[pmwiki-users] email notification of page changes (watchlists)

DaveG pmwiki at solidgone.com
Fri May 26 18:05:29 CDT 2006

Would it be possible to allow users to add themselves to the 
Site.NotifyList page?

What I envision is a Site.NotifySubscribe page consisting of two fields: 
email, and page, with a submit button. The page field may be 
auto-populated from a link.

We could then create a link on a page(s) which allows users to subscribe 
to changes to that page.

Alice clicks the "Subscribe" link on page g.x. The Site.NotifySubscribe 
page is loaded, prepopulated with the page field "g.x". Alice enters her 
user name and clicks Submit. Site.Notify is updated with:
    notify=alice at example.com name=g.x

I suspect we'd need to password protect Site.NotifySubscribe to prevent 
malicious subscriptions.

  ~ ~ Dave

Patrick R. Michaud wrote:
> On pmwiki.org I now have a preliminary implementation of edit
> notifications via email.  These allow the creation of custom
> "watch lists", with notification emails sent in response to
> modifications of pages of interest (i.e., "watchlists").
> This feature is currently enabled on pmwiki.org, for those who would
> like to experiment with the feature or start watching pmwiki pages.
> Watch lists are configured via the Site.NotifyList page.
> (For those who want to experiment with this on pmwiki.org, the
> password for Site.NotifyList is "quick".) The most basic entry 
> in the NotifyList page sends email for any page that changes 
> on the site:
>     notify=alice at example.com
> This causes alice at example.com to start receiving email messages
> with lists of pages that have been modified.  Of course, Alice
> probably doesn't want to receive a separate message for every 
> edit that takes place, so multiple edits are batched together 
> according to a 'squelch' setting (similar to the way MailPosts
> works now).  The squelch setting indicates the minimum
> number of seconds that must elapse after each notify message 
> before another is sent.   PmWiki's default squelch is 
> 10800 seconds (3 hours), so after Alice receives a 
> notification email, any edits that take place during the 
> next three hours will be batched together and then sent
> as a single message.
> Alice can change the squelch parameter for her messages.  To
> receive at most one notify message per day, Alice would use
>     notify=alice at example.com squelch=86400
> What if we have someone who wants to watch only a certain set of
> pages?  There are several ways to do this.  First, we can specify
> a trail with pages to be watched:
>     notify=bob at example.com trail=Profiles.Bob
> This sends Bob email notifications only for pages listed in the
> trail at Profiles.Bob.  This makes it easy for Bob to adjust the
> pages he's interested in by simply editing the Profiles.Bob page.
> This also means a wiki administrator can control who is allowed
> to receive notifications (by restricting editing of the Site.NotifyList
> page), while still allowing non-administrators to maintain custom
> watch list trails.
> Any trail will work, thus to keep track of changes to the PmWiki
> documentation:
>     notify=charles at example.com trail=PmWiki.DocumentationIndex
> One can also use the "group=", "name=", and "link=" options to
> specify watch lists by group (wildcarded), name (wildcarded), or
> target link:
>     ##   watch pages in Cookbook, PmWiki, and PITS:
>     notify=dave at example.com group=Cookbook,PmWiki,PITS
>     ##   watch changes to pages in the Skins category
>     notify=edward at example.com link=Category.Skins
> Multiple email addresses may be specified in the notify line...
>     ##   tell admin and myboss about all changes
>     notify=admin at example.com,myboss at company.com
> ...and its okay for an email address to appear on multiple lines.
>     ##   tell frank at example.com about Cookbook and Profiles.Frank changes
>     notify=frank at example.com group=Cookbook
>     notify=frank at example.com name=Profiles.Frank
> (If a 'squelch' option appears multiple times for a given
> email address, the last one is used.)
> There are probably a few details I've left out, but this should be
> enough to get things started.  I have a bit more testing to do, but
> I'm expecting this to be included in the 2.1.7 release.  
> Also note that this is just the first step of the overall plan I wrote 
> in http://www.pmichaud.com/pipermail/pmwiki-users/2006-March/023990.html .
> At some point in the future we can add features to obfuscate email 
> addresses in the Site.NotifyList page, forms for adding and verifying
> email addresses to that page, links to add pages to watchlists, etc.
> Comments, questions, suggestions welcomed as always.
> Pm
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