Wikipedia:Bot owners' noticeboard

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This is a message board for coordinating and discussing bot-related issues on Wikipedia (also including other programs interacting with the MediaWiki software). Although its target audience is bot owners, any user is welcome to leave a message or join the discussion here. This is not the place for requests for bot approvals or requesting that tasks be done by a bot. It is also not the place for general questions about the MediaWiki software (such as the use of templates, etc.), which have generally a best chance of being answered at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical).

Featured logs in mobile view[edit]

Per this discussion and this one on the Village pump (technical), I have raised the possibility of removing Template:Fa top's invocation of the metadata class, which in mobile view has the declaration display:none;, from the div section. This will allow the featured log to be viewed in the "mobile view". However, there was some fear that it might break a bot. The FACBot is okay, and I'm not aware of any other bot that accesses these pages, but it's best to ask first rather than proceeding and seeing what breaks. (Notifying Ian Rose and Bonvol:) Hawkeye7 (talk) 20:14, 1 November 2016 (UTC)

Okay. I have removed it. We'll see if anything breaks. Hawkeye7 (talk) 23:23, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

Problematic edit and confusing minor edit summary by poorly identified bot - GreenC bot / WaybackMedic / Wayback Medic[edit]

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Taser&diff=737265819&oldid=736467529 is tagged GreenC bot and (WaybackMedic 2).

  1. It shouldn't be at all ambiguous whether Wayback Medic or GreenC bot did the edit. Is there a good reason for the discrepancy or should it be fixed?
  2. The edit is problematic for several reasons. Information about archived content that isn't viewable due to IA's robots.txt policy is not useless. It's a) subject to legal discovery at any time, and b) viewable if the robot.txt changes. c) the existence of the IA URL suggests that the content was verifiable d)Deleting it means a normal viewer of the article won't learn that, and e) the source is available at Archive.is : [1]. For these five reasons, the bot should not be removing non-working IA URLs, especially not without checking to see if there's a working Archive.is version.--Elvey(tc) 01:02, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
An observational comment: Archive.is has no API from what I can tell making it nearly impossible for bots to use it.—cyberpowerChat:Offline 01:16, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
Well, then go fix our Archive.is article, User:Cyberpower678; it says they have an API. LOL. --Elvey(tc) 02:04, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
Memento isn't part of Archive.is. I mean that archive.is doesn't have it's own API bots can use, and sucks in general for delivering reliable results. It doesn't preserve HTTP codes making it impossible for bots to determine if it's a good archive or not.—cyberpowerChat:Offline 03:01, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
In my experience it was like 50% soft-404 making it unusable, unless we spam Wikipedia with broken links. Elvey, do you know someone at Archive.is we can speak with about that? -- GreenC 03:26, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
Archive.is seems to be a rather unresponsive one man operation. Without reliable communications, I absolutely refuse to use archive.is beyond the current URL recognition.—cyberpower (unsigned)
I'm confused. I hear you say WM can tell that many archive.is links were broken from the start - and that you need an API to be able to tell if the links work or not. Seems contradictory. What am I missing? --Elvey(tc) 07:52, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
AI uses Memento for their API. The links returned by Memento say the page is available. The page headers at AI show the pages works (status 200). A manual inspection of the page shows 404 (ie. soft-404). Thus the only way to verify a page is working is manually - the API is unreliable, and the page headers are unreliable. -- GreenC 14:22, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks.--Elvey(tc) 02:04, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
  1. There is no User:WaybackMedic. "WaybackMedic" is the name of the program being run by the bot account User:GreenC bot. The account runs multiple programs.
  2. WM is currently not removing 403 robots.txt links anymore but it is removing other types of 403s, 404s, certain types of 301/302. The reasons are many, some you described, and for other reasons. WM processed over a million links, deleted 30,000 (3%) and I am considering a project to restore 403 robots.txt that are back alive (about 3000 or 0.3%). As for checking other archives, absolutely WaybackMedic does it through Memento's API and it has saved a lot of links that way, mostly WebCite and LOC (see the project's Stats page "New alt archive"). Archive.is a special case and largely unusable by bots, as Cyberpower said. It doesn't prove the link was once verifiable, or even existed - WM found many links that never worked because they were added by bots that didn't have access to the IA API - the links were broken from the start. Furthermore monitoring has shown these non-robots.txt links are permanently dead. Wayback for other reasons (some intentional some due to internal data problems) will delete links unrelated to robots. -- GreenC 03:24, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
  1. Ok. "Wayback Medic is a bot" is what it says at User:Green_Cardamom/WaybackMedic_2 which you link to. Maybe that should change?
  2. Great. Appreciate all the tons of good edits you/your bot does.--Elvey(tc) 07:52, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

{{webarchive}} merge[edit]

A question has come up at User_talk:GreenC_bot#GreenC_bot if the bot should honor the configuration of the original {{wayback}} template or {{dmy}}. There are good arguments either way, I felt honoring {{wayback}} was the safer course of action as the only purpose of the bot is merger, not creating a new date format change. The bot has now been shut down twice by User:Me-123567-Me who also took it to ANI so I'm starting this thread for discussion. I'm willing to make this change, it's not difficult, but it may have unintended consequences and the bot was not approved for it. -- GreenC 22:21, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

It should honour the original {{wayback}} template, if it has an explicit df parameter. If not, it must honour the date format specified in the {{dmy}} template. Hawkeye7 (talk) 23:20, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
Alright. Sounds reasonable that way. I can do it, including back over the old ones first, but if anyone complains you may be pinged :) ( I'll wait till tomorrow to start for any other comments.) -- GreenC 23:41, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
@Hawkeye7: - this also impacts the merger of {{webcite}} which has a default of dmy when no |dateformat= is specified. If the bot finds no {{dmy}} it will convert to mdy, for better or worse. -- GreenC 00:06, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

Done. 50069 articles originally edited, 10125 had a {{dmy}} and 849 articles fixed (example). -- GreenC 19:29, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

Thank you for making that change. I greatly appreciate it. Me-123567-Me (talk) 21:45, 17 November 2016 (UTC)

User:VeblenBot[edit]

The bot maintains both Peer Reviews and Good Article Reassessments. It hasn't been active since November 4 and both PR and GAR hasn't been updated since. The people operating it have said they don't maintain the bot (CBM, Ruhrfisch). Is it possible to get someone to make a new bot or assume control of the bot to fix this situation? GamerPro64 04:33, 24 November 2016 (UTC)

@CBM: and @Ruhrfisch: - if this bot is no longer being controlled it will be considered retired and be soft blocked/de-flagged. If you are still interested in operating this bot please acknowledge. — xaosflux Talk 05:03, 24 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the heads up - I will copy and paste what CBM and I originally posted here:
User:VeblenBot handles many of the routine chores associated with Peer Review. It was developed by User:CBM, and is currently in my care, but neither of us has the time or inclination to run it. Would someone be able to take it over? If so, please reply here. Thanks, Ruhrfisch ><>°° 19:06, 20 November 2016 (UTC)
Much of this is just a task-specific archiving job. It would be possible for someone else to rewrite this in a bot framework of their choice without too much work, instead of taking over the existing code. It's an important task for the Peer Review system, but I can't manage it any longer. — Carl (CBM · talk) 13:05, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
I will also add that VeblenBot does useful work for the Peer Review, Good Article, Featured List, and Featured Article processes, so having someone take it over or duplicate its tasks would be very helpful. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 23:30, 25 November 2016 (UTC)

Inactive bots with inactive editors to mark as retired[edit]

The following bots appear to be inactive, have no planned future tasks, and have inactive operators.

  • Bot, last edit, operator, last edit
  1. User:D6, 20140330, @Docu:, 20140417
  2. User:Wikipedia Signpost, 20060725, @Flcelloguy:, 20070529 (this account is claimed and will be left alone for now)

Baring any objections, I propose to mark these bots as retired and deflag them. They may be reactivated with a future BRFA A longer list will be coming, but wanted to put these initial example out to see if there is any community objection to this approach. — xaosflux Talk 17:14, 25 November 2016 (UTC)

This has been done previously, however inactive bot removal is not specified in the bot policy though I plan to propose an addition to reflect this practice (again - baring any objections here). — xaosflux Talk 17:18, 25 November 2016 (UTC)
  • See much LONGER list below of bots >5years old as well (these two were proof of concept examples - the database report completed quicker than expected). — xaosflux Talk 16:54, 26 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Strong support, especially in light of the recent compromised account issues. ~ Rob13Talk 07:49, 26 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Strong support, considering the recent account compromises. The older accounts are probably much more vulnerable.—cyberpowerChat:Online 16:35, 26 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment re: Signpost account. I am the Signpost editor; I've now blocked that account per the reasons cited. While I am not deeply familiar with the policies around bots, if possible, I'd like to request that the bot flag not be removed; we are currently adjusting our publication process and may want to reactivate the bot soon. (If that would require new approval though, that's OK.) -Pete Forsyth (talk) 19:15, 26 November 2016 (UTC)
    Thank you @Peteforsyth: since you are in control of the account no need to remove the flag right now. The user page should be updated to reflect the current operator (you?) and ancient approval. Please note, the MassMessage extension is generally preferred to manually updating user talk's for "spam"ing people. If it will be used for that same task, no new BRFA is needed (but the MMS flag may be). If it will be used for some other editing task, BRFA is easy enough. — xaosflux Talk 20:05, 26 November 2016 (UTC)
    Thanks Xaosflux, I will update the user page. To be clear, we have indeed been using MasMessage for that purpose (both on enwp and globally) for some time, as documented here. The bot functionality we badly need right now is not for the announcements, but to facilitate the other components of the publication process. -Pete Forsyth (talk) 20:15, 26 November 2016 (UTC)
    If that's not something the bot was previously approved for, a new approval would be needed. ~ Rob13Talk 20:33, 26 November 2016 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done User:D6 marked retired, deflagged. — xaosflux Talk 01:34, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Wikiget tool[edit]

I wrote a tool for myself, found it pretty useful so cleaned it up and posted on GitHub in case anyone might be interested.

It's a unix command-line tool to retrieve lists of article names, such as all pages in a category, backlinks of a template, pages edited by a user during a certain period, etc.. it's generally useful for work with AWB or bots, but probably other things as well in a unix environment. Only dependency is GNU awk and one of wget, curl or lynx.

https://github.com/greencardamom/Wikiget

-- GreenC 01:41, 26 November 2016 (UTC)

Inactive bots over 5 years[edit]

(See report: Wikipedia:Bot owners' noticeboard/InactiveBots/December2016)

The following bots appear to be inactive, in that they have no edits for 5 years. In some special cases this may be due to a read-only bot that only exists for highapi read access. There are many reasons these could be inactive: tasks may have been moved to other accounts, all one-tasks were one-time and completed, operator may have left wikipedia, etc.

Extended content

Bots that have not edited since 2010 as of 26 November 2016 (UTC). [edit]

Bot Last botedit Operator Last opedit KeepPlease
Wikipedia Signpost 23:10, 25 July 2006 (UTC) Flcelloguy 20070529 20:13, 26 November 2016 (UTC) (see WP:BOWN)
XyBot 13:06, 29 May 2007 (UTC) FF2010 20151201
Alphachimpbot 06:47, 3 June 2007 (UTC) Alphachimp 20160620
Rob110178bot 01:14, 25 September 2007 (UTC) Rob110178 20141101
CloudNineBot 17:17, 3 December 2007 (UTC) CloudNine 20130413
WASDbot 22:10, 20 December 2007 (UTC) WASD@ruwiki 20160831
AMbot 03:58, 8 January 2008 (UTC) After Midnight 20161123 After Midnight 0001 15:42, 26 November 2016 (UTC)
AccReqBot 19:00, 3 March 2008 (UTC) ST47 20161002
HBC AIV helperbot 8 20:35, 13 April 2008 (UTC) Monobi 20080621
Town-bot 20:03, 20 May 2008 (UTC) Hughey 20161121
HBC AIV helperbot4 00:19, 11 August 2008 (UTC) ST47 20161002
AloysiusLiliusBot 03:58, 23 September 2008 (UTC) Ameliorate! 20160423
Nomenclaturebrowser 10:29, 15 October 2008 (UTC) Aaronbrick 20160922
AmeliorationBot 06:28, 8 November 2008 (UTC) Ameliorate! 20160423
CwraschkeDataBot 19:10, 13 November 2008 (UTC) Cwraschke 20081119
Alaibot 02:03, 23 November 2008 (UTC) Alai 20090520
AilurophobiaBot 07:41, 24 November 2008 (UTC) Ameliorate! 20160423
NVS(bot) 18:39, 20 December 2008 (UTC) NonvocalScream 20111203
AWeenieBot 20:08, 13 February 2009 (UTC) AWeenieMan 20081008
UnCatBot 05:26, 28 March 2009 (UTC) nn123645 20131210
MandelBot 23:09, 24 April 2009 (UTC) J JMesserly 20161120 J JMesserly (talk) 16:24, 26 November 2016 (UTC)
SoxBot VII 04:49, 2 May 2009 (UTC) X! 20161125
SoxBot II 09:36, 3 May 2009 (UTC) X! 20161125
SoxBot V 14:00, 15 May 2009 (UTC) X! 20161125
SoxBot VI 18:03, 15 May 2009 (UTC) X! 20161125
OrphanBot 06:43, 14 June 2009 (UTC) Carnildo 20161120
ARSBot 22:00, 12 October 2009 (UTC) ST47 20161002
Werdnabot 09:12, 26 October 2009 (UTC) Werdna 20150511
BAGBot 17:55, 4 January 2010 (UTC) ST47 20161002
ClueBot IV 07:32, 6 January 2010 (UTC) Cobi 20161101
RFC posting script 17:33, 21 February 2010 (UTC) Harej 20161121
HBC NameWatcherBot 03:00, 7 March 2010 (UTC) HighInBC 20161118
AdambroBot 13:06, 29 March 2010 (UTC) Adambro 20121004
Orphaned image deletion bot 00:02, 29 April 2010 (UTC) Chris G 20151217
HBC AIV helperbot2 10:37, 29 April 2010 (UTC) Alphachimp 20160620
SandgemBot 07:07, 13 June 2010 (UTC) Sandgem Addict 20161125
Stwalkerbot 19:08, 13 June 2010 (UTC) Stwalkerster 20161123 [stwalkerster|talk] 18:15, 26 November 2016 (UTC)
Image Screening Bot 03:29, 26 June 2010 (UTC) Johnduhart 20140413
Signpost Book Bot 21:54, 29 June 2010 (UTC) Johnduhart 20140413
PDBbot 17:06, 18 July 2010 (UTC) Emw 20160525
Kakashi Bot 22:40, 11 August 2010 (UTC) AllyUnion 20160811
Commander Keane bot 04:00, 20 August 2010 (UTC) Commander Keane 20161126
BrokenAnchorBot 22:01, 2 September 2010 (UTC) Winston365 20140606
SunCreatorBot 17:20, 5 September 2010 (UTC) Sun Creator 20161124
ShepBot 16:02, 17 September 2010 (UTC) Stepshep 20141121
CleanupListingBot 20:43, 20 September 2010 (UTC) Smallman12q 20130701
KolBot 13:37, 1 October 2010 (UTC) Samuel Wiki 20161125
Muro Bot 21:22, 6 October 2010 (UTC) Muro de Aguas 20150429
PC78-bot 14:24, 8 October 2010 (UTC) PC78 20161031
WikiStatsBOT 05:27, 14 October 2010 (UTC) ThaddeusB 20160407
LawBot 06:26, 17 October 2010 (UTC) MZMcBride 20161125
ClueBot VI 18:05, 20 October 2010 (UTC) Cobi 20161101
Chrisbot 16:33, 17 November 2010 (UTC) Random_user_8384993 20101117
ClueBot 20:10, 2 December 2010 (UTC) Cobi 20161101
OpenlibraryBot 19:21, 3 December 2010 (UTC) Arielbackenroth 20120612
SelectionBot 21:20, 4 December 2010 (UTC) CBM 20161122
WMUKBot 17:30, 7 December 2010 (UTC) Seddon 20161122
718 Bot 04:01, 8 December 2010 (UTC) east718 20161114 east718 | talk | 16:27, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
XLerateBot 00:22, 10 December 2010 (UTC) XLerate 20120328
Smallbot 23:05, 22 December 2010 (UTC) Smallman12q 20130701

I propose marking this bots as retired, and removing their bot flags. All operators will be attempted to be contacted via user talk and can indicate that they want to maintain their bot flag by signing the table. Any bots retired in this manner will be consider de-authorized, but may be reactivated in the future following a successful BRFA. The bot policy does not currently have a provision for activity requirements, but assuming this process has support I will propose a policy update to reflect practice. — xaosflux Talk 14:23, 26 November 2016 (UTC)

As long as we give a warning, I'm fine with this. –xenotalk 14:25, 26 November 2016 (UTC)
100% I'm going to message each operator now - primary goal here is to ensure these accounts are under control still. — xaosflux Talk 14:27, 26 November 2016 (UTC)
Re MandelBot, It has a strong password, and has been inactive for an extended period due to lack of time (many young children now) to spend on Commons- chiefly to normalize categories according to agreed on standards. I expect to continue my work in the future because the work load still is pretty daunting for less technically capable commoners/ unfamiliar with how to create safe custom bot programs. I would strongly prefer that it not be retired- for example if retired I would not be able to promptly respond to the requests from trusted colleagues to assist in reclassifications. I appreciate the concern over misuse and support the idea of retiring such accounts especially if they could be compromised. J JMesserly (talk) 16:18, 26 November 2016 (UTC)
No worries, we're making sure everyone still wants them - marked for keep. — xaosflux Talk 16:52, 26 November 2016 (UTC)
I'm okay if User:SunCreatorBot is deactivated. Regards, Sun Creator(talk) 17:46, 26 November 2016 (UTC)
HBC NameWatcherBot is defunct and has been replaced with another bot. It no longer needs its flag. HighInBC Need help? {{ping|HighInBC}} 21:06, 26 November 2016 (UTC)

We 've done this before. So.. proceed! -- Magioladitis (talk) 22:56, 26 November 2016 (UTC)

I'm listed for LawBot. Flag removal is fine with me. Two down, three to go! --MZMcBride (talk) 14:39, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Bots that never ran to deactivate[edit]

Here is another batch of bots, these ones have never made an edit so were missed in the prior report. All have operators have not edited in 5+ years. Operator talk messages being left. Barring any objections, will mark as retired and deflag in a week:

xaosflux Talk 18:00, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

Thanks. I have no quibbles with AlekseyBot or JatBot, since they were at least intended to edit. The other two weren't -- so is there not a very small chance that they are continuing to perform some invisible yet helpful function? - Jarry1250 [Vacation needed] 18:59, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
If their operators speak up I'm fine with keeping - and if they dont but one day come back getting access again shouldn't be a hurdle. — xaosflux Talk 16:04, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

Proposed activity requirements for maintaining bot flags[edit]

Please see Wikipedia_talk:Bot_policy#Activity_requirements for a proposed amendment to the bot policy. — xaosflux Talk 19:21, 3 December 2016 (UTC)