|This user account is a bot operated by Andre Engels (talk). It is used to make repetitive automated or semi-automated edits that would be extremely tedious to do manually, in accordance with the bot policy. This bot does not yet have the approval of the community, or approval has been withdrawn, and therefore shouldn't be making edits that appear to be unassisted except in the operator's or its own user and user talk space. |
Administrators: if this bot is making edits that appear to be unassisted to pages not in the operator's or its own userspace, please block it.
Robbot is a bot, but with user interaction. It was written by Rob Hooft, and is on en: operated by Andre Engels. It is being used for resolving Disambiguation problems more quickly than would be possible by hand. It is also being used for Interwiki links. The same code is also being used by Wikibot, operated by Alexandros.
The working of the robot is thus:
- The robot loads (the edit page of) a page, chosen by the operator, and looks which links exist on that page. It provides them to the operator in a list, with a number for each link. In general, this page will be a disambiguation page.
- The robot loads the page with pages that link to that page
- The robot goes over these pages, loads their edit page, and for each of them, shows me the title of the page and the text (original wiki source) of about 60 signs in an area before and after the link.
- The operator chooses and types in one of the numbers of the list, or one of a number of auxiliary actions (end the session, show more context before making a decision, do nothing, show the list again, give another option)
- The robot changes the link on the page into a similar link, piped to the page that the operator has chosen.
On the User talk page is an example.
For the interwiki-links, the bot does the following:
- The robot loads (the edit page of) the English page.
- It checks all interwikilinks on that page, and saves them. Possibly it also gets additional ideas for interwikilinks from the operator
- It checks those pages, the pages those pages redirect to, the pages that those pages have interwikilinks to, etcetera, and remembers all of those that actually exist (and are not redirects)
- If it did not find the same language twice, depending on the settings, it changes the page, or first asks the operator for permission to change the page.
- If it did find the same language twice, depending on the settings, it does nothing, or it asks the operator to make a choice between the various options.
The code for Robbot is open, and available on sourceforge. Anyone who is interested in looking at, changing or running the bot can find the code on SourceForge. Before using it, however, it is good to check here, contact Rob Hooft and/or other developers and subscribe to the project's mailing list, as well as asking permission of the population of the MediaWiki project where you are running it.
I have been asked to put Robbot's work under a dual license or put it in the public domain. I don't think I am going to do that, because in my opinion Robbot's edits are all of such a minimal content that they are not copyrightable anyway. Feel free to use the material in any way you like, provided the previous editor(s) of the same text agree.