MediaWiki offers a collection of special pages and tools to keep track of what is going on in the wiki. So you can watch for example:
- recent changes to all pages
- the revision history: all changes made to one page
- the contributions of one specific user
- newly created pages
The most interesting special page is <tvar|special>Special:RecentChanges. This page displays all edits, file uploads, page moves, deletions and other actions done in the wiki. The menu at the top offers a collection of links to customize your display: limit the number of changes or the number of days shown or restrict the display to show edits to a certain namespace only. You can also hide edits marked as minor (but don't forget that a change can be major even though the user flagged it as minor).
One line in the Recent Changes page consists of several links:
- “<tvar|diff>diff” displays the difference from the previous revision of the page
- “<tvar|hist>hist” links to the revision history of the page
- the full title of the page links to the current version. If the page is on your [[<tvar|watchlist>Special:MyLanguage/Help:Watchlist|watchlist]], the title appears in bold.
Next is a flag describing the page modification type:
- N - This edit created a new page
- m - This is a minor edit
- b - This edit was performed by a bot
Following the timestamp, the page size difference from the previous revision appears.
Then the user is mentioned, with a link to either their [[<tvar|user>Special:MyLanguage/Help:User page|user page]] and their [[<tvar|talk>Special:MyLanguage/Help:Talk pages#User Talk pages|talk page]] and contributions or (in the case of anonymous users) to their [[<tvar|talk>Special:MyLanguage/Help:Talk pages#User Talk pages|talk page]] only.
If the user submitted a summary when they made the edit, the summary appears in italics as the last link in the line.
15:17 Main Page (4 changes | hist) .. (+236) .. [Some User (2×); Some Other User (2×)]
To expand the record of that page's recent edits, click the blue arrow to the left of the timestamp and page name. The record of edits will be displayed as it appears in the normal view. You can turn this enhancement on and off at will, so feel free to try both to see which one you prefer.
- User contributions: Special:Contributions/User
- English Wikipedia Help: Page History