Extension:Semantic Watchlist

MediaWiki extensions manual
Semantic Watchlist
Release status: stable
Implementation Special page , API , User interface, Ajax, Notify
Description Provides a watchlist and notifier for changes to semantic properties
Maintainer(s) WikiTeq team
Latest version See RELEASE NOTES (2022-03-23)
Compatibility policy For every MediaWiki release that is a Long Term Support release there is a corresponding branch in the extension.
MediaWiki 1.35, 1.39
PHP 7.3+
Database changes Yes
Composer mediawiki/semantic-watchlist
License GNU General Public License 3.0 or later
  • $wgDefaultUserOptions
    (swl_email, swl_watchlisttoplink)
  • $egSWLEnableEmailNotify
  • $egSWLMailPerChange
  • $egSWLMaxMails
  • $egSWLEnableTopLink
  • semanticwatch
  • semanticwatchgroups


  • Semantic MediaWiki 3.0+

The Semantic Watchlist extension (abbreviated as SWL) enables users to "watch", i.e. monitor changes in, properties defined by the Semantic MediaWiki extension. SWL defines a new watchlist page that lists changes to these properties. Users can choose to follow one or more watchlist groups, which are administrator defined, and cover a set of properties and a set of pages (category, namespace, or SMW concept). Notification of changes to watched properties is also possible via email.

Rationale edit

Users often want to keep track of the changes made on a wiki. On small wikis the RecentChanges special page often suffices for this. For bigger wikis, you might only be interested in changes to some of the articles, for example those which you are knowledgeable about, or those which contain sensitive data. The MediaWiki watchlist is a great tool for watching content on per-article basis.

In semantic wikis, you might be interested in only watching changes to semantic properties that you care about. For example, on an auction wiki, the price of an item might be the only thing you are truly concerned about, on the page for that item. The Semantic Watchlist extension allows for such fine-grained watching of changes.

Feature overview edit

Installation and requirements edit

Installation is done using Composer. See the instructions in the README file.

Updating from version 0.1 edit

If you're updating from version 0.1 of Semantic Watchlist, you will need to add one more column to one of the SWL database tables. To do that, call the following SQL within the database:

ALTER TABLE /*$wgDBprefix*/swl_groups ADD COLUMN group_custom_texts BLOB null

Configuration edit

Configuration of Semantic Watchlist is done by setting various global variables in the LocalSettings.php file. These statements need to be placed AFTER the inclusion of Semantic Watchlist. The options, and their default values, are listed below.

Email notifications edit

  • $egSWLEnableEmailNotify - whether to email users on changes (default is true)
  • $egSWLEnableSelfNotify - whether users will be notified of their own changes (default is false)
  • $egSWLMailPerChange - whether to send an email on every change, as opposed to a generic "something changed" email for the first $egSWLMaxMails changes (default is true)
  • $egSWLMaxMails - the maximum amount of generic emails to send about changes until the user actually checks their semantic watchlist (default is 1)
  • $wgDefaultUserOptions['swl_email'] - the value for the user preference to receive email notifications (default is true)

Top link edit

  • $wgDefaultUserOptions['swl_watchlisttoplink'] - the value for the user preference to view a top link to the semantic watchlist (default is true)
  • $egSWLEnableTopLink - whether to display a top link to the semantic watchlist (default is true)

Permissions edit

Semantic Watchlist adds 2 permissions to MediaWiki: one to use the semantic watchlist (i.e. Special:SemanticWatchlist) and one that allows configuring the watchlist groups (i.e .Special:WatchlistConditions).

Using the watchlist edit


# Users that can use the semantic watchlist.
$wgGroupPermissions['*'            ]['semanticwatch'] = false;
$wgGroupPermissions['user'         ]['semanticwatch'] = true;
$wgGroupPermissions['autoconfirmed']['semanticwatch'] = true;
$wgGroupPermissions['bot'          ]['semanticwatch'] = false;
$wgGroupPermissions['sysop'        ]['semanticwatch'] = true;

Configuring watchlist groups edit


# Users that can modify the watchlist groups via Special:WatchlistConditions
$wgGroupPermissions['*'            ]['semanticwatchgroups'] = false;
$wgGroupPermissions['user'         ]['semanticwatchgroups'] = false;
$wgGroupPermissions['autoconfirmed']['semanticwatchgroups'] = false;
$wgGroupPermissions['bot'          ]['semanticwatchgroups'] = false;
$wgGroupPermissions['sysop'        ]['semanticwatchgroups'] = true;

(Until version 0.2.1, Semantic Watchlist defined its own user group as well, 'swladmins'.)

Usage edit

The watchlist edit

Each user can view changes to properties they watch on Special:SemanticWatchlist, which looks and works similar to the regular watchlist. Items that have not been viewed yet on the watchlist will be indicated as 'NEW'.

Watchlist preferences edit

Each user can manage which watchlist groups they follow via their user preferences. They can also choose if they want to receive email notifications or not. These preferences can be found on Special:Preferences, which is linked at the right top of the page in most skins for logged in users.

Watchlist groups edit

The watchlist groups can be managed via the Special:WatchlistConditions page by people that have the 'semanticwatchgroups' right, by default only administrators. Each group has a name, which allows users to easily recognize the groups in their preferences, and a single category, namespace or concept it covers. Only changes to properties on pages in this category, namespace or concept will be shown to users watching this group. Each group also has a list of properties, which further restricts what property changes should be shown to the user.

Authors edit

Semantic Watchlist was originally written by Jeroen De Dauw, as WikiWorks consultant for the IEEE. It was then modified by Nischay Nahata, again for WikiWorks and the IEEE. Code and design contributions were also made by Yaron Koren.

Screenshots edit

External links edit

See also edit