to v0.91 and v0.92, especially "free links" that uses double square-brackets (e.g., [[Wikipedia]]) as an option along with camel case for linking to another page.[4] In September 2003, after two years of development from the previous version, the release of version 1.0 introduced many new features including CSS, RSS, file uploads, UTF-8, and more.[5]

The development was then halted, and a cross-site scripting vulnerability (CVE-2004-1397) was discovered in December 2004.[6][7] It was patched in July 2007 when Markus Lude took over the project of UseModWiki from Clifford Adams, with the release of version 1.0.1. Only bug fixing versions were released since that.[3] The official domain was moved to usemod.org in late September 2023, and a minor update for that change was released later in November.[8]

Use by Wikipedia

English Wikipedia in 2001
UseModWiki supports both of camel case and "free links" for linking to another page.

The wiki software for the English Wikipedia was UseModWiki (phase I, retroactively) since the establishment on January 15, 2001, and as of January 2002, Wikipedias in 22 languages were powered by UseModWiki.[9] The English edition switched to "the PHP script" (phase II) on January 25, 2002, a new wiki software based on UseModWiki but rewritten in PHP. On July 20, "the PHP script" was then replaced by its own rewritten wiki software (phase III), currently known as MediaWiki, for better performance and functionality.

Other language editions gradually switched to MediaWiki afterwards, and as of late 2003, only a few active editions including Catalan Wikipedia were still powered by UseModWiki.[10] On January 25, 2004, also the second anniversary of the "PHP script", the last-remaining UseModWiki editions switched to MediaWiki.

See also



  • Lih, Andrew (2009). The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia. London: Aurum. pp. 62–63. ISBN 9781845134730. OCLC 280430641.
  1. ^ Markus Denker (25 July 2002). "AtisWiki". MarcusWiki. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  2. ^ Clifford Adams. "WhyUseMod". UseModWiki. Retrieved 8 November 2023.
  3. ^ a b "UseModWiki/History". UseModWiki. Retrieved 8 November 2023.
  4. ^ "UseModWiki/OldVersions". UseModWiki. Retrieved 8 November 2023.
  5. ^ "NewFeatures". UseModWiki. Retrieved 8 November 2023.
  6. ^ "CVE-2004-1397". CVE. 2005-02-12. CVE-2004-1397. Retrieved 28 March 2023.
  7. ^ office.bomis.com. "Wikipedia: HomePage". Jimmy Wales. Archived from the original on 28 March 2023. Retrieved 28 March 2023. This pre-UseModWiki 1.0.1 site has no XSS vulnerability!
  8. ^ "UseMod Wiki: UseModWiki". UseModWiki. Archived from the original on 25 September 2023. Retrieved 8 November 2023.
  9. ^ "Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia". Bomis. 24 January 2002. Archived from the original on 24 January 2002. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  10. ^ "Wikipedia: HomePage" (in Catalan). Catalan Wikipedia. 13 November 2003. Archived from the original on 13 November 2003. Retrieved 2 April 2023.