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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 this page is frequented mainly by bot owners, any user is welcome to leave a message or join the discussion here.

If you want to report an issue or bug with a specific bot, follow the steps outlined in WP:BOTISSUE first. This not the place for requests for bot approvals or requesting that tasks be done by a bot. General questions about the MediaWiki software (such as the use of templates, etc.) should be asked at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical).

Discussion concerning WP:BOTFLAG/WP:RC[edit]

In particular, there might be a need to update WP:CREATEBOT with additional guidance. I know very little here, so I'll let others update the guide if that's needed. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 02:11, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

@Headbomb: in a nutshell, some terminology is easy to confuse. The "bot group" gives an account access to the "bot permission". Having the "bot permission" lets an account use the "bot flag". The bot flag is what marks an edit as a "bot edit". When editing via the web interface the "bot flag" is assumed unless suppressed on edit, when editing via the api interface the "bot flag" must be asserted with each edit that wants to be marked as a bot edit. In general most bot tasks will use a bot flag, except for ones where it is desirable to be seen on things like watchlists (for example BAGBOT updating the bots list). When a brand new bot is being trialed, we can't check if this is being used since it won't have access - for new tasks we can check the edits to see. — xaosflux Talk 02:19, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: Yeah, but what I mean is don't tell me, let's tell bot ops in general, somewhere. Probably as a section of WP:CREATEBOT#How does a Wikipedia bot work?, but anywhere that makes sense would also work. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 02:23, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
@Headbomb: didn't mean to be needlessly "telling you" , mostly this was for general use just was in reply to you. It is something we can be sure BAG is talking about, perhaps add it to the BRFA list (will you be asserting the BOT FLAG?" as a new question? — xaosflux Talk 02:25, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
That's an idea. I'm assuming AWB/Pywikipedia takes care of that automatically already? Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 02:28, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
By default pywikibot flags edits made by users with the bot right as bot edits. Users can also specify whether or not edits should be flagged as bot edits. — JJMC89(T·C) 03:00, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
Just a note for future docs: if using Special:BotPasswords be sure to have "High-volume editing" selected to enable "bot" grants. — xaosflux Talk 04:53, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
That also applies to OAuth. — JJMC89(T·C) 04:57, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

Protection template bot?[edit]

I do not think there is a bot that automatically adds a protection template to pages once an admin protects them. I'm used to adding the protection template myself, to the point that some admins left messages on my talk page concerning the matter. But from what it looks like, there at least used to be a bot that did it, but I'm not sure if it's working. This is why I'm bringing this up on this noticeboard and not the bot request page. Funplussmart (talk) 10:52, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

SSTbot adding level 5 vital articles[edit]

See [1] - is this really a good idea? I see one of the sons of Noah, Shem, was tagged today as a Level 5 vital article. Pinging User talk:Feminist. Doug Weller talk 15:49, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

@Doug Weller: can you elaborate on your concern? Was the page not actually a Wikipedia:Vital articles/Level/5 article? Do you think these just shouldn't be tagged? — xaosflux Talk 17:27, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: This may be the wrong board. Yes, I don't think one of the sons of Noah is really a vital article as it's not on the list. I can see how a bot can be tagging vital articles from a list, but that doesn't seem to be what's happening here. I will admit that if there are to be 50,000 level 5 articles which should be FA, this one doesn't seem to be top 50,000, but that's an issue for somewhere else, I'm not sure where. What I see here is a bot tagging articles not in the list. Doug Weller talk 17:42, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
@Doug Weller: Shem appears on Wikipedia:Vital_articles/Level/5/Philosophy_and_religion#Abrahamic_and_Judaic_mythology_(15_articles) - so it doesn't appear to be malfunctioning - if you think it is malfunctioning this is certainly the right venue to bring it up! If you disagree with the contents of the V5 list, Wikipedia talk:Vital articles/Level/5 may be better. — xaosflux Talk 17:46, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: you had me worried for a moment, I thought I might be going blind. I was looking at Wikipedia:Vital articles/Level/5 which doesn't include it. The title of the list you linked to seems misleading, as if you look closely it includes Level 4 articles, eg Noah and his 3 sons. Wikipedia:Vital articles/Level/5/People/Religious figures also includes a variety of levels. So if the bot is using these pages to tag all articles as Level 5, it shouldn't be doing that. Doug Weller talk 18:28, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
@Doug Weller: see WP:BOTISSUE. Your best bet, contact the bot operator. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 18:57, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
I think those non-5's are on that list just for reference, did you find any level-4's that were getting tagged as level-5? If so, certainly start by contacting the operator, if they are unresponsive or you are still in disagreement we can certainly revisit the task here. Best regards, — xaosflux Talk 20:19, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

Out of curiosity... (to all bot operators)[edit]

How many of you use BotPasswords, and how many of you use OAuth, and why?—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 21:05, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

  • I use OAuth because of the security aspect.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 21:05, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
I just have sessions open for a long time on Toolforge. If I ever need to log in again, I suspect I would use BotPasswords due to convenience. However, if Pywikibot supported OAuth with minimal effort required (and I haven't checked), I would use that instead. Enterprisey (talk!) 21:07, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
No idea what I use, whatever AWB/pywikipedia defaults are I guess, and because they're the default shit and seem to work. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 21:41, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
It does – mw:Manual:Pywikibot/OAuth. — JJMC89(T·C) 02:34, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
  • BotPasswords, I primarily use AWB that doesn't support OAuth - but also because of the huge pile of phab:T103587. BotPasswords just easily work, and I like the control over using web authentication - OAuth is just too much trouble for single-use consumers. — xaosflux Talk 22:50, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
    I've never had issues specifically related to owner-only consumers. Granted I've discovered a few bugs with OAuth, they're usually critical ones that got fixed promptly. InternetArchiveBot runs on OAuth.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 23:00, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
    @Cyberpower678: one of the biggest benefits of BP of OA I see is that it is self-service, you want to use it - just go do it, no fussing around with have to go over to meta and fill out applications, having to republish if you want to modify a grant, etc. — xaosflux Talk 14:07, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
    User:Xaosflux. I think phab:T103587 is for things like web tools where end-users are represented by the tool for making edits to Wikipedia (similar to the Internet Archive Bot web tool). For bots, there is only 1 user, owner-only consumer, which is significantly more simple. The credential registration is automatically approved (within seconds) there's no backlog or waiting for approval because if the account has a bot-flag it is considered good enough for auto approval. It's basically self-service, filling out the application takes a minute or less. -- GreenC 14:23, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
  • BotPasswords because AWB. I think both are valid and would not favor one over the other in the approvals process, if that's a relevant component of your question. ~ Rob13Talk 23:35, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
  • A shell command-line OAuth method for saving pages is wikiget, it's fast, not language-dependent and installs as a single file. Oauth setup instructions -- to save a page: ./wikiget -E <page name> -S <edit summary> -P <text file> -- GreenC 23:45, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
  • I use OAuth for pywikibot (most of my bot work) because it is more secure and BotPasswords for AWB since OAuth isn't supported. — JJMC89(T·C) 02:34, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
    I'm surprised AWB doesn't support it. That's a little sad actually, given the dedicated devs that develop it.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 13:43, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
    • AWB hasn't had an update in well over a year (@Reedy: here for a reminder an AWB update would be a godsend). It's holding back a lot of things. No idea if OAuth support would add anything to AWB though. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 14:43, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
Passwords are insecure, quite simply. There's a reason the world is moving to OAuth. If AWB doesn't move to OAuth, and there is a serious security incident, I wonder how the WMF sysadmins would respond given their job to protect the Wikimedia servers and infrastructure. -- GreenC 15:36, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
Russia getting into User:MinusBot just fills me with dread. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 15:39, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
BOFH too -- GreenC 15:45, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
I have no idea what my bot's real passwords are. :p—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 18:25, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
I make my bot solve a captcha for each edit! — xaosflux Talk 00:25, 13 August 2018 (UTC)


I've put a snapshot release of latest AWB SVN here which should help some users (@Headbomb: etc.) until the next formal release. Rjwilmsi 07:54, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Botpasswords on custom php classes. SQLQuery me! 02:38, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
  • BotPasswords because I'm too lazy to integrate OAuth and do I really need it? —  HELLKNOWZ   ▎TALK 11:06, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
    @Hellknowz: Yes! Yes, you do! Why? Because I said so, and I am the bot law. ;-)—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 23:27, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
    May be later... —  HELLKNOWZ   ▎TALK 00:31, 13 August 2018 (UTC)