Help talk:Watchlist/Archive 2

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This page is deprecated but will be updated periodically.
Please direct comments to the Meta-Wikimedia version of this :page
Because of their length, the pre-2005 discussions about server issues have been archived on September 20th, 2005. If further archiving is needed, see Wikipedia:How to archive a talk page.
See m:Talk:Watchlist privacy for a (now closed) discussion on whether watchlists should remain private.

Watchlist like Recent Changes?

On the watchlist, for every edited page that I watch I get only the last edit, with the indication whether this last edit was minor or not. I can not see whether there have also been non-minor changes recently, except by checking the history of the article. It would be better if I could set my preferences to ignore minor edits, for the purpose of the watchlist, just like for Recent Changes. - Patrick 00:36 Dec 29, 2002 (UTC)

I don't believe in minor edits. If you want to be sure you know what's been done to the article, check the history. --Brion 04:47 Dec 30, 2002 (UTC)
Wikipedia serves us very well regarding minor edits. We can turn off listing of minor edits for Recent Changes, which spares us seeing lots of spelling changes, link fixing, and so forth. In the Watchlist, we are given all the tools we need to watch the articles we are interested in. The most recent change, major or minor, appears in the text part of the list. If there has been a major change and then a minor, you will see only the minor, but right next to the listing you have the opportunity to click on "diff" to see what is different from the last edit, which should tell you something, and also "hist" which tells you all the changes recorded for the article. This is the maximum amount of information available for all articles you have chosen for your watchlist, and also a more bearable summary for all other articles in Recent Changes, which also lists all your watched articles, including their talk pages, in bold. All in all, the watchlist and the way it is handled and presented is one of the best worked out and most useful and user-friendly features of the Wikipedia interface. And, as Brion said, someone who will delete your fine article on turnbuckles and replace it with ranting about his girlfriend will not be afraid to mark his changes MINOR in hopes of avoiding detection. The way the watchlist is set up makes it almost impossible for that to happen to a watched article, if you check. And, if you don't check, then you're not really watching the article. Ortolan88 05:20 Dec 30, 2002 (UTC)
Diff has a function on the Recent Changes list (and on history lists, where it is labeled 'last'), but hardly on the watchlist, because only the last change is in the watchlist and diff refers to that one only. If one is interested in major changes only, of the articles one watches, it may be better to use Recent Changes (without minor edits) instead of the watchlist, unless one watches relatively few articles, then the watchlist is more convenient. - Patrick 10:04 Dec 30, 2002 (UTC)
I use the enhanced version of Recent Changes now. When I want to check changes of one day or less I prefer this feature to using the watchlist, even when I want to check only the changes in pages I watch. If I want to check changes of several days the watchlist may be easier: the list of Recent changes becomes too long. - Patrick 21:21 Jan 19, 2003 (UTC)

Although Ortolan88 is right that it's a great feature, Patrick has a point. How about two new features:
  • diff to own - displays difference to last own change
  • concatenate last few change summaries in watchlist.
Sebastian 05:06 Jan 25, 2003 (UTC)
I agree; these would be useful. --Brion 05:16 Jan 25, 2003 (UTC)
A watch list in the style of the Enhanced Recent Changes would be great. - Patrick 09:59 Jan 26, 2003 (UTC)


I want to filter my watchlist and remove user pages. Susan Mason

When you view a watched page you are given the option to click "stop watching". Arthur

No, I want to filter my watchlist so that it does not list user pages. I didn't say I never wanted to see user pages in my watchlist, I said I wanted to filter the watchlist. Susan Mason

What does "filter my watchlist and remove user pages" mean, then, if not "remove user pages from my watchlist"? --Paul A 08:30 Mar 17, 2003 (UTC)

Paul - Susan wants to have two views of her watchlist: one in which user pages (and user talk pages) appear, and one in which they don't. Susan - perhaps you could tell us why you would appreciate this feature, and how you would use it? Perhaps you want to only look at changes to user pages some of the time - when you're in a more chatty mood? Or some other reason? Martin

Watchlist confirmation

Moved from Wikipedia:Village pump

Minor enhancement suggestion - when you add a page to your watchlist, the text on the confirmation screen which then appears: The page "Foo-Bar" has been added to your watchlist contains a link from your watchlist to - erm - your watchlist. When you stop watching a page, there is a similar confirmation text, but your watchlist isn't linked. It would be more consistent, as well as nice and helpful, if it were. Can some nice developer-type-person please consider adding this to their list of Things To Do?? Thanks Nevilley 07:16 Apr 2, 2003 (UTC)

Another thing: do we need a separate confirmation screen at all? When I decide to watch an article I usually want to continue reading it. To avoid having to reload the article I apply "open in new window" to the link "Watch this page", then click away the confirmation window. Can it be programmed such that by just clicking "Watch this page" the article does not disappear (by not having a confirmation window or by having a small one, automatically as new window)? - Patrick 13:38 Apr 6, 2003 (UTC)

I agree, the Watchlist confirmation screen is a real drag, especially on days when Wikipedia is really crawling (like today...) Cheers quercus robur 13:48 Apr 6, 2003 (UTC)

Multilingual Watchlist

Hi, I am working on 3 to 4 Wikipedias (EN, DE, IT, FR). If I want to watch one article, I have to go to all 4 of them and click on the "watch this page" and open 4 "Watch-Windows" all the time. Would it not be possible, that e.g. my watched articles from the EN Wikipedia also show the recent changes of the "connected" Articles in the other languages? Would be a big help. Thanks, Fantasy 09:11 25 May 2003 (UTC)

That's not really feasible the way the databases are structured right now. There's been occasional talk of merging things to make this possible (eg m:Thoughts on language integration) but nothing's been done yet. We're still working on making things work smoothly with our current code... --Brion 09:33 25 May 2003 (UTC)

Plan to move this page to meta soon

We need one place to develop MediaWiki documentation so I'm starting a project-neutral MediaWiki User's Guide in meta and think it would be a good idea to cross wiki redirect this page to meta:MediaWiki User's Guide: Using the Watchlist as soon as I'm done with the conversion (before that I will change each link to this page to a direct one to meta so that it appears correctly as an external link). --mav 02:15, 7 Sep 2003 (UTC)

12314 total pages edited

I may be a bit slow understanding how Wikipedia works, but what does "12314 total pages edited since cutoff" mean? (I'm talking about my basically empty "watchlist".) Edited by whom? Certainly not by me - I've only just discovered Wikipedia. Who or what was cut off (ouch)? Wikikiwi P.S. Hope this is the right place to ask this question.

That's 12314 edits by anyone, within the last week or so, or whatever the cutoff time was when viewing your watchlist. (Cutoff time ---> Show last 1 | 2 | 6 | 12 hours 1 | 3 | 7 days all) Κσυπ Cyp   23:36, 21 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Hi and welcome to wikipedia. hope you like out place. feel free to ask questions here whenever you are unsure about how something works. Optim 00:46, 22 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Hi, I'm new to this, too. I'm really confused by this watchlist thing. When I first started here (a few weeks ago), the watchlist was simply a list of the articles I was watching and I think there was an option beside each to "unwatch" it. Now it looks more like the "my contributions" list and no matter how I look at it, I can only get the most recent ones. I don't have a lot of pages I'm watching, so the 250 cutoff can't apply. Also can't see anything anywhere where I can set a default for 1 day (or more, or less). Help ... ? morimom

There's a link at the top that lets you see your whole watchlist, with options to unwatch pages. Otherwise, you will see the last three days of changes. If it's looking like your contributions list, this might be because you have set in your preferences to watch all articles you edit. To see more than the last three days, click the seven days link at the top:

Show last 1 | 2 | 6 | 12 hours 1 | 3 | 7 days all

You can then change the url in the address bar to be a number greater than seven days if you want. For example, go to if you want the last 10 days. Angela. 18:28, Jan 22, 2004 (UTC)

E-mail notification?

Does a feature exist to allow e-mail notification of pages in the Watchlist? --Amy.C 00:52, 24 Jan 2004 (UTC)

No, there isn't such a feature available at the moment. You could submit a feature request at SourceForge if you think it would be useful. Angela. 01:00, Jan 24, 2004 (UTC)

What's NOT being watched?

It sounds like encouraging people to add things to their watchlist might not be best, from a server perspective -- or has that changed with the new servers online?

I was curious though, because although I have less than 200 items on my list, I've caught two cases of page-blanking vandalism in the last week because the items appeared on my watchlist.

Would it be possible to do a one-time query to find out how many of our 200,000+ articles are NOT being watched? That might give us an idea how many vandalisms are not likely to be caught by Watchlist-users.

Would it be helpful or harmful to use that query to provide a list of pages no one is watching? Perhaps we could encourage interested users (especially those with small watchlists) to choose a handful of pages within their interest areas to watch for vandalism?

-- Catherine 22:27, 11 Mar 2004 (UTC)

This would be a neat feature. I also remember somebody floating the idea of displaying the number of users who watch a particular page at the bottom of that page. --mav 07:10, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)
That would be dangerous, since vandals (spambots) would know which pages to vandalize. They would go for the ones that nobody looks at. Maybe there is some clever solution that would enable people who have made X number of (good/unreverted?) edits to a page to be able to know statistics on that particular page. This would encourage people to make good edits. MPS 21:53, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

Database error when clicking watchlist

I'm getting this when I try to view my watchlist:

A database query syntax error has occurred. This could be because of an illegal search query (see Searching Wikipedia), or it may indicate a bug in the software. The last attempted database query was:
SELECT cur_namespace,cur_title,cur_comment, cur_id, cur_user,cur_user_text,cur_timestamp,cur_minor_edit,cur_is_new FROM watchlist,cur USE INDEX (name_title_timestamp) WHERE wl_user=15970 AND (wl_namespace=cur_namespace OR wl_namespace+1=cur_namespace) AND wl_title=cur_title AND cur_timestamp > '20040711153036' ORDER BY cur_timestamp DESC
from within function "wfSpecialWatchlist". MySQL returned error "1104: The SELECT would examine more rows than MAX_JOIN_SIZE. Check your WHERE and use SET SQL_BIG_SELECTS=1 or SET SQL_MAX_JOIN_SIZE=# if the SELECT is ok".

What's wrong? –radiojon 03:47, 2004 Jul 12 (UTC)

Son of Database error

Kinda like the one above, but my error message is:

Fatal error: Call to a member function on a non-object in
/usr/local/apache/common-local/php-1.4/includes/SpecialWatchlist.php on line 45

all in one line, with bold in the original. This is after I go to Special:Watchlist&magic=yes, linked to at the top of the usual Special:Watchlist page, check a few checkboxes to remove things from my watchlist, and hit the "Remove checked items from my watchlist" button. --John Owens (talk) 01:50, 2005 Mar 20 (UTC)

For the record, in case anyone else comes along here with the same question, it was because I'd picked up weird things in my watchlist like "../index.htm" and pages in Wikipedia namespace that began with a space character. So if you've got the same problem, you'll probably have to track down a developer and get them to clear that out for you. --John Owens (talk) 02:46, 2005 Mar 20 (UTC)

Dysfunctional watchlist syndrome

Over the last few days I've had non-stop difficulty having my watchlist served. Yes, it is big (>3000 items). I've tried to remove items, but even that function frequenly leads to "Database error" messages.

On IRC the thought was that Querybane terminated heavy queries. However, even requesting a watchlist for the last 2.4 hours (argument days=0.1) leads to errors. I'm wondering what other mechanism may be causing my problem. JFW | T@lk 15:50, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

You have 110.5 pages on your watchlist

I noticed this odd count the last time I checked my watchlist. It shows 221 when I go to edit the list (presumably because it counts talk pages on that screen). Could I be getting this odd number because I have article-less talk pages watched? --Poiuyt Man talk 02:16, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Page doesn't appear on watchlist.

Hmm, I have a page (Bible Student movement) that doesn't appear on my watchlist even though I edited it a couple hours ago. It appears when I list all items on watchlist. One possible cause is that I recently renamed it. I tried deleting the watch of the ancient name, as well as unwatching and re-watching it, but it's of no use :-P I'll try to reproduce it on Sandbox Watchlist Test Junk. I don't have a very long watchlist (100 pages) Flammifer 10:02, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

I reproduced it. I created Sandbox Watchlist Test Junk then moved it to Sandbox Watchlist Test junk. Now neither page appears on my watchlist. But then, if I edit the new page, it finally does appear. Hmmm. I don't think that's normal :-P there's even potential for abuse (deface a page, then immediatly move it, it won't show up on people watchlist) Flammifer 10:15, 17 August 2005 (UTC)


Can I find out how many people are watching certain page? - Darwinek 21:42, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

I would like to know alsoJohnRussell (talk) 15:46, 22 July 2008 (UTC)


the Wikipedia:Watchlist help page says This page is deprecated but will be updated periodically. Please direct edits to the Meta-Wikimedia version of this page Is there a better word than deprecated??? MPS

Strange pages in watchlist

Recently, I've found strange pages in my watchlist - Things I didn't add, and no-one has my password (never told anyone, I'm sure I have no keylogger too), so no-one else could have added them.

Some seem to be similar to pages I already have. For example, I have "InuYasha" on my watchlist, and the non-existant page "InuWilly" had appeared on it. I also have "IRC" and "Wi-Fi" on my list, and the non-existant pages "Internet Relay Chat on WHEELS!" and "Wi-Fi on 28968 wheels" has appeared.

Is anyone else having this problem? Or can anyone tell my why this is happening?

My best guess is someone vandalizing a page to redirect to a weird page and the watchlist is adding the redirected page... -KevinJr42

i believe when a vandal moves an article already on your watchlist, the new article name is added to your watchlist. then an admin moves the article back to its original name and deletes the new article name, but it is not removed from your watchlist. Kingturtle 04:26, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Same problem here. Dragice (talk) 20:48, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Redirecting this to Help:Watching pages

This page, Wikipedia:Watchlist help is in very bad shape, with the {{historical}} note on top, and a note saying that it is deprecated, etc. In the same time, a huge number of pages link here, so this is a sorry state of affairs.

I suggest this page be redirected to Help:Watching pages which is the up-to-date version from Meta. Any comments? Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 04:35, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

I did not recieve any objections, so I made this page redirect to Help:Watching pages. That page is not that well-written, but looks better than this one. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 05:09, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

actually, i am going to object for now. i am going to revert the redirect, but i am willing to work together to get this right. Kingturtle 05:53, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

er....let me sleep on it first, before i do anything about it. your decision is probably right. Kingturtle 05:56, 30 January 2006 (UTC)