19 Oct 2015 in Tech

Wiki is a command line tool to fetch summaries from any Mediawiki wiki. By default, it searches the English language version of Wikipedia.

To use wiki, you’ll need a working golang install.

You can install wiki with go get, which will download and compile the go code.

go get

Once we have it installed, we can take a look at the help page for the tool. There’s lots of options available, allowing you to change language, show short summaries only and ignore HTTPS verification.

wiki --help
wiki is a tool used to fetch excerpts from wikipedia
Usage: wiki [options...] query
-h=false: Print help information and exit.
-l="en": The language to use
-n=false: If the output should not be colorized
-no-check-certificate=false: Skip verification of certificates
-s=false: If simple output should be used
-short=false: If short output should be used
-u="": The api url
-version=false: Print version information and exit.

Personally, I like to use it with the short flag to get a brief description of what I’m looking for:

$ wiki -short unix
Unix (all-caps UNIX for the trademark) is a family of multitasking, multiuser computer
operating systems that derive from the original AT&T Unix, developed in the 1970s at
the Bell Labs research centre by Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, and others.

wiki is a very specific tool, but it’s one that will come in very useful when I want to look something up but don’t want to fall into the trap of reading Wikipedia for hours.