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lastmodifiedat shows the time of the last edit on the page itself, but it should be affected by templates or completely removed
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Description

The lastmodifiedat message, which appears in the footer, shows the date of the last edit on the page itself, and doesn't take into account changes that were made because of editing in the templates that appeared on the page.

This may get extreme: For example, as of today (April 17 2017), the main page of the Hungarian Wikipedia says "This page was last modified on 11 June 2016, at 07:29.", even though the page includes today's current events. All of this page is edited through templates. I'm giving Hungarian and not English as an example because in the English Wikipedia this element was completely hidden in 2009 (!) using .page-Main_Page #footer-info-lastmod { display: none !important };.

Editors who need the last modification date of the page itself know that they can easily find it in the page's history. If this message is useful to anybody at all, then it's readers, but it should show the actual modification date, which takes templates into account. And I suspect that if it's removed entirely, no one will care or indeed even notice.

Event Timeline

Amire80 created this task.Apr 17 2017, 8:45 AM
Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald TranscriptApr 17 2017, 8:45 AM
Krinkle added a subscriber: Krinkle.Jan 7 2020, 7:41 PM

I think for most pages, edits to templates are not considered "significant". If the infobox template is modified today, but the article about Star Wars on a given wiki was last edited 2 years ago, the footer should say it was last edited 2 years ago. And not reflect "today" based on Infobox_television having been edited recently.

The Main Page I suspect is the most common and possibly only notable exception where the vast majority of "content" is itself a template. I believe this is unusual and not what should dictate how the UI behaves in general.

Perhaps we could omit this by default in core by letting Skin::lastModified() return empty if the context title isMainPage(). There may be other cases where it isn't useful either, such as template namespaces perhaps.

Overall though I think it is useful in its current form. Requiring users to look at the history page would imho be a step backwards in usability. It is bad enough as it is that critical information that editors or readers can make use of to inform how they interpret or change content is often not known to them to exist or hard to discover.

He7d3r added a subscriber: He7d3r.Apr 20 2020, 11:57 AM

Maybe mention both information somehow? E.g.:
This page was last edited on 12 December 2019, at 20:04, and some of its templates were edited on 20 April 2020, at 20:04.
or
This page was last edited directly on 12 December 2019, at 20:04, but it might show more recent content from other pages.

I also think the current form is the useful and tbh the correct form. The date should reflect the specific wiki page, not things it transcludes. If anything, an additional context e.g. "using templates modified on X date" would be useful, but likely a lot of work.

Jdlrobson changed the task status from Open to Stalled.Thu, Jan 14, 12:01 AM

If we're just changing the label, that's i18n. If we want another link here that needs a product champion, and a team. Tagging desktop improvements in case this is something my team should think about, although I have a feeling last modified is out of scope for our project.