--- Comment #11 from Bawolff <> 2011-02-07 01:58:20 UTC ---
I'm going to regret responding but...

Last-modified header indicates that the content of the page has changed, or may
have changed. This change could be any type of change, from the trivial, to an
entire page change. Equating a change in special:recentchanges with an edit is
stupid and wrong. Installing an extension (as an example given above) that
could potentially change the format of RC (as some extensions like flaggedRevs
to pick a random example do) is a perfectly valid reason to update the
modification time. The last modified time is for caching use only. It should
not be displayed to the user at all. Any program that does is doing something

>but on low use wikis, a
>daily false alarm on RecentChanges already will have the 'boy who cried wolf'
>effect for any patroler.

Clearly the solution is not to use such a broken program for checking if there
are any new edits. It is trivial with the api to actually check if there has
been any new edits to the wiki. Its not mediawiki's fault people are reading
meaning into an http header that the header is not supposed to carry.
(Additionally, considering in the default config we don't even send
last-modified headers on special:Recentchanges (more trouble than its worth to
figure out if anyone has patrolled any edits), I can't imagine its a very
useful program either).

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