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Explicit Page Notify

I created a forum using forms, search, and the CommentPlugin. The forum is intended to replace a well known mailing list at the company. To really replace the mailing list, people must be notified ASAP when a question is asked or answered.

I tried to use the ImmediateNotifyPlugin, but it does have a number of problems. The real design problem is that people will often edit a topic a number of times (to add an attachment, for example) before considering the edit "finished". ImmediateNotifyPlugin notifies people every time, which is a nuisance.

What I am doing right now is to call mailnotify every 5 minutes. This sort of works, but it can still notify people too many times, and there is no easy way to separate "important" changes from "low priority" changes that should still be notified...

Today I was presenting an internal workshop on TWiki when one of the attendees (Ricardo Umbelino) provided an excelent solution: Add a button to the page to explicitly notify people of an "important" change.

The more I think about this, the more it makes sense. It seems quite a useful feature to have around in general. It complements very well the "regular, scheduled" notifications of mailnotify.

Therefore, I propose the script "pagenotify" as follows:

  • Sends a notification for people on WebNotify
  • The notification concerns the changes to a single page
  • The email subject includes the topic name and, possibly, the person that requested the notification
  • As an alternative, the email message might appear as having been sent by the person requesting the notification
  • The body of the message should have both a link to the original page and an rcsdiff with the changes themselves. Perhaps all changes since the last notification by mailnotify? This would capture all recent changes, and not just the latest one.

I will probably try to write this but, but it may take a few months to get done.

Ideas (and code) welcome!

-- JoaquimBaptista - 06 Feb 2004

Joaquim, I like this idea. Why do you need to send an rcsdiff? Why not just send a link to the page that shows the diffs, and simply send "this page has changed"?

-- CrawfordCurrie - 07 Feb 2004

I think this is a very simple and practical idea. With the InterestedParties form field and a button that says "add me/take me off the notify list" we could easily allow the everyday user to express an interest in something when it is updated.

This should be coupled with the new webnotify mechanism (the name of which escapes me and the topic list is too long in the javascript menu bar and I can't choose topic names in other webs so I am giving up trying to remember).

-- MartinCleaver - 05 Mar 2004

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Topic revision: r3 - 2004-03-05 - MartinCleaver
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