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Tracking changes

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MediaWiki offers a collection of special pages and tools to keep track of what is going on in the wiki. So you can watch for example:

  • recent changes to all pages
  • the revision history: all changes made to one page
  • the contributions of one specific user
  • newly created pages

Purpose[edit | edit source]

Whether you are an admin or a regular user, it is useful to keep track of what changes are occurring on the Wiki. Tracking changes allows you to view all new edits that have been done on a wiki. Tracking changes is also useful for noticing and reporting instances of vandalism on a Wiki.

How to Track Changes[edit | edit source]

An example of the Recent Changes page.

Perhaps the easiest and most interesting way of tracking changes is through the special page, RecentChanges. This page displays all edits, file uploads, page moves, deletions and other actions done in the wiki. The menu at the top offers a collection of links to customize your display: limit the number of changes or the number of days shown or restrict the display to show edits to a certain namespace only. You can also hide edits marked as minor (but don't forget that a change can be major even though the user flagged it as minor).

One line in the Recent Changes page consists of several links:

  • “diff” displays the difference from the previous revision of the page
  • “hist” links to the revision history of the page
  • the full title of the page links to the current version. If the page is on your watchlist, the title appears in bold.

Next is a flag describing the page modification type:

  • “N” denotes a new page
  • “m” denotes a minor edit
  • “b” denotes an edit made by a bot

Following the timestamp, the page size difference from the previous revision appears. Then the user is mentioned, with a link to either their user page and their talk page and contributions or (in the case of anonymous users) to their talk page only.

If the user submitted a summary when they made the edit, the summary appears in italics as the last link in the line.

Enhanced view[edit | edit source]

If you are logged in and have JavaScript enabled, you can also try the "enhanced" view. To enable the enhanced view, go to your Preferences, then click the Recent Changes tab and select "Group changes by page in recent changes and watchlist". Selecting this option will cause the Recent Changes page to display edits grouped by page rather than being listed individually. You will now see entries like the following:

→ 15:17 Main Page (4 changes | hist) .. (+236) .. [Some User‎ (2×); Some Other User (2×)]

To expand the record of that page's recent edits, click the arrow to the left of the timestamp and page name. The record of edits will be displayed as it appears in the normal view. You can turn this enhancement on and off at will, so feel free to try both to see which one you prefer.

See also[edit | edit source]