Mediawiki updates break previous install (solved)

My ISP Dreamhost updated MediaWiki (the software that drives Wikipedia) last week. The result was that all Wikis on my domains broke.

There were two sets of problems as it turned out.

1054 Unknown column ‘page_links_updated’ in ‘field list’

The initial symptom was a page that read

Database error

A database query error has occurred. This may indicate a bug in the software

A quick search found that I could get more information to add $wgShowSQLErrors = true; to LocalSettings.php. The result was a 1054 error: 1054 Unknown column 'page_links_updated' in 'field list'. Googling around discovered this page, where I learned that I needed to run maintenance/update.php

Deprecated method for loading skins

This allowed the site to load properly, but it led to the second error: a series of warnings about deprecated skins. The site loaded, but the top of the page was full of error messages.

The solution for this was quite simple:

  1. Navigate into skins
  2. Move all files ending in .php out of the directory (you need to remove them entirely, not simply rename them). I moved them to a new directory completely outside the parent wiki folder.

Reload.

C’est tout.

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