How To Read Recent Changes

    Keywords: SL description

Table of contents


Recent Changes is the primary tool for regular visitors to see what's currently going on in Sensei's Library. There are currently four pages to track changes on SL:

the main page. It shows changes to all pages that do not have the "Online Go" keyword set.
lists changes to pages that do have the "Online Go" keyword set.
unifies both pages. Shows changes to all pages regardless of any keywords.
a different approach. Shows the latest edit for all pages. It shows minor edits by default as well.

A typical entry

July 29, 2001

Every entry consists of the pagename, whether this page is new or if it has changed, and information about the author.

Clicking on the pagename will take you to that page.

The next information is about whether the page has been newly created or whether it has changed. An example for a new page is the entry for MinorEdit above.

If the page has changed you will see a diff link and a number. Clicking on the diff link will show you what has changed on that page. Note: by default you see the page as raw text and not in the usual wiki layout (click on diff-in-page for other mode). This feature is intended for regular visitors. It is much easier to follow a discussion on a long page when only looking at what has changed on that page.

The number after the diff link shows how the total linecount of the page has changed. In the above example WikiNews grew by 4 lines. Note: this tells you nothing about how many lines have been edited - e.g. 5 lines could have been deleted, 9 newly added, and 20 changed: this would still produce [+4] change in linecount. Note also that one line can actually refer to an entire paragraph.

The last entry is information about the author. Some people identify themselves with a name such as ArnoHollosi above, others with a pseudonym such as TakeNGive above, others don't, such as in the entry for ContinueWhileDozensOfPointsBehind. What is recorded for everyone is their IP-number. See SL privacy policy.

Multiple edits on one day

When pages have been edited multiple times on one day, the latest version is shown as above, but previous edits on the same day are summarised further. For example:

September 14, 2003

This means that in the course of one day, first TJ edited the page and it grew by 1 line; then Sebastian edited it later and it grew by 2 lines; and finally TJ edited it again and it grew by another 2 lines. This sort of thing usually indicates that a discussion or argument is going on (though here, of course, it's obvious from the page title).

Also, in the first (latest) entry you see a small annotation telling a summary of the change. It is set in the "short summary of change" box while editing a page. All of this, of course, makes the junkies' lives easier.


On some lines you will see symbols at the start of the entry. These represent special page types or actions:

  • : this page was only edited as minor edit (you only see this in Recent Changes profiles, where minor edits are enabled)

That's all you should need to know in order to read RecentChanges more effectively and become one of the Recent Changes Junkies.

Advanced features

If you are logged in with an account, further features are available to you, namely "watched pages" and "the red line". For full information see this help page.

Red line

The red line indicates the last time you have read Recent Changes. It is a convenient way to see what has happened since your last visit. Every new entry is above the red line, older entries are below the red line.

The red line is only reset once every half hour. This is done so that you can switch back and forth between pages and Recent Changes.

Watched pages and entry highlighting

See also: watched pages

When you add a page to your list of watched pages changes to that page will be highlighted in Recent Changes. Adding a page is done by selecting the toggle watch option at the bottom of the page. This helps in tracking pages. By default pages are added as category 1. You can also set the category to 2 or 3. The default values are:

  • category 1: page is highlighted yellow
  • category 2: page is highlighted blue
  • category 3: page is not shown in Recent Changes (highlight color would be orange) - useful if you don't want to be bothered by a certain page.

You can change the default highlighting behaviour (not the colors) in User Preferences.

Page which you have edited recently are highlighted green. This helps in tracking discussion where you have taken part in.


At the top of the recent changes there is a pull-down toggle called filter with the options

  • none
  • anonymous edits
  • no riff raff :o)
  • riff raff only :o)
  • no talk
  • talk only

Migeru Can someone explain what the various options will hide or show? In particular, what is riff raff?

Phelan: The filters are explained at UserPreferences/HelpRecentChanges. You can change your filters at UserPreferences. The riff-raff filter removes pages with keywords Humour, Ongoing game, Online Go, and SL description, besides Homepages, Alias and /Discussion subpages

Migeru Would it be at all possible to add a "no riff raff" version of the Recent Changes RSS feed?

Phelan: There is no way to modify an RSS feed if you're not the one publishing it, I think. The only way is probably creating a new one with a specific filter. I was going to suggest you ask at SL RSS Feed, but I saw you already did.

See also: How To Use Wiki, User Preferences, Minor Edit

How To Read Recent Changes last edited by on February 3, 2015 - 22:13
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