Talk:Community Tech/Watchlist Expiry

We have provided some questions below, which we invite everyone to discuss on the Talk page. Your feedback is crucial and will help inform our next steps. Thank you in advance! IFried (WMF) (talk) 19:34, 24 September 2019 (UTC)Reply

Have we covered the main reasons why someone may watch a page temporarily?

  • I would extend the second point to cover watching an article after any edit (not just reverting vandalism) but I don't that affects the technical solutions. Certes (talk) 16:27, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
    Great point, @Certes: I've updated the project page with this suggestion. IFried (WMF) (talk) 19:22, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • One key reason for the English Wikipedia (and some others) is omitted: to monitor AfC drafts that the user has accepted until the article becomes stable, or in case it's nominated for deletion etc., similar but distinct to the NPP case. — Bilorv (talk) 18:50, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
    Thanks for this info, @Bilorv: While I imagine there is no standard amount of time for monitoring AfC drafts, what would you say are common timeframes that could be applied (for example, one day, one week, etc)? Thanks! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 20:48, 8 October 2019 (UTC)Reply
    Probably similar to those for NPP - for me, I'd want to use 2 days or 1 week or 1 month. — Bilorv (talk) 22:38, 8 October 2019 (UTC)Reply
    Thanks for the prompt response, @Bilorv:! Noted.
  • Yes that covers all of the common reasons I can think of. As a programmer, I think that list probably gives abundant coverage to understand and detail the desired functionality for this feature. Alsee (talk) 19:44, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
    Great to hear. Thanks, @Alsee:!
  • Agree with Certes above: keeping an eye on a page after I've made an edit, in case someone reverts, corrects, expands, or does anything else interesting to the page. PamD (talk) 21:04, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • A common case from my experience not mentioned here: following changes on some pages during the periods they are heavily edited, like rewriting templates or good/featured article candidate preparation. For example, I may want to follow how some other user is rewriting a template — NickK (talk) 21:59, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
    Thanks, @NickK: This makes a lot of sense. I imagine that there are many different types of scenarios that this can be applied to, but the general principle is that some pages have increased interest for a limited amount of time. This roughly applies to some use cases we spelled out, but I think the examples you provided add some great context. I'll update the project page with some of this info. Thanks! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 20:48, 8 October 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • I'm surprised that the biggest reason I asked for this tool isn't here: pages temporary by design, like XfDs, SPIs, GANs, FACs, DYK nominations, etc. All of these are usually archived when closed, so maybe that could be something the tool looks for and could automatically remove from the watchlist. Daniel Case (talk) 20:31, 26 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
    • General reason: I have more than 5600 articles on my watch list. To avoid that this list is growing and getting out of control, to have a more cleaned up watchlist and a better overview, a watchlist expiry would be helpful. I just need a tool that supports me in cleaning up my watchlist from time to time without effort. In many cases, I know from the begining that I only want to watch an article for a limited period of time.
      Reason n° 13: I'm supporting a new editor as mentor (German WP) and want to watch an article for the period I'm helping this mentee. --Albinfo (talk) 20:34, 29 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • A contributor may wish to watch a talk page until a particular discussion has ended (or been archived. Ths may also apply to RfCs, etc. on non talk pages (e.g. Wikipedia: namespace). Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:50, 30 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • A reader may watch a page about a pending or recent event (a sports event or election, or a recent death, say). Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:50, 30 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • Great, but just note that instead of users (especially admins), something like users (especially patrollers) would be better here. --Framawiki (talk) 18:57, 30 September 2019 (UTC)Reply

What are the most common reasons you, personally, watch a page temporarily?

  • My main reasons fall into the general area of watching a page I edited, in case other editors make relevant contributions. Specifically, cases 2. (extended beyond reverting vandalism) and 7. (talk replies) cover them. Certes (talk) 16:27, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • Probably the most common and important reason is when I leave a message or warning on a new user's personal talk page. They may not yet know how to contact me (or anyone else). They may write a reply on their talk page without realizing that no one will see it unless (1) they ping me, or (2) I watchlist their talk page. I don't want to accumulate endless random user_talk pages on my watchlist. A week or a month is enough to reliably catch replies intended for me. Alsee (talk) 19:58, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • Agree with Certes: watching for reversion, correction, improvement or anything else relevant to my recent edits. And on talk pages, it's generally 7, though I would much rather see a different change, the ability to watchlist just one section/conversation on a talk page. PamD (talk) 21:06, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • For articles, templates etc., I would summarise in a one sentence: a page I am not genuinely interested in but due to my (revert, unprotection) or someone else's activity (current event, heavily edited) want to follow for a short time. For talk pages, most frequently it is a talk page of a user I wrote to and I want to follow their replies — NickK (talk) 22:04, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • To be able to keep an eye on pages I have little to no interest in for a limited period, because of fixes/reversions I made. Bruce1ee (talk) 09:39, 26 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • Probably 2/3 of the pages I currently watch I want to watch only temporarily. This can be for any number of reasons, but mostly so that I could stay in the loop in case somebody else objects to or makes a correction to something I've done. Less commonly, it will be so that I could keep an eye on a particular discussion when the page that the discussion is on is not a page that I would otherwise be interested in. Uanfala (talk) 11:46, 26 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • a) Low-intensive discussions, b) I've asked for comments on something on a page with little traffic, c) watching a page that's currently experiencing vandalism, or has a higher risk of vandalism than normally (been in the media, election time etc). /Julle (talk) 20:55, 27 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • N° 1, 2, 7, 8, 11 (heavily editing), 13 (mentee) --Albinfo (talk) 20:34, 29 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • Mostly vandalism / POV pushing, as said by others here. --Framawiki (talk) 18:58, 30 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • Temporary discussions, as I said above. Daniel Case (talk) 01:38, 2 October 2019 (UTC)Reply

Thank you, everyone! In summary, it appears that the most common reasons that people want to watch pages temporarily are to monitor a change they have recently made (point #2 in project page) or to follow a conversation that involves them, in some capacity (point #7). Other common reasons that were mentioned were following Talk page conversations in general, regardless of their involvement (point #8), monitoring pages that are more prone to vandalism due to current events (point #1), and temporary discussions (point #9). We will, of course, be thinking of all of the use cases (not just the most popular use cases) when we develop this feature, but it's helpful for us to know the most common ones. --IFried (WMF) (talk) 18:12, 9 October 2019 (UTC)Reply

I'd like to add a discussion of my main reason for wanting this feature. The reason itself has arguably been mentioned but there's a wrinkle that I don't think has been discussed.

I'm active at copy patrol the tool that identifies possible copyright violations. When I select an article, and choose either the "page fixed" for "no action" option, the tool automatically adds that article to my watchlist. I would be happy to have it on my watchlist for a limited period of time, but not forever.

I'm not fully clear on how this temporary watchlist option would be enacted in practice. Given that there is still a need for a permanent watchlist, there will have to be some kind of mechanism for me to choose whether I wanted on my permanent or temporary watchlist. I don't want to have to go through that extra step every time for copy patrol. I don't know precisely where the addition to the watchlist occurs but I would like to make sure that however this option is built, there is the ability to enact it automatically in the copy patrol tool. That might mean that all uses of the tool would have to be in agreement both with the decision to use the temporary option, as well as a consensus on the time (on the assumption that there might be multiple options). I'd be happy with a one month option.

There is a small handful of editors who use this tool and might be appropriate to query them. They are listed at: CopyPatrol leaderboard. as you can see, we are talking about tens of thousands of edits. While some are repeats, most are unique so talking about roughly the same number of watch list entries.

I did add my name to the form asking for testing volunteers.--Sphilbrick (talk) 13:25, 21 October 2019 (UTC)Reply

@Sphilbrick: Thanks for providing this additional use case, as well as adding your name to the test group! Also, I apologize for not responding to this comment this sooner. I thought I had responded when I read it many months ago (but I guess I did not!). Again, my apologies. Now, regarding your above comment: The details you provided about copy patrol are understandable. We're currently wrapping up the initial first stage implementation of the feature, which we'll be sharing with folks on the project page soon. We are following the user flow that was previously shared in project updates, which means: users can pick if they watch permanently or temporarily, the default selection is permanent (unless otherwise changed), and the option to select temporarily is available in a few places (via star, via editing in the legacy source editor, and via the action=watch page). We have been focusing on a very general implementation so far, so I don't know if we will have the time, resources, or capacity to look into special cases (such as automatic temporary watch for certain tools, like copy patrol). However, once we have the initial pilot rollout soon, we'll collect feedback and see what other steps people may need or request, which we'll be able to assess and prioritize. Thank you again for this feedback and you can expect more updates in the next few weeks! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 18:06, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

What are the most common timeranges for you to watch a page temporarily (e.g. one week, one month, six months, etc)? And why those timeranges, in particular?

  • A time range of one week to one month would work well for me. Certes (talk) 16:27, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • It depends on the case: one week for articles that may have a bit of traffic for any reason, one month for articles where newcomers are supposed to take action on. Over those time periods, I put articles in my watchlist for good, because it means a permanent monitoring. Have a way to manually set a time would help too. For instance when you watch pages that are about or targeted by an event with an end date (like a contest). Some pages have an expiration date, like technical questions on fr.wp, where we have a weekly page. There is no need to monitor an old page 3 weeks after the end of the current week (except if some questions remain unanswered). So have a way to set an expiration time when you monitor the page would be greatly helpful. Trizek from FR 16:29, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • I second Trizek's comment about manually setting a time. Also, as an admin, I think it would be beneficial to have an option where, if you protect a page, it gets automatically watchlisted for double the length of the protection (so if you protect it for 24 hours, you watch it for 48. If you protect it for 2 months, you watch it for 4 months). ONUnicorn (talk) 16:35, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • For discussions, probably 24, 36, 48, 72 and 168 hours are settings I would all use. Either I just want to see short-term discussion or I want to watch the discussion forever. For articles, I'd say 48 and 168 hours would be the most common for me, but I can see plenty of reasons to watch something for 24 hours (e.g. monitoring Main Page content). There aren't many reasons why I'd watch something for a month or longer, but not want to watch it forever. — Bilorv (talk) 18:50, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • I'd say a week and a month would probably be the main ones. Those values are mentally-convenient, they are good for reliably catching responses from other users, and community workflows typically have a timescale of a week or a month. Maybe include another default option in the 3-6 month range, to cover anything (like an RFC) that may overshoot the month timescale or to watch an article semi-longterm. I would also expect to have custom-time option. I'd suggest pre-filling the custom option with the last-used custom time. I expect people who use the custom option will, with high likelihood, reuse the same custom value repeatedly. Alsee (talk) 20:16, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • I think a choice of a week, a month, 6 months, would be useful: a week to monitor reactions to edits where they may be someone else actively editing with different views; a month for talk page discussions, where the editor involved may only be an occasional editor; 6 months ... just feels as if it could be useful. PamD (talk) 21:13, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • For me I'd be happy with a choice of a week or a month, but I'd accept any of the other suggestions made above. Bruce1ee (talk) 09:40, 26 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • I would like to be able to set the precise period myself, depending on the circumstances. I can envisage needing anything between two days and two years, with most cases falling between one week and three months. Uanfala (talk) 11:26, 26 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • Three days (some discussions, some vandalised pages), a week/ten days (other discussions, waiting for comments), a month (longer discussions, waiting for comments). Longer than a month and I'd just put it on my watchlist forever (or until manually removed). /Julle (talk) 20:52, 27 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • Depends. From days (1) to two-four weeks (2, 7, 8) and one-two months (11 = heaviliy editing) to six months (13 = mentee). --Albinfo (talk) 20:34, 29 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • For my usage (deal with vandalism), two periods, one of two weeks and another of few months would be a nice to have. --Framawiki (talk) 19:00, 30 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • Two months for pages that are added to my watchlist automatically and indefinite for those I specifically choose would do for me.Anne Delong (talk) 12:38, 2 October 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • It depends on the type of discussion. Peer reviews have a deadline of a month, after which it can be closed if no one's responded. FACs can go on for weeks. While I had one memorable DYK that went on for a full summer, most of them are usually closed within a week. Daniel Case (talk) 05:55, 3 October 2019 (UTC)Reply

Thank you, everyone! In summary, it appears that one week and one month are the most commonly desired timeranges. Other commonly desired timeranges are one day, two/three months, and six months. In addition, there's an interest in being able to manually set timeranges. We'll use this information to help guide the next stage of our research and analysis. --IFried (WMF) (talk) 18:59, 9 October 2019 (UTC)Reply

User testing


Would you like to be included in the usability testing for this feature? We'll be using to gather structured feedback and reactions on the prototype. We'll post the prototype on Meta-Wiki for feedback, as well. If you're interested in participating in the usability test (it would really help us, if you do!), you can leave your email address in this form. thanks, IFried (WMF) (talk) 19:34, 24 September 2019 (UTC)Reply

I would be happy to help test. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 16:18, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
I also wouldn't mind testing. ONUnicorn (talk) 16:36, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
With over 7200 pages on my watchlist, I'd love to test.Onel5969 TT me 17:17, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
I probably won't be doing, but I'd be happy to test the prototype when it's available. Just ping me. I happen to be a programmer and I've got a pretty solid sense of community expectations, so I'm good at both catching issues and putting them in a form useful for developers. Alsee (talk) 20:26, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
Yes, count me in. PamD (talk) 21:09, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
Maybe --Albinfo (talk) 20:34, 29 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
Yes, I also want test it :-). --Patriccck (talk) 16:55, 30 September 2019 (UTC)Reply

@Barkeep49, ONUnicorn, Onel5969, Alsee, PamD, Albinfo, and Patriccck: Thanks for your response! If you already participating in the usability testing, thank you very much. If you haven't yet (and are still interested), you can leave your email address in this form. Finally, if you're interested in providing feedback at a later date, we'll be sure to update the community when we have some working ideas of the behavior and user flow. Much appreciated! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 20:37, 8 October 2019 (UTC)Reply

Other comments

  • It would be useful if I could see the items on my temporary watchlist and my permanent watchlist separately, or if they had a different marking on the watchlist. Part of the reason I would want to have a temporary setting is so that I can work out faster why I watched the page - if it's a page name I don't immediately recognise, maybe I watched it for AfC/NPP reasons (so I care about edits until the article is stable), maybe it's an article attached to a discussion I'm following (so I don't care about the edit), maybe I wanted to watch it permanently due to long-term vandalism or few other people watching it (so I care if the edit is by an IP or new user) etc. For simplicity, just the boolean temporary/permanent status would help distinguish some of these categories for me. — Bilorv (talk) 18:50, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
    Second that. I sometimes ask myself "why am I watching this article?" and then "oh yeah, I unprotected it recently" — NickK (talk) 22:06, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
    That's absolutely necessary! It can sometimes be difficult to keep track of why things are on my watchlist. If I see something on my wachtlist that I don't recall, I'd normally investigate and possibly unwatch: it will save time if I could see straight away if the page is on my watchlist only temporarily. Also, a page that I'm watching temporarily might start displaying activity that would make it necessary for me to watch it for longer and so I'd need to change the expiry. Uanfala (talk) 11:41, 26 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
    Yes, please! I was spending so much time trying to keep my watchlist at a manageable size that I've mostly stopped looking at it. It would be so much simpler if the ones I'd specifically chosen to watch because I was interested in them were listed separately from those that were on my list because I'd recently edited or reviewed them. An option in the watchlist editor to move an item on the temporary list to the indefinite list would be helpful.
  • The ability to watchlist just one section of a talk page, either temporarily or permanently (though it wouldn't really matter which, as tp sections are almost always transient), would be another great improvement: I want to follow the conversation I'm involved in, but some editors have umpteen simultaneous active threads of discussion which clutter up my watchlist. PamD (talk) 21:13, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • A noteworthy point is whether a Notification should be generated when an item is auto-removed from the watchlist. The three answers I see are (1) No notification; (2) Always notify; (3) have a checkbox for expiry-notification on the interface when you select watchlist-duration. I can see good arguments for each possibility, but I think the right answer is either Always notify or to have a checkbox-defaulted-to-off. If multiple items are removed at the same time, the notification should be batched. (5 items have expired from your watchlist. [v]View list) Note that this effectively resolves the Timed-Article-Reminder feature. The only differences are that a pure Timed-Article-Reminder wouldn't make the page appear on the watchlist itself, and that a Reminder and a watchlist-entry can exist simultaneously for a single page. I expect it would take very little modification to implement Reminders using the same code as watchlist-expiry. It would be a big win for code-complexity and dev-time for one team to merge these two features into a single implementation. Alsee (talk) 22:28, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • My image for the User Interface is to add a [v]dropdown next to the watchlist-star. Note that timed-article-reminders and section-watchlisting(per talk page consultation) controls also belong on this dropdown. The dropdown would have a radio button resembling the following:
    • o Watch this page. (Note: This would add a standard full pagewatch.)
    • o Unwatch this page. (Note: exactly one of Watch or Unwatch option is grayed-out, depending on whether the page already has a watch.)
    • o Watch this page for 1 week.
    • o Watch this page for 1 month.
    • o Watch for custom duration: [    ] o Days o Months o Years
    • o Section Watchlisting (Note: Selecting this would open a sub-menu with a check box to watch-for-new-sections and a checkbox for each section on the page.)
    • o Add timed notification reminder for this page: [    ] o Days o Months o Years (Note: If a reminder exists, this would become an option to change-or-remove the reminder) Alsee (talk) 22:28, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • Once it is implemented and stable, it would be worth considering if any edit marked as "minor" should automatically get a watchlist expiry. --Dcheney (talk) 04:00, 26 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • It will be really helpful if the watch icon is different for temporarily watched pages: I might want to take a long-term interest in a page I'm only watching temporarily, and vice versa. Uanfala (talk) 11:41, 26 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • I'd want this to be integrated with the Twinkle preferences panel. It has many options of the form "When I do action X with Twinkle, put the page on my watchlist". It's those that cause my watchlist to grow without bound, and configuration options for time-limited watching would prevent this. -- John of Reading (talk) 17:07, 30 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • There are a few user settings for automatically watchlisting pages you edit/create/upload/move. I find this feature quite useful, and wonder how expiry could play into this. For example, it might be useful to be able to set a default watchlist expiry time for pages I edit - I'm much more likely to only want to watch a page for a short amount of time if it's been watchlisted automatically. I'm not sure how the workflow would look for 'upgrading' a page to permanent watchlist status though. Samwalton9 (talk) 10:00, 8 October 2019 (UTC)Reply

Thank you, everyone, for this wonderful feedback and list of additional considerations! We'll look into the ideas presented here, and see what is manageable and within the scope of the project. Also, please do add any additional thoughts that may come up, as I'll continue to watch this page. --IFried (WMF) (talk) 19:14, 9 October 2019 (UTC)Reply

  • I share the "image" of user:Alsee of the dropdown box. My watchlist has become unmanageable and it is very time-consuming to trim it with really just the option of deleting it and starting over. Some of the ideas seem fantastic:
    A temporary watchlist and a permanent watchlist separately.
    An option in the watchlist editor to move an item on the temporary list to the indefinite list would be helpful
    "Minor edits" getting an automatic watchlist expiry. Otr500 (talk) 03:11, 19 October 2019 (UTC)Reply

An idea


An idea has been brought up to me a while ago and it's a quick way to unwatch things on Watchlist. Having that helps users' workflow by letting them unwatch pages that are too noisy. Amir (talk) 21:48, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply

That is an option in Preferences on EN wiki. Do you have it on your home wiki? I agree it is helpful. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 22:25, 25 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
That feature is in MediaWiki core, so it's on every wiki. It's not specific to English Wikipedia. – Ammarpad (talk) 07:57, 26 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
Maybe it should be turned on by default? I didn't know such option exists and I've been editing wikipedia for more than 13 years... Amir (talk) 19:06, 26 September 2019 (UTC)Reply
@Amir, Well, it was added since MW 1.30.0. As for not knowing about it, maybe it was not advertised enough at the time. – Ammarpad (talk) 07:56, 29 September 2019 (UTC)Reply

Good idea


This is very good idea. When will be this feature released? --Patriccck (talk) 16:53, 30 September 2019 (UTC)Reply

@Patriccck: That's great to hear! We're currently conducting research and analysis on this project, and we hope to begin development work soon. We'll post updates over the course of the project. Thanks! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 19:17, 9 October 2019 (UTC)Reply

It would also be useful to be able to watch sections of long pages, such as AN/I and other noticeboards. The traffic on these pages is such that if one marks them to be watched, they would be on one's watchlist all the time. If one could mark a particular discussion, instead of the entire page, it would only show up on the watchlist when an addition to that discussion was posted. Beyond My Ken (talk) 02:20, 3 October 2019 (UTC)Reply

Hear, hear! Nick Moyes (talk) 07:49, 3 October 2019 (UTC)Reply
+1 Daniel Case (talk) 17:15, 8 October 2019 (UTC)Reply
Oh yes! This would be a terrific idea if possible. I would support this 110%! --TheSandDoctor Talk 05:34, 15 October 2019 (UTC)Reply
@Beyond My Ken, Nick Moyes, and TheSandDoctor: Thanks for sharing this feedback! This is an interesting idea, and I see how it could be useful to many people. It may not be within the scope of this particular project (since we're focusing on the ability to watch a page temporarily rather than watching sections of a page), but it could be a future wishlist proposal. --IFried (WMF) (talk) 19:30, 15 October 2019 (UTC)Reply

An awesome idea!


I just stumbled across this thanks to the enwiki administrator newsletter. I must say that this is a fantastic idea and something that I truly hope gets developed. I have in excess of 3100 pages watchlisted, most of which I have no interest in maintaining longterm (I've already probably had some since 2017). This would be a great way for me to stop my watchlist growing exponentially. --TheSandDoctor Talk 05:34, 15 October 2019 (UTC)Reply

@TheSandDoctor: Wow, 3100 watched pages! Yes, we certainly hope that this feature can help you (and users like you) to have a more customizable, manageable watchlist experience. Thanks for the supportive words & general feedback. --IFried (WMF) (talk) 19:25, 15 October 2019 (UTC)Reply
@IFried (WMF): I have less than 2000, because I do regularly prune the list to be reasonable, but on en wiki I understand some power users may have in excess of ten of thousands pages in their watchlists (mostly probably accrued from the "add pages I edit to my watchlist" preferences option). This feature is clearly overdue. – Ammarpad (talk) 03:50, 28 October 2019 (UTC)Reply

Request for Feedback on Interactive Mockups


Pinging everyone who has previously commented on the page (and apologies if I miss anyone!). @Certes, Bilorv, Alsee, PamD, NickK, Daniel Case, Albinfo, Pigsonthewing, Framawiki, NickK, Bruce1ee, Uanfala, Julle, Albinfo, Sphilbrick, Trizek, ONUnicorn, Anne Delong, Barkeep49, Onel5969, Patriccck, Dcheney, John of Reading, Samwalton9, Otr500, Ladsgroup, Ammarpad, Beyond My Ken, Nick Moyes, and TheSandDoctor:

Hello, everyone! I have just posted a big update on this project, which includes links to interactive mockups. We would love your feedback, so we can have a better understanding of what you like, what needs to be reconsidered/improved, and any other suggestions regarding the mockups. Also, I have posted our main questions below, so you can easily access them. Thank you in advance, everyone! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 19:23, 12 March 2020 (UTC)Reply

What do you generally think of the proposed user flow for watching pages temporarily, via the star and edit functionalities?


@Certes, Sphilbrick, Albinfo, NickK, Anne Delong, PamD, Ammarpad, and Patriccck: Thank you for your feedback on the interactive mockups! We're thrilled that you all generally like the proposed user flow. In response to some of your questions:

  • The term "indefinitely": Thanks for pointing out that "indefinitely" may not be the best term. We agree, though we have struggled to pick which term fits best. What do you all think of "permanently" (i.e., "Watch this page permanently"). Do you find that term suitable, or do you prefer a different term?
  • Placement of pop-ups: We completely agree that the pop-ups should not block access to any tabs in the edit window. We'll make sure this doesn't happen.
  • Mobile access: We're currently exploring which options may be available for mobile support (both technically and in terms of the user experience). This research is in progress, so we'll share updates later on. --IFried (WMF) (talk) 20:14, 18 March 2020 (UTC)Reply

What do you generally think of the proposed user flow for watching pages indefinitely, via the star and edit functionalities?

  • Looks good; successfully avoids disrupting the workflow of editors who don't wish to use the new feature (but see "dismiss the pop-up" below). Certes (talk) 19:48, 12 March 2020 (UTC)Reply
    I'm hoping that I can set my default watch period in Preferences – for backward compatibility this should be "indefinitely" but personally I might set it to one month – and that this would be the default in the dropdown for selecting the watch period for a particular page. I think "indefinitely" is a good word to use. We're used to this terminology for blocks etc. Just as an indef block is permanent by default but can be rescinded at any time, so I can unwatch an indefinitely watched page at any time. Certes (talk) 20:55, 18 March 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • as noted above, I'd prefer to affirmatively select "indefinite" rather than having it be the default--Sphilbrick (talk) 20:03, 12 March 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Agree with Certes. But I'm not sure if people understand the term "indefinite"? Sounds like "for ever, it can't be changed back" for me as a none native speaker. Maybe "permanently" is not so indefinite? --Albinfo (talk) 21:39, 12 March 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Yes, looks good. Just please do include indefinite by default, or otherwise allow users to change this default in preferences: most users watch few pages and will not use it too much — NickK (talk) 22:18, 12 March 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • This is clear and easy to use. I watch a lot of pages temporarily, and a smaller number permanently. There is no default time period that will suit everyone; maybe in the future users will be able to set the default in Preferences. I wish for a matching feature in the Watchlist editor that will separate or at least differentiate the permanently watched pages from the temporary ones. -Anne Delong (talk) 08:25, 13 March 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Looks easy to understand and use. ONUnicorn (talk) 16:20, 13 March 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • That's intuitive and should remain default. Watching for less than indefinite is the new feature and so should be actively selected by a user if they so wish, otherwise fallback to default. – Ammarpad (talk) 08:09, 15 March 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Agree with Anne Delong. --Patriccck (talk) 11:41, 15 March 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Regarding the term, I'm not a fan of “permanently”. nothing in Wikipedia is ” permanent” and certainly charging an item in your watchlist is not permanent. We really mean “ until the editor affirmatively changes their mind and removes it” but that's too much of a mouthful and I think “indefinite” is the best word to reflect that concept.--Sphilbrick (talk) 15:51, 19 March 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • This looks great, easy to use, and not too disruptive.--Tom (LT) (talk) 07:27, 2 April 2020 (UTC)Reply

@Certes, Sphilbrick, Albinfo, NickK, Anne Delong, ONUnicorn, Ammarpad, and Patriccck: Thanks for your feedback! We definitely want to ensure that we didn't disrupt the user flow for watching pages indefinitely, so it's encouraging to read that you all generally find the proposal to be non-disruptive. I've answered some questions below (and pinged everyone who responded to this question, so you all can chime in). The only topic that I haven't covered is the term 'indefinite,' which I addressed in the previous section.

  • Inclusion of indefinite/permanent as default: We agree that 'indefinite' (or whichever term we use) should be the default selection in the drop-down. This is how people have been watching pages for many years, and we want to keep things simple for users.
  • The ability to set a default time watch period in preferences: We have discussed this idea as a team. At this stage, we're not considering it an absolute "must have" for the feature, but it's something we may consider once we have built out core functionality. If and when we do consider the ability to set default watch periods based on user preference, we'll reach out to you all to share some ideas on how this may be done.
  • Differentiation between permanently and temporarily watched pages on Special:EditWatchlist: Thanks for bringing this up! This something we would like to implement, although we're still in planning stages and cannot make any guarantees. However, with that being said, we're almost ready to share some mockups on how this may look. I'll ping everyone when they're up & ready for feedback. --IFried (WMF) (talk) 20:29, 18 March 2020 (UTC)Reply
    I am not sure why some people have issue with "indefinitely", the action/inaction does indeed means indefinite in the sense that end date is not being specified. But if we are not going to use it, then "permanently" cannot be used either for the same reasons. In fact the latter is more strong and may implies that action cannot be easily undone. But "indefinitely" just means, for whatever reason, you're not selecting expiry time/limit. If it must be changed then you can consider using parenthetical description for instance (No expiry)Ammarpad (talk) 16:14, 19 March 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Ammarpad: Thanks for the feedback. I agree that "indefinitely" is probably a more accurate description, but I wonder if "permanently" is more straight-forward & comprehensible for some users. It's tough to know the best language to use (since we're presenting new functionality), and it may take some time for us to finalize the proper terms. At any rate, we'll probably check in again about language when we have an early beta version to share with folks. In the meantime, we'll think about the various terms & what makes the most sense. Again, much appreciated! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 19:46, 24 March 2020 (UTC)Reply

Via star: Do you understand why there is a half star when pages are watched temporarily? Do you find it clear?


@Certes, Sphilbrick, Albinfo, NickK, PamD, ONUnicorn, Ammarpad, and Patriccck: Thank you, everyone! This helps us feel confident that we can proceed with the half star implementation (which has not happened yet, but we'll begin planning for it soon). --IFried (WMF) (talk) 19:51, 24 March 2020 (UTC)Reply

Via star: For this feature, the user needs to click on the page to dismiss the pop-up. Do you think this behavior is appropriate?


@Certes, Albinfo, NickK, ONUnicorn, Ammarpad, and Patriccck: Thank you for the feedback; it was really helpful! I'll forward these suggestions and questions to our UX designer. When we have further updates on the dismissal of the pop-up, I'll update this page. --IFried (WMF) (talk) 20:37, 24 March 2020 (UTC)Reply

Dvorapa Thank you for this information! I'm providing an update that we will be providing two options for the pop-up to be dismissed: the user can click on it to dismiss it *or* the pop-up will automatically disappear after about 5 seconds (if the user does not hover over or interact with it). This feedback was helpful and appreciated. --IFried (WMF) (talk) 23:53, 3 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

What do you think of these proposed time periods for the drop-down: indefinite, 2 days, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months?

  • Good choices. Personally I would probably stick to either 1 week or 1 month but the other periods will suit some use cases. Certes (talk) 19:48, 12 March 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • My preference would be:
    • 1 week
    • 1 month
    • 1 year
    • indefinite

with "1 week" as the default if it cannot be a user preference--Sphilbrick (talk) 20:05, 12 March 2020 (UTC)Reply

@Certes, Sphilbrick, Albinfo, NickK, PamD, ONUnicorn, Ammarpad, and Patriccck: Thank you for the feedback! It seems that nobody finds "2 days" to be very important, so we've removed it from the drop-down selection requirements. We'll also keep the indefinite/permanent selection as the default, as this is the majority preference (and one we agree with as a team). Finally, some folks have mentioned that they would like one year. In our technical proposal that we submitted to the WMF database administrators, the DBAs asked that we set some limits in place, and the decision was made that the limit would be 6 months. For this reason, we'll keep the 6 month maximum for now. However, I am curious to know: What are the main reasons you would like to watch a page for one year, in particular, as opposed to another period of time? While we don't know if we can add "1 year," it would be helpful to gain some additional context behind that request. Thank you! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 20:40, 30 March 2020 (UTC)Reply

Some articles about current events are prone to heavy editing, edit wars, and vandalism that dies down after the event is over. Elections are a prime example of this, as are things like the the armed standoff in Oregon a few years ago. Articles about current political leaders often attract large amounts of vandalism and edit warring that dies down when their terms end. Basically, one year is sufficent to capture the controversy of the day while giving the opportunity for administrators to lose those articles from their watchlist when things die down. ONUnicorn (talk) 21:37, 30 March 2020 (UTC)Reply
@IFried (WMF): I might want to watch en:Deaths in 2020 for a year to check for vandalism or fake news, but I wouldn't watch it in 2021 as I am not that interested in the topic — NickK (talk) 23:27, 30 March 2020 (UTC)Reply
I agree. --Patriccck (talk) 08:22, 1 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
@NickK and Patriccck: Noted. Thanks for letting me know. --IFried (WMF) (talk) 18:57, 7 April 2020 (UTC)Reply

Do you find that the feature (in terms of its presentation & how it’s used) is easy to understand?


@Certes, Albinfo, NickK, ONUnicorn, Ammarpad, and Patriccck: Fantastic, and thank you for the feedback! We're really happy to read this. --IFried (WMF) (talk) 20:44, 30 March 2020 (UTC)Reply

What would you change, if anything, about this feature?


@Certes, Sphilbrick, Albinfo, NickK, PamD, and Patriccck: Thanks for the feedback! Here are some details in response to the questions & comments raised:

  • CopyPatrol Rollback: I will address this topic in the longer comment below.
  • Dismissal of pop-up: We are currently thinking that the pop-up will be automatically dismissed if: a) the user clicks outside the pop-up, or b) the user doesn't interact with the pop-up within a certain period of time, such as 6 seconds. How does that sound? This would be easier for us to implement for technical reasons (due to the pop-up tool we will be using), and it will ease the responsibility of the user having to directly close the pop-up themselves.
  • Support for various skins: We are currently talking about this, and I'll post details when we have an update.
  • Watch one section of a page: This is, unfortunately, a different project. However, it's a great idea!

--IFried (WMF) (talk) 19:09, 7 April 2020 (UTC)Reply

@Patriccck: Pinging Patrick again (see comment above), since there was a typo in the original ping of their name. Thanks! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 19:10, 7 April 2020 (UTC)Reply

@IFried (WMF): Can you please give an example where such popups are currently used? I would be interested in testing it — NickK (talk) 12:07, 8 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • I am not sure about the tabindex under the edit window. Editors are used to tab exactly 4 times to publish changes, but with this option menu, this behavior seems to break. --Dvorapa (talk) 09:29, 10 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • I think what you are implementing is extremely useful, but it is not so useful as to clutter the editing interface (i. e., the ‘Watch this page’ checkbox mockup). As this is already JS-heavy feature, maybe something to consider is to make ‘Watch this page’ checkbox send an AJAX request on changes just like the star currently does? That way you can display additional options to people without cluttering the interface. stjn[ru] 12:19, 12 April 2020 (UTC)Reply

Anything else you would like to add?


@Certes, Sphilbrick, Albinfo, PamD, NickK, ONUnicorn, Ammarpad, and Tom (LT): Thank you for the feedback, everyone! I have responded to some of the questions & comments below:

  • Viewing & modifying temporary watch periods: We plan to share mockups soon that demonstrate how users can view & manage existing watch periods when reading pages, editing pages, and via Special:EditWatchlist. I'll share them in the next update (coming soon).
  • Mobile access: See comments above. We'll be sharing mockups on this soon as well.
  • Pop-up dismissal: See comments above. In short, we agree. We think the pop-up should automatically disappear, with no extra clicks required of the user. For this reason, the user will still be able to click on a star and watch a page permanently with no extra steps required.

Much appreciated! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 19:19, 7 April 2020 (UTC)Reply

General feedback


(I wrote this out before seeing that you have a structured response section. I'll drop all my notes here and go back and fill in the section above.)

The half star is great and it's intuitive.

I don't like "indefinite" being the default. My guess is about 95% of my choices will be temporary, so I don't like the fact that I will always have to do at least one more click. The ideal situation is to make it user configurable, so I could set my default at one week, and accomplish the watch with a single click (actually zero, as explained below). If it's outside the scope of this project to allow user configurable selections, please do a survey to identify the most common choices. It is possible my experience is atypical, but my guess is people will want a temporary watch more often than a permanent watch.

The unwatched option seems fine, easy to use and intuitive. (I am presuming that if I wanted to change it from temporary to indefinite, I would do this in two steps, first removing the temporary watch, then clicking on the star again to add the indefinite option. I don't see this in the mockups but I didn't truly expect to see it there.)

>What do you think of these proposed time periods for the drop-down: indefinite, 2 days, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months?

Too many. I don't think I'd ever pick two days. I'd go with: 1 week 1 month 1 year indefinite

My preference would be that one week would be the default if user configurable defaults are not an option.

One of my main issues is how this will be implemented in CopyPatrol Rollback. That tool automatically watches a page if I end up editing Rolling it back it. I understand why that option was built in, but I've handled 18,000 requests so far, and if I allowed them all on my watchlist it would be unmanageable. As a consequence, whenever I handle an item, I manually unwatch it. I really would like to watch it for a few days, but zero is slightly preferable to indefinite because of the bureaucratic burden of trying to manage my watchlist. It's over 10,000 items now, many of which are there because I forgot to unwatch an item at CopyPatrol Rollback. My strong desire would be to reconfigure the automatic option in CopyPatrol Rollback to temporarily watch for one week. If that were done, I wouldn't even have to click on it to do the temporary watch (which is why I said it would be zero clicks) and I could have a manageable watchlist. Given the fact that Diannaa handles many more than I do, I defer to her if she prefers a different default period of time.

Sorry if I missed it, but I'm unclear what happens when I go to my watchlist after this is implemented. Will there be two separate watchlists, one for legacy watchlist entries and another one for all new temporary entries? I'm guessing that's not the case. If it's going to be a simple watchlist with both indefinite and temporary entries, can it be sorted? The reason for looking at my indefinite choices is very different than my reason for looking at my temporary choices, and I'd like to do one or the other at any time, not have them all viewable at once. I can explain this further if this isn't clear.--Sphilbrick (talk) 20:01, 12 March 2020 (UTC)Reply

@Sphilbrick: Thanks you so much sharing this detailed, thoughtful response on the interactive mockups. You bring up some great points, which I'll respond to individually below.
  • Half Star: Glad you like it!
  • Default selection: While we've heard from multiple users that permanent/indefinite is preferred as default, we know that this isn't the use case for everyone. Some folks, like you, would prefer a temporary time period as default. We are discussing the ability to set a custom preference as default, but we don't yet know if we will have the time or resources to implement this functionality. As we progress further into the project, we will share what may be possible in this respect.
  • Unwatching & rewatching: Yup, if you want to unwatch a page, you click on the star. If you want to change the watch time period (for example, from 1 week to 1 month), you would click on the star to unwatch the page, click on the star again (which would first watch the page permanently as default), and then modify the selection to "1 month," which would automatically save upon selection.
  • Removal of 2 days from drop-down selection: Great suggestion. We have heard the same from other editors, so we've removed the "2 days" option from our requirements.
  • Personal preference for 1 week: Thanks. Noted.
  • Rollbacks: We have begun discussions on topics such as rollbacks, but we don't have any definitive plans yet. Your explanation provided really helpful context (thank you!), which we'll include in our discussions. I'll update the project page when I have a better sense of if/how we can support temporary watchlist functionality for rollbacks.
  • Behavior on Watchlist/Special:EditWatchlist: We agree that users should have a way of distinguishing between pages that are being watched permanently and watched temporarily. So far, we are thinking that there should still be one central watchlist. However, we plan to implement a way of visually indicating which items are permanent vs. temporary on Special:EditWatchlist. I'll be sharing some mockup examples soon with everyone, and I'll ping folks to get their feedback on behavior for both the Watchlist and EditWatchlist pages. In short: Details with examples coming soon. Thanks! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 20:46, 7 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
I like the concept. I have an overgrown list of watched pages because I have not pruned it---maybe ever. I am more interested in "user configurable defaults". It would have to be explained to me why this could not be implemented. I would set mine at one week but can see where the ability to change it would be very helpful. Also, the opinions concerning "CopyPatrol" seem valid so should be considered. Indefinite choices versus temporary choices also seem important. I like the options of 1 week, 1 month, 1 year, and indefinite. Otr500 (talk) 01:48, 13 March 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Otr500: Thanks for the feedback! If time and resources permit, we will explore the ability to set configurable default options for the temporary watchlist functionality. However, as a first step, we're first focusing on the general implementation of a standardized drop-down. This is a large project that touches many parts of the Wikimedia user experience, so we'll need to be thoughtful & cautious with our work. I've responded to the question about rollbacks, which started as a question about CopyPatrol, above (see previous response). Finally, thanks for sharing your preferred time period options for the drop-down. --IFried (WMF) (talk) 21:13, 7 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Reply: MusikAnimal (WMF) Thanks for your reply. I understand "thoughtful & cautious" but a 2 day option would be worthless for me and I suspect to many, many others. I might as well not use any option (stay Indefinite as default) so nothing would change. To me the idea is manageability. I cannot imagine why 30 days, 6 months, and one year, would not be practical as options to "Indefinite as default". If there is some sort of restriction needed then go to Indefinite, 30 days, and 1 year. This would give a short term, an intermediate longer term, and "Indefinite". Think about it! If an editor wishes to watch a page other than indefinite 30 days would allow keeping up with any changes on the short term. If an article is not worked on or given attention in a year then it either needs to stay indefinite or is not of real importance to watch. That is my opinion. Otr500 (talk) 23:00, 7 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Sphilbrick: To my knowledge CopyPatrol does not automatically watch pages. Perhaps you have the "Add pages and files I edit to my watchlist" option set at w:Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-watchlist? MusikAnimal (WMF) (talk) 03:19, 15 March 2020 (UTC)Reply
@MusikAnimal (WMF): Oops, you are right.
I just watched closely, and it isn't the CopyPatrol actions, it is because I used Rollback.
Can I revised my comments, mutatis mutandes, to apply to Rollback?--Sphilbrick (talk) 13:26, 15 March 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Indefinite as default I'm puzzled that so many users want indefinite as the default but it is not worth debating. If it can be user configured (I understand that might not happen right away) then it's definitely a non-issue. However, I trust you will monitor usage and my prediction is that you will see more usage of the temporary option than the permanent one, although of course, there will be a lot of uses of the default because it is, well, the default, and if actual usage demonstrates how often the limited option is used, I trust you will rethink the default.
  • 2 day option I am totally on board with the elimination of two days as an option. WhileI can imagine a situation where I might want a very short time period, if I choose the shortest time. And it stays on my watchlist for a few days instead of just two it will be no big deal.
  • 1 year optionIf we can have 6 months or 1 year but not both, I'll add some support for the one-year option. I edit a lot of sports articles including articles about a season. While many of those are articles I want as indefs, I can easily imagine Sports oriented better chart wanting a season article and their watchlist during the season but off their watchlist when the new season starts. 1 year works well for that. not a big deal, and I assume this can be re-evaluated after an initial trial.
  • Rollback Please let me know if I can share more information about Rollback. It is, by far, the biggest single contributor to my watchlist, and in almost every case, it is an article that I'd like to watch for a few days ( to see if the same author attempts to reinstate material) but not forever. It's practically the canonical example for which a temporary watch list entry is intended.Sphilbrick (talk) 21:15, 7 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Sphilbrick: Thanks for the revised information! I have provided some responses below:
  • Indefine as default: Yes, like you wrote, there have been differing opinions on whether indefinite/permanent should be default. While more people do generally want permanent to be default, not everyone feels this way (as you point out). The perspective that I will give is that, when we began planning this project, we decided that it was not very important to avoid disruption of current editor processes. In other words, if someone wants to keep on only watching pages permanently, as they always have, we don't want to cause them any extra disruption or convenience. As a result, if they simply click the star and get to watch permanently, we can preserve behavior that many people are accustomed to. However, as you wrote, we will be monitoring user behavior when the feature is released, so we can see what percentage of pages are watched permanently vs. temporarily. This will help us understand the feature better and if any major changes need to be made. It's tough to predict user behavior before the feature has even been launched, so we're just trying to do our best in the meantime!
  • 2 day option: Thanks for this feedback! We have removed the "2 day option," since we generally heard that it was unnecessary (and we wanted to avoid unnecessary clutter). So, the shortest time to now watch a page is 1 week.
  • 1 year option: Thanks for providing some context on why you are interested in watching for one year. For now, as a first implementation, we are starting with 6 months as the maximum. This is because we received approval for a 6 month maximum as a starting point from the database administrators. Once we have released the feature and collected usage feedback, we may be able to consider a lengthier time period, like 1 year, if the community is interested. So, in that case, stay tuned on the project talk page once we release the feature. We don't yet know if we can expand the watch period time, but we'll provide updates in such an event that we can. We have also noted your explanation of the 1 year preference.
  • Rollback: As a starting point, we are allowing users to temporarily watch pages, which they can then rollback. If they rollback the page, the temporary watch status will be preserved (i.e., it won't automatically change to permanent upon rollback). They can also change any permanently watched page (including pages with rollbacks performed by the editor) to temporary status. We do not yet know if we have the capacity and resources to allow a specific temporary watch period to be automatically performed upon rollback, but we'll welcome this feedback upon our first pilot release of the feature. I also have a follow-up question for you: Ideally, how would you like the temporary watch + rollback functionality to work? Would the user choose a preferred watch period in Preferences, which would be applied to all rollbacks?
Thanks and I look forward to your response! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 19:18, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

Request for Feedback on April 21 update


Pinging everyone who has previously commented on the page (and apologies if I miss anyone!). @Certes, Bilorv, Alsee, PamD, NickK, Daniel Case, Albinfo, Pigsonthewing, Framawiki, NickK, Bruce1ee, Uanfala, Julle, Albinfo, Sphilbrick, Trizek, ONUnicorn, Anne Delong, Barkeep49, Onel5969, Patriccck, Dcheney, John of Reading, Samwalton9, Otr500, Ladsgroup, Ammarpad, Beyond My Ken, Nick Moyes, and TheSandDoctor:

Hello, everyone! I have just posted an update on this project, which includes links to mockups. We would love your feedback, so we can have a better understanding of what you like, what needs to be reconsidered/improved, and any other suggestions regarding the mockups. Also, I have posted our main questions below, so you can easily access them. Thank you in advance, everyone!

Via star: Can you clearly see that the page is being temporarily watched and for how long?


Thanks, everyone! We're happy to see that the watch status indication is clear. This was very helpful. --IFried (WMF) (talk) 18:45, 12 May 2020 (UTC)Reply

Via drop-down when editing: Can you clearly see that the page is being temporarily watched and for how long?


Thanks, everyone! We're glad that the watch status is clear in the drop-down as well. --IFried (WMF) (talk) 18:46, 12 May 2020 (UTC)Reply

Watchlist: Can you clearly see that a page is being temporarily watched and for how long? And do you find this information useful, when using your watchlist?


Fantastic. Thanks, everyone! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 18:46, 12 May 2020 (UTC)Reply

Watchlist: Would it be useful if we added a filter for temporarily watched items? If so, why?

  • Not for me, but if it's easy to do and doesn't add clutter then others may find it useful. Certes (talk) 18:45, 23 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
    I think, that it can be useful. Patriccck (talk) 19:40, 23 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • It would be useful, to check if there's anything I want to re-watch for longer (or permanently), or to make sure I prioritise reviewing those edits because the pages they correspond to are in some way more time-sensitive. — Bilorv (talk) 19:53, 23 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • I don't think this is needed. There is a temptation to include every 'harmless' feature somebody might ever want, everywhere, but low-value options contribute to creeping UI complexity. Alsee (talk) 01:32, 25 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Might be useful but not a top priority. I would probably use permanent watch and temporary watch for different types of pages and might want to watch them separately, but I would live it would not be the case — NickK (talk) 14:31, 25 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Useful, but not a must have. --Albinfo (talk) 17:48, 25 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • I would very definitely value the ability to filter out the innumerable temporarily watched pages, but much less so the reverse. I regard the integrity of my permanent watchlist of greater importance for monitoring articles of direct interest to me. The new temporary watchlisting function will be a valuable add-on for monitoring vandalism to pages I have no interest in, or checking the activities of editors I'm currently distrustful of. I doubt I will to want to filter out everything else so that I can only check edits to these temporary pages. I suppose the value in the latter might be to allow me to look back and check very specifically for suspicious editing patterns. Nick Moyes (talk)
  • Yes. Just two different usages of watchlist: vandalism and long term looking to. --Framawiki (talk) 20:00, 27 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Probably yes, but not critical. I rarely visit my watchlist except to prune it, and I can't think why I would bother pruning temporary items, so I'd like to easily see permanent items. If a filter is the best way to accomplish this, then support. I really want to just jump to permanent, so maybe a filter is the best way to do that, but I hope I can just click one bottom and jump to the beginning of the permanent items.--Sphilbrick (talk) 00:20, 4 May 2020 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for the feedback, everyone! In summary, some people would find this valuable. However, it's not generally seen as critical or high-priority. Also, there may be more value in filtering out temporarily watched items (rather than permanently watched items), if we were to implement such a feature. This was very helpful. Much appreciated! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 21:12, 12 May 2020 (UTC)Reply

EditWatchlist: Can you clearly see that a page is being temporarily watched and for how long? And do you find this information useful, when editing your watchlist?


We're happy to read that it's clear to everyone. Also, it was helpful to read "Any value comes from being able to see and then rapidly remove temporarily watched pages." Thank you! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 15:28, 26 May 2020 (UTC)Reply

EditWatchlist: (a) Would you prefer to see the temporarily watched items sorted alphabetically or sorted by expiration date? (b) And would you prefer to see them in the same list as permanent items or in a separate section/list?

  • (a) Unsure; probably alphabetical. (b) Separate section/list. Certes (talk) 18:45, 23 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • (a) Alphabetical. (b) List. Patriccck (talk) 19:40, 23 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • (a) Expiration date (shortest to longest). (b) Same list but listed before permanent items. — Bilorv (talk) 19:53, 23 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • (a) Unsure, probably alphabetical. (b) Separate section. --Dvorapa (talk) 01:45, 24 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • (a) Expiration date (shortest to longest) seems a lot more useful. (b) A separate list would be OK, but simply putting them at the top of the list seems simpler. Note: You may need to give special attention to Special:EditWatchlist/raw. You should list the entry as raw text, probably PAGETITLE [separator-character] EXPIRATIONDATE, or the opposite order. If the user breaks the format then just keep that raw text like a permanent watchlist entry (which might point to a non-existent page), and possibly tag that entry with a red warning on Special:EditWatchlist. Alsee (talk) 02:04, 25 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • (a) Probably expiration date (shortest to longest). (b) Separate section. I would note that I hardly ever use this page, probably once or twice a year, thus I am not the best person to judge it — NickK (talk) 14:31, 25 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • (a) Expiration date (shortest to longest). (b) Same list but listed before permanent items. --Albinfo (talk) 17:49, 25 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • (a) Alphabetical listing by article title, followed by alphanumerical listing by userpage name, please. (b) A separate section within the same list is desirable. It doesn't need a separate page. Listing temporary pages before permanent ones probably makes cleaning out the temporary watchlist a lot easier. Now, a question back to you folks? What help have you considered giving mobile editors to clear out their watchlists? It's so easy with a mouse and keyboard to select an entire section or large chucks of it, and then delete the entries. But I know of no way to do that on my mobile. Selecting one entry after another and then another is impossible. Personally, I would like a 'Select all' button in each section - but especially this Temporary watchlist - so I can quickly clear them all out in one go if I'm done with them all. Nick Moyes (talk) 23:57, 25 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Expiration date (shortest to longest) seems a lot more useful. Different lists for different usages. --Framawiki (talk) 20:00, 27 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Slight preference for expiration date, although I'll be a bit of a contrarian and suggest longest first. If I am interested in trimming, I don't care about ones that expire in 3 days, but I may want to remove some that I had initially set to six months or so and now decided I do not need. The reason I don't suggest alpha, is that if I want to find a specific item, Control-F is easier than scrolling down an alpha list.Sphilbrick (talk) 00:35, 4 May 2020 (UTC)Reply

Thank you so much for the feedback, everyone! This feedback lets us know that there is no unanimous decision around alphabetical vs. expiration date listing of the temporarily watched items (so we'll look into this as a team and come back with more information). However, everyone does seem to agree that the temporarily watched items should be displayed separately, most likely in a separate section, such as at the top of the list. This information was very helpful and will inform the next stages of our work on the EditWatchlist page. Thank you! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 15:34, 26 May 2020 (UTC)Reply

@ Yes, a toggle could be added. However, we try to identify the preferable approach (whether it's alphabetical or by expiration date), so we can know the minimum viable product requirements for the feature. This way, we can deliver an experience that people find valuable and useful, while still acknowledging that we may not have capacity to do everything. We have many projects to work on, as a team, and we want to be vigilant about managing the scope of our projects. We'll be releasing a test version of the feature soon, which users will be able to test out. This version places the temporary items at the top (so they are separate from permanent items, as requested), and they are sorted according to expiration date. We look forward to receiving feedback on the implementation soon. Thank you! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 18:16, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

Watchlist & Edit:Watchlist: Would you prefer to see expiration dates for all temporarily watched pages, or only pages that are set to expire soon (for example, within one week)?


Thank you! And great point: "Excess information is harmless here." --IFried (WMF) (talk) 15:35, 26 May 2020 (UTC)Reply

Language: Which choice of words do you prefer (e.g. “expires in 3 days,” “removed in 3 days,” etc)? Note that we have provided slightly different language in the mockups, so you can review various options that we have considered.


Thank you, everyone! From this feedback, we see that there's no consensus (some ideas include "XX days left," "expires in XX days," "removed in XX days," and "still watched for XX days"). However, we do know, from this feedback, that we should try to choose language that is a) easy to understand, and b) relatively easy to translate. This was helpful & we'll look into this. --IFried (WMF) (talk) 15:38, 26 May 2020 (UTC)Reply

Anything else you would like to add?

  • Well done; this looks like a very good UI design. Certes (talk) 18:45, 23 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
    I agree. Patriccck (talk) 19:40, 23 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • I am still not sure about the tabindex under the edit window. Editors are used to tab exactly 4 times to publish changes, but with this option dropdown, this behavior seems to break. --Dvorapa (talk) 01:50, 24 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Good work. Thanx. Alsee (talk) 01:32, 25 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Good job. I think there should be an easy way to restart the counter. For instance, I am watching a talk page because I posted there 29 days ago. I posted a new message there today but my initial watch expires tomorrow, how can I restart it for 30 more days? Having it in at least two places (editing the page and EditWatchlist maybe?) would be useful — NickK (talk) 14:31, 25 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Thanks! Looking forward to use it. --Albinfo (talk) 17:55, 25 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • The ability to Select All with one button press, and then delete them all with a second button press would be invaluable for mobile phone and tablet users. Those folks can't do a rapid click or select with a mouse to clear out the stuff they don't want. Selecting each one at a time with a fat finger on a tiny screen is impracticable. Nick Moyes (talk) 23:57, 25 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • The demo screen images haven't shown any User pages. Temporarily watching userpages is almost as useful valuable as watching article page, and I'm unclear how these will be handled and displayed when editing watchlists. I'd hope we'd see all temporarily watched pages, followed by all temporarily watched userpages. Nick Moyes (talk) 23:57, 25 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Thanks --Framawiki (talk) 20:00, 27 April 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Nice work in general, some of the features I'm looking at now weren't there before and look useful. Like Nick, I'd like to hear more about user pages. Can I temp watch a user page separate form a user talk page? If so, will they show up next to each other in the list? (I'm thinking no, which might be an issue.Sphilbrick (talk) 00:39, 4 May 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Maybe outside your scope, but I'd love to be able to unwatch all red links. I do understand there are good reasons for continuing to watch red links, but I'd love to be able to select all red links, and then manually deselect the small number I might want to contiinue wtahcing, then remove from watch list.--Sphilbrick (talk) 00:39, 4 May 2020 (UTC)Reply

@Certes, Patriccck, Dvorapa, Alsee, NickK, Albinfo, Nick Moyes, Framawiki, and Sphilbrick: Thank you, everyone, for this feedback! We are very happy to read that many of you like the general approach. Also, I apologize for not responding earlier. I'll address all of the issues mentioned below:

  • Tab issues: We are currently investigating support for tabbing functionality & ease of use. Once we have more details, we'll be happy to share them with the community.
  • Editing watch periods: Yes, it will be easy to restart the watch counter. If you are changing a watch period via the star, you simply click the star (to unwatch), and then you click the star to watch the page with a new watch period. If you are changing the watch period via edit, it's even easier. When you edit, you'll see the remaining watch period in the dropdown (for example, "3 days left"). You will have the ability to keep that watch period or change it to any of the general options (permanent, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, or 6 months) provided in the dropdown.
  • Mobile experience: As you wrote, the mobile experience will need to be different. We shared some of the differences in the proposed mobile experience in the May update. We're focusing on implementing and finalizing support for desktop first, but we then hope to look into providing support for mobile, if time and resources permit. We currently have no plans to implement the ability to bulk add/delete temporarily watched pages via the watchlist or edit:watchlist, which is probably out of the scope of the project. But we appreciate this feedback and will keep it in mind.
  • User pages: You will be able to temporarily watch user pages, just like article pages. The general functionality of watching user pages will remain the same as it is currently is in on production, meaning that both the user & associated talk page will be automatically added together as watched items. You will then see one entry (which represents both the user & talk page) in Special:EditWatchlist. With the introduction of the Watchlist Expiry feature, you will also see the temporarily watched pages sorted according to expiration date on Special:EditWatchlist. These pages will be displayed in the "User" section of the page, above the permanently watched user pages. So, in total, you will be able to see the pages in a distinct and easy-to-find way. Thanks for pointing that out!
  • Automatically unwatching red links: This is a cool idea! However, yes, it is outside the scope of the project. It actually sounds like a potential new wishlist proposal. In that case, you can submit it to a future wishlist, if you are interested. Thanks for sharing the idea! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 18:55, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

Beta wiki


Hello! Will the team need beta wikis in the future? Because if yes, I'm sure the huwiki community would be happy to participate. Based on my previous experiences, there would be interested users. Feel free to ping if you need me in this matter! Regards, Bencemac (talk) 09:18, 23 May 2020 (UTC)Reply

@Bencemac: Thank you for reaching out & letting me know about this! I'll keep this in mind as we get closer to developing a release plan & will ping you if any questions arise. Much appreciated! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 22:15, 29 May 2020 (UTC)Reply
Happy to help, I look forward to it! Bencemac (talk) 07:30, 30 May 2020 (UTC)Reply

Request for feedback on mobile experience


Pinging everyone who has previously commented on the page (and apologies if I miss anyone!). @Certes, Bilorv, Alsee, PamD, NickK, Daniel Case, Albinfo, Pigsonthewing, Framawiki, NickK, Bruce1ee, Uanfala, Julle, Albinfo, Sphilbrick, Trizek, ONUnicorn, Anne Delong, Tom (LT), Barkeep49, Onel5969, Patriccck, Dcheney, John of Reading, Samwalton9, Otr500, Ladsgroup, Ammarpad, Beyond My Ken, Nick Moyes, and TheSandDoctor:

Hello, everyone! We just posted our May update to the Watchlist Expiry project page, which we invite you to check out. This update covers the proposed mobile experience of the feature, including: temporary watch via star, using the watchlist, and editing the watchlist. We would like to know what you think of the mockups and proposed user flow. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 22:03, 29 May 2020 (UTC)Reply

Sorry, guys, I like your Watchlist improvements in general, but I'm a flip phoner...Anne Delong (talk) 03:18, 30 May 2020 (UTC)Reply
I mostly use the app, so I can't be useful there. Trizek from FR 09:24, 30 May 2020 (UTC)Reply
Sorry, while I occasionally use the mobile version, it is almost always in connection with an OTRS inquiry - I've never used the watchlist functionality on mobile AFAIK, so I'm not the best person to respond — The preceding unsigned comment was added by Sphilbrick (talk) 10:02, 30 May 2020 (UTC)Reply
I don't look at my watchlist on my mobile, so I don't have anything useful to add here. Sorry. —Bruce1ee (talk) 15:40, 30 May 2020 (UTC)Reply
Same, never used wathlist on phone, sorry. But looks good! --Framawiki (talk) 21:34, 11 June 2020 (UTC)Reply

@Anne Delong, Trizek, Sphilbrick, Bruce1ee, and Framawiki: Thanks for responding and letting us know! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 22:40, 12 June 2020 (UTC)Reply

What do you generally think of the mobile temporary watch process via star? Is it clear and easy to use?


@Albinfo, Patriccck, and Dvorapa: Thanks for the feedback! It's great to know that the user flow looks good & easy to use. Also, great point about the language ("Change Duration") being a bit confusing. We'll try to see if something fits better. --IFried (WMF) (talk) 22:43, 12 June 2020 (UTC)Reply

What do you generally think of version 1 of the watchlist page (for both normal & advanced mode)? Is it clear and easy to use?


@Albinfo, Patriccck, and Dvorapa: Thanks for the feedback. I agree that version 1 is probably the better approach, since all relevant information is displayed to the user (rather than needing to tap on the clock icon). Also, thanks for input about language. We'll look into how the wording can be more helpful and clear. --IFried (WMF) (talk) 22:48, 12 June 2020 (UTC)Reply

What do you generally think of version 2 of the watchlist page (for both normal & advanced mode)? Is it clear and easy to use?


@Albinfo, Patriccck, and Dvorapa: Thank you for your feedback! It's very helpful to know that this idea is less practical and that you all prefer the first version. As a team, we agree with this analysis. In that case, we'll focus on version 1 for the mobile watchlist. --IFried (WMF) (talk) 22:51, 12 June 2020 (UTC)Reply

What do you think of the behavior when editing the watchlist (for both normal & advanced mode)? Is it clear and easy to use?

  • Looks good. I miss an option to change the duration. As far as I can see, the only way to change duration on mobile would be to go to the article, click on remove from Watchlist, click on add to Watchlist, click on change duration, set duration. --Albinfo (talk) 17:36, 30 May 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Dvorapa: Thanks for the info! Can you let us know what about the advanced mode, in particular, you don't like? We're very curious. Thanks! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 22:54, 12 June 2020 (UTC)Reply
As I said above, I don't know. Perhaps it is more cluterred with large font text, it maybe the position of the text not next to the remove checkbox. --Dvorapa (talk) 14:12, 13 June 2020 (UTC)Reply

@Albinfo, Patriccck, and Dvorapa: Thank you for the feedback! Yup, the user will not be able to change the duration when editing the watchlist (either on desktop or mobile). The primary way to change the duration for mobile users will be to unwatch via star and then watch again. We're glad that the user flow looks good, generally speaking, and I've pinged Dvorapa in a separate comment to get further details on their concerns with the advanced mode. --IFried (WMF) (talk) 22:56, 12 June 2020 (UTC)Reply

Anything else you would like to add?


@Albinfo and Patriccck: Thank you for this feedback! To clarify, are you interested in the ability to change the duration when viewing the watchlist or when editing the watchlist? And can you share a bit more information on why this would be important to you (or, alternatively, why it's not so important)? Again, we really appreciate your responses & will post further updates on the project as they come along. --IFried (WMF) (talk) 22:59, 12 June 2020 (UTC)Reply

Not so important for me, because there is a workaround.
For me, the change is not needed on the watchlist, rather on the watched page itself. You might check the page and see, that something changed – a discussion is taking longer as expected or an edit war is continuing or a problem is solved or you are not interested anymore for any other reason.
The ability is probably more needed when viewing the watchlist, but for logical reasons, it should also be a feature when editing the watchlist (I edit the watchlist – remove or add items – then I also should be able to change the other parameters like duration).
Hope this was clear. And thank you for pinging me. --Albinfo (talk) 20:47, 13 June 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Albinfo: Thanks for the explanation; it's really appreciated! We agree that it's especially important that users can change the watch status on the page itself. For this reason, we're implementing the ability to see the watch status (i.e., hover over the half star to see how many days left in watch period) and select a new watch period (i.e., unwatch and then watch again via star) directly on the page. As for the watchlist and editwatchlist, we'll be implementing the ability to see how many days are left in the watch period. It's probably out of scope in this project to include the ability to modify or update watch periods via those pages, but like you wrote, there are workarounds for users. Thanks again! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 20:13, 16 June 2020 (UTC)Reply
I think, that it can be useful for users and of course for for me. Button for change duration could be good. Patriccck (talk) 12:51, 5 July 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Patriccck: Thanks for commenting! We probably don't have the capacity or resources to allow a duration change via the watchlist or edit:watchlist. However, for desktop, we have made sure to allow the ability to change duration via the star, legacy source editor, and action=watch page. As for mobile, we are allowing the change the duration via star (since you can't watch via editing in mobile). We'll be sharing a test version of the feature (for desktop, as a first step) soon with additional updates on the project page. In that case, stay tuned & thanks for all of your feedback so far! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 19:23, 12 August 2020 (UTC)Reply

Requesting feedback on testable version


@Certes, Bilorv, Alsee, PamD, NickK, Daniel Case, Albinfo, Pigsonthewing, Framawiki, NickK, Bruce1ee, Uanfala, Julle, Albinfo, Sphilbrick, Trizek, ONUnicorn, Anne Delong, Barkeep49, Onel5969, Patriccck, Dcheney, John of Reading, Samwalton9, Otr500, Ladsgroup, Ammarpad, Beyond My Ken, Nick Moyes, and TheSandDoctor:

Hello, everyone! We have just shared a September update for the project, which announced that the feature is now ready to be tested on testwiki. We have some questions below, and we look forward to reading your feedback. For complete documentation of the feature, you can visit the documentation page on Thank you in advance! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 18:49, 9 September 2020 (UTC)Reply

What do you generally think of the feature (desktop version)?

  • The dropdown menu makes how long the box stays noticable to me in a way that it isn't for the normal watch. Maybe I'm just used to how it is or maybe there could be some kind of dismiss? And or a preference to always choose permanent (for people who don't want to change)? Overall works great, only thing I could wish for is setting my own choice of time for how long to watch. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 19:04, 9 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Barkeep49: Thank you so much for the feedback! You can dismiss the pop-up immediately by clicking on any whitespace in the pop-up. Hopefully, this resolves the issue you describe. As for a preference to always choose permanent: We tried to implement the feature in such a way that, if you want to continue to always watch permanently, you don't need to make any more changes. You can still click on a star, and then a pop-up with a success message will still display for about 5 seconds. The only difference is that the pop-up now has an optional dropdown, if the user wishes to change things. While the user experience is a bit different than the old look, the actual steps to watch permanently are the same. However, we understand where you're coming from, so we'll monitor the feedback we get on this issue. Finally, regarding the request to enable custom time periods: This would increase the scope of the project to allow such behavior (and we're trying to be especially scope-conscientious nowadays, due to reduced capacity & covid-related slowdown). However we understand that it could be useful to people to have such flexibility. For this reason, we've made note of this request, and we'll see if this is something we can explore in the future. Thank you again! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 16:34, 11 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • It looks quite nice. The changes to the interface are subtle, so I don't think it should be jarring for editors who aren't expecting it. It works really good. Though it would be really helpful if there were an option to set a custom period (I haven't followed this project since the earliest days, so I imagine this option might have already been discussed and ruled out). Uanfala (talk) 19:33, 9 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Uanfala: Thank you for your feedback, and we're so happy that you like the interface changes! As you wrote, we tried to be unobtrusive and subtle, so people wouldn't experience significant disruption to their editor processes. As for the request to select custom time periods: Yes, we have heard this from other users, and we understand that this could be helpful and convenient for many people. Right now, we're focused on finishing a working version of the feature in its current form (so, fixing bugs and addressing existing issues). The project was already quite large, and the ability to add a custom time period would increase the scope. For this reason, this is probably not something we can pursue right now, but it may be possible in the future. I have noted it and created a ticket in Phabricator, if and when such a change can be made. In the meantime, we look forward to beginning to enable Watchlist Expiry on pilot wikis in the next few weeks, and we hope that this feature helps improve your editor experience! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 16:41, 11 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Certes: Thank you! We are so happy to read this & appreciate your help over the course of this project! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 16:47, 11 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • It works but the popup is a poor interface, and there is no custom duration. As I suggested previously, I think it would work better with a [v] dropdown button to the left of the current (Un)Watch link. Ideally, clicking the (Un)Watch link itself would work as currently, toggling the basic watch status. Clicking the [v] dropdown would open something like the following:
    • o Watch this page. (Note: This would add a standard full pagewatch.)
    • o Unwatch this page. (Note: exactly one of Watch or Unwatch option is grayed-out, depending on whether the page already has a watch.)
    • o Watch this page for 1 week.
    • o Watch this page for 1 month.
    • o Watch for custom duration: [    ] o Days o Months o Years
    • o Section Watchlisting (Note: This feature will hopefully be added by the Talk Page team. Selecting this would open a sub-menu with a check box to watch-for-new-sections and a checkbox for each section on the page.)
    • o Add timed notification reminder for this page: [    ] o Days o Months o Years (Note: I think some team is working on this. If a reminder exists, this would become an option to change-or-remove the reminder)
      Alsee (talk) 23:37, 9 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Alsee: Thanks for sharing this feedback! We chose to go with the approach shared in our original mockups for a few reasons: 1) We wanted the preserve the current watch via star experience for users (who want to only watch permanently), 2) We still wanted to easily display the temporary watch options for people who *did* want to watch temporarily. and 3) When we shared our mockup examples, we received general approval and a positive response from people. That being said, I understand that some people may have some reservations about the interface, and I know you shared these views in previous talk page feedback. We'll continue to monitor what people say in regard to the interface, especially as we begin releasing it to a batch of pilot wikis. Also, while I understand that the user experience is different than you had hoped for, I do hope that this feature provides value to you and helps improve your editor experience. Thank you again! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 17:16, 11 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
IFried (WMF) my initial attempt to use the product failed, and if you want to set that aside, ok. However your reply doesn't appear to have taken into account the impact beyond the close of the immediate task. Article Reminders is an imminently pending Community Tech project, and a different Dev team has expressed interest in fulfilling the long-requested section watchlisting feature. The pop-up approach does not appear very compatible with the known development needs for this interface. When the next bit of related functionality is deployed I think it will be necessary to scrap the pop-up and go with something like the dropdown I suggested. Alsee (talk) 06:31, 12 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • as Certes ("well done") and Barkeep49: The pop-up is not fading away and there is no option to dismiss it. It would also be nice to show better that "permanent" is "checked", when the pop-up shows up. Maybe adding a ✓ would be helpful to show the pre-selection. --Albinfo (talk) 20:15, 10 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Albinfo: Thank you! There actually *is* an option to immediately dismiss the pop-up. Just click on any whitespace or non-interactive text (i.e., text with no links) in the pop-up. This will immediately dismiss the pop-up. Otherwise, you can wait for the pop-up to automatically disappear after displaying for about 5 seconds (which is the current behavior of the success message after watching a page on production). Regarding the request to add a check icon (✓): This is a cool idea! It's unfortunately out of scope for the project, since the pop-up work has been full of edge cases and bugs (the work is very delicate), so any additional user experience enhancements would probably be out of scope for us now. However, thank you for sharing it, and we'll monitor the feedback we get about the pop-up as we begin to roll out the feature to pilot wikis. Thank you for your feedback over the course of this project, and we hope this feature will improve your watchlist experience! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 17:40, 11 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
@IFried (WMF): Faid out in 5 seconds and clicking around didn't work here. --Albinfo (talk) 12:20, 14 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
It works now. Maybe I wasn't patient enough. --Albinfo (talk) 12:22, 14 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Albinfo: Okay, thanks for getting back to us & we're happy that it works for you. Please reach out if you encounter issues again. Thanks! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 23:59, 18 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Overall it's a huge step in the right direction. Two small issues:
    • There is no way to change the watch duration, you must necessarily unwatch / rewatch (e.g. if I want to stop watching temporarily and watch permanently instead). Not a big issue, probably will not be frequent, can live with it
    • No difference between permanent and temporary watch in Monobook. Do I understand correctly that in Monobook the same MediaWiki will be displayed on permanently and temporarily watched pages? Again, probably not the highest priority as Monobook is not default anymore.
    Thanks for your work — NickK (talk) 10:56, 14 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
@NickK: Thank you for sharing this feedback! It makes us very happy to read that you see this as a step in the right direction. To address your comments: First, there are a few ways to change the temporary duration. Like you wrote, if you are watching via star or "watch" link, you must first unwatch and then unwatch again. However, you can easily adjust the duration via the dropdown (without first unwatching) through the source editor or action=watch page. For more details on how to do this, you can refer to the "How to change watch period" section of the help page. Second, regarding Monobook behavior: Yes, Monobook has a "watch" link (rather than a star icon). The link text itself is the same for permanently or temporarily watched pages ("unwatch") in both cases. However, the behavior is a bit different for permanently and temporarily watched page. If you hover over the link for a permanently watched page, it will say "Remove this page from your watchlist." If you hover over the link for a temporarily watched page (for example, let's say you are watching the page for 1 week), it will say "7 days left in your watchlist. Click to remove it." In addition, you can determine the temporary watch status (and remaining days left) for pages in multiple places, such as in the source editor, action=watch page, Special:RecentChanges, Special:RecentChangedLinked, and Special:Watchlist. For more details on how to access this information, you can visit the "How to monitor temporarily watched pages" section of the help page. Thank you again, and please feel free to reach out if you have any more questions or comments! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 00:15, 19 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
@1234qwer1234qwer4: Thanks for sharing the feedback! It brings up a great point to examine a bit more. We chose the order due to the following circumstances: We wanted "Permanent" to be first (i.e., the default selection), so that users who wanted to continue watch permanently would see no disruption to their workflow. After "Permanent," we chose to have the period of time start at the smallest period of time ("1 week") rather than the longest ("6 months"). This was partially due to the fact that, when we asked people why they would use this tool and the most common timeranges they would use, we saw that people were especially interested in using the tool for shorter periods of time. For this reason, it seemed the second most useful option (after "permanent") would be a shorter period of time, such as "1 week" rather than a longer one. However, we understand why this could be confusing to people. For this reason, we'll monitor the feedback that they we get regarding the order of the time periods. Thank you again for sharing your feedback, and we encourage you to share anything else that comes to mind! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 23:28, 5 October 2020 (UTC)Reply

What do you generally think of the feature (mobile version)?


Note: Certain elements of the mobile version are still in development, but a working version is already available.

@Patriccck and Albinfo: Thank you! And, yes, we are currently working on adding the ability to see how many days are left for temporarily watched pages when in mobile view (advanced mode). We appreciate your feecback! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 17:43, 11 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
Perfect! Patriccck (talk) 17:47, 11 September 2020 (UTC)Reply

Does the feature generally satisfy the wish proposal?


@Barkeep49, Uanfala, Ammarpad, Sphilbrick, Patriccck, and Albinfo: Thank you so much! The team was so excited to see the list of "yes" responses here. We're so happy that we have satisfied the wish (though, of course, we'll still be fixing some bugs & adding some mobile enhancements), and that this feature will help you as editors. We'll continue to update the project page with updates as they come -- and, again, thank you for your support over the course of this project! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 17:46, 11 September 2020 (UTC)Reply

@IFried (WMF): When could be this function stable at Wikipedias? --Patriccck (talk) 17:49, 11 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Patriccck: Hello! Great question. You can follow our release schedule on the release schedule page. We plan to begin rolling out the feature to a batch of pilot wikis this month (starting probably within a week or two), and we'll continue to roll out in an incremental fashion. This is a big feature that impacts many things, so we need to be careful. Overall, you can expect to see Watchlist Expiry on your wiki relatively soon, most likely, but we can't give a specific date yet. You can watch the release schedule page for more details. While dates and plans may change, we'll keep the release schedule page updated with the latest information. Thanks! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 22:16, 11 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
@IFried (WMF): Thanks for reply! Could be included Czech Wikipedia (cswiki) to group with dewiki, frwiki, and fawiki please? Patriccck (talk) 10:09, 12 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Patriccck: Yes, I think we probably can include Czech Wikipedia. I'll just confirm with the database administrators (who we are sharing our release plans with) to make sure there are no issues with doing so. If that's the case, we'll add it to the release that includes dewiki, frwiki, and fawiki (and I'll update the release page with such information). So, in short: Probably yes, and I'll share the final answer soon! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 00:35, 19 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
@IFried (WMF): Thank you a lot for the information! I think that the Czech Wikipedia is quite friendly to the new functions. --Patriccck (talk) 19:10, 19 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Patriccck: Good news: We have received approval to include Czech Wikipedia in our batch of pilot wikis. I will now add it into the release plan. Thank you for encouraging its inclusion! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 16:41, 22 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Patriccck: Thanks a lot! Have a nice day. --Patriccck (talk) 18:24, 22 September 2020 (UTC)Reply

Anything else you would like to add?

  • On the Preferences→Watchlist tab, I can have pages I edit/create/... automatically added to my watchlist (permanently) or not. Would it be useful to expand that section to allow adding by default for a week/month/quarter? I'm not suggesting adding more variables but allowing each existing variable to take any of five values (no/1w/1m/3m/permanent), perhaps with radio buttons, instead of two (no/permanent) with a checkbox. Certes (talk) 21:05, 9 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Certes and Patriccck: Thanks for this feedback! We definitely see how it would be useful if the automatic watch options available in Preferences supported temporary watch. Do you propose that each row under "Watched pages" (such as "Add pages and files I edit to my watchlist" and "Add pages and files I move to my watchlist") has a separate dropdown or radio buttons, where the user can select the relevant watch period? We may not be able to do this work now, as it would increase the scope of the project and we need to begin focusing on our next project. However, this may be something that our team or a volunteer developer can implement in the future. For this reason, we would love to hear how you envision this behavior, and we'll monitor the feedback that we get on this topic. Thank you again for sharing this! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 00:55, 19 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
Yes, that's exactly what I had in mind. Not having to click the time period manually every time I edit a page would transform the usefulness of this feature, and I'm sorry for not requesting that enhancement explicitly in the initial brief. Certes (talk) 09:49, 19 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
After playing about on testwiki, most pages I watchlist explicitly would stay watched indefinitely, but I would prefer pages to be watchlisted automatically (as I edit them) for only a month. Other editors may vary: I'm a gnome, so my edits are more minor but numerous than most. It might not make a good default setting but some of us would find it a very useful option. Certes (talk) 11:41, 29 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Certes: Thank you for sharing this information! Also, it's great to hear that the majority of your watches would remain permanent/indefinite (so, the default selection would be suitable for you). As for the use case of being a gnome & wanting to watch a page for one month (if editing) by default, I think you shared a valid and interesting use case. If volunteer developers want to further enhance this feature in the future, I think one of the best things they could do is to add a greater level of customization to various editor processes (such as the gnome editing preference you explained). While we do not have capacity right now to add such customizations (since we need to begin focusing on the next project), there may be opportunities for volunteer developers, another team, or our team to further expand uses of the feature in the future. Thank you again for your feedback, and please feel free to share more if anything comes to mind. --IFried (WMF) (talk) 19:47, 6 October 2020 (UTC)Reply
Once the back end support is available, we may be able to produce some sort of gadget locally to identify pages which have been auto-added indefinitely and change them to just a month. A better solution might be to change my preferences to not watch at all by default, and design a bot to go through my recent contribution history regularly, adding newly edited pages to the watchlist for a month, if the API supports that. Certes (talk) 21:45, 6 October 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Certes: Those are both cool ideas, which volunteer developers may find very useful in the future. Thanks for sharing them! We'll also continue to monitor feedback on this topic as we release to more wikis. Again, much appreciated. --IFried (WMF) (talk) 19:10, 20 October 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Draceane: Thanks for sharing this feedback! You have made a great point, and it's helpful for us to know that the ability to watch temporarily via move (with automatic watch) would be useful to you too. We have heard this from other folks, and it's something to definitely consider implementing (either by our team or other developers) in the future. We hope you enjoy using the tool and thanks again! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 19:05, 20 October 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Does not work at all when clicking on topic watchlist star.[1][2]
    Tested interaction with Special:EditWatchlist/raw functionality, no bugs found.
    Tested with Javascript disabled: The endpoint of this workflow really should contain a convenience link to return to the original page. (This is a pre-existing issue unrelated to watchlist expiry.) Alsee (talk) 00:45, 10 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Alsee: Thanks for sharing this. Watchlist Expiry is currently not supported in topic watches, so this is not a bug. We're glad that you found no bugs when testing in Special:EditWatchlist/raw (and thanks for conducting tests & letting us know!). Finally, regarding the action=watch page: Yup, that's a great suggestion. Our work didn't include such changes, so it would be out of scope for the project, but perhaps a volunteer developer or another team can help improve the user experience for watching with Javascript disabled in the future. Thanks again for your feedback! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 01:01, 19 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Thank you! I was often thinking in the last weeks about this feature when watching or unwachting pages. I often thought that the new feature would be helpfull in this case. Looking forward to use it! --Albinfo (talk) 20:23, 10 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Albinfo: Thank you so much! It brings us such joy to know that our work is helping people out and improving their editor experience. We also look forward to releasing the feature, and we're so appreciative of your feedback over the course of this project. In that case, stay tuned for updates on the release & thank you again! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 01:03, 19 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • A bug that I found. 1. Open a page. 2. Click on a star. 3. Pick one week. 4. Wait. 5. Right click on a new half star. 6. New confirmation page opens, asking about removing from the watchlist. 7. Confirm. 8. Unexpectedly, you can see a half star. 9. Right click on it. 10. New confirmation page opens, asking about removing from the watchlist. 11. Confirm. 12. This time, it works. IKhitron (talk) 11:37, 12 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • First of all, thank you for this great feature! It happens very often that I need to watch a page, but only for a limited period of time, so this feature is very useful. One little thing that I find confusing is the word "permanent" / "permanently" that shows when watching a page for an unlimited period of time (i.e. the default). The sentence "This page has been added to your watchlist permanently" suggests that the page is now in my watchlist _forever_, and cannot be removed. I think it should be changed to something like "indefinitely" or "for an unlimited period of time" to make it more clear that the page can be manually removed from the watchlist at any time. This is, by the way, the same reason we have "indefinite blocks" but we do not have "permanent blocks". Guycn2 (talk) 02:56, 30 September 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Guycn2: Thank you so much for participating in this talk page discussion, and we're happy that you like the feature! Also, you provided some useful feedback regarding the language choice. We were initially thinking of using the word "indefinite/indefinitely," which we included in the mockups. We heard some feedback that questioned if it was the correct word, which made us think about the fact that "permanent" was perhaps a bit more helpful and accurate (and we actually read on the talk page that "indefinite" could sound like it can't be changed, so I guess both words run that risk!). However, it's a great point that the word "indefinite" is already familiar to users through the block functionality. For this reason, we'll monitor the feedback that we get on the language. Also, if you are using the feature on a wiki other than English, we encourage the wiki to use whatever translated word it finds most appropriate for the functionality (whether "permanent" or "indefinite"). Both words are suitable for that type of watch period. Thanks again and please feel free to share any more feedback that you may have! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 23:16, 5 October 2020 (UTC)Reply
@IFried (WMF): Thank you for the detailed answer! :) Guycn2 (talk) 05:13, 6 October 2020 (UTC)Reply
:::@IFried (WMF): It's here – at least in German Wikipedia. Really cool - happy - thank you! --Albinfo (talk) 21:11, 16 October 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Albinfo: Thank you so much for the wonderful message! We're so happy that Watchlist Expiry makes you happy :) --IFried (WMF) (talk) 18:56, 20 October 2020 (UTC)Reply
@IFried (WMF): Is there an option in the visual editor to add a page to the watchlist for a temporaty time period? I think this is missing. --Albinfo (talk) 23:09, 10 November 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Albinfo: Thanks for reaching out with the question. Unfortunately, there is no option to watch temporarily with VisualEditor at this time, which we shared in the documentation. Here's why: We conducted a technical discussion and analysis of the work required to add support for the feature in VisualEditor, which included consultation with the Editing team. Our conclusion was that it would be possible to do such work, but we did not have the time or resources to do it, if we wanted time for other community wishlist projects. Right now, users can watch temporarily in 3 places (star, source editor, and action=watch page). We have heard that, after these three places, the next most requested way to watch temporarily would be via the automatic watch options in Preferences. We also understand that for it would be useful for folks to have the support in VisualEditor. For this reason, we have written a Phabricator ticket for the work required, which includes a mockup example of how it would look. Any thoughts related to such support can be added directly to the Phabricator ticket. Perhaps our team, another team, or a volunteer developer can look into working on such support in the future. In the meantime, we'll be pivoting to other wishlist projects and monitoring feedback related on the feature overall. Thanks again for raising this question! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 15:59, 13 November 2020 (UTC)Reply



Just wanted to leave a note saying I just ran into this while editing on the English Wikipedia and was absolutely delighted. I didn't know y'all were working on this, but it's something I've wanted for a very, very long time. Great work, and thank you! GorillaWarfare (talk) 00:40, 2 December 2020 (UTC)Reply

GorillaWarfare, thank you so much for the comment! We are so happy that you enjoy using the tool and find it helpful to your editor processes. Like you wrote, many editors have wanted this feature for years; it's been our pleasure to make this wish possible. Thank you again! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 20:50, 4 December 2020 (UTC)Reply
  • Concurring with GorillaWarfare. I'd sort of been vaguely aware some work was being done on this, but wasn't following. It looks like it works pretty well, and I'd say this is an excellent first step. I agree with some of the commenters above that the following are much-desired features:
    • Being able to determine the precise amount of time one wants to watch a page, rather than (reasonable but) arbitrary timespans
    • It would be nice but probably not mandatory to have some form of variation in the "watch/unwatch" tab for Monobook; while it's not the default skin, it remains a supported skin. Not sure what it looks like on other supported skins.

      Thanks again for all of your work on this. Risker (talk) 04:25, 2 December 2020 (UTC)Reply

Risker, thank you for the comment and feedback! We're happy to read that, from your early tests, it seems to work well too. Regarding the two points you shared above: Yup, we have heard from other editors that they would like to be able to set a custom time period in the dropdown. We have also heard from people that they would like the ability to set a temporary time period as default for their automatic watches (which was included as a wish in the current 2021 survey). If you are interested in further enhancements to the feature, you may be interested in that wish (which, while a bit different, focuses on the overall expansion of the feature). Regarding your second point about Monobook: You can watch temporarily by clicking the "watch" tab, which will generate the same pop-up as seen in Vector and other skins. Can you explain what you mean by a variation in the watch/unwatch tab (since I'm not sure I understand what you mean)? As for other skins, this feature is usable by all 6 main skins (New Vector, Legacy Vector, MinervaNeue, Modern, Monobook, and Timeless) available in the "Appearance" tab of Preferences. You either click on the star or the "watch" link to watch temporarily, depending on the skin. Thanks! --IFried (WMF) (talk) 21:01, 4 December 2020 (UTC)Reply
Oh yes, it definitely *works* in Monobook. I was referring to the fact that, in Vector at least, there is a visual difference in the "star" between permanently and temporarily watched pages, and it would be nice to have a similar marker on Monobook. Risker (talk) 21:06, 4 December 2020 (UTC)Reply
Risker, got it. Thanks for clarifying! Right now, there's one way to distinguish between permanently & temporarily watched pages via the "watch/unwatch" link in Monobook. If you hover over the link and you're watching a page temporarily, the tooltip will state how many days are left in the watch period, whereas the tooltip will simply say "Remove this page from your watchlist" for permanently watched pages. However, we understand that this isn't as intuitive and accessible as the behavior in other skins with the star. We don't have any enhancements for Monobook on our roadmap now, but we'll monitor the feedback we receive on this issue (and, of course, we are open to any volunteer developers looking to address this issue). Again, thanks for your feedback --IFried (WMF) (talk) 22:32, 4 December 2020 (UTC)Reply

"Permanent" should be "Indefinite"


It's a minor point, but Permanent sounds irrevocable; Indefinite would be a better choice (paralleling indefinite blocks, for example). 20:09, 7 December 2020 (UTC)Reply

Two Questions


1) I'm using this on wiki-en, and it appears that items I add to my watchlist are now getting a default expiration of 30 days. Is there a way to change that default setting? My personal preference would be three months.

2) It would be nice if there was a way to extend the expiration if I add a new comment to a page. For instance, I comment on Talk page X and set the expiration for 30 days. If, 20 days later, I leave another comment on Talk page X, it would be helpful to have the expiration automatically reset to 30 days. Doniago (talk) 15:00, 3 February 2021 (UTC)Reply

Is it possible to mass-add temporary-watched pages?


Hello, on WP:fr we have a bot-based tool that allows you to get an email with a list of articles that aren’t watched by anyone (or very few people), so that you can add them to your watchlist and help detect vandalism. The workflow looks like this: you select which projects you are interested in; you get an email with the relevant articles attached to these projects; you copy the list and paste it in your watchlist 'raw edit' page. There’s a question about this tool from someone who would like to temporarily add these articles to their watchlist. Is there some way to do that? As far as I understand the only way to temporarily add a bunch of articles to your watchlist is to manually go on each article and click on the star then use the dropdown. Thanks in advance. -- Okhjon (talk) 22:17, 5 October 2021 (UTC)Reply

3-day (72-hour) expiry period choice


Sometimes I just want to watch something I've edit for a few days. Is there any way to add this to the list of expiry period choices? StefenTower (talk) 23:01, 16 October 2023 (UTC)Reply

Which one, 3 hour or 72 hour? IKhitron (talk) 12:51, 17 October 2023 (UTC)Reply
Each wiki has control over this at MediaWiki:Watchlist-expiry-options. There's no way to customize this on a per-user basis, however you can watch for any arbitrary amount using using the API (help). In theory someone could write a gadget or user script to allow you to modify the options in the dropdpwon. I found w:en:User:Rummskartoffel/auto-watchlist-expiry which does something similar; perhaps it is of help.
Note however a watch period of less than 24 hours isn't guaranteed to be accurate, depending on how often the jobs are ran. "1 day" should probably be the minimum possible value, even though it isn't enforced by the API. MusikAnimal (WMF) (talk) 07:15, 18 October 2023 (UTC)Reply
I'd like to see this added as an option for everyone, at least on en-wiki. And I meant "3-day" (now corrected). I use the script you mention, but it doesn't cover the case when I want to change the expiration on a page without having to do an edit, nor would it work for the change (in development) of having an automatic expiry for edits (thinking of when edits are done by scripts, for example). StefenTower (talk) 21:33, 2 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
I meant to say "3-day". Corrected. StefenTower (talk) 21:29, 2 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
Return to "Community Tech/Watchlist Expiry" page.