User talk:scs

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Keeping threads together: If you post here, I'll reply here. If I post on your talk page, I'll look for your reply there.



2005 2006 2007 2008

Peace award[edit]

I, Dweller, award thee, Ummitt, ye dove of peace in glorious recognition of peacemaking in the midst of yea we the savages of the Ref Desk.

Congratulations. --Dweller 12:33, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Did you see this? --Dweller 09:23, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Pastafarian Award[edit]

[[Image:Touched by His Noodly Appendage.jpg|thumb|right|This Pastafarian award goes to Steve Summit in recognition of his elaborations on building a spaghetti bridge. Unceremoniously presented by Sluzzelin ]] Hello Steve Summit. I found your insightful elaborations on building a spaghetti bridge interesting and appetizing. I prepared myself some pasta and decided to award you one Flying Spaghetti Monster for your answer at the Science Reference Desk. ---Sluzzelin 23:13, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Heh, this gave you away. :) ---Sluzzelin 20:23, 29 January 2007 (UTC)


Here is a little reward for creating the ever-so-great archival bot for both the help desk and reference desk. — E talkbots 06:26, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Why, thank you! —Steve Summit (talk) 11:25, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
Vitruvian Barnstar.png The da Vinci Barnstar
For creating the ever-so-great archival bot for both the help desk and reference desk. — E talkbots 06:26, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

The Butterfly Effect[edit]

Cherry pie with lattice top, April 2006.jpg Have a Pie!
You are hereby awarded ONE PIE for having the line of the day on the Science Desk!

ArakunemTalk 19:52, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Yum! Thanks! :-) —Steve Summit (talk) 19:57, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Help desk date headers[edit]

Hi - I noticed this edit and thought to myself "surely there's a bot that used to do this". Looking into this I gather Scsbot does this, but you run it semi-automatically. Is there some particular reason this task can't be done fully automatically, or is the issue that you don't have a machine you can use for scheduled tasks? Just curious. -- Rick Block (talk) 03:58, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

It's a combination of several things. I do have a machine I could run it on in a scheduled way, but it's not ideal. I used to do the semi-automatic invocation just about every evening without fail, but changes in RL lately preclude that. But I haven't worried too much, because I have this feeling that there are probably plenty of people who enjoy the opportunity to make an extra little contribution manually. (But on the other other hand, I may yet fully automate it, somehow.) —Steve Summit (talk) 03:14, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
I run a scheduled bot and could likely do this. It generally pains me to see folks doing things by hand that look automatable. If you think you're actually not likely to get to this anytime soon (I mean, like months) let me know and I could take a whack at it. -- Rick Block (talk) 03:39, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
It's up and running (on the "less-than-ideal" machine) now. Thanks for the prod, and the offer. —Steve Summit (talk) 13:35, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
No problem. Thank you for running it! I have thought for a while there should be a public, extensible, framework for scheduled periodic bots that would allow folks to upload their bot source. Rough sketch: some machine somewhere (m:toolserver maybe) runs cron jobs that kick off at various periodicities (hourly, daily, weekly at least) and downloads a protected set of files containing bot tasks written as Unix shells (and/or using any of some set of bot frameworks, like pywikipedia). Then, the tasks are run and the log files uploaded to a log file. The basic point is that many of the automated periodic tasks are more or less necessary to keep en: running (see Wikipedia:Maintenance/tasklist, which is far from complete or current). This seems like a much more wiki-like solution than what we do now (all the bot source would be publicly available, with suggestions for changes going through talk pages since the files would be protected). I have intended to write a generalized periodic bot for a while, but haven't gotten around to it. -- Rick Block (talk) 14:44, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
Interesting you should mention Unix shell scripts. I suspect there are those who would opine that shell scripts are hopelessly old-school, and have no place in a "modern" environment like mediawiki...
...but not me, because sh is precisely what I chose to implement most of Scsbot in. :-)
I don't know what the best (or even a good) centralized infrastructure for Wikipedia bots might be, but I do agree that they're far more important than most people likely realize, and probably deserve something cleaner than the current ad-hoc distributed welter. —Steve Summit (talk) 00:21, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
user:Rick Bot's basic pattern is "curl | awk |" (it's not literally a pipe all the way through, but it's certainly the general idea). I've thought about adding "transform using an external executable" to, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I have submitted a patch allowing an entire replacement file to be given to (seems significantly easier than using the api directly). If I get around to writing a generalized periodic bot I'll let you know. -- Rick Block (talk) 05:22, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Bot error[edit]

FYI, User:Scsbot ate part of someone's post while adding the new date header here. Algebraist 00:12, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Gaahh! That's not supposed to be possible. Thanks for catching and fixing that.
The comment it truncated was very long, so clearly the bot has a line-length problem somewhere. (Although 3805 is an odd sort of limit...) —Steve Summit (talk) 01:44, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Ref Desk archive bot Q[edit]

Steve, please see our discussion here: Wikipedia_talk:Reference_desk#Transcluded_Q_talk_pages. StuRat (talk) 21:30, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

File:Walschaert stamp.jpg listed for deletion[edit]

An image or media file that you uploaded or altered, File:Walschaert stamp.jpg, has been listed at Wikipedia:Files for deletion. Please see the discussion to see why this is (you may have to search for the title of the image to find its entry), if you are interested in it not being deleted. Thank you. Calliopejen1 (talk) 14:42, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Potential enhancement for scsbot[edit]

I recently stumbled across this page which appears useful but deprecated, in part because it exceeds the maximum transclusion size limit. In an attempt to fix that, I'd like to wrap <noinclude> tags around the transcluded date pages at the beginning of each desk. That would prevent each desk's header and old questions/responses from being double-transcluded onto the 'All' page (which, I'm led to believe, counts double against the transclusion size limits). From my tests, excluding double-transclusions has reduced the total transclusion size to less than the maximum limit (and appears to provide a snappier response as well). While I can manually apply these tags (and have already done so), it would be preferable to have scsbot automatically place newly-transcluded content inside the closing </noinclude> tag. Is this something you would be willing to consider? Thanks! – 74  19:14, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Certainly! I'm on vacation now, but if I don't get back to you on this within the next week, remind me. —Steve Summit (talk) 16:07, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! And I see you had to manually fix the transcluded pages because of the extra tag; sorry about that. We can move the </noinclude> tag until scsbot can handle it correctly; I was just verifying that they would fix RD/ALL before I bothered you with the request. – 74  16:59, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
Right. And I was about to say, yes, until I can tweak the bot's editing heuristic, we'll have to undo your change. But I should be able to get to that tweaking within a few days. —Steve Summit (talk) 14:24, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Okay, all done. (Bot now noinclude-aware; no need to undo anything after all.) —Steve Summit (talk) 02:34, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
I noted it appears to be working quite well, and WP:RD/ALL is fixed. Thanks! – 74  03:06, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Small error of the bot[edit]

An IP encountered and reported on WP:VP/T the following broken link, which I fixed. --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 00:27, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

It's a known bug, which I have been dragging my feet on fixing, based on the following lame excuse.
Before this bot took over, those items were not links to different points within that page. (See, for example, the older Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/January 2007.) Making them all "hot" was an idea I had for an improvement, which ended up being easy for the bot to do. (Or, seemed to be easy -- but it was easy because it was incomplete.) But, figuring that having 99% of the links "hot" was better than nothing, fixing the bug that causes the remaining 1% to be broken has (alas) never been at the top of my priority list... —Steve Summit (talk) 01:19, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Liability paranoia[edit]

Regarding your comment at WT:RD here, I wanted to clear something up.

I can't speak for other editors, but to my mind, liability concerns are not the only reason why we might want to remove a request for medical advice. Indeed, I consider such concerns to be relatively minor, and – with some caveats – the effects of a lawsuit more a matter of nuisance than of serious liability risk.

I've plugged my essay on this topic before, but I'll hit it again: User:TenOfAllTrades/Why not? Briefly summarized, I'm interested in preventing harm to the OP, to the responders, and to Wikipedia's reputation. (If pressed, I'd probably put those in that order of priority, too.) By responding to questions about the poster's health in this forum, we do everyone involved a disservice.

I'm not trying to browbeat you into a change of your !vote (I think that voting on these matters is generally unproductive in any event), nor would I want you to take this as intended as an attack on your judgement. I just wanted to be clear that I don't – and I don't think we should – view these questions through the lens of legal paranoia. Cheers! TenOfAllTrades(talk) 01:51, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Fair enough! Thanks for replying. —Steve Summit (talk) 02:00, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

In the middle of nowhere there is nowhere to hide[edit]

Happy Vacation! :-) ---Sluzzelin talk 13:09, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Bug in scsbot?[edit]

Any idea what happened here [1]? Buffer overflow because my comment was too long? Nil Einne (talk) 17:55, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Ouch! Yes. It's a known bug, but I thought I'd taught the bot to detect and not commit a change if it realized it was going to damage some unrelated text like that. Thanks for pointing this out -- I'll have to figure out why the bot's double-check didn't catch it. (Or, better yet, figure out and fix the stupid buffer overflow...) —Steve Summit (talk) 23:25, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Bot removed a bunch of today's comments on the science desk...[edit]

Diff, FYI. I'm guessing that it wasn't supposed to do that... --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 07:50, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

EDIT: I've restored all the 'lost' replies. --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 07:56, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Arrgh. My mistake. (Not really the bot's.) Thanks for fixing. —Steve Summit (talk) 13:29, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Today's Date section removed from Help_desk[edit]

I noticed it get added this morning, now it's gone! Also, it showed June 22nd as being archived, but when I looked at Wikipedia:Help_desk, 22nd June entries are still there! I'm assuming someone's later edit removed them? PhantomSteve (talk) 07:28, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Yes. The bot inserted it here , someone accidentally edited and removed it here, someone else fixed the header level here, and finally some third person reinserted the date header here. (Oh! That last was you. :-) )
When a day's entries get archived, they're always transcluded back onto the desk for another day (or for three days on the reference desks). This trades off how long the entries stay visible, versus how large the page is to load to edit. —Steve Summit (talk) 11:09, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I thought I'd better re insert the date header! Thanks for explaining this - I didn't realise that they're transcluded! PhantomSteve (Contact Me, My Contribs) 11:27, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Mathematics reference desk oddities[edit]

I'm not quite sure what's going on, but something strange is happening with the date section headers and archiving on the Wikipedia:Reference desk/Mathematics page. -- Tcncv (talk) 04:08, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Do you mean the empty days for July 5 and 6? Those are empty because no one ever posted anything on those days. (Not because the bot archived them prematurely or anything.) —Steve Summit (talk) 02:30, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
There were several threads started on the 6th. Algebraist 02:39, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Oh! Duh. So there are. Hmm. —Steve Summit (talk) 02:41, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
The bot definitely screwed that up a bit, though I'm not sure how, and I don't have time just now to fully investigate. But I fixed up the headers, and it looks like other desks were not similarly affected. —Steve Summit (talk) 02:54, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
It looks like the same thing happened again, and I believe I see the pattern. After adding the July 11 header a few days ago, no new topics were added for either July 11 or July 12. I guess nobody thinks about math on weekends. For some reason, the lack of new topics prevented Scsbot from adding the July 12 and July 13 date headers in its normal processing. Finally on July 13, a couple of new topics were added, appearing under the July 11 header. The next time Scsbot came through, it played catch-up and added the July 12, 13, and 14 headers in reverse chronological order. (I have since fixed these headers.) This same scenario occurred over the July 4 weekend as you can see here. -- Tcncv (talk) 01:45, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Scsbot issue: parsing snafu[edit]

Howdy. In this edit scsbot seems to have become confused (I guess with that rather complex signature markup) and mangled things up slightly. I've fixed it for that page. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 00:15, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

It's repeating the same error with every visit to that page [2], [3] -- Finlay McWalterTalk 00:21, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
It's happened again (see User talk:Scsbot), and I think it's a line length limit. In all cases the lines were truncated at ~4000 characters. -- BenRG (talk) 00:48, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
I spent a bunch of time a month or two ago investigating this (last time it happened, I guess), and while it's obviously a line or buffer length issue of some kind, it's not in any of the obvious places in the bot's processing -- everywhere I looked, the text was uncorrupted and the truncation wasn't occurring.
I'm going to take another stab at it now, but (because I've exhausted other avenues) I'm going to have to turn it loose on the live RD again and let it make the same mistake. But I'll be standing by to revert it right away. —Steve Summit (talk) 02:19, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I think I fixed it, finally. The really annoying thing is that it was supposed to be impossible for the bot to make this sort of mistake, since it literally presses the "Show changes" button to make sure its edits don't cause any unexpected insertions or deletions -- but it turns out it doesn't always parse the diffs correctly, such that it can quietly undercount and miss one of its own mistakes. Dang.
I can provide more details if anyone is interested. I haven't figured out how to fix the diff check, but I've at least tracked down and fixed the source of this particular error. (See the long chain of test edits here if you're curious.) —Steve Summit (talk) 02:43, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

RD troll[edit]

In response to your question here, yes — that was a troll. Any messages posted to the Ref Desks (or particularly to the Ref Desk talk page) from IP addresses resolving to Tiscali UK are almost certainly the banned troll Light current (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) socking away. It's weird, actually. He's got a reasonable grasp of electronics, and I suspect he's at least university-educated, but he has a penchant for asking childish questions involving Uranus puns, and he's willing to age socks for a year or more to do it. Moreover, he'll use that sock drawer to violently attack anyone who removes his trolling. It's quite a remarkable phenomenon; I don't know entirely what's wrong with his brain, though I do hope he eventually gets the help he needs.

Nominally Tiscali owns the IP addresses 79.64.x.x through 79.79.x.x (though I don't see edits from all of those /16 subnets). A second range from the same ISP (which also turns up from time to time, but which I haven't seen for a while) is 88.108.x.x through 88.111.x.x. In general, if you see any of those addresses making any sort of borderline post on the Ref Desks, it's safe to revert and block. Used to be I could also ask Alison to run a checkuser to empty out any new socks he'd salted away, but alas — she is retired. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 21:22, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Please refrain from making personal attacks such as stating a contributor has something "wrong with his brain" and hoping he "gets the help he needs," even if the contributor in question has been banned. Edison (talk) 15:08, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
Oh, that was Light Current? That explains everything; sorry you had to spend time with the longer explanation.
(I know all about Light Current, and Tiscali. I used to be able to recognize a Tiscali IP address immediately. I actually started out on his side, back in the day, but then eventually I was one of the ones who was getting violently attacked for removing his trolling, as a skim through my 2007 talk page archives will show.) —Steve Summit (talk) 18:21, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
No worries. Remarkable that he's still around, isn't it? I probably ought to just put together a couple of canned paragraphs, as I find I do have to offer the explanation to new Ref Deskers from time to time. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 18:36, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Your comment was the most succinct representation of the core issue here - Many people (myself currently included) would much rather spend their limited Wikipedia time actually contributing to the encyclopedia, rather than wasting time on (trolls). I concur strongly. Nimur (talk) 20:17, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
A canned comment would be preferable to venting spleen. A goal of a troll is likely to get someone so upset they start ranting. That is why I find the standard canned warnings useful for vandals, rather than any angry scolding I might think of, which is likely what they want. There would be far less reward in getting the same canned reply each time. Edison (talk) 15:19, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
You cited an essay calling for reverting. blocking and ignoring vandals. Please study the part where it says "Long-term vandals will quickly grow tired when all of their "work" is quietly reverted, their accounts/IPs blocked, and their cries for attention ignored, with no fanfare whatsoever." When someone repeatedly attacks the vandal, in violation of a core policy against personal attacks, it has exactly the opposite effect intended by "revert-block-ignore." The essay definitely does not say "Revert, block, ignore, then post amateur psychiatric diagnoses that they have 'something wrong with their brain' and 'they should get help.' " Edison (talk) 15:32, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
You are responding to two people at once. I was the one who cited WP:RBI in this comment on your talk page (a comment which I later regretted, and was thinking of deleting this morning if you hadn't yet responded to it). TenOfAllTrades is the one you're accusing of posting amateur psychiatric diagnoses. —Steve Summit (talk) 16:36, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
When you said "we're RBIing" I assumed you were associating your edits with those of TenOfAllTrades. Were you associating your edits with those of someone else, or do you use the plural pronoun? Edison (talk) 21:03, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
It wasn't obvious who you were trying to reply to in your edit of 15:32, 22 October 2009 -- based on its placement in this thread, it looked more like you were replying to TenOfAllTrades than to me, or to both of us. (To be perfectly clear: yes, I was associating my edits with TenOfAllTrades, but I didn't imagine that anyone other than you and me had necessarily read that comment of mine and knew that I had. Anyone else reading this thread here would therefore have been confused or misled.) —Steve Summit (talk) 21:24, 27 October 2009 (UTC)


Oh so vital
Nobody notices the keystone until it isn't there.

Hey! Just letting you know there is some discussion going on about reducing the length of the longer RD pages. I thought it was pretty pointless having a discussion without you, and you might not be watching the talk page that regularly (Lord knows it's bad for a person's blood pressure). So, just a note. (talk) 23:32, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Thanks! (By chance, I had spotted and was responding to that thread at the same moment you were pointing it out to me.) —Steve Summit (talk) 23:46, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

More mathematics reference desk oddities[edit]

Hi, this is weird. Also it seems there are some questions asked on October 29 which did not get the appropriate header. Thanks! -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 06:12, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Ok, this has been fixed by someone bolder than myself ([4], [5]). It might still be worth it to investigate what caused the anomaly. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 09:55, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

That's a known, occasional glitch with the bot. Anyone can be as bold as they went to be in adding/fixing/removing date headers -- the bot does not depend on them. Thanks. —Steve Summit (talk) 13:44, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
It's finally fixed. —Steve Summit (talk) 02:40, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Still happening[edit]

Just to let you know, the buffer overflow seems to be still happening [6]. Would seperating my posts into multiple lines stop this? I have the perhaps unfortunate habit of keeping very long posts in a single line without paragraphs, amongst other things to discourage editors from replying inline within my post which can cause confusion and also because I've never been great at making paragraphs, but the wall of text kind of thing is probably not helpful from a readability perspective and may be what's causing problems for the bot Nil Einne (talk) 08:59, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Well, first of all (and this is said with all sympathy, because I have more or less the same problem), yes, you ought to write less, or at least break it up into paragraphs or something. It turns out that, no matter how scintillatingly written (and, of course, all of my novel-like essays are, too), few people are willing to read a wall of text. There's a reason the abbreviation "tl;dr" came into existence. (See also this essay and this adorable picture.)
But second, if you absolutely must write a wall of text on Wikipedia, but are running up against line length limits (yours or someone else's), there's a mediawiki trick you can use, even in indented paragraphs like this one: put a newline inside of a <nowiki>
</nowiki> pair, like this -- this gives you two physical lines but one logical line. (In this paragraph, there's a line break only because I inserted one with <br>, but note that the indentation is preserved despite the lack of a : on the second physical line.)
But third, I absolutely don't want to cramp anyone's style just because of a bot limitation. The bug is finally fixed; see the note four sections up. So (seriously), please feel free to compose at least one more 4k+ barrage, as a definitive test! :-) —Steve Summit (talk) 11:43, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

RefDesk archiving[edit]

It seems everyone discussed, agreed that 7 days was too long, found consensus that 4 days was about right, then....nothing. Since you are the bot operator can you please swing by the discussion and give effect to the consensus? It seems that we only need to stop transcluding the oldest 3 days, which will achieve the required reduction. Thanks. Zunaid 14:06, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Yup. Doing so is on my list. —Steve Summit (talk) 02:05, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Scsbot and date headers[edit]

I notice that over the past two days, Scsbot has not been adding date headers to the help pages as it usually does. I've been adding them manually to Help Desk, but I also see that other pages are affected. Is there a reason it has stopped performing this task? AJCham 18:11, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Today I belatedly discovered that the server which hosts that portion of the bot had gone down. I'll be rearranging things tonight. Thanks for taking care of it in the meantime. —Steve Summit (talk) 00:38, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Scsbot has been... acting up. Please see the talk page at the RefDesk. Matt Deres (talk) 01:16, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Done. Thanks. —Steve Summit (talk) 22:33, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

New month, new year[edit]

I've just extended RD/Archives/Answered questions [7] to cover the new year. Possibly your bot could so similar work every new year or even every new month, or at least put an appropriate reminder somewhere? But I have no idea where is 'somewhere'... --CiaPan (talk) 08:19, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for doing that! (I was hoping someone would.)
My feeling that this task is so infrequent (once or twice per year) that it's not worth trying to automate. —Steve Summit (talk) 15:44, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
I seldom browse through archives, and AFAIR have never used the time index before. So it was a pure accident that I updated it, and probably I won't remember to check and do it again next month or next year. May be someone else will, or may be not. That's why I came to idea of an automated reminder.
But I unerstand it might be quite a lot programming work compared to little practical effect, so do as you wish. Best regards, CiaPan (talk) 08:46, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Date headers again[edit]

I noticed yesterday (16th) the date headers hadn't been done for all the desks. Added to the science desk but decided to leave the rest since it wasn't that long before the day. Today I thought the bot had done it but looks like someone else did. Not sure if there's a problem with the bot or the server/you've just been away since I noticed the bot's editing has been a bit irregular besides the dates although it has been doing other things but not the dates since the 15th. Cheers Nil Einne (talk) 15:51, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Aha. I forgot that the date-adding portion of the bot needs to be fixed to handle the new User-Agent nonsense. Grr. Will do. Thanks for pointing it out. —Steve Summit (talk) 17:54, 17 February 2010 (UTC)


So the IP's personal attack is allowed to stand, and my followup comment is not. Yet you all claim there is no double-standard where IP's are concerned. Yeh, you betcha, by golly. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:13, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Your continued harping on this pet issue of yours is disruptive. It's as simple as that. —Steve Summit (talk) 14:18, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Especially as my argument keeps getting proven again and again. That must really irk y'all. P.S. Please follow your own rules and confine your responses to the page they started, i.e. here. :) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:43, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
The argument that there's a "double standard"? So what? Even if there is one, the appropriate response is for us to all deal with it, not for you to use it as an excuse to condone (or a smokescreen to distract from) your pointlessly disruptive behavior.
I'm not going to bother with your silly potshot about "my rules". —Steve Summit (talk) 16:26, 15 March 2010 (UTC)


Hi Steve Summit,

Thanks for the review of the "repairing a virus" FAQ. I tried to implement your suggestions and I'm going to take the liberty of making it a Reference Desk sub-page, if such a thing is tenable.

Thanks! Comet Tuttle (talk) 19:37, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Help desk[edit]

There is no need to archive the HD manually - it's done by a bot. Thanks. – ukexpat (talk) 04:29, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Yes, thanks, I know, I'm the operator of that bot! (It's not perfect, and when it makes a mistake -- as in this case when someone used a level-three heading to start a new entry, contrary to the bot's expectations -- I have to clean up after it manually.) —Steve Summit (talk) 04:40, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Oops! I fix those heading level errors when I spot them... – ukexpat (talk) 14:18, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Help desk/Archives/May 2010 not updated[edit]

Scsbot has not updated Wikipedia:Help desk/Archives/May 2010 since May 15 when it archived May 11 and May 12. It has archived several days since then, from Wikipedia:Help desk/Archives/2010 May 13 to Wikipedia:Help desk/Archives/2010 May 20. PrimeHunter (talk) 19:54, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Yikes. Thanks for pointing that out. Fixed.
(The explanation: when the default Wikipedia skin changed earlier this month, the bot barfed, and in cleaning up after it, I made a temporary change which I forgot to reverse.) —Steve Summit (talk) 02:56, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. Should I add May 13 to May 21 manually? I don't want to do it completely with section links to the archives but I could easily copy unlinked section titles from the TOC's. PrimeHunter (talk) 16:32, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
If you wish. I'm going to try to figure out an semiautomatic way to retroactively reinvoke the bot to go back and fill those in (with the links), but it's likely to be a day or two before I'm in a position to do that. —Steve Summit (talk) 03:36, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
I see Theurgist has done it completely with section links both for the help desk and reference desks. PrimeHunter (talk) 23:21, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Scsbot failure - June 2010[edit]

I've just added June links to Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Answered questions and discovered red links in it. Looks like your bot failed to create the June 1st archves for Math, Lang and Entertainment ref.desks. --CiaPan (talk) 19:12, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for adding those. You were too prompt, that's all -- the bot hadn't created June 1 pages yet. But they're all there now, and all the links are blue. —Steve Summit (talk) 04:09, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. --CiaPan (talk) 20:56, 6 June 2010 (UTC)


Message at User_talk:Scsbot#Reference_desk - sorry I only saw the "will stop the bot" message after I posted the problem .. no date headers by the way . Sorry if I broke the bot. (talk) 22:46, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

No problem. I'll reply at RD talk page. —Steve Summit (talk) 00:58, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

You are now a Reviewer[edit]

Wikipedia Reviewer.svg

Hello. Your account has been granted the "reviewer" userright, allowing you to review other users' edits on certain flagged pages. Pending changes, also known as flagged protection, is currently undergoing a two-month trial scheduled to end 15 August 2010.

Reviewers can review edits made by users who are not autoconfirmed to articles placed under pending changes. Pending changes is applied to only a small number of articles, similarly to how semi-protection is applied but in a more controlled way for the trial. The list of articles with pending changes awaiting review is located at Special:OldReviewedPages.

When reviewing, edits should be accepted if they are not obvious vandalism or BLP violations, and not clearly problematic in light of the reason given for protection (see Wikipedia:Reviewing process). More detailed documentation and guidelines can be found here.

If you do not want this userright, you may ask any administrator to remove it for you at any time. Courcelles (talk) 01:28, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

Ref.Desk archives formatting trick[edit]

I noticed your comment to this edit.
You're right, those hiden items are needed for nice formatting. They force the right (main) part of the <table> to the appropriate width, so the left coloured part with 'Computing, Sciense, Mathematics...' headers gets the wdith consistent with other tables. Without those items the coloured stripe gets wider, and that looks a bit worse. (See the previous version and compare tables for 2009 and 2010.) This was most important when the table contained only one of two months, see here. --CiaPan (talk) 09:58, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Yup, got it. Nice trick. Thanks for all your work on that page. —Steve Summit (talk) 10:56, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

WT:RD summary[edit]

If you feel up to it, I'd be interested in a slightly more fine-grained assessment of the consensus in the Cuddlyable3 discussion (Wikipedia talk:Reference desk#results). As written, I fear that your tally of votes is apt to convey to Cuddlyable3 the message that his conduct is perfectly acceptable — if that isn't your conclusion based on the reading of the discussion it would probably be helpful to expand your remarks slightly. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 14:21, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

I was thinking about that, too (i.e., your fear), although I hesitated before trying to summarize the entire discussion given that I wasn't an unbiased participant. —Steve Summit (talk) 17:03, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

RefDesk archives need a new month[edit]

Please tell your bot to add pages for November 2010 links in WP:Reference_desk/Archives. --CiaPan (talk) 21:04, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Small issue with scsbot date headers[edit]

Apparently Scsbot gets confused with the dates when no one posts a new question for over a day. It's adding the two dates at once but in the wrong order as seen in this edit. It's easy to fix by hand and easier still to just ignore it but I though you should know.--RDBury (talk) 02:38, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

It's an issue I've known about but keep forgetting, and while minor, it'd be nice to fix. Thanks for the reminder. —Steve Summit (talk) 22:17, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I came by to report the same thing: [8]. Glad to see you're aware of the issue. —Bkell (talk) 05:23, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Me too.[9]. PrimeHunter (talk) 02:31, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
This glitch is finally fixed. —Steve Summit (talk) 02:40, 6 September 2012 (UTC)


A discussion has just started at Wikipedia talk:New contributors' help page/questions that you may be interested in. Thanks! TNXMan 15:55, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Further to this - it looks as though archiving still isn't working on NCHPQ (catchy, no?); since you were so helpful with this before perhaps you'd be so kind as to take another look? There's discussion at Wikipedia_talk:New_contributors'_help_page/questions#Needs archiving. Many thanks and happy holidays. Gonzonoir (talk) 09:43, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

The Scsbot and its deletions[edit]

Cheers - I had actually put my own back by myself, but didn't fix other deletions that had happened. I noticed a few of my own (simply because they were mine) and one edit by someone else had also been deleted. I had suspected it was this bot that had done it. Anyway, thanks. --KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 03:42, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Scsbot adds a month when day doesn't exist[edit]

Scsbot created Wikipedia:Help desk/Archives/2011 January 29 with a wrong link to "Mar" at top of the page where the following month "Feb" should have been linked. Looking back at other Help desk archives, it appears a month is added whenever the corresponding day doesn't exist in the previous or next month. For example, Wikipedia:Help desk/Archives/2010 May 30 correctly links to "<< Apr | May | Jun >>", but Wikipedia:Help desk/Archives/2010 May 31 links to "<< May | May | Jul >>". PrimeHunter (talk) 22:11, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Archiving the Computing Reference Desk[edit]

Isn't it time to archive the Computing Reference Desk again? It's now over 170 kilobytes, over two and a half times the size when it was last archived. JIP | Talk 16:23, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Sorry for the delay. The archiving will catch up tonight. (There was a bug in the bot -- exposed, I guess, by a recent MediaWiki change -- which I've just fixed.) —Steve Summit (talk) 18:18, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

Something weird with Scsbot[edit]

In this edit, it appears that Scsbot ate a random chunk out of the Humanities Desk when it added the date header. Any ideas what happened there? There's a short thread at Wikipedia talk:Reference desk#Missing question that would appreciate any followup you can provide. Cheers! TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:02, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Thanks -- I'm on it. —Steve Summit (talk) 17:11, 10 March 2011 (UTC)


In your edit summary[10] you characterise me as:

  • renegade n. 1.An outlaw or rebel.
    2.A disloyal person who betrays or deserts his cause, religion, political party, friend, etc.

In the absence of any explanation or apology, this will be seen as personal abuse. Please read both the statement at the top of my talk page and the Wikipedia policy WP:NPA. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 20:52, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

My dictionary includes the definition "a person who behaves in a rebelliously unconventional manner" which, for me, accurately characterizes your practice of moving talk page threads when replying. —Steve Summit (talk) 21:17, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Being an expert on English, one could say he's A Rebel with a Clause. :) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:43, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Scsbot malfunction[edit]

Just a note that your bot deleted a bunch of threads (not old enough to be archived) at Wikipedia:New contributors' help page/questions and then replaced them with date headers (in the wrong order). I'm not sure what happened, but you may want to look into the bot's behavior. Deor (talk) 13:12, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

Ugh. Thanks for catching that and fixing it up.
There's a recent failure mode which I haven't tracked down yet, but so far it hadn't resulted in damage like that. —Steve Summit (talk) 13:53, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
An idea occurred to me, but I know nothing about how bots (and Scsbot in particular) work. A number of editors, including me, have been having trouble lately with page loading on Wikipedia—pages, especially long ones like many discussion pages, will take forever to come up or will "hang" when only partially loaded. Could something like that be confusing Scsbot? Deor (talk) 22:13, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
I think you're right; that's the failure I'm suspecting. I need to teach the bot to detect that it's happened. —Steve Summit (talk) 01:10, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Done, I think. (If the fetched page doesn't end with </html>, there's a problem.) —Steve Summit (talk) 03:05, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
It happened again, unfortunately: [11]. Deor (talk) 14:33, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Sigh. Thanks for fixing it, again.
It may be that my "look for </html>" fix isn't adequate.
Or it may be that this particular failure resulted from my killing the bot last night (which I did) at just the wrong moment, when it seemed to be taking forever (which it was).
The good news is that I think the server problems may have been addressed, meaning that these problems will probably go away.
I wish there was a better way for the bot to detect that it had failed, rather than you (or me) having to double-check it all the time. I thought I'd invested it with more than adequate double and triple checks of its own, but somehow they haven't been sufficient in this case. —Steve Summit (talk) 01:31, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Math reference desk redux[edit]

A minor issue, but I'm still correcting dates in the math reference desk when it's slow. See this edit for example. I think the initial error is that it doesn't do an update if there are no updates on the previous day, so the date is incorrect when it comes time to do the next update.--RDBury (talk) 04:25, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

This error is finally fixed. —Steve Summit (talk) 02:40, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Help desk[edit]

I reverted the archiving of the help desk, as I was in the middle of responding to a post when it archived (and therefore also deleted that day's archive and undid its link at the August archive page). I thought the bot might need to be reset to understand that it's archiving of August 17 has been undone. I'd also like to request that it no longer archive at three days and then fill in the rest over 24 houra, but just do it once at the last possible moment. The timing is a bit short.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 01:06, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

The bot is specifically designed to figure out what needs doing, and to interact with parallel editing by humans, without needing "resetting". So it'll probably be okay, but thanks for your concern.
I'm not sure what you mean by "filling in the rest over 24 hours"; the intent is to archive one day's worth of content all at once.
Any changing of the archiving strategy would have to be discussed on the talk page. —Steve Summit (talk) 02:31, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Scsbot issue with date headers.[edit]

The bot just added headers for Oct 4 and Oct 3 to the Maths RD at the same time, in the same place in the wrong order. It seems not to have added the Oct 3 header before, possibly as there was nothing added Oct 2 so that date is empty. The correct thing to do though would have been to add it at or below the Oct 2 heading: if it mislikes having one heading below another it should have removed the Oct 2 heading. But it makes no sense to not add Oct 3 at the correct time only to add it later in totally the wrong place.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 01:53, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Yes, sorry, the bot has a few lingering issues which I really should fix some day. Thanks for cleaning up after it. —Steve Summit (talk) 03:32, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Here's a strange instance of this Scsbot bug: [12]. The bot added headings for October 10 and October 8, in the wrong order, skipping October 9, because it already had a heading? —Bkell (talk) 01:21, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

The bug is finally fixed. —Steve Summit (talk) 02:40, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Available for a new archiving task?[edit]

Hi there Ummit, I am a member of WP:WikiProject Articles for creation, and we've recently set up a help desk, which is modeled on the original help desk. Would you be interested in setting up Scsbot to archive and automatically add date header for us? For now (based on its activity so far), the archiving would be on the 6th day from the new date header; e.g. when you add a header for January 7, you archive January 1. Please let me know if you're willing to take this task and if I can assist you in any way. Cheers, CharlieEchoTango (contact) 11:36, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

I can add AFCHD to the bot's repertoire, although there's a certain amount of other infrastructure that needs setting up, also. In particular, we'll need two templates, analogous to the reference desk's Template:RD Archive header and Template:RD Archive header monthly, and the help desk's Template:HD Archive header and Template:HD Archive header monthly. If you can construct those for AFDHC, I can set up a new bot instance, and we'll see what happens. —Steve Summit (talk) 01:04, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick reply. I've set up {{AFCHD Archive header monthly}} and {{AFCHD Archive header}}, as well as Wikipedia:WikiProject Articles for creation/Help desk/Archives. Is there anything else that needs setting up? Cheers, CharlieEchoTango (contact) 01:48, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I did a dry run on February 15th's questions, and it mostly worked. Couple little kinks, nothing major. Nice work on the templates. —Steve Summit (talk) 23:45, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! :-) CharlieEchoTango (contact) 23:53, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Hey! Thanks for noticing and deleting the mistaken Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/AFDHD/2012 February 15 before I had a chance to even request it! —Steve Summit (talk) 00:47, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
No problem, I was stalking your bot's contributions and I figured it was a mistaken page. I notice your bot does not yet add the date header on the AFC help desk (has it been added to its task?), and archived the main help desk yesterday but somehow did not get around to archive our help desk. It's getting a bit long now, with 10 days on the page (one transcluded), so I was wondering. Let me know if there is anything else I can do. Cheers, CharlieEchoTango (contact) 02:58, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
I guess you didn't keep stalking it the next day, otherwise you'd've noticed what User:Nolelover noticed, as discussed in the thread just below. But I think I've got that (mostly) fixed, and the bot's chewing away now... —Steve Summit (talk) 01:08, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, I did notice it, but you corrected it real fast. :P Thanks for all the help. CharlieEchoTango (contact) 01:14, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Made my day...[edit]

Just want to thank you (if I can't blame you as his owner, maybe you can pass along my regards) for this. Absolutely restored my faith in Wikipedia. Gotta ask though, how did it happen? Nolelover Talk·Contribs 14:05, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

My friend, I am not only the owner of that bot, but its author as well, and I still have no idea how it happened! Glad you got some amusement value out of it -- I'm still in a bit of shock, myself! (All I can say is, thank heavens for that Wiki undo button!)
That line "--abcdefghijklmnopqrstuv--" looks like it might be a MIME multipart separator, and I think MIME multipart messages are used somewhere in the guts of HTML form submission. (I should know -- I wrote the code -- but it's been a while. :-) ) But how the separator managed to get reinvented as the entirety of the submitted page remains a mystery, as does the little matter of the fact that the bot is supposed to have two or three levels of double-checks, precisely to eliminate the possibility of any catastrophic, page-nuking mistaken edits like that... —Steve Summit (talk) 22:38, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Ahh, so you are the author...yes, my first thought was that this was so odd that it just had to have happened before...but then why wouldn't it have been caught in the multiple test runs and checks? Ahh well, no harm no foul. Here's to hoping s/he/it doesn't go off on a slightly higher-profile page. Cheers, (and seriously though, thanks for your work on the less thing for helpers to worry about) Nolelover Talk·Contribs 23:41, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
In case anyone's wondering, it turned out that (a) part of the edit script got mildly confused, and inadvertently blanked its working copy of the page; and (b) when the submission script tried to submit empty content, somehow the page ended up containing the MIME separator, instead. (I suspect this has to do with the delicate definition of the trailing newline in a MIME multipart section, which becomes especially significant on empty parts.) The mild confusion in (a) really shouldn't have been so catastrophic (so I've got to further understand that, and make it more robust), and I'd like to better understand (b), too, but in the meantime, I've at least fixed the mild confusion, and added Yet Another double-check so that the master edit script won't ever try to submit blank pages. (In other words, I've basically added an vandalism detection to my own bot!) —Steve Summit (talk) 01:04, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
Not going to pretend I understand any of the above (I don't), but I just wanted to say a big thank you for helping us with the archiving despite the technical difficulties. Hey, and now you have a self-aware bot! :-) CharlieEchoTango (contact) 01:11, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
Same as Charlie...I sorta got your first comment in this section (most pressing question was why the separator left out four letters), but the second flew by me. Just to make sure though, the bot will always archive and transclude in the same edit, so all we have to do is remove the transclusion? Nolelover Talk·Contribs 02:24, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
I think the idea is to keep a transclusion of the most recent archive on the help desk. Normally we wouldn't have to remove the transclusion because it would be replaced the next day with the newer one, and so on. This time around the bot archived a whole lot of days, so it left more than one transclusion, which is why I removed the extra ones. CharlieEchoTango (contact) 02:35, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
Ahh, makes sense. Thansk, that's good to know. Nolelover Talk·Contribs 02:52, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
By default, the bot keeps 3-4 days in their entirety, and 3 an additional days transcluded. That's tunable, and some of the other pages it archives have different combinations. What would you guys prefer? —Steve Summit (talk) 04:21, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Oh, thanks for the explanation, I wasn't aware the default left three transclusions, I was looking at WP:HD where there is only one. If it's not too much trouble, I think 5+1 would be a good combination for us, much like the 3+1 used on WP:HD, but with two extra days. Otherwise the 3+3 default works fine too, just a bit less ideal if something is archived/transcluded before being answered. Best, CharlieEchoTango (contact) 04:38, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

I agree that we could go with a bit more time...I've already seen a couple of places where new users have gone 3-4 days between replies. IMO, the less transcluded days we have (where newbies are just gonna get confused...why is my question here, but when I edit this I'm on a different page?) the better. Nolelover Talk·Contribs 21:55, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
Okay, I've set it for 5+1. That meant it didn't have anything to do tonight, but in a day or two it should settle down to steady state. —Steve Summit (talk) 03:40, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Date headers again[edit]

Just a heads-up that your bot has failed to add date headers to the reference desks the past two days. Deor (talk) 11:41, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Something went wrong on computing desk[edit]

The bot removed July 30th [13] but never archived it. It did create the talk page redirect [14] and added July 30 to the index [15]. Looking at the bots history, every other archive seems to have gone fine. I reverted the removal although perhaps it would have been better to manually archive July 30th as I'm not sure how the bot will handle the existing talk page and index for July 30. I was wondering if one of the links got added to the spam blacklist stopping it from saving but had no problems saving July 30 on the sandbox myself just now. Nil Einne (talk) 06:22, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Thanks very much. I now see an error message in the logs, which I overlooked when reviewing them after last night's run. I'll take care of it.
(And don't worry, it's easy enough to take care of the talk page and index on a rearchival.) —Steve Summit (talk) 10:36, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

wrong section order again[edit]

User:Scsbot has just added missing headers for two days to WP:RD/MATH in this edit:
However, it did it slightly wrong, putting the fourth and fifth of September headers after the existing Sep 6. Additionally it didn't notice that "missing header for a day" is NOT equivalent to "header for a missing day", and the "September 5" header landed far below the Sept 5 threads.
The section ordering has already been corrected. Regards, CiaPan (talk) 05:36, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

PS. Should I rather put the above message at the bot's talk page...? CiaPan (talk)

Ugh. This is disappointing. Last night was the first run of the new version in which I finally fixed the long-standing bug that would have caused it to insert September 4 and September 5 in the wrong order. The fix worked, in that it did get them in the right order, but you're right, it put September 5 in the wrong place, and it shouldn't really have inserted September 4 at all.
I think I understand the remaining bug and how to fix it; I'll work on it some more tonight. —Steve Summit (talk) 15:23, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
P.S. Leaving me a message here is fine.
Remaining bug(s) fixed, I think. —Steve Summit (talk) 01:26, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Notice of Dispute resolution discussion[edit]

Hello. This message is being sent to inform you that there is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Dispute resolution noticeboard regarding a content dispute in which you may have been involved. Content disputes can hold up article development, therefore we request your participation in the discussion to help find a resolution. The thread is "Talk:India".The discussion is about the topic Template:Largest cities of India. Thank you! Your feedback would be highly valued there. Mrt3366(Talk?) (New thread?) 14:50, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Your comments added a new aspect to the discussion that — although present in the back of my mind — wasn't in that page before. I implore you to comment on this page. Since it's also going to be important. You're not the first guy to see the issue clearly. An editor informed me, “FAs have for a long time been plagued by ownership issues and some weird desire to allow their primary contributors to veto edits of which they disapprove”. If guys like you who see the issue clearly, don't stand up, then this will never change. Mrt3366(Talk?) (New thread?) 15:52, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Thank you. Unfortunately, I'm afraid I won't be able to do too much. —Steve Summit (talk) 18:41, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Straw poll notice[edit]

There is a straw-poll in a discussion where you were involved. Mrt3366(Talk?) (New thread?) 14:40, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

DRN Closure notice[edit]

Three of the main parties in this dispute, Fowler&Fowler, AVC, and Mrt3366, the filing editor, have expressed a desire to close the DRN. Any thoughts? It looks like the filing editor has gone ahead to create an RfC on the issue. The discussion is currently spread between three locations (Talk:India, the DRN case, and the RfC page), which is a practice that is not encouraged.
— User:So God created Manchester

I thought you should know this. Mrt3366(Talk?) (New thread?) 07:16, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Yup. I've now commented at the RFC. —Steve Summit (talk) 13:06, 16 September 2012 (UTC)


Nuvola apps edu languages.svg
Hello, Scs. You have new messages at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/City population templates.
Message added 07:21, 17 September 2012 (UTC). You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

"And you are talking up mutual respect? That will surely make a cat laugh." - apparently my username will be dragged in every comment fowler makes regardless of who he is talking to. Wow! I must have made a hell of an impact on his mind. :)

The sad part is, I tried to explain to him personally but all this to absolutely no avail. He thinks my approach was "sanctimonious affirmations of good intentions". Wow...Hahahahaha!! And I am the one "who is having a hard time growing up"! Mrt3366(Talk?) (New thread?) 07:21, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Bot inactive?[edit]

Scsbot seems to have stopped after its October 8 run. I cannot tell why, but its services were appreciated and are deeply missed at Wikipedia:WikiProject Articles for creation/Help desk (and probably elsewhere too). Could you please give it a little nudge and get it operational again? Thanks in advace, Huon (talk) 12:48, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

Yes. See this thread. Something changed on the Mediawiki side, and I haven't yet fully determined whether/how much I need to fix the bot, or if I can just wait for bug 40789 to be fixed. —Steve Summit (talk) 17:27, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
OK, thanks for the explanation. I'll spread the word. I assume it's best to just archive manually until the Mediawiki bug gets fixed. Huon (talk) 20:30, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
If your page isn't completely overflowing, you might want to wait a day or two before manually archiving, since doing so is such a nuisance.
If the MediaWiki situation hasn't resolved in a day or two, I'll spend some more time looking into whether or not I can reasonably adapt the bot. —Steve Summit (talk) 22:17, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
I replied to the question you posted at User talk:PleaseStand#bug 40789? there. PleaseStand (talk) 17:51, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
I've dropped a note on bugzilla in my official capacity asking for backporting. Hope that helps :). Ironholds (talk) 03:18, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

You have new message/s Hello. You have a new message at User talk:PleaseStand#bug 40789?'s talk page.

Help desk archiving[edit]

The bot is correctly adding date headers to various noticeboards, but is not doing any archiving. Is this deliberate? -- John of Reading (talk) 06:49, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for this note. I still don't know what's going on. You're right, the bot's ability to add date headers has come back -- but it's still failing at the actual archiving. (Which makes no sense, because what's causing the bot to fail is an initial login problem which isn't directly related either to adding dates or doing archiving.) —Steve Summit (talk) 03:10, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
I have been manually doing Wikipedia:WikiProject Articles for creation/Help desk I thought maybe I was archiving before the bot, so it never did more that add the date. Since I now see this post, I will continue. I have seen several posts from bot owners about tool-server log in problems. You may want to poke around. -- :- ) Don 23:17, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Articles for creation/Help desk[edit]

Thanks for returning and saving me from the tedium. When I was manually archiving, I added the date link to the section header. Works well. Possible to implement with out big hassle? -- :- ) Don 18:19, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

[Sorry I didn't reply earlier.]
Thanks for the manual archiving. If you can show me an example of the link you're talking about, I can see about automating it. —Steve Summit (talk) 13:41, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
Just compare Wikipedia:WikiProject Articles for creation/Help desk/Archives/September 2012#September 1 to Wikipedia:WikiProject Articles for creation/Help desk/Archives/October 2012#October 1. I made the first line under the date a link for the Section Title. -- :- ) Don 06:53, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Archiving math reference desk way too soon[edit]

The math reference desk for 28 November was archived on 01:16, 2 December 2012 while discussions of 28 November threads were still going on. That caused the most recent edits to not show up in the reference desk's history. This was way too soon to be archiving. Please reset the bot for a lag of at least a week. Thanks. Duoduoduo (talk) 13:04, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

I'm sorry you felt it was too soon, but that's the normal archiving interval, agreed on by consensus.
If you would like to discuss a change, please bring it up on the Reference Desk talk page. —Steve Summit (talk) 13:38, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
Okay. Could you give me a link to the discussion that led to the consensus, so maybe I'll be convinced without even bringing it up again there? Thanks. Duoduoduo (talk) 14:53, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
It was a long, long time ago; I don't remember exactly when.
Feel free to ask again.
The main driving factor is still page size and load time, for the benefit of editors (there are evidently still plenty) who are viewing and/or editing the desks using less than high-bandwidth links. —Steve Summit (talk) 00:29, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
What I don't understand is why the things that have been archived remain on the unarchived page for a few more days. (I don't know anything about computer site management, so I apologize if I'm asking about something that should be obvious to me.) But it seems to me that load time of the refdesk page is not going to be held down by archiving something while leaving it on the refdesk page. For example, right now the November archives for the math desk go through Nov. 29, yet November 27, 28, and 29 are still on the math refdesk. And when somebody posts something on a Nov. 28 thread, the post shows up on both the Nov. 28 section of the refdesk and the Nov. 28 section of the archives, but does not show up in the "history" section of changes to the refdesk. So someone like me who checks the history section for recent changes is misled into thinking that no recent changes have been made to a Nov. 28 thread of interest. Duoduoduo (talk) 13:43, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
The technique you're talking about is called "transclusion", and you're right: the (typically three) most-recently archived day's worth of content for each reference desk are included on the page as shown. And somewhat magically, if you try to edit one of these transcluded sections, you end up editing the archive page instead.
You're also right in that the fully-rendered composite page (including all transclusions) must still be transmitted to a user's browser, meaning that load time is not decreased by the archival of a day's worth of content that is then transcluded. I don't honestly remember what the additional tradeoffs might have been that prompted us to do this sort of delayed half-archiving.
Coincidentally, someone else has asked about the archiving interval at Wikipedia talk:Reference desk#six days only?, so feel free to join in that discussion. —Steve Summit (talk) 18:16, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Help Desk date header missing[edit]

I'll fix it myself.— Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 16:56, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Also did it on the New contributors' help page.— Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 17:01, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Also a problem today.— Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 20:40, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
On both pages.— Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 22:32, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

skype number on date in article???[edit]

Was wondering what a skype number was doing on the Fiji Wikipedia article I changed it back to the date as was appropriate but it was changed back by the User:Ummit, not sure the purpose or appropriate placing of the skype number would someone enlighten as to why a skype number was placed on this article??


The formatting in question is a simple non-breaking space, &nbsp;.
I'm not sure what makes this look like a "Skype phone number" to you.
It looks like an ordinary space to me. —Steve Summit (talk) 05:13, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Maybe there's something wrong with my pc got renew my anti virus, it shows up as a skype number to call in NZ (call 3500 1000 in New Zealand)??? go figure, sorry about that gotta chk my PC cheers for the explanation User:Maikeli

Okay, good luck with that! —Steve Summit (talk) 20:33, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Help Desk archiving problem[edit]

I have had difficulty with Internet access for the past month and chose only high-priority sites. I just noticed that several January archive pages had a link to the March archives when they should actually link to February, and I fixed this.— Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 17:07, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

This is the problem I reported at #Scsbot adds a month when day doesn't exist. Assuming the bot substitutes {{HD Archive header}}, and {{RD Archive header}} for the refdesk, I think I have fixed it for the future with [16] and [17]. Wrong links in old archives are not fixed by this. PrimeHunter (talk) 00:52, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Muscovy duck[edit]

Hi Ummit. I see that in 2007 you moved Muscovy Duck to Muscovy duck. Yet, it is back at Muscovy Duck. Any idea why? Rui ''Gabriel'' Correia (talk) 22:43, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Sorry to butt in User:Rui Gabriel Correia, Jimfbleak moved the page back again to Muscovy Duck the next day. See [18] & [19] --Ushau97 (talk) 08:01, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
It's a long-standing convention that bird species are fully capitalised Jimfbleak - talk to me? 10:20, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

Scsbot at WP:NHD[edit]

Hi. Consensus have been established that WP:NHD should be merged with WP:THQ. So can you remove Scsbot's adding date header function at WP:NHD. Discussion for merge at WT:TH#Merging with Wikipedia:New contributors' help page/questions - revisited. I am leaving this message here because Scsbot's talk page says that it will stop the bot. --Ushau97 (talk) 17:19, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

All set. (And thanks for leaving the message here, not there.) —Steve Summit (talk) 18:48, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

Wrong month links descriptions in Ref Desk Archives[edit]

The monthly archives' links on the last daily page of May seem mismatched. See Language RD Archive of May, 31 – it contains this code:

    | [[Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/April 2013|May]] 
    | [[Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/May 2013|May]] 
    | [[Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/June 2013|Jul]]

(slightly reordered for better readability). Note the visible contents does not correspond to actual links destinations.

Same error on May, 31 on Maths and Computing, did not check other desks.--CiaPan (talk) 05:45, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Oh, dear. I see what you mean.
Now I don't remember whether that text is generated explicitly by the bot, or implicitly by one of several archive header templates. I'll look into it. —Steve Summit (talk) 13:45, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Last year Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/2012 May 31 had the links:
   | [[Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/May 2012|May]] 
   | [[Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/May 2012|May]] 
   | [[Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/July 2012|Jul]]
I guess it was my template edits mentioned above in #Help Desk archiving problem which caused the links to go to the intended months April, May, June this year in Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/2013 May 31, but the displayed month after the pipe remained wrong. I don't know where it comes from. PrimeHunter (talk) 23:10, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Your comments on the move preparation page[edit]

Hi Steve, thanks for your sincere comments here, which I very much agree with. I'd appreciate it if you could copy edit it a little to see if you can take some of what comes across as some irritation to me. I can read and appreciate that you have tried to keep it very non-confrontational already, but I think it could be even better in that regard. If not, thanks for at least considering it (and writing it in the first place). Cheers, Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 14:00, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, Martijn. Explained and revised. —Steve Summit (talk) 17:38, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
Appreciated! Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 17:50, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

Talk:Bradley Manning/October 2013 move request[edit]

Greetings. Because you participated in the August 2013 move request regarding this subject, you may be interested in participating in the current discussion. This notice is provided pursuant to Wikipedia:Canvassing#Appropriate notification. Cheers! bd2412 T 21:40, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Ah, yes. Thanks for the reminder -- I had meant to weigh in on that when the time came. —Steve Summit (talk) 00:22, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

Requesting your opinion[edit]

Hi. Can you offer your opinion in this consensus discussion? It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Nightscream (talk) 18:08, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

I'm afraid that at some point in your soliciting of those 49 opinions you may have made a mistake, because I haven't been participating in that discussion and I don't know anything about it. —Steve Summit (talk) 01:38, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Help desk archiving[edit]

Are you aware that Scsbot hasn't archived the Wikipedia:Help desk since 30 November? -- John of Reading (talk) 08:54, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Yes, and it hasn't been archiving the reference desks, either.
I've been (a) traveling, (b) scandalously busy, and (c) without my normal computer, but I've finally patched together enough of my environment to get some piecemeal archiving done tonight. Full, normal archiving will resume on Sunday. "We apologise for the inconvenience." —Steve Summit (talk) 19:34, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Oh, and thanks for the manual archiving you've been doing in the meantime -- you can relax now. 19:46, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
I see you've got the bot account working again - thank you! -- John of Reading (talk) 08:17, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Science desk archiving[edit]

The bot seems to have got a bit out of control and archived two days at the same time on Science Refdesk. I'm pretty sure we want more than 3 days to answer questions. (Note the Refdesks have a weird system where messages are archived and remain available - it's possible the bot did the one but failed to do the other. I reverted the second archiving for the moment until something is sorted out. Wnt (talk) 03:11, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

I'm on vacation and didn't run the bot last night, therefore it had two days to do tonight, to catch up.
(This sort of thing happens with some regularity.) —Steve Summit (talk) 04:51, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
(Oh, and, thanks, but yes, I'm well familiar with that "weird system"! :-) —Steve Summit (talk) 18:21, 29 December 2013 (UTC))

Encoding hyperlinks to section titles containing LaTeX[edit]

Hi, Steve, here is another feature I noticed in archives. Some people, esp. on Maths RD, use maths notation with <math>...</math> in their sections' titles, for example These titles get spoiled in monthly TOC pages (see RD arch Math Dec 2013#11 or Dec 2013#19). This seems to be a result of removing all instances of a backslash, which is a controlling character for LaTeX typesetting.

Additionally the hyperlink generated in the monthly TOC doesn't meet the section's anchor in a daily archive page.
This is a link in Dec 2013#19:

(it keeps all the contents except 'math' tags and LaTeX controls)
and this is its actual target:

(with 'math' tags and all their contents dropped). --CiaPan (talk) 06:36, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

Don't rush, that's not a big deal, just a note. Smile.png --CiaPan (talk) 06:38, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

The short answer is that the bot's handling of markup in titles has always been simpleminded, has never been intended to be 100% correct or complete.
The longer answer will probably have to (sorry!) wait 'til I get back from vacation. :-) —Steve Summit (talk) 03:58, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

"start improving the encyclopaedia"[edit]

Um, I think I do that every single day. And have done for eight-and-a-half years. With dozens of featured lists and articles, ITN appearances, DYKs, good article reviews, FL reviews, FA reviews, administration, 'cratship, FL directorship, advocacy of ACCESS, MOS enlightenment, 105,000+ edits etc. The fact that you wish to characterise my entire contribution history as simply the spat with the way Bugs and his cohorts treat the reference desk as a chat forum is a real shame. I have no idea who you are or what you do around here, but I would not jump to such extreme conclusions on my very first communication with you. I see you spend a lot of time around talk pages, Wikipedia pages etc. Perhaps it's time you started to "improve" the encyclopaedia? Happy new year. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:54, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

See, my problem is, you're acting a lot like Bugs, here. I'm sure you do improve the encyclopedia -- and so does he. But he, too, seems to act as if those contributions give him some kind of a pass to act monumentally uncivilly from time to time -- just as you have been lately. —Steve Summit (talk) 02:58, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm afraid that simply demonstrates your lack of understanding of what each of us do here. Never mind. The Rambling Man (talk) 10:33, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

Purge page caches on MediaWiki[edit]

Steve, in response to your comment on the reference desk talk-page: you can append ?action=purge to the end of the URL to force a page cache refresh. More details are on the MediaWiki manual-page: Manual:Purge. Thanks for your vigilant management of the archive-bot and your continued contribution to the reference desk! Nimur (talk) 22:37, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Got it, thanks! (And you're quite welcome.) —Steve Summit (talk) 02:59, 1 January 2014 (UTC)


You might want to keep your eye on that one user, as he's showing signs of coming unhinged. Happy new year. :) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:32, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

You might also want to read all the complaints about "Bugs" and his chums. Pathetic springs to mind! (Unhinged? No, I'll just keep making good content, getting it onto the main page, and improving Wikipedia, meanwhile you can just upset people on the ref desk chat room fora...) Happy new year. :) The Rambling Man (talk) 23:42, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

I have raised this issue at WP:ANI now. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:02, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

extremely hurtful[edit]

I find the current discussion under the crassness header extremely hurtful, please see the email I am sending you regarding it. μηδείς (talk) 23:04, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 01:30, 2 January 2014 (UTC)


Just want to thank you for dealing with the mess at WT:RD. I was waving between closing and responding. Was writing a typical long response when I found you'd already closed it so I endorsed you closure to try to reduce the possibility of any complaints considering your nominal involvement even if your behaviour wasn't being discussed. Frankly reading what I was writing, closure was probably the best course of action since I suspect what I've said would have, if not pissed all 3, just been ignored (and not necessarily because they couldn't be bothered reading it). But the sum of it was I agree with you. Nil Einne (talk) 22:33, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the endorsement -- given the earlier accusations of improper closure by involved parties, I felt a little awkward closing it myself. —Steve Summit (talk) 22:38, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

Speaking of signatures[edit]

Yours is still wikilinking your old user name. (Ummit instead of scs). NE Ent 22:53, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

Yoicks! I had no idea. Thanks. Fixed. (I think -- but it'll take an edit to a page other than this one to be sure.) —Steve Summit (talk) 22:56, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

54 series[edit]

It's been pointed out to me that (talk · contribs) might be connected with a cluster of IP's trolling activities, a subject which you apparently commented on at the ref desk talk page. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:59, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

January 31 Help Desk archive[edit]

The link to the January 31 archive, and the topics from the archive, do not appear here.— Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 18:57, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

Oh! Thanks for pointing this out. Something went wrong with the automatic archiving that day, and I had to do some of it by hand, and I didn't take care of that page properly. Fixed now. —Steve Summit (talk) 23:02, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

February 2014 help desk archive[edit]

SCSbot is malfunctioning. See here and here.— Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 22:16, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

A stupid little glitch which I don't always notice when it happens. Thanks for pointing it out. —Steve Summit (talk) 13:20, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

Help desk archiving glitch[edit]

The bot has created Wikipedia:Help desk/Archives/2014 April 26 and Wikipedia:Help desk/Archives/2014 April 27 with only the header, and has not removed the content from the help desk. -- John of Reading (talk) 05:38, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Some actual content somewhere on the page is (due to the bot's simpleminded algorithm for such things) tricking the bot into thinking it has new messages, which stops it. I need to remember how to tweak the thing to be less diligent in looking for new messages. —Steve Summit (talk) 15:39, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
All set, thanks for helping out with the one manual day. —Steve Summit (talk) 21:02, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

Adrianne Wadewitz Memorial edit-a-thons[edit]

Adrianne Wadewitz edit-a-thons in Southern New England
Wikimania 2012 portrait 102 by ragesoss, 2012-07-13.JPG

As you may have already heard, the Wikipedia community lost an invaluable member of the community last month. Adrianne Wadewitz was a feminist scholar of 18th-Century British literature, and a prolific editor of the site. As part of a worldwide series of tributes, New England Wikimedians, in conjunction with local institutions of higher learning, have created three edit-a-thons that will be occurring in May and June. The events are as follows:

We hope that you will be able to join us, whether you are an experienced editor or are using Wikipedia for the first time.

If you have any questions, please leave a message at Kevin Rutherford's talk page. You can unsubscribe from future notifications for Boston-area events by removing your name from this list.

New England Wikimedians summer events![edit]

Upcoming events hosted by New England Wikimedians!

After many months of doubt, nature has finally warmed up and summer is almost here! The New England Wikimedians user group have planned some upcoming events. This includes some unique and interesting events to those who are interested:

Although we also aren't hosting this year's Wikimania, we would like to let you know that Wikimania this year will be occurring in London in August:

If you have any questions, please leave a message at Kevin Rutherford's talk page. You can unsubscribe from future notifications for Boston-area events by removing your name from this list.

New England Wikimedians summer events![edit]

Upcoming events hosted by New England Wikimedians!

After many months of doubt, nature has finally warmed up and summer is almost here! The New England Wikimedians user group have planned some upcoming events. This includes some unique and interesting events to those who are interested:

Although we also aren't hosting this year's Wikimania, we would like to let you know that Wikimania this year will be occurring in London in August:

If you have any questions, please leave a message at Kevin Rutherford's talk page. You can unsubscribe from future notifications for Boston-area events by removing your name from this list.

Articles for creation/Help Desk[edit]

Hey there! We've made a few formatting changes to the headers of the WP:AFC/HD and ScsBot no longer seems to be adding day headers or archiving the page at all... There is some discussion on the talk page of changing the way the Help desk is archived, and I would love your input on the matter. Please see Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Articles for creation#Help desk changes and the respective sub-sections. Thanks! — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 18:19, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

  • Scsbot is apparently not archiving the WP:HD at the moment either. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 22:04, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
How long has the lack of archiving at AFCHD been a problem? If it's just been for the past week or less, it may simply be because I'm traveling, so archiving has been intermittent.
I'm pretty sure the Help Desk was last archived (by me) 2-3 days ago, although when (prodded by this very thread) I went to do a run tonight, I (or rather the bot) discovered that there was nothing to dom because JohnOfReading has once again done some manual archiving. --Steve Summit (talk) 23:19, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Yeah, it's been about 3-4 days and I actually archived AfC/HD manually this morning. Like I said above, and you can read in the discussion I linked, we're using a new template to show which of about half a dozen possible places which is part of the header and page layout changes. The reason this is an issues is because of those changes and that draft finding template, there are now about 6 {{#ifexist: ... }} calls in each section. This is an expensive parser function which means it can't have more than 500 calls on a page which is about 83 sections on the page. I'm already concerned 7 days is too long a gap, and I've asked the project what they think about cutting it back to every 3 or 5 days. Would love to get your feedback in that discussion I linked. :) — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 23:49, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Update: scs, it's still not adding level 1 headers for the date nor archiving Wikipedia:WikiProject Articles for creation/Help desk. I'm leaving it for now, but will archive days 9+ tomorrow to prevent issues from lack of archiving. Please advise. Thanks. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 19:29, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
I think it's working when it's working (that is, when I run it at all, which was only every three days or so over the past two weeks, due to my travel).
But I'm back home now, so archiving should return to a more normal schedule.
If it still looks like date headers aren't being added or content is backing up without getting archived, let me know.
I've commented in the thread about your other comments. --Steve Summit (talk) 11:21, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Ref desk[edit]

Do you have a reason for this semi-accusation of trolling? If you do, let's here the evidence and I'll block him. If not, you could well have just driven away a good faith editor. You could have come to my talk page (or even e-mailed me) asking me to reconsider confirming his account instead of throwing it in the user's face. SpinningSpark 19:05, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

It was not intended as an accusation, although I concede it kinda looked like one.
And I did have reasons, althouth in hindsight I concede they were poor ones.
I have already apologized to the user, although I concede he may be driven away and I am partly to blame.
It all just sucks.
I'll post a retraction, explanation and apology shortly.
--Steve Summit (talk) 21:44, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
[P.S. In answer to your other question, I think you were joking, and "boots" is a pretty cute answer, but just in case, what I herd is this bot.]

Date headers[edit]

Hello. Just an FYI that the bot doesn't seem to be adding date headers on the refdesk, or at least isn't doing it consistently. I got us caught up. Does the semi-protection (again in place I see) break the bot? Matt Deres (talk) 21:38, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

I've been traveling, so archiving has been sporadic.
Normal operations should resume tonight. Thanks for your help. --Steve Summit (talk) 10:55, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Oh, and in answer to your other question, no, semi-protection shouldn't have anything to do with it -- the bot has more than a few edits, and had better be autoconfirmed by now! —Steve Summit (talk) 11:30, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Date headers removing[edit]

The other side, this time. When removing daily threads, bot does not clean up old empty daily sections:

Possibly it wasn't design to do that, but I think it's a kind of work for a bot.
THANK YOU for all your work on archiving WP:RD, HD et al. Smile.png --CiaPan (talk) 05:58, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Help desk archiving problem[edit]

I had to do this because the one question was sitting on the Help Desk with no date heading.— Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 21:42, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for noticing.
Actually, in this case, the problem was not that the entry didn't have a date heading; the problem was that the original question wasn't signed.
The bot doesn't actually look at the date headings when archiving -- what it looks at is the dates in the signatures on the questions. But since the question had no signature and no date, the first date the bot saw was the one on the first answer, which was the next day, June 13. If you hadn't manually archived that question, the bot would have, on its next run, along with the rest of the June 13 questions.
(Obviously this isn't a big deal one way or the other.)
Steve Summit (talk) 08:31, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm glad to hear it would have been archived the normal way. I just wonder why SineBot missed it.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions •
19:55, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
I'll do that, thanks.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 15:40, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Minor issue in archiving for mathematics ref desk[edit]

Hi, Steve -- I thought you might want to be made aware of this inquiry regarding a small hiccup in the archiving of WP:Reference desk/Mathematics. Snow talk 06:41, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Woops, I just saw that someone already broached the subject. Sorry for the clutter! Snow talk 06:47, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Answered in the thread. —Steve Summit (talk) 18:45, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Nonexistent help desk archives[edit]

Take a look here, here, and here[20] and here.

I don't know how any of this happened but maybe you do. When the time comes to create each of these pages, will it happen like it is supposed to?— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 20:41, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Those are the result of various glitches.
The monthly pages will get appended to, and may end up with redundant days, which if we're lucky I'll remember to clean up.
The daily pages will cause errors when the archiving bot tries to create them a second time, and when I see those errors, I'll reinvoke the bot with an option which allows it to overwrite an existing daily page. —Steve Summit (talk) 03:02, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
Done, see edits like this and this for examples. —Steve Summit (talk) 02:27, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

No new computing reference desk questions on July 20?[edit]

There is a red link to the July 20 archives. I was wondering what's actually supposed to happen here. It just happens I needed to look at a question I asked the next day.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 20:56, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

I created it myself. I went through the history and found one "New section" in the edit summaries for that day. I had to sign the person's post. But this does bring up a question: what if no one asks a question?— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 21:08, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
I finally went back and looked at the logs on this one. By the time the bot did its work, there were indeed no entries for July 20 and therefore nothing for it to do. That's not a particularly unusual occurrence, especially on the lower-traffic desks such as Language and Mathematics. What happens is simply that the bot doesn't create an archive page for the empty day. (The "previous" and "next" links on the archive nearby daily archive pages end up not working perfectly, I think, but it's not much of a big deal.)
As it happens, there had been a question asked on July 20 (the one you fished out and manually archived), but it had been deleted in this edit before it would have been archived. —Steve Summit (talk) 02:50, 12 August 2014 (UTC)
Okay, thanks.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 15:41, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

RefDesk archives[edit]

Hi Steve. I've been manually archiving (some) of the RefDesk. As you can see, I haven't been including the indices to the individual questions, but I know the bot has fixed that kind of stuff up before. One thing I did notice is that the templates seem to be incorrect - or maybe I'm not using them correctly. For example, we don't transclude the questions any more, but the templates showing up at the top say we do. Not sure what the deal is there. All my actions are in my contributions of course and I think I'm the only one doing it, but if you can't figure out what the hell I was doing someplace, please feel free to drop me an email or note on my talk page. If I've loused something up - which is likely as not - my apologies; the desks were just getting too long and unwieldy. If there's a better way to do this manually, please consider updating this page. As you can tell, I was really lost about what template to use when starting a new month... but I guess it pops up automatically. Matt Deres (talk) 23:25, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

p.s. I hope your trip went well. Being called away suddenly is not always a good thing, so I hope whatever it was turned out alright. Matt Deres (talk) 23:27, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
@Matt Deres: (talk page stalker) [partial answer] The message at the top of each daily archive page come from {{RD Archive header}}, so you can change the message for future archive pages by editing that. A while back I made an edit to {{HD Archive header}} for the same reason. -- John of Reading (talk) 06:37, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
@John of Reading: I'll certainly keep that in mind (thank you!), but there must be another template that's supposed to be used - I doubt the bot is using the old header and then changing the bits. I'm thinking there's probably a newer one out there or some setting I'm too dumb to figure out. Or both. :) Matt Deres (talk) 14:49, 13 September 2014 (UTC)