We are proud to announce the first stable release of the 1.16 series. Selected changes that may be of interest since MediaWiki 1.15 are:
- Watchlists now have RSS/Atom feeds. RSS feeds generally are now hidden, since Atom is a better protocol and is supported by virtually all clients.
- It’s now possible to block users from sending email via Special:Emailuser.
- The maintenance script system was overhauled. Most maintenance scripts now have a useful help page when you run them with –help.
- AdminSettings.php is no longer required in order to run maintenance scripts. You can just set $wgDBadminuser and $wgDBadminpassword in your LocalSettings.php instead.
- The preferences system was overhauled. Preferences are stored in a more compact format. Changes to site default preferences will automatically affect all users who have not chosen a different preference.
- Support for SQLite was improved. Some broken features were fixed, and it now has an efficient full-text search.
- The user groups ACL system was improved by allowing rights to be revoked, instead of just granted.
- A new localisation caching system was introduced, which will make MediaWiki faster for almost everyone, especially when lots of extensions are enabled.
By default, this new system makes a lot of database queries. If your database is particularly slow, or if your system administrator limits your query count, or if you want to squeeze as much performance as possible out of Mediawiki, set $wgCacheDirectory to a writable path on the local filesystem. Make sure you have the DBA extension for PHP installed, this will improve performance further.
MediaWiki 1.15.5 was also released today. Both MediaWiki 1.15.5 and 1.16.0 contain important security fixes. For further details please read the release announcement.