Group similar pages in watchlist (aka multiple watchlists)


Author: hannes

I first posted this as a comment to an old feature request about multiple
watchlists. Afterwards I noticed that it was an old request and that it wasn't
moved up in the list, so I thought it might not be read unless I make a new
request. Please correct me if I was wrong.

This is a detailed proposal of how to implement something I call "watchlist
categories" (should maybe come up with better name so it isn't confused with
normal categories). The idea is to make the MediaWiki watchlist more flexible
and allow users to have more than one watchlist:

  • Per default users only have one watchlist category called "General".
  • A new page is available at Special:Watchlist/categories where users can add,

rename and remove watchlist categories.

  • When adding an article to your watchlist and you only have one watchlist

category defined (default), the watched article will automatically be assigned
to that one category (to the user, the watch proccess will look just like it does

  • When adding an article to your watchlist and you have defined more than one

category, you'll go through an additional step. This step is a simple page of
checkboxes that allows you to choose which of your watchlist categories you want
the article to be assigned to (if none is chosen, the article is not watched).

  • The current watchlist edit page (Special:Watchlist/edit) gets an additional

feature: Next to each article is a "Categories" link, that sends the user back
to the pick-categories page with the checkboxes (see above).

  • At Special:Watchlist, besides the Namespace popup, another popup is added

called "Categories" that allows you to choose which of your watchlist categories
you wish
to view (maybe that HTML form should be changed into GET-style so that users can
bookmark specific category views). The easiest implementation is to only allow
users to view one category at a time.

Version: unspecified
Severity: enhancement
See Also:

bzimport added a project: MediaWiki-Watchlist.Via ConduitNov 21 2014, 9:13 PM
bzimport added a subscriber: wikibugs-l.
bzimport set Reference to bz5875.
bzimport created this task.Via LegacyMay 8 2006, 11:32 PM
bzimport added a comment.Via ConduitFeb 23 2007, 8:19 PM

audevivere wrote:

I think this would be extremely useful, not only to be able to view/filter my
Special:Watchlist page by topic, but also to prioritize pages. There are some
pages on my watchlist, such as Living People, that I want to scrutinize every
edit made. Other pages are lower priority for me. The proposal, as described
by Hannes, is good as-is.

Though, ideally, it could go further. For article priority categories, I would
suggest there be a numerical scale (1-5?), being 1 = "I'm closely watching every
single edit to the article" to 5 = "It's on my watchlist, but I'm not/can't
scrutinize all edits to it".

The categories would also help me group articles by topic or be able to pick out
just the living bio (or corporations) articles on my watchlist. That way, if
I'm busy and only have so much time for Wikipedia on a given day, I can at least
look at my highest priority articles.

On the back-end, we could use something like Special:Unwatchedpages (and why can
we only view the first 1,000 of these at present). An enhanced
Special:Watchpages capability could help identify living bios that nobody is
watching or not enough active Wikipedians are watching. The stats page defines
"very active Wikipedian" as 100+ edits in a month -

If I knew what some of those unwatched or inadequately watched articles were, I
might be willing to "adopt" a few more articles.

siebrand added a comment.Via ConduitFeb 2 2009, 10:44 AM
  • Bug 1492 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
siebrand added a comment.Via ConduitFeb 2 2009, 11:42 AM

Changing component to "Watchlist"

demon added a comment.Via ConduitMay 1 2009, 3:53 PM

Tweak summary, so we don't think this is about categories, when it's actually about grouping. Also removing dependency, since this has nothing to do with public/private watchlists.

bzimport added a comment.Via ConduitAug 26 2010, 10:25 AM

bodnotbod wrote:

A similar proposal to this has gained more recent traction.

I'm new to Bugzilla and am not technical... can someone help me with how I move this idea forwards from here?

I would be *very* grateful if someone would leave a message on my en.wp talk page and let me know.

bzimport added a comment.Via ConduitMay 27 2011, 12:39 AM

skupa wrote:

Please, someone adopt this feature, this propblem. With passing time, as one is contributing for Wikipedia for a long time (Years.., with some inactivity in between for example) it is untenable to use just simple watchlist.

To high degree everyone tends to use it also as kind of awareness-list. But when working in hurry or after time delay, such watchlist doesnt work as practical watchlist.

When items are deleted from watchlist - it became practicle - but the item can not be loaded back. They are lost.

If one is willing to have come-backs, the watchlist as it is now is not much helpfull. I believe, that implementation of feature witch would help engage long term editors is quite helpfull for the project. This might be one of the ways to counter the continuing furtive loss of editors from the projects.

bzimport added a comment.Via ConduitNov 30 2011, 1:07 AM

sumanah wrote:

Is this a candidate for a Gadget?

bzimport added a comment.Via ConduitMar 9 2012, 12:50 AM

javaron wrote:

I am interested in pursuing this project for GSOC - please review my ideas on this bug page:

bzimport added a comment.Via ConduitApr 5 2012, 2:39 PM

sumanah wrote:

There are two proposals for Google Summer of Code that have to do with watchlist improvements:

Please comment on them as soon as possible, preferably before April 6th 19:00 UTC! Thanks.

Scott added a comment.Via ConduitJul 1 2013, 12:57 PM

I was about to create an enhancement bug called "allow multiple watchlists", but see this was proposed as far back as 2006. As Chad notes, it's a grouping thing rather than categorization - more or less exactly like creating and managing wishlists on Amazon.

Did anything come of Blackjack48's GSOC proposal?

Quiddity added a comment.Via ConduitDec 23 2013, 9:57 PM

(In reply to comment #10)

Did anything come of Blackjack48's GSOC proposal?

I stumbled upon
which led to
and to

For Bagariavivek's project, see

Quiddity added a comment.Via ConduitDec 23 2013, 10:16 PM

See also
which is quite intriguing. I'm testing it right now.

(Note: It requires "Group changes by page" (Enhanced Recent Changes) to be enabled; and it works best if "Expand watchlist to show all changes" is disabled.)

Scott added a comment.Via ConduitJan 14 2014, 11:13 AM

That is GREAT. It does exactly what I want from this bug. Thank you!

Scott added a comment.Via ConduitApr 7 2014, 2:07 PM

Looks like I forgot to update this - unfortunately, that script doesn't appear to correctly remember your settings between browser restarts, let alone between browsers. So I ended up uninstalling it. It is, nevertheless, an encouraging demonstration.

PiRSquared17 added a comment.Via ConduitApr 21 2014, 6:46 PM

(In reply to Quiddity from comment #11)

(In reply to comment #10)
> Did anything come of Blackjack48's GSOC proposal?

I stumbled upon
which led to
and to

For Bagariavivek's project, see

Could something like this be deployed (after review, of course)?

Jdlrobson added subscribers: Jdlrobson, JKatzWMF, rmoen and 2 others.Via WebJan 6 2015, 1:11 AM
tarlocesilion added a subscriber: tarlocesilion.Via WebFeb 3 2015, 5:39 PM
Ricordisamoa added a subscriber: Ricordisamoa.Via WebFeb 3 2015, 5:40 PM
Daniel_Mietchen added a subscriber: Daniel_Mietchen.Via WebFeb 3 2015, 7:33 PM
Tbayer added a subscriber: Tbayer.Via WebFeb 3 2015, 11:01 PM
Elitre added a subscriber: Elitre.Via WebFeb 4 2015, 11:55 AM
Qgil added a subscriber: Qgil.

This task was mentioned in as a possible candidate for Google Summer of Code or similar programs. Do you think it is a good candidate?

Qgil added a comment.Via WebFeb 11 2015, 1:44 PM

Wikimedia will apply to Google Summer of Code and Outreachy on Tuesday, February 17. If you want this task to become a featured project idea, please follow these instructions.

Mattflaschen added a comment.Via WebFeb 14 2015, 1:15 AM
In T7875#1030598, @Qgil wrote:

This task was mentioned in as a possible candidate for Google Summer of Code or similar programs. Do you think it is a good candidate?

No. There is/was already an unmerged GSOC for this in the past.

There's also a WMF project (Gather) that could develop into this.

But even if it's decided that Gather is not an issue (though it's better to talk to them to coordinate), I don't think it should be a GSOC. This is not huge, but it will take some work on both the backend and UX sides.

Mattflaschen set Security to None.
Jpcase added a subscriber: Jpcase.Via WebMon, Mar 30, 9:40 PM

I just went to the Wikipedia Help Desk to see if any feature like this exists and am shocked to see that a proposal dates all the way back to 2006. Why hasn't this been acted on yet? I don't have any real technical knowledge myself, but is there anything that I could do to support this idea? We shouldn't have to wait *another* decade for it be implemented.

Jdlrobson claimed this task.Via WebMon, Mar 30, 10:41 PM

I'm on it. I'm currently working on doing this inside an extension (so as not to break existing functionality) I agree @Jpcase this really has taken too long. :)

-jkb- added a comment.Via WebMon, Mar 30, 11:10 PM

To remember: there was another bug, now T3492, and some other as well, where I asked for the possibility to use a tag for some pages that would be removed from the watch list automatically after a certain time. This could be very useful fpr admins as a temporary watch list.

Jpcase added a comment.Via WebTue, Mar 31, 12:08 AM

Thank you @Jdlrobson! I look forward to seeing what you come up with! :)

Jdlrobson added a comment.Via WebWed, Apr 1, 3:32 PM

@Jpcase I will be sure to ping you with any updates and pull you in. Slight disclaimer any first version of a new multiple watchlist feature would live alongside Special:Watchlist and is likely to much less feature complete as the existing Watchlist but I'm sure with your help we can move that along and prioritise the essentials to make it even better. What's the best way to engage you - will you keep an eye on this Phabricator bug or should I write on a talk page when that time comes?

Jpcase added a comment.Via WebWed, Apr 1, 3:48 PM
This comment was removed by Jpcase.
Jpcase added a comment.Via WebWed, Apr 1, 3:51 PM
This comment was removed by Jpcase.
Jpcase added a comment.Via WebWed, Apr 1, 3:52 PM

@Jdlrobson I'm receiving e-mail notifications for this discussion, so I'll see anything that you post here. That being said, I'm not sure how much help I could actually be, since - like I said above - I don't really have any technical knowledge of my own. I'm happy to help in any way that I can though! :)

Add Comment

Column Prototype
This is a very early prototype of a persistent column. It is not expected to work yet, and leaving it open will activate other new features which will break things. Press "\" (backslash) on your keyboard to close it now.