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).

Last chance to fix these bots[edit]

Okay, here's the list of bots and script-users that are going to start breaking on Sunday, 12 June:

New – these owners haven't been contacted yet:

Previously known – these owners have been contacted, but haven't fixed the bots (list generated ~30 hours ago):

If you know how to reach these users, please help us contact them. I know that people are working on a couple of these, but I haven't heard from most of the affected bot owners. In about 72 hours, Ops is going to start refusing 10% of the http:// requests; a month from now, they'll break completely. You can reach me on wiki or via Special:EmailUser if something's sensitive. User:BBlack (WMF) and his team take questions on IRC, too.

Thanks for your help, Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:13, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

@Whatamidoing (WMF): what am I doing in that list? - DVdm (talk) 18:18, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: my semi-private Huggle 2 (User talk:DVdm#HG) perhaps? That would make sense. - DVdm (talk) 18:30, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
I made some updates to the list above and re(notified) operators on the top of the list. — xaosflux Talk 19:05, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
I am neither a bot owner nor a bot operator. --Nevit (talk) 19:50, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
Hi, my account (Der.Traeumer) is wrong in this list. I dont use a bot.--Traeumer (talk) 19:56, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
@Der.Traeumer: indeed not, but you are also using one of my Huggle 2 hacks, which still uses http. - DVdm (talk) 19:58, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
Maybe, but i only use it in dewiki, not here.--Traeumer (talk) 20:04, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
I expect this is a WMF wide break, not an enwiki one - I would expect you will break anywhere. — xaosflux Talk 20:44, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
By the way, I tried to force Huggle 2 to use https once. That did not work out well, so I gave it up. Alas. - DVdm (talk) 20:48, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

Xaosflux is correct: This is a global list, not solely for enwiki. The API's global, and the impending change affects all 800+ wikis – not just English-language ones and not just Wikipedias.

  • @MadmanBot and Madman: This bot being blocked from API will disable the automated tracking and notification of WP:INACTIVE administrators. –xenotalk 02:11, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
    • Fixed. — madman 03:08, 14 June 2016 (UTC)

Arbitrary break 1[edit]

This is a list of "bots and script-users", regardless of whether the account has a bot flag. If you are using a custom AWB, Huggle, or similar script, then that is probably the cause. For that matter, any method of POSTing the API over http:// (e.g., to make null edits with a script, which results in some of the "zero contributions" accounts here) will put you on this list, because what you're doing will stop working soon. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:56, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

Indeed. Thanks for the heads-up. As soon as my H2 dies, I'll try to have a look at the https thing again. If it still fails, I guess I'll have to go to Huggle 3—or stop unvandalising altogether. Bummer! - DVdm (talk) 21:05, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
Hi User:Whatamidoing (WMF). I see my bot, User:LivingBot, is listed. I thought I updated all of its code a couple of weeks back. What's the best way of narrowing down which of its scripts is still using an insecure connection? More generally, I suggest emailing operators (where operators have verified emails, naturally). - Jarry1250 [Vacation needed] 21:37, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
I'll request user agent information for you. Maybe that will help. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:44, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

@Bgwhite: are you aware that your bot is listed here? -- Magioladitis (talk) 22:32, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

No, but Whatamidoing mentioned the problem earlier. I run AWB, WPCleaner and a pywikipedia script. All these have been "fixed" by their maintainer. I'm not sure what is causing the problem or how to narrow things down. Bgwhite (talk) 22:39, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
The long list above may be aggregated data from before the first post by BBlack on 13 May, maybe. — Andy W. (talk ·ctb) 23:03, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
@Bgwhite: The most-recent insecure-access log entry for account BG19bot was at 2016-06-09T08:27:28.000Z, with the User-Agent Pywikipediabot/1.0. The access wasn't from a labs IP address, it came directly from a residential ISP service. --BBlack (WMF) (talk) 01:05, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
Andy, this list is from this week (Tuesday, I think). Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:23, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

The latest list is here: phab:T136674#2394147. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:19, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

Yes, I'm still there with Huggle 2. I'll have to keep using it till it chokes Face-sad.svg. - DVdm (talk) 18:25, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
Why are people stuck on Huggle 2? I think the last commit to it was ~1.5 years ago, and Huggle 3 exists. If Huggle 3 is not usable by some, perhaps we can ask the Huggle authors to do a final point-release of Huggle 2 and fix the HTTPS issues in it? BBlack (WMF) (talk) 14:02, 24 June 2016 (UTC)
@BBlack (WMF): (sorry, a bit late) Why stuck on Huggle 2? Because H3 fails where H2 brilliantly excels: in H3 the horizontal Page and User Editbars don't show the current Page and User status. Well, sometimes they do, but most of the time they don't, so, being unreliable, they cannot be counted upon. Without them, the tool feels unsafe to me. By the way, the user warning levels aren't updated in the icons in the Page history window either:
Difference between editbars in Huggle 2 (top) and Huggle 3 (bottom). Current user warning level is shown in H2, but not in H3. Not shown in User column in Page History window either.
I don't think the Huggle author volunteers have the time or the resources to fix a final point release—see the lack of response at User talk:DVdm#HG. Alas. - DVdm (talk) 08:21, 5 July 2016 (UTC)
FWIW, see Wikipedia:Huggle/Feedback#User status not updated in Huggle 3. With crossed fingers Face-smile.svg. - DVdm (talk) 09:37, 5 July 2016 (UTC)

Username list updates[edit]

Continuing updates to recent lists of usernames still making insecure accesses are being posted every few days here: --BBlack (WMF) (talk) 14:31, 24 June 2016 (UTC)

  • I really have to say good job to WMF folks related to this - awesome community engagement! — xaosflux Talk 21:03, 25 June 2016 (UTC)

Last chance[edit]

The API change is scheduled for tomorrow (less than 24 hours from now). If anyone has a bot that might not be fixed, then you might want to run it ASAP, to get one last run before you find out.  ;-)

To recap from above, you can find general information in this e-mail message from May. The list of bots/script users that are known to be affected is listed at phab:T136674. If you need information to figure out which piece is going wrong, then the devs can give you a user agent string and similar details from the logs. Just let me (or BBlack (WMF)) know that you need more details.

Good luck, Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:22, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

All things considered, we've decided to soften the final cutoff date just for Labs at the last minute. Tomorrow's patch will disable insecure access completely from non-WMF networks, but we'll still allow it from our hosted Labs instances for another full week. The Labs bots that continue using insecure access will be subject to 20% random failure rate (up from 10% this past month) which should make it even more noticeable. If you need help getting a bot's configuration or library updated this week, please reach out. A good place would be the primary phabricator ticket for this issue: . The patch deploying the above changes tomorrow is: BBlack (WMF) (talk) 00:55, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
The final patch, to disable insecure access from hosted Labs instances, went out earlier today: I haven't seen any related problems reported in the last few days, here, VPT, or the related phab tasks, so trust all is well. Let us know if I missed anything. Cheers. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 05:47, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the update. — xaosflux Talk 11:25, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

Request for Bot Approvals Group notification[edit]

As is required by the BAG membership procedure I am placing this notification at WP:AN, WP:VPM, WT:BOT, and WP:BON. I am requesting to join the Bot Approvals Group and my request can be found here: Wikipedia:Bot Approvals Group/nominations/HighInBC. HighInBC Need help? {{ping|HighInBC}} 20:24, 2 July 2016 (UTC)

BOT malfunctioning?[edit]

A bot has tagged an in-use sound file as an "orphaned image"[1] when it is in use at Antidisestablishmentarianism (word)) providing the US pronunciation. The file is also the target of a redirect. Is there a general problem? Last time there was large scale error-prone orphan file tagging it led to files being deleted as "unused, no foreseeable use" even when they were in use. Thincat (talk) 15:19, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

At first I thought it was because it was using a redirect on the page but after changing it to point directly to the file it is still not showing up in the File usage section which is what I assume the bot looks at.
It may be a side effect of how the file is being included on the page through the {{IPAc-en}} audio parameter rather than a conventional link.
I don't think the root of the problem is with the bot. As a short term fix I have reverted the bots orphan tagging of the file, I assume the bot will not edit war with me. HighInBC Need help? {{ping|HighInBC}} 15:32, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
@Fastily: Pinging bot operator. HighInBC Need help? {{ping|HighInBC}} 15:42, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
From memory (and this is way outside my scope) "file usage" has known problems and certainly is unreliable for determining whether a file is being used. "What links here?" may be better. Bots should not be run which rely on "file usage". Thincat (talk) 15:41, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, this sort of thing has happened before, back in 2012.[2][3] Thincat (talk) 16:10, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
The file isn't "used" in the sense that MediaWiki means when it considers a file to be used, i.e. being embedded in a page. Instead, the file is merely "linked". The bot that's doing the tagging should probably consider links sufficient to not be tagging it as orphaned, however. Anomie 21:14, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
I have clarified the wording of {{Orphan image}} to better explain its use in assisting maintenance/compilation of site statistics, and the particular type of links the bot looks for. Furthermore, I have implemented exclusion compliance in FastilyBot's task 10 (sorry I forgot :o), so that users are free to opt out for files they have uploaded. I hope this addresses Thincat's and Adam's concerns :) -FASTILY 21:19, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
No, my concerns are not addressed. Audio files linked to from articles should not be tagged as "orphan image". It is irrelevant what MediaWiki means by "used" – such files are being properly invoked by articles and are not orphaned (nor are they images). I do not have the ability to tag all audio files to exclude this bot, nor should editors be expected to do this. Similarly, images linked to should not be tagged as orphaned just because they are not being displayed. A linkage from an article is, I think, unusual, but it is common to link to a file from another file or from a talk page. I think in addition if an article invokes an image via a redirect, the target image is not "used". See WP:Village pump (technical)/Archive 127#File usage not shown. My concern is made greater because although {{Orphan image}} says it is not a deletion tag, it is used by some editors to submit files for deletion in a mechanistic manner. See WP:Files for deletion/2011 December 29#File:Melatonin-pronunciation.ogg and the following erroneous nominations. When files have been wrongly tagged with this template, some editors do not check whether they are in use before submitting them for deletion. It is important that files are not wrongly tagged as orphaned. Thincat (talk) 05:30, 5 July 2016 (UTC)
As per my previous reply to you, {{Orphan image}} is a tracking template that assists with maintenance and compilation of site statistics. Its intended use is for files without fileusage, which I agree, is different from linkshere. It is, however, by no means the deletion tag you're claiming it to be. I am not responsible for the way other editors use and interpret datasets I build; if other users are behaving disruptively, then this is a matter for ANI, which does not concern me or this noticeboard. -FASTILY 07:49, 5 July 2016 (UTC)
I note that, until your recent edits, the template was pretty clearly intended to track files for review for WP:NOTIMAGE concerns. Your edits have transformed it into a wishy-washy template that tracks things for no discernible purpose. You might also consider renaming it and its category to something closer to your intended purpose for it, e.g. "files not embedded in any pages", since "orphan" implies "not used" while "used" can include use via link rather than only via embedding. Anomie 15:50, 5 July 2016 (UTC)
There's an open TFD for {{Orphan image}} you might be interested in. I think your suggestion has merit, but given how there's a number of conflicting opinions regarding the future of the tag, I am hesitant to make any (more) drastic changes without some sort of community consensus -FASTILY 01:37, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

B-bot tagging of FFD candidates[edit]

B-bot's first task is to tag non-free images which are orphaned for deletion. When processing these deletion requests I did decline two requests File:Playdead logo.gif and File:Careers360 Logo.png because I had doubts about their copyrightability and listed them at FFD instead. B-bot keeps tagging them though despite a {{bots|deny=B-bot}} tag. I did ask on B's talk page about this but they don't seem to be very active. Is there a way to stop the bot tagging? Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 12:02, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

@Jo-Jo Eumerus: This does appear to be malfunctioning (in that it is not honoring exclusion compliance); I emailed the operator as well. With exclusion compliance broken, our normal response would be to block the bot; right now it appears to only be impacting these 2 pages - I reverted the bot and placed temporary TPROT on those pages to make the bot go away while this is under discussion. If the impact is to only these 2 pages, this should be sufficient for now. Let's give the operator a chance to respond as the rest of the bot edits appear to be productive still. — xaosflux Talk 13:48, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
@B and Xaosflux: Seems like the issue is still there.Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 12:37, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

Unflagged bot XLinkBot[edit]

XLinkBot acts like a bot but does not actually have the "bot" flag. A bureaucrat should replace the "autopatrolled" and "extended confirmed user" rights of that user with the "bot" flag while leaving the "pending changes reviewer" right on. GeoffreyT2000 (talk) 19:09, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

@Beetstra:, @Versageek: - is there a special reason your bot needed to not be flagged? — xaosflux Talk 19:14, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
That's by design, I believe. Antivandal or antispam bots don't get these flags so that their edits - which by default may be inexact and error-prone - can be tracked more easily.Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 19:26, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
User:XLinkBot/FAQ #Why is XLinkBot not in the bot group and thus makes edits without a b tag? - NQ (talk) 19:28, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Thank you, will let the operators have a chance to decide if this is still needed, other antivandalism bots such as User:ClueBot NG are now flagged (if I recall correctly it used to be harder to "showbots" in recent changes). — xaosflux Talk 19:31, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Though it appears that is also a "technicality" - Cluebot NG has a bot flag, but doesn't assert the bot flag on edits, so it still appears in recent changes; while it may be better to give xlinkbot the bot flag for other reasons, it may require some programming updates to continue to appear. @GeoffreyT2000:, I suggest we move this to WP:BOWN for continued discussion. — xaosflux Talk 04:20, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
If this is practice, the bot policy should be updated to reflect that. If this is outdated, all of these bots should be flagged. Kharkiv07 (T) 23:30, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

(edit conflict)It has been a specific choice not to flag XLinkBot, and I think it is overly bureaucratic (no pun intended) to enforce that all bots should be that way. Some bots, like the antivandalism bots, do edits that do need constant scrutiny (to quick react on bad reverts, but also to catch the vandals/spammer - if RC patrollers see the bot revert a really bad link, they might get the editor blocked early). It is pertinent that bots that do 'gnoming' type of work (maintenance, wikidata moves) do not show up in RC feeds (they quickly flood feeds, they can even flood watchlists), but antivandalism bots should standard show up in the feeds.

I see that for ClueBot NG flagging has not been discussed, they have just been flagged after the approval (Wikipedia:Bots/Requests_for_approval/ClueBot_NG; approved on December 3, 2010, flagged on the same day). For XLinkBot this was discussed in the original request, see Wikipedia:Bots/Requests_for_approval/SquelchBot#Big_BAG_Section. Note that the bot's edits are 'manually' flagged in the edit-summary.

We could consider to give the bot the flag, and then de-flag the edits, but I don't see the advantage of that (it will just give me some programming work, and overall nothing changes ..). --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:12, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

@Beetstra: Thank you for the reply - I wouldn't say this is "urgent"; @GeoffreyT2000: - as stated above, and with Cluebot NG, the "bot flag" is not asserted by these bots when reverting - so it will not have any impact on watchlist/recent changes feed to fix it (if you want to argue that these bots should assert bot flag for these kinds of edits, that is a bigger discussion). — xaosflux Talk 11:45, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps some of the other operators that use perl bots can chime in the assertion mechanism? — xaosflux Talk 11:45, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
It used to be that being flagged as 'bot' forced all the edits to be flagged as 'bot'. That hasn't been the case since the API action=edit module was created, though. Now, just don't specify the 'bot' parameter to action=edit and the edit won't be flagged. Anomie 00:45, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Dirk Beetstra, are you ok to have us TRY to flag xlink bot, then make sure it is still not showing up with +b ? — xaosflux Talk 01:49, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: Let me first test it the other way around, so I know I can just turn it off if needed. --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:01, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, please ping us back here - I can always flag you, make sure it is behaving as expected, and remove if it does not. Keep up the good work with your bot though! — xaosflux Talk 13:35, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

Relevant discussion[edit]

Template_talk:Emergency-bot-shutoff#ANI_notice might be of interest to editors who stalk this page. Σσς(Sigma) 05:36, 21 July 2016 (UTC)