Watcher offers your site's users, registered and anonymous visitors, a way to easily watch nodes for changes and new comments without having to post themselves.

Feature overview

  • Lets users watch nodes for changes or new comments being posted without having to post themselves.
  • Supports email notifications being sent when both or either of the above occurs.
  • Allows toggling email notifications per node.
  • Uses AJAX for watching and notification toggle actions for a smooth user experience.
  • Both anonymous and registered users can watch nodes.
  • Template-based notification messages using the Token module - edit the email notification messages to your liking!
  • Provides a "binder" with an overview of the nodes you watch.
  • Users may choose to publish the binder so that other users can see what they're watching, providing a form of social bookmarking.
  • Uses a queue-based email dispatcher to handle large numbers of notifications.
  • Users can opt to automatically watch nodes they create or comment on.
  • User settings can have default values, set by the site owner, that can be customized and overridden by the user.
  • Customizable help page with detailed instructions for users.
  • Fine-grained permissions: allowed watching of nodes, access module settings page, access help page, access user settings page, access binders of other users.
  • Highly customizable and configurable user interface that is themeable.
  • Designed with usability and exceptional user experience as a high priority.

Watcher was developed to fill a gap that has existed for a long time. Even though there are several subscription and notification modules out there, none is both easy to use or particularly specialized and allows instant (or near instant) notifications. Watcher is not a general solution to notifications but caters to the needs of community sites.

Watcher requires the Token module to be installed.

For a comparison of notification modules, please see this feature matrix.

The initial development of Watcher was sponsored by Wordsy. Watcher was originally created by Jakob Persson and is being maintained by Dmitriy Novikov.

Initial Watcher's 7.x branch development was sponsored by Desk02 team.

Incompatibility with the Me Aliases module has been reported and it is being looked into. Until the issue has been resolved Watcher will not work as long as the Me Aliases module is enabled.

Milestone feature planning

I've prioritized some popular feature requests and planned them with regards to major versions and milestones. These are just loose ideas and may not actually be implemented. I will not start any work on version 2 until version 1 is considered stable and done feature-wise.

Version 6.x-1.x
- Option to move the "watch this" link to the node links array
- Support for sending notifications in more than one language
- Allow users with sufficient permissions to see who watches a node
- Allow site administrators to see who watches what, grouped by node or user
- Only send one notification and wait until the user returns to the site to view the comment to send more (has implications for UI design)
- "Incognito" mode where the current user isn't assumed to be the creator, thus a watcher, of a node (regardless of the author field) - handy when automating the creation of nodes

Version 6.x-2.x
- Watching of comments (this requires rethinking the UI)
- Notifications when comments or nodes are deleted

Note: Watcher 5.x-1.x is feature frozen.

Project Information