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The Recent changes page lets you see the most recent edits made to pages in the Law & Order Wiki. Using this page, users can monitor and review the work of other users, allowing mistakes to be corrected and vandalism to be eliminated. There is a link to the recent changes page at the top of the page and in the sidebar. You can also create a link to the page as [[Special:Recentchanges]].

For a general guide to the recent changes page see Enhanced Recent Changes.

Understanding Recent Changes

(This section is about the classic recent changes, which is the default. Logged-in users can use the enhanced recent changes).

With the default preferences, the bulk of the page consists of fifty lines, one for each edit, looking like this:

This indicates three edits: the first by a user who is not logged in, to Jennifer Sisko; the second by Gvsualan to Commander's log, Deep Space 9; and the third by Bp to Star Trek: The Animated Series DVD.

From left to right:

  • diff links to the diff-page for this edit; it is not available for new pages, or for page moves.
  • The hist link corresponds to the history link on the edited page: it shows not just this edit but also older and newer ones.
  • A bold m indicates that the user marked the edit "minor". Only logged in users can mark edits minor, to avoid abuse.
  • A bold N indicates that the article is "new", i.e., previously did not exist in the Law & Order Wiki database. It is possible for a change to possess both the "minor" and "new" indicators; this is typically used for new redirects.
  • The next link is a link to the current version of the page in question.
  • 23:41 refers to the time in UTC. You can change the time to your time zone using your preferences - see how to set preferences.
  • For logged in users, the next link is a link to their homepage, and will be in blue if the page exists, red if it does not. For users who are not logged in, the next link is a link to their user contributions.
  • Next, there is a link to the user's talk page. This will appear red if the page doesn't exist, blue if it does.
  • Finally, only for users that are logged in, there is a link to their user contributions page.
  • For page moves, a link is given to both the old and new title.

Preferences

Logged in users can set preferences to adjust the way that recent changes looks. For help in doing this, see how to log in and how to set preferences. The options that affect recent changes are:

  • Hide minor edits in recent changes - this hides all edits that have been marked as minor by logged in users;
  • Enhanced Recent Changes - this option groups multiple edits together. It uses JavaScript, and won't work in every browser (see browser notes). See enhanced recent changes for more information.
  • Number of recent changes - this lets you select the number of changes which will be shown by default on the Recent Changes page. Once on that page, links are provided for other options. In the case of Enhanced Recent Changes this number of changes includes those that are initially hidden.

Viewing new changes starting from a particular time

If you have loaded the recent changes at, for example, 09:45 Feb 25, 2003, it gives a link "Show new changes starting from 09:45 Feb 25, 2003", giving you the changes you have not seen yet. In order to use this link later, after you have used the browser window for other things, or if you switch off the computer in between, you can instruct your browser to bookmark it. Alternatively, you can save the page with recent changes.

To get the new changes without one of these preparations, use (in this case, if the time above is UTC+1):

http://lawandorder.wikia.com/index.php?title=Special:Recentchanges&from=20031213084500

where the format is yyyymmddhhmmss, UTC time.

You can copy the above URL to the address bar and change the date and time.

The "Number of titles in recent changes" set as preference is applicable.

This feature can not be used in conjunction with "hide logged in users" (see below) unless the URL is modified manually.

Hiding logged in users from recent changes

Special:Recentchanges/hideliu is a version of recent changes that only shows changes by users who have not logged in. This can be useful for those watching out for vandalism. Features such as viewing changes starting from a particular time can be used with the hideliu feature, but only by manually altering the URL to add &hideliu=1 to it. For example, clicking the time (as described in the section above) may take you to the URL

http://lawandorder.wikia.com/index.php?title=Special:Recentchanges&from=20030802064526

You would need to change this to read

http://lawandorder.wikia.com/index.php?title=Special:Recentchanges&from=20030802064526&hideliu=1

in order to view the recent changes without logged in users starting from this time.

Restriction on number of edits; alternatives

Edits older than the server configuration variable $wgRCMaxAge are not listed in recent changes. If a request would involve more, no edits are given, nor any error message: the response is a blank page (not to be confused with no response; the response is a HTML page with nothing in the body part); alternatively after 30 minutes the system still says it is busy, but nothing is shown.

Checking changes for a longer period is restricted to watched pages (use my watchlist in combination with "Revision history"), pages that are linked from a given page (use "Related changes" in combination with "history"), newly created pages (use Special:Newpages, then view the current version, or, if desired, also the revision history), individual pages (use "history") and individual users (use "User contributions" in combination with "history"). See also below.

Edit records that are changed or lost

After a page has been renamed (moved), earlier edits, including the original creation of the page, are shown in recent changes, etc. under the new name. After a page has been deleted, earlier edits, including the original creation of the page, are not shown in recent changes, etc.

This is caused by the fact that recent changes pages, etc., are created on demand, based on the pages that exist at the time of the request, and on the name they have at that time.

In this, recent changes differs from a real log of editing events (the latter in the sense that something that has happened can not be changed afterwards).

However, some edit lines are in recent changes (as long as it lasts) but no longer in edit histories, watchlists, related changes or user contributions: when moving a page over a redirect, the creation of that redirect is only in recent changes (and only if that was recent enough, of course). In particular this applies in the case of re-renaming a page back to its original name, and subsequent renamings back and forth.

Other features showing lines about edits

See places where the edit summary appears.

Revision history (also called page history)

Every line represents one edit to the given page and the version resulting from it:

  • "last" is similar to "diff", explained above
  • "cur" gives the difference between this version and the current one (i.e., excluding the edit shown by pressing the "last" next to it), which is the cumulation of all later edits, including those which are not in this revision history because they were made after loading this page
  • the date and time link to the version of that day and time, except that in the first line, which is about the latest edit at the time of loading this revision history, the date and time link to the current version, hence with the changes made after this revision history was loaded;

The "cur" and "last" features are similar to those in enhanced recent changes, except for "cur" in the first line: it is not linked in the revision history, while in the enhanced recent changes it gives the differences corresponding to the last edit; just after loading the revision history this is the same as the "cur" link of the second line gives, but if there have been edits after loading it is different.

Recentchanges

A screenshot of a recent changes list

Wikis based on the new Unified Community Platform (UCP) may look or behave differently to what is described below.
See this page for more information on the new platform.

Recent Changes (or as it's sometimes referred to, RC) is similar to Wiki Activity: they both track contributions on a wiki. However, Recent Changes records all of the activity - it's more of a technical feed of everything that's taking place on a wiki.

Recent Changes is a way of monitoring a wiki. It can also be really helpful as a way to look back and find something you edited, uploaded or removed. It's a quick short-cut to seeing what's happening on each wiki you visit. Whenever a change occurs, it is listed along with the user who made the change, the time, and a link to the edit. Recent Changes can be found at Special:RecentChanges.

How to interpret the log

An example change:

N 21:02 Page Name (diff | hist) . . (+33) . . User Name (wall | contribs) (test edit)

'diff' and 'hist' links.

  • diff - takes you to the page diff view, which shows you the difference from the last version in comparison with the newest version.
  • hist - takes you to the page history where you can compare old versions of the page.

N, m, b or no letter at all.

  • These are listed before the page name.
    • N signifies that the page is a new page.
    • m means that the editor marked the change as a minor edit.
    • b signifies that the page was edited by a bot.
  • If there's no letter before the page name, that means it was a normal edit. It could have been something like adding a section or sourcing claims.

Page name

  • The page name is listed and links to the most recent version of the page (including for images and files).

Timestamp

  • A timestamp places itself before the page name, and is shown in the time zone you have chosen in your preferences.

Colored numbers

  • The positive/negative numbers after the page name show how many characters were added to or removed from the old page, which gives you a rough idea how much the page has changed.
  • This can be very helpful in spotting great new additions, or page-blanking vandalism.

Italic text inside the parentheses.

  • The italic comment inside the parentheses is the edit summary of an edit: a small comment explaining how someone changed a page. For example, if you cleaned up a messy page, you could leave cleanup as the edit summary.
  • Since edit summaries are made by choice, not all edits in recent changes will have edit summaries.

Recent changes options

Rclinks

Links at the top of recent changes page

The first line provides links to allow you to increase the size of the RC page, so that you can see more edits going further back in time. (Items do eventually drop off of the Recent changes — you can't go back forever.)

The second line allows you to hide or show edits marked "minor", "bot", "anon", "logged-in" or your own edits. Each of these is helpful to different kinds of editors, who use Recent changes for different tasks.

The drop-down box allows you to show only recent changes for a particular namespace, such as 'File' or 'Template'.

The "Hide grouped recent changes" link turns off and on the advanced Recent Changes page, described below.

Note: This box of links can collapsed and reopened by clicking the 'Recent changes options' heading. The expanded/collapsed state is remembered on a per-community basis.

Advanced Recent Changes

By default, "advanced/enhanced/grouped recent changes" is enabled. The preference is located in the "Under the Hood" tab of Special:Preferences, under "Use advanced recent changes".

It groups recent changes per day, where "day" is defined by the time in your preferences. For each day, it groups the changes for each article, and displays each group in order of the most recent edit.

This feature is especially useful if many edits are likely to occur to a single article over the course of a day, as that article will only show once on the list, with all changes to it grouped together.

Standard Recent Changes

If you turn off advanced recent changes in your preferences, Recent Changes will show every edit will be listed in order. This can be useful for getting a clearer view of the overall activity on a wiki.

Next steps

Further help and feedback

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