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What WildBot does[edit]

Task Shutoff Running Approval Description
Maintenance Supervised Completed Approved Bypassing unprintworthy redirects
Maintenance > Here < Disabled Approved Automatic bypassing of unprintworthy redirects

See which of these redirects have problems

Patrolbot > Here < Inactive Approved
and Approved
and Approved
New pages with ambiguous links get a message;
Identification of broken #section links
Identification of wikisyntax errors (may be buggy)
Book Patrol > Here < Active Approved Checking wikipedia books for likely errors

See Category:Wikipedia books (community books with errors) and Category:Wikipedia books (user books with errors)

Maintenance > Here < Proposed Proposed Repairing broken urls


WildBot's stopped, shouldn't the templates be blanked?[edit]

User:Dispenser runs a daily database report on which disambiguation tag (/msg and /m01) are obsolete. User:Magioladitis who operates Yobot (talk · contribs) uses this report to remove the tags. (See also WP:Bot requests/Archive 39#Removing obsolete Wildbot tags)

When will WildBot remove/update this message box?[edit]

If you've noticed that the message box hasn't been kept up-to-date, then it's because something has gone wrong. First check you've fixed all the problems - follow the "fix" or "check" links in the message box. If there's nothing to fix, check for signs that the bot's not up to date:

  • there's a backlog of tagged pages
  • WildBot's recent contributions show a few edits a minute; if so then it's running flat chat and will get around to your page eventually
  • the bot hasn't done anything lately and the Wikipedia servers are lagging, then as a well-behaved bot WildBot won't edit, or will be editing at a heavily reduced rate. When there's heavy lag (light lag humans aren't told about), you'll see a message like:
    Changes newer than 26 seconds may not appear in this list.

If none of these signs apply there's a chance that it has either crashed or been stopped; check recent entries on WildBot's talk-page for details. If it doesn't seem like any of these explanations cover it, please leave a message.

If you've fixed a broken #section link by changing the section title on the target page instead of the article flagged by WildBot (for instance, sometimes section headings are changed or removed as vandalism but go unnoticed for a while), a dummy edit is a good way to get WildBot to re-examine a page that hasn't itself been modified. Naturally it would be preferred if you can actually make a useful edit to the page.

Why does WildBot want my article deleted?[edit]

It doesn't; deleting the talk page will not delete the article. Once all the problems WildBot has found are fixed, WildBot removes the message box from the talk page. If this would leave a blank talk page, WildBot puts in a request for an admin to come and delete the talk page. WildBot doesn't put in this request if anyone else has ever edited the page, so either blanking out or removing the message box yourself will stop this housekeeping, leaving a blank talk page (a blank talk page can be a little confusing).

If an editor tags an article for speedy deletion, WildBot will tag the talk page for deletion to minimise the administrative impact of deleting the talk page it has created; the talk page will be automatically deleted and if the speedy deletion tag is removed, WildBot will happily re-create the talk page.

If doesn't show any activity in the last hour or two, the bot that deletes the talk pages is not working at the moment, and that's why you can see the request (normally it happens so fast that that you're not going to notice it). When this happens, please leave a message at User talk:Bwilkins so he can restart 7SeriesBOT.

Why does WildBot edit the talk page so much?[edit]

Generally, it's because any edit could fix any of the errors, and the design of WildBot presumes that it's important to keep the list of identified problems up-to-date; thus each edit to the article could cause WildBot to note changes on the talk page.

How can I stop WildBot from messing up the talk page?[edit]

If you don't like the attentions of the bot, you can:

  1. use the preview button rather than the save button
  2. tag the talk page with {{bots|deny=WildBot}}
  3. draft in user-space and move into article-space once you've finished construction, or
  4. tag your article with {{underconstruction}} or variants thereof

and it will not edit the talk page while you're working on it.

What are broken #section links?[edit]

Normally wikilinks are to a page, like Main Page. However, you can also link to a part of the page, like so: List of Rugrats characters#Dactar - but the problem with that link is that there is no "Dactar" section on the page, and when you follow the link it is as if you had just followed List of Rugrats characters. However, Dactar is in the section ==Fictional TV characters==, so List of Rugrats characters#Fictional TV characters would take us to close to Dactar. Putting #section links in an article reads poorly, so normally such a link is piped: [[List of Rugrats characters#Fictional TV characters|Dactar]] which reads as Dactar.

Like article titles, #section links are case sensitive. If the section title in your target article is changed, that will break your #section link. There are ways of putting #section links into a target article other than with ==sections== called HTML anchors, and there are templates to put HTML anchors into an article.

Here's how to fix a broken section link:

  1. Find the link - many browsers allow you to search the edit box for the text (for example, List of Rugrats characters#Dactar) under the browser's "Edit" menu item; if yours doesn't and eyeballing the wikitext doesn't find the link, copy the wikitext into any text editor or word processor and use that to search the text.
  2. Determine the correct link - open the target link (List of Rugrats characters) and look around. You might use the same search function to search the page for the #section (Dactar in our example) to see what places it's mentioned. It may be appropriate to look back through the history of the target page to see if the section has been renamed.
  3. Replace the link with what you've determined is the correct link (List of Rugrats characters#Fictional TV characters in our example).

Why was the link changed?[edit]

One of WildBot's tasks is changing incorrect redirects to the correct name. WildBot knows they are incorrect because they're tagged with {{R from incorrect name}}, which means "this is wrong, don't ever use it". Normally bypassing redirects is at best a waste of effort, but WP:NOTBROKEN specifically excludes unprintworthy and incorrect names (incorrect names are both). For details regarding the reasoning, please see Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/WildBot 4. An example of a redirect like this is American Broadcasting Corporation, which redirects to American Broadcasting Company.

Another function (currently in trial) WildBot performs to correcting some of the more straight-forward broken #section links - if the case was wrong, or an en-dash used instead of an em-dash, for example.

I meant to link to a disambiguation page![edit]

While linking to [[Mercury]] may be ambiguous, linking to [[Mercury (disambiguation)]] is clearly unambiguous - because it's clear that's what you meant. To make your text read more clearly, you can pipe the link, as [[Mercury (disambiguation)|Mercury]] or [[Mercury (disambiguation)|]] which will both read as Mercury - but WildBot and other editors will know that you intentionally linked to the disambiguation page. Remember: the bot is trying to help everyone out; it understands that sometimes the right link is the disambiguation page, but you need to show everyone that the link is intentional.

If [[pagename (disambiguation)]] doesn't exist, just create it containing:

#REDIRECT [[Pagename]]
{{R to disambiguation page}}

{{R to disambiguation page}} helps other automated programs know what the redirect is for (so, for example, if the disambiguation page moves bots can clean up after the move), and the redirect takes readers to the disambiguation page.

If the link is a common word, you might want to think about linking to wiktionary [[wikt:scrimmage]] instead, or perhaps not linking at all if the link doesn't add value to the article.

The "fix dablinks" tool doesn't show that a link WildBot says is to a disambiguation page[edit]

  1. WildBot could be wrong. If the link isn't to a disambiguation page, leave a message and I'll refresh WildBot's cache of disambiguation pages.
  2. Dablinks and Dab solver (linked as "Check" and "Fix") use circular link detection to hide hatnote links. That is if a link on the disambiguation page that refers back (with no redirect) to the article, it will assume that it was linked as a hatnote from the article. You can still manually fix the link or bring the disambiguation page inline with the Manual of Style or toss {{disambig-cleanup}} onto the disambiguation page and someone who knows about these things will give the disambiguation page a once-over.

This article is about ...[edit]

If, as specified in Wikipedia:Disambiguation#Disambiguation links, you've got a link saying "This article is about ..." - a hatnote - and the link WildBot is complaining about is in there, there's a couple of solutions:

  1. Don't use a hatnote. Often hatnotes are placed on pages where their name is already clearly distinguished from others; [[Person Name (actor)]] doesn't need a hatnote to [[Person Name]].
  2. Use the standardized phrasing and camouflage the link from WildBot with a hatnote template.
  3. Remember to explicitly link to the disambiguation page, such as [[Person Name (disambiguation)]].

Why a banner? Why not tag the article text, or leave a message on the talk page?[edit]

There are a few reasons why a banner is used. The bot constantly updates the banner as ambiguous links are removed - that would look a bit odd in a conversation. The problems it identifies are (hopefully) transient in nature, so there's no real need to keep a publicly viewable history of the issues and their repairs. Also, the problems are purely mechanical and don't require humans to have an extended discussion - or any for that matter. Once the problems are fixed, why clutter up the talk page, which could be devoted to more interesting things? If you feel strongly about keeping a record on the talk page (rather than in its history), just cut-and-paste the list of pages out of the box into a new section, or put subst: just after the {{.

Why does WildBot show up in my watchlist when I've got "Hide bots" turned on?[edit]

The bot flag is meant to be used in a manner similar to that as the minor flag. Editors (bots) may elect to flag the edit as such, to indicate that the change is trivial and not worth inspecting. When WildBot notes the correction of errors, it uses the bot flag. However, when it notes errors it doesn't apply the bot flag, as those edits are worth inspecting.

People tend not to use "hide minor" because they know that people lie, but they're happy to use "hide bots" because they know bots don't intentionally lie, and bot edits are normally nothing to worry about. By not using the bot flag on certain edits, WildBot is indicating the change made is worth checking out.

Can WildBot check a page for me?[edit]

Normally WildBot only checks over new pages, and pages it's found problems on in the past. If you want a particular page checked, invite WildBot to check it by putting {{User:WildBot/tag}} on the talk page; within a minute WildBot should check the page over for you. Once the {{User:WildBot/tag}} has been removed, WildBot is now watching the page.

If you want many pages checked, leave a message: at the moment it's easy to do everything tagged with a template (a WikiProject template, for example) or from a list of pages. In your note, mention whether you want the pages watchlisted or just checked once.

To check for disambiguation needed for pages are now you can use the Dablinks tool which checks on categories, backlinks, links, and a user's contributions.

Source code:
Related Category: Articles tagged by WildBot