About MH370wiki/Technical

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Welcome to MH370Wiki

This page contains a technical description of the website www.MH370wiki.net.

Technical Description

A technical description of this website follows:-

Domain Names
The website known as MH370Wiki uses the domain name www.mh370wiki.net. However, several domain names are also registered:-


Three domain names resolve to www.mh370wiki.net:-

The domains www.mh370wiki.org and www.mh370wiki.com are permanently redirected to www.mh370wiki.net.

More recently, the domain www.mh370.wiki has been registered and may become the preferred domain name.

The websites at www.mh370wiki.net and www.mh370.wiki are identical because both sites use the same MediaWiki database.

From 2021 the MH370 wiki sites have been hosted in the United States.
The website is developed in Australia.

Platform: MediaWiki

This website has been developed on an open-source platform called MediaWiki (originally developed for the popular collaborative web-based encyclopedia Wikipedia).

The MediaWiki installation uses a standard MediaWiki skin called Vector which has been significantly customised. Vector facilitates the expandable menus on the left of the screen. The website theme, colour scheme and on-page navigation buttons are alldeveloped using custom CSS. Also, instead of wikitext the entire site uses HTML.

Several features of MediaWiki which have been used here are described below:-

A sub-page is created in MediaWiki to hold sub-topics and is shown in the page (or article name) by a forward slash / followed by the sub-topic name.
For example, the main page for Captain Zaharie Shah is named, appropriately, Captain Zaharie Shah. However, Captain Shah's personal flight simulator is treated as a sub-topic within a sub-page named Captain Zaharie Shah/Flight Simulator.
A very useful feature in MediaWiki is called transclusion. A definition provided by Wiktionary is below:-

transclusion (Noun)

The inclusion of part of hypertext document in another one by means of reference rather than copying.

Origin: Coined by Ted Nelson in his 1982 book Literary Machines. Probably a portmanteau of trans- and inclusion.

To use transclusion effectively on this website, reference materials such as the Safety Investigation Report have been de-constructed - broken down into short segments, each stored as an original item of information which can be re-used. Each segment can then be either aggregated to present a section of the original document, or included in another article as a quote, using only a reference to the original segment. If the original segment is edited or updated, the change will be reflected everywhere that information item has been used because the user sees content which has been transcluded into the article.

For example, the ACARS Traffic Log for MH370 (9M-MRO) has been de-constructed so that each message (or set of transmissions related to the same message) is stored on a sub-page and can therefore be linked to directly, transcluded into the complete log, or antranscluded into another article such as a timeline event.

A feature easily added to MediaWiki, and used extensively on this website, is called a Tooltip. A definition from Wiktionary follows:-

tooltip (Noun)

An element of a graphical user interface in the form of a box of text that appears when a cursor is made to hover over an item; normally used to explain the function of the item.

Origin: Originally used with toolbars to provide a tip or hint as to what function each graphical icon represented. The term was introduced by Microsoft ...

Each item in the Glossary has been created as a Tooltip. Wherever those terms appear in the text of an article the existence of the Tooltip is identified by text which is faint underlined, and the additional information will be presented to the viewer if the mouse pointer or cursor is placed over the underlined text. For example, the Safety Investigation Report is usually underlined which indicates that further information is available in a tooltip.

Some tooltips also include a link to an article with more detail.

The website uses a feature of MediaWiki called Namespaces to implement the site structure. All content in MediaWiki is initially in a namespace called NS_Main which does not have a prefix for page (or article) names. However, custom namespaces are identified by a prefix at the beginning of each page (or article) in that namespace.
By using MediaWiki namespaces, sections of the website can be made public, or inaccessible. See the section Structure below for details.

Pages with similar content, such as ACARS messages, have been formatted using Templates. This ensures a consistent style and layout has been used.

Site Structure

The major sections in the site structure are defined by Namespaces.
Custom namespaces which will become obvious are used for the Media Statements, Reports and Communications sections, identified by the prefixes Statements:, Reports: and Comms: respectively.
Sections containing content from the Factual Information released in 2015, and the Safety Investigation Report released in 2018, use namespaces with prefixes FI 2015: and SIR 2018:. This helps to separate content which may be very similar.
By using MediaWiki namespaces, sections of the website can be made public, or inaccessible.

The site structure is summarised in the table below:-

Section Description Namespace Prefix Status
Main Content Contains all general articles
Includes the Timeline.
No prefix Publicly accessible and continuously developed.
News News and Media Statements from official sources, related to MH370 MH370News: Publicly accessible.
Transcripts of earlier press briefings may also be included.
Safety Investigation Report (2018) Includes extracts from the Safety Investigation Report which are then used as references or quoted in other articles. SIR 2018: Many pages need updated page layout.
Factual Information (2015) Contains extracts from the Factual Information documents which were released in 2015.
These extracts were used as references or quoted in other articles but have mostly been superseded by the Safety Investigation Report (2018)
FI 2015: Most pages need to be checked and updated.
Communications This section contains transcripts of voice communications, text of ACARS messages, metadata from satellite communications and information related to communications with flight MH370. Communications: Publicly accessible.
Passengers This section contains information about each passenger from Passenger Manifests and Seating Plans plus other details published in media articles. Passenger: Not currently accessible while being updated.

A convention has been established regarding links:-
  • Internal Links - links to another article or page within this website generally use wikitext syntax and open the link in the same browser tab or window
  • External Links - links to a resource outside this website generally use html syntax and open the link in a different browser tab or window.

The entire site has been coded using html. This has not been standard practice for Mediawiki-based sites. However, it enables greater control over the formatting of content.
Custom CSS has also been developed for this website. An obvious example would be the style of menu and navigation buttons.