Wikipedia talk:AutoWikiBrowser

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This is the discussion page for the AWB project. It is also the place to discuss using the AWB program itself (if you need help, or have a question about AWB, etc.). Before asking questions, please read the Frequently asked questions below. Where to make specific types of reports or requests is explained in the Before you post section below...

Before you post[edit]

Do you want to ... Please use
Report a bug in AWB? Wikipedia talk:AutoWikiBrowser/Bugs
Report an incorrectly fixed typo? Wikipedia talk:AutoWikiBrowser/Typos
Request a feature for a future version of AWB? Wikipedia talk:AutoWikiBrowser/Feature requests
Request approval to use AWB? Wikipedia talk:AutoWikiBrowser/CheckPage
Ask a question about AWB or ask for help? This page

Frequently asked questions[edit]

  • When I start it up I get one of the following errors:
    "The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000135). Click on OK to terminate the application.", or
    "To run this application, you must first install one of the following versions of the .NET Framework..."
    This error means your computer does not have the .NET framework version 2 installed properly. You can choose from various versions for download here, or you can run Microsoft Update and select version 2 of the .Net framework from the "Optional Updates" section, if you want the choice made for you.
  • Does AWB run on Linux or Mac?
    Linux, a qualified yes. Mac, not natively but via virtualisation.
    AWB runs reasonably under Wine. See details here
    AWB might also run under Mono.
    A native version, PyAutoWikiBrowser (screenshots here), based on Python, is being developed separately for Unix-like systems.
    On the Mac, AWB is not natively available, but an option is to use virtualisation with Parallels Desktop for Mac (subject to meeting supported operating systems requirements) and then run Microsoft Windows virtually with AWB as the Windows instructions above. Note this option is not free, as a license is required for both Parallels Desktop for Mac and Microsoft Windows. An alternative visualization method is to use the free VirtualBox, see also Comparison of platform virtual machines.
  • Does AWB work on other projects/languages?
    Many Wikimedia projects and languages are supported, see the "User and project preferences" option in the general menu. Other languages will be added on request, though at the moment the interface is always in English. You are also able to use AWB with third-party wikis: Options > Preferences > Site, you can change the wiki there. The wiki must support the Bot API required by AWB. This means that it should have latest HEAD version of MediaWiki or something close to that. The wmf-deployment branch is also recommended, as this is what is currently live on WMF sites.
  • What interwiki link order does AWB use?
    The software reads the interwiki sort order from Wikipedia:AutoWikiBrowser/IW, which is generally mirrored to reflect the order at m:Interwiki sorting order.
  • AWB puts stubs after categories, though categories are always rendered the last by MediaWiki?
    According to WP:STUB#Categorizing stubs, By convention they are placed at the end of the article, after the External links section, any navigation templates, and the category tags, so that the stub category will appear last. If your wiki uses another order, please let us know here.
  • I don't like or use Internet Explorer; please use Firefox instead.
    AWB does not use Internet Explorer per se. It does, however, use the same web browser control (MSHTML) as Internet Explorer; the equivalent Firefox component does not provide the needed functionality.
  • How do I open the page in another browser if I can't use the one in AWB?
    Right click on the edit box in the bottom right side of your screen. Select "Open page in browser".
  • How do I edit a page that doesn't exist?
    Uncheck "Ignore non existing pages" in the "Skip articles" box.
  • How do I skip certain articles?
    Use the "Skip if contains" and "Skip if doesn't contain" on the "Skip" tab
  • Can't you leave up a "stable" version, so I don't have to download new versions?
    It is important to keep people up to date with the latest versions, because their use of the software doesn't just affect them, but the whole of Wikipedia. As any bugs that remain will be trivial; hopefully releases won't be too frequent.
  • How can I stop AWB clicking when it changes pages?
    This is a Windows sound theme setting. This page explains how to turn off the clicking sound.
    Alternatively, delete the following key from the Windows registry:
  • AWB randomly crashes upon page load on my system, and I always use a browser other than Internet Explorer when using Wikipedia.
    You may have installed custom scripts incompatible with IE. Wrap the contents of your monobook.js into conditional:
               //Detect IE5.5+
               if (navigator.appVersion.indexOf("MSIE")==-1)
                   // Previous contents go here
  • I get Just In Time Debugger Messages when loading AWB/loading pages.
    In Internet Explorer, go to Tools → Options → Advanced. Make sure 'Disable Script Debugging (Internet Explorer)' and 'Disable Script Debugging (Other)' Are both checked. Press apply and close.
  • Why does AWB run very, very slowly if I try to make changes in the edit window on larger pages, especially pages with long lists or tables?
    If running on Windows, exit the Speech Recognition software that is built into some versions of Windows; don't just turn it 'Off', you must 'Exit' the software if you have started up Speech Recognition.
  • When I do a clean install of AutoWikiBrowser the application seems to find old setting data somewhere. I'd like to do a really clean install. Any ideas?
    Clean up your registry and remove the folder "C:\Documents and Settings\user name\Local Settings\Application Data\AutoWikiBrowser" (Windows XP) or "C:\Users\user name\AppData\Local\AutoWikiBrowser\" (Windows 7). Note that the application data folder may be hidden.
  • AWB prompts that there is a newer version but won't update
    Check the version number of your AWBUpdater.exe. The current version is If you have an older version, you have to download the latest AWB version and make a clean install.
  • Which .NET Framework version do I have?
    You can find your .NET Framework version in Help → About box.
  • Where are the default settings stored?
    • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Local Settings\Application Data\AutoWikiBrowser
    • Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8: C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\AutoWikiBrowser\Default.xml
  • I cannot copy text from the diff window using the Control+C keyboard shortcut.
    You must have Microsoft.mshtml.dll available for AWB to use for this functionality to work. You can try downloading the file (there are a number of third-party websites offering DLL file downloads) and putting it in the same folder as AutoWikiBrowser.exe. This is reported not to work for all users, presumably due to .NET Framework problems.
  • Is there any way to set AWB to not use https? (GFW blocks 443 port)
    In preferences, set project to "custom". Set the left box to http. In the webpage box, type (English Wikipedia) or (Chinese Wikipedia). Note that leaving off the /w/ will result in a "root element missing" error.


This talk page is automatically archived by MiszaBot I. Any sections older than 7 days are automatically archived to Wikipedia talk:AutoWikiBrowser/Archive 28. Sections without timestamps are not archived.

List from links on a previous revision of a page[edit]

I was wondering if it was possible to make a list from the links on a previous version of a page. The "popular pages" tool generates a list of most viewed pages in a wikiproject, but each month's new data is copied over the previous month's. I would like to do list compares between the current month's data and a previous month's which is in the previous revision. If this isn't possible, I'll add this to Requests. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 15:32, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

@Stevietheman: You could copy the previous version to your personal sandbox, and then make the list from your sandbox. GoingBatty (talk) 00:44, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm aware I can do that, but I wonder if it's feasible for AWB to add the ability to work with previous revisions of pages, as that would make my process a lot easier in this case. (No need to ping me in response as I watch this page) Stevie is the man! TalkWork 18:02, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Better way to handle excessive wikilinks[edit]

Hi there! Does anyone have any tips on how to use AWB to handle duplicate wikilinks? this article was a mess and I did my best with the Wikilink alert/delink selection tools, but 1) The alert box is so small that you don't always see the entire Wikilink, 2) the tiny box is very difficult to click-navigate through, and the thing you want to click on sometimes winds up above the displayed information, so you have to scroll back up to get it. (It's hard to explain unless you've used it.) 3) Removing 14 excessive wiklinks theoretically requires 14 clicks, (which seems like the opposite of what AWB is supposed to do anyway), but with the difficulty of navigating, you wind up taking more like 25-30 clicks to clear out 14 links. Most of you seem pretty slick with the best ways to use the tool, so I thought I'd ask. I've also tried installing scripts that are supposed to help reduce overlinking, but they seem spotty. Thanks for any help you can toss my way. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 17:43, 25 March 2015 (UTC)


I was wondering if there's any possibility of migrating to GitHub or Phab or something, as SourceForge is blanketed with advertisements (not to mention how it's just a poorly-designed website in general) and if we used GitHub, issue tracking (and the wiki!) would be a heck of a lot easier. APerson (talk!) 13:38, 26 March 2015 (UTC) (Pinging some devs: Magioladitis, Reedy, Rjwilmsi APerson (talk!) 13:46, 26 March 2015 (UTC))

We already migrated bug reports to Phabricator. -- Magioladitis (talk) 13:46, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Magioladitis, what about the actual code? APerson (talk!) 16:34, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
I do mirror it on an adhoc basis to github. And could accept pull requests via it if necessary, make them into SVN commits (hacky, I know). I think we discussed it before, but wasn't any overruling reason to do so. I do agree that github is a lot better than sourceforge. I don't know if I'd want to use github for the wiki or issue tracking (particularly), but phabricator makes sense (and any and all requests can be made there), it also makes tracking issues that affect AWB easier, as we can tag it as WMF and AWB, or MW API and AWB etc. We could move to gerrit, but I'm not sure the gated CR is so useful, though could work well, if people were reviewing stuff. The question is whether Magioladitis and Rjwilmsi are comfortable using git. Last time I checked, both weren't, so it would be a blocker to them to continue development. Github for Windows is apparently pretty decent, so might alleviate some of the issues. Technically, we could use TortoiseGit in a similar way as to how we do commits to SVN... Reedy (talk) 20:45, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
I've no familiarity with git or GitHub. There don't seem to be a raft of other people who want to submit AWB patches via git, so I don't see any driver to change. Perhaps we could mirror the latest version of AWB for dowload on WMF labs, so if desired, there is no need for regular users to touch sourceforge? Rjwilmsi 11:03, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Making the regex find/replace feature redlink sensitive[edit]

I'd like to be able to search for strings with one or more redlinks in them. I'd also like to be able to replace strings that have one or more redlinks in them.

AWB would be much more powerful if it could do that, especially for cleaning up pages with excessive redlinks, removing {{main}} entries with a redlink in them, removing redlinks from see also sections, delinking or removing redlinks from disambiguation pages, etc.

How is regex implemented? Can the regex source code itself be tweaked?

How would a redlink be delimited in a regex?

What method could be used in the source code to identify a redlink? The Transhumanist 07:23, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

This section was added at 22:56, 29 March 2015‎ by Magioladitis. -- John of Reading (talk) 06:31, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

Windows XP users[edit]

We would be interested to know if there any AWB editors still using Windows XP. If you are one of them, please leave us a note. -- Magioladitis (talk) 21:54, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

I still use AWB on XP. Keith D (talk) 22:14, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
If you haven't done so already you may want to inquire over at Wikia as well. A lot of folks over there use AWB as well. (talk) 22:17, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
+1 for XP-usage (but I only use AWB occasionally for relatively trivial tasks like disambig checking). Just curious, have there been actual problems with XP aside from the bugs listed on the bug page, or is this just a general precautionary move? GermanJoe (talk) 22:22, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
And another. DO NOT make it impossible to run at least some final version of AWB on XP. Yeah, this is an old machine but it works just fine for Wikipedia work including AWB.
Trappist the monk (talk) 23:09, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
We're evaluating options. Mostly, it's looking at bumping to a newer version of the .NET Framework to take advantage of new features (like regex matching timeouts). Eventually when WMF drop TLS 1.0 support, we can't support XP and AWB for Wikimedia usage (using HTTPS anyway). TLS 1.1 and 1.2 are only seemingly in .NET 4.5, and you can't get that on XP. Never mind that XP is a dead OS as far as MS is concerned. I'm not sure if there's a specific need to drop XP support, or bump to .NET 4.5 yet. Reedy (talk) 23:19, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Me, too. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 10:39, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

@Magioladitis, Reedy: I was wondering if the AWB Usage stats would show this information, but the link in the AWB header doesn't seem to be working. GoingBatty (talk) 02:23, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
GoingBatty WMFLabs has been dead since March 30 22:00 UTC. They were switching NFS systems and it was only going to be brief outage. As of about 30 minutes ago, they were still looking into the problem. Bgwhite (talk) 06:41, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── OK, so we're not going to deliberately break XP support, but it may be that at some point we switch to only providing a "legacy support" version of AWB for XP, so we can move things on for newer platforms. AWB is generally working on Linux under wine, that is a free option for XP users. Rjwilmsi 11:09, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

That's fine, as long as we XPers aren't left completely out in the cold. :-) --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 15:09, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

dmy/mdy regex[edit]

I'm not sure how to write a good regex for converting to dmy/mdy from the other and from ISO to either one. This would be useful for the {{use dmy dates}} and {{use mdy dates}}. Jerodlycett (talk) 23:43, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Have a look at User:Ohconfucius/script/MOSNUM_dates.js for some hair-raising ideas. After figuring all that out, come back here and post "Wow!" Chris the speller yack 05:00, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
Decent reference. I have (released|date)\s*=\s*(\d{4})-0?5-(\d{1,2}) which replaces with $1=$3 May $2. Now to figure out how to strip the leading zero from the day in the same move if possible. Jerodlycett (talk) 06:54, 1 April 2015 (UTC)