Wikipedia:Bot requests

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This is a page for requesting work to be done by bots per the bot policy. This is an appropriate place to simply put ideas for bots. If you need a piece of software written for a specific article you may get a faster response time at the computer help desk. You might also check Wikipedia:Bots/Status to see if the bot you are looking for already exists, in which case you can contact the operator directly on his or her talkpage.

If you have a question about one particular bot, it should be directed to the bot owner's talk page or to the Bot Owners' Noticeboard. If a bot is acting improperly, a note about that should be posted to the owner's talk page and to the Administrators' Noticeboard. A link to such a posting may be posted at the Bot Owners' Noticeboard.

If you are a bot operator and you complete a request, note what you did, and archive it. {{BOTREQ}} can be used to give common responses, and to make it easier to see at-a-glance what the response is.

There are a number of common requests which are regularly denied, either because they are too complicated to program, or do not have consensus from the Wikipedia community. Please see Wikipedia:Bots/Frequently denied bots for a list of such requests, and ensure that your idea is not among them.

If you are requesting that a bot be used to add a WikiProject banner to the talkpages of all articles in a particular category or its subcategories, please be very careful to check the category tree for any unwanted subcategories. It is best to give a complete list of categories that should be worked through individually, rather than one category to be analyzed recursively. Compare the difference between a recursive list and a properly vetted one.



Tagging articles for a WikiProject[edit]

Could a bot tag any article with the words "election", "elections", "referendum" and "referendums" in their title with {{WikiProject Elections and Referendums}}? Cheers, Number 57 17:30, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

Number 57 Pro Forma Where is the consensus discussion for this? Hasteur (talk) 21:00, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
The matter arose because the article alert bot for elections and referendums missed an AfD on an election article. I raised the matter at the bot's bug page, and was told that it was because the article wasn't tagged for the WikiProject, and that I should ask here for a bot to tag the articles that have been missed by editors (I'm certainly guilty of not tagging the 2,700 election articles I've created). Cheers, Number 57 00:13, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
@Number 57: You may want to discuss your request at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Elections and Referendums#Tagging articles for inclusion in this WikiProject. There would be a few false positives, such as some of the articles listed on Election (disambiguation). GoingBatty (talk) 20:36, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately the project is very inactive, so I doubt it would get a response. Is this really needed though? It's hardly a contentious issue. Perhaps everything that is within the category trees Category:Elections by year Category:Referendums by year then? I can't think how any article would get into those category trees without actually being an election or referendum. Number 57 16:41, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
There have been a number of cases where somebody asked for a WikiProject banner to be added to the talk pages of all pages in a given category and its subcats. A bot was sent in, and after a few hours somebody complained that it was tagging far too many pages where the WikiProject was clearly inapplicable. Recently, new rules were brought in to cut down such problems (see also Wikipedia:Bot requests/Archive 60#WikiProject talk page tagging), and one of those rules is that the category list needs to be explicit - it cannot be framed as "everything that is within the category trees X and Y" (another is the notification of the WikiProject whose banner is to be applied). --Redrose64 (talk) 13:21, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
I've notified the project, but compiling a category tree is going to be a massive job. Very disappointing that such a level of bureaucracy has been introduced. Number 57 13:41, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Asking for some CYA when you're requesting us to tag anywhere from 0 ~ infinity pages with a very inactive project (disrupting any existing project banners on the page) is not buerecratic, it's doing our due diligence as bot operators. If the project is so inactive that you can't marshal a affirmative consensus why should a project of 28 members get to stamp their mark on anything that has your 4 magic words or the list of categories to be tagged? Hasteur (talk) 14:50, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
I appreciate that some level of carefulness is required, but the current system, despite the amount of work that is required, doesn't seem effective at avoiding the problem you refer to (Yobot recently tagged many articles for WP:WikiProject Athletics that weren't even remotely related to the subject (e.g. Baldwin III of Jerusalem). Number 57 15:05, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
@Number 57: That error was due to the unfortunate inclusion of Category:Commons category with local link same as on Wikidata appearing on Wikipedia:WikiProject Athletics/Categories (beware: AWB lists gave parents of the source category, as well as children). Aside from that single (admittedly horrendous) oversight, vetting of the 4000+ athletics categories meant that that was the only source of error.
The benefit of this model is that, even though that single category listing caused big issues, Yobot actually had a list of valid things to untag. No more human interaction was needed than your message at the talkpage and the owner's action to untag articles from the erroneous category. Despite the scale of the error, it was fully reverted by the bot within 40 minutes, so little damage was done.
I think you are underestimating the man hours required to manually review and untag thousands of bot-tagged articles. On the plus side, my review of the athletics category structure for this task actually helped resolve lingering problems on the category side too. SFB 16:43, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

@Number 57: compiling the category tree it's very important because it had proven to be broken many many times. Even restricting to level 3 depth in the past ended in unpleasant situations. Bad tagging already has cost me many hours of my life and I would like to reduce the risk as much as possible. -- Magioladitis (talk) 17:11, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

OK, I have compiled the category tree here. I've also notified the WikiProject, and there has been no objections to getting a bot to do the tagging. Can this proceed? Number 57 18:28, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

@Number 57: If the project is semi-active what good will be done if we give them more pages to check? -- Magioladitis (talk)

Btw, I won't proceed to any tagging unless your add your name as a member of the project. I want to be sure that the person requesting the bot tagging is related somehow to the project. Any mass tagging with a WikiProject banner should enjoy the support of the WikiProject itself. -- Magioladitis (talk) 22:33, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

The reason I'm doing this is so any election/referendum-related article alerts (AfDs, RMs etc) will be picked up by the article alert bot. This issue primarily arose because the election/referendum feed only works when the articles are tagged for the WikiProject. But as you can see from the link GoingBatty provided above, I'm not the only one who wants to see articles tagged.
I've added my name to the list of members, although as you can see from the project talk page, I have been a member for several years. Number 57 08:29, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
The presence of a WikiProject banner on a talkpage is not the only means by which ArticleAlerts picks up pages to list. Something like a year or two ago, I put together an explanation of why two tennis biogs were listed at Wikipedia:WikiProject Tennis/Article alerts, even though neither had a talk page and therefore no {{WikiProject Tennis}} - it soon became apparent that the common factor was that both biogs used {{Infobox tennis biography}}. If you look at Wikipedia:Article alerts/Subscription list#T, you'll see that the Tennis entry has both the WikiProject banner and Infobox shown. If there is an infobox that is used on most (all?) election articles, it should therefore be possible to do something similar for elections. Let's assume that it's {{Infobox election}}, so locate the relevant {{ArticleAlertSubscription}} at Wikipedia:Article alerts/Subscription list#E - it presently has one parameter, |project=WikiProject Elections and Referendums - so add both of the following: |banner=WikiProject Elections and Referendums |infobox=Infobox election More at Wikipedia:Article alerts/Subscribing#Subscribe via an Infobox and the "Combinations" subsection immediately below. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:00, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately I don't believe the infobox is a useful parameter as far as the bot is concerned; it's not universally used (it's largely limited to national elections in developed countries - it has just under 7,500 transclusions, which is only the same as the number of categories I've identified - I would say that there are at least five times that many articles, if not more), it doesn't take into account articles that are not about specific elections (i.e. constituencies, wards, electoral systems etc), nor does it cover referendums. Number 57 20:05, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Regardless, relying on the presence of a WikiProject tag on an article's talk page is an artificial constraint. The bot could be programmed to recognize articles listed on arbitrary pages (e.g. Wikipedia:WikiProject Elections and Referendums/Article alerts/List/A). There's no need to create thousands of talk pages (which, as discussed above, causes problems). —David Levy 16:28, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
That relies on creating a list and then maintaining it – can a bot do that? And my experience is that most of the talk pages are there, but just not with this tag on yet.
TBH, I'm getting rather disheartened here - I was specifically told elsewhere that the only way to get the bot to recognise the articles was to tag the talk pages. I was then told that the only way of getting this done was to compile the category tree. I then spent rather a lot of time compiling a list of over 7,000 categories with articles in that needed to be tagged. Now I'm being told that this was a waste of time? This really has not been a positive experience. Number 57 18:29, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
That relies on creating a list and then maintaining it – can a bot do that?
Absolutely. From a programming standpoint, it's a similar task (albeit one entailing far fewer edits). The bot – utilizing exactly the same data – would simply compile the articles' titles on specified pages instead of tagging their talk pages. If some articles were included accidentally, the resultant WikiProject notifications would be the only ill effect.
And my experience is that most of the talk pages are there, but just not with this tag on yet.
In principle, I don't object to the tagging (automated or otherwise) of talk pages containing actual discussion, assuming that false positives are avoided.
I was specifically told elsewhere that the only way to get the bot to recognise the articles was to tag the talk pages.
That refers to the bot's current programming, not to an inherent technical barrier. The most sensible solution is to eliminate that limitation (by either expanding the bot's detection methods or supplementing it with an additional bot), not to invest that effort in a bot task rooted in the present deficiency.
I was then told that the only way of getting this done was to compile the category tree. I then spent rather a lot of time compiling a list of over 7,000 categories with articles in that needed to be tagged. Now I'm being told that this was a waste of time?
I'm certainly not telling you that. Irrespective of the particular implementation, the category tree would serve as the underlying data. Instead of tagging the talk pages of articles in those categories, a bot could list the articles' titles somewhere. It might even be feasible to skip that step and simply watch the categories' contents directly. —David Levy 19:30, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I appreciate the sentiments, but I'd rather just get the talk pages tagged. It's standard practice for article-based WikiProjects (as opposed to disambiguation pages, which you referred to above as being problematic) - I'm a member of two other ones, and as far as I'm aware, every article under their auspices is tagged. After all the faffing around here, I'd really rather not get involved in a request to change the way the bot operates, as this has done more than enough to sap my morale. Can we just get on with it please? Number 57 21:13, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I appreciate the sentiments, but I'd rather just get the talk pages tagged.
I oppose your request (in its current form). When multiple methods are feasible, it's every bot owner's responsibility to pursue the least harmful approach.
Given that the WikiProject is "very inactive", whether any bot task is warranted is debatable. If one is initiated, it should cause as little disruption as possible. You'd "rather just get the talk pages tagged", but the decision isn't yours alone.
Is there a consensus for mass tagging among whatever participants the WikiProject has? If so, on what is it based? (How is the goal of improving a "very inactive" WikiProject's notification system adequate justification?)
It's standard practice for article-based WikiProjects (as opposed to disambiguation pages, which you referred to above as being problematic)
It isn't standard practice for "very inactive" WikiProjects.
Any tagging of this nature is potentially problematic, especially when it entails the creation of new talk pages (which your request encompasses). The question is whether some benefit to Wikipedia outweighs the potential detriments. In my view, you've yet to cite one. Nonetheless, I suggested a means of accomplishing the desired objective without causing collateral damage (even if your category tree turns out to be overly inclusive). You've dismissed this idea without even allowing bot operators to comment on it first.
Frankly, your unwillingness to consider alternatives (even on a technical level, with no impact on the actual reports) doesn't inspire further cooperation with your pursuit.
After all the faffing around here, I'd really rather not get involved in a request to change the way the bot operates, as this has done more than enough to sap my morale. Can we just get on with it please?
"I find it less stressful than seeking a better solution" isn't a valid reason to send a bot on a tagging spree, let alone one initiated on behalf of a "very inactive" WikiProject. —David Levy 01:12, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, hopefully someone else will be more reasonable and approve my request. Number 57 07:06, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Despite your inability to demonstrate that it's backed by consensus, even within the WikiProject itself (assuming that such a thing is possible, given its "very inactive" state)? —David Levy 08:24, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't know if you read the earlier part of the discussion, but both GoingBatty and I made reference to the request from another project member for assistance in tagging articles two months ago. Number 57 08:33, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I read that part of the discussion. I've quoted your reply to GoingBatty (in which you noted that "the project is very inactive" and expressed "doubt [a discussion invitation] would get a response") several times.
I'm confused as to how an editor's request for "help from anyone in tagging or assessing election-related articles" constitutes consensus to send a bot on a 7,424-category spree (on behalf of a WikiProject whose inactivity precludes discussion of the task, including its scope). —David Levy 11:54, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
My point is that despite the project not being very active, at least one other editor has requested the same thing within the last couple of months - that's about as good as it's going to get. Apart from you, no-one has raised any objections to tagging the articles, and as I said earlier, I don't believe your objection is reasonable given normal procedures on Wikipedia. But in anticipation of more obstructionism, I'm now contacting every listed project member directly to try and get some more people involved so you have a consensus (or not) to see. Number 57 12:24, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
My point is that despite the project not being very active, at least one other editor has requested the same thing within the last couple of months
"Help from anyone in tagging or assessing election-related articles" is not "the same thing" as a 7,424-category bot task.
- that's about as good as it's going to get.
Yes, because the project is "very inactive". So what will the tagging accomplish?
Magioladitis inquired above. You replied that "the reason [you're] doing this is so any election/referendum-related article alerts (AfDs, RMs etc) will be picked up by the article alert bot." Then what?
Apart from you, no-one has raised any objections to tagging the articles,
You see no other objections above?
and as I said earlier, I don't believe your objection is reasonable given normal procedures on Wikipedia.
And as I said earlier, mass tagging isn't a normal procedure for inactive WikiProjects.
But in anticipation of more obstructionism,
You mentioned "getting rather disheartened". The feeling is mutual.
In addition to expressing my concerns, I suggested an implementation that I believe would better serve the Wikipedia community. Despite not seeing a clear benefit to the reports' existence, I sincerely attempted to assist in their compilation. You needn't agree with me or approve of my idea, but there's no need to label my response "obstructionism" or complain that you're "rapidly being worn down by the unhelpfulness of people on the page".
You've continually conveyed that you resent (and deem unreasonable) any response other than compliance with your current request (and are uninterested in even discussing alternatives). This is not a collaborative attitude, let alone one consistent with a WikiProject (intrinsically a collaboration within a collaboration).
I'm now contacting every listed project member directly to try and get some more people involved so you have a consensus (or not) to see.
Are you familiar with Wikipedia's canvassing guideline? Your message is far from neutral.
You seem to be missing the point. Summoning the members of an inactive WikiProject to endorse your request won't demonstrate any actual value in tagging the articles' talk pages. If these editors normally don't participate in the WikiProject (hence its aforementioned inactivity), of what consequence is their accession?
To be clear, I certainly don't intend to belittle anyone's good-faith input. Individually, these editors' opinions count as much as anyone else's. But assembling as a group solely to give thumbs-up to an endeavor requiring no further action on their parts (at its proponent's urging) isn't indicative of encyclopedic collaboration. —David Levy 14:13, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, of course I'm aware of WP:CANVASS. I asked people to comment - I didn't tell them which way to comment. There has already been three responses, all positive, so that's a total of five people from the project in favour. Number 57 14:29, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, of course I'm aware of WP:CANVASS. I asked people to comment - I didn't tell them which way to comment.
You noted that you're "getting rather frustrated by the attitude of the people at WP:BTR" and implied that we're obstructing "progress" (mirroring your comments here and elsewhere).
There has already been three responses, all positive, so that's a total of five people from the project in favour.
Did you read my above reply in its entirety? —David Levy 14:53, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Sorry David, I did read your response in its entirety, but I really don't see anything productive coming from continuing to discuss this with you. You've made your opposition quite clear, and I'll wait for the input of some other people to this thread. Number 57 15:10, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
To confirm, you decline to explain how the "very inactive" WikiProject will utilize the information contained in the reports. Correct? —David Levy 15:15, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
No, I don't decline to explain that, as I already have. See my comments at 08:29 on 18 August 2014 about the Article Alert Bot. One of the commenters on the Project page has also mentioned the same reason. Number 57 15:28, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I quoted your 08:29, 18 August 2014 message above. You stated that "the reason [you're] doing this is so any election/referendum-related article alerts (AfDs, RMs etc) will be picked up by the article alert bot." This will result in the generation of the reports to which I referred above. You've yet to explain what a "very inactive" WikiProject will do with the information contained therein. Reiterating that it will be obtained doesn't answer the question. —David Levy 17:13, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
It means the active editors (most of the project editors are active, but rarely post on the Project page, which is why I described it as inactive) have a chance to spot relevant AfDs, RMs etc. Number 57 17:54, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying. You seem to be describing an ideal case for the type of alternative setup that I suggested above (because it's helpful to notify interested editors of relevant article issues and unhelpful to point other users to an inactive WikiProject, especially when this entails creating new talk pages). —David Levy 18:20, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I'd rather editors were pointed to the Project, so then it might have some more activity. Of course, this is not the main point of the tagging, but it is definitely a beneficial side effect. Number 57 18:23, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
That's understandable, but the needs of Wikipedia's general users take precedence. A WikiProject certainly can seek to expand via such promotion, but it's expected to be operational (and capable of serving as a resource to newcomers) before initiating the level of tagging that you request. Otherwise, the encyclopedia's talk pages would be littered with banners pointing to WikiProjects that never got off the ground (thereby frustrating editors and souring them on the entire concept). —David Levy 19:02, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
And that's understandable if you're talking about a new project, but this one has been around since 2009, and it is operational. I wish I'd never used the phrase "very inactive" - it's not as active as I'd like, but it's not dead by any means. If people post on its talk page, I usually respond, as you can see for yourself. Number 57 19:10, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
If the WikiProject isn't "very inactive", that's a different story. Whether this is the case seems questionable. —David Levy 19:26, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
People can judge for themselves by checking the project's talk page. Number 57 20:01, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. It's a subjective matter. Heretofore, I've simply gone by your description, but I understand that you regret that choice of words. —David Levy 03:33, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Trouble communicating with bot operator, request for new bot maintainer[edit]

I am one of the editors over at WP:TAFI and a project participant has provided a bot that maintains several mundane tasks like administering our nomination page, adding and removing templates, sending out project notices and such. The code for all functions are available on the bot maintainer @Theopolisme:'s github page, with the "tafi_" prefix.

Essentially the bot maintainer is busy and is unavailable to make changes to the code. Several attempts to get in touch with them have been unsuccessful. I request that another bot maintainer absorb these already approved tasks, somehow these specific tasks from the other bot be stopped, and the new bot maintainer be able to make some of the changes we have been discussing over at the relevant discussion area. --NickPenguin(contribs) 16:21, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

+1 to this request, as another TAFI editor. A list of tasks, with links to BRFAs and individual source codes, is at Wikipedia:Today's articles for improvement/Automation#Bot_tasks. Stopping Theo's bot should be easy, there are links to disable individual tasks at User:Theo's Little Bot. - Evad37 [talk] 09:38, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

revert section blanking bot[edit]

Could a bot (I don't know if there is already one) that reverts all edits that blanked a section without any summary in the edit summary. Thanks, TheQ Editor (Talk) 16:32, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Sounds like the sort of thing User:ClueBot NG probably would detect. BMacZero (talk) 15:34, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Cleanup of Category:Cephalotes[edit]

Hi, I need some help with formatting of about 130 articles in Category:Cephalotes; most articles look like this and this. What to do: wikilink "ant" in the lead and change Cephalotes to Cephalotes in the infobox and lead. If possible, I'd very much appreciate if someone could add | binomial_authority = (blank parameter) to the bottom of the infobox at the same time. Thank you, jonkerztalk

@Jonkerz: I'll look into this, and start tomorrow. As it is a run of less than 200 edits, I'll do it from my main account, as opposed to waiting for a BRFA to go through. --Mdann52talk to me! 17:58, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, Mdann52! jonkerztalk 18:38, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
@Jonkerz: Task completed sucsessfully, 132 edits made. Can you please check a sample to ensure all is well? :) --Mdann52talk to me! 16:06, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
@Mdann52: I checked a bunch and they all look good, thanks! :) jonkerztalk 16:37, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Cyberbot II is misbehaving. Can we fix this issue?[edit]

This bot appears to be posting the same message over and over on some pages. See the discussion here: User_talk:Cyberpower678#Cyberbot appears to be malfunctioning on some pages Jarble (talk) 21:12, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

I have removed the template from the page where it is spamming the talkpage. I don't know the code, but maybe this edit resulted in the bot not understanding the template anymore? --Dirk Beetstra T C 10:52, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
My talk page would've been more than sufficient. I'll have to look into it. Also it parses the template. It should be able to understand it.—cyberpower ChatOnline 12:43, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Talk page fixes to vital articles[edit]

Could a bot apply AWB talk page general fixes to the pages in Category:All Wikipedia level-1 vital articles, Category:All Wikipedia level-2 vital articles, Category:All Wikipedia level-3 vital articles, and Category:All Wikipedia level-4 vital articles? This is something that Magioladitis/Yobot have been doing for a while now, and it would be great if a bot could do this task for these pages, especially since WP:TPL has been updated for {{Vital article}}. Malerisch (talk) 17:39, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Malerisch I can do that at some point. Perhaps next week. -- Magioladitis (talk) 17:43, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Okay, thanks for the prompt response! Malerisch (talk) 17:47, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose It is a bad idea to apply genfixes to any talk page. Discussions may be about some problem text in the article, with examples; a genfix run will destroy those examples. Any refactoring of a talk page must respect WP:TPO. --Redrose64 (talk) 23:51, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. In addition to the reasons stated by Redrose64, it's just annoying to have minor fixes of this type made to the fleeting contents of talk pages. Jc3s5h (talk) 01:44, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
@Redrose64, Jc3s5h: Just wish to note that the genfixes applied to articles and talk pages are different. In my experience (from applying genfixes to talk pages), comments are very rarely, if ever, changed, and the genfixse mainly affects formatting (inc. wikiproject banners etc.) Therefore, I fail to see how changing the text would be a major issue. --Mdann52talk to me! 14:41, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Minor planet bot[edit]

Hello all; could somebody please make a bot to redirect non-notable numbered and named minor planets to the correct lists, subject to the terms at WT:AST? The bot would need to redirect minor planet articles to lists such as list of minor planets: 10001–11000 subject to the following criteria:

  • Article has one or no external links.
  • Article was created by the users ClueBot II or Merovingian
  • Article is less than 2000 bytes
  • Asteroid is numbered above 2000.

It would be nice to see a list of the articles that would be redirected before actually carrying out the operation, but I personally would be satisfied if I saw a trial run of 100 edits with no errors. StringTheory11 (t • c) 19:13, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Fixing broken database reports[edit]

The list of Broken section links hasn't been updated in over a year. Will it be possible to update this list so that we can repair these broken links? Jarble (talk) 05:43, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Report is (was!) built by BernsteinBot (talk · contribs), so this is a question for MZMcBride (talk · contribs). What say you, MZ - is this another of those reports that died because of the toolserver replag problems? --Redrose64 (talk) 09:22, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Add Navboxs[edit]

Add this templates, each one in its articles.

--Vivaelcelta {talk  · contributions} 02:51, 22 August 2014 (UTC)