User talk:Slakr/Archive 2

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Hello. I'd just like to thank you for creating SineBot as a replacement for HagermanBot. It was badly needed, and I'm awarding it a barnstar on its userpage. I hope that is Ok with you, it's just there was no awards section for it when I came accross the Bot. Cheers, and happy editing! Lradrama 09:53, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Symbol heart vote.svg Thanks. I'll have to look at it tomorrow. because as sad as it sounds, if I have to click/type one more link I'll probably pass out on my keyboard. :P Lol, anyway, thanks again =) --slakr (talk) 13:29, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

SineBot edit summary

Hi, could you please modify the edit summary that the bot uses to link to the diff of the edit (w. r. t. to the previous edit) it signed? That makes it easier to reach the comments directly from watchlist.

Thanks, and kudos the much needed bot. --soum talk 09:54, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

I might be wrong here, but I think it's impossible to use external links in edit summaries. Internal ones only. --Dreaded Walrus t c 10:02, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Confirmed. You're both right-- HagermanBot did technically reference what post it was signing by mentioning the edit reason. However, looking at the edit history it should be clear which posts the bot is signing. Ermm, well, on second thought, that might only be apparent to someone like me. :P
... ANYWAY, the bot only signs the most recent revision to a page that it comes across. That means if someone makes an unsigned comment and someone else makes a comment-- whether unsigned or not-- after the person who left the unsigned comment, the bot will prefer ignoring the first unsigned comment in favor of the newer comment. So, in every case where the bot signs a comment, it will always be signing the revision directly before it. It's apparent, however, that I could make the edit reason more descriptive of that (like maybe using "signing the preceding comment by..." Anyway, good call, I'll brainstorm some ways to rephrase the edit summaries. Please lemme know if you have issues with anything else.  :) --slakr (talk) 13:23, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Oh, I wanted to post the vandal!

Just kidding. Good work reporting User:FartMastah. -Yancyfry —Preceding unsigned comment added by Yancyfry jr (talkcontribs) 04:49, 20 August 2007

SineBot sig code

The "optional template arguments" {{{IP|{{{User|…}}}}}} and the <!-- Template:UnsignedIP --> comment that your bot is adding are totally unnecessary. HagermanBot didn't do that, could you please correct that? ∴ Alex Smotrov 14:02, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Symbol declined.svg Not a bug. Per SineBot FAQ #1 at the top of this page and the signatures guideline, all signatures should have a link to the user who posted it as well as a timestamp in UTC. The template content is not transcluded by the bot, so the comment-- whether or not HagermanBot had it during his time-- is an issue you'll have to deal with on the template itself. HagermanBot did (and SineBot does), however, add its own comment at the end of the substituted template signifying that the comment was added by the bot. Please let me know if you have any other questions or if I totally misread what you were trying to say. --slakr 21:40, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
SineBot FAQ #1 is absolutely irrelevant to my request. I also could not find where WP:SIG requires bots to add useless {{{arguments|}}} on discussion pages. Please note that this actually violates WP:SIG ("keep the coding of your signature short" part) and cofuses both new and experienced editors ∴ Alex Smotrov 23:54, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Template:UnsignedIP adds those-- NOT the bot. If you don't want to take my word for it, view the template source code yourself. I mentioned WP:SIG because the arguments are therefore in no way "optional" as you said; for, any unsigned comment requires both a link to the user page and a timestamp. If you'd like I can give you the exact sprintf() that the bot uses:
  • If the comment has no datestamp: {{subst:UnsignedIP|%s|%s}} <!--Autosigned by SineBot-->
  • If the comment does have a datestamp: {{subst:UnsignedIP|%s}} <!--Autosigned by SineBot-->
Those are the only things the bot adds to any unsigned comment by an anonymous user. Period. If you have problems with the template itself, discuss it on the template talk page instead. If you're having problems with the fact that the bot uses Wikipedia:Template substitution as opposed to Wikipedia:Transclusion, please see Wikipedia:Transclusion costs and benefits, because while Template:UnsignedIP might add extraneous info (which eats trivial amounts of disk space), it saves precious resources that would otherwise be demanded by transclusion. Consider: as of this writing, the bot has added signatures 4236 times in less than 7 days. That would be a lot of wasted resources if the bot transcluded the templates as opposed to substituting them, because all things considered, substitution prevents extraneous calls to the unsignedip template every single time someone requests a page with the template on it. --slakr 00:26, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
My request was never about guideline, it's purely technical. "Unsigned" templates are made way too universal so that they work both transluded and subst'd, with named or numeric parameters. The bot could and should use more specific template which doesn't leave messy code when subst'd, or simply not use template at all:
<small>—The preceding [[Wikipedia:Signatures|unsigned]] comment was added by [[Special:Contributions/%ip|%ip]] ([[User talk:%ip|talk]]) %time</small><!--Autosigned by SineBot-->
Alex Smotrov 04:07, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Other bots rely on the formatting of Template:Unsigned and Template:UnsignedIP, particularly in cases of autoarchiving. Additionally, changes to Template:UnsignedIP, for example, do not require changes to the bot. Finally, the bot was approved to use the templates-- not my own personal formatting. So while the idea of aesthetic improvements sounds good, it is sadly not in the foreseeable future of the bot's development. --slakr 04:28, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

SineBot sig code - 2

I am a bit surprised by your arguments:

  • Archiving bots do not care about Unsigned templates (they do not request templates current code before archiving), they are only interested in a standart timestamp that's never going to change.
  • The templates haven't been significantly changed in several months, and should be in your watchlist anyway.
  • The bot, in fact, was not approved to use some specific templates, but "Fill-in for HagermanBot", which was producing nice clean code without the extra mess.

This is not "aesthetic improvement", this is how the bot was supposed to work from the start. When users subst Unsigned templates, that's a trade-off for simplicity (single template both for transcluding and subst'ing). When the bot with thousands edits does it — it's unacceptable

P.S. Nobody prevents you from using the standart templates if you insist, just make the bot smarter and strip out everything that's not displayed and only clutters edit box for all of us ∴ Alex Smotrov 14:23, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

  1. I mentioned the archive bots due to this. I don't regularly fish through archive bot code, but it would seem that changing a template to make it prettier without fully knowing the ramifications of it would be a bad idea, especially considering the creative regexes I had to make for custom datestamps; thus, I declined. You're still free to request a change to the template as I mentioned before.
  2. Template:UnsignedIP was changed from the "pretty" version (which would have made this) to the new version in march. Therefore I say again, if you have a problem with the template, then it's a template issue-- not a bot issue. If you would like to make your own version of the template and suggest that it be used in the bot, you're totally free to do so. It might even be a good idea, too, considering that there is a good request (towards the bottom) to make the unsigned templates more newbie-friendly. If you'd like to help brainstorm on that, your expertise would be greatly appreciated.
  3. If the bot were to strip out extraneous stuff, it would double the server load-- one to get the subst: result (assuming it's using a "Show preview" method), and another to make the edit. I don't have template parsing code implemented in the bot, because that would be reinventing the wheel. :P
  4. Since nobody has the original HagermanBot code, I had to recode the entire thing from scratch, so the only thing I had to go on was its user page and contribs. All things considered, nobody except User:Hagerman truly knows how the internals of the bot worked. Originally, it behaved very closely to User:HagermanBot; however, if you read the entire BRFA for SineBot, you'll see that several of the changes that the bot approvals group wanted were deviations from the original behavior of HagermanBot, but I implemented them anyway. Thus, the bot wasn't approved as a simple rewrite of HagermanBot, but rather as an actively-developed replacement to it with features and methods differing from the original bot. BRFAs on complex/broad-scope bots generally aren't approved simply based on the initial request. Rather, the process is the end-result of the proposal, public discussion, and trial of the bot. --slakr 23:57, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

SineBot sig code - 3

From the start I had a very simple request: instead of

<small>—The preceding [[Wikipedia:Signatures|unsigned]] comment was added by [[Special:Contributions/{{{IP|{{{User|}}}}}}|{{{IP|{{{User|}}}}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{IP|{{{User|}}}}}}|talk]]) {{{Time|17:38, August 23, 2007 (UTC)}}}</small><!-- Template:UnsignedIP --> <!--Autosigned by SineBot-->

the bot should sign as

<small>—The preceding [[Wikipedia:Signatures|unsigned]] comment was added by [[Special:Contributions/]] ([[User talk:|talk]]) 17:38, August 23, 2007 (UTC)</small><!--Autosigned by SineBot-->
  1. Discussion that you linked was about your bot using non-standart timestamp, which (again) has absolutely nothing to do with using or not using any templates.
  2. If your bot was already active in March and using suggested markup above, this change would not affect it at all (you wouldn't have to change anything).
  3. I'm not sure how "Show preview" would help (since substing is done on saving). What I had in mind was getting template code and simply replacing {{{IP…}}} with IP and {{{Time…}}} with time. Again, this is "the most difficult way", using a separate subst-friendly template is definitely easier.
  • Okay, so in some sense the template is broken. That's a good reason not to subst it, especially if you make hundreds edits per day. Actually, the template (at least in it's current version) should not be subst'd at all, (according to WP:SUBST#Templates_that_should_not_be_substituted
  • If we created a separate template with this code revision (before March change), would you use it? So far I saw only one argument against: "what if main template gets changed?" So, for a couple of days or a maybe a week users will be using, say, "The unsigned comment above was added by… " and your bot would still be using "The preceding unsigned comment was added by…" — is this really that important?
  • P.S. Also please check this discussionAlex Smotrov 20:21, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
Some final points:
  • WP:SUBST#Templates_that_should_not_be_substituted says nothing along the lines that an {{unsigned}} templates are forbidden from being substituted. Regardless, even if it did, I would ignore it and call to change it. There's practically no reason to not substitute {{unsigned}}, because the ratio of pages it's on to the frequency of changes to the template itself simply doesn't support transclusion.
  • With regard to "show preview," I meant "show changes." And no, subst is not only done on saving.
  • The unsigned templates are fully protected, so they won't be changed without discussion.
  • With regard to the BetacommandBot discussion, I'll quote back to you: "A broken template is not a broken bot." This is a template issue.
Symbol oppose vote oversat.svg Not a bug. My final word on this is that it's not a bot issue. It's fundamentally wasteful and gives way to information entropy to suggest that I should hardcode my own hacked up version of a template (without consensus, mind you) into the bot to satisfy a minute handful of people's desire for "clean code." If you have a problem with the template, it's a template issue. If you have a problem with the bot, it's a bot issue. Please don't complain to me if you're not going to complain to the thousands of other people who substitute the "broken" templates by following the directions on the {{unsigned}} page.
The most important thing I would suggest you take away from this discussion is the following: substitution is not for making things pretty, because it inherently does the exact opposite. Rather, it's for letting Wikimedia spend money on something other than the cpu cycles, memory, and network overhead required to recache pages for non-substituted, frequently-used templates.
I'm apologize for being frank on this, and if you still feel rotten about the whole thing, then I'll give you some places to go in order to redirect your frustration with a bad template: Template talk:Unsigned and Template talk:UnsignedIP. Perhaps some day when the bot has all of the kinks worked out of it we can worry about whether the prettyness of the content in an edit box is even an issue. For now, I'm just trying to make sure it works. If you believe that you can do better, there's a reason we made the categories bot-neutral-- you are always free to make your own bot. --slakr (talk) 21:29, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
  • WP:SUBST#Templates_that_should_not_be_substituted says that templates with {#if} and {arguments} should not be subst'd, that's the 2nd Wikipedia guideline that you prefer to ignore.
  • «Thousands of other people» finally seems like a real argument (never mind how selfish), that is, until you realize that there are no thousands of people because your bot now deals with most (if not all) unsigned posts. So, no, this argument is on the same level with «becoming bloatware» over a trivial workaround and «need consensus» to remove something that 100% useless and 100% was not supposed to be there ∴ Alex Smotrov 00:54, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments. I'll look into it. --slakr (talk) 03:36, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

SineBot sig code - fixed

{{unsigned}} and {{unsignedIP}} were fixed on my request; I fixed {{undated}} myself. I still think that you should have been the one to request these changes (since these are in a sense "your own" templates now) and you could implement a temporary workaround, but it doesn't matter now. P.S. You probably need to mention {{undated}} on the bot userpage; also I think the summary should be not "Automatically signing comment " but "…adding date…" or something ∴ Alex Smotrov 18:24, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

They're in no way my own templates. Moreover, I quit using {{undated}} as of v1.1.8 due to false negatives. Additionally, if you check this page's history, you'll notice that there have already been comments regarding the edit summary being too vague, so we need to find a way to reconcile requests to make the edit summaries more specific and requests to make them less-specific (like yours). --slakr(talk) 18:03, 28 August 2007 (UTC)


Speaking of "wasted resources", please consider stopping updating User:SineBot/Log, which now has 2414 revisions occupying (very approx.) 70 MB of database space ∴ Alex Smotrov 14:23, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the suggestion. I'm always happy when someone provides kind words and constructive criticism for others' work. I'll definitely consider it, but until we get all the kinks worked out (the bot is extremely new and is filling big shoes), it seems more important to me and to the bot committee to have a record of what's going on. I already have a bot that will echo log entries to an IRC channel, so rest assured that in the future this won't be an issue. Even 100 MiB of active space is minor when compared to our 10 Tb array of disk space and gzipping-on-the-fly of old revisions; so, in the end, when the page is deleted and a couple years pass, it'll be literally nothing of everything. Right now it's just 0.00001% of everything. --slakr 21:54, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, that's your call. It's just that logging using Mediawiki (which is also logging revisions by itself) seems very inefficient to me. Maybe at least you could use past revisions pages by adding the code below (as a template)? ∴ Alex Smotrov 18:24, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
[{{fullurl:{{PAGENAME}}|direction=prev&oldid={{REVISIONID}}}} ← prev] | 
[{{fullurl:{{PAGENAME}}|direction=next&oldid={{REVISIONID}}}} next →]
Alex Smotrov 18:24, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

_TOC_ signing bug

Sinebot signed the addition of a Table of Contents to a talk page here. Can you add _TOC_ to a list of things that aren't signed? Thanks.--SarekOfVulcan 14:12, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Confirmed. Good call. I completely forgot about those magic words. I'll stick this in the next revision. Thanks for the report, and cheers =) --slakr (talk) 03:40, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Symbol confirmed.svg Fixed in 1.1.6. --slakr (talk) 03:56, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Incorrect signature

SineBot incorrectly signed a revert on Wikipedia talk:Lists of common misspellings. It should be able to tell when an edit is a revert rather than a new comment. --Zundark 10:01, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Symbol comment.svg Comment. Thanks for the heads up, and I totally agree it would be better if the bot knew that. However, the bot doesn't check the entire page history for reverted contribs because that would, in almost all cases, be wasteful on system resources. In the case of what happened to you, the comment you were restoring was unsigned in the first place (most likely before this bot became active), so the bot didn't see a signature, since the original contrib didn't have one. Had it seen one, it wouldn't have bothered you. Additionally, the contrib wasn't "complex," since it didn't add multiple headers and didn't have stuff like images, categories, or templates added. On the upside, it is programmed not to resign something it's already signed (so, you caught a break on that one :P :P :P). :) Long story short, it did the best it could since it had no easy way of knowing anything more about what you added. In the future, if you think the bot might sign something, I'd suggest either adding !nosign! anywhere in the edit reason or using one of the other opt out methods. If you have any other questions, please lemme know. Cheers. =) --slakr (talk) 13:13, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
With respect it should really be for you to write a bot that can handle this rather then expecting users to add extra codes in their edits to work round your bot. Spartaz Humbug! 22:49, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Totally understandable, but as far as I can tell, there really is no other way for the bot to know that he was readding a deleted comment unless I literally told the bot to dive into the revision history every single time it checks whether a comment needs to be signed. Now, that might sound like an easy task, but since api.php doesn't support diffs, the diffs have to be generated by the client. Because of this, each call to api.php for the full text of a revision eats bandwidth and cpu cycles on the server side. In order to do the best possible thing, however, the bot is programmed to ignore additions that already have signatures (that one didn't have one), as well as edit summaries that are autogenerated from undo actions and rollbacks, as well as edit summaries like "rvv" and the like. If you can suggest a method for that specific edit that Zundark mentions that won't adversely affect either Wikimedia's servers or cause bizarre behavior on other edits, please let me know, as I'd love to be able to implement it. --slakr (talk) 01:03, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Also - this problem should be basically non existent now that SineBot is signing new talk page additions. Saying that, maybe the bot should ignore revisions with edit summaries that include revert, rv, undo, rollback ... :: maelgwn - talk 01:16, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
As far as I know, it already does. Lemme know if there's a specific instance where it doesn't and I'll gladly add an exception. --slakr (talk) 01:34, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Well the one above :P [1]:: maelgwn - talk 01:44, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Confirmed. Omfg! *smacks forehead* I totally didn't even see that. My apologies. I'll add that in the next revision. Thanks, maelgwn. :) --slakr (talk) 02:24, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Symbol confirmed.svg Fixed in 1.1.6. --slakr (talk) 03:57, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

[User Talk:Slakr]

Please, give Slakr a chance to make his corrections. His bot signed on my Sandbox but Slakr was polite and kind enough to explain to me as to why it did. I think some of you are being way too hard on him and his bot. To me, from reading all the messages, he is trying real hard to explain and fix any problems needed to be done. Until he gets all the 'bugs' out so the bot works better, it's just as easy to either sign yourself or remove the bots sigs that are inappropriate. I for one find him very polite and he listens so the hostility towards him and his bots should calm down for now. If you have a problem, please just let him know. He will respond back and explain or will edit the bot to correct it. I just think everything is being blown out of proportion right now. Of course this is just my opinion but I really do think the Slakr is trying his best to make his bot work properly. Programming something like this on such a large project is going to take time, thus mistakes are going to be made. Please, try to be calm and let him do what he does; program the bot to help us have signatures and time dates. I think Ned was right to remove all the warning plates. Thanks, --CrohnieGalTalk 11:23, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

You are a goddess. Thanks for understanding :) :) :) :) (and I wish I could make a thousand more). I mean, if it means anything, I honestly do want to make this stuff work, but as it's become painfully obvious, "you can't please everyone." :(. But, I do try. It's funny, because I can accomplish almost anything when it comes to programming/computers/real life, but when people are mean/rude/bitchy/whatever, it seriously square roots my motivation toward anything benefiting, well-- anyone. I hate to go off on a tangent, and god knows it might be used against me some day, but honestly, people-- we don't get paid for this. Nor do you. Anyway, we're all in this together to make life on wikipedia (or whatever part of the project you contribute to) better. Do we really need a bot that autosigns comments? No-- of course not. But, why should we spend hours sifting through the revision history to find who added a particular comment when we could be making the encyclopedia better?
Meh, I dunno. It just kind of sucks when people actually do try to make a difference and honestly do try to make people's lives easier and better; yet, someone, for whatever reason, finds a reason to tear holes in it. But, then again, I suppose that's why there's vandalism in the first place. People, instead of adding constructive criticism, would rather throw harshly-worded complaints void of solutions instead of adding a request (or whatever) with a simple ":)" at the end of it. If the only difference between "hey, fix this now" and "hey, fix this now :P" was the ":P" at the end, I would literally be 100 times more likely to entertain whatever comment/suggestion/complaint you might have. Seriously-- that's all I need. Cars need gas, people need food, and aliens like me need emoticons... and cheez-its-- I loooove cheez-its :P
... and it's not just me. Everyone has a job. Everyone has a life, and everyone is short on time. But the difference between evoking change and relegating oneself to stagnation lies in a simple gesture: kindness. Of course, I suppose this entire rant is pointless, because in around seven days, this edit will find itself in the archive, much like the kindness of most people of centuries past has found its way into the proverbial archive of history-- forgotten and lost. Ah well. Sorry for being long-winded, but it's something I've needed to say for a while, both in real life and here.
Anyway, Cheers, and thanks for the kind words, Crohnie. You have no idea how much that means to me :`) --slakr (talk) 13:02, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Go on Slakr! There are a lot of people who greatly appreciate your effort, although only a few of them declare that publicly, and even less people can do it as well as Crohnie did. But I guess most people agree with her and with you. Also, unpolite people unfortunately tend to write more often, so even if they are less numerous, they become more visible than the others. Paolo.dL 13:19, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
The comments by CrohnieGal although mainly based on Slakr's personality, but, yes, "No thing is perfect", Slakr is just trying hard to fix the problem. Please leave him some space. Slakr, thanks for your help on my talk page. I show my greatest gratitude to you. (Addaick 14:11, 25 August 2007 (UTC))
Slakr, take your time and fix the bugs. I know about programming through my husband and you are right, you are not going to satisfy everyone. Just take the time and do it right. I like what you are trying to do, so not all of us are impatient with you. Keep up the good work like you did with me. --CrohnieGalTalk 14:16, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes. We Hong Kongers have an idiom: "You will become a successful person if you are patient enough". We are much support you! :) (Addaick 14:32, 25 August 2007 (UTC))

SineBot being alittle too zealous

... here. Maybe blacklist AfD templates? Best, Sandstein 13:46, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Confirmed. Will do. It'll be in the next release =) --slakr (talk) 00:54, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Symbol confirmed.svg Fixed in 1.1.6. --slakr (talk) 03:58, 26 August 2007 (UTC)


Hello. I think your bot's doing a great job. I only have one suggestion. Could it not sign questions at RfAs (see this)? If it can't be done, then that's fine. Thanks in advance! Happy editing! --Boricuaeddie 22:49, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Confirmed. Totally can be done. I'll add an exception in the next revision. Cheers =) --slakr (talk) 00:56, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. Happy editing! --Boricuaeddie 03:09, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Symbol confirmed.svg Fixed in 1.1.6. This one might be a little tricky, but I tried to make it as generic as possible. It basically looks for bolded text with a username reference on a single line by itself, but only on subpages of RFA. Hopefully that should do the trick for those optional questions. --slakr (talk) 04:00, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

fix your bot

See User talk:SineBot#Broken bot Cleduc 18:25, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Symbol information blue.svg Frequently Asked Question. Your signature does not have a link to your user page per signatures guideline on internal linking. --slakr (talk) 21:47, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Please fix the damage your poorly-designed bot has caused (per policy). Cleduc 06:10, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for your response. However, since the bot did exactly as it was supposed to do-- that is, it signed a contribution that did not have a valid signature, there is no damage to undo. However, if you run across any serious issues related to the bot, please let me know. --slakr (talk) 07:09, 27 August 2007 (UTC)


Hello. I've noticed that this issue has been supposedly addressed, but your bot signed a TWINKLE vandalism statement (see diff), while you have noted above in a previous topic that it had been fixed. Much appreciated. Sephiroth BCR (Converse) 03:40, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Symbol confirmed.svg Fixed in 1.1.7. It helps when I spell "continue;" with a 'u' instead of without one, doesn't it? :P It happened as part of a reversion I made earlier. Sorry for the minor annoyance :( --slakr (talk) 06:50, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
np. Thanks again. Sephiroth BCR (Converse) 06:57, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Opt-out alternatives

  • I read the opt-out discussion above and I have to agree that the requirement to add a new category to one's user page might seem inappropriate to some users (well, myself included; it's a good thing that I like standard signatures). A question: what exactly is wrong with put-your-name-on-a page opt-out method (HagermanBot way)? I know that you referred to it as "pain in the neck" and "not future proof". But it's not like the page is going out of commission together with the bot. A new signing bot owner can simply move or copy the old opt-out page and continue with that data. Am I missing something?
  • The opt-out backreferencing looks like an interesting idea. I don't quite understand why it needs to be approved (it's going to work in addition to the old system, right?), anyway, can you please point me to place the approval discussion is going to take place? Just curios.
  • May I suggest another possible approach? Users can add opt-out category to users subpages: create e.g. User:Example/noautosign and simply put [[Category:Users who have opted out of automatic signing|{{BASEPAGENAME}}]] there. I think it would require minimal changes on the bot side.
  • One small off-topic question: what's the purpose of two <nowiki>s in your signature? ∴ Alex Smotrov 05:55, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
  • re: "Pain in the neck" because you can't simply assume that everyone on the opt out page actually wanted to opt out (entries could be added in the meantime that don't actually reflect someone opting out; and, if an IP address opts out, there's no way for people who share that IP address to know without knowing about the bot. Each bot would have its own way of opting out, and in the future there could be multiple concurrent bots. The reasons are limitless as to why bot-neutral opt-in and opt-out methods are preferable. Standardization tends to be a good thing.
  • re: "backreferencing" - I'm not sure if it needs to be approved or not, but I simply need to run it by someone on the bot approvals group to make sure it doesn't need an extra task request of any sort. Either way I need to write it first, which can be kind of difficult when I have lots of talk messages :P
  • With regard to the subpage create method: I'm not a fan of anything involving pagecreates, mainly because if we took a kantian morality approach across all bots, that would end up being a lot of subpages (much like the current category method; a lot of categories). An invisible template takes less space, renders invisibly, has no extraneous backreferences to the User:page, and can be stuck anywhere on the page; or, technically speaking, it can also be stuck in subpages. That's the beauty of it-- all I have to do is look between ':' and any possible '/' and I have the user name.
    Oh yeah, and I forgot: it doesn't require an admin to delete the page in order to opt back in. --slakr (talk) 22:11, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
  • re: "my sig" - Because without it, the parentheses would blend with the text and make it harder to read (at least, in my opinion). --slakr (talk) 22:03, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't agree with all arguments, but an invisible template seems to be a better choice anyway.
About sig: the code with <nowiki> : (talk) : produces exactly the same html code as without : (talk). If you mean "harder to read in wikicode" … hmm, that would really contradict your position in our #SineBot sig code discussion above ∴ Alex Smotrov 18:24, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Symbol keep vote.svg Added in 1.2.0. There doesn't seem to be any objection. --slakr(talk) 01:09, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Sinebot signing too much?

Hi, in this edit, Sinebot signed an alteration to a post which I had already signed. Might be worth having a look.-Localzuk(talk) 11:35, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Symbol confirmed.svg Semi-Fixed in v1.1.9. Technically significant extra additions to already-posted text should have another indent/signature to let people know that you added it after-the-fact (at least, in my opinion :P). However, the bot should now detect and ignore it anyway if an addition is right before something you already signed, so long as you were the last person to change the page and the signature is yours. I'm trying to brainstorm some ways of having the bot ignore these kinds of things in the future without drawing false negatives. Anyway, it shouldn't be too much of a problem now. If possible, in the future try to use the show preview button before saving the page. Lemme know if it gives you any more problems. --slakr (talk) 23:35, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

User talk:SineBot confusion

Hi Slakr. I think it might help avoid people asking questions on SineBot's talkpage instead of here if you changed the Q&A on that page. At the moment #1 says "If you're still having problems after trying that, post a message below" which is contradicted by the red box which says "If you have a bug/problem to report, do not post it here. Please instead contact slakr, the bot's maintainer". I can understand why people aren't sure how to contact you about SineBot... WjBscribe 14:52, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

YesY Done. Good call. I had simply copied it over from this faq and didn't see that. Lol, no wonder people were posting there :P. Anyway, thanks for the heads up, and cheers =) --slakr(talk) 23:21, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Your recent edits

Hi, there. In case you didn't know, when you add content to talk pages and Wikipedia pages that have open discussion, you should sign your posts by typing four tildes ( ~~~~ ) at the end of your comment. On many keyboards, the tilde is entered by holding the Shift key, and pressing the key with the tilde pictured. You may also click on the signature button Button sig2.png located above the edit window. This will automatically insert a signature with your name and the time you posted the comment. This information is useful because other editors will be able to tell who said what, and when. Thank you! --SineBot 00:59, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Yeah baby, I love it when you warn me like that. You warn me nyce'n'goood. :P --slakr(talk) 01:02, 28 August 2007 (UTC)


Thank you! :) SineBot's been driving me slowly mad over the last few days (signing the "forgotten" signature when i've just added replied after a comment on my talk page, and the like). In general, I appreciate SineBot's work, but there are times when you don't want to append a sig. A simple way of opting out is a godsend. Grutness...wha? 01:05, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, it seems a lot of people were requesting a non-category way of opting out, so I went ahead and did that for 1.2.0. Cheers, and have a good one =) --slakr(talk) 01:07, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Smile, you are trying so hard!

I object to having to make myself a category

Resolved: As of v1.2.0, you can use an invisible template instead. See its user page for more details or check out {{NoAutosign}}. --slakr(talk) 03:50, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't have any nasty user is this or that categories on my user page, and I don't want any. Hagerman bot, or whatever it was called, didn't require me to categorize myself. I want the option of not being trailed by a bot aggressively tagging me without having to categorize myself--and what an absurd category if one is going to have one. How do I ditch the bot without adding an ugly category tag to my user page? KP Botany 06:42, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Same here. Please stop programming your robot to sign my post after I sign myself. I definitely do not desire a category of this kind to be on my user space. Fix... the... bot. This is exactly what I'm referring to, come up with another way to correct this annoyance other than have a "opt out" category on my userspace or recommend my sig to be changed. Lord Sesshomaru 07:09, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
The bot isn't broken. If you want to refuse to add a cat to your userpage then you will just have to deal with the bot making an edit after every single comment you leave. There is absolutely no reason for you to be acting so immature about this matter. -- Ned Scott 07:24, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Exactly. And it has been pointed out to you personally the exact reason why the bot is adding the unsigned. If your signature doesn't follow sig guidelines, can you really call it "vandalism" when the bot brings your signature in line with policy? --Dreaded Walrus t c 07:36, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Excuse me Ned, but I'm immature? I am not the one making incivil statements, see here and here, and I'm sure this problem can be fixed without having to resort to a category or changing my sig. Slakr, I'm expecting an explanation directly from you, not another automated message. Lord Sesshomaru 07:38, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Okay, first and foremost, please do not bring outside battles to my talk page. I'm a very reasonable person, but if you're going to denigrate fellow editors, that's one thing I personally have issues with-- regardless of any wikipedia policy. Sesshomaru: none of my responses have been automated. If you would look at the responses I have made, it should be clear to you by now that your signature does not conform to the signatures guideline. Therefore, if you would like to ignore all rules, that's fine; but, you should use the opt-out categories that are explained on User:SineBot to prevent the bot from signing your comments. The reason you have to use categories (as opposed to some other method), is that some day SineBot may similarly go out of commission as HagermanBot once did. Should that happen, you and most people would probably agree that it would be a pain in the ass to once again opt out using whatever arbitrary method the replacement bot uses, especially if it wasn't a category-based method. At least this way, you opt out once, and you'll never hear from any future signing bot again. It's as easy as that. :) Anyway, if you have further questions, definitely feel free to drop me a line; however, I explicitly request that your conversations be limited solely to the scope of this page and/or the bot. Cheers :). --slakr (talk) 12:31, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
So, in other words, your bot forces me to categorize myself? Fine, then I'll crap out my user page in protest. And than you everyone else for hijacking my question to your personal interests. KP Botany 18:23, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

So, what the hell, apparently it is fine on Wikipedia to force me to be a category 24 hours a day, to prevent the inconvenience, of some time in the future having to make an edit. So I made my user page a hell hole of idiotic categories to wrap around this one, so that I'm more than an editor who opted out of having a specific bot sign their posts--something I never asked the bot to do, something I was never consulted about, and something that gives the absurd result of reducing everything I do on Wikipedia to being an idiot who opted out of having a bot sign their posts. I'm just going to categorize myself, to hell with editing, since that's all I am, a category. KP Botany 21:37, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Your cookies if you have a feasibly better method.
Symbol question.svg ?. I really don't know how to respond to this. Because you're so convinced the bot is doing a horrible job and that using bot-generic categories is the epitome of selfishness, I implore you to let me know how else to handle the opting out process that doesn't involve massively increasing bot's footprint on the server. As a bonus, I'll throw in a batch of cookies if you have a feasible solution. Good luck, and thanks. --slakr (talk) 01:29, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Do it the way Hagerman bot did it, all I had to do was add my name to a page, not mess up my user page by categorizing myself. I didn't have ANY categories on my page, except maybe the project stuff--and I don't like being in a single category that's absurd. At this point it seems every thing I do on Wikipedia is totally wrong, I'm stupid, incompetent, and a troll, so I wouldn't cater to me. And I don't like chocolate. KP Botany 02:37, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Hey, now, we'll have none of that talk around here. :P From what I can tell, you're neither stupid nor incompetent, and it certainly doesn't seem like you're a troll, because you're just trying to make things better. If it's any consolation, the opt-out page method you're referring to is how I originally designed the bot to function. However, during development discussion we came to the conclusion that making everything more bot-neutral would be the best route to go, so we trashed the bot-specific opt out method. In other words, we decided that in the event that SineBot or I should disappear, we don't want to have to go through a category/opt out/whatever conversion process and yet again make the people who get mad at SineBot mad at SomeOtherBotThatTakesThePlaceOfSineBotBot as well.
Speaking of, that just gave me an amazingly good idea: instead of using categories it might also be feasible to use null template referencing. Rather, instead of adding yourself to a category, you mention a "NoSignUser" invisible template on your user page. That alone would add, from your user page, a backlink to the template, which the bot would check instead of populating category members like it currently does. Even better: it won't add a category to your user page.
Symbol support2 vote.svg Future feature. Use opt-out backreferencing in addition to the opt-out category. See? Regardless of whatever else you do/did on wikipedia, you just made a positive change. :P All I personally ask is that you try to avoid harshly wording your requests in the future-- whether it's asking something of me or anyone else-- because it's more likely that you'll get what you want by being nice. For now, if it's not too much trouble, simply use the opt-out category, and I'll personally drop by your user talk page when I get the backlink method approved and working. By the way, I'll go ahead and eat those cookies so they don't go to waste (if you don't mind). ;) Do you have any specific type of food that you would prefer instead? :P --slakr (talk) 03:29, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Symbol keep vote.svg Added in 1.2.0. --slakr(talk) 01:10, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Added what in? I like Afghan cookie bread. KP Botany 03:35, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
A non-category opt out method. Check out the bot's userpage or {{NoAutosign}} --slakr(talk) 03:37, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Btw, I couldn't find any Afghan cookie bread on google or in the images section :\. *gives you Afghan cookie bread anyway* :P --slakr(talk) 03:39, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Many thanks...this solves some other problems I was going to bring to you. Talk about proactive! AKRadeckiSpeaketh 03:42, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Well wait a second: definitely continue to post problems if you run across them, because while you might opt out, others still might experience the same problem, so definitely let me know if there are various issues. =) Anyway, cheers. :) --slakr(talk) 03:46, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
It's hard to believe that there's no roat on google. What's the world coming to anyway that you can't find a single picture of Afghan cookie bread on the Internet? I guess I'll have to shoot some next time I have tea and cookie bread. KP Botany 03:52, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Make SineBot respect HagermanBot's old opt out list

Please make SineBot respect User:HagermanBot/OptOut, or offer a similar method of opting out of signing. I dislike userpage clutter, especially nonvisible elements. Thanks. User:Krator (t c) 12:52, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

SineBot offers two methods of opting out, both of which are bot-neutral. Essentially, if you want to opt out, by all means, opt out; but from now on that's the last time you'll have to do it-- no matter what happens to SineBot. I recently implemented an invisible template as a way to opt out for people who dislike category "clutter." Please see User:SineBot for more information. --slakr(talk) 17:56, 28 August 2007 (UTC)


Your bot did an interesting edit here[2]. An editor added a horizontal line on the discussion page and your bot signed it. I am bringing this to your attention rather than fixing it in case this is a bug that can be corrected. Regards.--Old Hoss 21:28, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Symbol confirmed.svg Fixed in v1.2.3. Cheers. :) --slakr(talk) 21:53, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Sinebot and the Global warming talk page

Hi Slakr, I am working on cleaning up the talk page for GW. Someone suggested that Miszabot had problems when comments were left unsigned, so I left 2 unsigned comments to see if Sinebot would take care of it (didn't happen). Am I missing something? Should it have signed one or both of my comments? (link to GW talk page). thanks for any help/info, R. Baley 21:58, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

There was an edit directly after yours that was made during the time the bot's grace period. If you would like, I can add Talk:Global warming to the bot's high priority pages list, especially considering that the topic is a relatively hot-button one. Pages on the high priority list will have their unsigned comments signed almost immediately after they're made. --slakr(talk) 22:03, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
sounds good to me. I will link to this, from the relevant discussion on the talk page, so everyone will know. Thanks, R. Baley 22:06, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Green tickY Done. It might take up to 5 minutes to take effect. --slakr(talk) 22:10, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Sinebot w/o user page


SineBot added a signature for a valid reason: in my signature is no link to my user page since I don't have one (nor do I desire one at the moment). That's one (or maybe the only) reason why I have a rather simple, raw signature. The only effect SineBot had was adding two unnecessary links, one to my non-existent user page and one to my talk page. The latter is unnecessary because I think discussions should be kept in one place (in this case, on the talk page where SineBot intervened).

So, although the reason was valid, I still think SineBot needn't have resigned my comment.

Richard 11:39, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

PS: I think SineBot might resign this entry as well...

Bot error

Originally from User talk:SineBot

Hey, take a look at these posts - mine, SineBot's. Can you fix it so if people add an extra # or * at the end of a list it doesn't sign those? WjBscribe 17:48, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Originally from User talk:WJBscribe, bugified.
Symbol support vote.svg Confirmed. Ah, good call-- those should be treated as whitespace. However, one small request: if you have any other issues, please use my talk page instead, as I can keep track of bugs and stuff better from there. --slakr (talk) 18:00, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
Symbol confirmed.svg Fixed in v1.1.5. --slakr (talk) 05:08, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Today, SineBot mistakenly signed an item I added to the middle of a bulleted list. It shouldn't do that. —mjb 00:59, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Tilde notice

Hi there, I've noticed SineBot seems to hand out a friendly "how to sign your comments" to certain editors - I'm assuming this is when it noticed they've made multiple unsigned comments. However I also note that it's dropped this message on some experienced users. You might want to look in to some way of having it determine a "regular" user so as to avoid giving the message to users who already know. It might be a little annoying to some, rather like templating the regulars. Just a thought. ɑʀкʏɑɴ 15:22, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Btw, where'd they teach you to read minds? I've been contemplating the same thing! :P The only reason I decided not to do it for now is that templating the regulars might be a good idea in this case simply due to the annoyance factor. That is, if the bot doesn't tilde someone every few days, some might simply not care about signing their posts. However, it also might be a good idea to increase the tilde frequency to only be minorly annoying to regulars or people who have already been tilde'd. *shrug*. --slakr(talk) 01:13, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Exempt please

Please do not sign entries at Wikipedia:Featured article review/archive, Wikipedia:Featured articles with citation problems or Talk:Asperger syndrome/to do. Thanks, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:23, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

The reason that Wikipedia:Featured article review/archive gets signed is because it's a subpage to a page that is in the Category:Non-talk pages with subpages that are automatically signed category (that is, it's a subpage to Wikipedia:Featured article review). So, you've got a couple of options:
  1. Use {{bots}} on Wikipedia:Featured article review/archive to deny SineBot signing that page. This will exempt that one page from autosigning, and leave the rest of Wikipedia:Featured article review's subpages open to automatic signing; or,
  2. Switch the category of Wikipedia:Featured article review to the non-subpages-included category (per the bot's user page documentation). This would be a good option if the only page that the bot needs to sign is Wikipedia:Featured article review and none of the other pages underneath it; or,
  3. Completely remove Category:Non-talk pages with subpages that are automatically signed from Wikipedia:Featured article review and the bot won't sign anything on Wikipedia:Featured article review or any page underneath it.
The same applies to the other two articles you mention. The bot will only, by default, sign things in the various Talk: namespaces-- unless explicitly told to do so by category. Please see the bot's user page for more documentation and more specific instructions. Lemme know if you have any other questions/problems. =) --slakr(talk) 08:01, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Problems with bot

Hi, lately when I add an edit, and I do sign it, the SineBot is still adding another signature to the existing signature, signing it twice then. Do you know why this is happening? I am signing this comment btw, so we'll see if it does it again. Thanks, take care :) Ejfetters 01:21, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

FAQ 1 (at the top of the page): All comments should have a signature that includes both a link to your user page (slakr) and a datestamp (05:12, 20 August 2007 (UTC)) (per signatures - internal links). You signature has no links and so is giving the problem. Fix it or consider an opt out option. :: maelgwn - talk 01:36, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Ok, sound kind of rude, but anyways, how do i edit my signautre, I don't know how? Ejfetters 17:37, 29 August 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ejfetters (talkcontribs)

My problem (See immediately below.) is just like yours. At the top of this browser page is "my preferences". Go there and make sure that the box is unchecked. I thought I knew how to read, but didn't get what they were saying. DCDuring 21:58, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

I have the problem of sinebot duplicating my signature. I use the four-tilde short-cut almost all the time, but often, not alway, get the duplicate signature. I have done the four-tilde on this one, for example. DCDuring 21:19, 29 August 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by DCDuring (talkcontribs)

Previous is example of my problem. I am logged in. I have a user page. I use the default signature. The signature shows up on the page (as I see it). Why the duplication? DCDuring 21:51, 29 August 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by DCDuring (talkcontribs)

Maybe I've gotten it right this time. If so, sorry. DCDuring 21:54, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Ok lets see Ejfetters 03:51, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

You know it's about sinebot

Sometimes I want to sign with only three tildes if it's right after another comment I've already made. Any way to get SB to recognize that? I don't want to opt out completely, but I like the flexibility. Am I better off just opting out and remembering to sign on my own? WLU 02:00, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

ROFL, that was a great header. =). The main downside of only signing with 3 tildes is that there is no date, so while people know you added the comment, they don't know when, exactly, you added it (even if it's implied you only added it a second later). Most people get used to always assuming the worst of things, despite the guideline that most people should assume good faith, and instead they assume that the comment could have been added weeks, if not months, after the original comment. That's part of the reason why the signatures guideline wants you to always have a link to your user and/or talk page plus a timestamp. However, if you happen to have some diffs laying around for me to look at in order to see if there's some sort of exception that I can make, definitely toss them my way and I'll be glad to check over them. =) Cheers, and have a good one. --slakr(talk) 07:50, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Fair 'nuff, you've sufficiently convinced me to use ~~~ only on an exceptionally exceptional basis. There's no real reason for me to not do so anyway, I pretty much only used it in realtime conversations but I suppose I can hit the last ~. WLU 13:54, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

More SineBot feedback

Hi Slakr. Just like WLU above, I'd comment on SineBot's behaviour when only the timestamp is missing; see this diff. I think adding {{undated}} or even nothing to this kind of comment is more appropriate than adding {{unsigned}}; and I vaguely remember having seen SineBot use {{undated}}. What happened in this case? Regards, KissL 13:42, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

I temporarily disabled {{undated}} support in v1.1.8 due to numerous complaints that it was being used in the wrong circumstances. This is because the [[User link checking was general in the sense that if there was a user link in the last added line, the bot would assume that line was signed. Originally, the bot checked to make sure the signature was actually signed by the person who was signing it, but that, too was changed to be more generic in an earlier version due to some of the weird signatures that people have. So, in order to avoid the bot adding {{undated}} (and therefore not enough information) when someone actually doesn't sign, the bot currently takes the safe and redundant route of simply using {{unsigned}} and {{unsignedIP}}. Sure, it adds an extraneous link in cases where {{undated}} would be used, but at least it won't fail to add enough information in cases where the bot is fooled into thinking there's a signature. In the future, however, I plan to make the bot be more specific once again-- once the bugs/issues are worked out in the normal signing process. {{undated}} support will return in the future. --slakr(talk) 02:10, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
{{undated}} can be safely added at least when user Example makes a post ending with "[[User:Example]]" ∴ Alex Smotrov 03:32, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
Is there an exmple where having the user talk at the end of a post without a datestamp should *not* be tagged with a datestamp? It seems to me that Alex's comment is sensible. User A1 08:13, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
It's slightly more complicated than just saying "at the end of the post," because there's really no solid way of determining that. Sure, there's the obvious "[[User:Whatever]]\n," but there are a gazillion variations from that. Trust me, the code's already there, and as I already said, this is a temporary disabling of {{undated}}, since it doesn't harm anyone to have more information than less for the time being; and, repeating what I said directly above, "In the future, however, I plan to make the bot be more specific once again-- once the bugs/issues are worked out in the normal signing process." --slakr(talk) 09:01, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Custom timestamp

In our previous discussion you were trying to use irrelevant "not good for archiving bots" argument against my "clean sig code" suggestion. Now I find it very amusing that all this time you've been using your own custom timestamp, which did interfere with archiving bots (and also wasn't "approved") ∴ Alex Smotrov

Thanks. I'm happy you're amused-- glad to be of service. --slakr(talk) 03:53, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Your signature

Please remove all <nowiki> and </nowiki> from your signature. Their presense has no other purpose but to make your signature longer in the edit window (I already pointed out that it makes no difference in HTML) and this goes against WP:SIG:

Keep signatures short, both in display and markup

  • signatures that take up more than two or three lines in the edit window clutter the page and make it harder to distinguish posts from signatures
  • signatures that occupy more space than necessary in the edit box displace meaningful comments, thus forcing the editor to scroll when writing his reply

Alex Smotrov 03:32, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

No. --slakr(talk) 03:50, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, you'd think that someone so strict to other users' signatures could follow guidelines himself ∴ Alex Smotrov 04:04, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry to disappoint you. Even some wikipedia admins have longer signatures, and I believe that the current consensus is that nobody cares. If it actually does become a problem; or, if consensus changes; or, if I get a wild hair up my nose, I'll change it. Until then, I feel as though the time spent arguing over my signature could, for both of us, be best served doing something more productive. --slakr(talk) 04:20, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Talk page edits

On a couple of occasions recently, SineBot has gone in and inappropriately signed cases where I went back to edit a spelling error or add information to a properly-signed comment that I had already posted. Bearcat 04:43, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Ah, the one that's in the bot's recent log was this one. It signed it because it was a new line addition, there wasn't a signature in the context of the diff (i.e., it wasn't close enough to the end of your text where you originally signed for the bot to see that you're modifying your own post), the line wasn't indented from the context, and most importantly you edit was done >5 minutes after your last edit. The bot explicitly didn't care about the spell check edit-- it was only that late line addition that made it mad. :\ I've been trying to come up with ways of making the bot smarter at this, but since a lot of the newbie contributions stick edits in weird places (and a decent amount of people try to add stuff right smack dab in something that someone else signed, therein making it look like the prior signer said it), I've been having trouble trying to come up with good enough logic for edits like those. I might, in the near future, increase the is-this-a-self-edit delay from 5 minutes up to 10 for things like this, as it seems practical when it comes to more experienced editors.
I also recently cleared out old entries from the bot's event log, so I'm only finding that one signing incident. If you happen to have others, whenever you get a chance, drop the diffs by to help me find them. If the bot is driving you insane, however, check out the bot's user page for some ways to opt out. Sorry about any confusion. Cheers =) --slakr(talk) 04:57, 31 August 2007 (UTC)


Thanks for looking at my question in the ref desk. Phgao 17:54, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

No problem. Thanks for the thanks =) --slakr(talk) 12:13, 1 September 2007 (UTC)


Hello !

I've noticed today your wonderful Bot. I am, on fr:, a bot owner, and I would like to use similar functions on the French Wikipedia. I don't see any tracks on your userpage of your code being available : Have you released it ? If not, would you consider releasing to me for me to use it on the French wikipedia ?

If you wish me to, I *think* I can help to add support for every langages ;)

Thanks !

NicDumZ ~ 23:19, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Possibly, once all the bugs are ironed out. --slakr(talk) 12:07, 1 September 2007 (UTC)


Hey, Sinebot just signed a comment in my talk that was already signed. Murderbike 05:44, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Symbol declined.svg Not a bug. The signature it signed was this one. Per the signatures guideline, all signatures should have a full datestamp, though that one only has a time. If you would like the bot to ignore unsigned comments on your talk page check out {{bots}}. --slakr(talk) 12:12, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

SineBot glitch - it signed a signed post

I posted a comment to Wikipedia talk:Template standardisation. As you can see from the difflink, I did sign my post, and it did include the appropriate links. I did that the way I always do, by typing four tildes. But for some reason, SineBot promptly signed it again. I removed the dupe when I saw it, but I figured I should let you know. • BTW, superb job on SineBot, great idea and very helpful. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 00:42, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Symbol declined.svg Not a bug. Judging by the diff you gave me it looks to me like you only signed the comment using three tildes (since there is no datestamp). --slakr(talk) 12:07, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
Whoops! Geez, I didn't even notice that, and I looked twice. I must have left off a tilde by mistake. Sorry for the false report! —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 21:03, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
Lol, don't worry about it. It's an easy mistake, hence the reason why the bot helps to correct it =). --slakr(talk) 03:44, 2 September 2007 (UTC)


The user page for your bot has a currently empty space for barnstars. I'm curious about this-- why would a bot recieve a barnstar? Shouldn't the barnstar go specifically to the operating user? Revolutionaryluddite 17:11, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

It's not empty-- it's just hidden to avoid extra clutter (click the "show" link on the right side). People give awards to bots for fun, and it's usually a way of showing a bot owner that that particular bot is appreciated in some way or another. Cheers =) --slakr(talk) 20:53, 2 September 2007 (UTC)


For some reason, Sinebot keeps targeting his posts. Cyclone1 signs his posts and his signiture gives links to both his user page and talk page but Sinebot still posts an unsigned comment message. It has happened several times and only to Cyclone1. -- §HurricaneERICarchive 23:27, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Symbol no support vote.PNG Not a bug; unsupported. Cyclone1 uses a highly irregular, fairly confusing datestamp that deviates significantly from the norm. On his contrib to your talk page, it's hard to tell whether his datestamp is little endian or middle endian, the entire datestamp contains no whitespace, and the leading zero placement is arbitrary. Because his datestamp is so unique (I have yet to see a similar one), it is unlikely that I'll add an exception for this, since the extra processing power required to account for such a signature outweighs the benefit of exempting one user, especially when averaged out across the thousands of contributions that the bot analyzes daily. --slakr(talk) 05:48, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

A SineBot problem

Hello. Recently, SineBot signed one of my posts when I added an extra list of reverts to a report at WP:AN3RR (see diff). Much appreciated. Sephiroth BCR (Converse) 23:55, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Symbol note.svg Symbol confirmed.svg Tentatively fixed in v1.2.6. Technically this isn't a bug, since any extra additions, at least, in my opinion, should always be signed. Moreover, the page instructions, themselves, ask that people "remember to sign and date all contributions" because "page archivers really need the time information." On top of that, frequently some people drop by AN3RR and tack on extra diffs-- even though technically the entire section is "reported by User:Sephiroth BCR." If a bad diff were to be added by someone with nefarious intentions, it would be hard to readily see who added it without digging through the AN3RR page history (which is a little crowded). More importantly (and likely) is that additions after the original post should be at least datestamped to note that more reverts have happened since the original report submission so that other editors returning to the page will clearly be able to see that. Therefore, should there be consensus that the bot work the way it used to (i.e., by signing additions like yours), this exemption will be removed (hence the "tentatively fixed"). Cheers. :) --slakr(talk) 06:04, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
I see. I'll take care to add a comment in the future then. Thanks in any case. Sephiroth BCR (Converse) 06:20, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Your recent edits

Hi, there. In case you didn't know, when you add content to talk pages and Wikipedia pages that have open discussion, you should sign your posts by typing four tildes ( ~~~~ ) at the end of your comment. On many keyboards, the tilde is entered by holding the Shift key, and pressing the key with the tilde pictured. You may also click on the signature button Button sig2.png located above the edit window. This will automatically insert a signature with your name and the time you posted the comment. This information is useful because other editors will be able to tell who said what, and when. Thank you! --SineBot 05:10, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Symbol unlikely.svg Unlikely. Too bad unknown contributions to things in real life don't get this warning. :P --slakr(talk) 05:24, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Postscripts & Sinebot

I've had a recurring problem where I'll sign a post and then add a "P.S." or "P.P.S." (most recently, on this talk page) which will elicit a Sinebot incursion. Not a biggie; just an annoyence. If it can be avoided, that would be great & thanks!. If not, I understand. Best wishes, Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 17:19, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
P.S. Would Sinebot sign this here now?
P.P.S. Or is it a matter of there being a "P.P.S." perhaps?

P.P.P.S. Or perhaps only if the "P.S." is prefaced with one or more colons?
Symbol declined.svg Not a bug. The bot doesn't care if you have "PS" or the like in the contribution. The bot signed your comment because otherwise people would not have known without looking at the diffs when you added it or even if you added it (some random person came along and added it after you had done so). Thus, the bot signed it. I would guess that the reason the bot didn't sign when you added your comment here is that you added it all at one time, and more importantly, it contained an indent (the addition of colons). Thus, the bot assumed it was a complex edit and ignored it. I also verrrry recently (i.e., last couple of days) fixed a bug where the but wasn't seeing '_' in signatures as spaces (since api.php reports usernames as spaces instead of '_'), but it's unlikely that was in play, since the code that is relies on that is for other types of exemptions. --slakr(talk) 05:21, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
I can appreciate the heuristic. Personally, I'd like to think that if a postscript were added prior to any other entries, then the pre-postscript signature would suffice; perhaps in the future though I'll simply update the pre-postscript signature's timestamp? Anyway, I understand the complexities, recognize there's no easy solution and, of course, very much appreciate your hard and ingenious efforts in making WP work right! Thanks for the thoughtful response, Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 14:56, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

SineBot Stupidity

Can you please amend SineBot so that it provides anaccurate message when it comes across a signature which is without a date (three tildes not four). Currently it posts the self evidently stupid message "—Preceding unsigned comment added by Tagishsimon (talk • contribs) 10:22, 4 September 2007 (UTC)" when what it should say is "—Preceding signed comment added 10:22, 4 September 2007 (UTC)". And that latter message is only useful if there's a point in policing the time that people post messages - something I'd dispute, for many messages. (I think what vexes me most about this behaviour of SineBot, is that the result is that the most recent edit summary for the page becomes a SineBot entry ... like many editors, I rely on watched pages to tell me what's happening with pages I'm interested in. SineBot takes away something that is useful to me (the actual edit summary) and gives me something I don't want or need (a timestamp). The bottom line here is that, for me, and with respect to signatures that are not date stamped, SineBot is doing more harm than good.

Seeing a string such as "--Tagishsimon (talk) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tagishsimon (talk • contribs) 10:22, 4 September 2007 (UTC)" is just mouth-foamingly annoying. --10:30, 4 September 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tagishsimon (talkcontribs)

Yikes. I apologize if you feel that the bot is causing any sort of damage through its redundancy, and I'm sorry that my bot might have caused you to experience personal annoyance to such a profound extent. First and foremost, I would suggest that if you believe the bot is causing you too much grief to handle, please visit its user page for its various opt out options (as suggested in my talk page's FAQ).
Other stuff:
  • It seems as though you are extremely upset with the bot not using {{undated}} because the bot adds a redundant user page link. I would like to note that the bot did originally use {{undated}}, but that has been temporarily disabled because there were genuine concerns that when the bot thought a post had a valid user page link and not a date, and it would assume that the post was undated and add the appropriate template (which would only have the date). Since it was more annoying for other editors that the bot was adding an effectively useless edit (since one would still not know who added the edit), I temporarily disabled the functionality for use in a later version (which is in the very near future), as I feel as though having extra info is better than not having enough info in the meantime. If you're interested in the bot's development, please see the change log for more details about prior revisions.
  • You seem to be troubled by bot edits showing up in your watchlist. Therefore, if the current behavior of your watch list is unacceptable (i.e., bot edits are showing up), I would suggest that you visit "my preferences" -> "watchlist" -> "Hide bot edits from the watchlist;" then, check the box, and click 'Save'. Bot edits from bots like SineBot will trouble you no more.
  • You also seem concerned about signatures policy with regard to datestamps. Please keep in mind that no policy or guideline is set in stone, and you are always free to call for change. Check out Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals) for discussions related to policy change proposals. I design my bot to stay faithful to signatures guidelines, which calls for a datestamp as well as a user and/or talk page link of the poster. If you feel that should change across the encyclopedia, then I would suggest that you establish consensus at the aforementioned village pump first.
--slakr(talk) 18:59, 4 September 2007 (UTC)


I just had SineBot sign my addition to Talk:0.999.../archivelist. While the archivelist is in the Talk namespace, it obviously shouldn't be signed. Are such lists widespread enough to modify the bot, or should I just do it by hand for that one page? Yours, Huon 20:52, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Symbol confirmed.svg Fixed in v1.2.8. I'm guessing it's not a huuuuge problem, but I could easily see it getting annoying. Archives are commonplace, and adding an exemption for subpages that start with 'archive' is a safe bet. Worst case, if, for whatever reason, one of those pages actually does need to be autosigned, the bot will still respond so long as the page is explicitly opted in via category. It's an easy fix, and I figure that if someone does modify a talk page's archive, it will be readily apparent by the page's history to see who added what and when. Anyway, thanks for the heads up, and cheers =) --slakr(talk) 22:56, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

To do lists

I notice a lot of my additions to to-do lists are getting signed by the bot. I don't think they need to be signed, so please disable it for to do list name space. Thanks. Richard001 00:41, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Symbol possible vote.svg Possible. I'm assuming you're referencing the bot signing on Talk:Fischer projection/to do. I think that there's a good chance I'll probably just add an exception for "to do" lists in the near future, since I think I've seen a couple people with issues on that. However, that's part of the reason why {{bots}} exists-- it prevents a bot from doing something to a specific page. Also, be sure to take a quick look at the bot's various opt out methods. --slakr (talk) 04:13, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

It keeps doing it. I'll add the opt out to my page, the point is that I (and others) shouldn't have to go to this effort. Please deal with it timely. Thanks. Richard001 04:50, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

I would encourage you to make use of {{bots}} and simply deny the bot on that specific page (if that's the only page you're having problems with). That way other editors won't have the same problem there. I would have blanket-exempted to-do pages, but I've run across a few other articles where the to-do lists actually ask editors to sign on them too. --slakr(talk) 04:55, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Why not make an exception on subpages which don't have a corresponding article page? It shouldn't require any extra bandwidth if your using the HTML version anyway. —Dispenser 01:54, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree with user Richard001's comment above, adding signatures to to-do lists makes no sense. I refer to this edit and this edit. – Ilse@ 14:31, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Given that to-do lists are designed to be not accumulative, but rather have tasks removed when they are done, signing entries there doesn't make sense. If there's controversy about tasks, discussion takes place in the talk page proper. —Quasirandom 18:42, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Symbol confirmed.svg Fixed. D'oh. I'm not sure how I missed tagging this one earlier, but I recently added an exemption for subpages to talk pages starting with "to do." Check out User:SineBot/ChangeLog for more info. --slakrtalk / 22:00, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

My name

Heh, heh, thanks for the image. :) A lot of users have asked me about my username before. It seems to be somewhat notable, though I wouldn't say it's as notable as Can't sleep, clown will eat me. :) Acalamari 01:48, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Though he doesn't mention it on his user page, I have a sneaky suspicion he chose that name based off of the 18th century painter, Harry Johannes Pennywise-Clown, who was known for his occasionally cannibalistic bouts of insanity. Rumor is he was killed recently, but that's only rumor. :P --slakrtalk / 21:48, 6 September 2007 (UTC)


For some reason it thinks that my message is unsigned -User:Laudak —Preceding unsigned comment added by Laudak (talkcontribs) 03:15, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Yuk-yuk. -User:Laudak
Symbol information blue.svg Frequently Asked Question (#1). Your signature does not include a timestamp per signatures guideline. --slakrtalk / 16:10, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Your bot gives false message. It says "unsigned", which is false and creates confusion. It has no rights to harass people with something which is described as "guideline", rather than "policy". While I understand this bot is useful, I would suggest you to make it smarter. P.S. I see lots of people are complaining and I understand that it is not very easy to make a bot as smart as a human (especially when humans often like to be kinda creative :-), so I hope you are not annoyed with this bugging. As for me, I will just use noautosign. -User:Laudak
On the contrary, only a extremely small minority of people have complained (actually, a statistically insignificant amount of people have complained, if you want to get technical). As of right now, the bot has signed 24,332 posts. Since the bot was brought online, there have been around 330 non-self posts to my talk page, including replies, minor edits, and things not related to the bot. Therefore, assuming that every single post was a unique contributor (which isn't the case), we'd be looking at about 1% bot error, assuming an impossibly worst-case scenario. When we're more realistic about the numbers, I'd say that the number of unique contributors has been around 70 or so, and as of the bot's last loading of the opt-out categories and templates, a total of 52 people have opted out of autosigning. Again, assuming the more realistic worst-case scenario, 70 people complaining over 24,332 signings would equate to a about 0.3% of the bot's actions being problematic enough (well, at least, in their opinion) for someone to notify me, and that's also assuming that they weren't bugs that were later fixed. Also keep in mind that these statistics are overly pessimistic, since signing statistics were added a few versions after the bot started signing stuff. Therefore, the bot's actual failure rate is probably lower. Either way, it's a statistically acceptable number (especially considering that it suggests that we're at p<0.01).
With regard to the bot's blanket use of {{unsigned}} and {{undated}}: the bot used to use {{undated}}, but I temporarily disabled it. It'll be back in the future.
Also, I'm somewhat puzzled by your use of the word "harass" to describe the bot's actions. How is it harassing? More importantly, who is it harassing? Is it harassing to the people who rely on a signature (as opposed to a long page history) to determine who leaves a comment; or, is it harassing to the person who leaves the comment and/or gets a trivial {{tilde}} notice if he repeatedly forgets to sign and/or date his comments?
Finally, it seems as though you have a concern about the signatures guideline being a guideline rather than a policy. While I understand your concern, it should be noted that while the "guideline" to sign one's posts is technically not policy, several policies are better enforced when posts are signed. A few simple examples of how the bot, by signing unsigned contribs, makes enforcing various policies considerably easier:
Therefore, while post signing might not be a de jure policy, several core policies rely on it, indirectly making it de facto policy-- much like how the spam guideline intermixes with the What Wikipedia is not policy. Another obvious guideline that policy is reliant upon is using talk pages. In order to prevent things like three-revert rule violations as well as resolving issues with fully-protected pages, the talk page is critical. Therefore, just because something isn't policy doesn't mean it isn't as important as policy. Of course, you're always free to ignore it all anyway-- hence the reason for the numerous opt out options. ;)
Cheers. =) --slakrtalk / 21:26, 6 September 2007 (UTC)