Semantic MediaWiki (or SMW for short) is an extension to the well-known MediaWiki software. The purpose of SMW is to allow users to improve the structure and organization of the knowledge in a wiki by adding simple, machine-processable annotations to the wiki's articles. With this additional information, you can greatly improve searching, browsing, and sharing the wiki's knowledge; both within the wiki's pages and from external computer programs.
This is the starting page to the full online documentation of SMW. More information is in the subsections of this document.
Semantic features require explicit semantic data to work with. Users can easily add such data to existing articles, as described in Help:Annotation, and thereafter it is summarized in a "factbox" that appears in articles with annotations. Users can add the annotation to MediaWiki templates as described in Help:Semantic templates so that other users create semantic data simply by filling in a template.
Searching and browsing
It would not make any sense to annotate articles without an immediate benefit in using the wiki. The latter is given by SMW's features for searching and browsing the wiki's content.
Connecting to the Semantic Web
Semantic MediaWiki employs technologies that have been developed for creating the Semantic Web — an advanced version of the WWW that is all about sharing knowledge (instead of mere data) even across the boundaries of single websites. It is natural to apply such technologies to enable wikis to share their knowledge, and to use knowledge that others have published. Semantic MediaWiki can export the knowledge in wiki pages in the standard Resource Description Framework format. Further information and technical details about those features of Semantic MediaWiki are given at Help:Semantic Web.
Using annotations correctly
Some documentation on how to introduce annotations, and how to choose the right way for annotating something should be added here. For now, read the short FAQ entry in SMW's INSTALL notes. Also, some pages on ontoworld.org can be viewed as an example of "best practices" in practical SMW usage.
Installing Semantic MediaWiki
A guide for setting up your own Semantic MediaWiki is given at Help:Installation.
A list of requested additions, updates, extensions, modifications can be found at Feature requests. It's a good idea to first discuss requests on one of the mailing lists. And you can file enhancement requests in the bug database.