Allowing RSS Access on a Private MediaWiki

I run two Private MediaWiki which do not allow unauthenticated users to create accounts, edit pages, or read pages. I have whitelisted a few special pages including the login page. An example configuration is displayed below.

$wgGroupPermissions['*']['createaccount'] = false;
$wgGroupPermissions['*']['read'] = false;
$wgGroupPermissions['*']['edit'] = false;
$wgWhitelistRead = array (

The problem with this is that I want to be able to monitor these private wikis in my RSS client. Therefore, I added another two lines to the configuration to allow my desktop unauthenticated access to the recent changes RSS feed on my wikis. This could be changed to make it easy to punch a hole for multiple clients. The additions are shown below.

if ($_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'] == "")
    $wgWhitelistRead[] = "Special:RecentChanges";

Now I can monitor both of my private wikis from my RSS client on my desktop computer. However, all other machines will still require authentication to get to the wiki.

Special Characters and MediaWikis Do Not Mix

I have run a MediaWiki wiki for my house on campus for close to two years. When I set it up, I gave it the name “Saint Claude de La Colombière Men’s Catholic House,” and since MediaWiki accepted this name complete with two accented characters, I assumed it wasn’t a problem. For an unknown reason, it became a problem today. It started throwing the annoying “Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 20971520 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 122880 bytes) in /home/www/claude/w/includes/Revision.php on line 361” errors. I tried increasing the memory allocated to PHP, looking through Apache log files, and upgrading the version of the MediaWiki software.

After at least an hour of frustration accumulated throughout the day, it occurred to me that this only happens on one page: the “About” page. This page, in standard MediaWiki fashion, is actually called: “Saint Claude de La Colombière Men’s Catholic House: About.” Then it hit me that perhaps those accented characters weren’t such a good idea after all. As soon as I changed the value in the LocalSettings.php to something more reasonable and accent free:

$wgSitename = "Saint Claude de La Colombiere Men's Catholic House";

everything started working again as normal.

I would be very curious to know why this worked in the past. I suppose it could have to do with my versions of Ubuntu Server, Apache, PHP, MediaWiki, etc. However, it’s one more thing to check when PHP starts throwing out of memory exceptions.

Edit: It turns out that increasing the memory to PHP was the solution as today I started experiencing the same error on other pages. I increased the LocalSettings.php memory limit from 20 MB to 32 MB.

ini_set( 'memory_limit', '32M' );

and this (actually) solved the problem. Before, I was editing the php.ini file, and it would appear that the LocalSettings.php was overriding the global value even though it was higher. Special characters may still be a bad idea.