Community Wishlist Survey 2019/Admins and patrollers/Collapse multiple consecutive revisions by same author

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Random proposal◄ Admins and patrollers  The survey has concluded. Here are the results!

Collapse multiple consecutive revisions by same author

  • Problem: Collapse consecutive edits by the same author in the revision history page
  • Who would benefit: The whole system, all Wiki users, especially moderator and peer reviewers
  • Proposed solution: Currently every update, be it even one single character, generates a new revision of the article. When the same author makes consecutive non-overlapping changes to the same page, the revisions could be collapsed into one single row. This will simplify the display and moderator review interface.
  • More comments: This will simplify moderator and peer review, and shorten the article history considerably.
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: Geert Van Pamel (WMBE) (talk) 16:13, 4 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • I am not aware of such functionality in VisualEditor, but it surely doesn't combine revisions on the backend. Disk space is not something you should ever worry about, but I get how the small, consecutive edits is problematic for patrollers. My bold stance here is this proposal is too technically involved for us, as it would presumably require a major reworking of how revisions are saved in MediaWiki. People smarter than would be able to judge this better, though. I will point out HotCat allows you to add/remove multiple categories at once, by clicking on the "++" link. MusikAnimal (WMF) (talk) 22:58, 4 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I have trouble imagining we'd do this on the backend (It would make the way we model revisions really complicated). But from the front-end perspective, is this basically asking for "enhanced recentchanges" but for history pages? BWolff (WMF) (talk) 02:14, 5 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I would take that. --Izno (talk) 01:57, 6 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • In Instiki, which is used on nLab, multiple consecutive edits by the same author within a minute do get merged into a single revision. This proposal would make editing in MediaWiki act like editing in Instiki. GeoffreyT2000 (talk) 16:29, 5 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Sometimes this would be undesirable, for example when a new page is created by splitting out material from another page, I understand the new material should be copied across and saved exactly as it was on the previous page, to allow attribution. If the editor then makes changes to tidy up the new page, these would be merged into the previous edit. Perhaps a way forward would be, if someone has made another edit within a set time of their previous one, such as 30 minutes, for a box to pop up asking if they want the 2 edits to be merged. Mmitchell10 (talk) 10:32, 10 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Geertivp Thanks for submitting a proposal. Per what MusikAnimal and BWolff said above, this proposal as it stands is not workable as it asks for a massive change in how MediaWiki handles revisions. Disk space is certainly not something you should be concerned about. On the contrary, doing this change will break a huge number of MediaWiki extensions, gadgets and community-built tools. However, if you are asking for better history pages (collapse multiple consecutive revisions by same author), then we can probably try to see if we can build that. Would you like to rename and redefine the proposal to that effect? -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 04:57, 14 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Yes, please, rename to "Collapse multiple consecutive revisions by same author". Geert Van Pamel (WMBE) (talk) 10:25, 14 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Geertivp: Thank you. I've renamed the proposal and revised the proposal a bit. I hope that's okay. Please do ping me if you don't agree with any of the changes. Thanks for participating in the survey. -- NKohli (WMF) (talk) 17:33, 14 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • There are times when an editor makes a series of very different edits, and one might want to undo one but not the rest (as in the above request for "partial revert"). Combining all the edits would make it more cumbersome. PamD (talk) 23:52, 16 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • This kind of automation is not good. There are two cases: editors, who deliberately split their changes into logically different sets, and editors, who make those smaller edits for other reasons. I'd compared this with how git works. It's possible to rebase a branch, and pick or squash commits. Maybe, something similar can apply here: After making a series of smaller commits, the author can decide to make them into one "commit" or fewer number of "commits". РоманСузи (talk) 17:39, 17 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Also squash reverted edits. Note that it should be possible to inspect squashed edits. — Jeblad 08:45, 18 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]