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Add user preference to opt out of email notification for bot edits (similar to $wgEnotifMinorEdits)
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Description

MediaWiki sends email notification for bot edits when a user sets "E-mail me when a page on my watchlist is changed", which can flood users when a bot is active on those pages. Email notification for bot edits should be disabled by default with a user preference override, similar to minor edits with $wgEnotifMinorEdits ( http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:%24wgEnotifMinorEdits#Details ).


Version: unspecified
Severity: enhancement

Details

Reference
bz13992

Event Timeline

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brion added a comment.May 7 2008, 3:43 AM

Might make sense to just not have them trigger mail notifications at all. Do we really need an opt-in to enable them?

That makes sense; I personally don't think an opt-in is needed, I just erred towards flexibility for users who might think otherwise.

Well, I have to say, that some bots are problematic and it's necessary to control their results periodically, thus some kind of "middle way" would be handy. I could imagine something like "do not send mails on bot edits unless the bot name is on following whitelist: ________________".

I would be happy if bots didnt trigger notifications at all, but I would prefer to see that there is an opt-in. In some communities, bot edits are treated with suspicion and so they would like to know when a bot affects a page that they are interested in. If bot edits didnt result in notifications, this may indirectly cause more trouble for bot operators to obtain a bot flag.

I dont think a whitelist user pref will be worth the effort required to code it. For people wanting to keep an eye on specific bots, email notifications are not going to be the most effective way of doing that.

based on the comments above, it seems that this would be the ideal solution:

  • bot edits do not trigger Enotif by default (comment 1, comment 2)
  • there is a global to enable a user setting so that users can opt-in for Enotif on bot edits (comment 3, comment 4)

(In reply to comment #1)

Might make sense to just not have them trigger mail notifications at all.

This is more or less what happens now that bots have the right "Not have minor edits to discussion pages trigger the new messages prompt (nominornewtalk)", although it's not entirely clear to me how this interacts with watchlist/enotif preferences (one can disable enotifs for watchlist, enotif for talk and watchlist for minor edits, but probably not enotif for talk on minor edit, unless there's some interaction).
I'm closing this WONTFIXED (but could also be considered FIXED) because this makes the originally requested opt-out/opt-in not necessary.

IMHO it's also not desirable because the person leaving a message should know how it's going to be treated (e.g. to choose between talk edit and Special:Emailuser). If an edit is not important enough to trigger a notification, the correct fix is to make it a minor bot edit, but there's no reason to believe that bot edits are always less important then non-bot edits (like e.g. someone fixing a typo or something else on a talk).