Community Wishlist Survey 2017/Watchlists/Watchlist created on categories

Watchlist created on categories

  • Problem: I would like to check entries depending on my knowledge.
  • Who would benefit: anybody watching not (only) specifically marked pages but (as well) pages according to a specific interest or knowledge.
  • Proposed solution: make possible to mark categories so that all pages under that category and all pages under its subcategories are on my watchlist (and could be removed from it by removing the category).
  • More comments: I have a broad knowledge of natural sciences, e.g. for biology. Until today I mark any page dealing with a specific species or family or class or whatsoever I occasionally come across. But this lets me feel like Sisyphus, as there are more pages unmarked than marked. And I miss the new pages, which I even would like the more to check. Besides. I have an interest in palaeoanthropology and some others. My "watchlist" by now is terribly scattered and not doing its job for me.
Similar idea in the 2016 Wishlist


  • For the single category case, try using Special:RecentChangesLinked. Recursing subcategories very quickly gets into major performance and semantic drift issues.

    By "semantic drift", I'm referring to the phenomenon where the relation to the original category gets increasingly vague as you dig deeper into subcategories. For example, if you were to watch all subcategories recursively of w:en:Category:Black Sea, you'd be watching pages like w:en:Action Philosophers! (steps: 123456; one issue of the comic featured a philosopher who lived in the Black Sea region) and w:en:Albert Jacka (steps: 123456789; thanks to lack of a Black Sea-specific category for coasts of Turkey, you wind up with an award recipient from a WWI battle on a peninsula on Turkey's Aegean Sea coast). Anomie (talk) 17:17, 13 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

  • @Himbear: I've linked the related discussion from last year above. As noted there, a Toolforge tool (Erwin's relatedchanges) does currently exist which can do this one category (and <10 subcats) at a time, e.g. for category:Paleoanthropology with 3 subcat depth -- however the tool author retired a few years ago, and that tool would need to be extensively updated to account for a technical change that is occurring in a few weeks (phab:T175096#3768769), so that tool will disappear soon. :-(  Hopefully someone will be inspired by this proposal to update that tool, or write a new tool, or implement this feature into MediaWiki's watchlists themselves. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 23:41, 17 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for the information, which apparently does not help me, but there is hope.--Himbear (talk) 09:42, 18 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]