The current system of email notifications for pages on a user's watchlist needs improvement:
- It is not clear which types of edits (normal, minor, or bot) will trigger emails.
- Because the notification emails stop if a user doesn't visit the changed page while logged-in, it can be difficult to report any problems with the notification emails, because the reporter will always be asked if they are sure they visited the page.
- I would personally like a notification email for every change to a page on my watchlist, whether I visited the page after the last change or not.
Next week's software update will include the first steps of some significant updates to the Echo system. We need your feedback, to plan the next steps.
There's going to be a change to the icon that opens the flyout, (the list of items etc). There will be two icons: one for alerts and one for messages. (see phab:T108190 for extensive details). You can see an example here:
The first flyout ("alerts") will still contain most of the notifications, for now.
The second flyout ("messages") will contain notifications about your new usertalk-page messages (and flow messages on the wikis using it).
This change is based on longterm feedback from highly active editors, that they would like a clearer indication than just a "red number", of what type of notification is waiting for them. (See phab:T58476 and linked tasks.) A number of options were suggested, and this is the first step towards that.
We'd appreciate further feedback on this change: What other notification types should be moved into the "messages" section? The list of existing notification types includes: usertalk messages, thanks, mentions, page-links, page-reviews, edit-reverts, system messages. There are more types being discussed.
(Some editors have suggested splitting every single notification type into a unique icon, but there are already a dozen sub-types of notification, with more expected in the long-term, so that is unfeasible.)
Side-note: Work has also begun on Cross-wiki Notifications (phab:T67661).
I would like to see each type of message have 4 choices: "alert icon" (which would need to be developed), "notice icon", "message icon", and "off."
If it's not feasible to have a separate choice for each type of message, then at least consolidate messages that are logically similar to each other in one group. At a minimum, I can see 3 "groupings": 1) messages on your talk page, 2) notices/messages that mention you by name such as en:Template:ping, and 3) everything else. A possible 4th grouping would be "official notices," but that would require a way for functionaries to mark a message or other notice as "official."
I've just updated the main project page, with a complete list of all the existing notification types, and a complete list of all the proposed/partially-developed notification types. ("complete" as far as I could find). That should help give more context to the scale of the potential increase in the long-term, and clearer details for this discussion about how to group the existing notification types.
Personally, I'd also like to see the "mentions" and the "course talkpage edited" moved into the "messages" list, plus any future notifications that involve discussion/signatures and where a discussion-edit is the expected or desired response.
There's a discussion on the Swedish Wikipedia Village Pump where several users have said it would be nice to be able to choose between one and two flyouts. I've replied to the discussion and pointed out that they're welcome to add feedback here as well, if they want to.
I like the change but now we have three titles of conversation pages: Talk (eg. Wikipedia), Discussion (eg. Wikidata) and now Messages in Notification. Can we unite all three in one title? Separate Alert is good than all combining Notifications.
I am so happy about this change. It makes dealing with mw.org in particular much easier, because I can see at a glance, without clicking, whether the notification is yet another thread (I've got a pair of active pages on my watchlist) or someone actually looking for me. This is great.
I would like to see this change reverted. I found the combined list easy to deal with, now there are two separate things to deal with. But more importantly, the previous lsit could be opened as a separate page in a separate browser tab, whcih is whow I routinely did it, leavign the tab open asa I attended to the various notifications. Now I can't do that, and I see thsi loss of functionality asa larger than any possible gain from differing icons. I also feel that the additional space the icon takes up isn['t sorth it. Can a user preference be added that woudl restore the old system, please? ~~~~
The bug about not currently being able to easily open special:notifications in a new tab, is tracked at phab:T112004. Sorry about that. In the meantime, you can click the link at the bottom of either 'flyout' menu, "All notifications".
[Reposting on behalf of Peridon for whom the "Reply" button apparently doesn't appear]
As I can't find any other way into this not exactly clear threading system, I'm posting here. I'd like to have an opt-out as well. I use Monobook as I find Vector appalling, and those two black blots on their little grey boxes are distracting. I also can't see any point in separating the lists. Previously, you needed one click to see all. Now, if you have both sorts of notification, you need two clicks. That's progress? Looks more like finding something to twiddle... This is Peridon, as the signing code doesn't work, and I can't find a way to start a new post. I would like an option to open in a new window, never mind tabs. I hate tabs. I can find no way of signing or making bold on this page, so <bold>Peridon</bold> 17.28 BST 11th September 2015 will have to do.
[Reposting on behalf of Peridon for whom the "Reply" button apparently does appear, but they choose not to use it.]
I didn't consider myself to be 'replying', I considered I was 'posting'. Gawd knows where this comment is going to go... Ah. There's a </> thing that reminds me of those esoteric symbols on clothing labels - supposedly clear for all languages but understood by none.
[Peridon, please stop editing other people's comments. On most wikis such actions are very much frowned upon and might even get you blocked. :-)]
It would be rather nice to get a little help with editing on what to me is a foreign system. I don't frequent MW - the notifications I received when signing in here were from four years ago. I saw ... at one side of a post with the option to edit, and 'Reply' at the other. Not wanting to reply to the actual post I went for the ... with Edit. This method of operation may be common in forums and places like Facebook that I don't frequent either. A little bit of helpful advice on where to click would be similar to the advice I am frequently giving to newbies to wikicode and procedure at enwiki. If this is Flow, I am very glad we apparently aren't getting it. If it's something else, you can keep it here and I'll stick to enwiki completely. If this ends up in someone else's post, you can move it or leave it, and block me or not as you choose.
So that's how it works. To others, probably logical. To me, counter-intuitive.
We've had to temporarily revert the Echo changes due to an unintended performance regression (phab:T112401) and a severe bug for Safari users on Commons (phab:T112552). Very sorry about the disruption.:-(
Please continue to give suggestions on ways to group the various notification types, to ease the horror that many editors feel at a regularly refreshing/incrementing red-badge that they're never sure if it's urgent or not, or might want faster access to. A partial list of proposed notification types is at Echo (Notifications)#Suggested new notification types, with more to come. Much thanks to all who have, already.
There seems little point in having a separate "Talk" link as well as the message notification button. They seem to serve much the same function: notifying you of a message (with an orange bar in one case and a blue flag in the other) and both linking to the same page.
The orange bar, which alerts me that something happened to my own talk page, which concerns me personally.
The blue field, which indicates that one of many less urgent events happened. For the moment and on your wiki there might be no other activity, but I presume this will change quite soon. Please see the text above.
This is receiving a significant amount of criticism and should never have been implemented without an RfC and an actual consensus to implement. It should be opt-in if existent at all. I came here wondering why the site had been fixed and was a bit shocked that those responsible had actually listened and was upset to discover that it had just been because of a bug.
I'd personally like to see the various different types under 'Notifications' (in the new system) leading to a "color coded" Notification icon: e.g. Reverts=red, Thanks=green, Mentions=blue (or some other color), etc. If you can get the new system to do that, I'll consider it a fairly significant success as it would be much more functional, and a definite improvement over the old system.
@IJBall, Thanks, and that's been suggested before, with comments and links to older onwiki threads at Phab:T57359 - iirc the main difficulty is regarding how to color the icon, if there are multiple types of new notification, though if there was a hierarchy of importance we could potentially just use the color of the highest-priority (e.g. 'red' types would take priority). There were also some concerns about added code-complexity, but I'm not sure how severe those were.
I'm so glad that this is back. Now I can go to Mw: and see at a glance that there's really only one thing for me, and everything else is basically a watchlist item (new Flow threads on multiple pages). Thanks.
The [bell #] symbol relates to <s>a user's</s> an editor's login so as to mainly present alerts on locations that the editor has been mentioned in (simultaneously signed) pings. To state the obvious, thanks given for on referenced edits (at points where the User name is also displayed) are also listed amongst alert notifications.
The [speech bubble #] access to "Your messages" notifications relates to contributions to the "User talk:" page of the editor.
At present the two [icon #] [icon #] are presented close together and the initial head and shoulders icon also appears to me to be presented relatively close to the user name text with greater spacing is provided between the other links. I would suggest that each [icon #] link could be presented with similarly close proximity to the related and preceding link. This would present:
:<big>♣</big> Name [icon #] Talk [icon #] Sandbox Preferences Beta Watchlist Contributions Log out
I think that the basic change proposed will present the links in a more intuitive way.
I'm not sure if this is the way to sign here but - ~~~~
I am not sure whether I understood correctly what you describe and suggest.
I learnt that you want to have these Icons mixed with textual links between.
Please note two aspects:
The two Icons are just a filter of two views on only one and the same thing, the Notifications.
There are the alerting messages,
and there are the less urgent messages.
Consequently, the red and blue are kept close together and should be regarded as one unit.
The current subdivision available for you might suggest that the blue field and the [Talk] have always the same contents.
That is not the case; not on all wikis and not in eternity. While the blue field does also contain flow conversations like this right now, it may count for all less urgent things which are currently still appearing as red alert.
Up until now, they were stored indefinitely, meaning that some users have many thousands of read Notifications adding up in the database. 2,000 was chosen, because it is the number of Notifications that the "mark all as read" button effects.
I would have thought the number of users with > 2000 edits would be small. If you ware worried about database size, maybe deleted some of those millions of "users" who have never edited or been welcomed.
I've been testing this out on our corporate wiki (currently MW 1.23.2). It seems like for a mention to work, it has to include the wiki-link to the user page I'm mentioning followed by a wiki link to my user page AND a timestamp. Is that correct? I'm curious if it would be possible to make use of the functions that determine who made an edit and when (like what is used for the Recent Changes page) instead of relying on a signature. In my tests, even if I use both usernames in links (the "to" and "from"), but don't include a timestamp, it seems to not be recognized by Echo as a mention event.
My point is that for every page revision, there is a record of who made the revision and when it happened. So why not use that information instead of relying on the signature? The way that it is working now, if your signature doesn't include a link to your user page, it doesn't work.
The signature is "only" used to (help) determine whether an edit is a new message or not. The extension checks the edit in the moment it's saved, it doesn't parse the whole talk page looking for new messages if this is what you were "afraid" of.
I understand that the four tildes which generate the signature are used to signify that the revision is meant to be recognized by Echo as a notification. I could see how a user might want to correct a typo and would not want that showing up as a notification. I'm sure it could be overwhelming if every edit on that discussion page showed up as a notification.
That said, when you rely on using four tildes for this feature, it seems to require that the user's signature include a link to their user page. But if someone using MediaWiki with Echo chooses to use a signature that does not link to their user page, then Echo will not recognize those edits for notifications. An example of this: A user on SemanticMediawiki.org might set their signature to link to their user page on Mediawiki.org.
Similarly, I don't see why Echo requires a timestamp in the edit to qualify for notification. When the page is saved, the revision table is appended with an entry including rev_timestamp and rev_user. Why not just use that?
Why not just determine some minimum criteria based on number of characters added to the page or use some set of regular expressions to test that it was not just a typo correction?
I believe the reason it checks for a tilde-generated signature and timestamp, are to avoid accidental pings during section-archives, or other types of thread-refactoring, e.g. here I moved a single thread to my talkpage archive.
I'll ask if the devs there were any other rationales for relying upon this trigger. [Edit: Confirmed. That is/was the main reason.]