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I don't know about other folks but one little thing about TWiki that's been really bugging me recently is that WebChanges actually gives me very little useful information about recent changes in a conversation. The only useful information is that there has been a change (although I can't tell if it's a minor edit or a total refractor) and who made the change. The topic summary is completely worthless if you are already familiar with the discussion since it doesn't change. As such, I consider it essentially noise. As a result, I'm constantly having to open topics up, scroll to the bottom to see if there's new content, or if not, scan back through the topic to see if I can spot what's changed, and if I still haven't found it, try diffs. After all this, I may discover someone did some minor editing. Is this a picture of an effective communication medium?

I would really like to see a WebChanges that shows me what's actually new. I understand the problems of formatting the actual diffs, although I think even a funky presentation of that would be better than what we have now. I suspect that a better solution would be to incorporate AddCheckInComment.

-- LynnwoodBrown - 30 Sep 2004

I STRONGLY SECOND Lynnwood's assessment.

-- MattWilkie - 30 Sep 2004

I would really like if the check "Minor Changes, don't notify" also prevented the topic from being shown in the WebChanges topic. That way only relevant changes will be notified both by mail and WebChanges.

As an example, I once triggered a massive topic updates in WebChanges because I just changed the InterestedParties field in all topics that were of interest to me. In all of them I checked "Minor changes".

-- RafaelAlvarez - 30 Sep 2004

This feature would be tremendously useful for our TWiki. Combined with per-page notifications, this would make change notifications more useful than the current ones which contain more topics than I'm interested in and diffs that frequently don't adequately explain what changed or why.

-- MikeSalisbury - 30 Sep 2004

I am afraid that adding a comment could work on some installations, but that most people would forgo.

Diffs have been mentioned before. What if we could combine DiffRawRendering with WebChanges? Would at least be more useful, except for the meta information.

-- ArthurClemens - 30 Sep 2004

I could see using a combination. Include the edit-comment first, followed by the first x letters of DiffRawRendering. If there's no edit-comment, well, that part's just not there.

-- LynnwoodBrown - 01 Oct 2004

Agreed. I use WebChanges all the time, preferring it over the SpamFactory. But I am constantly irritated by two things:

  1. I have to visit the topic to see what the change was
  2. It tells me about minor changes
Given that we have the minor changes flag on save, why not do the following:
  1. Record in .changes that it was flagged as minor
  2. Have a button on WebChanges named "show minor changes", unchecked by default, that otherwise filters the minor changes (parameter to changes script)
  3. Use Algorithm::Diff to get a simple set of diffs for the topic on save. Limit this to XX characters and save it in .changes. (this could work at the same time as the solution for ReleaseLocksOnSave)
-- CrawfordCurrie - 01 Oct 2004

Lynnwood, you might find the in-line diff links in WebChangesForAllWebs useful. Although I agree with everything you said.

I think we need MoreMetaData so that we can do more with %SEARCH{}%.

-- SamHasler - 02 Oct 2004

Sam - thanks for reminding me about that! I was using WebChangesForAllWebs for a while but decided I like viewing the webs separately. in-line diff is an improvement. Perhaps we should include that link in WebChanges. I'd still be nice to be able to get some info about changes before clicking any link.

-- LynnwoodBrown - 02 Oct 2004

It'd also be nice to show how old the topics are. This could be done by either showing the current server time or, better, showing the offset from now of how long ago the topic was modified. (Like O'Wiki used to).

-- MartinCleaver - 02 Oct 2004

i think the ability to get an inline diff from the last time/revision you viewed the topic could "fix" 50% of the problem? this is something i worked on on o'wiki (i made all the parts, but hadn't connected all of it together)

-- WillNorris - 04 Oct 2004

rev 3559 in DEVELOP reports changes in topics using word diffs. Works for "changes" script only; if we like it - and are prepared to take the performance hit - then it can be used in email notification as well. Maybe even in SEARCH ?

-- CrawfordCurrie - 21 Jan 2005

+1 for AddCheckInComment, and an easy way to view the check-in comment history

-- BowenDwelle - 24 Mar 2005

I had never used that WebChangesForAllWebs. not bad, but still you have to check per topic... what about trying to identify some sort of metric by which we could quantify an edit? any metric would be partial, biased, questionable, you name it, but it would be a way to measure a change, once you know how a metric works, you have at least a faint idea of what might have happened to the topic.

a first suggestion (VERY easy to implement) could be <the amount of lines added>/<the amount of lines removed>

-- MarioFrasca - 24 Mar 2005

+"Me too" for AddCheckInComment,

-- AntonAylward - 13 Jan 2006

I also think that a more descriptive changes summary helps. DakarRelease code already has a $changes token for FormattedSearch, albeit a bit buggy (Bugs:Item1389).

In the mean time as a workaround, this is what I do all the time: Click on the date link instead of the topic link. This still is one click away to find out what changed, but way shorter than a click, scroll to bottom, click operation.

-- PeterThoeny - 13 Jan 2006

Share your opinion of this idea by selecting one of the radio buttons below and clicking the button.
It would be nice ... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... I want this so much it hurts

Average desireability: 8.6     Number of votes: 15

Note: specific proposal at this stage is a simple diff string in place of the current topic summary in change reporting.

-- CrawfordCurrie - 12 Jan 2005

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Topic revision: r27 - 2006-01-19 - SteffenPoulsen
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