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Summary: Ways to more easily detect and verify all recent edits
Version: N/A
Maintainer: Petko
Discussion: TrackChanges-Talk?
Users: +4 (View / Edit)
License: PD


On an open wiki, that anyone can edit, or on one with multiple editors, verifying changes made by others requires time and a fair number of clicks. This page lists a number of tweaks to make this task easier.

Please add or link other tweaks useful for tracking changes.

Better RecentChanges pages

PmWiki's RecentChanges pages are a good way to check recent wiki activity, but the default format displays only a list of links to the pages. There are two inconvenient things:

  • to see what are the actual changes, one must click first on the link to the page, then on the "History" link;
  • it is difficult to know which changes were reviewed (unless one remembers the timestamps).

This snippet will enable a direct link to the page history. The link includes a timestamp and when it is clicked, its appearance changes to "visited link"; if a new edit of the page is made, the link in RecentChanges will display as "unvisited link".

Place this code by the end of (farm)config.php :

foreach($RecentChangesFmt as $k=>$v)
  $RecentChangesFmt[$k] = str_replace('$CurrentTime',
    '[[{$Group}.{$Name}?action=diff#diff$Now|$CurrentTime ]]', $v);

Please note that the recipe LocalTimes has the same feature and you must not install it along with the above code.

To benefit from the "visited link" feature, your skin/css should define different styles for visited and non-visited links. The default PmWiki skin does; if yours doesn't, you can add to a file /pub/css/local.css such a code for dark-violet visited links:

a:visited {color: #4b0082;}

This recipe is now enabled on, see RecentChanges (actually, LocalTimes is enabled but you can see the links to the page histories which are similar).

See also:

Shorter RecentChanges

On a wiki with many pages, RecentChanges lists may grow to become very large. While it is possible to define a maximum number of lines (see $RCLinesMax), it is safer not to. Here is what else can be done.

Create a new wiki page Site.AllRecentChangesShort with the following markup:

(:include Site.AllRecentChanges lines=50:)

Then, this page will display the first 50 lines of AllRecentChanges, that is 50 most recently modified pages. In some cases this is enough to track the activity for a week or month. This tweak is used here on see Site.AllRecentChangesShort. For a longer discussion, see RecentChanges Excerpt.


See Watch Lists. To use here "visited links" like in RecentChanges (see above), you can use such a pagelist template (add in your Site.LocalTemplates):

!! Better WatchList
[[{=$FullName}?action=diff&source=y&stamp={=$LastModifiedTime} | \
{(ftime "%d.%m %Hh%M" "@{=$LastModifiedTime}")} ]] | \
'''[[{=$FullName}|{=$Name}]]''' - [[~{=$LastModifiedBy}]] \

And in your WatchList page, use (:pagelist ... fmt=#RCstamps:).

Note: the recipe requires PmWiki version 2.2.0-beta67 or newer.

Optimizing page history

Cookbook /
ExpireDiff  How to remove a page's history (Stable)
ExpireDiff-Talk  Talk page for ExpireDiff.
InlineDiff  Shows the difference between 2 versions by highlighting the changes in markup on word level. (stable)
InlineDiff-Talk  Talk page for InlineDiff.
LimitDiffsPerPage  Paginate the "diff" output (when viewing a page history, limit the number of displayed revisions at once) (Stable/Beta)
PageDiffSize  Add an accurate count of characters added & removed to each edit summary (beta)
SysDiff  Use an external "diff" program to speed saving of long pages. (Stable)
ViewDiff  Compare arbitrary revisions and view a particular version. (Beta)

The SQLite recipe also strives to optimize page history handling.

A Notify tweak

You can use Notify to receive e-mails when wiki pages are edited. This tweak in (farm)config.php will place links directly to the page history, instead of to the page:

 $NotifyItemFmt = " * {\$FullName} . . . \$PostTime by {\$LastModifiedBy}

See also:

  • $NotifyItemFmt and $NotifyBodyFmt, where you could place a link to your AllRecentChangesShort page.
  • PITS:01171 for a way to include the edit summary and the page summary in the notifications

Log Recipe

  • ActionLog : "Maintain a page log of wiki actions"

See Also

  • LocalTimes Display RecentChanges and History timestamps in the local timezone of each visitor.
  • GrepRC Search the RecentChanges entries similarly to a pagelist
  • SpamFilters Automatic blocking of some spambots


  • Petko (5ko [snail] 5ko [period] fr)
  • If this recipe helps you or saves you time, you can help support its continued development by .


User notes +4: If you use, used or reviewed this recipe, you can add your name. These statistics appear in the Cookbook listings and will help newcomers browsing through the wiki.

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Page last modified on September 06, 2015, at 05:06 PM