Wiki Comments Unmonitored (2010-08)

Comments on Wiki Pages not Monitored

I had hoped the Comments capability of Wiki pages would provide a useful mechanism to debate the content of a page. But debates which aren't readily visible aren't much use.

Right now, I see two related issues issue

(1) I can enable the   Monitor   feature on a Wiki page and I receive an e-mail notification whenever anybody edits the content of that page. That's great, but if they post a comment (rather than editing the page) I receive no notification.

My initial testing was incomplete and my conclusion in error. It is true that for a monitored page one is not notified of ones own posts (which is reasonable). However, for post by others on monitored pages, one does receive an e-mail notification when a new comment is posted. I failed to use multiple accounts in my testing and my thanks to Bev for her additional test comments which alerted me to my mistake

(2) How do I find which pages which have new comments, even those I'm not actively monitoring? I have no idea.

These two issues, to my mind make the Comments facility on Wiki pages pretty feeble. What do others think, please?

An alternate approach would be to adopt something similar to the "talk:" pages used in the MediaWiki product. So the talk page for this page would be talk:BIR:I:Wiki:Comments. Both issues are, imho, addressed. Any talk: page can be monitored, since it is a regular wiki page and since all the pages begin with talk: they can quickly be listed/reviewed.

Having taken a look at the documentation, there is a "Wiki Watch" feature. I need to investigate whether it applies to our TW v4.2 and if so do we have it enabled or not.

More later


OK, can confirm that our Wiki does have "Enable watches on comments" switched on in Wiki Admin. So either I'm misunderstanding how this should work or we have a bug in our version of TW. I've done a quick trawl of the TW site and don't immediately see anybody else complaining that its not working.

One is not alerted to ones own comments, so this is not a bug but rather a misunderstanding on my part

For completeness, in the Wiki Watch section, we also have "Watch minor edits" enabled.
Neither "Create watch for author on page creation" nor "Enable watch events when I am the editor" are enabled. Since many of our pages are created as part of a structure, the initial author is System so rendering the first option pointless in many cases. Making a cosmetic edit to a page, doesn't mean one has a deep interest in a page; thus the second option is a great route to the creation of unwanted spam.

Any user is free to enable Wiki Monitoring on a page by page basis as they choose.

Added 10Aug2010
I guess it was only a matter of looking hard enough in the documentation, since TW seems to be able to do most reasonable things.

So I think I now have an answer to my second issue with Comments "How do I find which pages which have new comments, even those I'm not actively monitoring?" The answer is with the module "wiki_last_comments" which will show the last nn comments, where the default is just 10. So having made this discovery, the new questions are "how best to use the wiki_last_comments feature?" and "how big should nn be?"

So you can see the information available, I've created an experimental wiki page ZZZ-MRB-Test021 showing the output from wiki_last_comments with nn=20
Link to this experimental page removed 31 October 2011 as it is no longer required, freeing the page for future re-use.
MartinB 31 Oct 2011

Added 4 January 2011

In addition to the Wiki Page mentioned above, since late August 2010 when the Home Page underwent a major redesign, we've also had a Module in the right side navigation showing the "Last Wiki Comments"

I think these two approaches address the points I initially raised.

We also need to recognise that Comments are relatively transitory in nature and should not be used as substitute for the creation of a "Talk_" page where a more long lived record of a review of or discussion on a Wiki Page's content should be held.

Status Closed

Contributors to this page: @MartinB , MartinB. and system .
Page last modified on Monday 31 of October, 2011 05:55:58 CDT by @MartinB.