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Enable users to set their preferences to receive watchlist notifications regardless of whether the page has been visited
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bzimport, Oct 24 2011

Description

Author: sgardner

Description:
AFAIK there is not way for a user to set their preferences so that they continue to receive e-mail notifications of changes to the pages on their watchlist, even if they do not visit the page after the most recent notification.

When I get notifications, they are accompanied by messages like this: "There will be no other notifications in case of further changes unless you visit this page." and this: "Note that additional changes to the page "User talk:Sue Gardner" will not result in any further notifications, until you have logged in and visited the page."

This makes me crazy: it's terribly user-unfriendly. I have a lot of pages that I monitor, and every time I receive a notification I worry that if I don't visit the page afterwards while logged in, I will never be notified again. (For example, I am not logged-in on my phone. If I receive a notification, I will often visit the page immediately from my phone, but since I am not logged in, the system will not realize I've done that. So I need to remember to visit *again*, from a logged-in computer.)

The system seems to have a strong built-in assumption that I do not want to be notified, and it requires me to continually reaffirm, by visiting the page while logged-in, that I do indeed want to continue receiving notifications. I think this is the wrong bias. If I've put a page on my watchlist, and requested e-mail notifications of changes to the page, I think I've made my preference clear, and shouldn't need to continually reaffirm it.

I would love to see this changed, such that once I have requested e-mail notifications of changes to pages on my watchlist, I will continue to receive notifications of all changes to all pages on my watchlist until I request otherwise.

Thanks!


See Also:

Details

Reference
bz31928

Event Timeline

bzimport raised the priority of this task from to Low.Nov 21 2014, 11:53 PM
bzimport added a project: MediaWiki-Email.
bzimport set Reference to bz31928.
bzimport added a subscriber: Unknown Object (MLST).
bzimport created this task.Oct 24 2011, 7:44 PM

Similar thought here.

Additionally I think any link we send in an e-mail expecting the link click to reaffirm should contain something like ?forcelogin=1 to ensure that the user does not visit the page and think they've reaffirmed when they haven't.
Or perhaps some sort of ?wlaffirm=token instead so the user doesn't actually have to login.

(In reply to comment #0)

AFAIK there is not way for a user to set their preferences so that they
continue to receive e-mail notifications of changes to the pages on their
watchlist, even if they do not visit the page after the most recent
notification.
When I get notifications, they are accompanied by messages like this: "There
will be no other notifications in case of further changes unless you visit this
page." and this: "Note that additional changes to the page "User talk:Sue
Gardner" will not result in any further notifications, until you have logged in
and visited the page."
This makes me crazy: it's terribly user-unfriendly. I have a lot of pages that
I monitor...

Sue, I designed that this way end of 2004. Otherwise, for example, returning from a longer leave and checking your mails, your mailbox will be flooded with thousands of mails (see Confluence-Wiki: this wiki can only mail for _every_ change).

But your requested change is technically possible. Regarding bandwidth of servers, internet, and server load, I have doubts if such an option can be allowed for the mass user. This option should be bound to users with a new permission "permission-enotif-can-opt-in-every-change-is-notified"

Technically, in /includes/UserMailer.php the check for

385 // Build a list of users to notfiy (s/notfiy/notify)
...
395 'wl_notificationtimestamp IS NULL',

is to be ignored for such users who opted in for a to-be-implemented option "Send e-mail notification for every change on pages I watch", whereas
setting the flag should be done as usual to keep track of time when an enotif has been sent:

// Update wl_notificationtimestamp for all watching users except
404 $dbw->begin();
405 $dbw->update( 'watchlist',
406 array( /* SET */
407 'wl_notificationtimestamp' => $dbw->timestamp( $timestamp )

Regarding '...your mailbox will be flooded with thousands of mails...' comment above, perhaps the emails could be tagged for easy sorting in popular email clients? (Outlook has 'Categories' which can be added to emails to help with sorting). Maybe a system could be devised so that all emails relating to one page can easily be searched-for using tags.

I would prefer the problems of sorting the email to the possibility of missing changes (as described in this task).

Maybe other possibilities could be investigated regarding feasibility - e.g. certain pages in the Watchlist having different email notification settings.

Pages on Wikimedia Commons, I have found, do not change much, anyway; actually...they rarely change, but it would be good to be sure to get an email if they do change, as described in this task and T114587.

so that all emails relating to one page can easily be searched-for using tags

Uh? It's enough to filter by email subject, isn't it?

@Nemo_bis:

I imagine that whoever looks at implementing this will consider all the options, including tags/categories.

I am not going to fully analyse all the possibilities...maybe there will be too much information in the email subject line.

The subject line couldn't easily contain key-value pairs, without becoming very long.

Nemo_bis rescinded a token.Jul 16 2016, 8:00 AM
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greg awarded a token.Sep 15 2016, 4:47 AM
greg added a subscriber: greg.

I would also like to see this. Particularly since it's not enough to view the diff (which I usually do) to get further notices.

Restricted Application added a project: Growth-Team. · View Herald TranscriptNov 2 2018, 10:36 AM
Quiddity mentioned this in Unknown Object (Task).Jan 15 2019, 8:45 PM
JTannerWMF moved this task from Inbox to Revisit on the Growth-Team board.Jan 17 2019, 9:14 PM