FlaggedRevisions

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FlaggedRevisions (FlaggedRevs) is a MediaWiki extension which activates an approval mechanism. This means that new versions of an article are initially marked as drafts, and remain so until a user with Revision rights checks and approves the article.
The MediaWiki extension is customised in BlueSpice, and uses the FlaggedRevsConnector to work alongside to the work flow tool ReviewExtended, realising the complete functionality of an editorial process with a final approval step. For a small fee, you get both as a combination in the Teamwork package.

Scope of application

The approval mechanism is particuarly important when the contents carry legal force and may not be published without approval by authorised persons (e.g. guidelines in operating manuals).


The functions of FlaggedRevisions

FlaggedRevisions makes it possible to ensure that contents are up to date and of good quality, and to validate the articles' information. Articles which have not been approved are saved as draft versions, which are marked as such. Only approved articles get the approved status, being marked with a green spot.

Overview of article status

Icons in the status bar Title Description
Btn-flaggedrevs-firstdraft.png
First draft When an article is created and thus is the very first version, then this is marked as the first draft. The article will then only become visible when an authorised user has checked the article and approved it.
Btn-flaggedrevs-draft.png
Draft If an article has already been approved and is then edited further by an author who does not have approval rights, then it is marked as a "draft" and saved as such. Users without the relevant rights will then only see the last approved version This lasts until the changes have been approved and so that they are incorporated into the article.
Btn-flaggedrevs-accepted.png
Approved/Accepted If a user has approval rights, checks the article and approves it, then it will be assigned this status and be made available for all users.

What happens when an article is edited?

The article is switched to draft status as soon as the edit mode is selected. The article that has been edited will then be saved as a draft which is only viewable in the draft tab.

Screenshot: Warning of the draft status in the state bar

If this article is saved, then this article will be shown to the last editor and others with a warning. This warning contains a link to a comparison of versions where the changes from the last approved version can be compared with the new draft.

If the author is a user with autoreview rights, then the changes will be automatically saved as approved. In this case, it is assumed that no further checks are necessary.

Icon-info.png

Info

If you have installed the package VisualDiff, then the comparison of the different versions is shown with colours marking the changes..



Is an article with draft status locked from further editing?

No. If an author wants to edit an article, then he or she can see in the usual wiki tab above the article if this article has been edited since the last approval. The author can, as usual, click on the tab "Edit" and work further with this draft version.


Approving an article

Have a look at the StateBar, to find the approval function just next to the draft marker. If you would like to compare the different versions first, expand the StateBar and click on the link "x pending changes" under "Review State". If the changes are all right, and you do not want to make any additions, then enter an approval commentary and then click on "(accept)".
The article will now be awarded the status "accepted" in the StateBar. It keeps its binding character until a new accepted version replaces it.

Approval in the history

To make it clear who approved which versions and when, even after many edits and approvals, the approval of an article is also shown in its history. Click the tab "history" to see this. You will find the versions with approval marked at the end of their row with the text "approved by" and the relevant username of the author who approved it.

Icon-info.png

Info

If you have installed the package VisualDiff, then the approved versions are marked in green.


Screenshot: Approved versions shown highlighted in the history by the package VisualDiff

Authorisation

Activate FlaggedRevs in namespaces

Even when installed, FlaggedRevs only becomes apparent and functional when activated. It is activated for each namespace separately, as FlaggedRevs is not suitable for every namespace (for example in any discussion as these are there for an open exchange of ideas which should not have a review process behind it).

Screenshot: Activate FlaggedRevisions in namespaces

In order to activate the function for the desired namespaces, go to NamespaceManager in the Admin area of your wiki. You will now see the column "FlaggedRevs" in the list, which does not exist in the standard view of the namespace list. In order to activate the function for a namespace, choose the row containing the desired namespace and click on the edit button. In this dialogue you will find the option "FlaggedRevs". If you tick the box, you will activate the function for this namespace. Simply, confirm your choice with "ok" and you can start to use the new functionality in the chosen namespace.


Icon-note.png
Note

If you cannot see the FlaggedRevs column: If the column "FlaggedRevs" does not appear in your namespace administration, move your mouse over some other column title. On the right border of the column you will see an arrow which you can use to open a drop-down menu. In this menu, you will find "Columns" and within this "FlaggedRevs". Put a tick in the box and the column "FlaggedRevs" will appear in your list.



User rights

This is an overview of the user permissions relating to FlaggedRevs:

Permission Description
review The user can view drafts and approve them.
validate This permission is used in the modified version of BlueSpice, but is not relevant for using FlaggedRevisions.
autoreview Edits made by this user themselves are automatically marked as approved.
stablesettings

This permission is used in the modified version of BlueSpice, but is not relevant for using FlaggedRevisions.

unreviewedpages Th user can see the page Special:UnreviewedPages.

The page named above Special:UnreviewedPages lists all articles which are marked as a first draft.


Additional user groups and their permissions

FlaggedRevisions automatically creates extra user groups, which are then listed in the GroupManager. These new groups are what is known as system groups, meaning they cannot be renamed or removed manually. The additional groups are:

Group Rights assigned by default upon installation Description
autoreview autoreview Users assigned to this group get the autoreview permission. This means the user's edits are automatically marked as approved.
editor autoreview, review, unreviewedpages

Users assigned to this group get the autoreview permission. This means the user's edits are automatically marked as approved. Additionally, the user can view drafts and the special page listing the unreviewed pages.

reviewer autoreview, review, unreviewedpages, validate

Users assigned to this group get the autoreview permission. This means the user's edits are automatically marked as approved. Additionally, the user can view drafts and approve them, and also see the special page listing the unreviewed pages.

You can use these groups assign them to users to grant the users the corresponding rights.

Special pages

As mentioned above, there is a special page "UnreviewedPages" In order to check which articles in the wiki are sill waiting for approval, there is also a further special page. Thus to help manage non-reviewed articles there are these two special pages:

  • Special:UnreviewedPages: This lists all articles which still have the status "First draft" and are still awaiting checking and approval.
  • Special:Pages_with_unreviewed_versions: This lists all articles which have one or more versions which need to be reviewed and approved. These unreviewed versions have the status "Draft".

Classic revisions with MediaWiki

Further information on the original MediaWiki extension FlaggedRevisions can be found at mediawiki.org.


case study

[case study sourceforge.net]