Wikipedia:Bot owners' noticeboard/Archive 4

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


-BOT Process

[watch this thread] [edit]

So from time to time we have an issue with a bot running out of control, unapproved bots being run, etc. In a recent matter (actually its still going on, but thats beside the point), members of the community seems to discuss a proposal that would have (IMHO) compelled a bot owner to change the operation of his bot. But the bot owner was already on record of saying he would not pay attention to that proposal. I asked the crats what sort of consensus they would look for, and WJBscribe indicated they'd look towards the BAG [1] and that it might be nice if the BAG had some formal process "where someone can raise problems with bots and BAG can evaluate whether to require changes to the bot's operation be made in order for approval not to be withdrawn." Im thinking a possible extension might be an RFC-bot, modeled on the RFC-user conduct and RFC-policy systems. Or something akin to Admins Recall, if it could be applied to all bots equally (not 500 different processes). Other ideas? MBisanz talk 07:56, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Well, we already had a sort of rfc/bot attempt as a subpage of WP:Bots. (I'm not linking it, and if it doesn't get deleted it can be found with a prefix search.) There is a more general problem of lack of oversight of bot tasks. Basically, anyone can do anything. Bot policy allows "assisted scripts" to work without approval with very little real restriction, so long as it doesn't edit so fast that it cannot resonably be an assisted script. If we AGF, it's difficult to justify under policy blocking most bots that do not display straightforward bugs.
One idea I've had is to say that any bot needs approval which 1) edits at a clip too fast to reasonably check a good proportion its edits (maybe 5 per minute?), or 2) is doing a single job with more than some number of edits (maybe 1000), or 3) the operator does not respond to inquiries within 15-20 minutes (an operational definition of an unassisted script). And likewise, any *task* over 1000 edits needs to be posted somewhere (WP:BOTREQ, for instance) with time allowed for objections, unless an exemption is part of the bot approval for a specific type of task. That way admins will have some specific to point to when dealing with editors who start up AWB and make hundreds of edits removing spaces, as noted above. It would address the issue with certain javascript tools which tie up a browser for an hour. And BetacommandBot would be given a considerably larger per-task/per-day edit allowance for image tagging, but whether that's 2000 or 5000 per day would have some community input. Gimmetrow 08:26, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Those are good ideas, but I think they tackle the bigger problem of not being able to keep track of all the bots and all their approved tasks (look here [2] at that prefix you gave me). Given the recent, shall I use the word, forum shopping, with BCB, that would be severely frowned upon if it happened to a human user or a policy, I'd wondering if we couldn't codify the WP:Bots subspace system. Like with a standard page naming format, rules of what IS a complaint, endorsing users, consensus closing, etc. MBisanz talk 08:42, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
I've been looking at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/User conduct and didn't realize there was a separate section for Admins and non-Admins. Maybe a third Bot section that creates a new page in the Bot subspace? MBisanz talk 23:32, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Seeing as anything done can be undone, I've created the following Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/User_conduct#Use_of_bot_privileges procss as a proposed process to show what I'm thinking of. MBisanz talk 02:18, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for that, MBisanz. Hopefully this will work. I would like to see WP:BAG make some official, or semi-official pronouncement about this, as it will need their support to work. Some acknowledgment that they will act constructively on the results of bot requests for comments (ie. explaining things to people) rather than just dismissing "attack pages". How does one go about getting an "official" response from WP:BAG? Carcharoth (talk) 11:37, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm counting 1413 active BAGers. Maybe some survey of them of how they'd respond to a Bot-RfC? My inspiration for this was WJB's suggestion at Wikipedia:BN#Bot_change, so maybe it would be better to wait till we have a Bot-RfC that comes to a consensus to do something, the operator refuses, and then see if the BAG responds. MBisanz talk 04:29, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

(copied from BN) IMHO WP:BRFA isn't enough in this respect. Consensus (and the bots themselves) can and do change. There needs to be a process for governing bot (and bot owner) activity including withdrawing approval if necessary. Sure, bots can be blocked but that tends to be reactionary and only takes one admin. I had a bot blocked a few days ago (see bot out of control from above) too and it just seems that, for lack of sufficient process, the block (which was not set a time limit) was just forgotten. We, as a community, need the ability to govern bots because when it comes down to it they are just too efficient. This bitterness and resentment seems to stem mostly from the lack of binding recourse either for the sake of justifying a bot, or for governing one. But as I said it's just my opinion. Adam McCormick (talk) 07:46, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

if there is a serious issue with a bot, leave a note on WT:BRFA and BAG will review the situation. βcommand 14:39, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

{{t1|nobots}} proposal.

[watch this thread] [edit]

Just wanted to drop a note here, there is presently a proposal underway at WT:BOTS, to require that all bots be {{nobots}} compliant. SQLQuery me! 03:28, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

nobots needs to be redesigned

[watch this thread] [edit]

I just got around to looking at the nobots system, and realized how far from best practices it is. The system is premised on the historical practice of downloading the entire content of a page before making any edit, even if the edit is only to append a new section to the bottom. Once the API editing is implemented, we probably won't need to download any page text at all to get an edit token and commit the new section. At that point, the nobots system will be completely broken.

It seems to me that we should discuss a nobots system that doesn't require bots to perform lots of needless downloads. Perhaps a database of per-bot exclusion lists, like Wikipedia:Nobots/BOTNAME or something like that, which would only require one fetch to get the full list. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:59, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Appending sections doesn't make any sense in mainspace (and other content namespaces) because it would break layout by adding information afters stubs, categories and interwikis. If it's not for mainspace, most bot developers will ignore this possibility. MaxSem(Han shot first!) 13:07, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
It does make sense, however, for talk pages, which are the main source of interest for the nobots system. I don't advocate forcing bot developers to follow nobots or forcing them to use the new section editing method. But the current nobots system is (mis)designed assuming that all bots download the old page text before all edits, which is an actively bad assumption because it discourages bots from using more efficient editing methods. — Carl (CBM · talk) 13:20, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
There's whatlinkshere: section-editing bots could load all transclusions and then ignore everything that uses {{nobots}} and load whole pages for those who use {{bots}} with selective exclusion. I don't like the centralised system because it's prone to vandalism and eventually we'll have to fully protect the exclusion lists and build unnecesary bureaucracy around addition/removal from them. MaxSem(Han shot first!) 13:32, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree it's a pain to have the exclusion lists on the wiki. By the way, because of bugzilla:12971, a bot would need to use the API list=embeddedin rather than backlinks to get a list of pages.
But the current system is worse. It is inherently flawed and riddled with technical problems because bots are not as smart as the wiki preprocessor. If the template is on user pages then bots need to be able to parse it as robustly as the wiki parser does. So this code should work:
The only implementation I have seen of nobots is the pywikipedia one, and it does not support this because it does not resolve transclusions in template parameters. Also, if {{bots}} was transcluded from a user box, pywikipedia would not notice it even though it would be listed as a transclusion by the API. Which is reasonable enough - nobody should expect bots to parse pages in this way. — Carl (CBM · talk) 13:49, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Is there a [[Category:]]-like system that we could use? Just throwing out ideas - I doubt there is, but am trying to think "outside the hammer". -- SatyrTN (talk / contribs) 16:03, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Here's one possibility along those lines. We could set up categories like Category:Pages not to be edited by bots, Category:Pages not to be edited by BOTNAME, Category:Pages that may be edited by BOTNAME and overload the bots and nobots template so that code like {{nobots|BOT1|BOT2|BOT3}} puts the page into the appropriate categories. — Carl (CBM · talk) 18:39, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
A category system just creates massive overhead: the bot would have to load the entire category tree and hold it in memory, whether or not the page was ever actually called on. Clever programming could minimise the overhead, but it's still quite substantial. For userpages, I would advocate using something like User:Example/bots.css. How efficient is a check for page existence? I don't know off the top of my head, but I expect it's pretty low overhead. Whenever a bot wants to edit a page in userspace, it checks for the existence of a bots.css page for that user. If it doesn't exist, it knows it has free reign in the userspace. If it does exist, it loads the page and parses it - we can work out the most versatile and efficient coding - and from that learns which bots can edit which pages in the user's userspace. This provides the additional advantage of being able to easily apply nobots to all your subpages if you so wish. I'm thinking something along the lines of:
exclude [[User:SineBot]] from [[User talk:Happy-melon]]
exclude [[User:MelonBot]] from [[User:Happy-melon]] [[User:Happy-melon/About]] [[User:Happy-melon/Boxes]]
exclude [[User:ClueBot]] from all
exclude all from [[User:Happy-melon/Articles]]
Is pretty easy to read by humans, easy to parse by bots, and easy to debug (redlinks = bad). Not sure how this would extend outside userspace, but how often is nobots used in other namespaces? Comments? Happymelon 20:40, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
When should {{nobots}} ever apply outside the user talk? BJTalk 20:50, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
I've had various instances of editors telling me to keep SatyrBot from adding WikiProject banners to the talk page of articles. I don't know if that's valid, but that's one instance where nobots might apply. And don't we tell certain bots to archive/not archive various talk pages? Or tell sinebot to watch / not watch certain pages? -- SatyrTN (talk / contribs) 21:11, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Archiving is opt in and Sinebot had a cat last time I checked. BJTalk 21:17, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, those were just the first three bots I could think of - don't think of them as anything more than examples. What do you think of the actual system? Happymelon 21:29, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
It basically robots.txt, which has worked for years. But I still see no use for it. BJTalk 21:33, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
That was my inspiration, yes. I can't fully see the use of it myself, but someone said {{nobots}} was becoming obsolete, and proposed a (to my mind) impractical solution, so I came up with my own (hopefully less impractical) idea. Happymelon 21:37, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Banners on talk pages. -- SatyrTN (talk / contribs) 21:39, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
I have no idea how your bot works but any nobots system doesn't seem like the best way to deal with that. BJTalk 21:45, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Happy-melon: what do you mean the bot would hold the entire category tree in memory? There would be at most three categories to read: the list of pages forbidding all bots, the list permitting that particular bot, and the list forbidding that particular bot. This would mean (unless any of the lists is over 5000 entries long) only three HTTP queries, one time, to load the exclusions list. That's reasonable.

On the other hand, any system that requires an extra HTTP query for every edit that must be made is unreasonable because it is vastly inefficient. It would be possible to reduce the number of extra queries if you were just looking for page existence, but still every single bot.css file or whatever would have to be loaded, every time the bot wants to edit the corresponding page. That's far from ideal design. — Carl (CBM · talk) 22:59, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

That is true, however, consider the ramifications of actually maintaining such a system, not simply using it. There are four hundred and eight accounts with the bot flag on the english Wikipedia, meaning that a complete system would require at least 800 categories to be created. We can't justify not creating the categories until they are needed, otherwise we will have slews of problems like "OI, my userpage was in Category:Pages not to be edited by SignBot, why did I still get notified??"
The problem we are essentially dealing with is that we need, in some manner, to complile a database table in an environment which doesn't really support multidimensional structures. We have a large number of bots which edit userpages; we have a larger number of userpages which might be edited by bots. We have to cross-reference those data sets in the most efficient manner possible. The real question is: do we divide the table up by bot, or by userpage? the Categories system is an attempt to break the table up by bot, which makes it easy for the table to be parsed by the bots which need to use it. The bots.css system breaks the table up by user, which makes it easier for individual users to manage it. I am of the opinion that, since the bots exist to serve the users, not the other way around, our priority should be to create a system that editors can use easily, even those with no programming experience. Asking them to add each individual page to Category:Pages not to be edited by bots is much more time-consuming and error-prone for them than just adding "exclude all from all" to one file. There's no reason why we can't use a bot to generate the alternative version of the table - even just a regularly-updated list of existing bots.css pages would reduce overhead. If the updating bot checked newpage-tagged RecentChanges, and the deletion logs, for pages with "/bots.css" in the title, the list would be completely current. I doubt that's a particularly onerous task, but it's not one that is even necessary for the system. Essentially what I'm saying is, Wikipedia's back streets are created for its editors, not for its bots - any system should put user-interface first, and bot-interface second. Of course we should endeavour to optimise both interfaces, but if that's not possible, the humans should win. Happymelon 19:35, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
It doesn't seem difficult to me to maintain two overall categories plus two categories per bot, given that the number of exceptions is always going to be very low for properly designed bots. Categories are, in a way, easier for individual users than writing a file using some new syntax that they don't already know. Adding a category is a task everyone is familiar with. (As an aside, naming it shouldn't be .css since it isn't a style sheet.)
But I would prefer to see a per-bot blacklist in any case; the idea of categories is only one proposal. — Carl (CBM · talk) 20:00, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
I suggested .css subpages because they can only be edited by the user, thus preventing vandalism. In the same way, it's just an idea. My main problem with categories is the necessity of maintaining a large tree of mostly-empty categories, since to avoid errors each bot should have existing categories, whether or not they are populated. Happymelon 13:09, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
It makes no difference from the point of view of the bot whether the category page exists or not - the contents of the category can still be queried either way. So I don't see the need to create all the categories at once. But I also am not a strong proponent of the category system - a simple blacklist maintained for each bot would be fine. — Carl (CBM · talk) 13:49, 12 March 2008 (UTC)


[watch this thread] [edit]

I would like to urge those who approve bots, that bots like BJBot — which left an unwanted long notice on my talk page because I made a single edit to Adam Powell, telling me that it was listed on AfD — should honour {{nobots}}.

As a side note this response is rather uncalled for behaviour for a bot operator. I'm glad he struck that later, but it's still disappointing. Requests by useres not to notify them should only be ignored if there is a good reason to do so. --Ligulem (talk) 19:00, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

How do I roll my eyes over the internet? If you would like something changed ask, don't tell me to stop running my bot. BJTalk 19:18, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Well, this rant did actually include a hidden gem of a bug report. Thanks. BJTalk 20:08, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Consider this bot not having my approval. --Ligulem (talk) 20:32, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
k? BJTalk 20:35, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
I personally wouldn't require anyone to implement the current nobots system. BJ, was the bug you mentioned that this editors shouldn't have gotten a notice? It does seem odd if everyone who edited the article even once gets notified. — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:54, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
You might want to read Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/BJBot 4, where Bjweeks said to have had implemented {{nobots}}. When I asked him to stop his bot until that actually works, he first denied my request (later struck his denial) and labelled my comment here as "rant". Besides, that bot task is entierly uneeded and unwanted anway, so it doesn't have my approval (even if it would work as advertised). We simply don't need nor want this hard core talk page spamming. After all, there is a watchlist feature for a purpose. --Ligulem (talk) 16:40, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't think that your individual approval (or mine, since I'm not a BAG member) is the deciding factor. But BJ did say in the bot request that the bot would honor nobots, and I think it is a reasonable thing for this bot to do, if its purpose is mainly to notify users on their talk pages. — Carl (CBM · talk) 17:01, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
There is no consensus for running this bot task. That's the deciding factor. BAG implements consensus. And as an admin, I may block a bot that doesn't follow its approval if its owner is unwilling to stop and fix it after I have asked him to do so. --Ligulem (talk) 17:48, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
The bot seems to be notifying a hell of a lot of people for a single AfD. Can we stop the bot, reopen the BRFA and seek wide community input please (as this task probably affects most of the community and could do with broader input that that provided in the previous one day BRFA)? Martinp23 18:06, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

I would like to see the approval for this task looked into further by BAG. The notifying of people with very few edits to articles seems rather an annoyance and the bot seems to be notifying a lot of people (IPs included) - I count about 50 notifications about the proposed deletion of Prussian Blue (duo) alone. This was probably a request that should have been scrutinised a little longer... WjBscribe 18:22, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

This request should not have been granted. But since there seems to be no procedure for withdrawing of erroneous approvals, chances are small that anything will happen here. In case BAG or whoever actually does review this bot's task, I suggest to at least rethink if it really makes sense to post lenghty notices about article deletions if the last edit of that editor on the article at hand dates back more than a year. Furthermore, notifying admins about page deletions is particularly pointless, since we can still see "deleted" pages anyway. Also, wiki-gnomes like myself who currently don't edit and who have many thousands of small edits in their contribs, are particulary annoyed by having their talk pages plastered with these pointless wordy "notfications" which don't serve much more than making inactive editor's talk pages look like they would pertain to some stupid newbie who needs a pile of corrective warnings about his misplaced steps on this wiki.
This project has really gone mad. Some bot operators with approvals seem to think they are on a heroic mission here and they have to be prepared to knee-jerk reject requests to stop and fix their bots. This attitude is harmful to this project. But that seems to be the norm nowadays on Wikipedia. --Ligulem (talk) 01:07, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
What part of it was a bug do you not get? BJTalk 02:57, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
We could just, you know, ask him to do something about it... --uǝʌǝsʎʇɹnoɟʇs(st47) 19:53, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm confused, isn't that what's been going on so far? —Locke Coletc 20:06, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
I've made some small changes which halved the number of notices to that article. I'm also working on adding a check for when the person last edited the article. That should be done by tomorrow. BJTalk 03:50, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

There was in fact two different bugs that allowed Ligulem to get a notice. The first was me playing around with nobots early in the morning and had been fixed for hours (what he requested fixed on my talk), the second I didn't notice until he posted his rant here ("only one edit" got my interest), I also fixed that. If anybody sees unwarranted notices, leave a message on the bots talk with a diff. I also plan do redisable IP notices per a message on my talk, that should further reduce notices. BJTalk 01:48, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, for responding to, and fixing the bugs mentioned somewhere in this complaint. Also, thanks for staying cool on this one. SQLQuery me! 04:16, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
So you do think that this response by BJ was fine? --Ligulem (talk) 09:02, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
This was clearly a misunderstanding by the operator, which he has since corrected. It's not a big deal. -- maelgwn - talk 09:30, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes it's not a big deal, but it would have been nice to admit that in the first place instead of labelling my post here as a "rant". Second, it seems somewhat of an irony, that it was SQL who fully protected his talk page recently [3]. Of course, I do understand that he was under very tense stress in real life and with some recent on-wiki issues. --Ligulem (talk) 09:54, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Opt-in instead of opt-out

I've added a new section on the approval discussion page at Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/BJBot 4, proposing to use an opt-in procedure for task 4 (delete notifications). I suggest to follow-up at Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/BJBot 4#Opt-in instead of opt-out. --Ligulem (talk) 10:40, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Bot owner's essay

[watch this thread] [edit]

Is there an essay or guideline for how to deal with bot owners? I have, in the course of the past year, gotten comments and requests about my bot's behavior that range from polite through negative to downright abusive. I'm sure I've read something somewhere, but can someone point me to it? -- SatyrTN (talk / contribs) 21:14, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

There probably should be. Coming in screaming, or even threatening to block / have blocked, is rarely productive. I don't think, however, that a simple essay somewhere, would do much to solve the problem. It's just something you kinda have to deal with, in my opinion. SQLQuery me! 04:18, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Pywikipedia getVersionHistory

[watch this thread] [edit]

Something changed in the format of history pages which broke pywikipedia's getVersionHistory. I've fixed it for my own needs, but heads up in case any other bots use this function. Gimmetrow 23:03, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

  • It would be appreciated if you could post a bug report and/or patch on the Pywikipediabot tracker. --Russ (talk) 01:13, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
    • Well the format of history pages changed again. Looks like it might be back to the old form. Gimmetrow 21:46, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Bot roles for nobots

[watch this thread] [edit]

I propose to extend the {{bots}} specification to allow easier restriction of particular bot types. This involves creating pseudo-usernames to be used in allow and deny parameters, for example, username "AWB" relates to all AWB-based bots (already supported), other bot framework names could include "pywikipedia", "perlwikipedia", "WikiAccess", etc. Additionally, we could classify bots by roles they perform: "interwiki", "recat", "fairuse", "antivandal", "notifier", "RETF", "AWB general fixes" and so on. For convenience, these roles should be case-insensitive. MaxSem(Han shot first!) 10:23, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Actually, if supported I'd implement this (fairuse only). I dislike {{nobots}} as it disabled messages without the user knowing what they are disabling. BJTalk 12:31, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
I think we need to consider a more fine-tuned system. But the big problem with this is that it implies that every single type of such a bot will follow this system, and clearly not every bot will. For example, my Signpost delivery bot wouldn't follow it, because it's opt-in anyway, and most people who use nobots wouldn't understand that they'd have to give an exception for me. Ral315 (talk) 19:36, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
More fine-tuned system would be to blacklist each bot separately - not very convenient. MaxSem(Han shot first!) 19:49, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
I've got an idea for a more fine-tuned bots system, based somewhat on robots.txt -- I'll post a mockup tomorrow. Ral315 (talk) 19:54, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

I need some one who operates bots on OS X

[watch this thread] [edit]

I use OS X Tiger and Im trying to run bots for the Telugu Wikipedia. I downloaded the python framework from this page. and I created the file which reads


Sai2020 is my username. I open Terminal and type in python I get the error python: can't open file ''

Can someone help me please Σαι ( Talk) 12:19, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

If you are on Tiger I'd recommend installing Python 2.5. BJTalk 12:28, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
is python installed on tiger? βcommand 14:33, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
It is but it is 2.3. BJTalk 14:53, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
Sai2020, make sure you cd to the correct directory. For me, before I enter the code, I type cd ~/Bots/pywikipedia because my pywikipedia folder is in Users/soxred93/Bots/pywikipedia. Hope this helps! Soxred93 | talk bot 01:02, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

That was the problem. once I cd'd it worked but i get a different error this time

Sais-MacBook:~/Desktop/pywikipedia Sai$ python
Traceback (most recent call last):
 File "", line 49, in <module>
   import wikipedia, config
 File "/Users/Sai/Desktop/pywikipedia/", line 127, in <module>
   import config, login
 File "/Users/Sai/Desktop/pywikipedia/", line 364, in <module>
 File "./", line 1
SyntaxError: unexpected character after line continuation character

whats going on? I'm not very good at these kind of stuff.. Σαι ( Talk) 01:27, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps you created with Apple's TextEdit? Maybe it created it as a rtf. Choose "Make Plain Text" from the "Format" menu and re-save the file. Staecker (talk) 01:44, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
Great that was the problem.. once i run the, Terminal asks me for my password but i cant enter it.. what ever i type nothing comes there... Σαι ( Talk) 05:08, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
Of course, but it just doesn't echoes it to the terminal. You just type and press enter. Snowolf How can I help? 06:34, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Thank you very much people. I can now login :) Σαι ( Talk) 08:57, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

New Bot?

[watch this thread] [edit]

Any chance of a bot that automatically reverts any blanked page? One may already exist but, if so I'm not familiar with it. I've been chasing alot of blankings lately in my anti-vandalism crusade. Thanks either way. Jasynnash2 (talk) 17:09, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

ClueBot seems to detect it. multichill (talk) 00:01, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Proposal on WT:BRFA

[watch this thread] [edit]

Please offer input there if you have any :). Martinp23 19:33, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Extended help wanted

[watch this thread] [edit]

I'm interested in developing my bot skills, particularly to running bots which operate on a continuous basis, rather than the more script-oriented bots I'm already operating. I'm looking for a more experienced bot coder/operator who can help me get to grips with the extra knowledge and tools required to operate continuously-running bots. Kind of an adopt-a-bot-owner system :D. I can work in C++ and VB, but all of my previous bot-coding experience has been in python. Anyone interested and willing to give me a hand? Happymelon 10:40, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Problem with dotnetwikibot

[watch this thread] [edit]

Is anyone having a problem with dotnetwikibot today? As of this morning, any attempt to FillAllFromCategory is not working. I changed nothing in my code, which was working fine yesterday.

I placed a query about this at dotnetwikibot framework forum, but it doesn't appear to get alot of traffic.

Any help would be appreciated. --Kbdank71 15:17, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

What error messages are you getting? Does the code use the api to get a cetegory list? There has been a recent interface change: [4]. If this is the problem, it's easy to fix. — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:46, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
That's the problem, I'm not getting an error. I know it's hitting the FillAllFromCategory routine, as it returns "Getting category 'Category:Foo' contents...", but then it just acts as if there were no articles in the category. I added pl3.ShowTitles(); as a sanity check, and it shows no pages in the pagelist. I've tried using the api via FillallFromCategoryEx as well, with the same results. --Kbdank71 16:08, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
All that has changed is a parameter name in the api query - can you edit the source and recompile the library? If not, you'll have to find someone who maintains the code and get them to do it. — Carl (CBM · talk) 16:12, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the help. I've tried to contact the developer to see if this can be fixed. Hopefully it can. --Kbdank71 20:09, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks again. The developer gave me a fix and will be updating the framework soon. --Kbdank71 12:58, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

This page now under bot care

[watch this thread] [edit]

As a trial for the CorenANIBot, this page is now automatically archived into subpages when new sections are created. There is an automatically generated link right of the titles to edit or watch the subpages, allowing you to watch the individual threads.

Watching this page itself will allow you to see new threads.

Warn me if it breaks! — Coren (talk) 20:31, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

That's certainly interesting. I'm not sure whether I like it or not, but this is a good noticeboard to try it on. What are the perceived benefits? I can see 1) being able to watch individual threads and 2) a sort of 'instant archive', since they're already sorted by date. But I'm not sure how it would fit in with the archiving schemes currently in place at WP:AN, WP:ANI, etc, or what a newbie making their first post to WP:AN would make of a long list of page transclusions. Perhaps this system is best placed at boards which are frequented by regulars, like WP:ANI or WP:AN3RR. Happymelon 10:46, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Part the the reason the bot acts like it does it to make it easy for newbies: just add a section. The bot takes care of the rest. — Coren (talk) 15:41, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

I think this is a great idea for AN and ANI. Trying to watch for changes to any given thread there at the moment is rather impossible, especially on ANI. To address HappyMelon's concern, we'd just have to make it clear via some notices at the top not to try and edit the page itself and to use the edit and add section links. This could also be extremely useful for addressing vandalism attempts on those pages; the main pages themselves could be semiprotected or protected if necessary without shutting down discussions, the same could be done to the transcluded pages without disrupting other discussions.--Dycedarg ж 22:24, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Adding a thread

[watch this thread] [edit]

...just to see what happens to it under bot care... Franamax (talk) 12:56, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

That was a little weird. First it didn't show up at all, then it showed as a redlink. I did a server purge and it showed up fine. Seems a little confusing, maybe I missed something? Franamax (talk) 13:01, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Clarify: first it was on the page normally (I could see it in edit page), then it vanished and redlinked. Perhaps the bot could leave a "reformatting" message? Also, is this a failsafe method? What if there's an edit conflict along the way? Keeping in mind that the only thing important to me is my post and I want to make sure it's there because to me it's the most important thing in the world. :) Franamax (talk) 13:13, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

The bot watches the page, waits for a few seconds, then moves the thread to a subpage (by first removing it from the noticeboard so as to avoid the possibility of someone trying to put a reply and it getting lost). In order to see the redlink, you had to hit refresh at the exact time this was going on.  :-) You can get the complete details on how it works and what safeguards are in place on the bot request page discussion. The short of it: it's paranoid enough to make sure comments don't vanish. — Coren (talk) 14:58, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Resolving conflicts with article maintainers

[watch this thread] [edit]

Do you have any good ideas on how to build consensus in discussions like this? Whenever an autonomous interwiki bot links the article Monoicous, the bot owner gets angry comments from the article maintainers. I have tried to explain how interwiki bots work and how we can solve the problem by correcting all the links manually, but the discussion always seems to drift toward “just fix the bots”... --Silvonen (talk) 04:19, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, it's true. Some problems can't be solved by bots. Maintaining the links manually (which the editors of that page are willing to do) strikes me as preferable to a multilingual, multi-project edit war. The best solution might be {{nobots}} -- do interwiki bots generally follow it? rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 05:28, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure interwiki bots normally follow {{nobots}} because they use and pywikipedia supports it. -- maelgwn - talk 06:28, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
why not just do the smart thing and fix the issue with the interwiki links acrros all projects that are effected. instead of complaining about the bot why not FIX THE ISSUE βcommand 2 21:06, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
Calm down. If you look at the page, you will see that they tried your "smart thing" first, and the result is what I was referring to as a "multilingual edit war". Sometimes things aren't that simple.
There are a couple of issues here. One of them is that there are disagreements among different Wikipedias about what a certain word refers to in different languages. This is not a problem that can ever be completely resolved, because languages are different and don't always have a one-to-one mapping in their vocabularies, and also because people's use of languages differs so it may not always be possible to tell if there's supposed to be a one-to-one mapping or not. The purpose of bots is not to enforce perfect correctness, it's to do repetitive tasks that humans are unwilling to do. The humans on the page in question are willing to maintain their links manually. In that case, the fix is for them to apply {{nobots}}. That resolves the problem where they complain about interwiki bots for doing what they are programmed to do, as long as they are willing to take responsibility to do what they consider right for the page. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 17:19, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Didn't we at some point get the even easier solution (after the Ingria and "ru-sib" issue) that if an interwiki link is commented out on a page, the bots will leave it alone and not readd it? I remember we were discussing this some time ago, and it seemed to be working on another page where the problem came up recently. If the bots honor that, it's simple, effective and intuitive to use. Fut.Perf. 21:09, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

WP:BOT has been completely rewritten

[watch this thread] [edit]

...just in case anybody didn't notice. It would be much easier to pretend that the rewrite has consensus, and attempt to gain consensus for more radical kinds of change, if we could get more people commenting there.--Dycedarg ж 20:31, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

{{tl|bots}} change

[watch this thread] [edit]

Oh noes, the drama llama

Are we going with this? This is directed ST47 and Carnildo mainly, as I don't think Beta would follow it without force. I'm sure this has already been talked about but I stopped reading that debate a while ago. BJTalk 15:25, 16 April 2008 (UTC)



Crystal Clear action run.svg Chris is currently being considered for BAG membership. To view the discussion and voice your opinion, please visit Wikipedia:Bot Approvals Group/nominations/Chris G.

--Chris 12:45, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Automated tools leaving messages on redirected user talk pages

Automated tools, such as Twinkle and CSDWarnBot, are leaving messages on users whose talk page redirects to their user page, which are usually banned users and sockpuppeteers. See this diff on User talk:Antidote for an example. This is pointless because the only way to read those messages is to go into edit mode. A more serious consequence of leaving messages on redirect pages is shown on the history of the same page. User:Yamanbaiia notified Antidote about the deletion of Image:EKusturica.jpg with Twinkle. After the image was deleted, User:Mushroom deleted User talk:Antidote, apparently because Twinkle thought that the page was a redirect to Image:EKusturica.jpg, which it absolutely was not.

Automated tools should therefore take redirected user talk pages into account. They should either remove the redirect while posting the message or avoid posting to the talk page altogether. Another solution to this problem is to protect redirected user talk pages so non-admins can't add to them, but the policy on protecting user talk pages currently doesn't allow that.

I would also be interested if any other user talk pages have been deleted in this way. I had encountered User:Antidote before and wanted to read through his user talk page to understand why he was banned. If I was a non-admin, this would have been impossible for me without assistance. Graham87 12:58, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Actually, a non-admin user can read User talk:Antidote by going into edit mode, just as you can, but apart from that you make a good point. --Russ (talk) 13:23, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Protection wouldn't help, as an admin using Twinkle would still cause the same issue. The best place for this would be Wikipedia talk:Twinkle to get it fixed on their end. ~ Ameliorate! U T C @ 13:27, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Ah, I forgot to mention that I have linked to this discussion from Wikipedia:Village pump (technical), Wikipedia talk:Twinkle, and the talk page of the deleting admin, User:Mushroom, who is currently inactive. It's also worth mentioning that I undeleted User talk:Antidote. Non-admins can't view deleted pages ... yet. Graham87 14:06, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

There is also the case where a user has been renamed and the user_talk page of the old one redirects to the new name. This is also commonly done for publicly declared socks or bot accounts where the owner wants all inquiries to go to the "main" talk page.
If the target of the redirect is another user_talk page, an intelligent bot/script/tool would assume "this is probably another name of the same user" and follow the redirect before posting the message. Otherwise it should abort the message and alert the operator. In no case should it over-write or post below the redirect. — CharlotteWebb 16:28, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Actually another part of the problem is that according to whatlinkshere for the image, User_talk:Antidote did contain a link to the deleted page, and was listed as a redirect. However 2 + 2 did not equal 4 in this case as it did not "redirect to a deleted page". This is probably a bug in itself. If a page consists of:

#redirect [[Foo]]

== XYZ ==

[[Bar]] should be listed as a "(redirect)" only in Special:Whatlinkshere/Foo, not in Special:Whatlinkshere/Bar. — CharlotteWebb 16:41, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

This seems to be the same as the problem described in bug 7304. See what redirects to chocolate. The pages User:Graham87/sandbox8 and Talk:Snow (dessert) do not redirect to the chocolate article, but have links to it after the redirect text. Graham87 07:57, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Change in Special:UserLogin returned content on successful login

A change in r40621 changed the behavior of Special:UserLogin for successful logins. The 'login successful' message is no longer displayed. Instead, on successful login, you are redirected to the page you came from (Main Page by default). This change may break bots that rely on the "login successful" text to detect successful logins. My initial reading and testing says you will get a HTTP 302 code on successful login and a HTTP 200 code on login failure, when you load the wpCookieCheck page. — Carl (CBM · talk) 13:45, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Ugh, are there really any bots that still log in via Special:Userlogin? I thought more bot frameworks used the API. Xclamation point 23:17, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
I doubt many bots have been converted to using API editing, and older bots that have been stable longer than api.php has existed may well still be using index.php for login as well as editing. So login through Special:UserLogin is likely to still be relatively common. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:32, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
I thought that while not many frameworks use API edit, I thought a lot, such as pywikipedia and ClueBot classes used API login. Xclamation point 22:49, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
It's a configuration parameter in pywikipedia. — Carl (CBM · talk) 22:58, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Canonical namespace change coming: Image: -> File:

Brion has just announced on the wikitech-l list that he's planning to (finally) change the canonical name of the "Image:" namespace to "File:". This is likely affect a lot of bots that deal with images, as well as other bots that just want to tell if a title is an image or not. Please note that, if everything goes as planned, we'll only have about one week to fix our bots before the change goes live. More details in Brion's post and at bugzilla:44. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 02:35, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Great. That's only going to totally break every single one of my bots. I just hope the "File:" namespace doesn't have any hidden case-changing surprises like "İmage:" did. --Carnildo (talk) 04:18, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
(tangent) Case-changing surprises? Please share. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 05:29, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
"Image:" can be written with an upper-case "I", a lower-case "i", or a upper-case "İ" with a dot over it. All three are accepted by the MediaWiki software, and all three appear in Wikipedia articles. --Carnildo (talk) 19:59, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Any namespace can be written with the first letter lowercase; wikipedia:Bot owners' noticeboard is a perfectly good link. But the diacritic is a surprise: Image:Alar.png and İmage:Alar.png work; Ímage:Alar.png, Ìmage:Alar.png, Îmage:Alar.png, Ïmage:Alar.png, Ĩmage:Alar.png don't. Why is this? --Russ (talk) 15:43, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
In fact, namespaces are case-insensitive: ImAGe:Example.png will work just fine. The reason "İ" works is that its lowercase form is "i", same as for "I". —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 07:56, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Won't Image: still serve as an alias? –xeno (talk) 15:48, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
    • Sometimes. If you're providing a page name to the server, "Image:" and "File:" are equivalent. If you're getting a page name from the server, you'll always get "File:", and if you're expecting "Image:", things will break. --Carnildo (talk) 19:55, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
      • Ah I understand. –xeno (talk) 20:46, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Approved Bots

Just looking through Wikipedia:Bots/Requests_for_approval/Approved, which took me to a request for Kaspobot. This request was withdrawn. It seems to not only be categorized incorrectly in the approved section, but the user also appears to have been flagged as a bot? Maybe I am missing something? MatthewYeager 06:50, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Kaspobot 2. BJTalk 06:58, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Minor change to IRC RecentChanges feed format

See bugzilla:4253: to reduce the likelihood of edits to pages with long titles exceeding the 512 byte limit of IRC messages, rev:42695 modifies the message format so that the diff URL no longer repeats the page title. This may affect some bots that follow the IRC feed: if your code treats the URL as an opaque string or only uses it to extract the revision IDs, everything should be fine, but any code that expects to find the page title in the URL should be changed before the new revision goes live (which, as usual, will take an unpredictable amount of time from minutes to months). —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 23:46, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Additionally, after rev:43067, the rcid parameter (used for new page patrolled edits) will be added to the URL for new pages. Mr.Z-man 18:05, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Bot reading deleted pages?


I have a question regarding ArticleAlertbot, for which I write the code. The bot reads articles from certain categories, e.g. Category:Articles for deletion, and notifies the corresponding WikiProjects, identified by their project tags on the talk pages. (See User:B. Wolterding/Article alerts for details.)

Several users have asked me whether I could include also WP:DRV in this alert system. Of course there is an apparent problem: For most articles on DRV, their talk page is deleted, so the bot can't find out which projects they correspond to. Of course, this information is in principle contained in the wiki, since deleted pages are not physically removed from the database, but de facto the bot has no access to it.

If however the bot had admin rights, it should be feasible to retrieve the deleted talk pages and scan them for WikiProject banners. (Haven't checked the API details.) On the other hand, it seems a bit exaggerated to flag the bot as adminbot only for this little detail feature. Would you think that such functionality could pass WP:BRFA via the new "adminbot approval" process? (Of course one would need an admin willing to run the bot.) Or is it possible to grant the bot restricted admin rights, in some sense, so that it could read deleted revisions? Do you have any other suggestions for this problem? --B. Wolterding (talk) 17:59, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

There is no current way to give out individual permissions. If an admin was running the bot they could use their own account for deleted reads. BJTalk 18:07, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
There are two issues here:
  • Only admins can run adminbots. You would need to run for admin first (it does not require giving out your personal information)
  • If the operator is an admin, and the bot is not making any logged admin actions (no deleting or protecting pages) then the admin might as well use their own admin account instead of making a new one for the bot.
Note that once the new WP 1.0 bot system is in place, in winter 2009, you can use that to query the assessment history of an article even after it has been deleted. That is an alternative to using admin rights for the bot. — Carl (CBM · talk) 18:13, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your answers! On second thought, it would be a bit much to run two users (me and Legoktm) through RFA only for this minor bot feature. But what you say about the WP 1.0 bot seems interesting; I will check back once it's live. --B. Wolterding (talk) 09:28, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Wait, not all bots can read deleted pages? Mine can, so I thought they all could. Oh, wait, it's an adminbot. Xclamation point 22:21, 5 November 2008 (UTC)


Is there somewhere other than the BRFA where I can find out what this bot is doing?

  • Comes along and subst's SineBot's signatures? Honestly? Did anyone talk to Slakr first?
  • Edits to month-old talk posts that break?
  • Rationale is to "conserve processing power"? Who TF gave that mandate? Where is the analysis? Where is the authorization to say that "processing power" is of supreme (or any) importance? Since the devs have explicitly coded pre- and post-expansion limits and expensiveness right into the parser, I can only assume this is coming from Brion himself. Or was policy changed to encourage pointless edits that clog watchlists?

I'm sure the intentions are good, but on balance the results are not. What's happening here? Franamax (talk) 11:44, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Have you tried to read WP:SUBST? Yes, an extra template can't kill a single page, but whenever someone edits a heavily-used template, job queue rises dramatically, making servers scream 'omg butthurt'. MaxSem(Han shot first!) 11:58, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, very large number of templates on a page are problematic: hence the prohibition against templates in signatures, for instance. As for clogging watchlists, that would be the point of the bot flag: it will not show up in watchlists unless requested. — Coren (talk) 13:24, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Note that the posts only break if the template is empty, which should never happen. I'll add in a function to replace only {unsigned| so that it discriminates, though. Master of Puppets Call me MoP! :) 14:07, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
There are at least four or five subst bots and the only rational given before was "because WP:SUBST says so." BJTalk 17:10, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
      • Just as a point of order, SineBot already subst's the unsigned template. It was probably another user who transcluded it. –xeno (talk) 17:55, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
I'll retract the bit about SineBot, since I'm not about to wade through the forest looking for something I thought I may have seen :) Franamax (talk) 05:27, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Franamax: the idea to subst existing {{unsigned}} has been rejected many times in the past. Thousands of extra edits put much more stress on the servers than the transclusion of templates that are almost never changed. Besides, linking to WP:SUBST is simply misleading because the page does not say that {{unsigned}} should be used substed, let alone replaced after it's been used. —AlexSm 19:35, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Let's look at {{unsigned}} for a second. First of all, I don't think it matters much in terms of how much they are changed; from what I understand, anything in curly brackets is not loaded until a user, loading the page, requests it. Therefore, how much the template is updated doesn't factor in. However (and I've used this example before), say that unsigned is transcluded on 20,000 pages. Given that each page is, on average, viewed maybe 5 times a day, unsigned is being requested 100,000 times every day. That is quite a large load. I think that 25,000 small edits are a small price to pay for taking 3,100,000 fetches every month. As for the edit summary, that policy says that templates should be substituted when there are no issues with that; unsigned is fairly static right now. There's nothing we can really do to improve it, so why not subst it? Master of Puppets Call me MoP! :) 22:30, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
That's partly right (to my understanding). A template change should just invalidate the parser cache for the transcluding pages. They get regenerated on fetch. I disagree on your load stats though - once the page is regenerated, it stays in the parser cache, thus no more fetches. The page is then rendered to HTML according to user preferences, then stays in the squid cache (and is invalidated weekly no matter what, I do believe). So basically, inclusion of an un-subst'ed template is a one-time server hit, plus rendering hits for each permutation of u-prefs. After that, it's just regular regen's, which we're busy collecting $6 million to deal with. (I paid my $20!!) We're almost always told to ignore server load - and the little pre- and post-expand + expensive parser function report in the page tells us how badly we're dragging the servers down. Especially in the case of {{unsigned}}, once the relatively more expensive DB fetches are done to retrieve the actual template code, the same code is reused from memcache to expand each unisgned instance on the page.
I just don't understand the "reduce load" argument, since I'm not able to see how it's significant. Franamax (talk) 05:19, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
You'll really need to take this up with the AWB devs, who have included template substitution in the general fix options. At the present time substitution of these template is considered a "best practice".xeno (talk) 13:57, 14 November 2008 (UTC) I coulda sworn unsigned was in there. –xeno (talk) 20:17, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

If you're going to anything you should do a replacement based on Special:Expandtemplates rather than a regular subst, in order to strip out any html comments and needless branching of parser functions. Try it with a complex template and you'll see what I mean. Eventually you would want to ask Brion to enable the SubstAll extension. — CharlotteWebb 21:04, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

I believe bots like this (atleast one of my tasks), only subst: templates which say they need to be. This avoids having to work around parsers and excess html as the template was designed without it. §hep¡Talk to me! 21:28, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
@xeno, unsigned was removed from WP:AWB/UTT with the summary of: "removed Template:Unsigned (added 31 May 2008 Stepshep): 1) still listed "under debate" on Wikipedia:Template substitution; 2) if substing, then please subst all {unsigned} at the same time". My Bot was blocked for substing unsigned also. I think that it is fine, as long as it is going at a slow rate. LegoKontribsTalkM 04:46, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
This has also been discussed over at User talk:Master of Puppets#Why substitute "unsigned"?, and at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 57#Substitution, substitution. It seems the result of the discussions are that most users think that we shouldn't do extra bot edits to substitute {{unsigned}}. (I agree on that.) But it also seems that perhaps most think that the {{unsigned}} template should be substituted. (Personally I don't have that much of a point of view on that.) So I have asked SineBot to substitute manually added {{unsigned}}, when it is doing its other edits to talk pages. That will pretty quickly fix most cases out there, without costing any extra resources at all. (SineBot substitutes the unsigneds it itself adds to talk pages.) I hope SineBot will take on this task, since I think that could keep everyone happy.
--David Göthberg (talk) 07:41, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Continuous Running Bots

I'm interested in creating my own bot, and having it run continuously, maybe based off of the recent changes so that it detects any edits made. Can anyone explain to me how continuous running bots work, or point me to some technical documentation or examples of bots that run continuously? Thanks much! Redalert200 (talk) 17:36, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

crontabs or daemons. MaxSem(Han shot first!) 17:51, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Just while I'm here wreaking havoc anyway: it would be nice to have a page such as WP:Bots/Bots with open-sourced code containing the names and code locations. That way the rest of us could learn from the masters who have gone before. Franamax (talk) 05:51, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
See Category:Wikipedia bots with source code published and it's subcategories. -- JLaTondre (talk) 14:17, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
There are basically two ways to track reent changes:
  1. Use the wikimedia IRC feed on That's an IRC channel that does nothing but list the recent changes as they occur. Your bot would log into this IRC channel, receive each edit notice, and do whatever it does.
  2. Use the API's recentchanges query to get a list of recent changes, in chunks of up to 5000.
As for long-running bots, they're not much different than short-running bots. They just run longer. You may want to investigate some way for the bot to automatically restart itself if it dies - crontab is good for this. You also have to be more flexible about temporary server or network outages with long-running bots. If you would like more detailed advice please feel free to contact me. — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:43, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Bugs in User:ImageRemovalBot

Looks like User:ImageRemovalBot is buggy. While the images are available (see this version ) , User:ImageRemovalBot removed the linking here and here.

The images are still available
Aruvikara Dam2.JPG Aruvikara Dam.JPG
I have left a note for the Operator User:Carnildo . Any idea whtz wrong ? -- Tinu Cherian - 11:35, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

" :The images are lacking an image description page, and the Wikipedia API says the images are missing. It appears to be related to Wikipedia bug #15430. Since Wikipedia insists that the images are missing, there's not really anything I can do about it. You could try editing the image description page to add proper license and source information, and see if that fixes things. --Carnildo (talk) 20:47, 17 November 2008 (UTC) " ( copied the explaination of the bot operator from his talk page.)

Yes check.svg Done: The issue is also that some how the image lost its description when automatically moved to commons from Issues solved after adding the same. Thanks -- Tinu Cherian - 12:50, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

  • I came across a manual transwikification yesterday. While the edit summary included image information, it didn't show on the image page on Commons. I suspect it's a malfunctioning template. - Mgm|(talk) 10:53, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Stop a bot

Not sure if this is the right place. How do you get a bot stopped? See action of User:OKBot and comments at User talk:OsamaK Traveler100 (talk) 19:57, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

You block it. BJTalk 20:13, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
so how do I block a bot? I tried the stop button but I am not n administrator. Note I am not the only one complaining about this bot.Traveler100 (talk) 20:16, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
  • What discussion are you referring to in particular. I skimmed the talk page, but I didn't find anything that warranted blocking. -Mgm|(talk) 12:13, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
Is this the followup reactions of User_talk:OsamaK/November_2008#OKBot and User_talk:Traveler100#OKBot  ? -- Tinu Cherian - 12:46, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Runaway WP:AN/I archive creation

Since archive 497 was started, we seem to be having only one thread an archive. I assume that this is a bot problem. Is this where I shoudl raise this?--Peter cohen (talk) 21:15, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Pinged Misza on IRC. The bot seems to have stopped, if it keeps up reply here and somebody should block it. BJTalk 21:25, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
How about letting me know in the first place? Anyway this is the culprit and the mess is now cleaned up. Миша13 23:37, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Bot Approvals Group candidacy

I have been nominated for BAG, so per instructions I am posting this to invite comments at Wikipedia:Bot Approvals Group/nominations/Anomie. Thanks. Anomie 03:13, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

IP Address blocked

I've built a test bot. It logs in, grabs my user page and tries to append some text to it, but it can't; it gets a "IP address blocked" type message (open proxy). This is because, I think the IP address of the server its on is similar to the one quoted at me by the block message. Still I shouldn't get this message, I'm logged in (I can edit my user talk page just fine!), so what's up?

Any help appreciated. Jarry1250 (talk) 21:37, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

It might be that your hosting company has a transparent proxy set up that is making your traffic seem to be coming from; you could try having the bot download and see what IP address is reported. If that is the case, and you can have that turned off, that may well solve your problem. Otherwise, you'll just have to follow the instructions at Wikipedia:Appealing a block. Maybe an admin will "soften" it to anon only, or maybe the open proxy has since been closed and it can be unblocked completely (I do note the block notice at User talk: references a domain that is now on a different netblock). Or you could always find a better hosting company... Anomie 22:32, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
That IP is from a shared hosting company, which are generally free game for hard blocking and even range blocking. I'd suggest ipblockexempt on the bot account. BJTalk 22:49, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Bot Approvals Group/nominations/Fritzpoll

This is a notification to all interested parties that I have accepted a nomination to join the Bot Approvals Group - the above link should take you to the discussion. APologies for the delay getting this notice out, but I've been busy over the holidays etc. Best wishes, Fritzpoll (talk) 10:26, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

ClueBot reporting URL down

There are issues with the ClueBot false positives URL ( today. Anyone else experiencing issues connecting to the site? Thanks, Willking1979 (talk) 15:44, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Not working for me either: Operation timed out. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 15:57, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
The url has been down since last October, when the server's hard drive failed. False positives should just be reported manually. Xclamation point 17:57, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
So if the URL doesn't work, then should the link be removed? SchfiftyThree (talk!) 18:55, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm working on setting that up on it's new server and I'll update the link with the new location when I do. -- Cobi(t|c|b) 06:50, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Bot edits to project banners?


there's currently a discussion at User talk:B. Wolterding/Article alerts#Subscription parameter request whether bot edits to project banners can cause performance issues. More precisely, User:ArticleAlertbot produces report pages that it updates on a daily basis; and some users wish to transclude these into project banners. The question is whether this may overload the job queue, and so whether these transclusion should be allowed or avoided, or maybe even prevented on the technical side. Input by some uninvolved experts would be appreciated. --B. Wolterding (talk) 00:37, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

I don't know too much about the specifics of this situation, but in general, don't worry about performance. -- Cobi(t|c|b) 02:24, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Bot Approvals Group/nominations/Foxy Loxy

This is a notification to all interested parties that I have accepted a nomination to join the Bot Approvals Group - the above link should take you to the discussion. Foxy Loxy Pounce! 03:30, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Bots repeatedly replacing informatin deleted from dab

A dab page keeps getting hit by bots adding interwiki links.[5] I think that once a particular edit or style of edit, such as adding all of the interwiki links to a page, has been made, future bots ought to just leave the page alone without the need to add a nobots template. --KP Botany (talk) 10:07, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

{{bots}} should not be used on articles. BJTalk 11:11, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
The correct way to fix this problem is to fix all of the offending interwiki links; I've done this, and removed the nobots template. See my reply at ANI, where this issue was first raised. Graham87 12:29, 25 January 2009 (UTC)


I have created a {{nobots}} implementation function in 2 languages, to make it easy for non-compliant bots to comply with nobots. You can see the 2 functions (in PHP and Perl) at Template:Nobots#Example implementations. Hope this helps! Xclamation point 21:23, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Would you happen to have that function in C#? --Kbdank71 21:29, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Richard0612 just said he would add one. Xclamation point 21:30, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
C# implementation Yes check.svg Done, although it's hardly elegant and could probably be improved upon. Richard0612 22:18, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
C# Improved Reedy 22:28, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
I noticed none of the examples actually implement the template according to the documentation. In particular, for most of them "allow=foo" without the bot's name included should deny, "deny=FooBarBot" shouldn't match for BarBot, "{{bots|deny=Foo}} BarBot{{fact}}" shouldn't match for BarBot, and specific optout values should be supported. I fixed the perl function. Anomie 02:32, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
I also threw together some test cases at User:AnomieBOT/nobots test #. Anomie 02:34, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Python bot framework released

I've released the first "official version" of my Python bot framework if anyone's interested. It uses the API exclusively for getting data and editing; I currently use it for all my bots and scripts. Downloads are available in .tar.gz and .zip archives with a script as well as a Windows installer. Mr.Z-man 06:33, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

You're invited to contribute your knowledge and experience to the rewrite branch of pywikipediabot, which is doing exactly the same thing. --R'n'B (call me Russ) 12:34, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

SoxBot X

It appears that SoxBot X is not working correctly. It also appears that the operator does not respond to messages posted on the bot's user page. Please see the following post and do something to fix the problem - User_talk:SoxBot_X#Not_archiving_properly - Thank you

PS the not responding to posts does not relate to this post (as it is a very recent post) but to the previous posts over the last several months to which there have been no responses. Dbiel (Talk) 03:35, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

You have to message him on his own talk page, he usually responds really fast. -Djsasso (talk) 04:06, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
If that is the case, there should be a notice on the bot talk page informing users of that fact. Dbiel (Talk) 04:43, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
Additionally it should be noted that when SoxBot X signs a post, the link to the talk page should be the page that he opperator whats a user to post to which at this time is the bot talk page and not the operators talk page. The goal is to make it easy for new users to respond, not to direct them to a page that is not going to be watched or replied to. Dbiel (Talk) 15:34, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
I don't know if he meant people to go to his talk page or not, I just meant that when i go there he responds quickly. I find its pretty common practice to never comment on the bot talk page for any bot, but thats just me. -Djsasso (talk) 17:11, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
All the bot talk pages redirect to User talk:ClueBot Commons which says: This page is for comments on the bot or questions about the bot. which was pretty much unresponsive for quite a while. Q T C 04:10, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
SoxBot X talk page does not redirect... -Djsasso (talk) 04:14, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
Ignore me, I was mixing ClueBot and SoxBot. Q T C 04:19, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Main page protection robot: Any admins willing to take this project on?

As east718 has stated that he is no longer working on this, would any Python-competent admin like to take up the reins and continue with what seems to be a very useful bot task? (ask east for the code if you do) If not, the task can be marked as withdrawn/expired. Richard0612 18:05, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

I know Python and I'm an admin... BJTalk 23:38, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
I've already got this running under my main account. I'll probably file a brfa later today, once I sort out a few other things. --Chris 04:28, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Unauthorized bot?

User:LilHelpa claims to not use a bot for reverting, but this mistake seems so blatant that it appears likely to have been made in an automted manner. I think this should be investigated. TubeToner (talk) 23:23, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Doesn't look like a bot to me, maybe AWB or something else. Give him a barnstar or something. BJTalk 23:38, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
I note that LilHelpa isn't listed at Wikipedia:AutoWikiBrowser/CheckPage and has no user javascript, so if it's anything it's "something else". My guess is that it's just someone with a lot of time on their hands. I suggest a polite note on their talk page pointing out the mistake. Anomie 23:51, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
JS can be run locally, too. Just because it isn't on site, doesn't mean it isn't running. neuro(talk) 00:05, 11 February 2009 (UTC)


There's a big backlog at WP:BLP/N, and the bot is archiving four-day-old threads that haven't been resolved. THF (talk) 13:55, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

You need to tweak the MiszaBot template at the top of the page. I changed it from "4d" (four-day) to "7d" (seven-day) as a starting point, but you may like to increase it further. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 15:01, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

PHP Bot Frameworks

May I tentatively suggest that some consultation is required about the variety of PHP frameworks currently available. I know of many that exist; they range from the bad (e.g. my own) to the very, very good and yet we do not have even a list of frameworks that is even half-complete! This contrasts with other languages, such as perl, which have a handful of well documented, well supported solutions.

Whilst I admit that it is naive to assume that all the existing PHP bots could be made to work from the same framework, I think a possible starting point for helping newcomers develop bots in PHP might be to draw up a comprehensive list of solutions that worked with the present API. Then they could at least choose the one that best suited their needs.

The ones I know of:

  1. Chris G has one
  2. Cobi has one (has also contributed to Chris G's)
  3. I have Wikibot, built from Kaspo's phpwikibot framework, though it's very basic.
  4. SQL operates SxWiki
  5. Foxy Loxy is developing PHPediaWiki
  6. The old BasicBot framework (I don't think it still works though)
  7. GeorgeMoney's (et al) Bot Framework
  8. Edward Z. Yang's (last update February 2007)

I know the above list is pretty shoddy, so please correct the glaring mistakes with it. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 16:15, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Chris G's is wikibot.classes (mine) with a few modifications (admin functions, mainly). Also, as far as I know, SxWiki is not really being developed much anymore. -- Cobi(t|c|b) 18:05, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
I have created a rough table to try to clarify the matter, but there are still large gaps. Could knowledgeable people expand it / correct the falsehoods. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 11:49, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Proposal: Redesign and cleanup of WP:BRFA

Note: This should really go on WT:BRFA, but seeing as no-one reads that page, I thought I'd get a more meaningful response here!

The instructions and documentation that currently exist at Requests for bot approval are very out-of-date, and in some cases, confusing. The 'Organisation' section was virtually identical to its current state way back in 2006. Practices have moved on by light years from then. I propose that something like this is implemented to make the process more accessible and the approvals page less cluttered. I have also added brief guidance for BAG members on how to close BRFAs (based on SQL's How to close a BRFA). All the essential information is still there, just in a different, more user-friendly format.

Comments, suggestions, ideas?

P.S. I know that the colour scheme isn't particularly brilliant, I chose colours that wouldn't clash with/obscure the links. If anyone with more... aesthetic abilities than me has a better colour scheme: by all means implement it! Richard0612 17:51, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

It definitely needed tidying up; I did like the 1-2-3 nature of the instruction system though. Could that be preserved somehow? - Jarry1250 (t, c) 18:46, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Short answer: yes, like this. I just thought that the big table was rather clunky. However, it looks a lot cleaner inside the collapsible table, and I suppose it does help to divide up the process and make things easier to follow. Richard0612 19:46, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Looks good to me. I don't particularly like the version with the numbers due to the table borders; IMO this modification doesn't look too bad. Anomie 22:11, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
That's certainly an improvement over my tables (much cleaner design). In keeping with other pages that use the I/II/III system (AfD, TfD, etc), how about this this progression of colours from light-dark? Richard0612 22:35, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Looks good to me. Anomie 01:13, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
I'd say that's an improvement. Nice work. §hepTalk 01:53, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Given that no-one has said that the redesign is a bad idea, I'll be bold and implement it. Feel free to revert me if I acted with too much haste. Richard0612 21:43, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Actually done, it does look very good! Nice job Richard. IMHO the TOC should go left of the table, but I'm not really bothered so I'll leave it. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 09:24, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

I boldly moved the TOC back to above the table, having it to the side makes the screen scroll horizontally and makes most TOC lines wrap. Anomie 12:19, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Now I have whitespace taking up half of my screen... If it helps IE7/Vista, 1440x900, 22" §hepTalk 12:26, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
I see what you mean about the whitespace (1440x900, FF3), but having the TOC above the stats table does stop either of them from gettting 'squashed'. Richard0612 12:31, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
800x600 browser window here (on a 1024x768 screen, I like to be able to see things besides my browser window so I seldom maximize). If you can figure out a way to rearrange things that doesn't force horizontal scrolling, feel free. Anomie 22:34, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Bot Approvals Group/nominations/Jarry1250

I have accepted a nomination to join the Bot Approvals Group - relevant discussion is just a click on the link above away. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 20:56, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

No of transclusions

Is there a(n easier) way to get the number of transclusions a template has?

My php-based bot could load a webpage, so that's not out of the question if a suitable web page does exist. (I did ask on the WP help desk, but I think the people watching this page will be better/quicker at making suggestions.) If worst comes to worst, it could include links to the template as well; redirects should be included (if this is possible). At the moment, you see, I'm having to resort to loading a list of transclusions, and then counting them, which is pretty resource intensive. Cheers! - Jarry1250 (t, c) 17:13, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

AWB can do that, if I get what you're saying. §hepTalk 04:12, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
Counting the number of elements in a list isn't *that* resource intensive. How are you loading the list? Q T C 04:18, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
For posterity's sake, I got a suitable function from Cobi/Chris' PHP bot framework. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 09:50, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

SmackBot must fail-safe

SmackBot (tasks · contribs · actions log · block log · flag log · user rights) is an ambitious effort to make detailed corrections to tags and text of articles. It performs useful tasks well. However, in its current state, SmackBot fails the do-no-harm test. It needs testing on degenerate cases, and a more complete understanding of the grammar rules of the tags it edits.

The critical failure with SmackBot is that it doesn't fail-safe when it encounters an unexpected condition. Before SmackBot is reactivated, it must demonstrate that it does no harm in degenerate test cases. In the software development sense, SmackBot needs Verification and Validation quality control.

I've communicated my concern to SmackBot's developer/owner. He's working on a problem with damage to tags. The larger problem is fail-safe and do no harm.

--Mtd2006 (talk) 06:03, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Moved from Adins Noticeboard per author. Rich User talk:Rich Farmbrough, 09:07 18 February 2009 (UTC).
It would greatly help if you gave links to the issues you see and (if it's on-wiki) the discussion you've had with Rich Farmbrough. Otherwise, this is just a vague rant with nothing to comment on. Anomie 12:37, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
No problem. The gory details are at SmackBot's talk history page. Some of them have been moved to User talk:Rich Farmbrough. That's where he answers questions and reports his fixes. We've been discussing the problem at Thank you for the message. He explained how SmackBot works. I've also e-mailed Rich.
The problem that triggered this "rant" of mine is SmackBot damages tags. Some similar problems where SmackBot has tripped up are:
SmackBot does well with problems that fit its view of reality (aside from some annoying habits, #1 and #2). It fails on degenerate cases. It's hard to catch SmackBot in the act. An alert editor can track a problem; others see errors, but mistake the damage for vandalism. We can't know how many pages are damaged before a problem is accurately reported.
SmackBot is leveraging the capabilities of AWB. I'd like to give Rich time to investigate the problem before I say more. He's been very responsive to fixing bugs. Mtd2006 (talk) 16:09, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Rich seems to be quite responsive to bug reports, and frankly you overreacted to the South Korea edit. I don't see anything that needs wider attention at the moment. Best would be to continue with the discussion at User talk:Rich Farmbrough. Anomie 20:14, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
  • For what it's worth, I don't think SmackBot should bother making changes such as this. It's a wasteful edit. –xeno (talk) 16:24, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
You are quite correct, and genreally it won't make white space only edits. Rich Farmbrough, 19:51 18 February 2009 (UTC).

SmackBot overview

This overview explains how SmackBot works. The bot leverages AWB to edit articles. It combines WP templates with exception rules in a automated process to generate its ruleset, a list of edit rules for AWB. Rich has said, the ruleset is generated from "over a thousand templates, each of which can be formatted in hundreds of ways, it is necessary to canonicalise templates to make the problem tractable." This as another way to say that SmackBot is complex and it makes arbitrary assumptions to simplify its ruleset. Arbitrary choices in software design is the opposite of a deterministic algorithm. Arbitrary decision making implies unpredictable failure modes. SmackBot requires Verification and Validation too prove it does no harm, see WP:BOTPOL#Bot_requirements.

Because of SmackBot's complexity and the potential for damage to live articles caused by unpredictable failure modes, I propose some guidelines for its use.

Test and debug for SmackBot

A test standard should apply to all bots.

  • No test runs on live articles. Testing should happen on local machine or in a WP:SANDBOX (same rule for human editors),
  • Changes should be tested against a test suite that exercises all of SmackBot's edits (software design and testing) with known and degenerate test cases (that is, situations that SmackBot expects and those that are outside its assumptions about a normal article),
  • Changes to SmackBot's ruleset (templates or bug fixes) must be regression tested before it's released on live articles.

This warning is found on complex templates. Templates are, in effect, complex software. {{intricate template}} As the template warning says, a flaw in the template can appear on a large number of articles. The nice thing about templates is that if a flaw is repaired, the errors are automatically reverted. This is not the case with SmackBot. Flaws in SmackBot are permanently applied until reverted. Because SmackBot's ruleset is generated from many templates, it's vulnerable to errors and conflicts in them. These problems are "fixed" in SmackBot with exception rules. However, when a problem is fixed in SmackBot, its incorrect edits are not automatically reverted. They remain until a human editor or an automated process repairs them.

Design pitfalls for SmackBot

While there are applications for non-deterministic algorithms, a bot should be strictly deterministic. That is, a bot must do what it's designed to do without side effects. The tasks that a bot performs are its design specification. SmackBot's design specification is User:SmackBot#Tasks. One of SmackBot's design specs (or tasks) is to add missing dates or repair incorrect dates in various tags, e.g., {{fact}} to {{fact|date=February 2009}}. However, when SmackBot fixes a date in an article, it also makes trivial changes. AWB users are cautioned not to make trivial edits.

SmackBot makes trivial edits because it does not conform to its own design specification. There is no SmackBot task that says "change the case of every tag to upper case". Human editors are not allowed to hide substantive changes in a long set of trivial edits (changing case, removing blanks or new lines, etc.) Humans are cautioned for not using a sandbox for experiments and tests. A bot must follow the same rules because it may perform these disruptive edits to thousands of articles. A bot can waste resources, be disruptive and cause damage much faster than the fastest human editor.

SmackBot problems:


SmackBot's bugs can be fixed, up to a point. SmackBot's owner is responsive to trouble reports. But until a bug is reported, SmackBot has made changes that are difficult to find, because of trivial edits, and hard to revert, again because it makes too many trivial edits. Beyond this, the most critical flaw of SmackBot is its failure to be harmless.

Mtd2006 (talk) 03:34, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Squid Changes

Just an FYI for bot owners/writers. The recent squid rollout changed the behavior when encountering Expect headers. So either have to be sure to not send them, or correctly handle now recieving a 'HTTP/1.0 417 Expectation failed' response instead of the 100 Continue. Q T C 22:22, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Thehelpfulbot - Deleting Broken Redirects Task (Admin bot) BRFA

Hi all,

I have put a request in at Bot Requests for Approval for my bot, Thehelpfulbot to be able to use pywikipedia's Python script of to delete broken redirects. pywikipedia has been extensively tested and the bot has already been speedily approved for using the same script, but fixing double redirects. As far as I can tell, no other bot is running this task, as User:RedirectCleanupBot is no longer in use as WJBscribe left Wikipedia. This bot will require the admin flag to run this task, which is why I am posting on this board - to let you know about the bot.

If you wish to comment, please do so at Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Thehelpfulbot 5.


The Helpful One 20:45, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Thehelpfulbot - Deleting Local Images that are also on Commons Task (Admin bot) BRFA

Hi again all,

Thehelpfulbot now has another request, using pywikipedia's Python script to delete local images that are also on Commons. You can have a look at the code if you wish, by seeing the pywikipedia library here.

This task will also require the admin flag to run, which is why I am posting on this board again, to let you know about the second admin bot task.

If you wish to comment, please do so at Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Thehelpfulbot 6.


The Helpful One 20:45, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Note: This task has now been withdrawn. The Helpful One 22:11, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Notice re: proposal to give BAG the ability to (de)flag bots

Just a quick notice to inform you that I have posted a proposal at the Proposals Village Pump regarding giving BAG the bot-flagging right. Comments, questions, trouts, etc welcome there! Richard0612 11:11, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Erik9bot's editing speed

Could another bot operator voice an opinion here please?--Rockfang (talk) 16:41, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

New BAG member

Just to let everyone know that my BAG nomination was successful one - so yes, I am now a member of the BAG! Thanks to everyone who showed their support, I hope to now show that your trust was correctly placed. However, in the unlikely event that I do get something wrong - however small - I hope you all will put me right ASAP ;) - Jarry1250 (t, c) 20:31, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Good Good :) Now get to work! :P --·Add§hore· Talk To Me! 20:32, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Intricate templates

A template on this page (the header I think) is putting this page into the Intricate Templates category. Is there a way to fix this seeing as how this page itself isn't a template? :) Rockfang (talk) 20:41, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Fixed. §hepTalk 20:55, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Bot categories: Grand plan

In my opinion, Category: Wikipedia bots could do with some substantial re-organisation. Rather than doing it all bit-by-bit, I think it might be best to start with an adventurous design, which then gets modified until consensus is reached. To reiterate, feasibility was not considered when drawing up this design. At the moment, we have this:

I would propose a system more like this:

I know there are bots which rely on these categories, so it would be good to get everyone's view on this. Another obstacle may lie with the {{Bot}} template, which is compulsory for all bots, because it adds all bots to "Wikipedia bots". With some tweaking, however, it too could become a useful tool in the categorisation process - simply asking for a status and a purpose would help enormously. Also, that reminds me - if this were to be implemented, we'd need to work out what to do with bots with many different tasks (when it came down to "purpose") - multiple progress categories per bot, perhaps? Anyhow, let's see how far we can get.

- Jarry1250 (t, c) 20:18, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Sounds good to me, it is a effing mess. As for multitasking bots, just slap 'em into each relavent category seems perfectly logical to me. Q T C 23:29, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Looks good to me (categories are long overdue an overhaul), although I would rename 'Failed Wikipedia bot requests for approval' to 'Denied Wikipedia bot requests for approval', as the template is {{BotDenied}}, and the requests are listed on the main BRFA page under 'Denied', not 'Failed'. Richard0612 23:53, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
I've changed it - the more logical, the better, IMHO. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 09:24, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Doesnt trouble my brain. You have my support ! -- Tinu Cherian - 09:42, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I've add "Unapproved" as a sub- of "by status", for bots which have not been approved for any task. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 13:07, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

If anyone has any worries/criticisms - however minor - please shout; I'm about to contact some experts on category naming to check the exact wording of the categories and to see how we can move this along. (I'm sorry, that's just my way - I hate doing nothing when something can be done.) - Jarry1250 (t, c) 14:40, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

This standardization looks great to me. Perhaps a group CFD to get more input from those who don't watch teh BON? –xeno (talk) 14:44, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree - CfD is probably a good place to root out any problems so yes, I think I'll file one later today. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 14:50, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
n.b. I've made some tweaks to the grand plan (not major, just wording issues).
CfD filed here, links back to this discussion. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 15:59, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
CFD has closed, generally supporting your idea. A few other thoughts/ideas were brought up that you may wish to consider. --Kbdank71 14:19, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
I've removed the purpose categories and renamed perlwikipedia in line with the CfD discussion. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 18:59, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
Please keep / instate / reinstate the purpose categories. As far as users looking for bots are concerned, it would be so incredibly useful!.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 17:54, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
Take a look at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2009 February 20#Category:Wikipedia bots for some rationale as to why they really wouldn't be that useful and why the current list approach is probably better. -- JLaTondre (talk) 18:11, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
I've read this and this is why I'm here. These categories are good, at least from the POV of someone who routinely looks for and requests bot work. The only way I'd find the deletion of these categories justified, is if an equivalent listing of bots by purpose would be linked from BOTREQ, and even there it wouldn't hurt to have the cats. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 00:33, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
The listing of bots is already linked from BOTREQ & has been from ages. It's called out in the open paragraph. But I don't object if they're kept. I don't think they are going to turn out to be that helpful (especially with non-active bots included), but each to there own. Since it's not creating work for others, I don't care if people want to spend their own time of it. -- JLaTondre (talk) 21:10, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Hrm, I don't think we should delete the by-purpose categories without some further input (perhaps another CFD). Deleting them based on subthread between 2-3 people in a multi-CFD discussion doesn't strike me as a particularly good idea. Lists and categories don't have to be mutually exclusive. –xeno (talk) 18:16, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
Just so you know, I won't be touching the "by purpose" categories for a while, at least. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 18:45, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Something that does need doing is generating a list of templates that categorize into these templates so if this ever passes they can be updated. Q T C 05:08, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Template that will need changing

I'll check out the rest when I get the chance. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 07:50, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Would {{AWB bot}} need to be on this list? §hepTalk 16:41, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, so I've added it. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 22:25, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
With regard to the AWB bot template above, would it be a good idea to add 'Wikipedia bots using AutoWikiBrowser', as I'm sure it would be well populated? Richard0612 20:03, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
I think probably yes (no need to bother CfD with that though, as it's a new category). - Jarry1250 (t, c) 20:07, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
I've started an overhaul of {{bot}}, including a status (active/inactive) parameter and integrating the AWB bot template as an option, to fit in with the category restructuring. An in-situ example showing all the parameters can be seen here Comments, improvements? Richard0612 22:36, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Which of my 7 actively running approved BRFAs (or the additional 2 that can be run on demand) should I use for the brfa parameter? ;) Other than that, it looks ok to me. Anomie 02:34, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
It would have to be the first BRFA (AnomieBot) i.e. without the task number. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 13:26, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
I intended the brfa parameter to be used to show that the bot is actually approved, and provide an easy way of checking. However, it would be easy to add a 'more tasks' parameter if people wanted it. Richard0612 17:58, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Wikimedia server change

Recently, a change to the Wikimedia servers has caused many bots to break. To fix it, you have to tell your bot not to expect a 100 continue code.

In PHP: curl_setopt($this->ch, CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER, array( 'Expect:' ) );

In VB.NET: ServicePointManager.Expect100Continue = False

Xclamation point 17:00, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Also see Squid changes, above. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 17:37, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Grand plan in action

I've started doing the most obvious changes to the category system. Apologies for any short-term inconvenience caused. Willing helpers (especially admins for the templates) are of course welcome to help. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 17:43, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

I am now Doing... some of this task with my bot. The Helpful One 21:29, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
I humbly recommend that an admin change the {{bot}} template to something like my design here when the names for the 'active/inactive' categories have been finalised. Feel free to simply integrate the code, no need to merge histories or anything messy! Richard0612 23:07, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done BJTalk 03:39, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
{{Bot}} has an extra }. See User:ShepBot. (Change neeed) §hepTalk 04:12, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Good work all so far. Might we split the status parameter into three rather than two: active, inactive and unapproved, so the latter two can be distinguished? Not too much of a jump, I think. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 08:50, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
And while I'm in the right mindset, might we make the default "holding category" for all bots "Wikipedia bots by name" perhaps? - Jarry1250 (t, c) 09:08, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
I've updated my sandbox template to add in the 'unapproved' parameter. As for a holding category, wouldn't it be more logical to simply put them in the top level category, and then periodically have someone categorise them appropriately? Richard0612 20:14, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, I was drawing comparisons with the people categories. Are all biographies thrown into the top level category and then reclassified from there? No, they're either categorised or not - but as a compromise, and for the ability to easily get a list of all bots, I thought a by name category my be a good idea. Feel free to disagree though. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 20:21, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
No, you're right about things not being piled into the top level category. 'Wikipedia bots by name' would fit, now I think about it more. Richard0612 20:56, 27 February 2009 (UTC)


I'm sure I remember reading that commented out interwikis aren't re-added. Is this correct? Rich Farmbrough, 20:20 7 September 2008 (GMT).

Archive bot doesn't like your stupid timestamp ST47 (talk) 02:12, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

anyone have a contact for Cobi (owner of ClueBot)

Resolved: This has been offline for a good while, actually. — neuro(talk) 06:32, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

If someone has an off-wiki contact with Cobi, can you inform him that Cluebot's False Positive reporting page is off-line (and seems to have been offline, at least periodically, since last November). Not urgent, but worth noting. I'll leave a note on his talk page as well, but I assume if he'd been on-wiki he'd have noticed this already. --Ludwigs2 06:43, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

He knows about this already --Chris 06:46, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
ok, cool. Face-smile.svg --Ludwigs2 06:59, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Grand plan: Further proposals

While I have been trying to broadly use the comments interested parties have left over the past fortnight be be as bold as I can, there are a couple of outstanding proposals that will need some thought.

  1. Purpose categories: a hotly debated topic. Should we have them? Does anyone use them? How do we make them better filled?
  2. Unapproved in relation to {{Bot}}. After much messing around this morning, I managed to implement an "unapproved" status category, but it doesn't have any members yet. Anyhow, if you look at the doc for the template, you will see that the text that accompanies the unapproved message doesn't really reflect the fact that the bot shouldn't be making any edits at all. Can someone knowledgeable have a go at fixing that?
  3. Filling categories: So now we've got good parameters and categories, we need to make sure everybody uses them. Hopefully, this won't be too hard for bot operators around now, but we'll need to make the edits ourselves where there are bots that cam and went during 2005, or whatever. I propose the creation of bots to be that helping hand. However, what do you do when users have already manually added themselves to a contradictory cateogry? Filling methods might include:
    1. Wikipedia:Bots/Status - either:
      1. Fill just "inactive" (by adding the relevant parameter to {{Bot}}) from the "inactive" and "discontinued" sections. Should be reliable.
      2. Fill "active" as well. (Plus checks? See subpoint below.)
    2. Wikipedia:Registered bots - can anything be salvaged?
    3. Run through the "active" category checking for bots who have not made contributions in X months, then move them to "inactive".
  4. Improve status page - why don't we have a bot make automated edits to the page, filling in missing details (owner would be an obvious one), and making sure there is a listing - even without a listed purpose - for every newly approved bot? Your thoughts, please.

That's quite a long list, I know, but it demonstrates the possibilities that are starting to open up.

- Jarry1250 (t, c) 11:02, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

I've made an editprotected request pertaining to #2. As for bots to fill in the categories, I would go with having a bot run through all instances of {{bot}} and do the following (just a start, feel free to disagree):
  • Bot hasn't edited in the last 6 months > inactive
    • Otherwise > active
  • Bot is listed on the AWB checkpage > add AWB parameter. Richard0612 11:38, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Cross posted from Bot Policy Noticeboard

Problem bot (CSDWarnBot)

Moved from WP:AN.xeno (talk) 17:17, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

One particular user, ST47, has a bot that has received several complaints about how it conducts speedy-delete warnings to page authors. For example, I placed a speedy delete on an article that had a clearly mis-spelled title: the newly created Zhao'an Country vs Zhao'an County the correctly spelled name where an article already existed.

After placing a speedy delete tag on the article, I went to the author's talk page (User talk:Isatcn) to notify him of the discrepancy and to request him to place a {{db-author}} tag in the article to avoid any confusion on why the article was tagged for speedy. Before I could finish typing my message, CSDWarnBot placed one of its own in his talk page. The user continued to edit the existing article, and attempted to place a {{hangon}} tag. This was likely because he failed to see my short, succinct message because due to the larger message by CSDWarnBot with all the bells and whistles (image graphic, bolding, 2 paragraphs, etc.) See here.

One administrator failed to see what the problem with the article was (not realizing the typo problem with the title) and left the article in tact, even fixing the malformed {{hangon}}.

I eventually left another message on the talk page of the article. The author finally realized what he had done and placed the appropriate {{db-author}} tag. However, a process that should have taken me less than 5 minutes ended up taking me 4-5 times that long.

I also filed a complaint on the ST47's talk page here. It was then that I learned there have been several other complaints about the very same behavior over the last few months, as well as other disruptive/problematic actions by the bot (see User_talk:CSDWarnBot). While I understand that bots can serve a beneficial purpose, the usefulness of a bot is negated by the extra effort and confusing communication to authors of pages who are tagged for speedy delete, many of whom are new users. ++Arx Fortis (talk) 18:18, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

In this particular case, just redirect them. I agree, the bot-message is way too large and obnoxious and should be refactored to use fifty words or fewer. Anything that needing further explanation can be found by following some of the links. I don't think the lightning-fast reflexes do the bot much good as in most cases the page will be deleted by the time anyone reads the message. — CharlotteWebb 18:42, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
I do like the speed--otherwise, one never knows if the bot is working at all. I too have run into problems with conflicts, but this is etter than it going too slowly. Asfor the length of the warning, yes, it definitely needs to be shortened. DGG (talk) 23:32, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Well if the bot's reflexes are so instant as to infallibly cause an edit conflict for the user who would otherwise be leaving a similar, less patronizing message (and indeed, a visual conflict for the person expected to read all that crap) one could argue that it's doing more harm than good. — CharlotteWebb 02:36, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Have you considered opting out of the bot's assistance? –xeno (talk) 17:22, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand. How does me opting out prevent the bot from placing the "notice" on someone else's talk page? ++Arx Fortis (talk) 18:04, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Aren't you be able to optout of having the bot notify users for articles you've nommed? –xeno (talk) 18:14, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Stealth mode, you mean? That might be abusable, to the extent that somebody might be relying on the bot to tell them an article of theirs is going to be deleted (don't know how many or few this might apply to). — CharlotteWebb 18:38, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
From the bot's user page "To opt-out, add <!--User:CSDWarnBot--> to your talk page.". BJTalk 18:41, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
I understand that would prevent you from receiving notices, not prevent others from receiving notices about your actions. — CharlotteWebb 18:46, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Some clarification on this would be necessary. Some users might not want the bot to warn on their behalf and might make long, hand-written notices to the users whose articles they nom and in the meantime the bot templates the target. –xeno (talk) 18:52, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Whoops, that's what I get for skimming. BJTalk 18:58, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure what the next steps should be now. In my opinion, a bot that interferes in the useful, correct, good-faith efforts of users is unacceptable. The activity of the bot is, for all intents and purposes, no different than someone doing the same thing manually: seeing a tag on an article and butting ahead of the user who placed the tag to essetially spam article's author. If the bot runs periodically, it should have a built-in grace period of 15 mins to allow users to type their own explanations. There is no reason for a speedy to have an immediate follow up. The combination of a user tagging + an admin should be safety enough to ensure the article indeed meets WP:CSP. In the unlikely event a "rogue admin" starts speedily deleting articles that shoudn't be, there are other ways to deal with that. ++Arx Fortis (talk) 06:09, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Been following this discussion with interest, thanks all for your opinions, I agree with everything Fortis said, and that a 15 minute grace period is a good idea, if possible. I do wish ST47 would give an opinion. SpitfireTally-ho! 12:04, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
"There is no reason for a speedy to have an immediate follow up" - well there is. Speedies, when I used to patrol them, rarely lasted more than a few minutes - often I would spend time ascertaining that an article should not be speedied, to find that it already had. Therefore unless an immediate notificationis made there wil be no time for a "hangon". Rich Farmbrough, 13:10 3 March 2009 (UTC).
I would agree with this, I think immediate notification is necessary as speedies rarely last more than 5 minutes. -Djsasso (talk) 15:02, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Which, I would argue, is as it should be. The vast majority of articles that are speedied should be speedied. Further, an impersonal, unspecific notification can prove more confusing and less constructive to a good-faith author than a specific one provided by the CSD nominator (as is evidenced in my example). In my limited experience, most of the good-faith attempts at articles that meet WP:CSD are articles written by novice users. A canned speedy notification from a bot is of limited use to them and (also as evidenced in my example) creates confusion. A user with a good-faith effort who receives a specific, detailed notice about an article is less likely to create the same article again, thus abating frustration and a {{db-repost}} or two. ++Arx Fortis (talk) 02:28, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I've run into this as well. When using Twinkle, very rarely I tag a CSD and uncheck the "notify user" box. Then I go to the user's page only to discover they've got the giant CSD bot message already. I usually only do this if they've repeatedly recreated the exact same article, or if there is a situation where the standard tempates don't really apply. If an editor specifically does not wish to leave one of the "normal" CSD messages, I don't think an automated process should be contradicting them. Beeblebrox (talk) 17:18, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
    • I agree with Beeblebrox, for example, if a user wishes to post a uw-create4 warning then the bot is contradicting this, and even if they delete the bot message and replace it with their own, it will leave the user receiving the message confused, as well as making the bots edits redundant, cheers SpitfireTally-ho! 18:38, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
      • ST47 made a comment on their talk page, I asked that further comments be left here, so if you have any opinion on what they said, please leave them below, cheers SpitfireTally-ho! 05:23, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
I will continue to place my comments here, where they belong, in this proper forum. I must say I find ST47's attitude about this entire thing very disconcerting. He actually expects the affected users to fix the bot themselves.
This is not an isolated incident. He apparently hasn't been reading his own talk page. There are several different users complaining about the very same issue at different times: here, here, here, here plus the two separate complaints here (Spitfire's and mine). It doesn't matter how often the bot runs. If there is no grace-period programmed into the bot, there will always be the potential that the bot will run at the same time someone is in the process of working on a CSD tag.
Given ST47's clear belligerence in this matter, I would like to make a formal request that BOT Policy be enforced, to wit: "Administrators may block bot accounts that operate without approval, operate in a manner not specified in their approval request, or operate counter to the terms of their approval (for example, by editing too quickly). (WP:BOT#Dealing_with_issues) ++Arx Fortis (talk) 15:27, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Wow, that is one nasty attitude. So, his position seems to be that he won't comment here, because it is an "idiotic notice board" and he won't fix it or even think about it because we are all "people who do stupid things." I'm sorry he feels that way, but given his stunning refusal to even discuss this with affected users, I have to agree, shut it down pending fixes to these problems. We shouldn't have automated processes being run by users who think anyone that has a problem with them are "stupid." Beeblebrox (talk) 17:37, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Quoted bot policy refers to violations of edit rate restrictions. I see no issue with the bot's placement of warnings on its runs, which occur only every 15 minutes. If you disagree, then fix it yourself, such is the wiki model. ST47 (talk) 17:44, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I think perhaps we need comment from another BAG member due to the circularity of this; CSDWarnBot was approved as a clone of another bot, which ST47 themself approved. The lack of an opt-out ability or true delay for users who wish to leave their own warnings is sub-optimal. –xeno (talk) 17:57, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) I edit articles and don't know a damn thing about programming a bot. You don't see an issue, even though numerous users have pointed it out. Frankly, I don't think this bot really accomplishes very much, as most CSD taggers do leave talk page messages via Twinkle or manually, and it is obviously upsetting users who are trying to leave their own messages. As I said before, there are some instances where a message of this type is inappropriate, and your bot is contradicting the wishes of human editors. Bots are supposed to assist editors, not hinder them and create more work. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:02, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
ST47...I'm not sure what your issue is, but perhaps you simply want people to kowtow to you. OK. Here it goes....
I do not know how to fix the bot.
I don't know how to edit a bot.
If I did, I would fix it myself - but I don't.
I bow to your mental superiority and technical prowess.
I am a lowly edit-by-hand, non-script-jockey editor.
I am but one of the peons - barely worthy of contributing to Wikipedia in your eyes. will you please fix the bot?
What you are failing to see is that it does not matter how often the bot runs. Whether it's every 15 minutes or every 30, there will always be potential that the bot will step on users who are in the process of working a CSD tag so long as there is not a grace period written. This is counter-productive. Example: A user places a CSD tag in an article at 2:59 and then goes to the author's page to comment. At 3:00, CSDWarnBot places its own canned warning. Effectively usurping the efforts of the live, human editor. This is editing too quickly - period. ++Arx Fortis (talk) 18:08, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
No. You see, the issue isn't that I'm an evil malicious bot overlord. The issue is that I really just don't feel like it. I suppose if there are any botops around who agree with you, then someone will get around to writing a patch. After all, surely all the bot ops are reading this, since I'm now being forced to communicate on this pointless noticeboard. (If you need anything further from me, let me know on my talk page, I'm not watchlisting this.) ST47 (talk) 19:09, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

ST47, can you stop being so awkward, this is the place to resolve this, not your talkpage, as for you refusing to fix your bot, in light of that I have to agree with others that the bot should just be blocked intill such a time as you are ready to fix it (or someone else), to be honest, I really couldn't care less if you end up not seeing this because you couldn't be bothered to watchlist this page, thanks SpitfireTally-ho! 19:22, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

  • I stumbled upon this discussion when responding to a different thread (regarding another bot-related problem) on ST47's talk page (in which ST47 just referred to me as "whiny," "stalker-esque," "petty" and "irritating"), and I'm stunned by ST47's attitude. "I really just don't feel like it" is not a valid rationale for refusing to alter behavior deemed disruptive by the community, regardless of whether the edits in question are performed manually or via a bot.

    So yes, shut down the bot until ST47 agrees to fix it.

    Incidentally, while I lack the coding ability to implement such an idea, I suspect that the simplest solution would be for the bot to run once every ten minutes and post talk page messages pertaining to deletion warnings discovered during the previous run. That would ensure a delay of 10–20 minutes (instead of the current range of 0–15 minutes). —David Levy 21:33, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

    • That would make sense to me as well, but would require me to save the last run's contents on wiki somewhere. We all know how much trouble a single on-wiki data file can cause. ST47 (talk) 21:37, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
      • Not when properly labeled and maintained. —David Levy 21:43, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
      • It isn't necessary to save the list on the wiki. A file in the computer where the 'bot runs is quite adequate to the task of remembering what warnings to issue in a subsequent run. The 'bot already stores state information in a file on the computer where it runs. It saves a list of the pages that it has already issued a warning about. Having it use another such file is not exactly an insurmountable hurdle. Uncle G (talk) 00:31, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
  • So...let me get this straight. the issue here is that the bot places warnings on user talk pages too quickly? Or is it that the warnings are garish? I can't really be sure from the discussion above. Protonk (talk) 04:09, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
    • The problem is that the bot is placing impersonal, non-specific warnings quickly, and by doing so, is preempting human users who would place personal, specific warnings. The warnings are also ugly, but that's beside the point. --Carnildo (talk) 04:29, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
      • Then isn't the solution to just delete the warnings and add your personal warning? I'm not sure how this is a bot problem then. I'm not trying to be obtuse, just trying to see the issue. Protonk (talk) 05:12, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
        • The bot runs on a cronjob every X minutes (15, I think). If the tagging occurred close to the last run there is plenty of time, but if the tagging happens right before a run, because the bot doesn't store its state or have a basic time check (both are really easy and involves no on wiki database) it will clobber users and possibly even scripts by firing off the warning before they even get a chance. This is a really simple fix, the check I used in the old NotifyBot was one line of code. It would take any competent programmer far less time to fix this than it took discussing it so far. BJTalk 05:26, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
        • (via edit conflict) Protonk: The problem with that is the bot is then redundant, and the user recieving the messages will be left confused. SpitfireTally-ho! 05:28, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
          • I see how this can be interpreted as a technical problem with the bot, but I think the redundancy issue is overblown. It is only redundant in cases where a user warns the page author, not in cases where no personalized warning is issued. Protonk (talk) 05:57, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
            • There have also been comments that the bots message is patronising. Anyway, it should be a simple fix, can't understand why ST47 is being so stubborn about not fixing it, he's even admited that it might be a good idea if someone fixed it, just not him/her self, which is blatently showing that they are incapable of owning this bot, as Bjweeks said here. Also I see that ST47 has told both me and David Levy (David was making a comment about a different bot) "not to edit my talkpage again" because we "fustrate and annoy", not the most sensible way ST47 should set about resolving issues. SpitfireTally-ho! 06:19, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Being bold and blocking the bot until this is sorted out. "I really don't feel like bothering to go figure out how to do it again" is not a very helpful attitude. If ST47 can't be bothered fixing it now, we'll wait until he can (or until one of you computer buffs does). yandman 08:33, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Thanks Yandman SpitfireTally-ho! 11:32, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Pillar – a new PHP bot framework

When I submitted a BRFA last week, Anomie looked over my code and made a good number of helpful suggestions that I implemented before the code went live. It then set me off on a code-writing spree and I have written a new PHP bot framework from scratch. I think the code is clearer and easier to use than most of the others that are currently available, and I have made an effort to document the code in phpdoc format.

Obviously it is not finished yet and doubtless there is significant functionality that could be added. If you want to contribute to it or give me ideas that I could implement, I'd be delighted.

The Google code site is

Generated code documentation (along with highlighted and cross-referenced code) is available at

I have converted my cricket bot (BRFA) to this code: the converted version (20% smaller than the original!) is available at

Comments/flames/trouts welcomed!

[[Sam Korn]] (smoddy) 22:17, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

I've added your subversion repository to the #wikipedia-bag cia monitoring bot, any commits will now be broadcast in that channel. ST47 (talk) 22:31, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
I've added an email and diff functionality. I also noticed that it may need some testing, as I found some remmnants of the delete function in the block funtion ;) Xclamation point 07:48, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Good to see development in this area. I was about to prod you to add your framework to the table, but I see you've already done so ;) Still, my advice would be to (beg, borrow and) steal from the other frameworks, until you've got everything just right! I still think we should really try and merge all the frameworks so only one is presented to new propective bot owners (obviously not existing ones). Maybe yours could try to finally achieve this? It looks great so far. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 17:57, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
I managed not to even recognise it was in your userspace until after I'd edited! (I was pointed to the page that transcludes it.) Merging code from other frameworks is a good idea, although I might leave reading the ClueBot source to someone else... If you would like Subversion access, let me know and I'll add you to the project. [[Sam Korn]] (smoddy) 23:11, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Broken section links

I have raised the possibility of a bot which scans database dumps looking for blue links to absent sections in actual articles, e.g. George W. Bush#Olympic medals. I was advised to advertise it here and in WP:Bot requests#Broken section links, but please add any comments to the main discussion at WP:Village pump (proposals)#Broken section links. Certes (talk) 20:11, 8 March 2009 (UTC)


Xqbot removes links when xqbot shouldn't...

It looks like I'm not the only one:

Please stop xqbot FengRail (talk) 00:55, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Regarding the City-Bahn example, it seems the bot operated correctly: it removed an interwiki link to a dab page. You later added an interwiki link to the correct page. It does not appear that anything need be done here. Anomie 01:45, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
ok I get it now, I'll give bot another chance.
Thanks. (seemed wrong at the time)
FengRail (talk) 22:41, 9 March 2009 (UTC)


OK, this needs to be shutdown. First, there is not consensus on what constitutes an orphan at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Orphanage. Secondly, Wikipedia:Orphan is not a policy nor a guideline. Thus it seems to fail the requirements for a bot. Along those lines, since there is not a policy/guideline, it should be up to human editors to decide if one, two, three, four incoming links are enough. But no, if you remove with only two the bot re-adds the tag. Aboutmovies (talk) 20:22, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

The bot really shouldn't be adding the template to any article with a single incoming link. BJTalk 21:02, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure I read / was told that it wasn't... Still, Pulpit Rock does seem to show that the bot was in error somewhere along the line, though I hope Addshore will find it's with the counting, not the definition. Just a reminder to the third-party-reader that the requirements for a bot are as such (Operators should make sure that the bot):
  • is harmless
  • is useful
  • does not consume resources unnecessarily
  • performs only tasks for which there is consensus
  • carefully adheres to relevant policies and guidelines
  • uses informative messages, appropriately worded, in any edit summaries or messages left for users
Now without wanting to wade full-scale in on this debate, I think we can agree that 1, 3, 5 and 6 are not up for debate. That would leave 2 ("is useful") and 4 ("has consensus"). Personally, I believe there is consensus for adding the tag, and tagging is useful for the purposes of finding of articles that could require the creation of more inbound links, but that's just my humble opinion. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 21:15, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
I disagree there is consensus, see the talk page linked to above. This applies to both adding the template (also as to the location/format of said template), but also on what is an orphan. If you have no defined and accepted definition, the bot would be allowed to add the tag to any article. Which ties it to the lack of adherence to policy/guidelines. Here I believe the relevant guideline/policy would be Wikipedia:Orphan, but this is neither a policy or guideline, thus the problem related to consensus. Until this is defined and the location determined (and a "the bot will not re-tag only a human can" type of commitment) the bot needs to be shutdown on this task. Once those issues are addressed, I personally have no problem with the purpose of this bot, its purely in the execution. Aboutmovies (talk) 21:26, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
In my mind I see absolutely no debate. When dealing with bots very little should be subjective, as "counting links" would be. Being orphaned is boolean status, the article either is or isn't. BJTalk 21:31, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
(Possible COI note: I gave final approval for this task) The bot should, according to the terms of its approval, only be adding the orphan template to pages with no incoming links (disambiguation pages are excluded from this count, although I'm sure this could be altered if necessary). As this task is proving to be somewhat controversial, I think that it would be a good idea if the bot were not to re-tag articles unless a set period of time has passed E.g. if the tag was removed more than 2 months ago, and the article is currently defined as an orphan (i.e. no incoming links from actual articles) re tag the article. Just a thought. Richard0612 21:35, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
It did the same thing at Fred McNair (American football), an editor added two incoming links (after two go-arounds), and the bot still re-added the tag. Aboutmovies (talk) 22:05, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Looks like a bug and the bot isn't currently running. Report it to the operator. BJTalk 22:20, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Per the bullet points, above, where was consensus for Addbot's addition of 114k orphan tags established? Because everywhere I've looked, I've found no consensus about the posting or orphan. --Tagishsimon (talk) 20:16, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Just a quick note before I go as I have just seen this section. The lists that the bot uses have not been refereshed for a few days now due to changes on the tool server. the scripts that create the lists now seem to cause lag and be killed before completing and updating the lists therefor the bot was running on out of date lists. As soon as I noticed this I stopped the bot from editing, This will explain the adition of some tags incorrectly. When the lists are back up and running the bot will be able to remove all of the tags that were added incorrectly and continue adding other tags correctly.
In my opinion the bot is useful and the tags are useful. The add the categorys to the pages and the maintence tags are generally the accepted way to use these categorys. The bot is harmless, it is not deleting articles and has no real risks. It does not consume many resources at all and it works withing the policies. The tags used are informative {{tl:Orphan}}. If people still want more consensus then I will be happy to take the bots task to WP:RFC I am just lacking time to start it currently. Maybe using the village pump would be quicker.
Sorry if there are a mass of typos in this message but I am typing in the dark sitting on the floor with a lapptop on a chair. --·Add§hore· Talk To Me! 21:45, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
If you propose to continue adding them to the article ages not the talk pages., I wish you would take it to an RFC, to get some wider attention. This has been discussed for short periods at scattered places, without any decision, & it would be good to have it resolved. If you want to switch to the talk pages, I dont think any would object. DGG (talk) 23:17, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Be it noted I expressed my concern about this here, User_talk:Addshore/Archive_18#Orphan_tag_and_bot]. Bots shouldn't be using their automated power to uglify wikipedia. The ugly and distracting presence for the reader (who doesn't give a toss if no other wiki article connects to it) does not make up for the apparent usefulness to the editor, not to mention the fact that articles can theoretically be classified without big ugly tags. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 00:45, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Addbot has been stopped until the toolserver report is fixed, so the discussion here has served its purpose.
If you want to argue over whether and where {{orphan}} should be used, take it to WP:VPR or WP:RFC and see if consensus exists to change the orphan tagging guidelines. Until then, Addbot may continue as approved at Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Addbot 16. Anomie 02:47, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
No, I don't think so. Addbot should hold off doing things he knows others oppose. The approval on Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Addbot 16 is pretty non-credible, and Addbot should seek actual community consensus for these activities. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 11:22, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
As I have already said I am happy to take the bot to RFC but I am currently quite busy, For the time I will just disable the bot, it would not be able to be re enabled until the tool server reports are fixed anyway. ·Add§hore· Talk To Me! 17:01, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
You'll refrain from automating these edits until an RfC approves then? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 17:05, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
In fact, please post the community consensus for uglifying article space for over 100,000 Wikiepdia articles or remove the tags. Where is the initial community consensus for adding these tags to article space? It's a simple question. Bots are required to have community consensus for their work, BAG approved this bot for this work, therefore, the community consensus exists. --KP Botany (talk) 08:51, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Deacon yes the bot will not automaticly add any orphan tags until I have an RFC completed, I dont have a desire to tag, I just personaly think it is a good idea and is helpfull. The tags are used that is how they are used, If I were to go through the lists by hand and add all of these tags to all of these articles people would probably sill be complaining. I dont think it is the bot people dont like.
KP why would I remove 100,000 tags that are correctly added? The tag I presume has consensus otherwise we also need an rfc for the tag, then do any of the maintenance tags have consensus they can link to? The BAG request was open for anyone to come and comment on, that is the point of the request. ·Add§hore· Talk To Me! 08:57, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, you wouldn't because community consensus doesn't mean a thing to what your bot does. In addition, I remind you that you think your bot does tasks randomly and that programs that produce random results are not only possible, but par for the course for Wikipedia. You should, however, remove them because they were added without community consensus which you are still not seeking. Please be sure to notify me when you decide to get community consensus for spamming 100,000 articles. --KP Botany (talk) 01:52, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
I will block anybody that starts reverting the bot. Removing validly placed templates because there was no consensus to place them is cutting off the nose to spite the face. Get consensus to change how the template is used universally or leave the them alone. BJTalk 03:03, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Too late, the bot has already been reverted long before your threat, and reverted back, and the reversion of the bot deleting entire articles was also reverted. Provide the link to the consensus for the bot's doing this in the first place, so I can alert all of those community members that they are being threatened with a block. Oh, wait, AddShore has put the bot on hold until he gains community consensus. --KP Botany (talk) 03:07, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
I must have missed 100k taggings, revisions and retaggings... BJTalk 03:21, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
My bad. I missed the part above where you say you're going to block editors for 100,000 taggings. So, I'll just go about my business since it doesn't apply to me, and you're not linking to who it applies to. --KP Botany (talk) 04:24, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Is your total intent just to cause disruption? §hepTalk 04:26, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
If I were solely being disruptive I would have started out disagreeing with everything AddBot did. Which seems to be what BAG wants. But I didn't, I supported the use of AddBot, disagreed with its use in a specific instance, and am being attacked for it on multiple fronts by BAG members for not going instantly and quietly away. --KP Botany (talk) 05:03, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
I'd call starting mutliple threads in different parts of Wikipedia about the same thing disruptive, policy calls that canvassing, I call it semi-forum shopping, but whatever. §hepTalk 05:08, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
You're suggesting that the tagging be removed en masse, my threat stands against anybody who seeks to do that. BJTalk 04:53, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
You're not making sense. I can't delete 100,000 tags, and I don't suppose anyone else can. It would have to be a bot automated task, which would have to gain community consensus--although the community consensus for adding the tags has yet to be gained. You're going to block editors for participating in the RfC about this issue? I cannot even follow you. --KP Botany (talk) 05:03, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Bots take consensus? Heh. BJTalk 05:11, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
There'll be no blocking, BJ. Anyone who wishes to remove this tag is entitled to do so, per WP:BRD. Bots are supposed to be only for things that are so uncontroversial this could not happen. The approval of this task brings the bot-task approval process into minor disrepute, vested participants in the process blocking for this would be a disgrace. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 16:18, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
This is the Bot owners' noticeboard, amazingly I'm talking about bots here... (or really bored users with rollback) and yes, I will block them. BJTalk 17:08, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Another bot owner was pulled up recently for tagging articles. Several editors reverted the bot until its operator did this himself. In practice, you are free to use your block button to block anyone you like. If you carry out your threat here on someone for reverting a bot, it is unlikely to stick (I for instance would likely unblock on request) unless it is clearly disruptive, and it will end up at another forum where your actions will be peer assessed. Any admin is quite right to block users for disruptive editing of course, but likewise if a bot is edit-warring it and its operator can be blocked too. This bot action has already come up on WP:AN and from the discussion there it appears that the use of automated tools to tag articles is not approved of. Your threat here is frankly unhelpful and provocative. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 19:20, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Until the template is deprecated removing the additions en masse is a massive waste of resources (as was the the bot in the first place, two wrongs doesn't make a right). BJTalk 20:22, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Just wondering does anyone know of a templated way I can start and RFC for this? The templates I have seen are for the people that are agaisnt the bot to create and not for the person that want to keep it. ·Add§hore· Talk To Me! 11:31, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Not sure what you mean by "template", but for starting an RfC RFC bot has a nifty tool on the toolserver. §hepTalk 03:36, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Seems to fail for me, I get "Login error:" ·Add§hore· Talk To Me! 19:24, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Marking deletions in the deletion log

Please do not insert gibberish like {{Sam1649}} into the deletion log (or any log), especially if there's a high likelihood that the general public will read the log summaries (like the deletion summaries of articles). "Robot:" is sufficiently clear for bot trials. Thanks! --MZMcBride (talk) 04:15, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

The {{Sam1649}} template is to be able to run a database query so that people can see what deletions were made on my admin account by my bot. This allows me to differentiate my edits from the bots. Note: This is only for the trial, not for the real bot edits.

Above is TheHelpfulOne's rationale (as posted on THB 5) for using Sam1649, which I am helpfully reposting here. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 07:52, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
It would make more sense to put a unique but meaningful line in, one that actually explained what the edit was. [[Sam Korn]] (smoddy) 09:45, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

AbuseFilter for enwp has been enabled.

FWIW, should probably leave AntiAbuseBot running until all the filters can be worked out. Q T C 23:37, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

We'll still need the bot anyway - AbuseFilter currently doesn't block accounts, it only prevents certain edits from happening, and has to be much more limited to prevent false positives. Hersfold (t/a/c) 04:50, 18 March 2009 (UTC)


please run on eBay with pywikipediabot thanksAmir (talk) 16:59, 18 March 2009 (UTC)


This looks very suspicious, and many of the edits appear to be corrupted, adding the surrounding boilerplate text but without the actual data. Is there an approval for this (in which case which BAG member do we need to trout?) or do we need some corrective action...? Happymelon 21:43, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Oh, that's just script-assisted I would think, like his not unsubstantial(!) article creation. I'm sure he would fix it himself if you pointed it out. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 21:47, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

A separate template for each cited source?

If you look, for example, in the article Chiton, you'll find, in the wikitext of the "General anatomy" section, a footnote that reads, in its entirety:

<ref>{{cite doi|10.1007/s12052-008-0084-1}}</ref>

That footnote uses the source information found in Template:Cite doi/10.1002.2Fhlca.200390096, a page created by User:Citation bot. That source information (to continue the example) is this:

Treves, Keren (2003). "Aragonite Formation in the Chiton (Mollusca) Girdle". Helvetica Chimica Acta 86: 1101. doi:10.1002/hlca.200390096.

Now the reader of the article will see a footnote with the expected information.

What we have here is a system where (a) the footnote in the wikitext has different information than what shows in the "References" section; (b) someone wanting to improve the footnote needs to understand that he/she has to edit the template; and (c) template space gets populated with a page whose sole purpose is to insert information into (usually, as in this case) a single article.

Here's the cite doi templates that exist so far. I'm guessing that all this is so that editors can just let User:Citation bot create a footnote by providing its doi. My first question is why Citation bot needs to do this via a template, rather than (say) simply overwriting a redlink in the article itself, or something else that doesn't add yet another layer of complexity to Wikipedia articles?

Also, I don't see (perhaps I missed it) approval for this system, in any of the following three pages. (I do see a mention of DOI bot editing cite doi pages, but not creating them.) Thus my second question: If this was approved, where was it discussed?

-- John Broughton (♫♫) 18:49, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Why is this here? Seems like questions for the bot's operator... (edit: templates seem like a bad idea... ) BJTalk 04:51, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
I've posted a note about this at User talk:Citation bot. As for why I posted here - if a bot is (apparently) doing a non-approved function, is there somewhere else that I should post about that? -- John Broughton (♫♫) 13:46, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Getting rid of the system would take substing all the templates and them deleting them all, all we can to do is block the bot and yell at the operator. WP:VP might work, or possibly WP:TFD the master template. The bot operator should respect the outcome of any debate, if they don't then we can block and yell. BJTalk 14:37, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm less concerned about what has happened than with the bot continuing as is. And rather than argue at WP:VP or WP:TFD, I prefer the position that the bot needs to stop if in fact it never got permission to do what it is doing, and then the owner needs to 'ask for approval. And if it did get approval - or even if it's only the case that this system has in fact been discussed extensively and there is consensus in favor of it, I'd like to get a pointer to such discussion so that I can read and understand it before I start arguing that it's a mistake. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 20:57, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Yuck, Get It Out Of Here. This brings back nasty echoes from the past. Happymelon 21:29, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

I saw the function as falling under the banner of 'fixing and adding citation information', for which the bot is approved. Perhaps I interpreted that too widely - if so, then after a positive consensus for the function emerges here I would be happy to open another BRfA. Approval requires community consensus first - is this the best place to gather this?
Now, I use this function a lot and find it incredibly useful, but will of course respect any consensus that emerges. A lot of my WP editing involves incorporating data from a new source, which will often span a number of pages. When this is the case, it is much simpler to have the citation information in one place. If the bot doesn't pick up all the authors on the paper, say, I only have to complete the information once. Further, if the citation needs editing down the line - say a URL to the free text becomes available - editors only have to add it once; if the source is cited on five pages, then all five will immediately display the best source information available. Another massive point in favour of the system is that it makes adding references an order of magnitude easier. As an editor who spends a lot of time adding sources to articles, I find this incredibly valuable - since I added this function to the bot I have become a lot more efficient, and the article improvement process has become more enjoyable as a result. I would be very upset if I had to go back to a more difficult process, and I think that the process of making WP a reliable source would be held up.
What are the benefits in terms of the article structure? You raise the point of confusion about editing the template. I often see editors who expect to be able to edit references by clicking the 'References' link, which is sensible. I personally find it very frustrating to have to trawl through the source code to find the template to edit - sometimes a reference can be sited dozens of times in a long article, so finding the occurrence where it is cited in full can be time consuming. I actually think it is more obvious to click an edit link beside the information that one wants to edit than it is to edit a section elsewhere in the article. However, whichever system is preferred, I think the important point is that the Cite doi template is optional. How editors choose to cite their sources - whether they use a template or plaintext, for instance - is currently a decision for editors to make on a page-to-page instance. If the editors of a page decide that one style of referencing is more appropriate, they can make their decision for themselves, one way or the other - the existence of the new template doesn't mean it has to be used universally.
There's another major advantage in this system, which is the short length of the inline citation. A perennial problem raised by editors is that in a reference-rich area of prose, it is difficult to see the text for the references when editing the page. I think this is a valid concern, and one solution is to use less text in the article body.
To address the concern about populating template space with templates which aren't used very much, there are some arguments against this. Firstly, I understand that the French (I think - maybe it was the Germans?) do something very similar with no negative consequences. Secondly, the page names used would never be used for anything else, so the existence of the templates is not competing with anything else. Thirdly, this uses a minuscule amount of resources - marginally more than editing a very long article, and the subsequent maintenance of the citations also takes less computing resources. As discussed above, human resources (which are in important supply) are used more effectively under this system. Resource use cannot be a valid concern here.
If there is a valid reason to oppose the creation of templates which aren't used very much (yet), which I don't think there is (please convince me otherwise if I'm wrong), then the logical conclusion is that the template should only be used on references which are cited in a certain number of articles (in which case it has clear advantages). This fits with the precedent of 'single-source templates' (e.g. {{Bruscabrusca}}, {{WonderfulLife}}, {{PalAss2008}} and indeed the purpose of templates. What should the minimum number of articles linking to a single-source template be, and why?
The concern relating to the footnote information not being exactly the same as that rendered in the references section applies equally to other citation templates.
Previewing the page, I've just realised that I've written a substantial amount in favour of the function - apologies for that! I think that it establishes, though, that there is a strong case that the function is useful in at least some circumstances. I think there are a lot of issues involved here, so to avoid them getting entangled I'll create sections for each one below. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 12:27, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

Does the bot approval include creation of new pages?

Reading back through the approvals, they don't match my memory of them, so I'm not going to adamantly say that it does. Consensus should be quickly reached here, and I've suspended this bot function until it is. (Users will still be able to manually request the bot act.) Martin (Smith609 – Talk)

In the absence of objection, I'll consider the existing approvals - i.e. fixing broken citations and adding missing parameters - to encompass the behaviour mentioned here and re-enable the bot. Please do continue to contribute to discussion below. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 17:11, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Is the citation of sources via templates ever a good thing?

Templates such as {{Bruscabrusca}}, {{WonderfulLife}}, and {{PalAss2008}} suggest 'yes' - see for example Category:Biology source templates. Martin (Smith609 – Talk)

Should there be a minimum number of transcludes required before a template is permitted?

This probably isn't the place to establish consensus, but this question is important. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 12:27, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

Some data

Here is some data (my attempt at a random sample, picking a dozen doi cite templates, with the only criteria for including in the sample being that a template must have been created by Citation bot). The count refers to the number of articles that link to a specific template:




I wasn't surprised that there were more cases of only a single article linking to a doi cite template than there were cases where there were two or more; I was surprised at the number of doi cite templates with no articles linking to them. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 00:02, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

The preponderance of templates with no links is due to an error with the Cite Doi template's interplay with the bot, which I have now fixed - users who used the bot to manually expand the template had been creating the pages in the wrong place (with a / instead of a .2f). I am having the pages which were created in error deleted now. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 01:14, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Should a bot be allowed to create templates for this purpose?

Assuming that single source templates are sometimes a good idea (which is discussed in the section above), there doesn't seem to be a good argument for making editors create single-source templates by hand when the process can be automated - have I missed one? Martin (Smith609 – Talk)

Formatting concerns. I don't have a problem if the bot substs the templates rather than perform a new search in order to save time, but what ends up in the article should not be templates, as the template will probably end up on multiple pages using different citation styles. With human managed templates it is different; humans will choose when it is stylistically appropriate to use that template.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 16:12, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
Two possible solutions to this problem:
  1. Editors only use the {cite doi} template when it matches the formatting style in the relevant article.
  2. (more complex, but possible)
    • The template, by default, uses the 'cite journal' format
    • Users who place the template in an article could specify if they wanted to use the 'citation' format by typing something like {cite doi|10.1000/1000|format=citation}
    • The bot, while doing its rounds, could spot pages where all other templates are in the 'citation' format and add the 'format=citation' parameter to {cite doi} where it is missing.
    • The citation parameter is passed to Template:Cite doi/10.1000/1000, and overrides its default output, so that it matches the format in every article that calls it
I prefer option 2 (although that would be more coding for me). Would either of those solutions satisfy your concern? Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 16:39, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
There are options between users doing it all by hand and using a different template for every doi. Mr.Z-man 16:17, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
My initial phrasing in this section might have been ambiguous, I've rephrased it to better express my meaning, which was - in the situations that it is a good idea to have a single source template, should a bot be allowed to help create that template? Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 16:39, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
Reply to above by Martin/Smith609: I'm not sure. I don't fully undestand why these are used in the first place. But the problem I have in mind is this. Consider the author parameter. Let's say you have two guy named John Denver Smith and Michael Bob Schnellfarts, you'd these possible desired outputs JD Smith, MB Schnellfarts, Smith, JD, Schnellfarts, MB, Smith, JD; Schnellfarts, MB, John D Smith, Michael B. Schnellfarts, John Denver Smith, Michael Bob Schnellfarts, and all dotted and linked variants (Smith, J.D., Schnellfarts, M.B.). Some articles link to publishers, others don't. Etc... This ain't so bad when the template is subst'd, as users can easily fix it withouth screwing up the 20 other pages which also references Smith and Schnellfarts. If you mean that the bot create a million templates (all lumped into a single hidden category such as "Citation templates for DOI Bot" [which can have subcats]) to simplify its job, I don't have a real problem with it, as long as they are subst'd into articles.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 00:19, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
I see. I think the way around this will be to specify a format to which all Cite Doi templates conform to (in the Cite Doi documentation). Editors should then only use the template in articles which use this formatting; the citation bot can keep the formatting consistent with this. This may mean that Cite Doi can rarely be used in featured articles, but it will continue to be useful in young and developing articles, which is where it is most commonly used at the moment. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 17:14, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Pan-lingual interwiki bots?

DSisyphBot (talk · contribs) added over 20 interwiki links to Wikipedia:Bot requests, but its operator indicates he only understands three languages. My understanding of bot policy is that ops should be able to minimally verify that language links are correct. Do we waive this requirement if the bot is running standard software like pywikipedia? Wronkiew (talk) 16:35, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Good point. My view of this would be that the policy itself should be clarified, as there are in fact few true interwiki adding bots: most simply propagate existing interwikis, so I don't see how knowing a language would really help. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 17:10, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
I believe its just bad wording, and that its a case of operators are encouraged to know the other languages. Since the advent of global bots and the like, I doubt anyone actually expects people to know each language. -Djsasso (talk) 17:23, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

I have proposed a policy change here to resolve this. Wronkiew (talk) 00:55, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

DediBox range hardblocked (

(crossposted from WP:AN)

DediBox is a cheap dedicated hosting solution operated by Proxad (France). I have hardblocked it since there are apparently some abused open proxies there. However, some bots operate from these servers and I expect some collateral. I have given IPBE to WP 1.0 bot (talk · contribs) and MystBot (talk · contribs). If an other operator complains, please give them the bit (don't forget to log it) and poke me so I can double check. -- lucasbfr talk 09:00, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Bot name

Resolved: bot was approved approved with current name
  • D6 (talk · contribs · deleted · filter log · SUL · Google) (block · soft · promo · cause · bot · hard · spam · vandal) - It is a bot but does not have the word "bot" in the name. --Anna Lincoln (talk) 12:12, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
    • Note that account was registered on 2004-06-13, while the "must" requirement was instituted on 2008-09-15, and prior to 2008-01-01 the Bot policy didn't even suggest including the word. Common sense indicates that existing bot accounts should not required to be renamed every time policy changes, and if that were the intention of that particular change it would have said so explicitly. Anomie 13:02, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
      • If this were a bot doing anything remotely controversial, one might make an argument that it should be renamed. But this hard-working bot seems to be simply adding geographic coordinates to articles, coordinates taken from other language Wikipedias, and it clearly states what it is doing in its edit summaries. Nothing to see here ... please move along ... -- John Broughton (♫♫) 00:07, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
        • Link to approval for the geocoording? It's a rather large task to IAR. §hepTalk 01:43, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
          • Might take a bit of digging to find: the bot started operating on 2004-06-13, long before the current approvals system. --Carnildo (talk) 08:09, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
            • Approved at Wikipedia_talk:Bots/Archive_3#D6 by Angela (talk · contribs), not really sure I'd call that a proper approval though by today's standards. MBisanz talk 08:18, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
              • And I wouldn't call that approval for its current task. Should we have the op go to BRFA? (talk) 02:56, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
              • You might want to ask Docu what he thinks, and ask him to do a BRFA if he wants to add more tasks to his bot. -- lucasbfr talk 14:03, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
    • I think it would be a waste of resources to rename the bot's edits to another username. The bot still operates on the same python framework and we discussed extensively the way the coordinates should be done (see WT:GEO#Coordinates_from_other_language_versions). -- User:Docu
      • But it still needs to be approved by BAG. Every other bot that has a new task does. §hepTalk 19:03, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Bot operating without formal approval for its tasks

Unresolved: Bot still operating without approval for its task (especially the WP:CHECKWIKI bit), in some cases repeating the edit when reverted by users. –xeno (talk) 19:39, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

← The bot has recently conducted a number of very minor (seemingly insignificant edits) that I believe fall afoul of current bot guidelines (concern was raised at WP:AN#User:D6). I dropped a note for Docu to comment here or there. –xeno (talk) 18:40, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Those are insignificant, at one point the bot was copying coordinates from one wiki to another, I thought that he should have to go through what everyone else does. §hepTalk 18:53, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
See User_talk:D6#Puzzling_diff. and Wikipedia:WikiProject_Check_Wikipedia#Template_with_Unicode_control_characters. -- User:Docu
OK, perhaps the edits aren't insignificant (they merely have the appearance of being so), this still doesn't mean you can set your bot to work doing any task you choose - you need to seek approval for each distinct task through WP:BRFA. –xeno (talk) 19:02, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
  • For the record, Docu has refused to seek further bot approval for the new tasks (see User_talk:D6#WP_CHECK_WP_edits:_automated_or_reviewed.3F). I'm leaving this here as an unresolved issue. In some cases the bot (or Docu manually editing as the bot) has reverted the users who disputed the checkwiki changes repeated the change (perhaps through programming error) even if reverted by users (usually the h3->h2 "checkwiki #7" edits). –xeno talk 15:16, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Can you remove your claim of edit waring. There was no such claim in this thread until you inserted it in the summary [6] -- User:Docu
Softened. I speak of these and similar situations. –xeno talk 15:42, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for removing the claim. Can you also remove the claim that the bot reverts others? The diff you provided seems to show that someoneelse used twinkle in a way he shouldn't have. -- User:Docu

Bots running unapproved tasks should not expect to be treated with the same deference as human editors, nor should they revert war with them. –xeno talk 16:48, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
I realized these reverts could be because a lack of detection for these cases. Still, BRFA is a best practice that helps identify instances where the bot should not perform edits. –xeno talk 22:22, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

AWB operating mass edits (no general fixes)

Xenocidic (talk · contribs · deleted · filter log · SUL · Google) (block · soft · promo · cause · bot · hard · spam · vandal)

an account that redirects to

Xeno (talk · contribs · deleted · filter log · SUL · Google) (block · soft · promo · cause · bot · hard · spam · vandal)

processed a large number edits to remove attribution notices from a large number of articles (contribution details). Is there a consensus for such a change or was there a task approval? -- User:Docu —Preceding undated comment added 15:35, 17 April 2009 (UTC).

Those are manual edits, so this doesn't really belong here, nevertheless, the edits were conducted after this discussion at AN. 35, 17 April 2009 –xeno talk 15:48, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
It is an automated mass change that removes the notice from all pages. WP:AN isn't really the forum to decide on this nor is there a consensus to remove the notice before you operated it. Besides, you appear to have started removing them [7] before you asked the editor to comment there [8]. -- User:Docu
This not a bot issue. Firstly, those edits are within the "no approval necessary" guidelines; secondly, my reading of the situation is that WP:SELFREF establishes the consensus position perfectly well. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 16:34, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Semi-automated - each manually reviewed, and as Jarry noted there is no need to seek approval for edits such as these. In my read of WP:SELFREF and WP:RS, I felt the line was inappropriate; it was also in many cases inaccurate as only certain data were based on the French Wikipedia, a large majority of the articles were built independently. Nevertheless, you yourself already know I've ceased making the edits long ago to seek broader community input (you've participated in the TFD...). To be perfectly honest, posting this thread seems a rather juvenile response to my objection above to your bot performing unauthorized tasks. –xeno talk 16:47, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

This bot task was explicitly approved at Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Xenobot 6. – Quadell (talk) 17:42, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

That was afterwards though. BTW are you aware of WP:Templates_for_deletion/Log/2009_April_13#Category:Interwiki translation templates. Maybe the task should be cancelled. -- User:Docu —Preceding undated comment added 00:01, 18 April 2009 (UTC).
The bot's task specifically says that jobs won't be run unless consensus exists. I am the one who sought further consensus and won't run this particular find/replace if consensus dries up (though I may replace the text with the proper trans template). Your continued disruption is noted. –xeno talk 13:58, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, and I even elected to delay running the task to see if a better way of making these attributions can be agreed upon (so perhaps the bot can fulfill the attribution coincident with the removal of the line). –xeno talk 17:53, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Task review question ("nullify template")

Xenobot (talk · contribs · deleted · filter log · SUL · Google) (block · soft · promo · cause · bot · hard · spam · vandal)

modified a series of templates on IP talk pages (contribution details). Has this been reviewed or specifically approved? -- User:Docu —Preceding undated comment added 09:46, 18 April 2009 (UTC).

Well, a quick check of the B/RFA archives didn't turn up anything. On the plus side, it would have passed a BRFA quite easily anyway. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 10:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
More pointy threads because I object to your running D6 entirely without approval for its WP:CHECKWIKI tasks (which should be given a once over by the BAG, this nullify task on the other hand...) - Xenobot's task 2 is to work on user talk pages and update transclusions of userboxen ({{tor}} could arguably be called a type of userbox) , and the task of maintaining these tor templates was approved for User:KrimpBot, which has since faded out of existence. I was cleaning out the category while reviewing indefinitely blocked IPs. This task was run by another administrator prior to running it, who helped me with the query. As I said to you at User talk:D6#WP CHECK WP edits: automated or reviewed?, I agree with IAR being applied to one-off tasks, but not for sustained and ongoing tasks like your checkwiki edits. –xeno talk 13:58, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Questions on existing bots

Is there a bot that removes {{ifdc}} from captions? Which ones, and on what conditions? Thanks, – Quadell (talk) 14:33, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

pywikipedia mailing lists

Hello folks!

We have updated our mailing lists! :)

Until now, pywikipedia-l was automatically spammed on each bug update, and on each svn commit, which made its subscription painful for users not interested in pywikipedia development.

To solve this issue, two lists have been created, pywikipedia-bugs, for automated bug updates, and pywikipedia-svn, for automated svn commit message. This way, the traffic on pywikipedia-l should be greatly reduced: only human discussions should take place there. We would like to encourage advanced pywikipedia users to subscribe to this list: it should have moderate traffic, and it would allow us to get feedback on our development.

But more important, we have created an announce mailing-list, pywikipedia-announce. This mailing-list will be used for important announcements, such as breaking changes. The aim of this list is to have a minimal traffic: only a couple of folks can post on it, and we should not have to use it more than once a month. (any mail sent to pywikipedia-announce is also sent to pywikipedia-l, no need to subscribe to both).

Commons-emblem-notice.svg We would like our users to subscribe to either pywikipedia-announce or to pywikipedia-l to be sure to receive those important announcements

We hope that in this way, we'll be able to significantly improve pywikipediabot quality, and response time to urgent matters: no more foundation-wide running around for developers if something is utterly broken ;)

Thank you,

NicDumZ ~ 11:12, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

pywikipedia-l (Archives, current month
Human discussion on pywikipedia topic. This includes support, follow-ups to announcements, follow-ups to svn commits, and developer discussions. -- Moderate traffic (usually no more than a couple of mails a week in average)
pywikipedia-announce (archives, current month
Important announcements, e.g. breaking changes. -- Minimal traffic (one mail a month, at most)
pywikipedia-bugs (archives, current month
automated mail is sent by bug trackers on each bug state change. -- High traffic
pywikipedia-svn (archives, current month
automated mail is sent after each pywikipedia SVN commit. -- High traffic
-- Would be good if there was some onwiki forum as well.. -- User:Docu
It would be nice if you could help translating and submitting this announcement to other wikis too :)
NicDumZ ~ 12:07, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Done: [9] ;) --- User:Docu

Wikipedia:WikiProject Images and Media/Bots

I'm making a list of image/media-related bots at Wikipedia:WikiProject Images and Media/Bots. Obviously the formatting leaves something to be desired, but if anyone here operates such a bot (or knows of one) feel free to add it to the list. I'd add them myself, but I don't know that many active bots off the top of my head, which is why we need the list in the first place. :) Thanks! ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 00:37, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Try having a look at Wikipedia:Bots/Status but i'm not sure how up to date/current/correct that list is. Peachey88 (Talk Page · Contribs) 06:47, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Active bots

How can I get a list of all bot-flagged accounts? How can I get a list of all bot-flagged accounts that have edited in the last 30 days? Or that haven't edited in the last year? – Quadell (talk) 03:00, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

List of bot-flagged accounts is available via Special:ListUsers. -- JLaTondre (talk) 03:19, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
Oh, well. Wasn't that easy. – Quadell (talk) 03:23, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Bot Approvals Group/nominations/Tinucherian

This is a 'mandatory' notification to all interested parties that I have accepted a nomination to join the Bot Approvals Group - the above link should take you to the discussion. Best wishes,-- Tinu Cherian - 10:48, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Bot edits showing up in watchlists, recent changes, etc.

Hi all,

Another user brought up to me that my bot's edits are showing up on his watchlist, even with the "hide bots" option enabled. I took a look at Special:RecentChanges, and noticed that they are showing up on there as well. The account has the bot flag, and I double-checked my code to verify that it is actually flagging the edits as bot edits. In looking at the RecentChanges, I noticed a couple other bots on the list (SPCUClerkBot, XLinkBot), so I'm guessing the problem isn't isolated to just my account. The bot is making all of its changes through the MediaWiki API. Any suggestions? Matt (talk) 23:31, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

If you're editing through the API, you have to set &bot when you use action=edit. Mr.Z-man 23:36, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
It is. Like I said, I checked that. Matt (talk) 23:46, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
I just did some tests, apparently just "&bot" does not work (anymore?) when POSTing (it seems it would work when GETting, but action=edit requires a post). At minimum, "&bot=" is needed. Anomie 03:11, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Hum, so it does. Thanks Anomie! Matt (talk) 03:29, 2 May 2009 (UTC)


Just FYI, I made a template that might be useful to you.

produces: Polbot (task list · contribs)

The "task list" link is a list of all pages starting with "Bots/Requests for approval/Polbot".

produces: Polbot (task · contribs)

The "task" link points directly to task 11.

produces: Polbot (task · contribs)

The "task" link points to the RfBA without a numerical suffix. (Polbot never had one, which is why it's a redlink.) – Quadell (talk) 00:46, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

I like this. One problem I notice with {{Botlinks}} and {{Botlinks2}} is that you can only specify one task, even if the bot in question has twenty. I've added it to {{User information templates}}, so it will appear along with any of those signature-like templates that we use for links about users. The Earwig (Talk | Contributions) 02:34, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

How to be worse than useless: a technical manual for bushy-tailed bot operators

This escalates a clearly erroneous page-move, as only an admin can scrape the crud away in order to revert this. — CharlotteWebb 13:32, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

I note that the bot didn't do anything there until almost a week after the move occurred (hopefully that was by design), which was ample opportunity for a human to undo the move. It's also not like {{db-move}} is that hard to use. Anomie 14:28, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

The design is still flawed as redirects "from other capitalisation" are among the most likely to need reversing. I've noticed other cases in the past where a user has created a redirect from a more correct or equally plausible title, and this (again, worse than useless) bot comes along to add road-block edits preventing the page from being moved to that title. One might as well write a bot to move-protect every bloody article as that would (from my perspective) have the same practical effect.

Let's step back and ask if/why this bot was approved and whether it serves any meaningful purpose. — CharlotteWebb 17:57, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Why not have another bot that responds to {{db-move}} uses with three or fewer revisions? ;-) --MZMcBride (talk) 18:00, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Why not change the software to make all revisions starting with "#redirect" disposable by any user during a page-move attempt, regardless of how many edits there are, or which page they redirect(ed) to, or whether they have silly little sorting templates attached to them. If there's some good stuff hidden under the heap of redirects, one could just move it somewhere else for safe-keeping. — CharlotteWebb 18:06, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Err, drastic escalation of privilege? Turn a random user's user page into a redirect and then move your vandalism over it. Or do it with a popular article.... I agree that the double revision thing is annoying, but I'm not sure there's any good way to deal with it. --MZMcBride (talk) 18:29, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
That's not the entirety of the problem. As it stands right now, one can move [[Foo]] → [[Foo (bar)]] but not move [[Foo (disambiguation)]] → [[Foo]] afterward because although the redirect has only one revision it does not point to the page you are trying to move. — CharlotteWebb 18:54, 3 May 2009 (UTC)
Again, MZMcBride's example: move any non-move-protected page out of the way, then move the vandalism over the redirect. Anomie 01:43, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Regarding "if this bot was approved", a simple check of the bot's userpage turns up Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/BOTijo 6. Anomie 01:43, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Personally, I find the whole idea of categorizing redirects to be a waste of time. Mr.Z-man 01:46, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
I suggest that the approval for this bot be withdrawn. The Category:Redirects from other capitalisations has 262,000 entries. Seems no good reason to bother with this, and the action of the bot prevents quick move reversal, as noted above. EdJohnston (talk) 03:28, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
That's more a reason to take Category:Redirects from other capitalisations to WP:CFD than to stop the bot. Anomie 03:36, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Done. --MZMcBride (talk) 06:12, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Per the instructions on WP:CFD, I think you need to take this to WP:TFD for the template {{R from other capitalisation}} (and its various redirects): "If the category is only populated by a template and both the category and template are being proposed for deletion, go to Wikipedia:Templates for deletion. For a template with the same name use {{catfd}}." --R'n'B (call me Russ) 10:28, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Discussion now moved to Wikipedia:Templates for deletion#Template:R from other capitalisation. --R'n'B (call me Russ) 15:12, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
In case anyone still has this debate on their watchlist, a wider discussion is taking place at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard#Need wider community input. EdJohnston (talk) 03:27, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Interwiki bots in template namespace

Following problems with some bots operating in template namespace, the bot policy now mentions that interwikis should appear on all articles using a template. (Wikipedia:Bot_policy#Restrictions_on_specific_tasks ) -- User:Docu

Where was it discussed that this should be added? Not all bots have issues running in the template space. -Djsasso (talk) 15:17, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
There was [10] and [11]. -- User:Docu

Agree with the change in spirit, your comment above I believe is missing a few words though: "operators must ensure interwikis [do] not appear..." (?) I've tweaked your addition for clarity. –xeno talk 15:33, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
I would disagree with the "should not run unsupervised in Template namespace" part. There's no reason a well-designed bot wouldn't be able to work as well on templates as it does on articles. The fact that the standard isn't this well designed is not reason to prohibit someone from using one that is. Mr.Z-man 15:57, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Ok, let's just mention standard There are others that work correctly [12]. -- User:Docu
Apparently at pywikipediabot, they are working on it. Thanks for adding all these clarifications to the wording. -- User:Docu

Bot to replace links to redirects?

Hi all,

I had an idea for a bot I could write, but I don't know if there's already a bot that does it, or if the idea would be very well received, so I'm asking for opinions.

Would it be a good idea to write a bot that replaces links to redirects with a link to the redirect's target (assuming that the target is not a disambiguation page)?

Thanks in advance, Matt (talk) 23:04, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

WP:REDIRECT#NOTBROKEN. Happymelon 23:07, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
I was just about to say that, then I ended up in an edit conflict. Don't fix redirects that aren't broken. See Wikipedia:Tools/Navigation popups/About fixing redirects for technical details. The Earwig (Talk | Contributions) 23:09, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Ok, fair enough. Thanks. Matt (talk) 01:36, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

ListasBot 3

As another editor has expressed concern over ListasBot 3's approved functions (in short, whether or not talk pages of redirects should be replaced with a redirect to the new talk page), I've set up a discussion on how to proceed with this bot. Input would be appreciated. The discussion is at User:Mikaey/Request for Input/ListasBot 3.

Thanks, Matt (talk) 02:44, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

And spammed it only over a hundred talk pages, using a blatantly leading question.[13] That's just dreadful. Hesperian 02:52, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, well, no one bothered to give their input when I asked for it, so I stepped it up a bit. I'm sick of asking for consensus on something and having no one answer me. Matt (talk) 03:09, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

It appears to me that Matt's talkpage notes were good-faith attempts to gain wider exposure. They don't look like intentionally leading questions or ballot-stuffing to me. I'm glad Matt is trying to gauge community consensus, and I don't think the rudeness is called for. – Quadell (talk) 13:16, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

I agree and would add that it is more likely to get the task removed, if anything. After all, it only specifically asks for input if the WikiProject wants the redirect saved. --ThaddeusB (talk) 14:23, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Help with a bot please!

I have written a bot to get the current Quote of the day from Wikiquote & put it on a page so it can then be used as a template on user pages etc. I haven't requested approval yet because although it works fine from my computer, I need to run it from somewhere else. I've uploaded it to a web server with Dreamhost, yet when I try to run it-the following error comes up.(sorry don't know how to make it smaller!) It's a Python script using pywikipedia.

   35 site = wikipedia.getSite()
   36 newpage = wikipedia.Page(site, u"User:Dottydotdot/test")
   37 newpage.put(text + "<br><br>'''Imported from [ '''Wikiquote'''] by [[User:DottyQuoteBot|'''DottyQuoteBot''']]", u"Testing")
   39 wikipedia.stopme()
newpage = Page{[[User:Dottydotdot/test]]}, newpage.put = <bound method Page.put of Page{[[User:Dottydotdot/test]]}>, text = u'You have so many things in the background that y... could possibly work?" <p> [[Ward Cunningham]] \n'
 /home/tris1601/ in put(self=Page{[[User:Dottydotdot/test]]}, newtext=u"You have so many things in the background that y...''] by [[User:DottyQuoteBot|'''DottyQuoteBot''']]", comment=u'Testing', watchArticle=None, minorEdit=True, force=False, sysop=False, botflag=True)
 1381         # Check blocks
 1382 = sysop)
 1384         # Determine if we are allowed to edit
self = Page{[[User:Dottydotdot/test]]}, = <bound method of Page{[[User:Dottydotdot/test]]}>, ).checkBlocks undefined, sysop = False
 /home/tris1601/ in checkBlocks(self=wikipedia:en, sysop=False)
 4457         if self._isBlocked[index]:
 4458             # User blocked
 4459             raise UserBlocked('User is blocked in site %s' % self)
 4461     def isBlocked(self, sysop = False):
global UserBlocked = <class wikipedia.UserBlocked>, self = wikipedia:en
UserBlocked: User is blocked in site wikipedia:en 
      args = ('User is blocked in site wikipedia:en',)</small>

I don't know why it's saying I'm blocked-I'm clearly not & I've checked the IP address for the server it's on- which doesn't seem to be blocked either, so now I can't work out what's wrong! Any help would be greatly appreciated-as you can guess I'm pretty new to Python & coding in general! Thanks! dottydotdot (talk) 14:43, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

It is caught under this rangeblock [14] as an open proxy. MBisanz talk 14:46, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Aha! Cool thanks! That must mean it's not logging in right? dottydotdot (talk) 14:54, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Actually looking at this Wikipedia:Advice_to_Tor_users_in_China it could be blocked from editing even if logged in? Is that right? Sorry for the questions! dottydotdot (talk) 15:03, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
It would still get caught, even if logged in. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 15:08, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
You can however apply for IP block exemption for your bot, which I think is the best. Otherwise the whole range would need to be unblocked, which I have done temporarily, to allow you to test. --Kanonkas :  Talk  15:11, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Out of scope operation and/or approval notice question

Resolved: Operator will seek BRFA for tasks that have not already been approved. –xenotalk 15:32, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

In searching for bot approvals for ArthurBot (talk · contribs), I've only successfully located an approval from November 2008 which gave approval for "adding/modifying interwiki links and Link_FA templates". Earlier today, ArthurBot (seemingly counter to the guidelines regarding valid redirects) changed links from MAN AG (the former article name, now a redirect) to MAN SE (new article name). While I'm not sure of the reasoning, I'd like to ask if this is out of scope for the bot's approval and/or is there an approval that I am not finding regarding this activity? — Bellhalla (talk) 14:41, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Doesn't look proper to me. Per NOTBROKEN this isn't a task that should even be done & the bot certainly wasn't approved for it... also "Robot-assisted disambiguation" is not an accurate description of what it actually did. It doesn't appear that the bot has done anything like this before, so I am guessing the owner had a specific reason he thought this was a good idea. Did you try contacting the bot owner about this? --ThaddeusB (talk) 15:03, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

This search shows that "ArthurBot" is only mentioned on a "Wikipedia:Bots/" subpage in two places: here and here. Neither of these approves the task you mention. – Quadell (talk) 15:10, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Hello everybody, I'm sorry if I caused you any trouble. See my reply on my talk page. Best regards, -- Mercy (|) 15:29, 27 May 2009 (UTC)


Hi. I blocked Jigbot (talk · contribs · logs) yesterday for it's username. Now the owner Jigesh (talk · contribs) requests the account to be unblocked, as he wants to use it as an interwiki bot. What is my best course of action? Should interwiki bots be approved? EdokterTalk 18:39, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

He needs to file a BRFA for it at any rate. Most IW bots are speedily approved, but it's a process nonetheless. - Jarry1250 (t, c) 18:44, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. Should Jigbot be unblocked now, or upon approval? EdokterTalk 20:08, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Should be unblocked as soon as the bot-op makes clear that it's a bot and agrees not to run it without authorization. – Quadell (talk) 22:02, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
I unblocked it and advised him to file an B/RFA before he runs it. –xenotalk 22:06, 29 May 2009 (UTC)


Recently I have been trying to find a version of AWB to use for PascalBot. My search has led me to the conclusion that there is no current version of AWB that is safe for use as a bot, with general fixes enabled. I am thinking it may be useful to have a centralized location to discuss which version(s) of AWB should be used as a bot, perhaps to include "safe" and "unsafe" lists of AWB versions.

Versions of AWB before rev 4382 corrupt {{Article issues}}. More recent versions add incorrect DEFAULTSORTs, remove valid orphan tags, and add commented out categories. --Pascal666 20:52, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

I've found (with DrilBot) that the following are helpful:
  • Use the most recent SVN version is possible, especially after a bug has been fixed. E.g., I think the commented out categories have been fixed.
Still broke in rev 4395. --Pascal666 23:45, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Hmm... I guess that it was just a similar bug. My bad. –Drilnoth (T • C • L) 00:04, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Use custom gen fixes to selectively deactivate changes... e.g., DateOrdinalsAndOf and SetDefaultSort.
  • Deactivating "auto tag" should fix the tag removal.
Should, but doesn't. --Pascal666 23:45, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Really? That's odd. I don't believe that DrilBot ever does that, and I don't have it deactivated in the custom module or anything. –Drilnoth (T • C • L) 00:04, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
This was a feature request... If general fixes (at least, via the normal method) are enabled, it will remove them as a general fix. I'm gonna revert this i think, as it just causes more problems than its worth. Reedy 06:49, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
rev 4400 - Reverted to prior behaviour.. Seem to be a few minor tests failing. Will sort and fix later Reedy 07:06, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
Also, as per the orphan bug report, the list provider being used needs changing, and that will also fix the bug (for the people that use it)... Not much work to do it =) Reedy 07:51, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
As per the AWB bug report, i've fixed it from the other angle too - Where it was erroneously removing the tag in the first place (2 fixes are better than one ;)) Reedy 19:03, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
There's still a number of bug reports, but when editing articles this seems to be (fairly) reliable. But when you get a bug report, you kind of need to either A) turn off that change using the custom module, or B) not use the bot until AWB is fixed. –Drilnoth (T • C • L) 23:03, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
{{Article issues}} DEFAULTSORT orphan tags commented out categories
Disable gen fix: SetDefaultSort rev 3834 GreenCheck.png GreenCheck.png GreenCheck.png GreenCheck.png rev 3906 RedX.png rev 4100 RedX.png rev 4312 RedX.png GreenCheck.png RedX.png GreenCheck.png rev 4382 GreenCheck.png RedX.png RedX.png
rev 4395 GreenCheck.png RedX.png RedX.png RedX.png
rev 4400 GreenCheck.png RedX.png GreenCheck.png RedX.png
rev 4419 GreenCheck.png GreenCheck.png GreenCheck.png GreenCheck.png

Anyone know the names of the other gen fixes to disable? --Pascal666 00:22, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

The above table is skewed towards issues present in recent versions. Does anyone know of any reason should not be used? --Pascal666 03:21, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

I've fixed the category comments bug and defaultsort apostrophes. Petition Reedy if you want a new snapshot.
Now, your summary of the defaultsort/Arabic names issue is misleading: before recent changes, AWB was not inserting a DEFAULTSORT very often; when it did it never applied the "surname, forename" logic for English-named people (etc.), so it was mostly wrong on articles about people. It now does, so on the English wiki (AWB never labels an article on a non-English wiki as about a person, as I have no knowledge of such wikis) it is now mostly right, but wrong for a selection of articles about people with Chinese/Arabic names where "full name" format seems to be the preference. So as it stands the HEAD SVN revision is the most accurate it's ever been, though it's still not as accurate as it should be. When I have some time next weekend I can look at introducing logic to catch Arabic/Chinese names. Rjwilmsi 22:10, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
I am in full agreement with you on the Arabic names issue. None of my links above were to that particular issue. I do not consider it a showstopper. As far as I can tell at this point, rev 4419 does not appear to contain any known bugs that would cause it to do significant damage when used unattended. Once a snapshot is available I will begin using it for PascalBot and hopefully everyone else using AWB will upgrade to it soon. Thank you again for all your hard work. --Pascal666 06:07, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

rev 4426 can now be downloaded here. --Pascal666 17:55, 2 June 2009 (UTC)