Wikipedia:Bot owners' noticeboard/Archive 5

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User:DatabaseBot

I have a quick question for everyone (since I know little about bots). A couple of months ago, I left the above user a note about his username. S/he mentioned they were in the process of getting approval to run their bot. OK, I figured that was legit. Today, however, I noticed two things. One, the bot was never approved (the request expired). Two, the account has continued to edit, including !voting at AfDs. Should this account be blocked as a username violation? TNXMan 14:21, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Hasn't edited since April, so I would leave them another note letting them know that they should use their regular account for editing and only use this account for approved tasks, noting that it may be blocked as usernamevio if it continues to do non-bot-like things. –xenotalk 14:24, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Wow, I need more coffee. I saw 3 April 2009 and read 3 June 2009. I'll drop them a note. Thanks, xeno. TNXMan 14:29, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
No problem, just finishing off my x-large double double myself ;p –xenotalk 14:32, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

User:タチコマ robot

This bot did something strange. It changed the redirect for "amœba", which should redirect to Amoeba, to James Woods. Look for yourself: amœba. The redirect page 68.248.233.52 (talk) 02:07, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

That happened almost a year ago. -- JLaTondre (talk) 02:21, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
and has been fixed now by me - amazing no one caught it in a year though. --ThaddeusB (talk) 02:27, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
It is not essentially a bot error. A vandal redirected Amoeba_(genus) ( then Ameoba ) Amoeba, to James Woods. That is how redirect bots supposed to work. If A--->B----->C , then A--->C -- Tinu Cherian - 03:04, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Erwin85Bot

Erwin85Bot (talk · contribs) carries the task of adding new BLP AFDs to Wikipedia:WikiProject Deletion sorting/Living people. New discussions should be added to the top, leaving those to be closed at the bottom. Unfortunately, Erwin85Bot adds them to the bottom, sandwiching the old in the middle. This caused some problems. Two-week old AFDs unclosed because they weren't seen. I fixed the page and left Erwin a message, but he seems to be busy IRL perhaps, so the error has not been corrected.

I'm not going to block because it's not a big deal, just an annoyance. It's still better to be able to cut/paste the new from the edit window than have to manually search for the BLP AFDs. It would just be nice if this fairly minor error could be fixed if someone else has access to the code. لennavecia 13:31, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

It's fixed now, by Erwin. Thanks. لennavecia 18:52, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Pywikipediabot: cosmetic_changes.py

Yes check.svg Done There is a discussion of recommended settings for this module at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Cosmetic changes (Wikitext cleanup options of pywikipediabot) -- User:Docu —Preceding undated comment added 11:57, 4 May 2009 (UTC).

Stuff like this is why you need to put datestamps when making new threads. It won't get automatically archived if no one replies. –xenotalk 17:21, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Miszabot

Resolved: Your "maxarchive line" ended with the }} template close, which needs to go on a newline.

Hey. Miszabot just put 12 threads into 12 archives. Closedmouth has suggested I get an admin to help clean up. Admin or not, does anybody know why Misza did this? --I dream of horses (talk) 16:54, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Link? Perhaps the maxarchive size was set wrong. –xenotalk 16:57, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Anybot's algae articles

I have asked in a couple of places about a bot that has created some 6000 algae articles. Every article I've reviewed has major errors of fact due to the way the bot was programmed to extract data from the data base and the bot owner's lack of understanding of the organisms (this point from discussion on the bot owner's talk page). A discussion about problems with the articles the bot created is at [1]. That issue can be discussed there.

What I would like to know here is why a bot was programmed at all to

1. remove more specific redirects to create less specific ones? [2]

2. delete disambiguation pages to create single redirects instead of adding the redirect to the disambiguation page? [3]

Should a bot be deleting entire disambiguation articles to make room for redirects? Is there a set of rules for bots that covers this and was maybe missed with programming Anybot?

--69.226.103.13 (talk) 21:12, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Full discussion is at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Plants#Algae articles AnyBot writing nonsense OhanaUnitedTalk page 17:03, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

WP:BOTNOTNOW

I drew this up to hopefully save time and effort, whilst reducing the demoralising effect. Any contributions handy, particularly if you went for a bot whilst still inexperienced as a normal editor. - Jarry1250 (t, c, rfa) 11:08, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Date unlinking bot proposal

I have started a community RFC about a proposal for a bot to unlink dates. Please see Wikipedia:Full-date unlinking bot and comment here. --Apoc2400 (talk) 10:25, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Doesn't sound too hard to create a bot to follow those instructions. Or do others disagree? - Jarry1250 (t, c, rfa) 16:40, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Technically, it isn't difficult. But it's a delicate task that requires a bot-op who will be unceasingly polite, and who has the trust of the community. – Quadell (talk) 17:14, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

User:TagsBot

This seems to be an unapproved bot, making edits. I've left my own message on the talk page, as I'm not sure if there's some template for such things. I feel uneasy with a username report (which would be because it has "bot" in it's name while it's not one), so hopefully the owner will read my message. If someone more knowledgeable in such things could take a look at it that would be appreciated. Cheers - Kingpin13 (talk) 20:27, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Okay... just blanked my message, with a personal attack in the edit summary... I'm not feeling so inclined to AGF now. - Kingpin13 (talk) 20:28, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Nor I. Blocked. –xenotalk 20:31, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

SoxBot Blocked

I had to block SoxBot it was making a mess of WP:CHU. Q T C 01:50, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

X!, that's the 6th time the bot has been blocked for messing up chu (including the block log from the old account) --Chris 10:19, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I assume the message was meant to be placed below VisibleChanges request, and their request used incorrect formatting, which could have caused the error? - Kingpin13 (talk) 10:42, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Bots should be built to fail gracefully and not mess up the entire page. --Chris 11:06, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

API breaking change

r52190 changed the API so maxlag errors return with an HTTP status code 503 (where formerly they returned with a 200 and an API error message). If your bot code uses maxlag, properly handles HTTP errors, and doesn't treat the two in the same way, chances are you will need to update your code before the next scap. And if your bot code doesn't do all that, maybe it's time to update it Face-wink.svg Anomie 20:19, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

A bit of history: the API originally threw a 503 error for maxlag ([4]) but this was changed because maxlag was considered an API-level error instead of a transport-level error. Now it will apparently change back to a transport level error. In any case, well-written bots still have to check both HTTP error codes (for squid errors) and API error codes (for DB connection errors, which show up as internal API errors). — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:26, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
IMO it should have been left as an API-level error. To detect a maxlag after this change, you have to parse the transport-level error just in case it happens to be maxlag. Anomie 00:01, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
What a mess. This is clearly an API-level issue, and treating it as a transport-level issue makes program logic more, not less, complex, since it confuses the natural layering of any reasonably written bot code. Could someone please back this off to restore the previous behavior? -- The Anome (talk) 11:26, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Comment at rev:52190 too, the appropriate people are more likely to see it there. Or file a bug, or bug Roan on IRC. Anomie 12:43, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Because of this and other complaints on the mediawiki-api list, I've
reverted the change in r53353. It never went live on Wikipedia.

\o/ Q T C 10:16, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Works for me! Anomie 12:55, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for being so responsive to user feedback, and backing this change off without releasing it. -- The Anome (talk) 12:20, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

API categorymembers bug

Bot operators who use the API to download lists of category members will want to watch bugzilla:19640. The 'cmnamespace' parameter is currently being ignored by the API until performance issues are sorted out. — Carl (CBM · talk) 19:21, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Wonderful. I just get done fixing OrphanBot after the last breaking API change, and another one comes along. --Carnildo (talk) 22:34, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
We seem to have something resembling a fix in r53304. The remaining difference in behavior is that the query may return fewer (possibly even zero) results in the categorymembers node than specified in cmlimit while still returning a cmcontinue; this shouldn't affect any properly-coded bots, as that could have happened anyway since r46845. It may be a "dirty, temporary hack", but it's far cleaner than "just ignore cmnamespace".
Now we just need to convince someone with the appropriate access to sync it so we can be rid of the breakage. Anomie 12:53, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

User:XeBot

Hi, could someone verify this is an approved bot - or indeed a bot at all. It has no userpage or current talk page, and is tagging edits with minor, labelling them as robot:..... All it appears to be doing is adding ar: interwiki links, but as I don't read Arabic so well I cannot verify their validity. Also, I seem to recall an editor should not calim to be a bot when not (or was that the other way round?) Addendum - sorry, quick link to contribs :-) --ClubOranjeT 12:51, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

No, they shouldn't be editing yet (I can find no BRfA). So I've left a notice on the bots talk page (as I don't know who the op is due to the bot account being created wrongly). We'll have to see what happens. The account may be blocked if it continues to operate without approval (per WP:BOT) - Kingpin13 (talk) 13:02, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
OK, thanks for following up - I had just found and started refreshing knowledge of the relevant policies, first time I've actually had to do something about a bot. --ClubOranjeT 13:08, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
May be the same as this bot at WikiNews. I'll contact the User:Orango‎ and ask them about it. - Kingpin13 (talk) 13:24, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
The SUL tool indicates that it is the same bot; the creation was done automatically on login. Anomie 13:46, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Hello everyone, Sorry for the delay in reply.. I will create the bot page and I request for get a flog for my bots, it's work for add new arabic interwiki for this day ( Because this day is arabian wiki day :) ), Thank you for your interest --Orango talk! 14:47, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Oh don't worry, we won't flog it ;). Anyway, thanks - Kingpin13 (talk) 14:58, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Sure i don't worry :) On the contrary, I am Happy -- Orango talk! 01:25, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Please block User:XLinkBot

This bot is reverting legitimate edits and the owner refuses to fix it.

Reverting test edits should be done by a dedicated bot (and probably already is). Such a bot should match the entire text http://www.example.com link title as added by the editing buttons, not just indiscriminately reverting any link that contains example.com. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.167.73.189 (talkcontribs)

To clarify what the issue is here: XLinkBot (rightly or wrongly) reverts the addition of links to "example.com" and similar. Under the relevant specification these cannot be registered. The question is whether to more explicitly filter out the test edits (as in, clicking all of those pretty blue buttons above the edit window), or to leave the more generalised filter which also catches "legitimate" uses of example.com in dummy URLs (like, foo.com, say). - Jarry1250 [ humorousdiscuss ] 15:55, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Bold text
I think it should start conservatively, and expand if necessary, and it can be done correctly. It may be reasonable to revert any links to exactly www.example.com or example.com, but definately not something like example.com/somepath. If the current behavior is to revert even links that are obviously correct, it may be safer to block until that's fixed, rather than throw out useful contributions. -Steve Sanbeg (talk) 20:55, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
I've removed example.com from XLinkBot's RevertList for now. There are other bots that will revert this addition. --Versageek 21:05, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Blocked ClueBot III

Per edit http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:ClueBot_III/Indices/User_talk:AzaToth&diff=302790668&oldid=302781497 I've blocked this bot. AzaToth 01:05, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

BAG nomination

Hello there. Just to let you know that I (Kingpin13) have been nominated for BAG membership. Per the requirements, I'm "spamming" a number of noticeboards, to request input at my nomination, which can be found at Wikipedia:Bot Approvals Group/nominations/Kingpin13. Thanks - Kingpin13 (talk) 08:01, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

ClueBot clearing the template sandboxes

I often use the template sandboxes ("Template:X1", "Template:X2", etc.). However ClueBot often clears the sandbox while I'm partway through testing. I drew this to the owner's attention here. Cobi informs me that the bot clears the template every 3 hours. The sandboxes indicate that they are cleared every 12 hours. Ironically, neither is correct. The cleaning seems to be rather erratic. The times of last clearance by the bot:-

  1. Two and a half days
  2. Nine hours (prior to that, two days)
  3. 11 hours (prior to that, four days)
  4. Three days
  5. Clear for four days
  6. Clear for two days
  7. Two days
  8. Four days
  9. Five days

I request that if possible, the bot can be adjusted so that it doesn't clear a template sandbox within, say, 15 minutes of the last edit. Is this possible? Thanks. Axl ¤ [Talk] 06:44, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

One reason for this may be that it seems to not clear the sandbox if the last edit was by Clue/SoxBot, but as soon as an edit is done, it clears it the next time it checks (e.g. ClueBot clears the sandbox at 9:00, checks again at 12:00, but nobody has edited since, so it keeps checking every five minutes after that, and at 15:00 a user edits, and five minutes (or seconds) later, ClueBot II clears the sandbox). I think a better way to do this would be as you say, to clear it if it is untouched for x minutes. I'll let User talk:ClueBot Commons and User talk:X! know about this. Cheers - Kingpin13 (talk) 11:02, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
The reason for the erratic cleaning of the sandbox is because my bot cleans the sandbox if the header is modified/removed (similar to what the former sandbots did). Other than that, it clears at 00:00 and 12:00 UTC. (X! · talk)  · @698  ·  15:44, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
I beleive the main problem is with ClueBot II, as it doesn't wait nearly as long as your bot. I would like Cobi's input here - Kingpin13 (talk) 10:37, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
If the consensus is that the sandboxes should be cleaned when no one has touched them for X minutes, then I'm fine with that. If the consensus is that the sandboxes should be cleaned every X hours, I'm fine with that also. I sent Axl here because I don't think my talk page is the best place to create a consensus. -- Cobi(t|c|b) 17:52, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
I think that a good case has been made for cleaning when no one has touched them for X minutes. The whole point of a template sandbox is that you need to see how the template will look on other pages, which means that you need some time for experimenting with the other pages after making an edit. --R'n'B (call me Russ) 18:13, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Very well, unless there is any opposes, I'm gonna ask Cobi to make his bot clean it after it's been unedited for 30 minutes, and we'll keep SoxBot cleaning it every 12 hours, and every time the header is removed (I think the bots will work together very well like that). - Kingpin13 (talk) 03:33, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

DefaultsortBot

I am concerned about User:DefaultsortBot, it appears the owner is not taking responsibility for the bot edits. Please see User talk:DefaultsortBot#Did I get it wrong?, Thanks for taking a look, good night. Jeepday (talk) 00:46, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

You waited 7 minutes between posting at User talk:DefaultsortBot and posting here, which doesn't show good faith. It looks like Mikaey responded to you appropriately once had a chance to see your message: in the particular case you complain about, the incorrect key came from this edit by User:KGV, and Mikaey agreed to fix the lowercase-sortkey issue before running the bot again. I have also reviewed the editnotice you complained about there, and I don't see anything wrong with it: It points out that a common situation people may be coming to complain about is due to human rather than bot error, and informs the prospective complainer that complaining about that issue on the bot's talk page will do no good. Anomie 23:40, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

User:Ser Amantio di Nicolao

Ser Amantio di Nicolao (talk · contribs) seems to be automatically mass creating pages using AWB without a bot flag, someone might want to look at this? Peachey88 (Talk Page · Contribs) 08:12, 16 August 2009 (UTC).

Now at AN/I - Kingpin13 (talk) 14:05, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Now at VPP: Wikipedia:VPP#Proposal: Any large-scale semi-/automated article creation task require BRFA. –xenotalk 18:39, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Copyvios

Rockfang suggested that bots should not edit copyvio pages. I am not convinced. However I have put {{Nobots}} in the {{Copyvio}} template. Comments? Rich Farmbrough, 18:35, 17 August 2009 (UTC).

Well, there's multiple ways to look at this, and in general, I'm pretty neutral towards letting bots edit pages that are about to be deleted. On the one hand, the page is likely to be deleted or severely changed, so many of the bot edits will have been made to content that will later be removed. Futhermore, the copyvio template hides the entire page from view, so it is possible that no edits made by bots will ever be seen by human eyes. On the other hand, WP:PERF, so even if the bot edits may be wasteful, there is still a possibility that the template may be removed, and they will have had a useful affect on the page. So, I'm not really sure on this one. The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 19:18, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

In the case in point another bot was interwiki-ing. Seems that would have been useful if the page was stubbified. Rich Farmbrough, 21:37, 17 August 2009 (UTC).

KslotteBot: templates

A small addition to the tasks for KslotteBot.

  • Current task description: Adding/modifying categories in articles, as long as each edit to be made is carefully checked manually.
  • New task description: Adding/modifying categories and templates in articles, as long as each edit to be made is carefully checked manually.

Can this be approved? --Kslotte (talk) 15:11, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Is this for all templates, or do you just need this for a few (e.g. stubs templates)? - Kingpin13 (talk) 17:26, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
All templates; in situation where a better template has been made or the name of the template has changed. Also for example template paramater changes. --Kslotte (talk) 12:35, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
There should be no need the change the template's if it's renamed, because you can simply leave a redirect behind. Same goes for if a better one's made; why can't you redirect the old one to the new one? Could you expand on the parameter changes which the bot might do? - Kingpin13 (talk) 13:46, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Since I'm approved for AWB I did some changes to give you an example Special:Contributions/KslotteBot (there was a typo in the description otherwise it is fine). Templates Orienteering concepts and Orienteering events was merged to Orienteering. --Kslotte (talk) 12:20, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
So do you just need to be able to change the parameters for stub templates? - Kingpin13 (talk) 16:41, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

RFA closing time

Pls see Wikipedia_talk:Requests_for_adminship#RFA_closing_time RlevseTalk 00:05, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Kotbot

Just want to get a wider opinion on on this bots' recent edits, at first it seemed unrelated to any of it's previous BRfAs [5][6][7][8], so I gave him a warning that it was running an unapproved task. Now after talking with the operator, the edits are going back to update it's previous edits. After the clarification, I'd probably let it slide under the previous approved task, but wanted a wider opinion on it. Q T C 09:36, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Just a link to our conversation: User talk:Kotbot#A friendly note.--Kotniski (talk) 09:42, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Nobots

The use of this template in main-space seems to have spread. I suggested its use on copyvios (and created it in the first place) but I like to see maybe one or two articles protected in this way, while problems are dealt with by the bot owners. A list of protected articles and (provisional) details of one of the applications of the templte are here. Rich Farmbrough, 14:57, 6 September 2009 (UTC).

Citation bot bugs

I would like BAG members and other bot operators to look at the bugs by Citation bot and how they are being handled including its operator's interactions with users' reporting bugs. There are a lot of bugs and may be poor communication, in my opinion.

I think additional input at this stage from experienced bot operators could help in making this a relatively bug-free bot.

In my opinion all currently listed bugs should be fixed and investigated before the bot is run again. If the bot is operating reported bugs should receive a response from the bot operator on the bug board in a reasonable time (less than a month? a few days? a week?) and be marked resolved where applicable. If there is a question about what the bot should be adding, the bot operator should post a link showing a prior discussion, or raise the discussion on an appropriate board, or not be adding/changing that parameter. I understand this bot does a lot of useful and tedious work, but, if there are problem areas it should be scaled back and the problems fixed, rather than be running with bugs, in my opinion. I'm posting a link to this on Martin's page.[9] --69.225.12.99 (talk) 22:19, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Another bot removing entire pages of content

[10] --69.225.12.99 (talk) 09:33, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

I noticed this and fixed the bot appropriately. @harej 19:00, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

User talk:SoxBot

This bot is cleaning the sandbox every few minutes. That makes it impossible to do any testing there. Furthermore, the owner is on a wikibreak and the bot's talkpage is editprotected. So this is basically a "wild" bot.

For these two reasons, each in itself being sufficient, I think this bot should be turned off. Debresser (talk) 06:59, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

Are you sure? As far as I know, soxbot only cleans the sandbox if the headers/templates are removed. tedder (talk) 07:38, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
I am not sure about the first thing. But if that is so, I still would have a suggestion. Why not just add the headers, instead of removing everthing while at it? Anyway, the second problem remains. Any bot should have a talkpage to write on, and an emergency shut-off button. Debresser (talk) 08:26, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
Actually, see this edit, from which it seems that the bot is just clearing the sandbox, even when the header is in place. Unless I am misunderstanding sth. Debresser (talk) 08:29, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
No you're not, but then again, if you wanted to use a sandbox that was not cleared every so often, choose any user subpage and hey presto. - Jarry1250 [ In the UK? Sign the petition! ] 14:17, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
The bot seems to check for both the header and the comment line following. Anomie 14:19, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
I see. Ok. And what about it being a "wild bot"? Debresser (talk) 14:29, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that if you went to WP:AN shouting "ZOMG BOT KILLING THE WIKI" you'd get it blocked quick enough. - Jarry1250 [ In the UK? Sign the petition! ] 17:55, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
Ok. :) Debresser (talk) 19:08, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
The bot's talk page (nor the user's page it redirects to) is not protected. -- JLaTondre (talk) 20:24, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

User at 75.69.0.58 appears to be a bot

I don't know what the WP policy is on bots from bare IP addresses. But the IP address 75.69.0.58, for whom I assume good faith, appears to my untrained eye possibly be a bot. So thought I would bring it to your attention. 500 edits in 9 days, edit rate seems higher than could be manually sustained given the typical edit complexity I noted. But the alleged bot appears to be doing good work, at least on the article where he cleaned up after me earlier today. Cheers. N2e (talk) 18:15, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Doesn't look like a bot to me; certainly doing repetitive tasks but: Customized edit summaries (beyond a normal bot's), seems to be cleaning up after some bots; doing a combination of vandal reversion and ref fixing; and your average bot doing the kind of thing 75.69.0.58 is would be making 500+ edits a day, not a week. –Drilnoth (T • C • L) 19:18, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

ClueBot and re-setting month headers

Please see the talk between me and Cobi at User talk:ClueBot Commons/Archives/2009/September#Duplicate month headings. I noticed that ClueBot resets the monthly clock on vandalism warnings, and Cobi explained that this feature is intentional and has been discussed numerous times before. The reason that I'm bringing it up here is that it seems to me that the feature, although clearly well-intentioned, may be worth re-evaluating. It seems to me that human editors will generally continue the progression from first to second etc etc warning over the course of a longer time period than the bot is currently instructed to do. I suggest that this issue be given a fresh look. Thanks. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:00, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Disclosure of edit summary hitch

In the interests of full disclosure:

Since CobraBot a little while ago completed its initial pass over all the articles containing a book infobox (yay!), I modified it to run manually on pages specified by the operator; I've been trawling the internal logs the bot produces when it skips a page to (if possible) manually fix the infobox formatting or add an ISBN where there was none, so the bot can then be run on the individual affected pages. Unfortunately, doing so caused a bug where the edit summary didn't get set, and as a result the default, generic pywikipedia edit summary was used. This has since been fixed and the bot did not otherwise malfunction (i.e. the edits were not misformatted or wrong), but I only noticed it after ~125 edits when I chanced to look at the bot's contribs page. My apologies, and I've noted for and resolved in the future that even seemingly minor changes deserve a level of further testing. --Cybercobra (talk) 06:36, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

2009 World Series by Renault season

On five different occasions, bots have added the Swedish version of the 2009 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 season as an interwiki. Please can they be set to avoid this situation, as the two series are not the same. Regards. Cs-wolves(talk) 14:46, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

If interwiki bots continually add wrong interwikis, just add
{{nobots}} <!-- per continual erroneous interwiki linking -->
Above the interwiki links. –xenotalk 17:53, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

False positives in Northern Artsakh

The Northern Artsakh (edit|talk|history|protect|delete|links|watch|logs|views) in Russian WP was actually deleted on May 16, but some bots continue to add false positive interwiki ru:Северный Арцах/Temp. Could we fix that? Brand[t] 07:26, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

A Russian user fixed it. Rjwilmsi 11:28, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
By default that would not have fixed it, tools:~betacommand/en_Northern_Artsakh2.pdf is a diagram of how the linking was, all interwiki bots do is propagate changes (additions of link or deletions of articles) to other languages Ive cleared up that set of links tools:~betacommand/en_Northern_Artsakh.pdf. If anyone wants me to create a graph of interwikis because of other errors let me know, its still in development phase until I get a web interface for everyone to use. βcommand 13:40, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Actually I recalled now that the removal from ruwiki fixes that, just in case if addition continues by some user. Brand[t] 17:24, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

FoxBot making changes to date pages against page format

FoxBot (tasks · contribs · actions log · block log · flag log · user rights) is making a series of changes to date pages which is adding interwiki links such as bcl:Nobyembre 5 which is fine. However at the same time this bot is changing an agreed & n d a s h ; with a dash.

The agreed format of the date pages is to use & n d a s h ; because most people adding items to those pages will not know the difference between a hyphen and a dash. The & n d a s h ; to create a dash reduces the chance that people will use a hyphen. The use of a hyphen messes up something, various checking bots I think, but whatever reason the hyphen is NOT USED on thos date pages.

Will somebody first stop this bot and then will somebody with rollback please revert all the edits made in error by this bot. --Drappel (talk) 14:09, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

I've blocked the bot temporarily (regardless of whether or not it should be changing ndash HTML code to the ndash itself, it has no approval to make cosmetic changes). Can you point me to the relevant guideline on this and I can mass-rv? –xenotalk 14:20, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
While I agree with xeno that it has no approval. I thought the consenus wikiwide was to not use & ndash anywhere. -DJSasso (talk) 14:23, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Trying to find the discussion and the underlying reason for this, 365 plus pages using this goes some way to showing the ndash is the accepted norm. --Drappel (talk) 14:26, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
The best I can find at the moment is the template or the day pages Wikipedia:WikiProject Days of the year/Template which uses the ndash and refer to the project page Wikipedia:WikiProject Days of the year that says.
Any change to the page layout that would be a deviation from the template should be discussed on this project's talk page before such change is made. --Drappel (talk) 14:40, 16 October 2009 (UTC)


I am confused here; the changes such as [11] are replacing the HTML entity – with an equivalent unicode character u2013. The rendered content is not changed at all. Even if FoxBot doesn't do this substitution, eventually someone will come across the articles with AWB, which also does this substitution. In short, there is essentially no way to prevent html entities from being converted to equivalent Unicode characters. — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:42, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

That is why I am curious because we have many tools built specifically to do this on all articles. -DJSasso (talk) 14:43, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
In Wikipedia:MOS#Dashes there are listed uses for an ndash. --Drappel (talk) 14:49, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
You do realize he is replacing the ndash with an actual ndash right and not a hyphen? -DJSasso (talk) 14:52, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
(e/c) The character u2013 is an en dash. It is the character that is displayed when the entity – is rendered. So the bot was not actually removing the en dashes, just replacing the HTML entity with its Unicode character. Many other bots do this, and so does AWB. There is no actual cosmetic change in the rendered article. — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:54, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
I think Drappel realizes this, but his position is that the HTML code is explicitly expanded for clarity? And that this is how the tending WikiProject wants it... –xenotalk 14:56, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
His comment and link to the MOS implies otherwise. Since it doesn't mention using & ndash anywhere. -DJSasso (talk) 14:57, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
"The & n d a s h ; to create a dash reduces the chance that people will use a hyphen" –xenotalk 14:58, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Right and I took it the same way as you at first, his more recent comment telling us to go look for where we should use & ndash contradicts the earlier one. -DJSasso (talk) 15:01, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
I had already mass-rv'd before this comment [12], but feel free to undo if a consensus develops to do so. The caretaking WikiProject seems to have a set way of doing this that is apparently intentional and the bot has no approval to make the cosmetic changes. –xenotalk 14:51, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Sure, but the next time someone edits these pages with AWB the change will happen again. — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:54, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Indeed... –xenotalk 14:56, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
The reason for using & ndash; is that inexperienced editors can not see while they are editing the page that an ndash has been used unless it is spelled out, so they will use a hyphen, 99% of the additions to the pages are done by people who never return so they need to see an indication that there is a format required. --Drappel (talk) 15:00, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Note Carl's comment above that AWB users who edit the page will make this same change, as such you may want to {{bots|deny=AWB}} - if this is indeed deemed important. –xenotalk 15:04, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
The sounder solution would be to make a bot to scan these pages from time to time and change hyphens to ndashes, report malformed lines, etc. — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:17, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Sorry for the late reply. I have currently disabled cosmetic changes. However I strongly disagree with the way en wiki uses ndash and mdash. On all other wiki's they are automatically being replaced by the right Unicode character. Why should this wiki bee different from all other wiki's. First of all ndash and mdash are complicated for all users who aren't familiar with ndash or mdash and there even more for "foreign" users who believe they should be changed. What one could do to prevent this from happening, as it will certainly do as AWB also automatically does these changes, is or to change the rules when to use ndash or mdash (wich would be the easiest), or to change the script of pywikipedia and AWB and AutoEd, or to create a bot that reverts thes edits (wich wouldn't be a real solution I believe). - Foxie001 (talk) 17:29, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

And may I also point to the fact that a cosmetic change means the bot is not changing anything of the way the article will look. It's only making changes you will see in the edit window. - Foxie001 (talk) 17:36, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I've unblocked the bot. I don't really have a firm opinion one way or the other on the actual issue whether the cosmetic changes should be done or not; nevertheless, the bot is approved for interwiki linking only, so it should not do cosmetic changes unless a 2nd request is approved to add cosmetic changes to the task. –xenotalk 17:40, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the unblocking, the fact is that I can't apply for cosmetic changes knowing that en wiki allows ndash and mdash. One sad consequence of this is that I will only be doing cosmetic changes from the wiki FoxBot is operating and not on the other 205 wiki's the bot is operating and were cosmetic changes are allowed. - Foxie001 (talk) 17:48, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Can't you disable it per wiki and/or per fix? –xenotalk 17:51, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
I'can only enable cosmetic changes on the home wiki or on all wiki's the bot's working on, those are the only two options. Or I should decide not to work on en wiki, which I believe is not to an option isn't it? :P - Foxie001 (talk) 20:50, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

The &ndash was implemented on all of the date pages in April 2009 by User:Juliancolton. There was no discussion of the change, but when I asked him about it (while it was happening), the argument seemed sound. I am more convinced of the soundness of the argument now. It was never added to the project guidelines. Drappel has explained it pretty well. If there is to be a distinction in the MOS for use of dash vs. hyphen, the easiest way to implement this in a page with hundreds of dashes is to do it this way. I never knew the difference before and I would always have used a hyphen. This only rarely gets "fixed" by a bot or editor with AWB. To keep the pages consistent, using &ndash is the best way to do it. If we remove them, we will have a mix of dashes and hyphens that a bot would need to cleanup (if one could). -- Mufka (u) (t) (c) 22:09, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Compliance problems?

I recently used the c# regex code from Template:Bots, but noticed that it gave a TRUE value for a page that contained {{bots|allow=SineBot}} (when my bot is ChzzBot).

I was doing a little independent check, and skipping pages with "{{bot" or "{{nobot" entirely in any case, to process those by hand later.

If my understanding of the compliance is correct, this should actually have been FALSE, ie the bot was not specifically permitted.

I'm not good at regex, hence I recoded it in what might be a bit of a long-winded fashion, which (for a month) you could check in this pastebin.

If someone thinks it's worth changing to that code on the page, suitably tidied up, then feel free.

Cheers,  Chzz  ►  03:32, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Yes, only the Perl code on that page really handles all the nuances of the definition. I note that your pastebin code has a few issues:
  • It looks for {{nobots|deny=...}} rather than {{bots|deny=...}}
  • It will permit BarBot on {{bots|allow=FooBarBot}} or {{bots|allow=Bar Bot}}.
  • It doesn't implement optout at all.
  • I think it will return "not permitted" for {{bots}} and permitted for {{nobots}}, which is the opposite of the correct behavior.
  • It will also have trouble if the template contains linebreaks in the allow or deny list for some reason, since you forgot the RegexOptions.Singleline to allow ".*" to match newlines.
Also, BTW, the templates are {{bots}} and {{nobots}}; {{bot}} is something different, and {{nobot}} intentionally doesn't exist (because it existing would fool users into thinking it actually worked). Anomie 04:08, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't claim to be amazing at regular expressions (only learnt it recently). But I had a go making a C# RegEx for this. So how's this code:
bool DoesAllowBots(string botusername, string pagetext)
{
    if (Regex.IsMatch(pagetext, "\\{\\{(\\s|)(bots|nobots)(\\s|)(\\|((.)+|)(allow)(\\s|)(=)((.)+|)(" + botusername + "))"))
        return true;
    return !Regex.IsMatch(pagetext, "\\{\\{(\\s|)(bots|nobots)(\\s|)(\\|((.)+|)((optout|deny)(\\s|)(=)(\\s|)(all)|(optout|deny)(\\s|)(=)((.)+|)(" + botusername + ")|(allow(\\s|)=(\\s|)none))|\\}\\})");
}
It works okay for me, but please point out any errors :). Anybody mind if I replace the C# code on Template:Bots with this? - Kingpin13 (talk) 09:36, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Better to use the code from AWB: Rjwilmsi 11:35, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
/// <summary>
/// checks if a user is allowed to edit this article
/// using bots and nobots tags
/// </summary>
/// <param name="articleText">The wiki text of the article.</param>
/// <param name="user">Name of this user</param>
/// <returns>true if you can edit, false otherwise</returns>
public static bool CheckNoBots(string articleText, string user)
{
    return
        !Regex.IsMatch(articleText,
                     @"\{\{(nobots|bots\|(allow=none|deny=(?!none).*(" + user.Normalize() +
                     @"|awb|all)|optout=all))\}\}", RegexOptions.IgnoreCase);
}
Maybe, but my code allows spaces in all the likely places, it allows new lines between the different bots which are disallowed, and it will also let the bot through if the page has {{bots|deny=all|allow=BotName}}. IMO, my code is better :) - Kingpin13 (talk) 12:58, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
  • While all this code talk is nice, getting back to the original post, simply " {{bots|allow=SineBot}} " is not enough to deny any bots anyway. Since all bots are allowed by default, explicitly allowing one with this template doesn't seem to opt out anything. –xenotalk 13:12, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
    Aye, but the reason that Chzz had this problem, is becuase he used the code provided for C# on Template:Bots. Both my code and AWB's code would have allowed ChzzBot even if the page had " {{bots|allow=SineBot}} " on it. So what we're trying to do (I think) is replace the C# code at Template:Bots - Kingpin13 (talk) 13:16, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
    Pls forgive the boorish intrusion by someone who doesn't know what they're talking about =) Teach a non-coder to stick his nose in a coder's party ;p –xenotalk 13:18, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
    Sorry, still confused. By this statement "If my understanding of the compliance is correct, this should actually have been FALSE, ie the bot was not specifically permitted." Chzz seems to think his bot should not edit a page that says bots|allow=SineBot. Any bot should be able to edit that page, in fact, the null statement should be removed. Am I still missing the mark? –xenotalk 13:21, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
    That's interesting, according to the Template:Bots the bots not on the allowed list should be banned. I kinda thought it would depend on whether the bot was opt-in or opt-out. The equivalent of that in my code would be {{bots|deny=all|allow=<bots to allow>}}, which makes more sense to me, but I'd be happy to modify my code accordingly? - Kingpin13 (talk) 13:37, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
    I think it would be easier to make the documentation reflect actual practice of compliant bots rather than trying to swim upstream and ensure they're all updated to reflect this non-intuitive implementation... But again, just my amateur opinion =) –xenotalk 13:44, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
    I think it would be better to make the bots/nobots system less difficult to be compliant with. AFACT, there are at least 4 different ways to prevent all bots from leaving messages on your talk page. Mr.Z-man 16:07, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
    Not sure if you are agreeing or disagreeing with me =) –xenotalk 17:54, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Time to redesign bot exclusion?

As is clear above, the current method of bot exclusion is complicated and difficult to be compliant with. Perhaps it's time to redesign the system? So far, it seems the goals are:

  1. Only one way to say "These bots may not edit"
  2. Only one way to say "Only these bots may edit"
  3. Only one way to say "No bots may edit"
  4. Only one way to say "I do not want these types of messages from any bot"
  5. It would be nice if a bot could detect this without having to load the entire page contents.

One possibility:

  • {{nobots}} works as it does now: no bot may edit the page.
  • {{bots}} also works as it does now: it does absolutely nothing.
  • {{nobots|except=FooBot/BarBot}} says "Only FooBot and BarBot may edit". I chose "/" instead of "," because it's possible that a bot's name contains a comma.
  • {{bots|except=FooBot/BarBot}} says "FooBot and BarBot may not edit".
  • {{bots|except=#nosource/#nolicense}} says "No message-leaving bot may leave a 'nosource' or 'nolicense' message". We could do similarly for "#AWB", "#interwiki", and other classes of bots if we want. Individual bots could also recognize "FooBot#bar" to allow exception of only the "bar" feature. Again, "#" is chosen as no bot name may contain that character.
  • The optional "except" must be the only parameter. If any other parameter is present, the bot is free to ignore that instance of the tempalte.
  • If more than one {{nobots|except=...}} and/or {{bots|except=...}} are used on a page, the bot must be listed as an exception in all "nobots" instances and not be listed as an exception in any "bots" instance to be allowed to edit.

The detector for this scheme is pretty simple:

function allowedToEdit($text, $botnames){
    if(preg_match('!{{\s*nobots\s*}}!', $text)) return false;
    if(!preg_match_all('!{{\s*(bots|nobots)\s*\|\s*except\s*=(.*?)}}!s', $text, $m)) return true;
    $re='!/\s*(?:'.implode('|', array_map('preg_quote', $botnames)).')\s*/!';
    for($i=0; $i<count($m[1]); $i++){
        $found = preg_match($re, '/'.$m[2][$i].'/');
        if($found && $m[1][$i] == 'bots') return false;
        if(!$found && $m[1][$i] == 'nobots') return false;
    }
    return true;
}

The major drawback is that this scheme has no provision for bots trying to honor the existing syntax; they'll probably either ignore the new syntax completely or treat the nobots version as {{nobots}}.

Perhaps the best way to do #5 is to just declare that these templates must be placed in section 0, and then bots need only fetch section 0 to perform the check (possibly like this). Anomie 20:46, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

(Aside) I await clarification/new code; for now, fortunately my bot edits are trivial, so I just deal with any page containing "{{bot*" or "{{nobot*" manually.  Chzz  ►  13:24, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

*uber poke*

Could a BAGer please take a look at this its been open since September and has been tagged for BAG attention since October. --Chris 08:53, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

I would have, but I leave approval of adminbots to the admin BAGgers. Anomie 04:02, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
I wasn't looking at you :) The fact that you did code review and made suggestions could (theoretically) mean people could accuse you of having a COI when approving. --Chris 09:02, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Toolserver IP editing

A discussion that may affect some bots running on the toolserver is in progress at WP:VPT#Toolserver IP editing logged-out again. Please comment there. Anomie 23:06, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Abandoned userspace drafts

Does anyone know of a tool to help find abandoned userspace draft articles? I suppose it wouldn't be too hard to write someone to analyze the lastest database dump based on last edit date. Before I consider writing such a tool, I wanted to check if such a thing already existed. Thanks! --ThaddeusB (talk) 05:33, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

I suppose it depends how you define "userspace draft." If you just wanted a report of pages tagged with {{userspace draft}} sorted by last edit timestamp, that'd be something for Database reports. If you're trying to set up arbitrary criteria for what constitutes a userspace draft (certain number of external links, amount of text, number of edits by particular user, presence of typical article section headers like ==External links==, etc.), you'd need to scan a database dump. --MZMcBride (talk) 06:16, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm sitting with a group of wikipedia editors over coffee. There exists, in this user space, strong support for a bot that does this. They want you to notify them of all pages in their user space they haven't edited in a few months and just post a notice on their user talk page. I pointed out they can find them simply by entering their user name and slash. No one cares. They want notices. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 06:56, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

WP:OPD

I'm curios as to the effectiveness and usefulness of this page, and secondly the fact that the approved account is not the account doing the edits. Page currently has ~52k revisions, RonaldB has edited it 27414 times, RonaldBot 24323 (not since eary 2008). In addition RonaldB's total edit count is 27487.

I could see updating it once a day, or every hour/half hour, but not every time it finds a new request. I think it's pertinent to revisit the request. Q T C 21:20, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

This isn't really the place for the first question, but I agree on the second. I've posted at RonaldB's talk page asking for an explanation. Anomie 01:41, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Posted a notice on WT:OP, can't think of many, if any, other boards that would care too much off hand. Q T C 03:14, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I find this page is absolutely essential for timely and targeted intervention against some of the worst vandalism we get. I'm not sure how many others look at it because it requires a lot of interpretation, but from my point of view, I wouldn't be without it. -- zzuuzz (talk) 09:54, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Ah that's fine, I just never see it really linked anywhere prominent and only come across it every few months so it got me wondering how much use it really got. Q T C 23:18, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
For reason why the bot account isn't used, see here (and I need the sysop account RonaldB on nlwiki). Some time in future, I'll adapt the programs I'm using in order to enable logging in with different user names, but admit that modification has currently not the highest priority. - RonaldB (talk) 23:26, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
If you're referring to bug 14639http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=14639, I see Brion closed it as "invalid" on 2008-07-06. Please fix your bot ASAP, WP:BOTPOL#Bot accounts clearly states that bots should not be run on your main account. Anomie 15:10, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I know that answer. However my system (is a bit more than just a bot) is currently using the Win IE kernel to update the Open Proxy pages on 10 wikis and thus implicitly uses a single cookie (causing the uniform log-in) for all wikipedia.org sites. It is doing that now for some 2.5 years.
It is detecting OP edits based on a continuously updated database of far more than a million suspect IP's, thus probably one of the most comprehensive ones. The reporting enables every sysop or user to have a quick look-up about a suspect IP, w/o taking this manual hurdle.
The system is making some 1/1000th of the total edits on enwiki. So, I'm sorry not to see the real problem. On short term, the only thing I could do is just taking down enwiki from the reporting. - RonaldB (talk) 00:48, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Xqbot

Would love a second opinion on in the conclusion I drew of ENWP bot policy were correct in this case. Q T C 01:36, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

You are correct. The original discussion allowing global bots at all specifically approved them only for interwiki linking; there was never approval for global bots to perform any other task on this Wikipedia. It is unfortunate that the original edit to WP:GLOBALBOTS in August 2008 did not make this clear, but poor wording cannot override clear consensus. Your response also clearly answers his question as to why his bot was not blocked until now. Anomie 04:03, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Switching AWB to PY

Should I file another BRFA to start using PY, rather than AWB, for DrilBot, even if it would be doing essentially the same things (syntax cleanup, etc.)? –Drilnoth (T • C • L) 19:06, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

When I switched frameworks, I think I just dropped a note to the approving BAG member. And maybe not even that... –xenotalk 19:09, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Because this is a drastic switch (going from the cookie cuter AWB to custom python scripts) I think further review may be needed. βcommand 19:18, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't think it would hurt to discuss it. If you were going from PY to AWB it might be just something to drop a note about, but going from AWB to PY you probably want a trial run and input from BAG members and other bot operators, unless you've run a PY bot before, imo. It could help you out making the bot easier and the programming more robust. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 19:24, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Starting another BRfA is your own choice, IMO. As Betacommand says, it's quite a difference, so it's important that users are made aware of it. But whether you do this by starting a new BRfA, or simply making a statement in the current one, is up to you as far as I am aware. - Kingpin13 (talk) 19:28, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for all the input! I was planning to just use some of the material in the fixes.py module, which are tested to be as stable (maybe moreso in some cases) as AWB's genfixes, with a small amount of custom regex when needed (the task would mainly be working with WikiProject Check Wikipedia). Would it make a difference if I were to monitor the bot until more sure of what possible problems there could be? –Drilnoth (T • C • L) 20:21, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Just drop a note for whoever approved your original BRFA and if they think you need a new one, they'll say so... –xenotalk 21:23, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Bot work at WikiProject Albums

There is currently talk at the Albums WikiProject about a possible widespread change across all album articles, and we need some expert advice on what is possible to accomplish with bots. Please see #Implementation of consensus on album reviews for our discussion. Thanks —Akrabbimtalk 20:07, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

This is probably better served at WP:BOTREQ, tbh. –xenotalk 20:09, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
IMO, this is the right place. They're just wanting to ask bot ops what is possible and not yet ask for someone to actually do anything. Anomie 21:29, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but I would assume the query would eventually lead into work. BOTREQ is better watched anyway... –xenotalk 21:31, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Dear Santa...

For Christmas this year I would like Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Orphaned image deletion bot to be approved. I know I haven't been the best boy this year, and have been slow to respond to queries etc related to that brfa, but seriously its been open since September and I would appreciate it if it was over and done with before New Year. --Chris 09:19, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Zorglbot, Wikipedia:Copyright problems, new bot?

Hi. I think this is the place to ask. :) Currently, Zorglbot does a few tasks at WP:CP, and I'm wondering if it is possible to have its functions there replaced by a bot operator who is a little more active on English Wikipedia. The bot's job is creating new pages each day for transclusion and moving pages up to the "Older than 7 days" section after, well, 7 days. Since there's already a bot doing this, a bot request seems inappropriate, but unfortunately it can be difficult to talk to Schutz about issues because he is not often active here.

For last instance, see User talk:Schutz#Zorglbot: Expansion on the daily CP listings. We requested a change to the bot to take into account changes in CorenSearchBot on 10/31. I left him a note at his French talk page that same day. On 11/2, Schutz responded, saying he would look into it very soon. Despite follow up requests on 11/11 and my asking if we should find somebody less busy on 11/12, that's the last we've heard of it. I asked Tizio on 11/16, but when he was also inactive followed up on the recommendation of another bot operator on 11/22 by asking Schutz if we might have the code for Zorglbot so such small changes could be made by others if he is busy (Fr:Discussion utilisateur:Schutz#Zorglbot request). Though Tizio came back and implemented our request in DumbBot's daily duties, I have not heard anything from Schutz on this, though he has edited both en:wiki and fr:wiki since.

As occasionally happens to any bot, I'm sure, Zorglbot didn't do its thing last night. Another contributor has notified Schutz (and I've manually performed its task), but it brings home to me the need to have an operator who is accessible. While Schutz is very helpful and accommodating when he is around, my previous communications at his talk page have also suffered lag.

Would it be possible to get a different bot to do this task? --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:42, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Hmm. Off to find someplace to ask about it. :/ --Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:34, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Info about new WP 1.0 bot (additional developers wanted...)

The WP 1.0 bot is used to track the assessment templates that are put on the talk pages of articles. These are used by over 1,500 WikkiProjects, with over 2.5 million articles tagged. A new version of the WP 1.0 bot is in initial beta testing.

The new version of the bot runs on the Wikimedia toolserver, using their databases and storing the data in its own database. This should open up opportunities for other bots to use the pre-parsed assessment data to do their own analysis. I am open to implementing APIs for this purpose, and I am very open to patches against my code.

I'd also like to find another person interested in working on the bot. Of course you can choose your own level of involvement. I would be happy to have a new developer at any experience level, and working with this bot would be a very nice way to learn database/web programming in the context of a real project. If you're interested, please contact me on my talk page. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:51, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm up for it, see your talk page. Si Trew (talk) 19:21, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Harej running for BAG

This is due notification that I have been nominated to become a member of the Bot Approvals Group. My nomination is here. @harej 05:46, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Bot: New pages with ambiguous links

I'm currently requesting approval for a bot that will place a message on the talk page of any new namespace 0, 6, 10 or 14 article with ambiguous links. See Wikipedia:Bots/Requests_for_approval/WildBot. Josh Parris 03:00, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Should these pages be deleted?

Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/hadoop0910 (created 3 December 2009) and Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/mishumia (created 21 August 2009). -- Magioladitis (talk) 08:10, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Deleted, thanks for the note. MBisanz talk 08:30, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

What redirects here

Anyone know how to get a list of what pages redirect to a given page using pywikipedia? --Cybercobra (talk) 06:56, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

def get_redirects()
    target = wikipedia.Page(site, "Pagename")
    for redirect in target.getReferences(follow_redirects=False,redirectsOnly=True):
        # Cache all redirects to this base name
        yield redirect

Josh Parris 10:05, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Template:Bot

I've proposed a minor change to {{bot}} here, in case anyone has comments. Olaf Davis (talk) 15:31, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Tim1357 on the Bot Approvals Group

Hey Wikipedians, I am here to advertise my nomination to be on the Bot Approvals Group. Take a look if you have some time. Tim1357 (talk) 02:25, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

SmackBot removal of stub templates

(Copied from Wikipedia Talk:Stub at User:Xeno's suggestion)


SmackBot has now twice (if not more) removed my marking of stub templates, the latest being at Battle of Temesvár with this edit.

I have got on to the bot's maintainer recently about this when it did it at Battle of Pakozd. Unfortunately the matter there seems to have been dropped and archived before achieving consensus.

In my opinion, a bot should not make the decision to remove a stub, but WP:STUB says "Any editor can remove... without special permission". It depends, then, whether a bot is regarded as an editor for the purpose of this sentence. I believe in practice, though, it is best to leave such removal to a human's decision. In particular, in these articles which form part of a series:

  • Generally they have been, or are being, translated from Hungarian Wikipédia.
  • Their talk page indicates them part of WikiProject Hungary and WikiProject Military History.
    • Both these projects have members who classify pages.
    • To remove the stub templates may make it more difficult for them, or other editors, to find them and classify them.
    • Different projects might rightly classify things differently, and since there is no standard definition of what a "stub class" article is, it need not be inappropriate that an article is still marked as a stub even though, from the perspective of another project, it is e.g. "start class", since being a stub and being "stub class" are different things.
  • One, Battle of Temesvár, is cleary (to my eyes) currently still a stub (see the diff above) because it describes the pretext and aftermath of the battle, but not the battle itself.
  • Since WP:STUB encourages a stub article to have what I call the "scaffolding" e.g. infobox, pics, categories etc etc, the fact that this is all present does not negate the fact that the article is a stub.
  • This Temesvár article at the time the bot made the change also included the {{Expand Hungarian}} and {{Expand section}} tags. WP:STUB says an article should not have both the {{expand}} tag and stub templates. I do not think by extension this should mean any template that happens to start with "expand". I am not assertoing this was the reason for removing them, but I would regard it being so as very much too liberal an interpretation of WP:STUB, since those templates have quite distinct usages/meanings and are not merely artifacts of {{expand}}. Clarification there please.
  • The Temesvár article at the time had the {{underconstruction}} tag. While not of itself even intended to prevent/delay other editors' contributions, it may be taken as evidence indicating that the article is actively being expanded, and so hint that in its current state it could well be considered a stub. Again I am not suggesting that it will always do so (otherwise it might as well come under the same guidance as {{expand}}) but it may give a hint to a human editor that it is indeed a stub.

In short, I think it entirely inappropriate for a bot to make this kind of decision. For a human editor, with the assistance of AWB, to do so, is entirely another matter, since in good faith I accept that an editor will consider the whole balance of the article and use AWB to find candidates, not automatically trust it (as a bot does).

Any opinions on this matter?

Best wishes Si Trew (talk) 20:47, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

This is probably best taken up at the WP:BON, since it is ultimately one of bot policy and not stub policy. You could add {{bots|deny=SmackBot}} to the article, to prevent them editing it again (if it is exclusion complient) . –xenotalk 20:53, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks xeno. I think I will add that to all articles I create or substantially work on, since in many ways SmackBot seems to me to do more harm than good when one conscientiously creates stub articles. I am not sure it is totally one of bot policy, because WP:STUB's wording applies equally to editors who applied it thoughtlessly, e.g. the ambiguity of the {{expand}} template.
I subbed my comments above before you replied, but you'd posted reply before me. I can only assure you I just changed the wording a little to make it clearer, but not the substance of what it said.
Best wishes Si Trew (talk) 21:00, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Stub and stub class are different. A stub is an article that has really just been created as place-holder (despite all the talk of sub-stubs). It is something onto which a article will be grafted - hence the name. An incomplete, article, even one with a gaping hole in it is not a stub. An untranslated or near nonsensical article is not a stub. They may well however be stub class. That assessment will be on the talk page, not on the article. The two battle articles in question were not stubs, not even close. The latter one was 5k+ we actually start low key size warnings at 30k+. Rich Farmbrough, 02:03, 17 December 2009 (UTC).
From WP:STUB#Basic information:

[...] there are subjects about which a lot could be written - their articles may still be stubs even if they are a few paragraphs long. As such, it is impossible to state whether an article is a stub based solely on its length, and any decision on the article has to come down to an editor's best judgement (the user essay on the Croughton-London rule may be of use when trying to judge whether an article is a stub). Similarly, stub status usually depends on the length of prose text alone - lists, templates, images, and other such peripheral parts of an article are usually not considered when judging whether an article is a stub.

My emphasis. While other parts of WP:STUB mention it is usually short, and so on, this explicitly says an editor has to use judgment, implicitly I think this means human judgment not a rule built into a bot, and that templates and so forth are ignored, which rules out the text in the infobox and so on. So the 5k+ figure is meaningless and, in any case, irrelevant. There are two issues here: Whether the wording in WP:STUB is clear and consistent (something better debated at that page's talk) and whether a bot should do it (something better debated here).
Best wishes Si Trew (talk) 17:18, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Can someone point to the BRFA where this bot was approved for removing stub templates? I can't seem to find it in a quick glance. Anomie 02:07, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
AFAIK it's got approval for AWB "General Fixes", or some derivative.. Reedy 08:53, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
A link to that would be helpful. Anyway, I don't see "remove stub templates" listed at WP:GENFIXES. Anomie 12:15, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
However, the edit summary (linke above) says "Date maintenance tags and general fixes, removed Stub tag" which by exceptio probat regulam would mean that removal of stub tags is not considered a general fix. Si Trew (talk) 17:44, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Which brings us back to my original question. Anomie 04:40, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
I have compiled a list of all their [The Bot Owners] submitted task requests [For the aforementioned bot] that I could find in a tabular format in my Sandbox. Peachey88 (Talk Page · Contribs) 07:43, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Let's get to brass tacks. Either Farmbrough did it under SmackBot's name by accident, in which case all he had to do was say sorry I made a mistake and it would be forgotten, or he did not, and so he wants to smack with his bot not just these two exemplars but several thousand more. All Farmbrough has to do is tell us what his intention was. But he instead, as usual, goes on to hurt something else raher than answer the question, which is, did he edit ir, or did his bot? Simple question, simple answer please. Since everwhere I edit now Farmbrough leaves a trace I am tempted to take it as hounding, but I hope not. Farmbrough does not generally take an interest in the Battle of Temesvár, but he went and removed a nonsense space character after it was submitted, and got, assessment at MilHist, who actually care. So he did it just so he could make a change, to hound me. The history before that was all mine and monika's edits, oh he changed a space. Sorry that is hounding and AGF is upmost in my mind but my faith is wearing thin if he cannot be bothered to reply to simple questions of fact, Si Trew (talk) 22:26, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
I suggest your re-look at that edit. He fixed a mistake in the text ("no longer any change the" → "no longer any chance the"). MilHist's assessment is immaterial. We don't stop fixing mistakes just because an assessment missed them. -- JLaTondre (talk) 23:12, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
The point stands, indeed is emphasised. I spent quite a time wondering what had changed, and it would have been simpler if the edit summary had said "change -> chance" or something like that. I admit my mistake and am happy it was corrected. What I dislike is that if one asks Farmbrough why he changes something, one gets no response. All he needs to do, and i think it is his responsibility as a bot owner, is to reply to people who reasonably ask queries. But he does not. He has not replied here, for example, except for saying the exact text that was in the references I gave. I, on the other hand, have come here with clean hands and gave you the ref and you found what I had not spotted. Do you see the point? Had I not given you the ref you would not have found it. So I come here with clean hands. I thank him for cleaning that, and you are absolutely right, notfinished and notperfect, but also LEAVE A DECENT EDIT SUMMARY. Which the bot does not do, it just says "general fixes" or something, that is our argument. In this case, Rich edited it and he did so under his own name. I am probably wrong to think he is hounding me, but it feels like it. Because everything I edit, there is Farmbrough afterwards making a tiny change. I don't mind the change, it is good, but I feel he is hounding me. I hope it is not true, and it is just part of the good work he does cleaning stuff up. I don't mind disagreeing with him, that is fine. When I submit a request for discussion at WP:RFD, for the first time in many months, and suddenly Farmbrough responds to my suggestion, well maybe he watches RFD all the time (I don't) but it feels like he deliberatly threw a spanner in the works, hounding me. I really hope he is not, but it feels like it. I should say so to his face, but he doesn't answer when one puts a difficult question to him. Si Trew (talk) 07:07, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) Let's make it simple. Either he edited it for himself, and accidentally was on the SmackBot account – which I accept as a human error if he will only say so – or his bot edited it as part of what it would then do to thousands of other articles. All he has to do is say which, but if he does not, I think he is abusing the bot. Si Trew (talk) 13:22, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

And this is not the first time. In the same time, he edited to reorder references, under which someone had carefully ordered them to put the most important first. It is in the same archive and asked why he did it, and as usual he moved on to something else without actually answering the question. His bot is good, his edits are good, on the whole, but he has to learn to respond to people when they ask a sensible question. Otherwise it is bot abuse, as was stronglz implied when asked where was the approval for this. As far as I can see, it was not approved. I think it is for Farmbrough now to show us where it was approved. Because it was not. Si Trew (talk) 16:51, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

I have no idea, and little care, about the circumstances surrounding this dispute, but one fact is abundantly clear: a bot does not have the judgement to decide when an article has progressed beyond stub stage. A bot is not an editor, it is a mindless automaton; a such, a bot should not be removing stub templates. If a bot has approval for that task, that approval should, IMO, be withdrawn; if it does not have approval, it should not be doing it anyway. Happymelon 17:32, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Happy you have hit the nail on the thumb. I don't mind if a human editor does it, but don't wqnt a bot to do it. Especially when its owner can't be bothered to answer for himseldf, or his bot. My assumption of good faith is wearing very thin. Si Trew (talk) 17:54, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

I haven't read the whole discussion yet but I would like to add my opinion on Si Trew's concerns. As far as I understand:

  • Per WP:STUB "A stub is an article containing only a few sentences of text which is too short to provide encyclopedic coverage of a subject" so the article discussed in certainly not a stub. The article gives clear idea of the battle but it needs expansion to cover the whole subject in a clear way.
  • A WikiProject can identify an article in stub-class even if its not a stub. This only depends of the size of expansion the WikiProject has decided. Different wikiprojects can have different assessment classes.
  • Expand tags and not only the original can't co-exist with stub tags. Stub tags are, again, for very short articles that need expansion in the whole. Stub tag implies expand. If the article is not a stub and needs furthur expansion then the use of expand tags is recommended. The more specific the expand tags are the best. Generally the {{expand}} tag is not a good solution when mre specific instructions can be given of how to expand the tags.
  • Bots are operated by editors and I consider them as editor tools i.e. bots can remove stubs. Of course, as any other editor, it is recommended that bots provide good edit summaries.
    • I don't imply that SmackBot and every bot should remove stub tags. This is a general statement. In general bots could remove stubs.

On stub removal from AWB:

  • Stub removal is not considered part of AWB'S general fixes but of AWB's autotagging. I consider stub AWB's stub removal very accurate. I am the one who suggested that expand tags can't co-exist with stubs and asked AWB's developers to implement it as part of the auto-tagging. If WP:STUB is read carefully and stubs/expansion tags are used correctly I think AWB is 99.99% accurate (I am not excluding the case above but I leave a small margin for false positives which I haven't encountered yet).

Thanks, Magioladitis (talk) 08:10, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

I had pointed this out some time ago [13]. I have raised the issue again on the bot's talk page, as this is something that doesn't have bot approval and seems unlikely to gain bot approval (as Happy-Melon said above). Not all AWB features are suitable for bots. — Carl (CBM · talk) 13:50, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Anyone that can look at the article in question and call it a stub...
Simon was confusing stub class with stub. The removal of the tag was correct. As in so many cases, why chase the rules when nothing is actually wrong, except the article being labelled as a stub in the first place? I have explained very carefully to users in maybe 3 cases in several years where there has been a query over this, and they have been satisfied apart form Si. While the code is not exactly AI, it is smart enough and cautious enough that, like the majority of what the AWB developers write, it runs safely and sanely for millions of edits. People who have some fixation about various things, either botophobes, or who don't understand some minor element of WP, or who just can't find it in themselves to be flexible for whatever reason, are constantly impacting on the ability of others to improve the enyclopedia. I am often aware that I am artificially splitting tasks up and wasting massive numbers of edits because I know that some one will make a fuss about something. Most problems can be fixed without throwing our toys out of the pram.
Summary. The articles were not stubs. Teh stub templates were removed. Hooray.
Rich Farmbrough, 14:00, 28 December 2009 (UTC).
It is true that stub-class is different than "being a stub". However, bots should not be changing either of them, and SmackBot does not have approval to change either of them. I'll block the bot if I observe it remove any more. For the record, I am not a botophobe. — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:16, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
a) ATM there are bot that assess articles. So, there are bots changing stub-classes. We also have auto=yes if a bot added the class and auto=inherit if a bot used another project to determine a class.
b) I would like to see an example that SmackBot incorrectly remove a stub from mainspace. Unless, someone believes that SmackBor was wrong in the case above.
c)If there is a reason that SmackBot should not be doing autotagging is the orphan case. AWB right now is inaccurate in adding orphan tags. Stub tags are accurate. I proposed a solution to this in AWB's talk page. -- Magioladitis (talk) 14:19, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree, and that, and my concern about the orphanage in general is the reason I usually have auto-tagging off at the moment. In fairness to AWB the two key reasons that Orphan tagging is not great right now are the nature of the API (which is fixable) and a unilateral change to the definition/proces of Orphan tagging. Rich Farmbrough, 16:19, 28 December 2009 (UTC).
There has been no "unilateral change" to the orphan criteria. There was a change awhile back, but that was debated across several different pages. Consensus was reached & the criteria updated. That's the way Wikipedia is supposed to work. -- JLaTondre (talk) 16:44, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I can't see how an editor in good faith going through a recognised discussion process is "throwing [their] toys out of the pram". My stance is simply this: 'bots are incapable of making decisions of this kind, which require human thought. It is hardly surprising that I brought it to attention on articles I have edited instead of on articles I have never seen. It has come to the pass that I have to review every edit SmackBot makes myself anyway, which defeats the purpose as Rich rightly implies, to make uncontroversial edits on a large scale. (And there is little point saying this edit is not controversial, since it patently is.) I said right at the start that WP:STUB generally says that stub articles are only very short, and also quoted the text there that says that an article cannot be judged solely by its length, and that the "scaffolding" of an article should be discounted.
I could reiterate my points here, indeed I already wrote them, but I see that it is poinless. The end of it is: This decision must be made by a human editor, not a bot. Si Trew (talk) 08:32, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
As far as "artificially splitting tasks up", it seems to me rather the opposite, that the tasks are not sensibly partitioned in the first place (gen fixes, date parmeter additions, stub removal, etc.), which should be made on separate edits. That applies as much to human editors too, in my opinion (and I am guilty of telescoping several edits of different natures into one edit simply for my own convenience), but for a bot it should be easy simply to have different runs for different tasks, i.e. essentially different bots. (StubRemovalBot etc.) Is there is some technical reason e.g. the amount of resources consumed that means that it is unfeasible to do this on separate runs? At least then the nature of the change is more evident. Si Trew (talk) 09:07, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
Other than general editing guidelines which say you should do as much in one edit as you can instead of doing many little ones? Doing many small ones makes a mess of edit histories. -DJSasso (talk) 14:23, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

In case this matters for the discussion: AWB Tagger's bug for orphans has been fixed and will be available with next release probably next week. Check Wikipedia_talk:AutoWikiBrowser/Bugs/Archive_15#Orphan_tags_part_IV. Further tweaks, will be done soon. Check Wikipedia_talk:Orphan#AWB_and_Orphans. After that, I don't see any reason why SmackBot should not be going genfixes and tagging while doing other stuff. This saves watchlists from being cluttered by continuous bot edits, servers and a lot of work. If someone goes to WP:CHECKWIKI will see that most errors are human made and not AWB bots related. Thanks, Magioladitis (talk) 16:04, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

I see this discussion has been cut. In all its interminal glory. Now the fact of the matter is, J'accuse, Rich Farmbrough's bot did things it was not entitled to do, he did not accept the fact, nn fact he said that fixed, done, where!'s the problem/ Either the entire later part of this has been deleted or I am (and I often am) an idiot. Several others stated a bot should not do this, which was what in my opening para. What was the conclusion then? Will Rich say sorry if he did wrong as human or did wrong on behalf of SmackBot? Was there a ruling that he had no right to run that bot to do that job?
This is most unsatisfactory. Rich and I both, I hope, are good editors. Necessariily we have disagreements. We try to take them to fora to get consensus. If we do not get them, well, it leaves at least one editor thinkin it is not important. And probably two, because I doubt Frambrough likes this more than I do. I left it a month to let it rest. Now can we have a conclusion please? This is a non-conclusion, because nobody has ruled whether SmackBot is allowed to do this. Which does not help Rich and does not help me.


SmackBot turned auto-tagger off. Rich wrote that to me in his talk page. This was the result of this discussion. -- Magioladitis (talk) 23:03, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

RFBAG

I am currently standing for BAG membership. Your input is appreciated. ⇌ Jake Wartenberg 02:53, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

I never asked for SB to be stopped, and please pput it back to do genfixes with any help I can. This is a dispute about one little thing it does, not its or Rich's good work and let them do it

The end of the discussion is that Rich got genfixes turned off. I didn't want that or ask for it. Never during this whole farrago did I turn his bot off or ask for it to be. I asked, more or less, for it to be turned off for stub remmoval, while it was decided. It still seems it has not been and there is no consensus. I do think that SmackBot should be let to go about its general business cleaning up genfixes, I have no problem with that at all. Rich put a message on my talk page to which I have replied, and left a message at his.

It is bizarre, because really all both he and I want to do is make Wikipedia better. We clashed, the earth still goes around the sun. He should have SmackBot reinstated for genfixes. Anything I can do to help that I will, and have said so. The stub thing I still think is not resolved, but SB should do uncontroversial bot edits and should not be stopped from doing that. Certainly it was not me who asked for that. Si Trew (talk) 18:26, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Let me make something clear: AWB has two main procedures: Auto-tagger and general fixes. The first part really still does have problems in some parts. I can write them down if someone ask. We are working a way out. SmackBot should keep doing general fixes in addition to its other functions. -- Magioladitis (talk) 20:07, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

The reason that general fixes are disabled, as I understand it, is that Rich F. is not willing to disable just the features that are problematical when applied automatically. These include automatic removal of stub tags and various sorts of reference reformatting. It would be perfectly possible for the uncontroversial general fixes to be turned on and the controversial ones to be turned off. — Carl (CBM · talk) 21:09, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
I do not believe it's possible for Rich to do that. As far as I know, AWB general fixes are all or nothing. I at least don't see any options to control which ones are used. -- JLaTondre (talk) 20:52, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
It is, by writing a custom module to call only the desired functions (there's an example of this in the AWB documentation). It is still true that it's not possible to apply only part of a single general fix function. Rjwilmsi 21:31, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
It's Rich's bot, so Rich can disable any code in it by simply commenting out the code and compiling again. If there are other ways already developed to disable code (for example, custom modules), that may make it slightly easier. In any case, the bot is just a computer program, and the bot operator is human, so the operator's will is going to prevail. — Carl (CBM · talk) 22:50, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Definitely if Rich cannot understand the difference between controversial edits and uncontroversial ones, I can see why that would be the result. It seems, as I said a lot earlier, little point saying it is uncontroversial, when seven or eight editors have replied in various ways. That does not make me right, of course. But patently it is controversial. Si Trew (talk)

Finding bots

Further to: Wikipedia:Bot_owners'_noticeboard/Archive_4#Bot_categories:_Grand_plan it's about time finding bots to

  1. get them to do things
  2. steal their source code

became much easier. I have suggestions, but before I pollute the pool with my own thoughts, what are yours? Josh Parris 02:49, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Unexpected side-effect of not bothering the editors

I have an new bot leaving a note on the talk pages of new articles where it finds links to disambiguation pages in the new article. During approval consensus was that a message on a user's talk page or a tag within the article itself would be too disruptive. A study during the trial of the bot showed that early tagging (on the talk page) was vital to generating editor action, and the reception has thus far been strongly positive.

However, it's been pointed out that there's an increased administrative burden from creating these talk pages, as 7.5% of them are subsequently deleted along with their associated article (under the CSD).

I see six possible solutions (in order of preference):

  1. The admins "just deal with it"
  2. I become an admin and run this as an adminbot which deletes the mess it created.
  3. An admin runs the bot as an adminbot.
  4. Only tag patrolled articles (there are a lot of unpatrolled articles right now)
  5. Some time period is left to allow CSD tagging; if it gets tagged with any CSD templates, just ignore trying to improve it
  6. I retire the bot.

Is there anything else I can do? Josh Parris 14:49, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Deleting the talk page is not really a big issue, so I wouldn't worry about it too much. It is not actually a burden for administrators to delete talk pages as part of CSD, and they do it all the time (for example, if anyone places a hangon tag there). But if you want to add a time limit to leave room for CSD, or only check patrolled articles, that seems fine too. — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:20, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree with CBM. When an admin deletes an article that has a talk page, the screen that confirms the deletion contains a message saying that the deleted article had a talk page, with a link allowing immediate deletion of the talk page. So the "increased administrative burden" is just one additional mouse click. --R'n'B (call me Russ) 15:36, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I think option 1 is fine too - deleting talk pages isn't that big a deal. Who pointed it out, though? Were they an admin who said it was a big problem?
Running it as an adminbot doesn't seem to help things - instead of deleting the talk page, an admin would have to go to the talk page and look at the bot's message, realise that the bot was going to delete it, and then decide to leave the talk page intact. That seems a lot slower than just deleting the talk page themselves, and I'm doubtful many admins would even realise the bot was planning to clean up after itself. Olaf Davis (talk) 15:41, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Indeed - Two extra clicks is not a burden. –xenotalk 17:08, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Do we have a filter for empty talk pages? I think after the dabs are corrected the templates should removed and if the page is emptied then to be deleted. In fact I really hope that these messages are updated. In the past we had some bot messages that stood in talk pages for years ending to be out-of-date and sometimes disruptive for readers who wanted to read discussions in the talk page. -- Magioladitis (talk) 17:01, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

There is Orphaned_talkpage_deletion_bot that takes care of talk pages. Tim1357 (talk) 22:37, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
This bot deletes talk page whose corresponding article page was deleted. But, what about blank talk pages that they created by a bot and then blanked by the same? I think they have to be deleted in order not to mislead viewers thinking that there is content in the talk page. -- Magioladitis (talk) 22:40, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
If the bot is the only editor, couldn't it just replace the page with {{db-g7}} ? –xenotalk 22:42, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with xeno. When the bot removes the template, replace it with a CSD template. Tim1357 (talk) 22:45, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Very good idea. I came here to write it but xeno was faster. -- Magioladitis (talk) 23:22, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Yes, great plan. Olaf Davis (talk) 23:25, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Further to this: Wikipedia:Bot requests/Archive 33#db-author bot Josh Parris 00:31, 20 January 2010 (UTC) Also Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/7SeriesBOT Josh Parris 11:17, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

BAG membership request

I have been nominated for Bot Approvals Group membership by MBisanz, and I am posting a notification here as encouraged by the bot policy. If you have time, please comment at Wikipedia:Bot Approvals Group/nominations/The Earwig. Thanks, — The Earwig @ 03:39, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Application for BAG membership

I have accepted MBisanz's nomination of myself for membership of the Bot Approvals Group, and invite interested parties to participate in the discussion and voting. Josh Parris 03:02, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

Breaking change in the Wikimedia server settings

If your bot has been not sending a User-Agent header, it will now be getting errors while trying to do anything on Wikimedia sites. The fix is to set a distinct User-Agent header for your bot (i.e. don't just copy the UA from IE or Firefox, or use the default in your HTTP library), like you should have been doing already. Anomie 19:58, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

New interwiki bots behaviour: problems

Did you notice changes in interwiki bots behaviour? There are some problems with it.

  1. They are now removing from disambig pages any interwiki to a non disambig page and vice versa. It sounds good, but it creates problems with surname pages hosted on other wikis. Interwikis to english pages about surnames are going to be removed because here on en.wiki they are not considered disambig pages. (take a look here: Template talk:Dmbox#Surname pages should be considered by bots as disambig pages).
  2. Several plain errors: [14], [15], [16], etc.
  3. Removing of interwiki to redirects [17]. Please note, it is for example the best way to create iw to a section. Moreover they are useful and there is nothing wrong with them.

Basilicofresco (msg) 13:37, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

The first point is a known problem and has been for years. It stems from two things, en.wiki does not want to list the surname template as a disambiguation template. This is where the problem originates, however the fact that the bots are making the changes is because the operator is running in -autonomous mode at the same time as -force. If you use the -force switch then you override pywikipedias warning on surname pages which the bot will normally skip or throw up a notice for you to decide if you aren't runniging in autonomous mode. You should leave notices to bot owners you see doing this. -DJSasso (talk) 14:43, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Djsasso is right, the bots are supposed to already know about set index pages and allow links between set index pages and disambig pages. As Djsasso says we should instead inform bot owners who's bots don't work correctly. I'll explain more in the discussion over at Template talk:Dmbox#Surname pages should be considered by bots as disambig pages. (I moved that discussion to that page, so I updated the link in Basilicofresco's message above.)
--David Göthberg (talk) 22:00, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Bots running in -force and --autonomous should be blocked on sight and the owner trouted imo. Q T C 11:50, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Cosmetic changes

Hi! Are approved bots allowed to add cosmetic changes (-cc parameter, see cosmetic_changes.py in pywikipedia) to their tasks without any specific authorization request? example Thanks. -- Basilicofresco (msg) 15:56, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

It looks like the BRFA really only grants license to do interwiki; so, no - I would say contact the operator and ask them to seek specific approval for the cosmetic changes, or stop applying them. –xenotalk 16:01, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Also, there are restrictions on the cosmetic changes that are allowed to be used, see Wikipedia:BOTPOL#Restrictions_on_specific_tasks. As far as I can see the bot shouldn't be making these changes. Waiting for the bot op to comment here. - Kingpin13 (talk) 16:30, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Then you should simply ask the developer the change the cc tasks that are enabled by default on enwiki, so that using -cc is useful and uncomplicated. Merlissimo 17:57, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Hello, I have disabled the cosmetic changes on English Wikipedia. Thanks for report! Mondalor (talk) 10:56, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Reporting a bot

Copied from User talk:Anomie

I'm not entirely sure how to report a bot, but User:FaleBot seems to be doing odd things. It removes perfectly good interwiki links (for example, every interwiki link to 2010 in music). It seems to take offence at interwiki articles with non-ASCII names (such as Akasaka and the Japanese disambig page/Korean disambig page) and just removes them seemingly randomly.--Prosperosity (talk) 18:41, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

It seems that the bot was named appropriately... *wink wink* Seriously though, this looks like it's another bot that's running on --autonomous and --force. There's a thread about this above. (X! · talk)  · @279  ·  05:41, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
bot stopped Fale (talk) 13:21, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Anti-Vandalism BRFA (User:AVBOT)

Hello. I have opened a BRFA for a new anti-vandalism bot (User:AVBOT). It reverts vandalism, blanking and test edits. This bot has been tested in Spanish Wikipedia for about 2 years, and it has reverted about 200,000 vandalisms.

Some more features:

Also, the code is available for reviews. Thanks. Regards. emijrp (talk) 21:46, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Bot renames things to Spanish on the English Wiki

Resolved

User:Muro Bot renames DEFAULTSORT to ORDENAR in its "cosmetic changes". Examples: here, here, here. Please someone block it until this is fixed. Thanks Hekerui (talk) 17:04, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

I warned owner in its talk page. Bot is not active atm. I'll block it if gets active before owner replies. Some stats> Bot did 31 edits today plus 2 more since January 1st, 2010. -- Magioladitis (talk) 17:12, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
It moved a stub template above categories in [18]. This is also wrong. I think we have to disallow cosmetic changes for this bot. -- Magioladitis (talk) 17:23, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
I started fixing the last 100 edits with AWB to check if the problem goes before 2010. -- Magioladitis (talk) 17:28, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
No problem before today. Muro de Aguas contacted me in my talk page: "Ops, I'm very sorry because of the error. I enabled cosmetic changes for all wikis where my bot edits and I didn't realize that I have added more cosmetic changes to the ones in the original file. Now I have disabled cosmetic changes" -- Magioladitis (talk) 17:43, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Ops, I'm very sorry because of the error. I enabled cosmetic changes for all wikis where my bot edits and I didn't realize that I have added more cosmetic changes to the ones in the original file. Now I have disabled cosmetic changes. Muro de Aguas (write me) 17:44, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm going to do some more edits to prove that it works fine without cosmetic changes [19]. Muro de Aguas (write me) 17:56, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
It seems the problem was limited, I could only access the three pages because my connection is bad today, but I'm glad this is turned off anyway. Best Hekerui (talk) 18:26, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

AIV bot editing logged-off

Hey everyone. Does anyone know if this toolserver IP address was ever matched up with which one of the AIV helper bots has been logging out? It seems to be losing its log-in frequently lately. --NickContact/Contribs 07:44, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Think it's #5, but I could be wrong. Q T C 08:02, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
Should we perhaps prod the owner(/s) with a stick and get them to update their bots so that they Assert their edits? Peachey88 (Talk Page · Contribs) 08:12, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
Be nice, but it's pywikipedia, so . .. probably not. Q T C 07:57, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
I did a quick overview of their documentation and couldn't find anything on it, so I have put in a submitted a feature request in their tracker system, If anyone can/could explain it better, you are more then welcome to comment on it. Peachey88 (Talk Page · Contribs) 12:14, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Bot Adoption

At Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Full-date unlinking bot 2 harej has requested another operator adopt his bot (and presumably the BRFA that goes with it). Are there any takers? Josh Parris 12:08, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

VolkovBot is running in -auto and -force mode

Here is another interwiki bot running in -auto and -force mode... [20] I believe it's time to ask developers to block the contemporary use of -force and -auto. What do you think? -- Basilicofresco (msg) 06:47, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

The BAG would strongly support such a request; if the dev team is hesitant, preventing that combination from editing enwiki would be acceptable. Josh Parris 05:36, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Here is the answer of the operator. -- Basilicofresco (msg) 10:48, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

Operator has been warned, but is still running the bot in -auto -force: [21]. There is consensus against these edits. Please take appropriate actions. -- Basilicofresco (msg) 23:13, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

While it should not be done all the time, there are cases where its valid. I would say from his explanation you link to farther up, that if he does intend to run a second pass that his work fixing conflicting iw links outweights the chance a couple surname articles will fall through the cracks. Its for situations like this that WP:IAR exist. He is clearly making things better by his actions. -DJSasso (talk) 23:30, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

unblock request needs an admin with good knowledge of bot policy

Resolved

User talk:Evgeniychub. It seems most of us regular unblock reviewers are pretty clueless about the details of bot operations... Beeblebrox (talk) 17:39, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

YesY User unblocked on the condition they seek approval for any future bot tasks. –xenotalk 17:43, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

HBC NameWatcherBot

Chillum seems to be serious about retiring, and as a result we've had no bot generated username reports for the last five days. Anyone want to adopt this bot? Beeblebrox (talk) 18:50, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

That may be something I'll pick up. Document-properties.svg Coding... (X! · talk)  · @853  ·  19:27, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/SoxBot 23 approved for a 7 day trial. - Kingpin13 (talk) 22:37, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't know how you evaluate these things, but as a regular UAA patroller I would say it seems to be functioning well so far, it's caught quite a few names and has about the same ratio of false positives as it's predecessor. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:26, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Potential issue with the interaction of FrescoBot and WildBot

I thought I should call attention to the informal discussion at User_talk:Basilicofresco#FrescoBot_adding_WildBot_templates and User_talk:Josh_Parris#WildBot_template_clutter. I've weighed in somewhat assertively and didn't want to seem as if trying to short-cut a discussion that probably belongs on the table for the entire BAG community to work through. It appears FrescoBot has essentially turned Wildbot's DAB and section-link function from an opt-in to a mandatory function wiki-wide. Main problem seems to be that the mass prompting set up by FrescoBot is setting up full-size templates on countless busy talk pages where the top of the page is devoted to setting context for the talk page rather than minor maintenance functions that these bots perform. The tasks are of course potentially useful and impressive. But I wonder if this effect was fully contemplated in the last approvals request of FrescoBot? ... Kenosis (talk) 02:52, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Can you show an example where its bad? I have always personally felt notices of any kind should be at the top of talk pages, so I am not sure I see the issue you are seeing. -DJSasso (talk) 03:03, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
E.g., Talk:Global_warming, Talk:Evolution, Talk:Natural selection, Talk:Ralph Nader and countless others where the top of the talk page is used to set the context for the entire page, not for minor maintenance issues. ... Kenosis (talk) 03:31, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Josh Parris seems to have it covered now, as can be seen in User_talk:Josh_Parris#WildBot_template_clutter. Josh's proposed solution was to move the maintenance templates to below the existing templates used on many of the busier talk pages. I'll leave a note for Basilicofresco as well. Thanks, and take care now. ... Kenosis (talk) 04:04, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Dead user equals dead bot ?

Given that the honorable Mr. Wolterding seems to be dead (no edits since January 3rd), what is the Plan B for WolterBot ??? --AlainR345Techno-Wiki-Geek 04:44, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

If source code was available, an operator could pick up the mantle. I've had a cursory examination and found nothing; if anyone else knows where the sources can be found, or has tried emailing the operator to request said sources, speak up. Josh Parris 05:47, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
Isn't it possible to take over a bot, for the community, if the bot is useful yet the original operator is MIA? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 17:26, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
Only if someone has the source code for it. Sometimes only the operator has the source code. -DJSasso (talk) 17:38, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
So I gather we don't require bot operators to register the source code with the project (I thought bots were hosted on toolserv - I guess I was wrong?)? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 17:40, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
Only some bots are hosted on the Toolserver, the rest are run from people's own computers. Even if a bot is run from the Toolserver, the code could still be hidden away somewhere so that we have trouble finding it, but usually not. In most cases, it is purely the operator's decision on whether to publish their source code, although it is sometimes requested by members of the BAG during approvals requests. — The Earwig (talk) 18:06, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Mass adding of ultradetailed city categories

I would notify how user:Monegasque is recently adding a host of ultra-detailed categories (such as category:People from Fiume Veneto, which I recently blanked) whose importance is really minor, and usually contain just one entry. CAn somebody intervene and, possibly, revert all his improper additions? Thanks and good work. --'''Attilios''' (talk) 15:36, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

"People from City" categories are quite normal and not improper. Secondly this is the bot owner noticeboard. He does not appear to be a bot. -DJSasso (talk) 15:47, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Problem with multiple bots adding an incorrect interwikilink

The Southern Railway (Great Britain) article has had an interwikilink added to the pt:Southern San Paulo Railway article. The link has been added by Xqbot, TXikiBot, Volkovbot and Volkovbot again. No doubt a similar series of edits will have been performed to the corresponding Portuguese article. I've not checked this as that is a matter for pt:wiki. Further addition of this link will be seen as disruptive and the bots prevented from editing. Please can we get this sorted. Mjroots (talk) 03:21, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Blocking multiple bots for one error seems a little drastic. It is much easier to simply add {{nobots}} to the page somewhere, which will be invisible and will prevent all compliant bots from editing the page. — The Earwig (talk) 03:25, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
An even better solution would be to fix the interwiki error, Ill do that shortly. βcommand 03:28, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
One addition of an incorrect interwikilink is a mistake. We all make mistakes and it's not a big deal. Four additions is disruptive, worse in this case as it's interdisruptive. The second addition by a bot that had been reverted is especially problematical. Betacommand's response is the one which makes the most sense. Mjroots (talk) 03:40, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Adding nobots is the worst solution you can do. The best solution is to fix the link problem globally as done by EdJogg. All IWs to enwiki seem to be ok now [22]. If you are not able to solve the problem globally you can add the wrong link in comments (e.g. <!--[[pt:Southern San Paulo Railway]]-->) this will prevent bots from adding this interwiki again, but still allows other Interwikis additions or other bot tasks. Merlissimo 04:03, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Hm. I really didn't mean it as a permanent solution, but as something that could be used temporarily until the problem could be identified and fixed (because I have absolutely no idea how interwiki bots obtain their data), because it would prevent the continued addition of interwikis for the period of time that it was up there. And I agree that the additions are problematical, but I still don't see how blocking would have been the right way to go – there are literally dozens of interwiki bots that would have made this change sooner or later, and blocking dozens of bots for making the same error doesn't make sense to me (except, perhaps, in the Volkovbot case). Oh well – why am I still talking? Problem solved, fair enough. — The Earwig (talk) 04:13, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Basically interwiki bots get their information from pages in each language and then if one language has a link the others do not it adds it to the others. So when someone usually not a bot adds an incorrect interwiki link to one page the bots add the link to all the others. So when someone fixes the incorrect link on one page and not the others, then another bot comes along and readds it because it sees that it is missing on one page and is on the others. So the only way to fix incorrect interwiki tagging is to go remove the link from the page in each language. -DJSasso (talk) 12:43, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────There are eight pages (one each for eight languages: ca, de, en, fr, ja, no, pt, simple), and I have examined each. Seven of the eight deal with what we in the UK know as Southern Railway (Great Britain); the other (pt:Southern San Paulo Railway) deals with a railway in Brazil, and the latter was incorrectly being added as an interwiki to the other seven, and vice versa. User:EdJogg removed all seven interwikis from the pt page, but I was concerned that a 'bot would add them all back in, so I went to each of the other seven and manually removed the pt interwiki. This has cleared the immediate problem. I have since examined the histories of the eight pages in question, and built up the following chronological sequence. All times in UTC.

26 March 2010

27 March 2010

It seems to me that the original error was made by User:ZéroBot and it spread from there. To fix it properly required an edit to all eight pages --Redrose64 (talk) 14:59, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Looks like this is now resolved. Sometimes, the threat of administrative action is enough. I'm always open to discussion of any administrative actions I take, and have been known to revert an action after discussion. Mjroots (talk) 16:01, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
No threat is necessary at all. If you see an interwiki bot making "wrong" edits, don't waste your valuable time to simply revert bot's edits. This is absolutely useless. Instead, try fixing the error in all language versions at once (otherwise the error will be reproduced when the bot returns to the same page) or inform the bot owner. --Volkov (?!) 16:23, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Yeah I was going to say the same thing. There doesn't need to be any threat of administrator action. All you have to do is fix it properly when you see the wrong link added, don't simply revert. Go to each of the pages and remove it from each. -DJSasso (talk) 16:43, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Yeah, the immediate issue is resolved mainly because I went to bed late and finished the job started by EdJogg. It's not enough to remove the interwiki at one end; it needs to be done at both ends, and on each page so treated, all the other pages linked by interwikis need to be checked and disconnected, again at both ends.
Simple situation: there are pages en:X, fr:X and de:Y. There are interwikis between en:X and fr:X; each has one interwiki.
Somebody then adds an interwiki to de:Y, which points at en:X which is a different topic.
A 'bot then realises it's a one-way link, so adds an interwiki to en:X pointing at de:Y which is again incorrect, but the 'bot doesn't know it, because WP:AGF applies.
Another 'bot realises that this chain of three can be made into a triangle by adding a mutual pair linking fr:X and de:Y.
A user who has en:X watchlisted realises the error, and removes the interwiki from en:X which pointed at de:Y.
A bot then notices that the triangle is incomplete (five interwikis, not six) and adds an interwiki to en:X pointing at de:Y, not knowing about the earlier removal of exactly the same interwiki.
To resolve it correctly requires the removal of four interwikis: one each from en:X and fr:X, and two from de:Y. If just one of these is inadvertently missed, then a 'bot will come along and build it all back up again.
Thus, I had eight pages to examine, and check that one had no interwikis at all, and the other seven had six each - and that these six were correct.
What we need is a template or other marker that can be put on a page which has a bad interwiki. The template will have one parameter, being the interwiki which is in error. When a 'bot notices it, it will then visit the page in all the different languages, removing the bad interwiki at both ends.
However, the last problem I posed still stands: what caused ZéroBot to do this when no previous interwiki existed? --Redrose64 (talk) 16:46, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Human error, it was probably being run in manual mode and the operator messed something up. βcommand 16:49, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Yeah my guess is he hit the yes button instead of the no button when running in manual mode. Wouldn't have happened in automated mode. -DJSasso (talk) 16:50, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
I Dont have a web based interface yet, but if needed I can create a visual mapping of interwikis. Ive done this before to address interwiki related issues. http://toolserver.org/~betacommand/en_Southern%20Railway%20%28Great%20Britain%29.pdf is an example of the mapping after it was fixed. βcommand 16:57, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Sorry for not being quite thorough enough -- sleep beckoned :o)
What I did is usually sufficient (I've fixed bad IWs before) but this was on a whole other level! I'll make a mental note for next time.
One I am yet to tackle is a running issue regarding "Locomobile", which is French/'European' for "Traction Engine" but is also a (historic) US steam car manufacturer (and, to complicate matters, a DAB page, but only at en:wiki) -- I haven't yet managed to set aside the weekend needed to check/resolve the 14? wikis associated with this lot! (although it's better than it has been.)
EdJogg (talk) 18:14, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Normal user or Bot

Hello. I recently wrote the article Backfire (Cocktail) and User:Xtzou put a thingy in there to have it deleted. So I looked at his contribs and wow, this is something. Obviously this is not what I would call a normal user. Is this a socketpuppet-account of an experienced wp user? And is this somebody using partly a bot?

His contrib list: [[23]]

Please have a look into it. Dropdead567 (talk) 14:06, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

I'm not going to comment on the sockpuppet thing. However, this definitely does not seem like a bot to me. The editing rate is slow enough that it can be done manually, and the edits are all rather varied. True, s?he does go on long rounds of tagging, but that's interspersed with talk page messages that just don't seem bot-like in my opinion. Probably just someone going through random articles and tagging anything they think needs improvement. Do you have any specific reasons why they might be a bot? — The Earwig (talk) 16:25, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
You mean other reasons besides the fact, the he/she is editing 12 hours strait and the edits are almost just tagging? Nope. This seems a rather strange behavior from a real-life person to me. And together with the deletion-thingy he put into my article pointless/useless. I stopped contributing in the german wp because of such, "strange fellows". They spend much time on-line, do a bunch of pointless sh*t and discourage others from contributing at least some new content. I was afraid, I have been followed. And I do not want to waste time adding new content, just to have it deleted but somebody who obviously has very much time on their hand or is using some kind of bot. Dropdead567 (talk) 17:38, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
There are plenty of users who mainly do tagging, and spend a lot of time editing here. Tagging is a useful job, and you shouldn't put them down for it. Somebody has to do it. If you disagree with their tagging of your article, detag and explain why you disagree with the proposed deletion. Don't immediately start accusing the tagger of socking/botting/stalking. They aren't trying to discourage you from editing. Yes, it's a pain having articles you have written nominated for deletion, but try not to take your anger out on the user who tagged it. If it should be kept, then explain why, and you will be listened to. Saying that the article shouldn't be deleted just because it was nominated by somebody who "clearly has too much time on their hands" and is "strange" isn't going to help at all. Anyway, this user is clearly not a bot, and if they spend a lot of their time on Wikipedia, that's not really our concern. - Kingpin13 (talk) 18:06, 2 April 2010 (UTC)


1. All this fr*cking tags everywhere. I would rather have new content. Content I can improve and correct and add to. I don't see burning need for even more tags.
2. IMHO we need much more normal everyday-users who simply add more content and much less wp-nerds who do nothing else then tag and preach.
3. "detag and explain why you disagree with the proposed deletion". I already put it some work to actually create an article. No biggie, but I do not want to spend even more time to explain to users like Xtzou why it should remain. It bothers me. Now you take a look into the article. If you agree with him and you think as well he is really doing a usefull job, I should stay away and let you "create". Tags.
4. Usually I would handle this the way you suggested: talk to a normal user, with a normal contrib list, etc. In this particular case, I will not. Who would I be talking to? A three-days old account who spends 12hours strait to add even more tags. Pocking my eye with the pencil promises to be more fun. Tell us your opinion about the article. Dropdead567 (talk) 18:45, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
This is not a bot issue. If you need help knowing where to handle this, please talk with the user, then visit WP:DR. tedder (talk) 18:54, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Oh, whatever dudes, forget it. Encourage even more User:Xtzous and have fun with them. WP clearly need more tags.Dropdead567 (talk) 19:05, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Template:Bot use warning

If your bot(s) use any specific categories, feel free to tag those categories with {{Bot use warning}}. For examples of use, see Category:Candidates for speedy deletion and Category:Wikipedia files for deletion. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 13:26, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Bots and Logging In - breaking change

Please note, about 10-15 minutes ago there was a security change to the login system (Which is now live on all WMF wikis), which will break change the current login systems (API users included), For more information see: bugzilla:23076. Peachey88 (Talk Page · Contribs) 00:39, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Break was right, but it seems necessary and should be an easy change. Thanks for the heads-up. Anomie 01:20, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
I was able to implement the changes with little effort, although good error handling is m,ore difficult with a two-phase system. Note that the change breaks index.php logins as well; you have to scrape a new parameter from the login form, and cannot simply post to index.php as usual. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:48, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
If anyone has the solution thank you to see the pywikipedia's bug Micthev (talk) 13:39, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
That appears to have been fixed in pywikipedia's svn r8061. Anomie 16:54, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Would any fix have to be implemented by individual bot owners or is there a general fix? I'm not very good at coding/programming, so I'm not sure if that was answered above or not. TNXMan 03:19, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

It depends. If the bot owner wrote their own login code, they would have to fix it themselves. If they used a shared library (see here for some examples), they would have to wait for the library to be updated. Most owners are probably in the latter category. Anomie's comment is about one of the more popular libraries. -- JLaTondre (talk) 03:28, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) If you use a library/framework like pywikipedia, pillar, or the like, it should be fixed in the framework (assuming the framework is still maintained) and all you'll need to do is upgrade it to the latest version. If you run an AWB bot, you just need to upgrade your AWB. If you code directly to the API or (ugh) screen scrape, you'll have to fix your code yourself. Anomie 03:32, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

Pywikipedia Issue

Hello, My Pywikipedia bot is correctly logged, with api, but it doesn't edit anymore with template.py, nor with replace.py does anyone have an idea of the problem (I use a completly standard code). Regards --Hercule (talk) 09:26, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

If your logging in correctly, It shouldn't really be a issue with the Security update that took place. Have you asked other pywikipedia users perhaps on the mailing list or their bug tracker (both can be found on meta:Pywikipediabot)? Peachey88 (Talk Page · Contribs) 10:00, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
Forget it, it's just a mistake. There is no problem --Hercule (talk) 10:02, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

Framework Status

Overview of frameworks and their status since the update, If anyone else knows any other frameworks, please add them to the list: Peachey88 (Talk Page · Contribs) 10:15, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

Application for BAG membership (Xeno)

I have accepted Kingpin13's nomination for membership in the Bot Approvals Group, and per the instructions invite interested parties to participate in the discussion and voting. Thank you, –xenotalk 19:24, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

SQLBot-Hello

Who is running/owning/responsible for SQLBot-Hello (talk · contribs)?

Admin SQL (talk · contribs) hasn't edited Wikipedia in just over a year, but the bot is still welcoming people en-masse.

(Context: I saw the welcome template (and broken signature) at this new user's talkpage, User talk:Lisa-maria syrett, and I assumed the editor named in the signature had added it, so informed him that his signature was breaking, and he pointed out that a bot had added the template, not him. Hence after a little digging, I'm here.) Thanks. -- Quiddity (talk) 01:20, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

It's the developers of the ACC tool itself have somewhat taken responsibility. However, the main people who are overall responsible are SQL, Cobi, (both inactive in development), OverlordQ, and myself. It's running on the toolserver under the "acc" multi-maintainer project. Bug reports can be filed under the ACC project in the toolserver bugtracker: http://jira.toolserver.org/ . Stwalkerstertalk ] 01:34, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Any chance you could file an appropriate bug for this signature error? (I'm uncomfortable filling out bugzilla formfields - I have to relearn the interface/acronyms every time; and there's no preview, so I always dread getting something wrong, or less then optimally useful.) Much thanks ;) -- Quiddity (talk) 05:33, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
There's already one, assigned to OverlordQ, and it's been like that for ages. I'll give him a poke. Stwalkerstertalk ] 18:35, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Substitution and REVISIONUSER

I know at least two welcome templates that use {{REVISIONUSER}} to fill in the welcoming user's talk page link during substitution (one has done so for a year, the other was recently changed to do so by me). Obviously, if bots go around and subst those templates, the bot's talk page will be linked instead.
Do we still have active bots substituting templates during their rounds? If so, I would suggest to

  1. explicitly mark all templates that may and should be bot-substituted by direct transclusion of some template (not just on the doc page)
  2. establish a convention that bots will always pass in an additional parameter (like botsubst=1, noting that the parameter bot=... is already in use in some templates) so that the template can react to that.

Not at all critical of course, and as far as I'm concerned we can just as well decide to simply not use any fancy magic words on bot-substituted templates. Current usage is not at all critical, as far as I'm aware, and could easily be removed.
Amalthea 17:18, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

CommonsDelinker blocked

I've temporarily blocked CommonsDelinker for the duration of the disruption at Commons to prevent further damage to the local project. WP:AN notice Q T C 01:26, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Wow, what a mess. I fail to comprehend how anyone could think "delete every image, even those actively in use, and hope someone will sort out the mess later" is anything but an incredibly stupid and block-worthy plan. The only concern I have with this block is that it may make it harder to track when individual editors who are not aware of this mess remove the now-redlinked images. Anomie 03:15, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Curse you logic. Suggestions? Q T C 03:17, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Write a bot to upload the in-use images locally? :-) --MZMcBride (talk) 03:19, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
That'd take a commons admin to get the files. I was thinking more along the lines of the redlink removals. I've gone ahead and unblocked it since it does appear to keep a log and it shouldn't be hard to get a list of what it removed from the CommonsDelinker maintainers. Q T C 03:22, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
In case anyone is interested, here is a list of some of the "cleanup project" related deletions that affected pages on this Wikipedia. PleaseStand (talk) 19:41, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

User:X!'s adminbots

At WP:ANI#User:X!'s adminbots is was a discussion on whether to desysop his two adminbots since he has resigned as a bureaucrat and admin. As of now several have agreed that this is unnecessary, but please reply there, especially if you disagree with that. PleaseStand (talk) 20:10, 9 May 2010 (UTC) 21:17, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

The consensus there is clear, and I for one cannot see any objection. I have boldly noted this at WP:BOTPOL. Anomie 14:44, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

ST47 is looking for work

Programmer looking to work for food and shelter! - Hey folks. I've been inactive for a long while. I used to be a BAG member an a rather prolific bot operator, but my departure to college left me with no time and sporadic internet access. This summer I'm moving into my new apartment, which will hopefully give me more space to set up my linux laptop again. If there are any of my former bots that haven't been replaced, including the IRC ones for election times, I have the code and a system to run them on. I posted a longer bit on my talk page, if you'd direct any comments to me there, that'd be great. Let me know if there's anything I can do. ST47 (talk) 05:50, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Good to see you back. It isn't code work, but BAG is always short handed at BRFAs, so feel free to bump yourself back up to active there. MBisanz talk 06:05, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Warnings following Final warnings

I am adding this note here at the request of OlEnglish (talk · contribs).

In a recent incident, after I had used a 'final warning', SineBot added a level-1 warning for failing to sign. This resulted in the admin not seeing my final warning and declining a request to block (following additional disruption) at AN.

User_talk:70.116.134.247

AN/I.

 Chzz  ►  07:18, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Well, I've never been a big fan of Sinebot's warnings, but I don't think the bot is at fault here, surely the reviewing admin should just check the whole page? And it wouldn't seem right to give a level-4 unsigned warning (not sure we even have them) because of a a level 3/4 vandalism/pov/spam/etc warning. - Kingpin13 (talk) 07:26, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Perlwikibot 3.0 release

Hello,

I am working on a new release of the Perlwikibot framework with ST47. This release will contain some breaking changes, so if you use Perlwikibot, please be sure to check the documentation prior to upgrading. It will use the API wherever possible, and will handle some basic autoconfiguration to make authoring scripts much easier.

If you'd like to suggest improvements to the framework, please file a bug at http://perlwikipedia.googlecode.com – and patches are welcome, of course. You can check out our page on OpenHatch for ways to get involved.

 — mikelifeguard@enwiki:~$  18:30, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Rich Farmbrough and unapproved bot jobs on ANI

Bot-savvy users and BAG members may be interested by this thread on ANI - Kingpin13 (talk) 16:31, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Pannier and Alforja, Spain

The bots BenzolBot (talk · contribs), Dinamik-bot (talk · contribs) and RibotBOT (talk · contribs) keep adding links to Alforja, Spain to the article Pannier. The non-English pages an:Alforja, ca:Alforja, es:Alforja, eu:Alforja, fr:Alforja, it:Alforja, nl:Alforja, ru:Альфоржа, uk:Алфоржа, vi:Alforja and war:Alforja are all articles about the town in Spain. Alforja used to redirect to Saddlebag but this morning I changed it to a dab page. One of the bot owners previously explained to me that they could only fix their bot and that non-English bots would continue to replicate the error. I don't really understand it but it would be nice to fix this problem somehow. --Dbratland (talk) 19:02, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

You could change or delete the interlanguage links to here from the other-language Wikipedias. Interwiki bots such as the bots you name that operate here look at the interlanguage links on other-language Wikipedias and synchronize them with ours (often without editing the non-English wikis). PleaseStand (talk) 19:26, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Also, most bots will not edit the page if you place "{{nobots}}" on it - Kingpin13 (talk) 20:00, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
I went ahead and fixed it. What you have to do is go to every language linked and remove all the incorrect links; in this case, that meant removing the en, de, and sv links from all the other languages and removing all the other languages from de and sv. Anomie 20:28, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
I think I understand now. Thanks everyone! --Dbratland (talk) 04:01, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

regex help- why is my bot killing Wikipedia?

Okay, that's an overstatement, but why does this regex eat ALL text on an article, rather than stopping at the end of the template's curly braces? (examples: [24], [25]) I've changed it after the linked revision to the following:

$content =~ s#\{\{current(.*?)\}\}##i;

But I can't entirely explain if this works, either. I've also put in a failsafe ("how many chars am I removing?") to keep it from doing so again. tedder (talk) 06:02, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Does perl not support lazy regexes? I assume you meant to link to line 204 not 254. I'd try \{\{current([^{}]*?)\}\} instead, which will be fine unless these current event templates can take a nested template as an argument. Rjwilmsi 07:26, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Perl supports modifying greedyness just fine. Q T C 07:36, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
You're right, I meant line 204, and I fixed it in my original to make the link right for others. That's a good modification instead of "." though, Rj. tedder (talk) 10:22, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Assistance on another MediaWiki project

TF2 Wiki is a community wiki covering topics surrounding the game Team Fortress 2. We are beginning a process of moving to a new domain and server. As none of the current administrators have access to the FTP site we are manually moving some 5,800 files across. There is no problem in downloading all these files for the transfer (as we have systems in place to automate it), but the thought of manually uploading them all to the new server gives me goosebumps. Would anyone here be willing to offer any bot-related assistance or advice? Is this the best place to ask such a question? — surlyanduncouth (talk) 19:14, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

That isn't a Wikimedia project. Frankly you need to get in contact with the owner of the wiki or the system administrator for the server it's on. Exporting everything is a really bad solution to this problem. FinalRapture - 19:21, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Oops, MediaWiki. I don't want to drag the issue why we can't get access to the FTP out here, but I agree that it is a less than ideal solution and one we wish we could help. Thank you, though. — surlyanduncouth (talk) 19:31, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
For uploading all the images back to the server I could suggest looking at botclasses.php and creating a robot to upload each one. Again, this whole way of doing things will mean that you'll loose the user accounts unless you have a complete dump of the database. FinalRapture - 19:39, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Will look into that, unfortunately though my knowledge of bots doesn't extend far past regex and AutoWikiBrowser. If this can't be done without extensive knowledge of this stuff let me know — and I will get my crack team of editors doing some manual labour.
Also, I am aware that we will lose revision histories, user accounts etc. This move is partly a fresh start too, which suits because of that fact. — surlyanduncouth (talk) 19:57, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Couldn't moving pages this way create major problems for attribution and copyright? If you lose user accounts, it would be very difficult to keep track of who's who and who wrote what, but I don't know anything about your site's copyright policy. — The Earwig (talk) 20:10, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
We don't have a solid copyright policy. Usually, we're struggling to keep up with day-to-day stuff since we are such a high traffic site (most notably during major updates/events surrounding the subject matter). Attribution and copyright would ideally be preserved but it's just not possible. I suppose this is getting off topic. If anyone wants to further this discussion I'll be paying attention to my talk page. Thanks everyone. — surlyanduncouth (talk) 20:52, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, and I think a lot of websites get away with saying "This page uses content from the Wikipedia article foo," merely linking to the Wikipedia article that has the revision history rather than providing it themselves. It would be pretty easy to do the same thing on your site. Tisane (talk) 14:14, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Admin Bot BRFA

Hi, this is just a notice that I have opened a brfa for an adminbot to delete images that are available as identical copies on the Wikimedia Commons per WP:CSD#F8 --Chris 10:13, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Redundancy

I have not created a bot yet, but I would like to know if redundancy would be a desirable feature (prompted by the recent ClueBot downtime). The implementation I am thinking of would involve two copies of the bot running on separate computers and Internet connections (e.g. one on a home computer, the other on Toolserver). The two instances would periodically check each other's most recent edit timestamp, and if there is no activity for some time, the other bot would take over. Additionally, the active bot would periodically hand off its work to the inactive bot to prevent its failure from going unnoticed. Thoughts? PleaseStand (talk) 17:51, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Unless your bot is of upmost importance (not even cluebot downtime is really that dire), that's really over the top. FinalRapture - 18:26, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
The Toolserver admins have also made a lot of improvements to the reliability there recently (redundant DB servers, redundant NFS) and there's 2 login servers. I can't remember the last time the TS went completely down. Mr.Z-man 20:18, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
Idk if this changes anything, but I am currently waiting for approval for DASHBot 15, a task to fight vandalism. Tim1357 talk 04:01, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Extensible, configurable PHP bot framework

It seems like it would be good to create a very extensible, configurable PHP bot framework, capable of being run on MediaWiki installation, so as to avoid needless duplication of coding. Rather than put every possible function under the sun into the core (including those added by obscure API extensions), it should have lots of hooks and allow for new bot functions to be added as plugins; hopefully a whole library of such plugins can be created, analogously to what has been done with m:pywikipediabot. So then the question arises, which bot framework should be the starting point? I created this table in an effort to determine which bot frameworks are the most powerful. wikibot.classes.php is pretty popular, and I put a version here that has been modified to be more readily configurable, or at least to allow configuration from a single file. Probably code from its many forks (including admin code from botclasses.php could be merged into it to create one supremely all-powerful superbot like something out of Transformers. But Pillar looks pretty powerful too. Other than by having them square off, I'm not sure what criterion would be best for determining the bot that should rule them all. Their codebases are totally different so it does not appear there is much prospect of merging them. Tisane (talk) 21:19, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

I'd be interested in helping code like this. FinalRapture - 21:21, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Somone should start a git reponsitory, I think we'd have the most flexibility with git. FinalRapture - 21:23, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Is that better than using the MediaWiki SVN? Maybe a Wikimedia git repository can be set up, so we wouldn't have to use the Github or Gitorious mirrors. To be honest I have no experience with git so can't assess whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, but I know some of the devs over at MediaWiki.org use it. Tisane (talk) 21:51, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
The problem with putting it on the Wikimedia SVN is that it means you need a sysadmin to add new committers. Comparison of open source software hosting facilities is useful. Mr.Z-man 00:40, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
I guess it makes more sense to host bots and other tools with only a tangential connection to the MediaWiki codebase elsewhere, than it does for extensions and such. What do you suppose would be some of the more important attributes to look for in a software hosting facility, given that none of them offer everything? Tisane (talk) 00:58, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
I notice that mw:Special:Code has its own section for pywikipedia, and they use that as their repository, and don't seem to have been hindered by the need for a sysadmin to add committers. Might not the advantages of being part of the Wikimedia repository, such as being part of the same CodeReview system and Bugzilla and listservs and such, outweigh the disadvantages? Those devs with full commit access will also have access to the Wikimedia SVN so they won't need any additional access to be granted, right? On the other hand, we can grant limited access for those who have no intention to edit the MediaWiki core. Tisane talk/stalk 17:30, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
PHPWikiBot is on Toolserver-SVN (just to mention another up-to-date framework). Merlissimo 03:11, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
I guess it would depend on what you're trying to accomplish. If you want to have a large number of developers (like pywikipedia), then you may want to give preference to ones that offer mailing lists or forums. It would also depend on what version control software you want. Personally, when I was choosing, I decided mainly on which web interface I liked the most. Mr.Z-man 03:30, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
If you're willing to not have administrative control over it, then there isn't much of a difference between the Wikimedia SVN and other hosting providers. The difference is taking 30 seconds to add new developers vs. taking 3 days or so (I'm not sure how long it actually takes to get commit access now, it used to take weeks). Like with Wikimedia SVN, you'll need someone else with access to add your framework to Bugzilla and set up a mailing list for it. You'll probably have admin access on the mailing list, but that's about it. Many (most?) code hosting sites offer some form of bug tracker and some have built-in code review software (like Google code, which has it integrated with the bug tracker and repo browser). Not as many offer mailing lists (sourceforge does, but it doesn't have code review). Note that pywikipedia is separate on CodeReview because it has entirely separate repository on the same server. If you just have a directory in /trunk, your commits will be mixed in with all the MW and extension commits. Mr.Z-man 22:21, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

I think this is a good idea to remove the massive overlap of PHP bot frameworks we have (even my framework itself is forked into two different versions atm). This page might be useful in helping you to determine the different functions that each framework supports etc. I'll be happy to help in the coding, although the extent of my help will depend on the amount of free time I have --Chris 03:07, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Same here. At this point if no one has any more problems I will create a git repository on github. If you're new to git and github, they have some nice documentation for you. FinalRapture - 03:12, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
Sure, go ahead. The only question I have is, How do we know this is going to end the fragmentation of PHP bot frameworks? It seemed to me that the Wikimedia SVN has a quasi-imprimatur of project support/affiliation/coding standardization/etc. (even if it does suffer the disadvantage Mr.Z-man noted of having some barriers to entry), whereas there are a lot of frameworks stored in non-Wikimedia repositories. Is it just that we're going to make this such a badass framework that no one will want to fool with anything else? Probably what would blow the competition away would be if we came up with a user-friendly GUI like autowikibot, although then we would have to decide between MS Windows, X-Windows, etc. Doesn't AWB have the downside, by the way, of not working on non-Wikimedia wikis? At least, I've never been able to get it to work on anything but Wikipedia. Thanks, Tisane (talk) 14:12, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
I thought we were making a PHP bot framework, not an AWB spinoff ;-). The repository is created and is here. We need to talk about structure before we start committing code. First and foremost it should be MediaWiki centered, not Wikipedia centered (aka no wikipedia named classes). FinalRapture - 15:18, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
OK, I went ahead and posted a comment to the wiki. Tisane (talk) 15:56, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
In acquiescing myself to this new framework (which has been for a long time a goal of mine) I make just one request. Unfortunately, I have no idea how complicated it would be to implement!. Anyway, here goes:
I run my bots from the toolserver. If, when there is a breaking change to the API, and a patch for the new framework is produced, and I do not have to do anything at all to use the updated version of the framework, I will switch to it.
Otherwise, I may as well just keep my own idiosyncratic framework, and that may go for others as well - there needs to be a benefit for bothering to upgrade (a carrot) as well as the bludgeon approach (a stick) :) - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 12:25, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that would be very nice. However your comment also led me to another thought. Possibly creating a second 'database' class that replicates all the functions of the main class however it runs directly from a wiki database instead of using the api, this would be useful to bot ops who run bots from the toolserver as they do not have to make web requests to get simple things like the memebers in a category, and they don't have to re-invent the wheel every time they write a bot to use the toolserver db. --Chris 12:34, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
The file uploading functions in botclasses.php are pretty nice. It even has a function to check for duplicates. It would be nice if those could be ported to the new framework. Kaldari (talk) 17:14, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Keeping the suggestions here in mind, I'm halfway through writing a new framework that incorporates ideas from wikitools, pillar, botclasses.php, SxWiki, and ClueBot, plus adding functionality such as plugins and Non-Wikipedia-Centricism. You can watch my progress here. It's still a MASSIVE work in progress, and fixmes are everywhere. (X! · talk)  · @635  ·  14:14, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Sounds good, would you mind adding my google account ((email redacted)) to the project? Also we should probably create a page onwiki for it, and maybe create a planning/discussion page as well? --Chris 03:27, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps a mw:Project:WikiProject Bots should be started, kinda like mw:Project:WikiProject Interwiki Integration? Tisane talk/stalk 03:31, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
Are we going to say that X!'s Peachy could provide the foundation for (or "be" depending on your POV) our new "superframework" if we (and he is agreeable, obviously) multimaintainer it up? That could work. (I don't mind working on a solution to my own problem if need be, maybe an Autoupdater class one could run on CRON, a little outside my area of expertise.) - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 08:52, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
Re Jarry: Either an autoupdater or some form of updater was in my plans for the project.
Re Chris: Added. The googlecode page does have a wiki, which is what I was planning to utilize. (X! · talk)  · @500  ·  11:00, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
Ah, good. Wasn't looking forward to having to do it all myself! :)
I'm unfamiliar with the specifics of Google code, but if there's no cost associated with adding users, would you mind adding me? (email redacted). Might save time if I want to submit stuff later (no plans for the moment whilst I familiarise myself with everything!)

- Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 13:32, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Done. (X! · talk)  · @652  ·  14:38, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
(and now that I've added you both, I've redacted your emails just in case) (X! · talk)  · @706  ·  15:56, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

So now that we've gotten all the base function calls laid out, what additional suggestions for plugins/hooks would you guys have? The more, the better. (X! · talk)  · @160  ·  02:50, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

How do you envisage that configuration (e.g. setup of usernames and passwords for each wiki) will work? I think Pillar was designed for use on many different wikis, whereas wikibot.classes.php and such seem to have been designed more specifically with enwiki in mind. Perhaps a hook should be put at the configuration code; if all those hooks return "true," then it will proceed with its default configuration procedure; otherwise, it will let the hook function supply the necessary configuration settings. That way, we could have it interface with pywikipediabot or other frameworks, and thereby reduce switching costs. Or maybe we will just set up mechanisms for importing settings from other frameworks' config files.
I created a somewhat configurable system, using wildcards, at mw:Manual:Wikibot. By the way, I think that good documentation will be key to getting people to adopt this framework; if we can create a FAQ and very easy-to-follow step-by-step how-tos on subjects such as uploading a directory of files to a wiki or fixing all the double redirects on a wiki, then I think that will go a long way toward getting new users on board. We may want to take advantage of the fact that our readers will be MediaWiki-savvy, by putting the documentation on a MediaWiki-based site such as MediaWiki.org. Tisane talk/stalk 03:23, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
I modelled the configuration system after Pillar. It uses the same ".ini-style"-syntax that Pillar uses, and most of the configurable parameters (website url, username, password, maxlag, etc.) are in there. A hook at configuration is probably a good idea, if someone wants to supply their own configuration. I'm putting that into my next commit. Re documentation: Yep, there's a bug for that. "Kick-add documentation". The documentation was going to be on FinalRapture's public wiki where CodeReview is hosted right now. (X! · talk)  · @190  ·  03:33, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
Login hook added, allows user to get/change config params and extension list through a user-defined function. Will give extensive documentation about hooks when writing documentation. (X! · talk)  · @217  ·  04:12, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
So does this framework work yet? Probably the first step is to write instructions on how to get it to login and make a "Hello world" edit. I'll be one of your guinea pigs, and help you write code to interface with mw:Extension:RPED. Tisane talk/stalk 15:11, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
I'll put it this way: It "works". It's still in active development, and what may be there one day may be gone the next, and what works one day may be broken the next. Yes, it edits. Yes, plugins and hooks work. Yes, if I wanted to, I could write a mostly functional bot in it. But would I want to? No.
About being a tester, that's great! We need some of those. (It was the subject of bug 7) I'll get started on writing some of the documentation, enough to get started. About RPED, that was on the to-do list: http://code.google.com/p/mw-peachy/issues/detail?id=6 (X! · talk)  · @679  ·  15:17, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Bot(s) needed for pending changes trial

We'd need a bot which updates the number of articles under pending changes and a bot which reports certain kind of edits if possible, please see Wikipedia_talk:Pending_changes/Trial#Bots. The trial will begin in a few hours. Cenarium (talk) 17:45, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

CAPTCHAs on toolserver

If you run a bot on nightshade.toolserver.org, you may be intersted in this WMF bug: bugzilla:23982. — Carl (CBM · talk) 19:27, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Good webhost for running a bot?

Does anyone happen to know a good webhost on which to run a bot, other than the toolserver, that will let you run it 24/7 without killing it? I use Bluehost, but they have a known issue with processes getting mysteriously spontaneously killed all the time, even when you use a dedicated IP. Thanks, Tisane talk/stalk 03:44, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Get a VPS. slicehost is pretty good (although if you want support, don't use them - their support only extends to setting up your slice, not installing/maintaining any software (PHP,Python etc) ). --Chris 07:43, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
Why not just run it on a home server? (yes, toolserver is apparently no-go for me too) tedder (talk) 07:50, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
It's a possibility, except that I intend to run some mission-critical bots that need to run all the time, and it's nice to have certain amenities such as auxiliary power generators (I have an uninterruptible power supply for brownouts, but it won't help much in a blackout.) Other than that, I guess the home server option is doable. Tisane talk/stalk 09:14, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Who wants more work?

Sorry about this, but I really don't have the time, or regular enough internet access, to maintain the wubbot (talk · contribs) anymore. Would anyone like to take it over? Its only task is to check the subpages of Wikipedia:WikiProject Deletion sorting twice a day, and remove any AfD's that have been closed. It's written in Python (using pywikipedia), and currently runs from the toolserver. The code is available at User:The wubbot/source - apologies for the mess! There's a few bugs and possible improvements listed on the bot's userpage that someone more skilled than me may be able to fix. Reply here if you're interested - I would be extremely grateful, and I apologise for not being available to take care of this over the past few months. the wub "?!" 15:51, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

I'll take a look. Anomie 20:50, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
Symbol wait.svg BRFA filed Anomie 01:02, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

New JavaScript framework - comments invited

Moved from WT:BON. — The Earwig (talk) 20:14, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

I've written a JavaScript framework for bot scripting that I would like to invite feedback on. The motivation behind the framework is more-or-less solely that I think JavaScript a wonderful and accessible little language for doing ad hoc pieces of code. The name I've given the framework, Luasóg, a diminutive form of the Gaelic word luas, meaning speed, is supposed to reflect this motivation.

A part of the over-arching project is a web-based IDE for writing and executing scripts using the framework. The project also includes a version of the IDE hosted in an Air application so that cross-domain scripting can be executed outside of the sandbox of the main browsers. If you are willing to give the framework a spin, the Air application is likely to be your best bet. You can download it here.

This is a development release and, though not very buggy, it is not stable, particularly the IDE element. It should execute scripts as expected however and so please tell me if it doesn't (or indeed any other problems you come across).

The release notes for this release contain a simple example script. The full API is documented here. The 'request' method gives access to any function of the MediaWiki API. Other methods act as convenient wrappers to common functions. So far the number of methods is essentially limited to "log in, get content, replace content, and log out again". Developing this was my first experience in bot scripting so I would particularly like to get feedback on the kind of common bot functions that should be included in later releases. If anyone wants to write methods for the framework then they are more than welcome to do so.

As a note of caution, scripts executed using the framework are throttled by default to one-call-every-10-seconds. This can be changed via the 'speed' property.

Thanks in advance, --RA (talk) 09:08, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

I have not looked at your actual code, but just from the documentation it looks more complete than mine (WikiAPI) is right now. Probably the next thing you should work on is a query interface. That would, for example, allow specifying the pages to be queried (i.e. page titles/IDs, rev IDs, or a generator) and the properties to request, or a list to retrieve (allpages, etc.). Just be warned: especially if you are using the JSON interface, when you generate pages and get properties, the pages are returned using object notation, meaning that the order of your returned pages as stored by the JSON parser is not guaranteed (especially in the Chrome web browser). That is a weakness that programming in, say PHP, does not have. Now could you come up with a good solution for that? PleaseStand (talk) 20:05, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Please disregard some of the above: you can add &indexpageids to the query to get an array of the associated pageids in order. PleaseStand (talk) 22:34, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. What do you mean by a "query interface"? --RA (talk) 08:40, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
A way to easily construct and use queries. Each query can consist of a list to retrieve and/or titles/revision ids to get information on (the ids can be generated server-side using what the MediaWiki API generator). Since bots are limited on Wikimedia projects in the amount of data that can be returned in a single step, perhaps you should allow for automatically performing continuation queries ("query-continue" values) until the desired number of results are obtained. PleaseStand (talk) 10:57, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Do you mean like any call to the MediaWiki API? There is a "request" method that can be passed any set of arguments. (In fact all of the other methods are interfaces to that method.) --RA (talk) 11:22, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
No, I specifically mean such queries as requesting a set of pages to work on. PleaseStand (talk) 11:28, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
I think I get you. Next on my list was a method to get all the pages within a category (and recurse where necessary). Is that an example? --RA (talk) 18:12, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, although that is perhaps a bit more specific than what I was thinking of. PleaseStand (talk) 19:32, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Version 0.3 released. This includes improvements to the desktop IDE and new methods to the framework.
PleaseStand, I added two categories related methods: get the members of a category and get the pages ('main' namespace) members of a category+sub-categories. These include a "query-continue" handler. I'll include a less specific query-related method in the next release.
I've also posted the framework on-site so it can be used with vector.js and monobook.js. An example script (and edit counter) is on the Luasóg bot page. --RA (talk) 09:16, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
I note that the starttimestamp handling is a little off. Despite the API help description saying that it's supposed to be the "Timestamp when you obtained the edit token", what it really should be is the timestamp when you loaded the data to start editing the page (the idea being that you would load the data with prop=info|revisions&intoken=edit or the like). Getting it wrong screws up the "deleted since you started editing" check, which could possibly cause you to recreate a page that was just deleted or to fail to edit a page that was just undeleted. (Edit conflict handling is one of my pet peeves) I am glad to see AssertEdit usage in there. If you really want to be safe regarding deletions and page creations, ensure that the data for the edit function always includes the prop=info output and pass "createonly=1" if prop=info includes "missing" or "nocreate=1" if it doesn't. Anomie 02:04, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
I'll take a look at these and fix them up for the next release. --RA (talk) 13:45, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

I wrote a prototype bot using your framework. It is the unapproved bot User:PSBot – at this time it is only editing one page in its user space. The source code is at User talk:PSBot/Deprods. While coding, I noticed a lack of some important features:

  1. There is no way to mark an edit as a minor or bot edit.
  2. It is not possible to pass extra arguments to callback functions. The hack around this limitation is quite ugly.

I hope you keep up the good work, and if you can provide feedback on the design of my bot, please do so. This is my first one. PleaseStand (talk) 06:37, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Cool. Nice to know someone is using it. Thanks! I'll add the improvements you suggest to the next release (next week or the week after). --RA (talk) 13:45, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
BTW it was just that kind of bot work (user space collation of data) that I had in mind when I wrote it. It's nice that that's just what you used it for. --RA (talk) 13:47, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Bots filling accessdates

I asked for VP comments on a proposal to let bots fill in url |accessdate= automatically from the date the url was first added. I wasn't sure whether to post this under Bot Policy talk, so posting here.  Hellknowz  ▎talk  16:58, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

  • Sounds reasonable to me. When I manually add citation templates for an existing URL reference, I will try to use the date when it was added if I can find it quickly in the page history so it seems reasonable for a bot to do the same. RedWolf (talk) 07:05, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
    • The discussion kind of died off. I will perhaps bring this up at a later date, when I'm more actively working on the bot framework again. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 15:10, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Pointless statistics

I was curious, and pulled a list of accounts currently flagged with both "bot" and other groups.

Note that giving a bot "autoreviewer" is currently useless, as the bot group already has the autopatrol right. It looks like that's the only group totally redundant for a bot, as even "confirmed" has rights that a (non-autoconfirmed) bot lacks: patrol, move, movestable, reupload, collectionsaveascommunitypage, collectionsaveasuserpage, and upload. Anomie 20:35, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

AntiAbuseBot

I just noticed that AntiAbuseBot's approval stated that it was only approved "until such time as the AbuseFilter extension or a substantially indentical technical feature is turned on by the sysadmins at the English Wikipedia. At such a time, a report should be made to the bot owners' noticeboard requesting that Chris G either to turn off the bot or seek re-approval in a Wikipedia:BRFA". So technically, that should be done. But since the AbuseFilter's ability to block users has not been activated, and a discussion at ANI occurred in August 2009 with consensus for the bot to continue running, I intend to re-approve Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/AntiAbuseBot as simply "approved" without condition, but with the suggestion that it be revisited if the AbuseFilter's block functionality is ever activated instead of forcing a new BRFA with a most likely foregone conclusion. Any objections? Anomie 21:01, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Seems sensible. –xenotalk 21:06, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

RaptureBot

In my opinion RaptureBot is not checking sufficiently before replacing Wikipedia images with Commons images. I have reverted several that popped up in my watchlist which have incorrect attribution on Commons.[26][27][28][29]. Incorrect attribution is cause for deletion on Commons which could leave the articles without images. The bot should check that the attribution on Commons matches the attribution here before replacing. At the very least it should be tagging the files with the information that they do not match to warn administrators not to delete the en.wiki version without checking, but probably the right thing is not to replace the image until the problem is resolved.

There are also several complaints on the bots talk page that the bot has replaced an image with one at Commons threatened with deletion. This really should not be happening. This replacement of a fair use image immediately caused the Wikipedia image to be deleted. This was despite a challenge to the copyright tag on Commons. Potentially, this could have resulted in both images being deleted.

Since the bot owner is showing no inclination to pro-actively clean up these errors him/herself, leaving it to others to sort out, I think that the bot should be forbidden from doing any further runs until tighter checking is implemented and approved. SpinningSpark 18:04, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

AFAICT, the bot hasn't run that task since the operator said he would fix this. Mr.Z-man 21:52, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
Possibly, but they haven't agreed to fix this or this. SpinningSpark 23:35, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
It is not enough to say that changes will be made on the next run. Bot owners are obliged to fix problems that are brought to their attention themselves, not leave it to others. Anyone not willing to do this should not be allowed to run bots. In my view they should also search the bot's edits for further examples of the same error, even if the original error was already fixed by the reporter. Neither of these things seem to be happening as far as I can tell. SpinningSpark 09:01, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
It should probably be noted that I also ran into issues with the bot after it was approved Talk page discussion, although was busy with course work at the time and didn't get to follow up after the owner said he would look into it, so I probably should later today. Peachey88 (Talk Page · Contribs) 02:23, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

Peachy framework almost done...

So after a few weeks of work, the new PHP framework that was called for above is reaching a public beta point. It's got most of the common functions that bots use, and those are fairly stable. The only things left to do are to fill in the remaining obscure functions and plugins, do bugfixing, etc before the stable 1.0 is released. In the beta stage, we need multiple people to test out the framework using their own bots, as this is the only way many of the bugs will be found. It can be downloaded here, and the manual is here. When bugs are found, they can be listed here, and feel free to submit a patch. I hope it works well for all of you. :) (X! · talk)  · @082  ·  00:57, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

See also WP:Peachy. Tisane talk/stalk 22:04, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

ArticleAlertBot

The User:ArticleAlertbot has been down for a few months now, due to some sort of login problem. The coder, User:B. Wolterding, has not logged in since March, and thus is not available to fix this. I believe in April, a couple of users discussed the issue with the bot's operator, User:Legoktm, and User:Tedder agreed to try to fix this. However, he appears not to have a toolserver account (or something like that), so he has been unable to do this. Is anyone here willing to give it a try? I'm sure many WikiProjects would appreciate it. (I posted a similar request in the village pump in late March, but nobody replied). Brambleclawx 00:47, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

I had passed the code onto FinalRapture who was going to work with Tedder...so I assume he is still working on it. Anyone with any java experience should be able to fix the bot, I believe error its in the framework itself, but I have absolutely no java experience. LegoKontribsTalkM 05:46, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
I can do database reports, they wont be as pretty as AAB, but if you give me a list of categories, I can generate the cross lists of them, IE all articles that are in Category:Articles for deletion and what ever category your wikiproject uses for its tracking purposes. βcommand 05:49, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
Legoktm, do you have the actual java source code? Can you provide it to me in a tarball or zip? It'd have to be the .java, not the .class files. tedder (talk) 06:18, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
It's in the jar file, I know where the code is that needs changing, I just don't know how to change it and compile it or whatever. FinalRapture - 15:27, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
The jar contains the .java? Well, send it to me, I'll see if that's the case. tedder (talk) 15:39, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
Email sent. FinalRapture - 15:58, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
Any update on fixing it? If the only issue is a login problem due to an API update, I'm willing to take a stab at it if someone sends me the code. VernoWhitney (talk) 18:39, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
Hi there! Just checking in to see whether there is any progess with getting the Article AlertBot up and running again. Betacommand, thanks for the offer but the categories in some projects are all over the place. For many, more complete results are achieved by cross-referencing with the Project banner on the Talk page--Plad2 (talk) 22:02, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Looking for a BOT

Does anyone happen to know of a BOT that removes Red Links from articles. --intraining Jack In 23:14, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

In general redlinks should not be removed without a reason. You need to specify exactly what it is you want to remove. SpinningSpark 23:44, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Another possibility is mw:Extension:RemoveRedlinks. Tisane talk/stalk 00:06, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Redlinks should only be removed if they have been checked and it is certain that the subject is not notable, and will therefore never have an article. A bot could not do this, so this task is not suitable for a bot. - EdoDodo talk 14:40, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Lightbot is being considered for re-approval

ArbCom is considering lifting the restriction imposed in Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Date delinking#Lightmouse automation, subject to BAG approval of Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Lightbot 4. As part of BAG's mandate is to gauge community consensus for proposed bot tasks and Lightbot's former activities were highly controversial, I invite all interested editors to join that discussion to ensure that community consensus is in fact in favor of this task. Thanks. Anomie 17:32, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Preference to mark all edits minor by default going away as a result of bugzilla:24313

During the code review for the removal of this preference setting, it was noted that it may effect bots that were using this setting. In this case, the bots would need to be modified to explicitly mark their edits as minor. I'm sure this would be a fairly simple code addition, but it could also be accomplished through javascript as explained in this VPT thread. –xenotalk 12:50, 15 July 2010 (UTC) [with thanks to User:Department of Redundancy Department for pointing this out to me]

XMPP's implications for bots

Looking at bug 17450, it would appear there is some possibility that we could get an XMPP-based XML-format recent changes feed that would include revision text. I wouldn't suppose this bug would be too hard to fix, considering that MediaWiki already has IRC recent changes feed capability. Anyway, the revision text would be quite useful, since it would eliminate the need for bots to hit Wikipedia's API for said text. Therefore, I'll probably end up creating an extension, or finishing this one. Does anyone have a particular XMPP PHP library they think is particularly good, and would recommend using for this project? I found this one, but their SVN repository doesn't seem to be working at the moment. Hopefully, with the right library, we can make that Jabber shit happen soon! Thanks, Tisane talk/stalk 15:47, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

I added a Bugzilla comment inquiring about this, so maybe we'll hear back soon. I'll let you know if/when I come up with a working extension. Tisane talk/stalk 15:56, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm not too keen on XMPP, but is it basically similar to an IRC feed, except that it sends an XML message? If that's the case, why not have an alternate IRC feed channel that sends JSON-encoded messages in the meantime while this is being implemented? (X! · talk)  · @083  ·  00:59, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Maybe we should do that, but I think this extension is also supposed to implement such UDP feeds in addition to XMPP. It would seem that XMPP messages have a higher length limit than IRC messages. Specifically, from what I hear, the XMPP Core does not specify a hardcoded limit on the size of XMPP stanzas. However, many XMPP servers enable the server administrator to configure a stanza size limit in order to prevent abuse of the service. IRC length limits were an issue raised earlier when I suggested including revision text in an IRC feed. Tisane talk/stalk 01:21, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Barelink converter like DumZiBoT

Do you think there would be support for a bot to replace barelinks with bot-generated titles, much as DumZiBoT used to? Tisane talk/stalk 19:10, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Major API breakage in the latest MediaWiki update

An hour or so ago, we were apparently updated to r70061. This seems to have broken the use of "max" as a value for the various limit parameters in the API; attempting to use them will now give a fatal error. This has already been reported as bug 24564http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=24564, hopefully they fix it soon. If necessary, a workaround is to use explicit limit values in your API queries (typically 5000 for flagged bots, 500 for some expensive queries). Anomie 03:49, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Tim has already rolled out the fix for this issue onto the WMF cluster. Peachey88 (T · C) 06:26, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Not completely fixed, the backlinks, deletedrevs, and revisions modules are still b0rken. Anomie 14:43, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Now it seems to be fixed. Anomie 11:10, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive241#Block review: User:Yobot

Comments are invited at the above-linked thread. –xenotalk 14:46, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

Test mass imagecopy bot

Hi guys, in the past couple of weeks I implemented a bot to easily mass move files from the English Wikipedia to Commons. The bot focuses on self-published works. The bot is now beta and I'm looking for people to test it. See Commons:User:Multichill/Imagecopy for more information. multichill (talk) 16:34, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

BAG Nomination

Hello bot operators! I have been nominated for the bot approval group and would appreciate input at Wikipedia:Bot Approvals Group/nominations/EdoDodo. Thanks. - EdoDodo talk 02:46, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

CorenSearchBot; back-up?

User:Coren has been missing since July 20th, and User:CorenSearchBot is down. (I e-mailed Coren to see if he was all right on August 10th or 11th and have received no answer, which worries me. Coren is always responsive! :/)

I consider this pretty urgent for copyright cleanup, as CorenSearchBot typically finds dozens of valid copyright problems in a given day. I don't know how many of those will be found by new article reviewers. Some of them may be being tagged for WP:CSD#G12, but I'm afraid that a good many are likely to be overlooked. User:Xeno tells me that the source code for CorenSearchBot is published at [30]. Is it possible to get a temporary replacement bot or one that can run in parallel with CorenSearchBot?

There is some urgency to identifying and eradicating copyright problems quickly. As we all know, Wikipedia is very widely mirrored and reused around the internet, and this content doesn't have to be published long before substantial damage can be done to the interests of copyright holders...and the reputation of Wikipedia. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:43, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

I already have the code, but I haven't had a chance to sit down with it and make sure I have everything is set up right in order to run a trial with it. I don't know how much free time I'll have, but I'll try to take a look at it tonight if nobody else steps up before then. VernoWhitney (talk) 14:53, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm now trying to run a trial in VWBot's userspace - if it starts actually posting results I'll go ahead and file a BRFA. VernoWhitney (talk) 13:03, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
Oh, that would be lovely. Crossing my fingers hard. Metaphorically. :) Actually crossing them interferes with typing! --Moonriddengirl (talk) 13:27, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/VWBot 8 speedily approved for 100 edit trial. –xenotalk 13:47, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
It seems the bot is back up. Hazard-SJ Talk 22:34, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, and as such I cut my trial short until it dies again, or until someone tells me something else to do. <shrug> VernoWhitney (talk) 00:01, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Are you sure they can't run in parallel? –xenotalk 15:08, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Whether they run in parallel or not, I think this amply demonstrates that we need a functional back-up. We really rely on that bot. Is it possible to continue the trial at least to the point where it can be approved to run when CSB goes down? --Moonriddengirl (talk) 15:10, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
The trial can certainly continue as long as it doesn't cause double-tagging or double-warning. –xenotalk 15:15, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
As I said in the BRFA perl isn't my strong suit, but there's a hard-coded list of templates which it will look for and ignore tagged articles, but its own templates aren't on the list, so while I could tweak mine to not double-tag, as far as I can tell Coren's still would if mine got to an article first. I can try to modify mine again so it can just do a userspace trial of listing with no tagging or warning if that will be sufficient for trial purposes. VernoWhitney (talk) 15:42, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
I think it already ignores csb, no? [code snip follows] –xenotalk 15:46, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
# End of customizable exclusions
#
	return "already-tagged"			if $text =~ m/{{csb-/;

Ah, clearly I missed that part of the code. I'll go ahead and fire mine back up again and we'll see how a race between CSBot and VWBot goes... VernoWhitney (talk) 16:23, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

Peachy stable version released!

PeachyFrameworkLogo.png

I am proud to announce the first major release of the Peachy MediaWiki Bot Framework, version 1.0!

After almost 3 months of hard work, I believe we are at a point where the framework is stable enough to be officially released to the public. In those three months, multiple bots, including SoxBot, MessageDeliveryBot, RaptureBot, and many others have been operating nonstop on top of the Peachy framework. I can only hope that other PHP bot operators follow along.

New features since the public beta include...

  • Default ability to store cookies locally, eliminating the need to log in every time the script is run.
  • Many new plugins, including a YAML parser and a unit tester.
  • A reorganized file structure
  • An improved class autoloader
  • Ability to delete all plugins without removing their functionality
  • Widely improved documentation
  • Support for terminal colors, using an intuitive interface

Upgrading from 0.1beta should be for the most part seamless. Very few breaking changes have been implemented. The minimum PHP version has been bumped to 5.2.1, as many of the internal features use functions implemented in this version. Other than that, scripts that were written for 0.1beta should work in 1.0

If you have not yet written anything in Peachy, now would be a good time to learn! The Peachy manual has been redesigned for this release, and with an intuitive guide for getting started, you should be writing your first bot in minutes!

Naturally, there may be a few bugs that will arise in the first release. The issue tracker is located at http://code.google.com/p/mw-peachy/issues/list. Don't hesitate to report something that doesn't seem right! We can't fix something we don't know about.

To download version 1.0, see the Peachy Wiki. Instructions for downloading the nightly compressed archives and SVN repos are located there.

Thank you for supporting Peachy, and enjoy!

(X! · talk)  · @155  ·  02:42, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Nice work, always great to see talent being put to use! —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 00:50, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

HBC Archive Indexerbot logged out.

I'm not sure if this is the right place to put this, but per [31] the archive indexer bot has been running while logged out. I remember there was some API change a couple months ago that caused breakage like this, but I thought all affected bots would have been fixed by now. 67.122.209.135 (talk) 21:54, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Do API-READS constitute a bot?

Hello. Per the ArbCom conditions on my talk page (#4 in particular), I seek some advice.

I currently use no bots/scripts which automate any API-WRITE functionality. However, for purposes of my anti-vandal tool STiki, I do have scripts making a large quantity of API READ requests. Am I correct to assume that such READ scripts require no approval from this group?

On a different note, is there any way to get in contact with API folks and provide them my IP addresses, etc. -- so they know my requests are purpose-driven? Thanks, West.andrew.g (talk) 18:12, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

You do not need any approval to run a script which only reads from the API. (X! · talk)  · @803  ·  18:16, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
But a bot flag will give you the high api limits. Reedy 18:50, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
You don't need approval to make only read requests, but if you get the bot flag it will increase the limit of how frequently you can make API requests. As for identifying the purpose for which you're using the API, you can, and should, use a user-agent that identifies you/your bot when making API requests. - EdoDodo talk 22:52, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps you should be asking Arbcom or the WMF technical staff since you are under their restrictions, since they may interpret what is and isn't a bot slightly differently. And by large amount of API requests, what numbers are you looking at? could you perhaps use the irc feeds to reduce the requirement in accessing the db so much? Peachey88 (T · C) 02:20, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
m:Bot_policy#Unacceptable_usage under "data retrieval" would seem to apply to read-only clients. If your client is doing something reasonable you should probably clear it with the devs, so you're not locked out at a firewall. This would probably be a network ops issue rather than API. I'd say ask on irc #wikimedia-tech. 67.122.211.178 (talk) 07:17, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
Note that enwiki has not opted in to m:Bot policy; see m:Bot policy/Implementation. It is generally true that if you are doing so many reads as to come to the attention of the sysadmins you had better rethink what you are doing, but that transcends any Wikipedia policy. Anomie 12:15, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Cleanup of over ten thousand articles

Mass blanking of ten thousand articles by a 'bot

We're now discussing 'bot-assisted solutions to this cleanup problem. Uncle G (talk) 13:05, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

discuss this

We're now at the stage where the 'bot is ready to roll, and no-one has voiced an objection. (Indeed, to the contrary: Several people want to go further, and mass delete the articles.)

If the 'bot goes ahead, this will probably light up some people's watchlists like Diwali. Be warned. Uncle G (talk) 04:33, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Discussion about an interwiki bot at ANI

Comments are invited at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#VolkovBot overly eager to remove interwiki links, especially from parties familiar with the m:interwiki.py function of the pywikipedia framework. –xenotalk 15:15, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

ClueBot 1 may need to be blocked until further notice.

Ever since DASHBot became an anti-vandal bot, I notice that some users are getting double warnings after DASHBot reverts one edit.

Here are five recent examples:

What I want is the issue of double warnings to be fixed. mechamind90 22:23, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

I spent a few hours meddling around in the MediaWiki source, and found the bug (which happens to be in the MW source, by the way, and this should fix it). MediaWiki is incorrectly reporting successful rollbacks when they are in fact not successful. I was able to work around the bug until it is fixed. This should work around the bug. I'll bugzilla that diff. Please let me know if it happens again. -- Cobi(t|c|b) 05:20, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
Bug 24866 filed. -- Cobi(t|c|b) 05:26, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your swift attention to this. –xenotalk 13:25, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
Looks good. 10 hours and counting, and every single warning appears to be attached to a revert by ClueBot. mechamind90 15:33, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
I've tagged resolved.Stricken per below Thank you for your attention to this. –xenotalk 15:35, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Untagged, thats because my bot has been down for 13 hours Face-smile.svg. Cobi, I had that error too. What I ended up doing was querying the API right after reverting an edit, to see if the top revision was listed as DASHBot's. Tim1357 talk 17:32, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

Has the error re-manifested now that both bots are running in concert? –xenotalk 15:08, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

I suppose it's

Resolved

mechamind90 02:47, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Interwiki issue

Someone needs to take a look at Nubian Jak the interwikis are a complete disaster and its above my skill to fix. ΔT The only constant 13:05, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Fixed. -- Basilicofresco (msg) 14:03, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. ΔT The only constant 22:34, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Wikilink simplification

My bot fixes a wide range of wikilink syntax problems and some redundancies. Recently user Magioladitis asked me to add also the syntax consolidation "[[architect|architects]]" --> "[[architect]]s" (already fixed by AWB, eg). What do you think? -- Basilicofresco (msg) 12:24, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

That just makes sense, anything that can be done to simplify wikicode is a good thing. ΔT The only constant 12:31, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
CHECKWIKI error 64. User:Yobot fixes this already. I am asking for FresctoBot to do it additionally to this bot since I think Basilicofresco's bot is faster than mine. After catching up with the backlong I don't expect many links created per week. -- Magioladitis (talk) 12:32, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Very good, I will open a BRFA as soon as possible. -- Basilicofresco (msg) 08:10, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Your comments are welcome: Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/FrescoBot 7 -- Basilicofresco (msg) 10:15, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Bot approval

Could someone look at Wikipedia:Bots/Requests_for_approval/CleanupListingBot and either pass/fail the bot...it's been a few days..Smallman12q (talk) 22:17, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Best to just add the "{{BAG assistance needed}}" template. –xenotalk 22:18, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Bot insistence on erroneous interwikilinks

I'm having some trouble at the diglyceride article, in that the article has apparently become associated with non-identical articles on other language wikipedias, and now a bot (User:TXiKiBoT, though I'm guessing other bots would do the same) is reinserting the links when I try to remove them. I guess this kind of bot looks at associated articles across many different language versions, so maybe the issue has to be addressed everywhere simultaneously. I don't know all the languages involved, particularly because some of them are in non-Latin alphabets, so that kind of fix is beyond my abilities. Also, the bot owner doesn't seem to be responding, at least not as quickly as his own bot. So I'm hoping someone here can help fix this. Sakkura (talk) 15:17, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

I believe that if you comment out the interwikis like this: <!--[[fr:diglyceride]]--> the bot won't keep adding new links. Then yes, as you say, the articles on the other wikis need their interwikis correcting. Rjwilmsi 15:49, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
You could also add {{nobots}} or {{bots|deny=TXiKiBoT}} while fixing the interwiki map. –xenotalk 15:51, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Ive straightened out the mess, All should be good. ΔT The only constant 18:57, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

I've done this for monecious or whatever it is a number of times. There are also a bunch of articles where there is no simple bijective mapping, but interwikis are still useful, see below for example. Not high on my list of priorities but something I have given a fair amount of thought over the years. Interwikis should become SQRT of current, i.e. O(n), as edit intensive once the Summer of Code "Reasonably efficient interwiki transclusion" goes live. Rich Farmbrough, 11:50, 6 October 2010 (UTC).

There is a feature used by some bots, but that isn't already in the trunk: Create a redirect in the foreign wiki, add __STATICREDIRECT__ to the redirect page and add an interwiki to the redirect. In future interwiki bots won't follow these static redirects any more. Merlissimo 15:13, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Wondering...

...how do all of the "most well known interwiki bots" run all the day through all of the Wikimedia wikis. I'm not any good with scripting (well, I can do basic things) and just learned to use the Unix shell (after using Windows all of my life). Is there something like a sh or a special function of the pywikipedia scripts to let the bot run always? P.D. My bot (User:Diego Grez Bot) runs from the Toolserver, if that is worth something. --Diego Grez (talk) 17:06, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

tswiki:Screen (X! · talk)  · @805  ·  18:18, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
I use Screen for my IRC bots, but I don't know how to run my interwiki bot automatically without having to type which language it has to run, and only when I have time. Diego Grez (talk) 19:18, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

  • While the project is in development and with the details of the project is always changing, the discussion and details should be kept in the one location so to track or discuss the project, please use this page. Thanks. -- d'oh! [talk] 04:53, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Idea

See below for the updated proposal. -- d'oh! [talk] 16:22, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

It sounds like a useful platform, but I can already hear people saying we have AWB for that. Then again, if your proposed api can be developed with simplicity and user-friendliness in mind — it should hopefully prove useful. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 10:03, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Sounds interesting. --Chris 13:38, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

sounds like commons:User talk:CommonsDelinker/commands ΔT The only constant 13:39, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
I have started writing the doc on how it will function and I also started writing the spec for the language (syntax). Also I like this project to be a collaborative one instead of a one-man band, so be bold (:P) and edit them. d'oh! talk 11:47, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Before I continue with the project I like to see if the project received wide support. d'oh! talk 11:59, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Another discussion about this idea going on here, if there is anyone interested. d'oh! talk 08:33, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
  • If someone wants to get a list of common tasks that they want done I can develop the wiki language, parser and actual code to run it. ΔT The only constant 18:45, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

This sounds a bit like an old project of mine. The language I adopted is a dialect of Lisp called Scheme, and I did at one point have a prototype running. Since then I've done little work on the bot side apart from building a bot framework in Scheme based on the API.

I also tried to make the job control aspects of the system independent of the language implementation, and that aspect of the project may be of interest. In essence, once a user is authorized to use the bot they can invoke it by typing a command on a page in their user space (the talk page would be okay for low volume users) Because it's script-based, it enabled editors to develop a script on the Wiki and then other authorized editors who may not have any programming skills can invoke the script. The bot would typically run in a jail on a host server that monitored pages, performed security checks to filter out unauthorized edits for instance, and then placed results into the invoking user's userspace. I felt that at least initially it would be too risky to permit the bot to perform changes outside userspace, and I envisaged it being used mainly to perform statistical analysis and construct lists of articles for work by a human user or another bot.

You could also implement scripts in Perl, PHP, Java, even C, but the main issue there is ensuring that the code cannot mess with the host system, remembering that anybody once authorized can write a script for the bot. The extreme reprogrammability of Scheme makes it ideal for this (though some people have an allergy to all the brackets). Creating a safe environment for running scripts is quite easy in R5R Scheme.

If anybody is interested, pleace leave a message on my user talk page. --TS 13:55, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

This project is very similar to your old project, but I don't like the idea of "filtering" to keep the code from running unwanted edits, instead I went with tying the creator of the code with the edits, by making the edits through the editor's bot account, so they become responsible for the edits. To protect the host server I went with parsing the code, instead of running it, which creates a firewall between the code and the server, although it will require more work it will be safe and secured. For the syntax, I developed a new language based on PHP, C and Ruby, which should be easy to read and write. I am just about to finish writing the parser, but if you got any ideas I like to hear them.
One of the things driving this project for me is the idea of sharing code, which you touched on, similar to what Wikipedia does at the moment with knowledge, images, etc. Although this is going to be a future feature, I also want to see editors developing extensions which can be included in other editors' code via templates. Similar to PHP, I want to provide the features and watch what people come up with. For example, with the standard objects (Pages, Website, etc), creating new objects can be done like this:
-- d'oh! [talk] 15:19, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Updated proposal

The updated idea is a platform to run code (scripts) from Wikipedia created by editors, the code will be picked up from pages on Wikipedia (via a template like {{User:D'oh!/Coding}}). The code syntax will be object-oriented and will look very similar to PHP, C and Ruby, e.g.:

The platform will ask for and use the editor's bot account, to make edits to Wikipedia, this will make the editor responsible for the edits their code does. Plus the editing privileges are transfered over to the platform, so editors can only do edits which they can do with their main account. The platform will either run the code continuously or once-off. -- d'oh! [talk] 16:22, 29 October 2010 (UTC)


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.