Wikipedia talk:Automatic edit summaries

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Suggested merger[edit]

The idea was to establish a separate, local page containing an explanation and advice that apply specifically to Wikipedia. There's no way to merge all of this information into a Meta-Wiki page. —David Levy 00:26, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

In particular, our messages for automatic edit summaries may be different at some point from those described on meta; as such, it is good to have a readily accessible (i.e., without having to look at the individual pages in the MediaWiki namespace) list of them here. Schutz 00:28, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
It's just that the "What happened" and "What to do" sections seem superfluous. In case anyone else wants to take up the idea, I thought this should be turned into a redirect to Help:Edit summary, since this page seems to be largely redundant with the "Automatic summaries" section. --Interiot 15:35, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
The importance of conveying the information contained within the "What happened" and "What to do" sections was the main reason behind the page's creation. The feature was confusing/misleading people in precisely the manner advised against, so the automatic edit summaries themselves now link to WP:AES. —David Levy 17:39, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Fascinating,... A policy that simplifies more than complicates.

Thank You.

[[ hopiakuta | [[ [[%c2%a1]] [[%c2%bf]] [[ %7e%7e%7e%7e ]] -]] 00:15, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Aha. Snoutwood just added a link to this page from all the automatic summaries [1]. Brilliant! It means that people don't have to be in-the-know to not mistake it for a manually-entered edit summary. And it means this page definitely shouldn't be merged now. --Interiot 19:59, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
The link from the automatic edit summaries (which I cited in my reply to you on 21 November) is not new. I created the page specifically for this purpose. —David Levy 04:19, 30 November 2006 (UTC)


I realise this is probably an idiotic question, but if you let AES fill in the summary field for you, does that bring down your edit summary usage percentage? riana_dzasta 18:49, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

No. — Werdna talk criticism 03:29, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

NP patrolling[edit]

Clearly there are advantages to this system as described. But the production of a large part of the article on the new-page screen makes new-page patrolling, which involves an assessment of the size of the new article, its title, and the username and status of its author, significantly harder. Not impossible, but harder.--Anthony.bradbury 00:47, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Isn't that at least partly balanced, though, by the fact that if someone creates an article saying, for example, "John Smith is a Martian form of alien", you can see that at a glance on the NP page? Loganberry (Talk) 01:58, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
True enough. But is is hard to see the wood for the trees.--Anthony.bradbury 22:52, 25 November 2006 (UTC)


Absolutely awesome feature. With edit summaries like

Replacing page with (expletive)

It makes it so much easier on IRC etc for the bots to pick up such summaries. Should make WP:RCP much easier — Deon555talk 23:45, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Yes. But is does mean that some articles, particularly those written by account holders and hence in blue, not red, can get perilously close to surviving. I just found a blatant attack page at position 48. I guess some of us work from further down the list, but I would hazard a guess most of us start at the top of the newpage list. Am I wrong?--Anthony.bradbury 00:33, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Ah, I see what you mean.. It was always easier to spot redlinks and (stereotypically) associate it with vandalism... But I'm sure it should have more pro's in the future :) — Deon555talk 06:31, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Absolutely. But the page does get cluttered. Is it not possible to limit the automatic summary to a shorter length than that which appears to be the default at present?--Anthony.bradbury 14:33, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Sure. It's just a number in the code. What sort of value were you thinking of? — Werdna talk criticism 03:29, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Do we ever get answers to the questions on this page?--Anthony.bradbury 00:03, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Disabling AES?[edit]

Is it possible to disable automatic edit summaries? If not, is it possible to add a new option in the preferences? - Hahnchen 01:20, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

If you want, you can file a feature request at Bugzilla. Snoutwood (talk) 18:50, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Summary count[edit]

A purely hypothetical question: if an editor never actively adds a summary, but depends totally on the automatic system, when his/her edit history is examined will it show 100% edit summaries or will it show 0%?--Anthony.bradbury 14:30, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

100%. — Werdna talk criticism 03:28, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
The script writers of the edit-summary counters may, at some point filter out the "auto" summaries and list them separately. ---J.S (T/C) 20:52, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Most wanted list[edit]

Could the devs extend the feature list offered by AES? I'd like this to be enabled for prods, afds and csd targets too, so I don't have to label them. - hahnchen 18:30, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Give me specific requests and I'll decide whether or not to implement them on a case-by-case basis. — Werdna talk criticism 03:31, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
My first and foremost request would be the ability to turn off AES in the user preferences. Ideally, it would allow me to turn off AES for say new articles, but leave them on for redirects say. So have a checkbox for each AES possibility. My second request would be for extensions to the amount of AES available, to automatically label AFDs for example. Or automatically label cleanup tags. If those can be implemented, I'd like to be able to code my own AES's and store them in my userspace somewhere. - hahnchen 17:35, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Overriding preferences[edit]

Is the discussion at User_talk:LittleOldMe#Help_me accurate? He says that the new automated summaries are overriding his Preferences of "prompt me when I forget to enter a summary". I hope this was accounted for when this was written... see also Bugzilla #8065. -- nae'blis 18:57, 1 December 2006 (UTC)


Could there be automatic edit summaries for only adding interwiki links to other language wikipedia's? --WS 20:20, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

That sort of thing might be a bit difficult for the software to detect. If you're regularly adding interwiki links, you might want to consider getting one of the interwiki bots to help; they leave a standard summary – Gurch 17:00, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Misleading automatic edit summaries[edit]

(copied from Wikipedia:Village pump (technical) (diff link))

Can anyone remember where the discussions of the automatic edit summaries are taking place? The problem I want to raise concerns redirects. Currently, if someone creates a redirect from scratch, and saves the page without an edit summary, the automatic edit summary says <-Redirected page to XYZ, as seen here. But if someone then edits the redirect, adding a category for example (and there are reasons to add other text to redirect pages), but still leaving the page as a redirect, then removing all the stuff except the redirect produces the same automatic edit summary of <-Redirected page to XYZ, when in fact the redirect was in place all along. See the history here to see what I mean. Any way to get the automatic edit summary to only appear when a redirect is added and previously it wasn't there, and avoid doing this when both the before and after pages are the same redirect? Carcharoth 14:35, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Specifically, this automatic edit summary is misleading. Carcharoth 14:36, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

(end copied section - replies and comments below, please)

Can anyone help with the above? Carcharoth 22:20, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

I've filed a bug. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 07:16, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. Carcharoth 12:16, 21 December 2006 (UTC)


I'm so glad this has finally been implemented! — Omegatron 01:12, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Where is this feature documented? Who wrote it? How do we request enhancements or changes? — Omegatron 19:48, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

The MediaWiki feature is documented at m:Help:Edit_summary#Automatic summaries. My understanding is that Andrew Garrett is the primary creator, so you might want to contact him. —David Levy 20:11, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Make it clearer that it's an automatic summary?[edit]

I've been mulling this over for awhile, and I was wondering if it might be wise to make it clearer that automatic summaries are automatic, and not typed by the user. For the first few times I saw these summaries, I assumed they were written by the user and took them as evidence that the user willfully blanked the page, and thus went straight to {{test2a}} in warning the user. Once I learnt it was automatic, I regretted this. It's true that there's that left arrow linking to this Wikipedia page, but I never noticed it, and I wonder if that might be true for others, too. I guess I'm just wondering if something more obvious might be included in these edit summaries, perhaps a link like this: "AES: Blanked the page". Just a thought. Heimstern Läufer 08:09, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

The autosumms looked like that in their early days, but we traded off descriptiveness for a few extra characters to describe the actual content. 09:33, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
I came here by searching for "Page replaced with", as it seemed too good to be true for vandals to be so forthcoming about what they were doing. Had I not seen two of these though, I might not have realized that it was automatic. I don't think the confusion is worth a few extra characters. -- 01:53, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
For clarification,, are you agreeing with me that it would be good to make it clearer that it's an autosummary? For what it's worth, I still think this would be a wiser course of action. Of course, it's really up to the community, though. Heimstern Läufer 02:05, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

I suppose changing the left-pointing arrow to "Auto" or "AES" or some other word that has a connotation of "automatic" would make the link more visible and less confusing. 02:13, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

As noted above, when I created this page and added the link (to counter the exact sort of confusion that Heimstern experienced), the link read Automatic edit summary. This annoyed several users because of its size, and I devised the left-pointing arrow link as a compromise.
An "AES" link wouldn't mean anything to someone unfamiliar with the abbreviation, and it would lack the advantage of standing out as something unlikely to be typed by a user (and more specifically, the deliberate association with the long-standing right-hand arrow link used for the automatic display of section titles).
It was noted during the aforementioned discussion that something along the lines of "Auto" could be mistaken for a bot edit.
I'll also note that the left-pointing arrow has been copied by other Wikimedia wikis, so it might be on its way to becoming a de facto standard with wide recognizability of its own. —David Levy 03:10, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
To me, the arrow is not something that stands out at all; rather, it just kind of blends in and looks like it's somthing that appears. I think a blue link would be much more likely to attract attention and lead someone to click it and find out what it means than this arrow. Heimstern Läufer 03:20, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
1. To me, a vague text link would look like something typed by the apparent vandal. A left-pointing arrow, conversely, is something otherwise unseen in edit summaries.
2. The arrow is blue until clicked (just like any standard working link at Wikipedia). —David Levy 04:14, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
I wouldn't see a vandal writing "AES:" at the beginning of their edit summaries, especially so many vandals people doing the same thing. Also, I can't see the arrow as an arrow, to me it looks like a line with a bit of something on the end. Much less visible then AES, and besides, when I first saw it I mistook it for the right-pointing arrow indicating a section edit. I strongly favor an AES over a ←. — SheeEttin {T/C} 21:53, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
1. I didn't say that vandals actually would type "AES:" in their edit summaries. I'm referring to a context in which someone unacquainted with the link is seeing it. If he/she doesn't yet know what "AES" means, it resembles a random link that anyone could have typed for any reason. An arrow, conversely, stands out as something unusual that seldom is typed.
2. I don't know what distinction you're drawing between "an arrow" and "a line with a bit of something on the end," but you appear to be using an outdated browser (which evidently replaced two Unicode characters from this section when you saved your edit).
3. In terms of visibility, this is a compromise between those who would prefer a larger link and those who would prefer no link at all.
4. Thus far, you're the second person in two months to express confusion with the right-pointing "section edit" arrow, and this occurred only when you "first saw it." —David Levy 22:35, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, the difference between "an arrow" and "a line with a bit of something on the end" is that the arrow is useful and stuff. The browser I am using is Firefox, not at all outdated. (And which Unicode character(s) did I (inadvertently) replace?)
And it is true that this only happened once--but I have also only seen it once. Besides, I went out of my way to find out what it was--probably not something your average user would do. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by SheeEttin (talkcontribs) 20:52, 8 February 2007 (UTC).

The arrow is meaningless. Why an arrow? Arrows are meant to point to things. What is this arrow pointing at? It is not the correct symbol to be used for this. Quarl's automatic edit summary javascript feature, for instance, puts the automatically generated part in guillemets and then follows that with the user-entered summary, like this:

(«"replicate" → "replicated {{sic}}"» stop altering direct quotes)

You can tell in an instant exactly what I edited, and my rationale for that edit. In fact... — Omegatron 19:56, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

1. The arrow points toward the username of the individual responsible for the edit. For people familiar with MediaWiki, it also carries an association with the right-pointing arrows used in edit summaries for the automatic display of section titles.
2. Quarl's JavaScript add-on serves an entirely different purpose. The AES feature comes into play when users don't provide descriptions of their edits. —David Levy 20:11, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

How to really implement this feature[edit]

Currently, a watchlist entry like the example I gave in the above section looks something like this:

13:54 Hutchison effect (diff; hist) . .  (+9) . . Omegatron (Talk) (Scientific opinion - stop altering direct quotes)

What we really need is not an automatic edit summary, but a summary of the diff itself, which will show up on every edit. In your watchlist, you would see two fields for each edit. The first is the automatically generated diff summary, showing what was actually done:

  • Redirected page to Target Corporation
  • Blanked the page
  • Replaced page with 'JOSH IS TEH GHEY'
  • Created page with ''''American Midwest High School''' is a high school in...'
  • Changed "which, cosmetically, is strikingly similar to iPod" → "which bore a striking resemblance to the iPod" [2]
  • Changed "protons, neutrons, and electrons;" → "poo, wee, and boogahs;" [3]

And so on. The diff summaries should concisely and clearly show what the edit was. Then that will be followed by an optional edit summary or rationale field, where you can summarize in words what you did and why you did it. Then we can also get rid of those pointless numbers and my above example would then appear something like this:

13:54 Hutchison effect (diff; hist) . . Omegatron (Talk) (Scientific opinion - "replicate" → "replicated {{sic}}" stop altering direct quotes)

This would make vandalism much more obvious, and make it completely unnecessary to view certain diffs, so that we can concentrate on the important ones. See this discussion at Perennial proposals for a similar idea we were talking about last year. Also Bugzilla: 2437: Automatic edit summaries when none entered. — Omegatron 20:31, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Strongly agree.. But I'm not sure about taking away the numbers... Also, numbers can be taken editing your CSS file. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Nethac DIU (talkcontribs) 16:32, 5 January 2007 (UTC).
Yeah, maybe the number could appear at the end of the diff summary? To show how much more was changed beyond what is shown? The character count is a pretty meaningless metric, though. — Omegatron 15:04, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Forget what I said at village pump (technical), this sounds like a much more useful feature than the byte count on page history. I would love to see it implemented like this someday. --LuigiManiac 14:40, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Table of automatic edit summaries[edit]

Shouldn't "editing section" be in the table for actions resulting in an automatic edit summary? When you edit a section it appears like this in the pages history exept the text is gray:

(/*Section name*/)

Kamope | userpage | talk | contributions 22:05, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

That isn't what is meant by "automatic edit summary." A section heading is automatically placed in the edit summary field, but it's present when the user saves the page (so he/she is consciously supplying it), and it merely indicates which section was edited (not how it was edited).
This page documents edit-specific summaries (text that actually describes the individual edits) that are generated after the user clicks the "Save page" button. —David Levy 22:20, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Thank you. Kamope | userpage | talk | contributions 00:52, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Rollback vs. undo[edit]

These two things seems to work the same way, so why is one restricted if both serve the same purpose? BuickCenturyDriver 05:11, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Rollback. —David Levy 06:00, 12 February 2007 (UTC)


Is there a bug in the auto summary for Undo? This edit claims to be an undo of an edit by me, but in fact it undid two edits by me, and one by an anonymous editor. I'm also surprised that the auto summary was generated, even though the editor apparently entered the text "Linked Page No Longer Exists". Is this a new behaviour? (Or did the editor just copy an auto summary he/she had seen somewhere else and edit it, without realizing that it was auto-generated?)--Srleffler 03:49, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

If multiple edits are "undone" at once, only the user responsible for the most recent one is named. Clicking "undo" brings up the edit form for the previous revision, with the summary already filled in, so the user can modify it before saving, which was done in this case – Gurch 15:55, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Reverting stuff[edit]

How do I make it the revert summary show up? The Evil Clown 20:14, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

You have to be an administrator; it only works when using "rollback" on a page. Something similar is provided by the undo link that is available to everyone – Gurch 14:12, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
There are also some tools that any user can use. See Wikipedia:Tools/Navigation popups as an example. Od Mishehu 07:19, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

"Added section" autosummary[edit]

With regards to this tweak to the autosummaries table:

The "added section" autosummary isn't only for new sections to talk pages. It follows whereever the "add section" button is enabled. This includes all talk pages, but don't forget there's a magic word that enables section adding for non-talk pages (such as WP:ANI) as well. __EDITSECTION__ if I'm not wrong. Resurgent insurgent 07:28, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Okay, I've removed the word "talk." —David Levy 07:37, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I think it is __NEWSECTIONLINK__. Sebi [talk] 10:29, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

$1 being a variable[edit]

Chapter The different automatic edit summaries uses the variable designation $1. I guess in reality it is substituted by something. That should be made more clear, also on the linked MediaWiki-pages. The link to $1 is really bananas: It is not really in the edit summary I guess. If used at all, it should be in the explanation; but better it would be not there at all. -- Tomdo08 (talk) 15:13, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from Soolmazsotoudeh, 31 January 2011[edit]

{{edit semi-protected}}

Soolmazsotoudeh (talk) 02:45, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Template:Secret for Good Abs You need to explain what you want changed; however, I'm guessing that this is not the page you wanted to edit; I'll followup on your talk page. Qwyrxian (talk) 07:46, 31 January 2011 (UTC)


I was browsing the help namespace when I stumbled across AES, and I thought to myself, wonderful, we're teaching newbies proper security practices...But Blowfish is a jewel of an open source algorithm, maybe we should start an RFC about this? Oh. wait. It's a discussion about edit summaries. Chuckles. Feezo (send a signal | watch the sky) 12:53, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

I hate this website-from Milly Jane Waters — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:43, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

New articles being incorrectly tagged[edit]

In writing new articles, I'm being tagged as "Tag: possible cut and paste move or recreation." Doing an Advanced search on the words, the top result is [4], w

hich says only that the tag has been inactive for years.

My new articles are not recreations, only the boilerplate, for example the Infobox, is cut-and-pasted, not the specifics.

I realize this may not be the appropriate place for the question, but I'm stuck. Leptus Froggi (talk) 20:42, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

Little help[edit]

Hi, I am wikipedian from the bulgarian version of wikipedia. Can you help me with some information. I have a guest from Japan and i want to tell her Welcome to Bulgaria in japanese. How I tell this sentence in japanese and how to pronounce the words. Thank you in advance!-- (talk) 22:37, 22 December 2013 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 18 May 2014[edit]

can i have code for creation of new e-mail website Jhon mir (talk) 12:59, 18 May 2014 (UTC)

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. — {{U|Technical 13}} (tec) 14:12, 18 May 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 13 February 2015[edit]

purchased Chuzzle PC download English and Chuzzle Christmas Edition PC download English dec 20, 2008 at 12:43 PM have updated computer operating system and computers several times. Last update for License was Jan 19, 2009. Need to put on my windows 8 new computer (talk) 13:50, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. Tony Tan98 · talk 17:49, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 1 July 2015[edit]

Gulabdon (talk) 19:14, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Note: No request was made. --ElHef (Meep?) 19:28, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 28 November 2015[edit] (talk) 01:01, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

  • Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. --Stabila711 (talk) 06:27, 28 November 2015 (UTC)