Echo

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The Echo Extension was added to the TNG Wiki with the MediaWiki 1.25.3 upgrade in order to allow users to be notified on changes..

Usage

Echo changes the way notifications are handled in the wiki, adding a number of new situations in which you can potentially be notified of changes to the wiki if you are a contributor.

The most obvious change is a small number in a grey square at the top of the page next to your name when you are logged in, which will silently turn red when you have any notifications. Another is in your Preferences page which you get to by hitting the tab at the top of each page. There is now a separate tab called Notifications instead of the Email options section that used to be at the bottom of the User Profile page.

Echo is called an engagement tool in the mediawiki documentation and one new opportunity for engagement is typically on talk pages, which are currently underused on the wiki. If you add another user's name as a link, e.g. User:Chris Moss or Chris Moss (hiding the User: part), then a notification is sent to that person even if that page is not on their watchlist. This is a good way of drawing someone in to a discussion.

The Preference page lists 5 situations in which you can receive messages:

  1. Talk page message - someone has written on your talk page.
  2. Mention (as above)
  3. Page link - a link has been created to a page you created
  4. Edit revert - someone has reverted an edit that you have made to a page
  5. Thanks - someone has thanked you for an edit

For each of these you can select a web link that shows up silently as a red number at the top of your page, and/or to receive an email. The talk page message web link is always set. But you need to turn on the others.

If you are getting too many notifications, you can opt to bundle them up daily or weekly or turn off all emails (e.g. when on holiday) using the select on the Preferences page.

The last option (Thanks) shows up as a "thank" option on a watchlist or page history. Clicking on the link sends the thanks.

An extra facility that is not under user's control is the ability to send a welcome message to a new user.

Implementation

To enable the extension the following was added to the LocalSettings.php by the bureaucrat:

# Extensions/Echo
	require_once "$IP/extensions/Echo/Echo.php";

See MediaWiki Help:Notifications

Since it includes a new table, it requires that you run the update script which will automatically create the necessary database tables that this extension needs. See how to run the update script when you do not have shell access.