Problem: I am one of those users who have his preferences set to automatically watch any page I edit. This is usually done to make sure replies to pages aren't missed or to catch any edits made in response to one's own. Unfortunately, over time the watchlist grows to an unmanageable size, and becomes too large to effectively monitor.
Who would benefit: Anyone with growing watchlists, or users with this setting enabled.
Proposed solution: The solution is to allow for the option for the page to automatically be removed from the watchlist after a given amount of time has elapsed. Users can define how long the page should be watchlisted, when the pages being watchlisted should have an expiry, and be able to adjust the expiry on a per page basis for example.
More comments: The ideal solution is adjusting this feature from the preferences page. The user can define whether automatically watched pages should be automatically unwatched, or if all watched pages should automatically unwatch themselves, define how long they prefer the default time should be before they automatically unwatch, be able to set the expiry to reset if they edited the watched page, and also set the option if the user wants to be prompted for an expiry when they manually watch a page.
Great idea. It would also be nice if you could set such an expiry date from your watchlist itself (so you can, for example, set a page that you only want to watch because there is a news story on it). This would be kind of like how the feature where you can allow of removal of watchlist entries from the watchlist itself if you turn on a specific preference to do so. RileyBugz (talk) 19:38, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
Excellent idea! That would help all the good folks who anti-vandal-patrol, start and/or process deletion requests. --Hedwig in Washington (talk) 20:36, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
Comment Maybe Article reminder would be a possible solution? "remind me to have a look at [article] in 5 Days" Trizek (WMF) (talk) 09:54, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
Not for me. I certainly do not want a reminder to look at the thousands of IP talk pages that have cluttered my watchlist.—CYBERPOWER(Chat) 12:42, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
Expiry of watchlist items is a yes, (especially if I can set it to defined presets). But I do not want to be told that it has happened, given a reminder, notification or other useless popup that I am no longer watching Articles for deletion/bollocks or some talk page. It's worth noting this could work in conjunction with the proposal for multiple watchlists and we could be looking at some serious improvement. A Den Jentyl Ettien Avel Dysklyver (talk) 15:46, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
I hope the community with support this proposal massively. This is one of the best I see yet. Any time I click watch star the desire to have this future will resurfaces. Deletion discussions, some pages where you reverted IPs trolling or vandalism and left notes, ongoing discussions of interest and many, many things all need temporary watching. But without this future that's why watchlists grow to 100s of pages which of course reduces its effectiveness by missing important changes. Ironically at the end, editor will end up not "watching" many pages on "watchlist". Ammarpad (talk) 00:42, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
Maybe move expired entries to "expired list", and clear the latter manually? --Dalka (talk) 07:58, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
What would be even better would be the ability to autoremove discussions that have been formally closed (maybe with a popup notification that this is happening?) Daniel Case (talk) 03:30, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
I have around 29,000 pages on my WL, and growing. It's not a lot of work to scan through the 200 or so entries on each reload, but it would be impossible to to manually edit a list of this size to get rid of the chaff. Yes, a very good idea. Kudpung (talk) 21:34, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
Support NIce idea. I can use this for example when patrolling. The patrollers often create the talkpages of newcomers and vandals, which are in most cases automaticaly watchlisted by those patrollers. But watching those pages is usually useful only for a short amount of time. Then you must remove them from your watchlist manually. In this case a limited time for watchlisting will be definitely useful. Vachovec1 (talk) 20:12, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
SupportNMaia (talk) 00:19, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
Support a feature that will be extremely useful. Ammarpad (talk) 01:12, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
Neutral. For sure what I'd like to keep the watchlist clear is an option to rank the list of watchlisted paged by oldness of last edits and oldness of inclusion in the list itself (and, also, to select part of the list at once)--Nicolabel (talk) 15:29, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
SupportTom Ja (talk) 14:09, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
Support I believe the development work on this task was actually started, or even completed, some time ago, but for various technical reasons it has not been able to be enabled on Wikimedia wikis yet. Hopefully the healthy support here will prompt Community Tech to look into the problems and try to get this feature rolled out. This, that and the other (talk) 14:13, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
Support A tremendous time saverNoyster (talk) 18:11, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
Support Yes please - I spend a lot of time every clearing out old watchlist entries. This would be especially useful if we get multiple watchlists too, where we could have permanent lists and short-term ones. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 22:16, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
SupportNabla (talk) 21:15, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
Support Good idea. EMsmile (talk) 11:22, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
Support Should be easy to implement, and would be extremely helpful. My watchlist is out of control, and not fun to manually manage - this would go a long way to solving the problem.--Sphilbrick (talk) 16:29, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
Support A brilliant idea! Uanfala (talk) 20:51, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
Support When adding a page to my watchlist I'd like to be able to specify whether it's a permanent or temporary add: just a second click, to either "indefinite" or the shorter period I'ce set in preferences. A second click for each watchlist item, but well worth it. PamD (talk) 10:04, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
Support—The very same usecase. VorontsovIE (talk) 12:01, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Support Not only defined amount of time but better with some condition, say: remove page from watchlist if I didn't load (or edit) it a year. Infovarius (talk) 13:53, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Support As an opt-in. For example, I want to choose if I want to watch a page forever or for a month, but this does not mean I will watch all pages forever or all pages for a month — NickK (talk) 17:57, 11 December 2017 (UTC)