Wikipedia:Bots/Noticeboard

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Bots noticeboard

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 is 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).


BOT owners (retired)[edit]

Where would one discuss a useful BOT (User:HotArticlesBot) whose owner seems to have retired (@Kaldari)? I am not currently a BOT operator, but would be willing to, if the choice is to lose a useful bot... (I did leave a note on his talk, and @User:xaosflux does seem to have picked up some runs...so, not urgent. - Mjquinn_id (talk) 15:54, 8 September 2021 (UTC)

@Mjquinn id: You can probably email Kaldari to see if he can provide you the necessities for running it. --Izno (talk) 16:03, 8 September 2021 (UTC)
And the source is open/published as indicated on the bot's user page, so you could also run it on a bot account of your own after a WP:BRFA. --Izno (talk) 16:04, 8 September 2021 (UTC)

Server switch[edit]

SGrabarczuk (WMF) (talk) 01:10, 11 September 2021 (UTC)

Using tools like bots[edit]

Should there be a section about using tools like bots, like Halopedia? There might be some people using grammar/spell checkers like LanguageTool or Grammarly that might want to know about using tools like these like bots, such as Halopedia's CIABot or PorpleBot. EthanGaming7640 (talk) 00:56, 14 September 2021 (UTC)

Are you looking for WP:MEATBOT? * Pppery * it has begun... 00:59, 14 September 2021 (UTC)

Should this job be a bot task?[edit]

Some guidance please on an AWB job which has grown.

For the last few months I have been working on cleaning up WP:Bare URLs. Most of the work is done by Citation bot, to which I feed big batches of articles containing bare urls (via User:BrownHairedGirl/Articles with bare links).

I then follow behind the bot, cleaning up as many as possible of the pages where the bot has made an edit, but not fixed any bare URLs. I use several tools for this, including WP:reFill, which is outdated and has a few vices, such as using the old cite parameter |deadurl=, which is now unsupported and should be converted to |url-status=. Using |deadurl= generates an error message and places the articles in Category:CS1 errors: unsupported parameter.

Rather than fixing this manually, I reckoned it would be faster and more accurate to use AWB to clean up the articles where my use of reFill had created errors.

That worked, and I soon found that it was easiest to just run it on all the pages in Category:CS1 errors: unsupported parameter, cleaning up similar errors created by other editors as well by me. I run it 5 to 10 times per day.

I soon noticed that many of the pages in that category had other simple errors which could be fixed by a regex, so I began adding those regexes. The initially simple AWB setup is now on version 46, with over 40 replace settings. They include mis-spelt and miscapitalised parameters, non-English language parameters which can be translated, and some minor tasks (H:BR fixes, and canonicalisation of some params) which are implemented only if an error has been fixed.

The more I have developed the task, the more pages it has processed. I checked this afternoon and found that it had done 160 edits in the last 7½ days. Should I submit a BRFA for this? --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 16:44, 14 September 2021 (UTC)

PS If it helps, I will post a copy of the settings file. Just ping me if you want it. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 17:03, 14 September 2021 (UTC)
FWIW, I used to do thousands of these fixes with an AutoEd script, checking each one for errors before saving. As long as I was not making cosmetic changes, I just marked the edits as minor and kept going. I don't think 160 edits in a week reaches the bot-needed threshold; I would sometimes do that many in a day. The only reason to set up a bot, IMO, would be if you were bothered by having to do these changes manually. Also, if you are looking for more patterns to replace, drop a note on my talk page and I'll link you to my regexes. – Jonesey95 (talk) 18:28, 14 September 2021 (UTC)

CW Error #48[edit]

I've be fixing CW Error #48 with Bandersnatch on automatic mode, and have done ~2000 edits, with no incorrect edits that I could see. Is this okay? ― Qwerfjkltalk 17:24, 17 September 2021 (UTC)

I looked at your edits, and they look fine to me. Be careful with internal links, which should be trimmed instead of removed entirely. It looks like there are tens of thousands of errors to fix, so you might want to file a BRFA. – Jonesey95 (talk) 22:54, 17 September 2021 (UTC)

Semi-automated article creation[edit]

Hello! I am currently working on a project which involves semi-automated mass article creation. At the moment, my tool (CreateTaxonPages) requires some manual setup, and then produces one-line stubs based on data from GBIF and Wikidata (it would also edit/create Wikidata items). I would review the article, potentially add more text, and then publish it. I understand that automated article creation requires a BRFA per the bot policy. However, I am currently proceeding very slowly (mainly to test the tool), and I review each edit before saving it (through my main account). I plan to test it for a while, and then slowly speed up article creation while still manually reviewing each page. If it works well, I plan to create a web tool (WebTaxonArticles) for people to use. I plan to eventually have CreateTaxonPages run automatically through my bot account, and I know I'll need a BRFA for that, but would I need a BRFA before this? Thank you! Tol (talk | contribs) @ 03:01, 20 September 2021 (UTC)

I would say yes, a BRFA is required, as that’s bot-like creation of articles. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 03:05, 20 September 2021 (UTC)
That's a very tricky question. The described process, where your tool creates a skeleton article that you then manually review and edit before publishing, would fall under WP:ASSISTED. If you stop giving it adequate human review, even if a human is still pushing the publish button, you may wind up at WP:MEATBOT. I'd recommend that, if you make a tool, it be limited to preapproved people who can be trusted to perform the necessary level of review before hitting publish.
Also of note is that mass creation of taxon articles in particular has long proved controversial, as it turns out to be easy for seemingly-reliable databases to contain errors, outdated information, new taxons that are still in scientific dispute, and/or data that requires intelligent interpretation. See, for example, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Anybot's algae articles and various related discussions. IMO any BRFA for creating taxons must be strictly limited in the set of taxons to be created and must require that multiple members of the relevant WikiProject have already pre-reviewed the full list of taxons to be created for accuracy, and should probably also require that the wikiproject discussion was widely advertised to other relevant WikiProjects and possibly WP:VPR as well. Anomie 12:52, 20 September 2021 (UTC)
@Tol: I'd strongly urge follow up on part of this prior to even opening a BRFA - that the community will be in general supportive of all these assisted creations; this should have a well attended discussion with a consensus found - how attended and how strong of a consensus should be proportional to how large of a job this will be. — xaosflux Talk 13:23, 20 September 2021 (UTC)
@Anomie: I'm not publishing the tool any time soon, though I would probably limit it to trusted users in some way (I was considering just using user groups — perhaps autopatrolled). I'm using GBIF for all data, which is (in my experience) fairly reliable. However, I'm still manually reviewing each article and checking against recent articles if necessary. I'm hoping that manual input and review will mitigate problems such as those found in the AfD discussion you linked. @Xaosflux: Should I request input at the Village Pump before speeding up, or is there another preferred venue? Tol (talk | contribs) @ 20:45, 20 September 2021 (UTC)
@Tol: if these are all on the same topic, I'd start with a discussion on the related wikiproject if it has any active members - get some initial feedback, then link in to it from VP. — xaosflux Talk 21:05, 20 September 2021 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: I saw this as being fairly wide-ranging. I'm currently doing testing with Phormidium, which would fall under WikiProject Microbiology, but I plan to create all sorts of species. I could try to concentrate in an area for a while after obtaining local consensus, then move on to another area. Tol (talk | contribs) @ 21:17, 20 September 2021 (UTC)
Tol, before you get to BRFA, given that many taxon pages on Wikidata were effectively created as a result of Lsjbot's activities, which are known to be, well, bad, 1) what quality guarantee can you give on the point, and 2) if every species is not notable (no really, they aren't), why do you think you should create pages here? Izno (talk) 17:02, 20 September 2021 (UTC)
(Ah, I see Anomie/Xaos got it from a current revision. :^) Izno (talk) 17:03, 20 September 2021 (UTC)
@Izno: All content is sourced from GBIF. Wikidata is only used to check for existing articles, to match up articles and GBIF IDs, and for populating Template:Taxonbar. Tol (talk | contribs) @ 20:48, 20 September 2021 (UTC)
As for notability, we do have Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Common outcomes#Species. My reasoning is that it's an encyclopedic topic that's generally presumed to be notable, and could be helpful to readers, particularly if additional information is added — though I do believe that a (good) stub is better than nothing. Taxonbars also bring identifiers from Wikidata to a reader-facing article. Tol (talk | contribs) @ 21:05, 20 September 2021 (UTC)
@Tol: Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Qbugbot 2 (a bot to create stubs for insects, spiders, and other arthropods) is a good example to follow (including links to relevant WikiProject discussions, a VPP, and an RfC).   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  22:15, 20 September 2021 (UTC)

Anyone know a good archive bot?[edit]

I'm making a news page and does anyone know a good archive bot for this? Thanks, Jeb andDinnerbone (talk) 08:49, 21 September 2021 (UTC)

Might want to specify what a "news page" is and what the bot is supposed to archive? Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 09:00, 21 September 2021 (UTC)
Help:Archiving_a_talk_page#Automated_archiving has some info on this. — xaosflux Talk 10:07, 21 September 2021 (UTC)