The notify.php script allows a site administrator to configure PmWiki to send email messages whenever pages are changed on the wiki site. Notifications can be configured so that multiple page changes over a short period of time are combined into a single email message (to avoid flooding mailboxes).
This feature is useful for sites and pages that have infrequent updates, as it eliminates the need to frequently check RecentChanges pages just to see if anything has changed.
In order for notifications to work, the notify.php script must be enabled in the site's local customization. Usually this is as simple as placing the following in local/config.php:
Once enabled, the notification system gets its configuration from the SiteAdmin.NotifyList wiki page. The SiteAdmin.NotifyList page contains entries of the form:
This says that information about page changes should be periodically emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The SiteAdmin.NotifyList page can contain multiple "notify=" lines to cause notifications to be sent to multiple addresses; the "notify=" lines can be concealed by placing them inside of an
(:if false:) conditional section on the page.
NOTE: Do not put any spaces around the equal sign! Notifications will fail silently if you have... This is a really easy mistake to make because all of the other assignments have spaces around the equal sign.
The basic syntax is
A number of options exist for limiting the pages that result in a notification. The
name= parameters can be used to restrict notifications to specific pages or groups:
(Note: The options are similar to the PageList syntax.)
For maintaining arbitrary lists of pages, i.e., "watchlists", it's generally easier to build a trail of pages to be watched. The following entry in SiteAdmin.NotifyList will send email@example.com an email containing changes to any of the pages listed in the Profiles.Alice trail:
Note that once this entry has been added to SiteAdmin.NotifyList, Alice can easily change her watchlist by editing the Profiles.Alice page, and doesn't need to edit the SiteAdmin.NotifyList page. In particular, this means that an administrator can restrict editing of SiteAdmin.NotifyList, yet allow individuals to maintain custom watchlists in other pages.
Limitations of this feature:
(:include:)directive on the page SiteAdmin.NotifyList is not an operational work-around.
This is probably a good place to point out that edit access to SiteAdmin.NotifyList should be controlled, otherwise malicious persons can use the notification capability to flood others' electronic mailboxes. By default, SiteAdmin.NotifyList is blocked against reading or edits except by the admin (as is the case for most pages in the SiteAdmin group).
Notification entries can also be added via the
$NotifyList array in local/config.php. Simply add a line like the following:
$NotifyList = 'firstname.lastname@example.org group=Main';
$NotifyList = 'email@example.com name=Main.HomePage';
To prevent flooding of recipients' mailboxes, the notify script uses a "squelch" value as the minimum amount of time that must elapse between messages sent to any given email address. The default squelch setting is 10800 seconds (three hours), which means that once a recipient address is sent a notification message, it will not receive another for at least three hours. Any edits that occur during the squelch interval are queued for the next notification message.
The site administrator can change the default squelch interval via the
$NotifySquelch= 86400; # wait at least one day (in seconds) between notifications
In addition, individual addresses can specify a custom squelch parameter in the SiteAdmin.NotifyList page:
Because a page will often receive several edits in rapid succession (e.g., a long post followed by several minor edits), a site administrator can also set a
$NotifyDelay value that specifies how long to wait after an initial post before sending notifications:
$NotifySquelch= 86400; # wait at least one day between notifications
$NotifyDelay= 300; # wait five minutes after initial post
Note that the squelch and delay values are minimums; notifications are sent on the first execution of PmWiki after the delay period has expired. For inactive sites, this could be much longer than the specified delay periods. This isn't really considered an issue since timely notifications are less important on relatively inactive sites. However, changes within the squelch time after the last notification will remain unnoticed if the wiki is not even visited for a long period after. If this matters it might be necessary to make the server call pmwiki.php regularly (e.g. cron job).
Custom delay parameters cannot be specified for individual addresses in the SiteAdmin.NotifyList page:
delay=parameter will be ignored
Sites running PHP under Windows may not have PHP's mail function configured correctly. Such sites may need to add a line like
to config.php, where smtp.server.com is the name of your host's preferred outgoing mail server. You may also need to set the sendmail_from value if that is not configured:
$EnableNotify= 1; # enable notify
$EnableNotify= 0; # disable notify
$NotifyFrom= 'Wiki server <firstname.lastname@example.org>';
$NotifyDelay= 300; # send mail 5+ min after first post
$NotifyDelayis set to a small value to keep the number of mail notification messages down. Defaults to 10800 (three hours). Individual recipients can override this value in the SiteAdmin.NotifyList page.
$NotifySquelch= 43200; # wait 12+ hours between mailings
$NotifyItemFmt= ' * $FullName . . . $PostTime by
$NotifyTimeFmt= '%Y-%m-%d %H:%M'; # 2004-03-20 17:44
$NotifyItemFmtabove). Use single quotation marks ' to prevent substring "$NotifyItems" from being untimely evaluated as variable in config.php.
$NotifyBodyFmt= "Changed items:\n\n" . '$NotifyItems' . "\n\n Best regards...";
"$WorkDir/.notifylist". Note that this file must generally be writable by the webserver process.
notify=lines for use by notify.php. Defaults to
notify=specifications that can be specified from a local customization file (used in addition to entries in SiteAdmin.NotifyList).
$NotifyList = 'email@example.com';
$EnableNotifySubjectEncode= 1; # encode subject
$EnableNotifySubjectEncode= 0; # use subject as is (default)
$NotifyHeaders= "Content-type: text/plain; charset=$Charset";
It is possible to send notifications only in case of major edits. In your config.php, replace "
$EnableNotify=1;" with the following:
if ( @$_POST['diffclass'] != 'minor' )
This way, only 'major' edits send notify messages (when the author doesn't select the checkbox for minor edit). If you want minor edits and not major edits to send the message then you would use:
if ( @$_POST['diffclass'] == 'minor' )
If you use "$EnableDirectDownloads=0;" (eg. for privacy on a password-protected wiki) then attached images may generate duplicate notification messages. To prevent that disable notifications for downloads via
if ( $action != 'download' )
That way, only page views (and not images within the page) will generate notifications. See PITS:01159 for more information.