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Bots/minor edits to talk pages should not create "new messages" alert
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Author: ryan.delaney

I recetly had an idea to make a bot to go around replacing common templates with
the {{subst:}} versions. You can see the list of templates that would be
affected by looking at [[User:SubstBot]] on However, since most of
these templates are talk page templates, this might cause disruption when many
users get erroneous "new message" alerts.

Possible solutions:

  1. Mediawiki software ignores edits made by identified and approved bot accounts

to user talk pages. This is probably not satisfactory since some bots might want
to leave real messages on talk pages.

  1. Mediawiki software ignores edits made by anyone that are marked as "minor

edits". This might be a good idea, since it would let users edit their spelling
and so on without disruption. But some users may find the change confusing.

  1. Mediawiki software ignores edits made by identified and approved bot accounts

that are marked as "minor edits". This seems like a decent middle ground.

Version: 1.6.x
Severity: enhancement



Event Timeline

bzimport raised the priority of this task from to Medium.Nov 21 2014, 8:45 PM
bzimport set Reference to bz3224.
bzimport added a subscriber: Unknown Object (MLST).

fred_chessplayer wrote:

I'd welcome number 2: minor edits to talk pages do not creating a "you have new

ryan.delaney wrote:

I would like this as well, actually. I the more I think about it, the less I
think it would hurt.

This is not an exact solution to your problem, but I'd like to mention to you
the following:

"e-mail notification" comes, if enabled, with a user option "send e-mail
notification also for minor edits": depending on this option, watching users
will or will not receive e-mail notification for a changed page if the page
editor has checked "this a minor edit".

ryan.delaney wrote:

Yeah, the problem is that not everyone would use this option, and bot behavior
would still result in a "New messages" dialog appearing an Wiki pages, even if
they are set as minor edits.

robchur wrote:

However, hiding minor edits could well help vandals who target userpages. I'm
aware that anons can't flag edits as minor, however, people can and do create
user accounts for vandalism. I like to know what's going on on my user page and
talk pages, and I suspect that rings true for many others.

ryan.delaney wrote:

You don't get a message when someone edits your userpage either, and yet
somehow, userpage vandalism gets reverted.

robchur wrote:

Good point. There are admins with CDVF out there, at least.

  • Bug 5760 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Created attachment 2583
Tested patch making minor edits by bots NOT trigger newtalk

Implements Behaviour 3. (MINOR edits by botflagged accounts do not trigger the
newtalk banner)

attachment bug3224 ignored as obsolete

Created attachment 2588
Modified patch implementing a separate permission key for this behaviour

Per discussion with brion on IRC, I've modified the patch as described above.