Wikipedia:Bot owners' noticeboard

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This is a message board for coordinating and discussing bot-related issues on Wikipedia (also including other programs interacting with the MediaWiki software). Although its target audience is bot owners, any user is welcome to leave a message or join the discussion here. This is not the place for requests for bot approvals or requesting that tasks be done by a bot. It is also not the place for general questions about the MediaWiki software (such as the use of templates, etc.), which have generally a best chance of being answered at WP:VPT.

Changes to the API are being planned[edit]

It's tempting to give this a different headline:

But I don't know if any of them will actually break, because I don't understand all the implications of the changes that are being discussed or know how many bots are relying on which details of the current implementation. I strongly believe that most of you need to watch and participate in mw:Requests for comment/API roadmap. This is a technical discussion with other developers; your technical comments really are wanted. If there are changes being discussed that will break your bot, then please speak up. If you're not sure, then ask. If you can help others, please do. (Overall, I think the plan sounds pretty good.)

This discussion was mentioned in last week's m:Tech/News (you can subscribe here), but the relevance may not have been clear to everyone, and I don't want any bot owner to be surprised by this. If you're going to have to make adjustments, then I'd prefer that you had as much time as possible to do that in. Thanks, Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:16, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for the head's up en. certainly has a HUGE number of critical bots! — xaosflux Talk 19:55, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
I'll be sure to update Peachy 2 accordingly to make sure bots using it are able to continue running.—cyberpower ChatOnline 18:38, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

This is irritating, 90% of my tools will break I suppose. All the best: Rich Farmbrough00:14, 5 August 2014 (UTC).

Actually the proposals look sound and the deprecation process does too (though my tools are in mothballs so it may all have happened next time I use them). I wonder what is driving the change? All the best: Rich Farmbrough00:22, 5 August 2014 (UTC).
I don't know. I know that there are a lot of technical RFCs going on. It seems like I'm hearing about a new one every week. But I don't know what the driving force behind any of them are.
I'm glad that it seems sound to you, but I wish it wasn't going to break 90% of your tools. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:39, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
The driving force is that we can clean up the API and make it even better than it currently is if developers are no longer required to support legacy code/features. Most of the changes have been problems for years, and it's fantastic that Anomie is sitting down and fixing all of them. Legoktm (talk) 00:10, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Agreed, even if that means Peachy is going to break but I am more than ready to implement the changes, so bots using them aren't going to notice any changes.—cyberpower ChatLimited Access 05:57, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

DPL bot malfunctioning?[edit]

Sorry for posting this on User talk:JaGa already, but I think a response might be faster here.

Why did DPL bot create Template messages/Cleanup, Template messages/Cleanup/sandbox, and Enquire/sandbox? These are all in the mainspace. Is the bot malfunctioning? Piguy101 (talk) 23:11, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Its page creation log looks pretty low, don't think we need to block this min, JaGa pinged already. — xaosflux Talk 03:22, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Scope creep after bot approvals[edit]

I'd really like to see bots like User:XLinkBot not get approval, or if they do get approval, the approval process should definitely establish a consensus based procedure for what links such bots can remove; the decision should not be left at the whim of the bot operator. What's going to stop it from removing links to etc.? JMP EAX (talk) 13:21, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Common sense, and admins with blocking powers. Is there an actual problem here, or are your objections mostly/purely theoretical? Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 13:57, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Labs tools directory[edit]

Labs has a new tools directory. --Bamyers99 (talk) 19:49, 18 August 2014 (UTC)


Cobi (talk · contribs) hasn't edited for three months. Who else operates the ClueBots? Problems are being reported at User talk:ClueBot Commons, which are being ignored - eventually they get archived without resolution. --Redrose64 (talk) 13:42, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Great question, but with suspected malfunction and an unresponsive operator our only remedy will be blocking. Pinging Cobi (also leaving talk message and email to check in.) — xaosflux Talk 23:29, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Sent 1, 2, plus wiki-mail. — xaosflux Talk 23:35, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I'll get ready to spend my next few days on Huggle, then.. Rcsprinter123 (lecture) @ 23:37, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm NOT proposing all of the ClueBots just because the operator is absent, only specific malfunctioning ones (in this case CBIII, a page archiving bot). — xaosflux Talk 23:43, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
User:Rich Smith and User:DamianZaremba do IIRC. Legoktm (talk) 23:41, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I keep an eye on things, and so do Rich Smith (talk · contribs) and DamianZaremba (talk · contribs). -- Cobi(t|c|b) 23:52, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for checking in, obviously the edits in question were not severe to the necessity of immediate blocking. The thread on the CB talk should be able to handle the rest of this discussion. — xaosflux Talk 00:36, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Rich Smith is active recently, and DamianZaremba is probably available if you contact him via his talk page. --k6ka (talk | contribs) 21:47, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Cydebot keeps creating duplicated categories[edit]

Cydebot, owned by Cyde, does a great job but it keep creating duplicated categories. This was reported 8 years ago, a year ago, a month ago and today. The owner did not reply to these requests. What should be done? -- Magioladitis (talk) 05:10, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

How often are these errors occurring(both in frequency and as a proportion of edits)? — xaosflux Talk 12:14, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
xaosflux no idea. Yobot and BG19bot clean duplicated categories daily. But it would save us enought energy if Cydebot was checking if the category exists before upmerging. -- Magioladitis (talk) 23:25, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Cyde any workaround for this? -- Magioladitis (talk) 10:33, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

OK there was a reply here. Not a biggie but if we can solve it then it's going to be awesome. Less work for my bot. -- Magioladitis (talk) 10:34, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

User:HBC AIV helperbot11[edit]

User:HBC AIV helperbot11 is malfunctioning. Kept removing my report about an IP from WP:AIV claiming the IP has been blocked indef when it is not blocked and continues to vandalize. HkCaGu (talk) 08:36, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

IP has been blocked by CambridgeBayWeather and article semi protected. (talk) 08:42, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
  • The bot believed the IP to be blocked because the outdated Perl code does not handle unexpected Unicode in an IP address very well. Specifically, in your report, your {{IPvandal|}} contained a Unicode E2 80 83 character at the end of the IP address before the closing braces. Google says this is apparently an "em space", which is invisible while editing the page, but still present - probably something you copied in from somewhere. The bot rendered it as "â" in the logs, which caused it to erroneously match against other blocks and think the IP was blocked when it hadn't been. In the future, my advice is to re-enter your report by hand (without copy/pasting or reverting) if one of the helperbots repeatedly removes it. —Darkwind (talk) 08:58, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation. Perhaps this could also be fixed in the bot. Coincidentally(?) I had the same problem yesterday. Perhaps some part of Wikipedia recently changed to include an extra "em space". —WOFall (talk) 16:30, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Slight correction for any future reader. It is "E2 80 8E", which is "LEFT-TO-RIGHT MARK" (‎). —WOFall (talk) 15:53, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

IP doing what looks like bot edits[edit]

See (talk · contribs). Is this a logged out bot? Thanks. Dougweller (talk) 11:03, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

@Dougweller: yeah, looks like it. Softblocking is probably appropriate. --Mdann52talk to me! 11:06, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't think it's an approved bot logged out: a properly approved bot would be using edit summaries. Could be the IP is used a modified version of AWB. Not sure blocking is appropriate, at least not without warning as the edits appear constructive. –xenotalk 11:08, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Soft blocked. — xaosflux Talk 11:18, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. And thanks to User:McGeddon who first noticed this. Dougweller (talk) 12:34, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
@Xeno: How could an IP user modify AWB to use on the English Wikipedia without being listed on WP:AWB/Checkpage? Thanks! GoingBatty (talk) 01:10, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
It's open-source and I don't think it's too hard for a competent coder to strip out the checks. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) –xenotalk 01:14, 27 August 2014 (UTC)