FAQ

This FAQ is intended to help users of the notifications service. See also About this service and Get Notifications for general information.

For information about the service's codebase, see the GitHub repository and the Technical FAQ.

If you have a question not answered by this page, contact me (CroquemboucheCroquembouche).

Table of Contents

Unsubscribing

How do I stop receiving notifications?

You can stop receiving notifications by changing your notification frequency to 'Never'. You will effectively have unsubscribed.

If you are no longer a member of this site, you will be unable to edit your user config to do this. Either re-join the site and make the change, or contact me and ask me to do it for you.

You may also ask me to delete your user config page entirely.

Vocabulary

What is the difference between a 'notification' and a 'notification digest'?

A notification is a single indicator of a response to a single thread or post.

A notification digest is a compilation of notifications.

This service will collect all notifications from your chosen time period and construct a notification digest from them. E.g. if you have chosen 'monthly' as your notification frequency, you will receive one notification digest per month containing all notifications from that month.

What is a 'user config'?

A user config is the settings for a user's notifications. You can find a list of all such configs here.

What is this service called?

It doesn't have a name. On this site I normally call it 'the notification serivce', 'this service', etc. In the codebase it is generally referred to as either notifier or WikidotNotifier.

Subscriptions

What is an 'automatic subscription'?

You are automatically subscribed to all of the following, as if you had entered them into your manual subscriptions:

  • Threads where the first post was made by your account
  • Posts made by your account

Use manual subscriptions to add further subscriptions, or to remove any automatic subscriptions that you're not happy with.

A note about page discussions: when a page is created on Wikidot, a corresponding forum thread is created (often referred to as the 'page discussion'). Creating a Wikidot page won't automatically subscribe you to its page discussion. If you created a Wikidot page, you are not automatically subscribed to that thread by virtue of having created the page — to be automatically subscribed, you only need to have made the first post.

This feature may be added in the future.

What are manual subscriptions for?

A few reasons why you might want to add manual subscriptions:

  • If you created a page but did not make the first post in the resultant discussion thread, you might wish to manually subscribe to that thread.
  • If you are simply interested in being kept up to date with a thread that you didn't start, you might wish to subscribe to it.
  • If you disagree with any of the global overrides configured for your site, which remove automatic subscriptions for all users, you might wish to add manual subscriptions to un-override them.

Automatic thread subscriptions are naïve, and err on the side of notifying you about too many replies rather than too few replies. So, a few reasons why you might want to add manual unsubscriptions to remove automatic subscriptions:

  • If you did not create a page but did make the first post in the resultant discussion thread, you might wish to unsubscribe from it.
  • If you started a thread whose replies you don't care about, you might wish to unsubscribe from it.

If you are representative of a supported site, and you frequently starts lots of threads whose replies don't pertain to you specifically (e.g. community discussions, forum games), you might wish to request a global override to automatically unsubscribe you from all threads matching a certain pattern.

My notification digest says it's "still learning" about my automatic subscriptions — what does this mean, and has it missed any of my notifications?

The notification service only learns about pre-existing threads when they receive a new post. For Wikidot sites that existed long before this service started, most of their forum will initially be unknown to this service. As old threads receive new posts, they will become known — this is the 'learning' process. Over time, the service will pick up more and more automatic subscriptions for you, as it encounters replies to threads and posts that you are subscribed to, even if they were created a long time ago.

You won't miss any notifications because of this. The service reads all new posts made to its supported Wikidot sites, no matter how old their thread or parent post is.

Some threads may never receive a new post, in which case this service will never learn about them. That's fine, because that means they would never elicit a notification.

Configuration

Where is my user configuration?

Right here.

It is also linked to in the sidebar — 'Your user config'.

Will I miss notifications if I change my notification frequency?

You won't miss any notifications.

The service records the time of the most recent post it notified you about, and when it starts to prepare your next digest, it only includes posts made since that time.

For example: if you're on the 'monthly' frequency, and right at the end of the month you change to the 'hourly' frequency, your next notification digest will contain all notifications from that month.

What languages are supported?

Notifications can currently be delivered in the following languages:

Language Contributed by
Chinese hoah2333hoah2333
English CroquemboucheCroquembouche
French Dr LekterDr Lekter
Japanese 2MeterScale2MeterScale
Spanish Dc_YerkoDc_Yerko
Vietnamese StupifPotatoStupifPotato

The selected language only determines the language of the notification digests. The documentation on this site, including this FAQ and the language of the user config form, is only available in English.

If you'd like to help out by contributing a translation, please see the entry in the Technical FAQ.

Is there a limit to how many subscriptions I can have?

Yes — the limit is determined by the maximum length of a single Wikidot page, which is 200 000 characters. When attempting to save your user config, you'll receive an error message of the form "page source too long".

This limit is enough space for about 3000 URLs shared between subscriptions and unsubscriptions, which should be plenty.

Bear in mind that it's not useful to unsubscribe from something unless you expect it to elicit a lot of notifications — it's probably easier just to ignore them.

If you really need more space, there are a couple of ways to reduce the number of characters each URL takes up:

  • On some wikis the URL has a trailing bit of text that resembles the title of the thread it points to. This part of the URL doesn't do anything and can be removed.
  • The notifications service doesn't actually need any of the URL except the thread ID and optionally the post ID. You can remove the rest of the URL, which will save a lot of space, at the cost of not being able to click the link in the saved page and perhaps subsequently not being able to remember what thread you've subscribed to.

    The shortest 'URL' for a thread looks like this: t-123456
    The shortest 'URL' for a post looks like this: t-123456#post-123456

Can I choose to receive individual notifications as soon as the post is posted, with no delay?

No. The 'hourly' frequency is the closest available option.

Can I get notifications about new threads made in a given Wiki or forum category?

No, but this feature may be added in the future.

Receiving notifications

Can I receive notifications even if I have restricted my Wikidot inbox?

It can often be a good idea to restrict your inbox to just your Wikidot contacts or to users who share a site with you. This is possible through the "Receive private messages from" setting in your inbox settings.

The following table will tell you what action, if any, you need to take in order to receive notifications from this service via Wikidot message, depending on your inbox restriction setting.

Setting Action to take
all registered You can receive messages from anyone, including NotifierNotifier, so you don't need to do anything.
co-members + contacts You are a 'co-member' with NotifierNotifier if you are a member of this site — however, you don't have to be a member of this site to create a user config page, so you're probably not. If you are not a member of this site, to receive messages from NotifierNotifier you must add it as a contact.
contacts only You can only receive messages from your Wikidot contacts, so in order to receive messages from NotifierNotifier you must add it as a contact.
nobody You cannot receive any Wikidot messages, so you cannot receive notifications via Wikidot message.

For any inbox setting, you may choose to receive notifications via email instead, which will obviously ignore your Wikidot inbox settings.

Also, make sure you haven't blocked NotifierNotifier.

Note that adding NotifierNotifier as a Wikidot contact will expose to it (and therefore to me, CroquemboucheCroquembouche) the email address that is associated with your Wikidot account. If this is not acceptable to you, do not do this.

When, exactly, will I receive a notification digest?

The notification service's scheduled tasks start at exactly the below times, all shown in UTC:

Frequency Schedule
Never Never runs
Hourly Runs at the start of every hour
Daily Runs at 00:00 UTC
Weekly Runs at 00:00 UTC every Monday
Monthly Runs at 00:00 UTC on the first day of the month

These tasks include, in order:

  1. Checking for updates to local configuration
  2. Checking for updates to global configuration (wikis, overrides)
  3. Checking for updates to user configuration (users)
  4. Checking for new posts
  5. Downloading threads containing new posts
  6. Compiling notification digests
  7. Sending notification digests via Wikidot message
  8. Checking the account's list of contacts
  9. Sending notification digests via email
  10. Performing time-insensitive internal maintenance

You will receive your notification digest at either step 7 or 9 of this process. The exact amount of time may vary.

You will not receive a notification digest if there are no new notifications for you.

Receiving notifications via email

How can I receive notifications via email?

To receive notification digests via email, you must first add NotifierNotifier as a Wikidot contact. This enables the account to see your email address without publicly exposing it to anyone else. You must then edit your user config (linked in the sidebar) and change your delivery method to 'email'.

Note that adding NotifierNotifier as a Wikidot contact will expose to it (and therefore to me, CroquemboucheCroquembouche) the email address that is associated with your Wikidot account. If this is not acceptable to you, do not do this.

This service never stores your email address offline. It is re-read from Wikidot every time it is needed. This means that the service will instantly 'forget' your email address if you remove NotifierNotifier from your contacts.

If I choose to receive notification digests via email, what email address will the digest be sent to?

The email will be sent to the email address associated with your Wikidot account, the same email address that was exposed when you added Notifier as a contact.

What happens if I chose to receive digests via email but didn't add Notifier as a contact?

You won't receive any notifications.

There won't be any indication that anything is wrong — you might reasonably assume that there are simply no new notifications for you — so it's good to be aware of this before you choose to receive notifications via email.

An error message will be added to your user config page to let you know that something is wrong, so if you're not receiving notifications, try looking there.

When you fix the issue either by adding NotifierNotifier as a contact or by changing your chosen delivery method to Wikidot messages, your next notification digest will contain all the notifications you missed.

Troubleshooting

I didn't receive a notification digest — why is that?

You won't receive a notification digest if there aren't any notifications for you. Keep in mind that you won't receive notifications for posts that you've already responded to.

If the notifier encountered a specifc error, it may have updated your user config page to add an error message. If so, following the steps in that message should resolve the issue.

If you chose to receive notifications via Wikidot message:

  • Check your inbox settings to make sure that NotifierNotifier is able to send messages to you.
  • Check that you have not blocked the account.

If you chose to receive notifications via email:

  • Make sure that you have added NotifierNotifier as a Wikidot contact. If it doesn't know your email address, it can't send you anything.
  • Check your spam. If your notifications are being sent to spam, please let me know, as I have no other way of finding out about this.

Be sure to only expect to receive notifications for posts made to one of the supported wikis.

If you know for sure that you were supposed to receive a notification, let me know.

I'm missing notifications for posts that were made a little while before I received the notifications digest — why is this?

There is a short time period before each notification digest is sent during which new posts will not be added to it. This time period varies — it is the amount of time it takes to get from step 4 to step 7 (or step 9, if you receive digests via email) in the scheduled task list.

There is also a small delay before Wikidot adds a new post to the RSS feed, during which time the notifications service will not be able to see it.

E.g. if you are on the daily channel and receive a notification digest at 12:05 AM, it will probably not include a notification for a post made at 12:04 AM.

All notifications that are 'missing' for these reasons will appear in your next notification digest.

I lost access to my old Wikidot account — can I receive its notifications to my new account?

No, but this feature may be added in the future.

There's a flashing (1) that won't go away!

This happens sometimes after receiving a Wikidot message. It's a Wikidot bug, so not something I can fix. You can normally clear it from your inbox by clicking All, then Mark unread, then All, then Mark read.

Supporting the project

How can I support the notifications service?

The notification service is free to use, but it does cost me money to run. If you'd like to help offset those costs, I gratefully accept donations via my Ko-Fi:

kofi5.png?v=3

Otherwise, please help out by spreading the word about this service to as many Wikidot users as possible! It's most useful when more people know about it, so letting others know is a big help.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License