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
- gallery of new images
- the revision history: all changes made to one page
- the contributions of one specific user
- newly created pages
The most interesting special page is Special:RecentChanges. It displays all edits, file uploads, page moves, deletions and other actions done in the wiki. In the menu on top it offers a collection of links to customize your display: limit the number of changes shown, the number of days or restrict it to edits to a certain namespace. You can also hide edits marked as minor (don't forget that major changes can be flagged by a user as minor anyway).
One line in recent changes consists of several links:
- “diff” displays the difference to the previous revision of the page,
- “hist” links to the revision history of the page,
- the link with the full title of the page brings you to the current version.
- Note: if the title is in bold, it indicates that it is on your watchlist.
Next is a flag describing the page modification type:
- “N” denotes a new page,
- “m” a minor edit,
- “b” an edit made by a bot.
- Note: by default, bot edits are hidden from the recent changes.
Following the timestamp, it shows the page size difference to the previous revision, then the user is mentioned, with a link to their user page and their talk page and contributions, or to their talk page only in the case of anonymous users.
Last but not least, there is an edit summary, appearing in italics, if the user submitted one when they made the edit.
Simply click the blue arrow to the left of the page name and timestamp to expand that page's recent edits just as they were on the normal style. You can turn this enhancement on and off at will, so feel free to try both to see which one you prefer.
New pages is a special page that lists recently created pages in reverse order of creation, with creation date and time, current size, user who created the page, and first edit summary. It also provides links to patrol these new pages when that feature is enabled.
This special page can be transcluded, with the first unnamed parameter specifying how many entries should be displayed.
Additional parameters may be used in a comma separated list such as:
|limit||integer||Number of entries to display|
|offset||date||Date to begin the list of entries|
|namespace||string||Restrict the results to the named namespace|
|hideliu||Hide logged in users (LIU)|
|hidepatrolled||Only show pages which have not been patrolled.|
|shownav||Display result navigation links above and beneath the results, i.e.,|
"(Latest | Earliest) View (newer 5) (older 5) (20 | 50 | 100 | 250 | 500)"