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TWiki Site Tools

Utilities for searching, navigation, and monitoring site activity

TWiki Site Tools include utilities for navigating, searching and keeping up with site activity. Preferences can be configured by web or site-wide. You are currently in the TWiki web. In particular, TWiki provides two highly configurable, automated site monitoring tools, WebNotify, to e-mail alerts when topics are edited, and WebStatistics, to generate detailed activity reports.

WebNotify - recent changes alert

Each TWiki web has an automatic e-mail alert service that sends a list of recent changes on a preset schedule, like once a day. Users can subscribe and unsubscribe using WebNotify in each web. The Perl script mailnotify is called by a background process at regular intervals. The script sends an automated e-mail to subscribed users if topics were changed in a web since the script was last run.

Web Changes Notification Service

Each TWiki web has an automatic e-mail notification service that sends you an e-mail with links to all of the topics modified since the last alert.

Subscribers are listed in WebNotify following one of these bullet list formats:

three spaces * [ webname . ] wikiName - SMTP mail address
three spaces * [ webName . ] wikiName
three spaces * SMTP mail address
three spaces * SMTP mail address : topics
three spaces * [ webname . ] wikiName : topics

where topics is a space-separated list of topic names.

  • Specify topics without a Web. prefix
  • Topics must exist in this web.
  • Topics may be specified using * wildcards
  • Each topic may optionally be followed by an integer in parentheses, indicating the depth of the tree of children below that topic. Changes in all these children will be detected and reported along with changes to the topic itself. Note This uses the TWiki "Topic parent" feature.
  • Each topic may optionally be preceded by a '+' or '-' sign. The '+' sign means "subscribe to this topic" (the same as not putting anything). The '-' sign means "don't send notifications regarding this topic". This allows users to elect to filter out changes to certain topics (and their children, to an arbitrary depth). Topic filters ('-') take precedence over topic includes ('+').

For example:

   * daisy@flowers.com
   * daisy@flowers.com: Web*
   * DaisyCutter: Petal* (1) WeedKillers (3) Red*Phlox
   * StarTrekFan: * - *Wars - *sInTheirEyes - *shipTroopers
A user may be listed many times in the WebNotify topic. Where a user has several lines in WebNotify that all match the same topic, they will only be notified of changes to that topic once.

If a TWiki group is listed for notification, the group will be recursively expanded to the e-mail addresses of all members.

TIP Tip: List names in alphabetical order to make it easier to find the names.

Note for System Administrators: Notification is supported by an add-on to the TWiki kernel called the MailerContrib. See the MailerContrib topic for details of how to set up this service.

Note: If you prefer a news feed, point your reader to WebRss (for RSS 1.0 feeds) or WebAtom (for ATOM 1.0 feeds). Learn more at WebRssBase and WebAtomBase, respectively.

You can also use %MAINWEB% instead of Main, but this is not necessary even if you have renamed the main web by configuring {MainWebName} in configure.

WebSearch - search TWiki site

WebSearch is an extremely fast and flexible search facility, part of the core TWiki feature set. WebSearchAdvanced offers more options, including:

  • topic title or full-text search
  • regular expressions
  • search within web or site-wide
  • index-style A-Z alphabetical listing sorted topic title
  • many more

See also: SearchHelp for help; TWikiVariables and FormattedSearch for including hard-coded searches in text.

WebChanges - what's new

To check for the most recently edited topics while on-site, use the WebChanges link, usually located in the toolbar. It lists the most recently modified topics, newest first, along with the first couple of lines of the page content.

This is simply a preset SEARCH. The number of topics listed by the limit parameter.:

%SEARCH{ ".*" web="TWiki" regex="on" nosearch="on" order="modified"
reverse="on" limit="50" }%

WebIndex - list of topics

WebIndex lists all web topics in alphabetical order, with the first couple of lines of text. This is simply a preset SEARCH:

%SEARCH{ "\.*" scope="topic" regex="on" nosearch="on" }%

WebStatistics - site statistics

You can generate a listing manually, or on an automated schedule, of visits to individual pages, on a per web basis. Compiled as a running total on a monthly basis. Includes totals for Topic Views, Topic Saves, Attachment Uploads, Most Popular Topics with number of views, and Top Contributors showing total of saves and attachment uploads. Previous months are saved.

Configuring for automatic operation

  • You can automatically generate usage statistics for all webs. To enable this:
    • Make sure variable {Log}{view}, {Log}{save} and *{Log}{upload} in are set in configure. This will generate log file entries (see below).
    • The WebStatistics topic must be present in all webs where you want to have statistics. You can use the topic in the Main web as a template.
    • Call the twiki/bin/statistics script from a cron job, once a day is recommended. This will update the WebStatistics topics in all webs.
    • Attention: The script must run as the same user as the CGI scripts are running, which is user nobody on many systems. Example crontab entry:
      0 0 * * * (cd /path/to/twiki/bin; ./statistics >/dev/null 2>&1)
    • There is a workaround in case you can't run the script as user nobody : Run the utility twiki/bin/geturl in your cron job and specify the URL of the twiki/bin/statistics script as a parameter. Example:
      0 0 * * * (cd /path/to/twiki/bin; ./geturl mydomain.com /urlpath/to/twiki/bin/statistics >/dev/null 2>&1)

When running from the command line or a cron job, you can pass parameters to the script like this:

./statistics -logdate 200605 -webs TWiki,Sandbox

Generating statistics manually by URL

  • The twiki/bin/statistics script can also be executed as a CGI script, just enter the URL in your browser. Examples:
    • Update current month for all webs you have access to:
      /twiki/bin/statistics
    • Update current month for Main web only:
      /twiki/bin/statistics/Main
    • Update Sep 2017 for Main web:
      /twiki/bin/statistics/Main?logdate=201709
    • Update Sep 2017 for the ProjectX, ProjectY and ProjectZ webs:
      /twiki/bin/statistics?logdate=201709;webs=ProjectX,ProjectY,ProjectZ

Log Files

TWiki generates monthly log files which are used by the statistics script

  • The log file is defined by the {LogFileName} setting in configure
  • The file name is log<year><month>.txt
  • Example path name: twiki/logs/log201709.txt
  • Each access gets logged as:
    | <time> | <wikiusername> | <action> | <web>.<topic> | <extra info> | <IP address> |
  • Example log entry:
    | 25 Sep 2017 - 17:06 | TWikiGuest | view | WebRss |  | 66.124.232.02 |
  • Actions are logged if enabled in configure by the {Log}{action} flags
  • Logged actions:
    Script Action name Extra info
    attach attach when viewing attach screen of previous uploaded attachment: filename
    changes changes  
    edit edit when editing non-existing topic: (not exist)
    rdiff rdiff higher and lower revision numbers: 4 3
    register regstart WikiUserName, e-Mail address, LoginName: user attempts to register
    register register E-mail address: user successfully registers
    register bulkregister WikiUserName of new, e-mail address, admin ID
    rename rename when moving topic: moved to Newweb.NewTopic
    rename move when moving attachment: Attachment filename moved to Newweb.NewTopic
    passwd resetpasswd LoginName, WikiName, E-mail address, success code from addUserPassword
    passwd changepasswd LoginName, WikiName
    save save when replacing existing revision: repRev 3
    when user checks the minor changes box: dontNotify
    search search search string
    upload upload filename
    view view when viewing non-existing topic: (not exist)
    when viewing previous topic revision: r3

E-mail

Configuring outgoing mail

Outgoing mail is required for TWikiRegistration and for recent changes alert.

TWiki will use the Net::SMTP module if it is installed on your system. Set this with the SMTPMAILHOST variable in TWikiPreferences.

The notify e-mail uses the default changes.tmpl template, or a skin if activated in the TWikiPreferences.

mailnotify also relies on two hidden files in each twiki/data/Web directory: .changes and .mailnotify. Make sure both are writable by your web server process. .changes contains a list of changes; go ahead and make this empty. .mailnotify contains a timestamp of the last time notification was done.

You can use an external mail program, such as sendmail, if the Net::SMTP module is not installed. Set the program path in {MailProgram} in configure.

  • HELP Net::SMTP can be easily disabled (if there is an installation error) by setting SMTPMAILHOST in TWikiPreferences to an empty value.

  • TIP You can set a separate SMTPSENDERHOST variable to define the mail sender host (some SMTP installations require this).

Setting the automatic e-mail schedule

For Unix platforms: Edit the cron table so that mailnotify is called in an interval of your choice. Please consult man crontab of how to modify the table that schedules program execution at certain intervals. Example:

% crontab -e
0 2 * * * (cd /path/to/twiki/bin; ./mailnotify -q)
The above line will run mailnotify nightly at 02:00. The -q switch suppresses all normal output.

For ISP installations: Many ISPs don't allow hosted accounts direct cron access, as it's often used for things that can heavily load the server. Workaround scripts are available.

On Windows: You can use a scheduled task if you have administrative privileges. TWiki:Codev/CronTabWin is a free scheduler for Windows.

Site Permissions

  • TWikiAccessControl describes how to restrict read and write access to topics and webs, by users and groups
  • SitePermissions lists the permissions settings of the webs on this TWiki site

Related Topics: AdminDocumentationCategory, AdminToolsCategory

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