Page Change Notification

As described in ThoughtsWeaverAdditions, it might be nice if the WikiWikiWeb notified users by mail, or by appending a notice to their home page or other indicated page, when selected pages were updated. -- JimCoplien

FYI, I just did that with our Wiki clone called TWiki. For details, see TwikiClone and -- PeterThoeny

The newest version of PyWiki has this feature (which can be disabled if the wiki administrator wishes). If you wanna see what it's like, you can check it out at

The feature is open to abuse, as a ne'er-do-well could subscribe innocents for notifications on popular pages. One wonders just how much utility the feature offers, given the proclivity for RecentChangesAddiction?... -- TimVoght

There are ways of dealing with that abuse (send a confirmation message and require a reply before sending any updates). This is no different from update email from many other sites - it's a solved problem.

And RecentChangesAddiction? is a poor solution. I'd like email updates. I really don't have time to look at all the changes every day, much as I'd like to. -- PaulHudson

I don't think I'd ever have seen even half the useful stuff I've read on Wiki if I was being informed about only pages that I "subscribed to". The beauty of wiki for me is looking over the RecentChanges page and seeing stuff crop up that I've never even heard of. The joy of PageDiscovery would be gone. :-) -- AlanFrancis

Right. You need both. I wouldn't stop looking at RecentChanges. -- PaulHudson

I've just installed KnowledgeBrowser from It's free for 30 days. It's pretty cool - it acts as a local proxy server and highlights in yellow changes since last time you visited, and seems to work fine on the WikiWeb. It also noticeably slows page loading, but you can't have everything. Usual "no connection with..." disclaimer. -- PaulHudson

I don't think I'd ever have seen even half the useful stuff I've read on Wiki if I was being informed about only pages that I "subscribed to".

So... subscribe to RecentChanges, which would send you a snippet at the end of each day of all the pages that changed. -- SunirShah

What if one inverted the messaging: a page could request (through a WikiBadge or some other mechanism) which of several RecentChanges pages would be updated. This would allow users to easily add new pages to existing areas of interest. ("Ah, this page on GreenAndBlueDesignPatterns? should probably show up for people who only track the DesignPatternsRecentChanges? page."). One could even remove the uber-RecentChanges page from the list of notifications, to take discussions effectively off-line if they are not of interest to the broader WikiCommunity, which is still building an InformalHistoryOfProgrammingIdeas. (I'm unsure if the effects of this last possibility would be beneficial or harmful.) -- DavidSaff

We're implementing a PageChangeNotification for the UseModWiki as an experiment (where I work). Since our Wiki will be intranet for a small group, I thought that notification could be embedded in the page such as sometime. That way, people wouldn't need to go one extra click to see who needs notification and who is already on the list. I had planned not to make each change send an email, but instead run a cron that looked at "sometime" for example "12:00PM", or a list of times "Friday, 12:00PM" would notify on every Friday (midnight) and 12PM also every day. -- KirkKitchen

I changed my wiki to accept a list of names and email names in the form of email: [, etc]. When the page changes, I email all the people in the list with the changes and link back. Works well. The wiki was for work and people don't like getting email about things they aren't interested in, yet won't look at recent changes in their areas, so email is necessary. A further enhancement would be to email by category as well. It would be cool to put email addresses on a category page and get emailed about any changes in that category.

A number of wikis support producing RSS feeds of RecentChanges. See ModWiki. now a sisterSite link

Another idea is for a wiki to remember the last time you visited a page using a cookie, and provide you the diffs since that time on your next visit. At least MoinMoin has implemented this on RecentChanges (it provides a "diffs since last visit" link).

See WikiWithMoreThanUsers WikiWithMoreThanPages


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