From XOWA: the free, open-source, offline wiki application

Release: v4.4.0.1703 (2017-03-07 18:00 Mon)

The PC version is a major release. It adds night mode, automatic page backup, performance improvements, an early-version of full-text search, and better support for French Wikipedia.

The Android version has no release.

Note that there are no upgrade versions for v4.4. This is due to XULRunner changes which would make the upgrade almost as large as the entire app.

(Wiki) Publish 2017-02 German Wikipedia and 2017-02 French Wikipedia

Both wikis were updated during the week. You can get them from Download Central or see the following links:

(PC) Add night mode

XOWA now has night mode. To enable it, do Menu -> View -> Toggle Night mode. More info is at App/UI/Night_mode

I implemented this feature over the past few days, so there may be some spots I missed. Also, if you have any suggestions about colors, CSS, or icons, please do contact me at Help/Feedback.

(PC) Add page backup feature

XOWA now does a simple backups whenever pages are edited. This feature is intended primarily for personal wikis.

Here are the details:

  • Go to Special:XowaCfg?
  • Make sure Enabled under Page backups is checked.
  • Edit any page and press Save page.
  • Go to /your_wiki_directory/user/temp/Page_title/. You will see a text file copy there

(PC) Improve performance for starting app as well as creating / loading personal wikis

This version has a number of performance improvements:

  • Faster app startup on Windows machines: Previously, the xowa.exe / xowa_64.exe would pre-allocate 256 MB on startup. On some machines, this seems to make bootup 20 to 30 seconds long. This build now doesn't allocate any pre-determined amount.
  • Faster personal wiki creation: XOWA used to try to download a Wikimedia css for personal wikis. Now, XOWA will just use the default css
  • Faster personal wiki loading: XOWA used to load a database connection to every personal wikis at bootup. Now, XOWA will only load the database connection when it's opened.

(PC) Update XULRunner to v31 for Windows machines

The Main Page for 2017-02 French Wikipedia now uses the CSS flex directive. Unfortunately, this is not supported in XULRunner v24 but it is in XULRunner v31.

This is how XOWA handles this on different operating systems

  • For Windows machines, XOWA now uses XULRunner v31. Note that 64-bit XULRunner is no longer available for download, so I used a copy I had downloaded a few years ago.
  • For Linux machines, XOWA still uses XULRunner v24. Unfortunately, XOWA can't upgrade to v31 because SWT doesn't support it on Linux. See: The only alternative is to use webkit. See: App/UI/HTML_Browser#WebKit
  • For Mac OS X machines, this shouldn't be an issue, as XOWA uses webkit already.

(PC) Add preiminary full-text search for personal-wikis

XOWA now has a basic full-text search feature. It should only be used for small wikis (like a personal wiki). It works by opening up every single page and searching for the text phrase. Although this sounds slow, it performs relatively quickly on modern generation machines (especially if you have a SSD). It also has the advantage of not taking up any space for search-indexing.

This feature will be expanded in the coming months, but any feedback is welcome. To try to it, go to Special:XowaSearch

(PC) Other minor fixes, including ?curid for command-line and no more current directory for logs

There are a bunch of other minor fixes, but I'll highlight two which were reported by users:

?curid did not work on the command-line

XOWA added a ?curid feature to look up a page by page-id. Unfortunately, this wasn't working for command-line calls.

This build fixes this bug.

No more current directory for logs

XOWA stores its logs at C:\xowa\user\anonymous\app\tmp\log. XOWA used to store the current directory in a folder called current. Unfortunately, this caused problems on Linux systems when two or more different-permissioned users were running XOWA.

This version replaces the current directory with a timestamp directory which should now reduce the likelihood of errors.

Next release

  • Full-text search: I need to polish up the full-text search for personal wikis. In addition, I'm going to look at getting it working for the Wikimedia wikis



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