Wiki Notifications

Continuing the discussion from Not receiving notifications for edited Wiki posts unless you are the author:

We use wikis a lot on our community. They act as the method of common editing for a great percentage of the actual work done on it. If there was a simple opt-in method to track changes to a wiki, it would solve most use cases for this and other related issues.

It has been discussed before here on meta but during our communities discussion one members suggests to correct this is have everyone put the date and revision number in the title of every post so people know when it is updated and I think that’s a horrible solution that will really clutter the topic lists. I am steering them away from that idea but a solution where they were notified seems to be the easiest method. I already have said that if they just post in discussion says what they changed and why it will update the topic, but this seems insufficient for about 30-35% of the users.

Thoughts? More info?


We plan to build something here to improve this.

  1. Moderators should be allowed to tick special option on “wiki” topics.

  2. If they tick this special option, every time a user edits the topic the system will

    a. Delete old “small action” saying a user edited the topic

    b. Insert a new “small action” saying the new user edited the topic. (example of small post is :arrow_double_up:)

That way people who want notifications can simply watch these type of wiki topics.

@tgxworld can you add this to your list, not urgent at all, when you free up.


Will the small action only apply if the wiki post is also the first post of a topic? A topic can have more than one wiki-ed post so the small post action method might be tricky. Perhaps we can just make it such that watching a topic will also mean being notified of any edits made to wiki posts in the topic.


Yes this is 100%

  1. Mod opts in to this mode
  2. Mode selector only applies to topics where the first topic is wiki.

I am not a huge fan of mucking with watch semantics for this special case.


Personally I find it much harder to explain how the feature would work for users if it only applies to the first wiki-ed post since the option will have to specifically state that. On top of that, we have to carry extra post records in the DB.

Instead of mucking with the default watch semantics, the option on the topic can be notify on wiki edits for users watching this topic. This will just be an extra conditional path in PostAlerter for wiki-ed posts and does not add more stuff into the post stream.


I do agree with reduction of knobs.

Looking at the problem space on meta: (link will be broken to non discourse staff)

People like Jeff and myself don’t even have any wiki topics we are watching where we are not the OP.

I wonder if we just make a global knob here and experiment with that first, cause that is a trivial 20 minute job.

notify_op_wiki_watchers_on_edit, then if that is on we globally notify watchers of topics with “wiki”.

Then we can see if @cpradio and @Mittineague completely freak out here or not (they watch a lot of stuff).

Maybe we are thinking about this the wrong way and it is a user pref? Maybe turning this on globally will be a complete non event and users will love it.

Kind of against making this a per-topic option the more I think about it unless it changes the way topics work and posts things. Cause this means “how watch works” depends on hidden state, I really dislike that. (globally or per-user can work cause every user has consistent experience)

Also, there is a reasonably strong argument that the “discussion about a wiki” is less important than “the wiki itself”, so if anything we are notifying on the less important stuff now.


I’ll still prefer the more generic notify wiki edits for topic watches since any post can be a wiki and it makes the feature much easier to explain.

Notify on wiki posts edits if watching topic
Notify on wiki post edits for first post if watching topic

Chances are, wiki posts not being post_number: 1 is going to be low and it doesn’t make the feature harder to implement if we decide to support all wiki-ed posts in a topic.

Yea I think making it global first is the way to go since we can easily move it into a user preference in the future.


Honestly I am not sure there is actually a use case for “wiki post” which is not post #1. Can not think of a single time we needed this on meta for real (short of testing stuff)

I don’t want to build any features around wiki posts that are not post #1 for now, so lets completely erase this from scope for now.

We could even call this “notify on wiki post edits if watching topic” and implement it as “Notify on wiki post edits for first post if watching topic” … and nobody would notice (just have in fine print in the description that it only applies to first post).


I have not ever had a wiki not be the first post. Generally the first acts as the wiki and the replies the “conversation.” I also cannot think of reason this would be preferred.
I think it’s not worth altering existing systems significantly for this behavior in general. But if it can be done more efficiently then my concerns have been addressed efficiently either way as far as I understand


This is implemented in


No idea on @Mittineague thoughts, but I’ve been living with it for 14 days and the noise here isn’t bad. If it were on a site that heavily uses Wiki topics, I might change my mind on it, but then again, I might just choose not to watch everything.

I really do not see a big deal with this as the first iteration of the feature, it works, it does draw my attention to wiki topics that are changed leaving it to me to decide if I care about the change or not.


TBH I haven’t noticed. I lost my modem for a few days a while back and am still catching up.


Does this only create a notification on the website, or does it also send out an email when a user isn’t logged in?

We never send out emails on edit notifications.

That’s clear. Thanks!

There’s at least one exception to that rule, however. When you add a mention ofsomeone or a group, emails will be sent out. But that is technically not an edit notification, perhaps?