How I want my software to be updated

I'm stuck in Windows XP land for the time being, so some of this rant is taken care of elsewhere. I hope.

1. Don't tell me about the update unless it is absolutely necessary for me to stop what I'm doing for the update to proceed.

2. Automatically update, unless a core component of the system is going to be updated. For Windows, this should mean one of a handful of files. Unfortunely, DLLs do not seem to behave that well when in use.

3. Back up the files and configurations being edited.

4. Unit test the validity of the update.

5. Don't ask me to reboot, unless core system files have been updated.

MediaWiki on xampp

Okay, I installed  JSPWiki on xampp on an SD card to have an isolated sandbox for JSPWiki.  The install was space intensive due to the number of small files added with Tomcat and JSPWiki.  The install was also not entirely portable, in that the only systems that could run the setup from the SD card were those that had J2EE 5.x or later installed--quite the high end requirement.

So I decided to install MediaWiki instead.

  • Download the ZIP package from from the xampp for windows
  • Open the xampp-win32-*.*.*.zip file that was just downloaded and extract to C: (change to flash drive drive letter here if necessary).
  • Run [drive]:xamppxampp_start.exe to test starting up the web server and mysql.  Validate that browsing to your local machine brings up a served web page.  Depending on the speed of the media you're using this may take 15 seconds or so after running xampp_start.exe

At this point, xampp should be ready to for installing MediaWiki.  (Shorter walkthrough here.)

  • Download the latest version from the MediaWiki download page. (version 1.13.3 as of this writing)
  • Use 7-zip to unpack the tar/gz file.
    • Right-click the media-wiki-1.13.3.tar.gz file and click 7-zip -> Open Archive
    • Single-click on the media-wiki-1.13.3.tar file and click the [Extract] button in the menubar.
    • You should have a media-wiki-1.13.3 folder in the same location as the zip file you downloaded.  Rename this to MediaWiki.
  • Copy the MediaWiki folder to [drive]:xampphtdocs.  (Note:  You could also copy the contents of the folder to the htdocs directly, but then you would need to delete the index.* files and would also lose your links to phpMyAdmin, etc..)
  • Browse to http://localhost/MediaWiki
  • Click on the setup link on the page.
  • Fill in
    • Wiki name
    • Admin username and password/password confirm
    • Probably want to disable e-mail options for this setup
    • Fill in a new database name, db username, and db password (this should be created for you because of the security setup with xampp)
    • Check "Use superuser account" (this will enable username/password and database creation)
    • Database table name prefix (I used the suggested "mw_")
    • Click [Install MediaWiki]
  • Move the config/LocalSettings.php file to the parent directory ([drive]:xampphtdocsMediaWiki), then follow this link to your wiki.

Some clean-up:

You may want to go to http://localhost/phpmyadmin/ click on Privileges and Edit both of the MySQL root accounts to have passwords.  There is a separate [Go] button under the "Change Password" section of the "Edit Privileges" page for this.

Media Wiki Successful Installation

For my default installation of xampp with MediaWiki on a 2 GB drive:

  • 6,827 files and 664 folders
  • Size: 294 MB (309,291,225 bytes)
  • Size on Disk: 311 MB (326,238,208 bytes)

Still quite a bit of space, but more efficient than the JSPWiki install on a FAT32 partition.

Installing JSPWiki on an XAMPP for Windows install

I've been experimenting with XAMPP as a way to setup a temporary and transportable Apache install with PHP, MySQL, and a database admin tool (phpMyAdmin). Before starting, be sure to have Sun J2EE 5.x SDK (or higher) installed.

As mentioned on, by following the "Installation" without the installer instructions, XAMPP will run from a removable drive (I'm using an SD card, myself--quite a bit slower than other options, but VERY cheap).

First, I downloaded the ZIP package from from the xampp for windows page:

Open the xampp-win32-*.*.*.zip file that was just downloaded and extract to C: (change to flash drive drive letter here if necessary).

Run [drive]:xamppxampp_start.exe to test starting up the web server and mysql.
Run [drive]:xamppxampp_stop.exe to shut the web server and mysql down again.

Next download the Apache Tomcat plug-in from the XAMPP for Windows Add-Ons area.

Extract this .zip file into to the c:xampp folder (again, substitute c: for appropriate drive letter if necessary). You should get a "Confile File Overwrite" prompt when you do this--the Tomcat files should overwrite the original xampp files, so select [Yes to All].

After the Tomcat files have been extracted, run [drive]:xamppsetup_xampp.bat to setup Tomcat.

Test the installation by running

  • [drive]:xamppxampp_start.exe to start xampp, then
  • [drive]:xampptomcat_start.bat to start Tomcat.
  • Browse to http://localhost:8080, which should be something like the following:

Finally download JSPWiki (Current stable release):

Extract the JSPWiki.war file from the JSPWiki download and copy to the [drive]:xampptomcatwebapps folder.

Run [drive]:xampptomcat_stop.bat and then [drive]:xampptomcat_start.bat to restart Tomcat. Web application JSPWiki should get loaded as part of the restart. I had to restart a second time (probably started too soon after shutting down.)

Browse to http://localhost:8080/JSPWiki to view the JSPWiki page. You will be prompted to begin installation:

For the installation options, I used:

  • Application name - JSPWiki
  • BaseURL - http://localhost:8080/JSPWiki/
  • Page Storage - /p/web/www-data/jspwiki/ (default) -- note that this will be the path off of your root drive wherever xampp and Tomcat are running from. This is where the wiki pages will be stored.
  • All other options - default values


  • Press [Configure!]
  • [drive]:xampptomcat_stop.bat to stop Tomcat.
  • [drive]:xampptomcat_start.bat to start Tomcat.
  • Browse to http://localhost:8080/JSPWiki/ to start using your JSPWiki. By default, versioning is turned on, which is accomplished by storing every version of the file in an "OLD" folder just off the main page storage folder.

Troubleshooting JSPWiki Installation

Update 2008.12.26:

One of the downsides of installing JSPWiki on xampp on a flash drive or SD card is that these drives are typically formatted with FAT32.

For the default installation of xampp with the Apache Tomcat plugin and JSPWiki on a 2 GB drive:

  • 6,499 files and 853 folders
  • Size:  281 MB (295,406,845 bytes)
  • Size on Disk:  436 MB (457,834,496 bytes)

The additional size on disk is due to the 65,536 allocation unit limit on FAT32, which means the smallest amount of space that a file can take up on a 2 GB partition is 32K.

Since JSPWiki stores each page and each version of a page in a separate file, even a relatively small wiki would take up more space.