Community Wishlist Survey 2022/Miscellaneous/Create 'Related changes' tool that extends beyond 30 days

Create 'Related changes' tool that extends beyond 30 days

  • Problem: Even though 'Related changes' can show up to 500 changes, it has a short lifespan, just 30 days maximum, so rarely shows more than 20-30 before they time-expire. 'Related changes' uses the recentchanges table, which for performance reasons on Wikimedia cannot be increased from 30 days worth of data.
  • Proposed solution: Create an external tool that works just like Special:RecentChangesLinked, except it extends beyond 30 days.
  • Who would benefit: Editors checking for changes on related pages.
  • More comments: It is very easy to forget to check 'Related changes' monthly. Extending it to a year would allow editors to keep a more relaxed overview of checking changes on related pages without worrying if they've missed anything important.
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: MPF (talk) 21:21, 10 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]


  • This would be a useful addition in two contexts related to categories, as "related-changes to Category:foo" gets me pages recently edited that are in or added to that cat...a form of watchlist for all articles in the category. One use-case is occasional vandal-pattern of adding incorect categories (one that comes to mind was adding a certain ethnicity to all sorts of inventions by anyone marginally associated with that geo-ethnic region). A second use-case is that I periodically check certain maintenance categories that are very full but non-trivial to fix, and use recent-changes to prioritize fixing based on which ones are popular (also catches recent edits that make mistakes...opportunity to educate/get-assistance-from those editors themselves). DMacks (talk) 21:46, 10 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    I think some related changes have a lot of links and some pages have a lot of small links, and some page can have unrelated changes for the article. I think we should only increase to 90 days and 1 year when the edits are low enough to ensure performance. The appliances of the idea is to categories, and other lists. Thingofme (talk) 03:05, 16 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Related changes uses the recent changes table to get its data, which is bound by $wgRCMaxAge. On the WMF cluster that's set to 30 days. I'm somewhat certain there's little chance of increasing that, or at least not without consulting the DBAs and/or the performance team first. I believe it used be higher but they had to reduce it for performance reasons, hence why I doubt they'd reverse that decision. Pinging ASarabadani (WMF) for input. MusikAnimal (WMF) (talk) 22:43, 10 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    @MPF: I have confirmed that making Special:RecentChangesLinked for 100 days is out of the question :( Amir may or may not reply here with more info, but my inclination is that if we want to take on this wish, it would probably have to be an external tool that queries the revision table. This means it won't be built into the interface like a Special page, and it might also be really slow to use. I'm not sure if that would satisfy this wish or not? If it would, could you reword your proposal to be about an external "related changes" tool? I don't want other !voters to be misled into thinking we could do something for Special:RecentChangesLinked. Thanks, MusikAnimal (WMF) (talk) 16:59, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    @MusikAnimal (WMF): - thanks! That's a shame. What about a smaller extension? Even 50 or 60 days would still be better than 30 - MPF (talk) 17:22, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    I'll let Amir reply to that, but as I understand it on some wikis like Wikidata, we may even have to reduce the RCMaxAge. Overall I'm still leaning towards an external tool if anything, since those are allowed to be slow. MusikAnimal (WMF) (talk) 17:27, 11 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    For 500 edits, it's ensure performances, but higher than 500 it is too slow to load. Thingofme (talk) 03:06, 16 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    It's not just the query runtime that's the problem, it's the size of the table. When it gets really really big, weird things happen. MusikAnimal (WMF) (talk) 04:00, 19 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    I would bet pages with higher numbers of results are loading slowly mostly due the client side (rendering the HTML), not the server side (querying the edits). 500 edits is still nothing compared to the size of the recentchanges table. ~~~~
    User:1234qwer1234qwer4 (talk)
    22:04, 8 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    @MPF Is an external tool (not Special:RecentChangesLinked, but it would work in the same way), not an acceptable solution? If so, please reword your proposal accordingly. I can help, if you need. If the desire is solely for Special:RecentChangesLinked, then I'm afraid it's at the very least out of scope for our team. We can offer to put it in the Larger suggestions category so we can still gauge the popularity of the idea. You decide. MusikAnimal (WMF) (talk) 04:04, 19 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    I recall that, before Special:RecentChanges changed to the current interactive format, it was possible to see up to 91 days of changes? Am I recalling correctly? C933103 (talk) 12:14, 16 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    That used to be the default from 2007 till some point yes, but I think it changed quite a while ago, possibly even before wikidata was introduced ? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 15:13, 16 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    Was there any documented reason behind such change? As undoing intentional changes would be out of scope for the community tech team. C933103 (talk) 08:08, 17 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • In addition to the Proposed solution: An other possibility would be be to remove the time-border completely, and instead just keep track of the last say 250 edits.T.vanschaik (talk) 18:37, 18 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    @T.vanschaik and MusikAnimal (WMF): That would be a huge improvement - I checked one page I like to keep an eye on, and the current top allowed "Max 1,000 changes, last 30 days" only showed 11 related changes because of the 30 day time limit. So the last 250 related changes would actually cover the last two years or so - MPF (talk) 08:55, 19 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    @MPF I'm afraid that's not feasible, either. In order to accommodate the last 250 related changes of every page we'd have to increase the size of the recent changes table several times over. I'll ask one last time – would an external tool suffice? It would basically offer the same functionality as Special:RecentChangesLinked except allow you to go back any arbitrary number of edits or time period, with the caveat that you may need to wait up to say 30 seconds to get a result. If this is acceptable, I'll help you rewrite your proposal. Otherwise it needs to be moved to the Larger suggestions pile. Please advise on what route you'd like to go. Thanks, MusikAnimal (WMF) (talk) 15:48, 19 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    The number of 250 was just a proposal. On the other hand, the list could have two limits, one on the number of entries, again say 250, and one one the time elapsed since the edit, say one year. Whichever one is met first springs into action to remove the entry from the list.T.vanschaik (talk) 16:51, 19 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    @T.vanschaik and MusikAnimal (WMF): - I'm not sure how an 'external' tool would work? Otherwise, any shift of the current limits from 'high number, short time limit' towards more of a 'low number, long time limit' would help, whatever is feasible (even a max of 50 would be better if it allowed a more open-ended time limit) - MPF (talk) 00:34, 20 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    @MPF The external tool would more or less work exactly like Special:RecentChangesLinked does, except it would be external (i.e. hosted on and not usable within the on-wiki interface). Admins on your local wiki could add a link to the external tool so that it is easily accessible. The results this tool give you would match Special:RecentChangesLinked exactly, except it'd be able to give you more results, which I believe is what you want. Does that sound okay? MusikAnimal (WMF) (talk) 22:35, 20 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    Thanks! Yep, that sounds OK, if it can be made as easily accessible as the current 'related changes' link - MPF (talk) 22:43, 20 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    Okay, done! Thanks again. MusikAnimal (WMF) (talk) 18:40, 26 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]