Solving the "watch a category" problem

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Solving the "watch a category" problem

Brianna Laugher
Well, lately my posts here are falling on deaf ears. But since this
one is more technical maybe it will get some attention. :P

Bug 1710: Ability to watch all articles in a category
http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1710

(By 'watch', I assume this means 'receive notification when members
are added to/removed from the category', rather than 'put all members
on my watchlist automatically')

Anyone who works with the category system would be well aware how much
this is needed, so that the categories can be properly maintained. It
doesn't seem like an official MediaWiki solution is going to show up
any time soon. I had an idea for a solution:
Make an article page, maybe for category X call it 'X watchlist' or 'X
changes log', that you can put on your watchlist. Have a Bot somehow
monitor the category (like, look at the category and compare the names
of members to previous check) and report any differences on the
article. Then by watching the article you will effectively get to find
out any changes within the category.

The bot would only need to check the category like once a day, I would
say. And possibly you would want to not allow this for very very large
categories like [[:Category:Public domain]] or [[:Category:Linguistic
maps]] or whatever. But for country-level cats and below it should be
OK.

So... thoughts? Please fwd to wikitech-l if appropriate & if you're on
that list.

I look forward to you techy-types nutting this one out for me. :)
thanks,

Brianna [[user:pfctdayelise]]
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