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This page looks into the math that is used by MediaWiki to give various page counts.

Magic words

These first two magic words provide easy answers to the amount of content on the wiki, but are they accurate and useful?


MW code says: Simply count all entries in page table.

Iritscen says: Though problematic in the past, this magic word now matches the grand total (see below) of all PAGESINNS counts, including files and redirects. However, we don't really want to display that catch-all number on our main page.


MW code says: If the count method global is set to 'link', the software gets a distinct count of the entries in the pagelinks table, "pl_from" field, that match those page ids. In other words, it filters out pages that do not link to other pages (the reasoning presumably being that "those aren't real wiki pages" if they're not connecting to anything else). It also filters out redirects. If the method is set to 'comma', it counts all non-blank pages (yes, really).

Iritscen says: Okay, $wgArticleCountMethod has now been set to 'comma'. (Note: As of MW 1.31, "The 'comma' value for $wgArticleCountMethod is no longer supported for performance reasons, and installations with this setting will now work as if it was configured with 'any'." It appears that 'any' will return the same result, counting all pages that are not redirects.)

PAGESINNS, AKA PAGESINNAMESPACE: These counts agree with the number of pages displayed for each namespace on the Special:AllPages page, which provides some much-needed verifiability. However, since Allpages counts redirect pages, that means that PAGESINNS does too. Therefore, we can't use a straight sum of PAGESINNS results as our page count. See final section for the adjusted number.

PAGESINNS breakdown:

Namespace ID Page count
Media -2 <not available>
Special -1 <not available>
Main 0 712
Talk 1 107
User 2 123
User talk 3 50
OniGalore 4 15
OniGalore talk 5 2
File 6 2,376
File talk 7 12
MediaWiki 8 35
MediaWiki talk 9 0
Template 10 124
Template talk 11 6
Help 12 2
Help talk 13 2
Category 14 172
Category talk 15 6
BSL 100 66
BSL talk 101 6
OBD 102 192
OBD talk 103 35
AE 104 23
AE talk 105 14
Oni2 108 37
Oni2 talk 109 18
XML 110 125
XML talk 111 17

All articlespaces (without File) totalled using PAGESINNS: 1626

All talkspaces totalled using PAGESINNS: 263

All contentspaces (as currently defined in $wgContentNamespaces = {0, 2, 100, 102, 104, 108, 110}) totalled using PAGESINNS: 1278

The grand total for all namespaces (including File) is: 4277


There were 353 redirects as of 2021-12-13 according to Special:ListRedirects.

Redirect breakdown:

Main 280
Talk 0
User 0
User talk 0
OniGalore 2
OniGalore talk 0
File 0
File talk 0
MediaWiki 0
MediaWiki talk 0
Template 0
Template talk 0
Help 1
Help talk 1
Category 0
Category talk 0
BSL talk 0
OBD 18
OBD talk 0
AE 0
AE talk 0
Oni2 2
Oni2 talk 0
XML 46
XML talk 0


NUMBEROFPAGES is too broad to be useful, but now that the page-count method is 'comma' (or 'all'), I am able to reconcile NUMBEROFARTICLES with PAGESINNS. PAGESINNS in turn reconciles with AllPages, which lists each page onscreen and is thus verifiable by a direct count (which I have done in the past). So to see how the math works out, we can get the directly-verifiable count by using PAGESINNS on all "content" namespaces, and then manually subtracting redirects as counted above.

Namespaces Main, User, BSL, OBD, XML, AE, and Oni2 totaled using PAGESINNS: 1278

Same total minus redirects in those namespaces: 930

At the time of this writing (2021-12-13), this gives a total "content minus redirect" total of 919, which is 29 higher than the value (890) returned by NUMBEROFARTICLES. That's an acceptable margin of error, though one that could bear some investigation (I would be curious if the page-count method omits blank or very short pages, which we have a number of). Thus NUMBEROFARTICLES is fit for use on the main page.