• This web contains the official documentation of the TWiki Release 01-Dec-2001, code named AthensRelease. It is a read-only web for reference.
• This release is deprecated, see TWiki-6.0 for the latest release.
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Utilities for searching, navigation, and monitoring site activity


TWikiSiteTools include utilities for navigating, searching and keeping up with site activity. Preferences can be configured by web or site-wide. You are currently in the TWiki06x00 web. In particular, TWiki provides two highly configurable, automated site monitoring tools, WebNotify, to email alerts when topics are edited, and WebStats, to generate detailed activity reports.

WebNotify Recent Changes Alert

Each TWiki web has an automatic email alert service that sends a list of recent changes on a preset schedule, like once a day. Users can subscribe and unsubscribe using WebNotify in each web. The Perl script mailnotify is called by a deamon in regular intervals. The script sends an automated email to subscribed users if topics were changed in a web within last interval.

Configuring Outgoing Mail

TWiki will use the Net::SMTP module if it is installed on your system. Set this with the SMTPMAILHOST variable in TWikiPreferences.

You can use an external mail program, like sendmail, if the Net::SMTP module is not installed. Set the program path in $mailProgram in TWiki.cfg.

  • HELP Net::SMTP can be easily disabled (ex: if there is an installation error) by setting SMTPMAILHOST in TWikiPreferences to an empty value.

  • TIP You can set a separate SMTPSENDERHOST variable to define the mail sender host (some SMTP installations require this).

Setting the Automatic Email Schedule

For Unix platforms: Edit the cron table so that mailnotify is called in an interval of your choice. Please consult man crontab of how to modify the table that schedules program execution at certain intervals. Example:

% crontab -e
15,45 * * * * (cd ~twiki/public_html/bin; ./mailnotify -q)
The above line will call mailnotify at 15 minutes and 45 minutes past every hour. The -q switch suppresses all normal output.

For ISP installations: Many ISPs don't allow hosted accounts direct cron access, as it's often used for things that can heavily load the server. Workaround scripts are available.

On Windows NT/2000: You can use a scheduled task if you have administrative privileges. Note: AT on an NT machine is pretty limited. Microsoft lists several third-party replacements (as of 2001-11-20, none of them free).

WebStatistics Site Usage Log

You can generate a listing manually, or on an automated schedule, of visits to individual pages, on a per web basis. Compiled as a running total on a monthly basis. Includes totals for Topic Views, Topic Saves, Attachment Uploads, Most Popular Topics with number of views, and Top Contributors showing total of saves and attachment uploads. Previous months are saved.

Configuring for Automatic Operation

  • You can automatically generate usage statistics for all webs. To enable this:
    • Make sure variable $doLogTopicView, $doLogTopicSave and $doLogTopicUpload in TWiki.cfg are set. This will generate log entries in file twiki/data/log<date>.txt .
    • The WebStatistics topic must be present in all webs where you want to have statistics. You can use the topic in the Main web as a template.
    • Call the twiki/bin/statistics script from a cron job, once a day is recommended. This will update the WebStatistics topics in all webs.
    • Attention: The script must run as the same user as the CGI scripts are running, which is user nobody on most systems. Example crontab entry:
      0 0 * * * (cd /path/to/TWiki/bin; ./statistics >/dev/null 2>&1)
    • There is a workaround in case you can't run the script as user nobody : Run the utility twiki/bin/geturl in your cron job and specify the URL of the twiki/bin/statistics script as a parameter. Example:
      0 0 * * * (cd /path/to/TWiki/bin; ./geturl mydomain.com /urlpath/to/TWiki/bin/statistics >/dev/null 2>&1)

Generating Statistics Manually by URL

  • The twiki/bin/statistics script can also be executed as a CGI script, just enter the URL in your browser. Examples:
    • Update current month for all webs:
    • Update current month for Main web only:
    • Update January 2000 for Main web:


WebSearch is an extremely fast and flexible search facility, part of the core TWiki feature set. Options include:

  • topic title or full-text search
  • regular expressions
  • search within web or site-wide
  • index-style A-Z alphabetical listing sorted topic title
  • many more

See also: TWikiVariables for including hard-coded searches in text.


To check for the most recently edited topics while on-site, use the WebChanges link, usually located on the upper toolbar. It lists the most recently modified topics, newest first, along with the first couple of lines of the page content.

This is simply a preset SEARCH. The number of topics listed by the limit parameter.:

%SEARCH{".*" web="TWiki01" regex="on" nosearch="on" order="modified" 
reverse="on" limit="50"}%


WebIndex lists all web topics in alphabetical order, with the first couple of lines of text. This is simply a preset SEARCH:

%SEARCH{"\.*" scope="topic" regex="on" nosearch="on"}%

-- MikeMannix - 01 Dec 2001

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Topic revision: r5 - 2001-12-04 - MikeMannix
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