Help:Page history

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This page is a help page
It is meant to detail processes or procedures of some aspect or aspects of The Sims Wiki's norms and practices. It is not a policy page.

A page history, also known as a revision history or edit history, shows a record of all the edits made to a page. It can be accessed by clicking the 'View history' tab at the top of the page. The page history lists the edits made to a page in sequential order, along with the username or IP address of the user who made the edit, and the date and time they made it. If the user left an edit summary with their edit, that will also be shown here.

Edits are not automatically removed from The Sims Wiki, so all edits made to a page will appear in the page history indefinitely. As such, you can go all the way back to the very first edit made to an article through the page history.

Using a history page[edit source]

Below is a screenshot of a page history from the Mars article on Wikipedia. The interface may differ slightly from this wiki, but the overall core features are the same. Screenshot page history of enwiki Mars article.png

  1. The name of the page, accompanied by "Revision history".
  2. The date field. You can use this to only show edits made before a specified date. This is useful if there are a lot of edits in the page history.
  3. The Tags filter. You can use this to only show edits that have been marked with a specific tag.
  4. The newest / oldest links let you quickly jump to the newest edits made to the page or to the oldest edits made to the page. The newer n / older n links take you to the next or previous page of edits. The blue numbers list the number of edits displayed on the page. You can choose to display 20, 50, 100, 250 or 500 edits at once.
  5. The cur and prev buttons take you to a diff page, allowing you to see the changes made made between two edits. cur shows the difference between that edit and the most recent edit. prev shows you the difference between that edit and the previous edit. The most recent version of the diff will appear below the changes.
  6. The two columns of radio buttons can be used to select any two revisions of a page. For example, let's say you want to compare the version corresponding to number 14 with the version corresponding to number 13 in the image. First, select the radio button to the left of number 14. The right column of buttons will then fill as far as number 14. Then, click on the radio button on the right column next to number 13. Finally, click on Compare selected revisions (number 7).
  7. The date and time of the edit. The time is UTC by default on The Sims Wiki; registered users can change this in their preferences. The date and time link to that version of the page. Click on a date and time to see how the page looked like at that time.[n 1] If you click on the date and time of an edit, you will get a permanent link to that version of the page.
  8. The username or IP address of the user who made the edit. The talk link points to their user talk page, while the contribs link points to their user contributions page.
  9. The m indicates that the edit was marked as a minor edit.
  10. The size of the edit, measured in bytes.
  11. The difference in size between this edit and the previous edit. A green number indicates that the edit added this number of bytes, while a red number indicates that the edit removed this number of bytes. The number will be bolded if the number of bytes added or removed exceeds 500.
  12. The edit summary of the edit.
  13. The tags attached to the edit, if applicable. Tags are usually automatically added to edits and are used for maintenance or tracking purposes.
  14. The logs for the page.

Viewing older revisions[edit source]

To view any older revision, simply click on the date and time of the revision you want to view. You will be taken to a page showing you what the page may have looked like at the time and date the revision was made.

Images and templates will not appear as they did at the time the edit was made, but will show how they look like right now. For example, if an edit was made to a page on April 5, and a newer version of an image used in that edit was uploaded on April 11, the edit will show the version of the image uploaded on April 11, not April 5.

Reverting revisions[edit source]

Main article: Help:Reverting

You can undo any edit by clicking on the "undo" button next to the edit. Using that button will attempt to undo the changes made in that edit. If you are undoing an edit that is not the latest revision, it will try to preserve the changes made in other edits.

You can also restore the page to a specific revision of your choosing, thus reverting the page to how it appeared at that time. To do this:

  1. Click on the time and date of the earlier version that you want to revert to. You will see a message somewhere along the lines of: "This is an old revision of this page, as edited by User:Example (talk) at 15:47, January 24, 2018. It may differ significantly from the current revision."
  2. Click the "Edit" button like you normally would. You will see a message somewhere along the lines of: "You are editing an old revision of this page. If you save it, any changes made since then will be removed."
  3. Consider explaining the reason for your revert in the edit summary.
  4. Click Publish page to complete the revert.

When you revert an edit, a new edit will be added to the page history so that others can see what you did. Reverting does not remove edits from the page history.

Searching[edit source]

Page histories are not indexed by search engines and cannot be searched using the search box. It is possible to search the history of a page by exporting it and then using the ^ Ctrl-F function in your web browser.

Some page histories are so long that paging back even 500 results at a time cannot practically reach a date from several years ago. It is possible to simply change the date (YYYYMMDD) in the URL in these cases (www.thesimswiki.com/w/index.php?title=The_Sims_Wiki:Sandbox&offset=20061215142129&action=history, for example) to get a listing of results going back from that date.

Watchlists[edit source]

If you have added the page to your watchlist, you may see the text 'updated since my last visit' when you view its history without first viewing the page, marking the edits made since you last visited the page while logged in.

Web feeds[edit source]

A link for an Atom web feed of the history of a page is available from the "Toolbox" on the left sidebar of the screen. This gives the diffs of the last ten edits to the page, each with a link to the individual diff pages. This feed can be read by any web feed aggregator and be displayed on other sites or services.

You can get the RSS version of the web feed by going to the Atom web feed link, and then replacing feed=atom in the URL with feed=rss.

Moving and deleting pages[edit source]

When a page is moved to a new title, its page history gets moved along with it. The old title will become a redirect to the new one and loses its edit history. An entry is created in both the page history and the move log to record the action.

When a page is deleted, the page history remains in the database and can be restored, but it can no longer be accessed or viewed by non-administrators. All edits made to the page are kept and visible to administrators, and can be restored at any time. Edits made to deleted pages cannot be viewed by non-administrators, and they will not appear in user contributions pages. When the page is undeleted, the page history will be restored and all edits will reappear in user contributions.

Revision deletion[edit source]

Administrators can choose to hide the contents of individual edits in the page history. In this case, the edit will continue to appear in the page history, but one or more of its contents will be struck out and can no longer be clicked on or viewed. This is typically done to remove problematic material from immediate view. Administrators can choose to hide the contents of the edit, the username of the user who made the edit, or the edit summary of the edit, or any combination of the three. Edits hidden this way can be viewed by any administrator and later reversed.

File histories[edit source]

Files and images have histories, too. When a file with the same name as an existing file gets uploaded, it will replace the existing file. Like page histories, all previous versions of a file are kept. Files have two types of histories: a page history for the file description page that functions similarly to page histories as described above; and a file history that lists all previous versions of a file.

When a new version of a file is uploaded, an entry will be created in both the file history and the description page's page history recording the change. All file uploads are also logged in the upload log.

When a file is deleted, both its file history and the description page history get deleted. Like with normal page histories, both the file history and the description page history are kept in the database and are only visible to administrators, and both can be undeleted at any time.

A file that is simply removed from use from a page is not deleted. Any editor can remove a file from a page, but only administrators can delete them. If a file gets removed from a page, it is still possible to view the file or use it in another page.

Linking to a specific version of a page[edit source]

Sometimes it is useful to link to a specific version of an article that will not change even if the page is later edited. This is known as a permanent link.

You can get the permanent link for the current version of an article by clicking on the 'Permanent link' button in the sidebar. For older revisions, you can find the permanent link for any older version of the page by going to the page history and then clicking on the time and date of the version you want to link to. The URL provided will be a permanent link to that version of the page, and will not change unless the page is later deleted.

A permanent link to an older version does not necessarily reproduce the page as it appeared at the time. Files and images, templates, and other content may have changed in the meantime; they will appear in their current state, not their historical state. If the page contains time-based variables, such as {{CURRENTTIME}}, these variables be based off the current time, not the time the revision was made. Only the wikitext of the revision, viewable when clicking the 'Edit' button, will be preserved perfectly.

You can capture the current version of a page without being affected by these changes either by saving the page as an HTML file on your computer, or by using other archiving tools, such as the Wayback Machine. See Help:Downloading pages for more ways to preserve a page.

Exporting[edit source]

Main article: Help:Export

You can export the page history of a page in XML format using the Special:Export page. The XML file will contain the wikitext of the current and (optionally) all previous revisions of the page, as well as the time, date, username, and edit summary.

Exporting is usually done when you want to import the revisions into another wiki, or when you want to use a bot or automated process to quickly look at pages. You can also use this as a way of searching the page history, including the contents of each revision, by opening the XML file in your web browser and then using the ^ Ctrl-F function in your web browser to do a search.

Notes[edit source]

  1. Images and templates will not appear as they did at the time the edit was made, but will show how they look like right now. For example, if an edit was made to a page on April 5, and a newer version of an image used in that edit was uploaded on April 11, the edit will show the version of the image uploaded on April 11, not April 5.