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Notifications (formerly known as Echo) is an engagement tool for Wikimedia and MediaWiki sites to inform users about new activity in a unified way. It provides notifications to users of various events related to their account, including new talk page messages, edit reverts, mentions, or links. It is designed to replace and/or augment existing notification systems on MediaWiki sites, as well as provide significantly more control to users as to how their notifications are handled, read, and deleted. The feature was initially developed by the Wikimedia Foundation's Editor Engagement team as part of "MediaWiki needs a sane notification system" (phab:T34281), and is currently the responsibility of the Growth team. It was deployed to all Wikimedia wikis during 2013.
See the help page for notifications for the user-guide.
Future plans and requests for feedback
- Resorting of all notifications between "Alerts" and "Notices"
- Cross-wiki notifications will become a default feature on May 12 (T130655)
- Work on evolution of Special:Notifications has started
The difference between "alerts" and "messages" notifications (the two panels or flyouts) is unclear to some. The developers want feedback on 2 possible sorting schemes so they can make this better (T123018). You can give feedback in any language.
The ongoing user-experience changes (the wording and design of each notification type) are most easily seen in this spreadsheet (or less detailed version at Notifications/Messages). More details at T114357.
The Collaboration team is concentrating on cross-wiki notifications and related improvements to the extension. A Beta Feature for cross-wiki notifications is planned.
A more detailed overview is available on the talkpage; here are the main tasks:
- Technical details: Requests for comment/Cross-wiki notifications and back-end improvements: phab:T107823 (Rewrite EchoNotificationFormatter)
- phab:T117670 (Define Cross-wiki Notifications settings)
- phab:T114356 (Bundled notifications)
- phab:T114237 (Present cross-wiki notifications as a beta feature to users)
- phab:T114357 (Clarifications to the currently confusing "primary/secondary" link, and proposed future enhancements)
- phab:T115264 (Controlling notification 'volume' based on the type or location)
- phab:T115845 (Clearer use of the notification badges (coloured number in personal toolbar))
- phab:T115316 (Better organization of the Special:Notifications page)
- phab:T114350 (Cross-wiki notifications tracking task)
- Note: Most of these are not directly part of the cross-wiki notifications feature. We won't for sure roll all these out together with the main change.
What comments, what design ideas, and what technical concerns do you have? Please tell us on the linked tasks if you can.
The notifications badge has been split in two. As a first step, notifications about messages on your user talk page will be placed in the second badge/list (and Flow messages on the wikis using it). Please give us feedback on which of the other existing notifications, should be moved into the second badge/list.
See also #Suggested new notification types below.
This new notifications system seeks to unify the delivery of interaction messages in MediaWiki core, through a common API that can provide a uniform interface for users. For a quick visual overview of this project, check the Notifications slides.
Problems and Solutions
We aimed to solve these core problems:
- There is no central notification system on MediaWiki sites
- The current ad-hoc approach is inefficient
- Users are not notified of key events
- Users are confused by current notices
Notifications was developed to provide these solutions:
- Provide a unified user experience
- Inform users of important activity
- Promote editor engagement
Notifications will support several different user groups:
- new users (after registration)
- current users
The first release focused on new users, who need notifications more than power users. Specifically, we concentrated on some of the first notifications which a new user can receive after creating an account on Wikipedia. We also developed some features to support power users, but we initially emphasize notifications that can engage new users, who need this service most urgently. Anonymous, unregistered users will not receive notifications at this time.
Here are the features in the current version, as of September 2015.
- 1. Features
- Email notifications
- 'Mark all as read'
- 2. Default notification types
- Talk page message
- post on your user talkpage
- mention on another page
- Page link
- link to a page you started
- Edit revert
- edit undone
- edit rolled back
- System messages
- your user rights have changed
- 3. Notification types from other extensions
- review of a page you started
- review with maintenance tags
- review with deletion tags
- course talkpage edited
- user rights have changed (1 each for: student / instructor / campus volunteer / online volunteer)
- instance built
- instance deleted
- instance reboot completed
- you were added to a project
For more details, read the old feature requirements.
Suggested new notification types
All now requested notifications has been gathered on Phabricator.
These new types of notifications have been proposed, or partially developed (in no particular order):
- cross-wiki notifications (phab:T67661)
- Extension:Newsletter notifications (phab:tag/newsletter)
- Notification: Your file was used (phab:T77154)
- Sitewide notifications through Echo (phab:T58361)
- Allow users to create custom notifications onwiki (phab:T58362)
- Override user-talk Echo notification with something more MassMessage-specific (phab:T59234)
- Notify user when username used in an edit summary (phab:T32750)
- notifications about your revision being approved or rejected on wikis with FlaggedRevs enabled (phab:T54510)
- Notify someone that an abusefilter had a sudden increase in the number of logs (phab:T100892)
- Notifications from functionaries to users for when email isn't available (phab:T112142)
- User rights/groups/status
- User page/User talkpage
- "Topic has been hidden" Echo notification (phab:T89179)
- notifications when a redirect is converted into a non-redirect (phab:T56533)
- Allow "article-linked" notifications for pages in a user defined list (phab:T66090)
- notification when watched page gets linked (phab:T106991)
- notifications when a page created by the user is deleted (phab:T56532)
- Notify that your article has been translated by another user (phab:T88581)
- notification when page is being connected to Wikidata (phab:T110604)
- Notify that your article has been translated by another user (phab:T88581)
- Encourage users to publish old inactive unpublished translations (phab:T89707)
- Notify translators about new personalised suggestions being available based on their recently published translation (phab:T119939)
- Notify inactive translators that new suggestions are available (phab:T113586)
- Extension:Echo (with installation instructions)
- Phabricator: Workboard (See also phab:tag/collaboration-team-current)
- Metrics Dashboards: E.g. en, es, it, pt (many metrics were collected for a short time. Some are still ongoing, and some are new at specific wikis.)
- Notifications - Best Practices research from other websites
- Notifications/Bug triage
- Notifications/Data model
- Notifications/Database layout
- Notifications/Design guide
- Notifications/Developer guide
- Notifications/Developer program
- Notifications/Feature requirements
- Notifications/Functional Requirements
- Notifications/Meeting notes/Office hours 2013-01-08
- Notifications/Message audit
- Notifications/New formatter system
- Notifications/Release Plan 2013
- Notifications/Release Plan 2013/Site List
- Notifications/Sorting schemes
- Notifications/Sorting schemes/ar
- Notifications/Sorting schemes/en
- Notifications/Sorting schemes/es
- Notifications/Sorting schemes/fr
- Notifications/Sorting schemes/id
- Notifications/Sorting schemes/ja
- Notifications/Sorting schemes/ko
- Notifications/Sorting schemes/pl
- Notifications/Sorting schemes/zh
- Notifications/Technical Architecture
- Notifications/Testing/Test charters
- Notifications/User Experience