User:Helpful Pixie Bot

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SmackBot (Helpful Pixie Bot's former name) at work
To leave comments please go to User talk:Rich Farmbrough
Crystal Clear action run.svg This user account is a bot operated by Rich Farmbrough.

It is not a sock puppet, but rather an automated or semi-automated account for making repetitive edits that would be extremely tedious to do manually.


Perl-NThis user is a native Perl speaker.
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4,000,000+This user has made more than 4,000,000 contributions to Wikipedia.


Perl/WP:AWB at the moment. I also use Perl to scan database downloads and to generate the XML for AWB. If requested I will prepare lists of articles for other users when I can. Where possible Helpful Pixie Bot will avoid pages with the {{Nobots}} tag.

Test pages

To test Helpful Pixie Bot's main task (perl invocation only) use User:Helpful Pixie Bot/General Sandbox. Add {{Smack me}}/{{Pixie me}} and it will (should) get cleaned about 18 minutes later.

Tasks and authorisations

I plan to clean this list up over the next few days.. or weeks .. or years. Useful resource User:Rich Farmbrough/temp120. Wikipedia:Bots/Requests_for_approval/SmackBot

-1:Bot flag requests (all by me)

  • On Meta requested flag March 2006
  • [1] requested removal April 2006
  • On WP requested flag June 2006
    • Note that the former granting of the bit does not show on the bot rights log, presumably because of software changes.

0: U.S. 2000 census articles into past tense

1: Correct "External link" to "External links"

2: Correct "Reference" to "References"

3: Various ISBN fixes

3a: Correct "ISBN:" to "ISBN" to allow wikimagic to prevail

3b: Correct ISBN hyphenation

3c: tag invalid ISBNs

4: Other minor improvements to layout of ISBN to allow wikimagic to prevail

  • Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/SmackBot task approval VI
    1. (Insert correct hyphenation of ISBNs, label articles with invalid ISBNs (too short, too long, lang code, pub code undefined)).
    2. Check check digit, categorise articles with invalid ISBNs.
    3. Convert to 13 digit code (standard from 2007) see ISBN (currently paused)
  • Status: Ongoing (except part 3)

5: Add a date to the maintenance tags

Tags which put articles in sub-categories or planned sub-categories of sorted by month - mainly:

  1. and their synonyms and near-synonyms - something over 490 templates and 1900 redirects. (This should be exhaustive for those which are not merely planned -i.e all occurrences should be dated.)
    At the same time SB corrects mis-spellings, mis-entry and mis-formatting of the date parameter and other template features where it can.
  • Status: Ongoing

6: Replace tags {{Disambig}} and {{Cleanup}} with {{Disambig-cleanup}}.

7: Replace birth dates and death dates in Infoboxen

8: Add references section and appropriate mark up

To articles with "ref" footnotes and no such mark up.

  • Status: Ongoing

9: Unlink days of week and month names

  • Status: Ongoing

10: Remove ":" from redirects

  • Status: Ongoing - intermittent runs

11: Replace start dates and end dates in Infoboxen

With {{Start date}} etc as appropriate.

  • Status: Stopped - not sure of the value of this

12: Insert {{Start date}} and {{End date}}

Into instantiations of various templates. Approved here

  • Status: Stopped - not sure of the value of this

13: Replace Geobox XXX with Geobox

  • Status: Stopped possibly complete

14: Remove unnecessary capitals from section headers

Deals with many hundreds of common errors.

  • Status: Ongoing

15: Moved Saint Louis categories to St. Louis

  • Status: complete

16: UK links direct to United Kingdom. Nazi to Nazism

  • Status: Stopped

17: Pipe US to United States replace with U.S.

  • Note that MoS now slightly prefers US to U.S.
  • Status: Stopped

18: Replace/pipe link Academy Award with Academy Awards

  • Status: Stopped

19: In days of the year replace first occurrence of date with templated link

  • Status: Completed

20: More Fix-ups in US Census articles.

  • Status: Completed

21: Modified Swiss geog. articles census field to avoid deprecated "as of month year" links

  • Status: Completed

22: Tidy up album articles

23: Replace Erik9Bot category with appropriate unref tag

  • Status: Completed

24: Add DEFAULTSORT to people-stubs so they are listed correctly

  • Status: First run completed

35: Canonicalise clean up tags to enable dating

36: Hyphenate adjectival uses of nn mile

37: Use as date things that were almost certainly date

38: Remove duplicate tags

39: Fix up the name of navboxen to be the actual name of the template

40: Clean up certain members of YEAR in categories.

41: Monitor article moves and correct DEFAULTSORT

42: Add DEFAULTSORT to pages which are sorted out-of-order in a category

43: Remove Template:Unreferenced from year, decade or century articles

44: Replace links piped to anchored sections with links piped to specific articles.

45: Change some paramerers in Infobox ice hockey player

46: General editing - CfD, TfD, etc.

47: Add {{CatTrack}} to monthly maintenence categories

48: Add missing ref sections and parameter blanks to language articles containing {{Infobox language}}

49: Link "Expand language" tags to their correctly interwikied counterpart

50: Convert some minor planet pages to redirects

51: Correct the capitalization of "Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia"

52: Correct superfmailies in bird articles

53: It happens that Commons category is used where there is no valid target category. This task takes two steps to resolve and avoid the problem.

Known bugs, issues, comments: by task number

See also Wikipedia talk:AutoWikiBrowser/Bugs


  • Bug sometimes misses items.
  • Feature - tag incorrect lengths
  • Feature - fix multiple codes after one signifier
  • Feature - fix length where appropriate

Requests for improvement: by task number


Approval status for various tasks prior to task 35

Note, due to consolidating the task list numbering of this list will be out of synchronisation for a while at least. For detail go back in history to before 1 October 2010.
  • Using AWB notified 5 March 2006 here.
  • On 26 March 2006 a request for withdrawing approval from this bot was made here.
    • As a result the flag was voluntarily relinquished, and regained through a new process (see above).
  • Approval request for recurrent task 2. Request II. Approved.
  • Approval request for one off task 10. Request IV. Approved.
  • Approval request for one off task 11. Request V. Approved.
  • Approval request for recurrent task 3a. Request VI. Approved.[2]
  • Approval request for recurrent task 3b and 3c. Requests VII and VIII. Approved.
  • Approval request for one off tasks 13 and 14. Requests IX and X. Approved.
  • Approval request for one off task 15. Request XI(a). Approved.
  • Approval request for recurrent task 5. Request XI(c). Approved.
  • Approval request for recurrent task 6. Request XII. Approved.
  • Approval request for recurrent task 7. Request XIII. Approved.
  • Approval request for recurrent task 8. Request XIV. Approved.
  • Approval request for recurrent task 11. Request XV. Approved.
  • Approval request for recurrent task 10. Request XVI. Approved.
  • Approval request for recurrent task 12. Request XVII. Approved.
  • Approval request for one off task 13. Request XVIII. Approved.
  • Approval request for one off task 14. Request XIX. Approved.
  • Approval request for one off task 15. Request XX. Approved.
  • Approval request for one off task 16. Request XXI. Approved.
  • Approval request for one off task 17. Request XXII. Withdrawn (task already completed).
  • Approval request for one off task. Request XXIII. Withdrawn (task already completed).
  • Approval request for repetitive task. Request XXIV. Expired.
  • Approval request for one off task. Request XXV. Approved.
  • Approval request for one off task. Request XXVI. Approved.
  • Approval request for one off task. Request XXVII. Missing.
  • Approval request for repetitive task. Request XXVIII. Approved.
  • Approval request for one off task. Request XXIX. Approved.
  • Approval request for one off task. Request XXX. Approved.
  • Approval request for one off task. Request XXXI. Approved.



  • When Helpful Pixie Bot is using AWB, some of the general fixes options will usually be turned on, to get the most value from the edits. Hence most edit summaries say "and/or general fixes".
  • Usually, the motivating change will be made or none at all. See the FAQ.
  • Per admin requests a build number will be displayed for some tasks.
  • Per admin requests the edit summary may be stuffed with a list of changes.

All my pages

Extended content

In User

In User talk


Some also at User:Rich Farmbrough/Barnstars
Islamic barnstar.png The Islamic Barnstar
Saudahmed66 (talk) 18:37, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, SmackBot, for always cleaning up my messes. Drink up, buddy! --wpktsfs 14:34, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Invisible Barnstar.png The Invisible Barnstar
Great job with maintaining the tags well! Marlith T/C 17:01, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
Working Man's Barnstar.png The Working Bot's Barnstar
Keep up the good work! Spiby 13:40, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
CleanupBarnstar.PNG The Cleanup Barnstar
Seems like every time I edit an article you are right there not only fixing my mistakes but previous edits too. ZabMilenko 14:45, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Tireless Contributor Barnstar.gif The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
Thanks for all of your help, SmackBot! I rarely don't see you on an article's history page, always fixing mistakes and doing other laborious and repetitive tasks. Airplaneman talk 21:05, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
A Barnstar!
This is a self-awarded award awarded to anyone who feels so jealous that he has no awards that he had to award himself a self-awarded award to make his award section on his User Page look good. He also wants to see how many times in one sentences he can use the word "award" (last sentence was seven). If you feel jealous of others who prominently display their awards in their wiki User page, you can contribute productively to the all-knowing Wikipedia and hope that someone notices your hardwork and awards you an award. Or you can drop a message on my TALK passage and ask for a Jewish Star of Jealousy at which point the joint council of the Learned Elders of Zion and the Jedi Council will consider inducting you into the Jewish Star of Jealousy Hall of Fame which would give you the right to legally display your Jewish Star of Jealousy award in your very own Wikipedia User Page. I may also decide to randomly award this award to people or bots.--רח"ק
The Purple Star The Purple Star
Poor bot. Being killed by ArbCom because of a dispute between us humans. If only our disputes didn't need to effect the poor innocent bots. You did good work. Rest in peace. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 00:28, 24 September 2012 (UTC)


Please do not leave messages here. Leave them at User talk:Rich Farmbrough