Wikipedia talk:Bot Approvals Group/Archive 6

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Image bots

I am trying to gather a list of bots that have done, or still do, or are planned to do, image work. Both bots that exclusively work on images, and those that have an image task among their tasks, are of interest. Could people please add to the list below. If anyone wants to trawl through the archives or recent changes in image namespace as well, or the image deletion logs, that would be great. Carcharoth (talk) 14:46, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

List of image bots

Annotate in as much detail as you want (eg. operator and links to the image tasks would be good, and whether it is currently operating). Please feel free to move this list to a useful subpage somewhere if one exists, or create it if it doesn't yet exist, but leave a link from here.

Last updated: 01:39, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Added some status notes, — xaosflux Talk 02:30, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Does a bot operator's withdrawal invalidate a request

Slightly tricky one this, as it was a controversial request and the bot request listed more than one operator. Anyway, one of the bot operators withdrew, but the bot request was not changed and it now looks like it was approved with only the two people listed at the moment. People will only see the change if they look in the page history. My concerns are here. I notified the BAG member concerned. Would other BAG members like to comment? Carcharoth (talk) 02:16, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't see a reason why SQL's disinclination to continue operating the bot would have any effect on the bot's approval status. --uǝʌǝsʎʇɹoɟʇs(st47) 03:02, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
But should SQL's original presence on the request, and his subsequent withdrawal after the approval, be noted on the request? Currently there is absolutely no indication of this to the casual reader of the request. I would make the change myself, but the recent page history suggests that all edits by non-BAG members get reverted. Carcharoth (talk) 03:08, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
If I understand correctly (and, my reversion of that tag was unintentional), the only revert I can really see a really, really good reason for, was the one where the actual assigned status was monkey'ed with. If it helps, I'll make it clearer that I withdrew from it, on whatever date it was. SQLQuery me! 03:11, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
I suggest you add the following somewhere near the current list of two operators: "User:SQL was originally listed as an operator, but withdrew at 07:29, 8 April 2008, a few days after the approval was made." Carcharoth (talk) 03:17, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
Sounds good to me, I'll get it in shortly. SQLQuery me! 03:22, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
 Done [1], sorry for the trouble. BTW, March was a month ago :P SQLQuery me! 03:24, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
I'd take this occasion to propose that a new format for bot request be adopted. Something like all the requests in one place, with the updates and so on. This would also facilitate in case we progress on the bot removal (meaning bot removal requests by third parties and subsequent discussion). I'll see if I can draft something on this subject tomorrow or so. Snowolf How can I help? 03:30, 12 April 2008 (UTC)


I propose that we move this page to Wikipedia:Bot Approvals Group over the existing redirect. The attempt to keep everything on Wikipedia about bots as a subpage of Wikipedia:Bots was laudable, but since it is not complete, it's also counterproductive, resulting in an unintuitive title. Of course it's not a problem for the main page, because there's a redirect, but for subpages, it's unnecessary extra hassle to remember that the page is at a silly title. Happymelon 16:01, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Ok, I was bold and moved it already. Any objections? Happymelon 16:33, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
You did manage to confuse me thoroughly while you were doing it.  :-) I have no objection to the result, however. — Coren (talk) 17:21, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
I managed to thoroughly confuse myself, never mind anyone else :D! I was utterly convinced I has somehow managed to create a redirect pointing to itself. Happymelon 17:29, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Handling a case

I have a test case to discuss. A couple weeks ago I noticed a bot malfunctioning and left a message at User_talk:SatyrBot#Serious_bot_errors. I think it's helpful to be able do a few test edits for code validation. Would others handle this differently? How should BAG handle situations like this? (I have my own views how BAG ought to function after a bot is approved, but I would like to hear other ideas too.) Gimmetrow 23:16, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

My view is that not only should the bot operator respond in a timely manner, and stop the bot if it is currently running, but that they should help correct and/or undo the incorrect edits, using the bot if necessary. Unfortunately, while stopping the bot and starting discussion is usually not a problem, getting a bot operator to actually help fix the problems is not always so easy. Often it is left to others to fix, or everyone gives up and nothing gets done. Which is not good really. The "give up" option usually arises when thousands and thousands of incorrect or otherwise problematic edits are discovered after the fact. Sometimes quite some time after the fact. I would also prioritise fixing of article problems over talk page problems, but still urge that the "bot operators must fix the errors made by their bots" part of the bot policy is actually enforced, and that BAG be given the teeth to enforce this. Carcharoth (talk) 04:44, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, in looking over the bot's contribs, there appear to be serious errors. As the botop is not responding, I would suggest either temporarily suspending it's approval, or, probably a better option, temporarily blocking it, until it's operator shows that they are aware of the issue, and are working on cleaning up after it. If there are no objections here shortly, I will block it myself, until such time as the criterion I listed are met.
Example major bug edits: [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] (top 5 talkspace contribs from this bot). I should note, that this bot has not edited the talkspace since 4APR2008, hopefully because it's operator knows there is an issue. Thoughts? SQLQuery me! 04:59, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
FYI, SatyrTN isn't responding right now because he is on a WikiBreak. APK yada yada 05:06, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes I know. I left the original message only shortly after the bot stopped running. The idea was that the bot not be blocked so SatyrTN could do test edits, but anything except test edits would lead to a block. 05:24, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, but, at this time, the bot's state is unknown, and, it's last known state was running and malfunctioning, with no acknowledgment as of yet from it's operator. As it is flagged, it will not show up in recent changes, and, at this point, I believe that it would be safest to assume that it may restart at sometime in the near future, still broken. In that case, it could go on for some time, unnoticed. In example, it's last edit to NS1 was 4ARP2008, and, you hadn't noticed / mentioned it until 16APR2008. 12 days later. Therefore my suggestion is to block it, until at the very least we hear something from the operator. SQLQuery me! 05:28, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
You mean 6 April. Gimmetrow 05:40, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
No, we're both wrong... 5APR208... SQLQuery me! 05:42, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, the bot stopped 5 April, I left a talk message 6 April. Gimmetrow 05:49, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
This is not totally related, but a few days ago I found some strange bot tagging here. I went to User:Reedy Bot's page and found the message "bad category tree, please just fix it yourself". For some reason, I can't even find that message anymore. Just noting it here as a fix-your-own-mess concern. Franamax (talk) 05:12, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Agree. Even if someone passes a bot bad data, the bot operator should still have the option to undo its edits. I know this is sometiems difficult, but even just reverting the "top" edits (where the bot made the last edit to the page) and listing the other pages and saying "a human needs to revert these", would be better than nothing. Carcharoth (talk) 05:20, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm sure I would be shouted down with vehemence if I actually proposed it, but I personally think bots should produce detailed and accessible logs of their runs, showing date, page, sub-rule that triggered the action and action-rule executed. Also, if the bot locally stored the "before" and "after" text fragments, back-out would not be that big of an issue regardless of whether it was still the top edit, as in, if the "after" text still exists in the page and is unique, substitute the "before" text. Franamax (talk) 05:30, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Some bot operators do produce more helpful things like this than others. See the bot operated by User:BrownHairedGirl, which is at User:BHGbot. An example is User:BHGbot/Job0001. Carcharoth (talk) 06:03, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
(multiple ec)Not speaking about this situation specifically, which I haven't reviewed yet, but as reply to Carcharoth ;-) I think that a bot operator that can't or won't fix his/her bot's errors is not suited as bot operator and therefore shouldn't be allowed to run a bot. Whether it's for lack of technical knowledge or lack of will, shouldn't matter. Snowolf How can I help? 05:21, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

It isn't clear to me what is wrong with any of the five diffs provided above as "example major bug edits". Hesperian 05:45, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

See my talk page message. There are three different types of errors. Those listed above (with 5 examples) add a nested=yes parameter to the talk page template, but they aren't put inside a shell template. In most cases there isn't a shell template on the talk page at all. Gimmetrow 05:49, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Hi - yes, there does seem to be a problem with "nested=yes" being added, plus some random pipe characters showing up. I will fix that before running the bot again. I'm not sure when that will be, but I'll fix it before starting it up again. FWIW, the bot is programmed to automatically quit if there are unread messages, so Gimmetrow's msg on the 6th stopped it from running any further. Thanks for pointing these out. -- SatyrTN (talk / contribs) 06:28, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Thank you very much for responding. No worries about blocking it from me then :) SQLQuery me! 06:29, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Missing nomination archives

Now here's an interesting exercise. Here is an incomplete table of current BAG members (both active and inactive), with a link to their archived candidacies, and the number of contributors to each discussion. Can anyone point me in the direction of the archives which contain the other half of the candidacies :D? Please do add to this table if you can locate any more of the discussions. I have a suspicion that, quite apart from the big kerfuffle over the RfBAG/WT:BAG processes, some of the current BAG members (particularly those who have been there since the beginning) have never been approved by any process. To be honest, I'm not that fussed - they've clearly proven themselves worthy if no one's noticed for two and a half years; I'd just like to get all the data in hand. Happymelon 21:46, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

BAG member Approval link !votes cast
AllyUnion Initial member ??
Betacommand (1st) approval 5
Betacommand (2nd) approval 6
Carnildo Initial member ??
Cobi approval 13
Coren approval 2
Daniel approval 7
E approval 7
Freakofnurture Initial member ??
Gimmetrow approval 5
Kingboyk approval 4
Lightdarkness Not voted in --
Madman Approval 6
Martinp23 approval 7
MaxSem approval 5
Mets501 approval 6
OverlordQ approval 5
Pgk Initial member ??
Ram-Man approval 8
Reedy approval 3
Robchurch Initial member ??
Snowolf approval 5
Soxred93 approval 3
SQL approval 5
ST47 approval 11
Talrias Initial member ??
Voice of All approval 9
Werdna approval 10
Xaosflux Added by Essjay --

Well if you want mine, just scroll up the page to the Dittohead section. Q T C 21:47, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Ah thanks (spent so long digging through the archives, never thought it might be right in front of me!). Happymelon 21:51, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Most of those date back prior to march 2006. The record keeping back then was fairly bad. Im not sure where or when those discussions took place. βcommand 2 22:21, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Carnildo & E are from the trail period. βcommand 2 22:32, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
E is, carnildo is not, he's been in bag forever. --uǝʌǝsʎʇɹoɟʇs(st47) 22:43, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
I added a few I found, still hunting the rest down. Notably, Beta had 2 candidacies, and kingboyk seems to have disappeared. --uǝʌǝsʎʇɹoɟʇs(st47) 22:37, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
I've finished mostly, tawker seems to have added himself, can't find a vote, and I haven't yet found any justification for the original member list, it may be on the old policy archives, but I've not found it yet. --uǝʌǝsʎʇɹoɟʇs(st47) 22:48, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Apparently, a group was selected. --uǝʌǝsʎʇɹoɟʇs(st47) 22:51, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
E wasn't ever a trial member. He specifically asked to be voted in and was voted as such. I recall Misza putting up a tough series of questions ;-) It should be in the archives somewhere. Snowolf How can I help? 23:26, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Right you are. Someone screwed up an archive. --uǝʌǝsʎʇɹoɟʇs(st47) 23:35, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

How many bot operators

Go on, give us a ballpark guess. How many bot operators are there on the english wikipedia, do you reckon? Happymelon 14:54, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

You've been counting? Um. 100? :-) (Is this active operators or all those flagged as bots - hang on, that's number of bots, not number of operators). Number of bots flagged on en-wiki is 406 (see here and click next and count 6...). Now, we have {{NUMBEROFADMINS}} = 1,219), but do we have an equivalent for number of bots? Hmm. Seems no: Template:NUMBEROFBOTS. BTW, if you are doing stats, could someone organise the bots or bot tasks by type of job or area? See Wikipedia talk:Bot Approvals Group#Image bots for my attempt at a list for image bots. I'd love to know how complete that list is. Anyway if the number of bots per operator is somewhere between 1 and 2 (much closer to 1 than 2), then I would say we have about 350 bot operators? Is there a prize for this sweepstake? Carcharoth (talk) 15:51, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Out the window with new editors: Bad bots, careless owners

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

What is it about Wikipedia that makes it so that bad bots that attack new editors are run by programmers who don't care what their bots do?

VoABot II is not approved for edits like this.[7]

Its approval says it is approved for "obnoxious banned users/trolls with revolving IPs, general AOL/shared IP vandalism and spam patrol and page move patrol are also included." Then goes on about long-term steady vandalism of pages or vandalbot attacks.

Correctly adding an "s" to two words does not smack of vandalism. Now the editor probably won't make any more edits--I wouldn't, if I got accused of vandalism for correcting poor grammar in an article, particularly if it had been my first edit ever, and I was accused by a bot!

Why is it that bots answer to no-one? And their owners personally attack users who don't like this?[8]

So, assume good faith is out the window for bots, don't bit the newbies is out the window for bots, and no personal attacks is out the window for bots.

Homeobox is a really bad Wikipedia article on a major topic in evolutionary biology and genetics. It needs good editors. When I make substantive edits on Wikipedia one of the first things I do is edit grammar, punctuation and spelling. When I did this as an anon IP, I got reverted a couple of times by bots. So I left the crap in the article. Does Wikipedia want experts or do they want bots? The bots can't write the articles, so they ought not to be charged with interfering with good faith editors who can.

--Blechnic (talk) 01:06, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

And of course, and faulty action any bot won't be reviewed, because any one who accuses a bot of making an error is attacking all bots.[9] Yawn. What's with the "I am your daddy" complex on Wikipedia anyway? There's no way wikipedia could approve a less than perfect bot, so bots can do whatever they want, and if they harm good editing of Wikipedia it doesn't matter, because AFG, BITE and NPA are bull pucky policies, or what? --Blechnic (talk) 01:23, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
DUDE! Bots make mistakes! Chill out and cut the rant! Please. Thank you, CWii(Talk|Contribs) 01:25, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
I always tweak code after mistakes are reported too. And the number of reports to edits is very low. I randomly checks diffs sometimes too to look for mistakes. The problem here is how the bot owner is approached. Voice-of-All 01:29, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
No, they don't, not according to VoABot II's owner. And, in fact, you all lie on the Bot page, because you're not allowed to discuss it with the bot's owner, because they don't make mistakes. DUDE! CHILL OUT! NO NEED TO SCREAM AT ME AND ACCUSE ME OF RANTS! --Blechnic (talk) 01:27, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
However, personally attacking me is probably faster than dealing with the issue or nicer to the ego than admitting a bot made a mistake. --Blechnic (talk) 01:28, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
I never said they "don't". In fact, each warning says "if this was a mistake". It is on the bot's help page to. Also, calling a comment a "rant" is not a personal attack. At most, it is mild incivility. Voice-of-All 01:29, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
No, the edit does not say "if this was a mistake" either in the edit summary, which says:
"23:17, 2 May 2008 VoABot II (Talk | contribs) m (8,599 bytes) (BOT - Reverted edits by Gbirrane {suspicious edits} to last version by DOI bot.) (undo)"
Or in the warning on the user's page which says:
"Your recent edit to Homeobox (diff) was reverted by an automated bot. You have been identified as a new user editing a page that experiences malicious edits by banned users that continue to edit via shared IP ranges or open proxies. Since these ranges are too large (collateral damage) to be blocked and user's IP addresses are not visible, edits to this page by logged-out editors of server or shared IP ranges and new users are reverted. The changes can be reviewed and restored by established users. // VoABot II (talk) 23:17, 2 May 2008 (UTC)"
However, I'm not surprised, consider your attitude towards me and the poorly programmed bot, that you don't even know what your bot is doing. --Blechnic (talk) 01:37, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm glad your bug report to VoA was so helpful and polite, that certainly made him so much happier about receiving it. And that your comments here have been so open-minded. If you had been an ass to him, and ignored the nature of bots as machines that can make mistakes, it might explain why he was so short to you. Oh wait, you were an ass to him. And you invoke AGF against him for his response when you didn't even begin to consider AGF towards VoABot? You, sir, are the reason that so many bot operators feel so detached and alienated by the community: they receive impolite, sometimes abusive comments about the user's hard work, and then are lynched when they respond in kind. You'd almost think that we were treating bot operators the same as their bots: as though they're machines without feeling. You certainly do know a lot about retaining good editors. Since admins don't write articles either, let's get rid of us. The rest of you can have fun dealing with users who can't be blocked, pages that can't be deleted, and trolls who answer to noone. Oh, and let's get rid of commons, since there are no articles there, userspace, WP:space, fire the board, fire brion and tim, end all development and bugfixing for wikimedia. For the articles! For a new regime of manual labor without automation to assist us! Three cheers for the dark ages of WikiMedia!!! --uǝʌǝsʎʇɹoɟʇs(st47) 01:33, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh, wait, I didn't criticize the bot's hard work, I criticized its bad work. Try being more accurate when you blow steam at someone. The bot could try being more accurate. And the bot's owner could learn what its bot's message actually say before wrongly quoting them. --Blechnic (talk) 01:38, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Right. VoA didn't put any effort at all into writing an anti-vandal bot, it just popped up one day on his computer. --uǝʌǝsʎʇɹoɟʇs(st47) 01:40, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
In which case, the bot approval link is false and should be removed. --Blechnic (talk) 01:44, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
And the spawner paid no attention to if it works or not. Soxred93 (u t) 01:41, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Even more reason to do away with the whole bot approvals group and process if no one pays attention. --Blechnic (talk) 01:44, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm going to add another link for reporting errors in the revert summary, to make it even clearer. Voice-of-All 01:40, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, that plus what else you have done is an excellent way, imo, to approach the issue. --Blechnic (talk) 02:07, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
*Applauds ST47.* And good idea VoA. CWii(Talk|Contribs) 01:42, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
(to VoA's useful comment, not the bandwagon jumping stomp the newbie free-for all addition by Compwhizzi -- cough cough) That would have been a nicer start to this whole thing. The sort of thing people like Wikipedia administrators and bot programmers should consider in the first case, not after making accusations and ignoring concerns. But I've been here long enough to expect less.--Blechnic (talk) 01:44, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Ow, the lack of AGF! It hurts! Look, bots make mistakes, and the owners make mistakes when programming. How is that different from when a regular editor makes a mistake, when they overlook something? There really isn't a difference. Soxred93 (u t) 01:48, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
to VoA's useful comment, not the bandwagon jumping stomp the newbie free-for all addition by Compwhizzi -- cough cough And people wonder why I have a short fuse.... CWii(Talk|Contribs) 01:49, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Correct, no difference. So, when the bot makes a mistake, you discuss it with the bot, just like when the editor makes a mistake you discuss it with them, or you revert, or you discuss it on the article's talk page. Oh, wait, there is a difference, you discuss it with the bot's owner. And, this bot owner decided he/she didn't want to discuss mistakes.
Short fuse? You're the one who started by screaming at me "DUDE!" Although that's one step down from being called a Nazi, there was no need to focus on my behaviour ("ranting," which is a personal attack), and to scream at me, then be aghast that people accuse you of having a short fuse. Short fuse implies someone else lit it, not self-immolation. --Blechnic (talk) 01:51, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
I never meant to scream at you. Can we just end this already? CWii(Talk|Contribs) 01:53, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Absolutely. This whole thing could have simply been done away with by the bot owner just checking the problem with the bot. I suggest to the bot approvals group and to bot owners that this course of action, looking at complaints, rather than attacking the complainers, is better for Wikipedia. Editors who wish to edit content, rather than rant, can do so. --Blechnic (talk) 01:55, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

This has been resolved, further discussion will just fan the flames further. CWii(Talk|Contribs) 01:58, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

What fans the flames is the way people carry on attacking each other, not discussion of the substantive issue. I strenuously disagree with us allowing bots that revert people's edits just because they are new. This functionality is not approved, and the functionality should be turned off until it is approved, which should be never. Hesperian 02:21, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

This is used for pages semiprotected from banned users (to avoid full-protection). "Evolution" pages were also being patrolled, which has since been turned off. Aaron Schulz 02:26, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
The problem is the Homeobox page badly needs major editing. When you scare off good editors by accusing them of vandalism for something like making a sentence agree in number, then revert to the bad grammer, you run off potentially good editors. The bot won't be editing the Homeobox page, but neither will the editor accused of vandalism for correcting a grammar error. --Blechnic (talk) 02:28, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't accept that there can be any extenuating circumstances that justify blanket-reverting people just because they are new. Hesperian 02:31, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
It is better than semiprotection. The bot uses heuristics to apply it to less edits and to very new users based on edits/pages. Semiprotection locks the page from all new users. Full protection locks it from everyone. Aaron Schulz 02:34, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
The heuristic, then, is the problem. It's already well established that Wikipedia has far too few editors editing and creating new articles on genetics and virology. Some of these areas have topics which are high edit and potentially, therefore, high vandal, targets. When I started editing with an IP I didn't start with my subspecialty, but rather with the higher level articles in my area. Perfectly good edits of mine that corrected misinformation or made grammar edits were reverted (by bots, not some by humans). I see now that you explain this bot, why this happened on the major articles, but not generally on more obscure articles.
New editors who come to explore Wikipedia, then, become the more usual targets of these bots because they don't know they can safely correct plurals and grammar and punctuation in articles with fewer vandals, but will be reverted and accused of vandalism on other articles. I think this is a bad idea. Wikipedia does not really see the bad will it creates with its blind zealotry towards vandals, that includes capturing experts and grammar patrollers.
Also, I don't see that this is specifically approved for this bot. Is it? --Blechnic (talk) 02:52, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it was the main thing it was approved for. Other tasks were added and approved. This is only for cases where semiprotection is failing and full-protection is needed. The idea is to try to avoid that. As long as it sticks to only watching semi-protected pages from banned users, then it should be fine. This was not the case for some articles when all "Evolution" pages were watched, which is why it's not watching them anymore. Anyway, semiprotection and bots watching those pages is just a blunt tool, I'd rather replace it with Flagged Revisions in the future, if doable. Aaron Schulz 02:57, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
I seem to be missing something. This is what the bot's approval says:
"The purpose of this approved bot is to patrol articles and revert edits from obnoxious banned users/trolls with revolving IPs. General AOL/shared IP vandalism and spam patrol and page move patrol are also included. This is useful against both for long-term steady vandalism of certain pages or vandalbot attacks on many random pages. Semi-protection cannot be used for random page vandalism and it can be needlessly limiting if long-term use is applied to pages just to stop shared IP vandals. Similarly, move-protection is useless against random page move attacks. Additionally, "throwaway" accounts can make semi-protection end up as full protection."
The edit I complained about was not an "obnoxious banned user/troll with revolving IP, AOL/shared IP vandal/spammer/page mover." If semi-protection and bot patrol had done one of those things, I could understand it. But this is not what happened. And editor, newly registered, added an appropriate "s" to the end of two words, and this was listed by the bot as suspicious. I don't see that it did any of the things it is claimed it does, but rather something entirely different, namely what Hesperian is complaining about: it reverted the user solely because it was a new user account editing a semi-protected page. No other reason in the edit that was made is a vandalism flag. --Blechnic (talk) 03:11, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
That is what it does. It patrols semiprotected from banned users for certain edits by very new users that haven't meet the exclusion heuristics and reverts those edits until some other can look them over. That is what it always did. It *is* over-inclusive, like semiprotection is. But it is better than full protection. The real problem here is that all Evolution pages shouldn't have been being watched, that would have avoided that edit. That was the mistake. Only things in the "semiprotected from banned users" category should be watched. Aaron Schulz 03:29, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Whether or not it is permissable to revert editors just because they are new, is an question that cuts into deep philosophical issues such as what exactly our mission is, and whether we are still "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit". You don't get to claim a mandate to do this kind of thing on the basis of such a vague approval statement. You should be getting explicit permission, and not just from the BAG, but from the community at large, and perhaps even the board; I suspect if Jimbo knew about this he would be pretty peeved, as he has always vigorously defended the principle that Wikipedia be easily editable by anyone.

I think it is not better than full protection, because full protection doesn't discriminate against anyone, and it prevents edits rather than rejecting them after the fact. To allow editing, but then subsequently reject edits from newbs, is needlessly insulting.

Hesperian 05:27, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Actually, Jimbo's user page says it best:
"Newcomers are always to be welcomed. There must be no cabal, there must be no elites, there must be no hierarchy or structure which gets in the way of this openness to newcomers. Any security measures to be implemented to protect the community against real vandals (and there are real vandals, who are already starting to affect us), should be implemented on the model of "strict scrutiny".

"Strict scrutiny" means that any measures instituted for security must address a compelling community interest, and must be narrowly tailored to achieve that objective and no other."
Hesperian 05:35, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
This isn't what I wanted to wake up to. I'll comment after I finish reading. CWii(Talk|Contribs) 13:57, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Alright. Let's get this strait.
  1. Bots make mistakes. So do you.
  2. It's not made to scare off good editors by accusing them of vandalism for something like making a sentence agree in number. It's a mistake with good intention. Show some good faith.
  3. Soxred93 is right. Blechnic should of shown some good faith when contacting VoA. This is absolutely not how to approach anyone.
Also a recommendation to Bot owners. If the bot is to create a new User Talk page it wouldn't hurt to welcome the fellow. :) CWii(Talk|Contribs) 14:06, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Now I see why the above discussion degenerated into a shouting match. I've raised a legitimate issue here, and your response is to dismiss it with "bots make mistakes", and then falsely accuse me of assuming bad faith. Hesperian 00:55, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Since I have been made to feel unwelcome here, and since the deeper issues this raises are not and never should never have been the purview of the BAG, which is the group "which supervises and approves all bot-related activity from a technical and quality-control perspective",[10] I have started a discussion on this issue at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/VoABot II. Hesperian 02:53, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Community involvement of bot tasks is welcomed, and an RFC may help to determine what the community consensus for this task is at this time. I've placed some comments on that page. Thank you, — xaosflux Talk 03:47, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

I would be inclined to agree with Hesperian here. Semiprotection is better than blanket reversion of new users. — Werdna talk 07:16, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

It is to prevent full protection, not semiprotection. Aaron Schulz 13:46, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Full protection is better than blanket reversion of new users. — Werdna talk 08:07, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Since it is only a small subset of newusers, I'd rather that over protection. Also, good edits can be restored easily, whereas as with a lock article, no way of proposing them is easy. I suppose this is a virtue ethics issue for some people. I'm not sure how "fair" it should look, or how "fair" semiprotection counts as. Aaron Schulz 16:27, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
"virtue ethics"; I had a feeling you were having a crack at me with this diff, because of the timing. I guess that's now confirmed. Hesperian 00:08, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

I suppose the main issue I have is that reverting is far worse than disallowing by the software. FlaggedRevs solves this :) — Werdna talk 13:11, 8 May 2008 (UTC)


As it involves bots,policy ,permissions , approvals, and advice given by the BAG I post a RFC at Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard#Catch_22 --Lemmey talk 08:50, 4 May 2008 (UTC)


Note, a section regarding WP:BAG in the bot policy is currently under dispute, with the page being temporarily protected--please see that thread if you are interested in the topic. Thank you, — xaosflux Talk 02:13, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Requests for BAG membership - refactoring header names

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
This isn't productive. I don't think anybody has a problem with titling future BAG request sections appropriately. That said, I'm closing this thread, please don't re open it; It will only cause problems if this discussion continues. - Rjd0060 (talk) 18:36, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

I have attempted to make the page above more readable by changing the headers to the names of the people being nominated. It appears that this is not acceptable as it makes it hard for incoming links [11][12] and it's been like this too long now, without even considering what a mess it looks at the moment or the talk page guidelines. I can't even see the logic in the argument that incoming links are more impoortant, as if that is an unrecoverable situation, but no doubt I would be blocked if I revert again. I suggest any further nominations are done as per DHMOX and actually name the nominee, although for such apparently technically minded people as BAG members I would have thought that would have been obvious long before now. MickMacNee (talk) 17:23, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Looks like someone else solved the problem, I would have never thought about using <span> to do it. Agreed, further noms should probably be in the format of "name", etc. BTW, all programming languages are not the same. Just because I can program in PHP, and C, does not mean I automatically know every nuance of HTML... SQLQuery me! 17:29, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, good idea Betacommand. They should be formatted by name. BUT, don't change existing ones, like the way you were doing. I didn't even know that <span> was possible in these cases. - Rjd0060 (talk) 17:30, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

MickMacNee, please think before editing and being disruptive. span ids are used throughout wikipedia look at WP:NFCC and my talk page for a few examples. βcommand 2 17:38, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Well I see he couldn't resist a dig there, I almost replied earlier with a 'well done/good thinking' but something was at the back of my mind telling me it wouldn't be justified, and there it is in full usual BC glory. I'm pretty sure most would not see the refactoring of talk pages for readability as being disruptive, I've seen the span id used before, but not so often that I immediately thought of it. In fact I'm glad because reminding me of it has allowed me a way out of a current edit problem elsewhere. But I still don't see how incoming links are more important than the current state of the page, but thinking about it, this might just be another case of contrasting the way BAG members think and the way editors/users think, i.e. BAG members think it's more important to maintain links (without conceding that not being linked straight to the target when you at least have the information of what was being talked about from the link is not an irrecoverable situation for a reader), average editors and readers would instantly see the headers were wholly inadequate without even thinking of such techno-ephemera as incoming links. And also, I think BAG members should also be experienced enough as editors already to know not to even make such vague headers in the first place, or tolerate them for long enough that refactoring becomes a problem. Anyway, at least I didn't get a 'shut the fuck up' or 'you don't know what you're talking about'. I should be honoured really. MickMacNee (talk) 18:06, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
MickMacNee, breaking a lot of incoming links when its not necessary is disruptive, and so are your personal attacks and insults. BAG consists of editors, not some group of editors that only approves bots. Hell I have more mainspace edits than you have total edits, so please dont try and feed me that line of BAG members are not editors. Once you realize that your edits cause problems why not attempt to figure out a way to get what you want done without being disruptive, It took me all of 30 seconds to add a span tag to avoid being disruptive. but please continue to be disrptive, and make personal attacks. Im sure an admin will block you for it. βcommand 2 18:28, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


Hi, I've noticed somewhere, there is a bot that can update an online status. ie, Change an image and text from "OFFLINE" to "ONLINE" on your userpage when it detects contributions? I saw it on someones userpage, but now someone is asking, and I can't find it now. Any ideas? Thanks ← κεηηε∂γ (shout at me) 10:35, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

See user User:StatusBot. Chose your statusbot wisely (if you have irc use mine otherwise use Soxred's - I do however have a slight coi :) --Chris 10:41, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Out of curiosity, what difference does it make if you use IRC? dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 10:43, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Mine is more accurate --Chris 10:44, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for that, I remember seeing it before, but couldn't put my finger on it. ← κεηηε∂γ (shout at me) 12:38, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Clarification of Betacommandbot's status

I'd like some clarification as to this bot's status following Betacommand being blocked for sockpuppetry (see Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard#Betacommand blocked for sockpuppetry). Its flag has been removed by The Rambling Man, following a request [13] by MBisanz (recently appointed to BAG). There is not precedent for removing the bot flag of a indefblocked user immediately, though bots are also blocked in these situations. Should the user be unblocked, the bot is unblocked also. However, BAG may of course withdraw a user's bot privileges. MBisanz tells me that he did not ask The Rambling Man as a request from BAG, he merely felt there was a need to deflag the bot based on the ANI thread. Had I been asked, I would have pointed out the lack of urgency (the bot was already blocked) and suggest waiting (a) to see whether community consensus would uphold the block and (b) for BAG to discuss whether Betacommand should continue to operate a bot. It would have been helpful if The Rambling Man had been told he was being asked outside the usual BAG/crat relationship. I would like BAG to clarify whether (should he be unblocked) Betacommand still has approval to operate his bot and whether the bot flag should be restored.

As a learning point from this, can I ask that BAG members make it clear when they ask crats to flag/deflag bots whether this is an official request from BAG or some other request based on crat discretion. We need to be able to trust that BAG aren't going to ask us to do something controversial without us realising it - especially where the crat being asked isn't one who regularly assists in this area. WjBscribe 14:39, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

it should be given back as there was no grounds for removal. βcommand 14:47, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
I tend to agree. The main issue was with poor (very poor in fact) running of a DEFAULTSORT script on an alternate account (numerous mistakes have been discovered so far). Whether that should affect Betacommand's fitness to run a bot account, I don't know, but there should be a proper discussion about that. The blocks (and I've just lifted the block of Betacommand's main account, leaving the others for later discussion) were based on claims of abusive sockpuppetry, which didn't really stand up to closer scrutiny. But as I said, none of that is to do with BetacommandBot, so as long as Betacommand doesn't try and run his DEFAULTSORT script on the bot, I think the flag should be restored. Technically, the block should probably be lifted as well, but as I said at AN, I think further discussion is needed over that issue. I'm more concerned that Betacommand's first action after being unblocked was to come here, when I have twice now pointed out an unanswered question on his talk page. See here. Carcharoth (talk) 14:54, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
I was writing a reply on AN when I posted here. βcommand 15:04, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
No, I'm talking about the message on your talk page about your DEFAULTSORT edits. That is actual content you were messing up. The two main issues are transferring the "space" sort tags to DEFAULTSORT (a known bug) and inappropriate sorting and mis-sorting. Examples found so far are: [14], [15], [16], [17], [18]. On that basis alone, Betacommand would never have been approved as a bot operator. It is also clear that he has failed to address concerns when they were raised. See here, though Betacommand has now apologised for that. Carcharoth (talk) 15:44, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree that the community should have been consulted beforehand. These speedy actions were not legitimate in the present case. Cenarium (talk) 15:03, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
There are two separate issues here. The general one of how to handle this in the future and the specifics of this case. I do agree it was unnecessarily hasty to deflag the bot in this manner, but it's also not a major problem. Probably best practices in the future are to block the bot and then have a discussion like this current one about the bot's status. Since the bot was blocked, the deflagging was unnecessary before a discussion concluded. In this specific instance, and at this specific moment, given that the flag has already been removed I think we should just move forward and decide whether this bot should get a flag or not and not worry about whether it had one before or not. On the related note Beta, I really admire your talents and we need the types of skills you have, but you really should also have the ability to think out ahead of time whether the things you are doing are likely to be helpful or controversial or not and avoid the controversial and unhelpful ones. You're simply too talented to be causing all the problems you do. Based on all the good you can do it's a real problem that a case can be made that your net contributions aren't indisputably positive. - Taxman Talk 15:15, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
I, not a member of BAG, would think that he should be given back his role on the Approvals Group. I do not believe there was reason to remove him. He was blocked, but unblocked after some discussion. Obviously if he remained blocked he should have been removed, but that is not the case. - Rjd0060 (talk) 15:37, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
I guess I read this discussion wrong. Yes, I also strongly believe the bot needs to be given the flag back. After the bot was blocked, there was no reason to remove it. - Rjd0060 (talk) 15:45, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Betacommand should not be on the Approvals Group. The BAG is there to ensure that bots are used responsibly, for which his actions set a very poor example. He has also caused or inflamed many of the recent problems surrounding the BAG. If he were to go through a confirmation process to be on the BAG (not that we have one that works), he would never pass. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 16:59, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Given the circumstances, I agree with rspeer that he shouldn't be a BAG member. At the very least, he should stand for reconfirmation. dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 00:05, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree too. I am glad that BetaCommand's name is no longer sullied by accusations of sockpuppetry, but it is surely beyond dispute that he has been running an unapproved bot on his main account. For someone who knowingly violates bot policy to be a BAG member would be outrageous. Hesperian 01:40, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Per WJBscribe's concerns, I have created the following set of templates User:MBisanz/MESSAGES to be used when a person could be confused as to what role I am acting in. MBisanz talk 05:53, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Betacommand as a member of BAG

Prompted by this edit, removing BC from the list of members, and my subsequent revert, I'd like to see some discussion here of whether or not BC should be a member of BAG rather than reflex-removals of the sort I just reverted. If it transpires that other discussions elsewhere ought to have a great bearing on this, we should wait until they complete and bring the salient points here for a more focused discussion. I'd suggest that we fix ourselves on letting this discussion run at least until the protection expires on WP:BAG rather than making any more snap decisions. Thanks, Martinp23 17:28, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

I think that's the best way to move forwards; the lack of activity at the WP:AN thread seems to suggest that (as usual) the community is happy to let BAG and the bot-operating community deal with its own as long as their right to complain later isn't infringed :D. The protection that's in place is an excellent pre-existing timeframe. How are we going to do this? I think the previous re-evaluation thread is a good model to follow: it can be seen at Wikipedia_talk:Bots/Approvals_group/Archive_3#Betacommand. My personal opinion would be that it would be best to mark Betacommand as 'suspended' rather than 'active', but I agree that 'former member' is not an appropriate descriptor at this stage. Happymelon 17:34, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Temporary suspension would be good. CWii(Talk|Contribs) 23:08, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Recuse, blocking admin. MBisanz talk 23:11, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
While I recognize this is a wiki and we like to move at a high-speed here, I agree with Martin. Time is really what is needed right now, not rashness. Waiting a few days to see how the AN / community discussion transpires will do a world of good and add a fair bit of clarification, I think. --MZMcBride (talk) 23:19, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
As I said in the above section, I think Betacommand should (now or some time soon) stand for BAG reconfirmation (and that this should be advertised at AN at the very least). dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 01:15, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
We all know what the outcome of that would be, Betacommand has made many enemies running that bot. Also I question why he was removed from the bag, what does sock puppetry have to do with being able to approve bots? --Chris 10:33, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
It's nothing to do with sockpuppetry: it's the DEFAULTSORT fiasco. Basically Betacommand was running an automated script on his main account, which was either running in automatic mode or he fell into a coma watching it, because it made a huge number of incorrect changes to category sortkeys on a host of mainspace articles. Either BC is not competent enough to identify which of his edits are good and which are bad (which I don't believe, but which would make him completely unqualified to use, let alone approve, bots and scripts) or he was using an unapproved automatic script in violation of the bot policy which, as a BAG member, he should have been enforcing. Coming as this does at the end of a very long chain of almost identical debacles, we have to question whether Betacommand has the judgement necessary to be a member of BAG. Happymelon 10:39, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
To Chris...yeah, apart from what Happy-melon said (which I agree with) it's the idea that BAG members should have some level of community trust since they are making decisions which can greatly affect the community. "We all know what the outcome of that would be"...kinda begs the question of what impression it gives the community if BAG were to add Beta to its roster despite knowing that the community probably doesn't want him there. dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 10:45, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
The thing is these people will be oppoisng for all the wrong reasons. Give me one diff where Betacommand has made a bad approval. The only times he has been uncivil on BRFA is in his own requests and even then he was being baited. That said it's the bags problem and the bag must find a solution; I suggest they do one of those arbcom style things that ST47 did with BetacommandBot's warnings(look in the archives, its somewhere there) (Something like "Remove Betacommand from bag", "Leave Betacommand in bag", "Make Betacommand run a reconfirmation" --Chris 08:37, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Wrong or right, there seems to be a serious opposition against his BAG membership, and we can't ignore it. Yes, although he had never approved a bot that shouldn't had been approved, he also "approved" his own bots to do different things without the community's approval. Regrettbly, I feel that BC should be removed from the group. MaxSem(Han shot first!) 08:55, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Chris, if a reconfirmation is done now, some people will still be in lynch-mob mode and oppose for the so-called "disruptive sockpuppetry." I would suggest a reconfirmation some time in the near future, once the current drama blows over. Whether he should be suspended until then, I don't know. Mr.Z-man 18:26, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
To be honest, I don't think a reconfirmation is what's required here: just a serious discussion (and probably ultimatley a straight vote of no-confidence from BAG) about whether BC has shown the judgement required to be a BAG member. If he is removed, then there should be nothing to stop him standing for re-appointment at any time he wishes. That said, if we prefer a simple reconfirmation at a later date, then A) we must decide when that date should be now, and B) I think it would be inappropriate to consider BC anything other than 'suspended' for the intervening period. Happymelon 19:02, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

So how are we proceeding with this then? Happymelon 21:11, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

I think Betacommand should be removed from the BAG list, as he was originally. I suppose the appropriate time to do this would be in two days, or whenever ST47 chooses to unprotect the page. I disapprove of Martinp23's reverting the page while it was protected, but re-reverting while it's still protected would just be prolonging a wheel war. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 03:15, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
The removal too took place while the page was protected, hence I used common sense and reverted, seeing as BC drama wasn't the reason for page protection in the first place. Martinp23 12:28, 21 May 2008 (UTC)


I have a suggestion for how we should proceed with this. There's a lot of tension in the air about Betacommand and his general behaviour, both in regards to running bots and general attitude. We do no service to ourselves by discussing this now - there's far too much anger in the air. My suggestion is that we leave this for two weeks, then, on 4 June, Betacommand much reconfirm himself on BAG using the same process by which many users have recently proceeded (i.e. on this talk page). It can be well advertised, and people can then judge whether or not the believe Betacommand should remain as a member. Ryan Postlethwaite 22:15, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

I would prefer a month for things to settle down. βcommand 22:26, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
If he wants a month, let him have a month. :-) CWii(Talk|Contribs) 22:30, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
I would have no problem with doing it in a month, say, 20 June? Ryan Postlethwaite 22:31, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
It is pointless to set arbitrary dates. Monobi (talk) 23:58, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Why? Happymelon 11:18, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

I look forward to the 20 June reconfirmation, then! dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 07:37, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Ok, I'll go make a FA or something until then :D Happymelon 11:18, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
In a month, I could make 3! dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 11:19, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Wanna race? :D Happymelon 11:23, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I want to see a race. :) - Taxman Talk 18:29, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, since DiMo is volunteering.... A couple BAG members have failed at RfA for "lack of article writing". This may seem off the wall since BAG isn't a wikiproject, but perhaps if BAG members helped get some article to FA or at least GA, it would address that criticism, demonstrate collaborative article-building, and smooth some relations with the rest of the community. Gimmetrow 23:47, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Unfortunately, that idea could be rephrased as "let's create an article collaboration that we exclude non-BAG members from". Hesperian 23:51, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
How? What would we do? Revert the edits of non-BAG members who improve the article? Mr.Z-man 23:57, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, where in the world did that come from? Gimmetrow 23:59, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Let me put it another way. The BAG has a serious job to do, a job that requires a certain skill set, and so it is necessarily selective about who it accepts as a member. If you start lending the BAG name to article collaborations and other such things, it becomes a club; like a WikiProject that you have to apply to join. You'll be providing ammunition to those who argue (vehemently) that the BAG is too clichy, that anyone should be free to join it, that it should have less authority. I'm not kicking up a stink over your idea; I'm just predicting that others will. Hesperian 00:18, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Fine. I should have never suggested people might want to write articles. Gimmetrow 03:25, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
That's right; it should be a given. ;-) Hesperian 04:51, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
I was thinking of something more along the lines of "which member of the bot-operating community can write the most featured articles before we get the Betacommand mess sorted out?" It would be pretty much the only good to come out of the whole issue... Happymelon 21:16, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm sure Giggy would win that. ;) My last piece of featured content came back in September, something I'm not exactly happy about. east.718 at 06:05, May 23, 2008
Yes, obviously, which is why I'm trying to make it not seem like a race (when really it is!). ;) dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 08:59, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

The Internet bot article isn't great, folks. I don't think a "zOMG BAG" collaboration is a great idea, but I'm sure a few of you could lend your knowledge to the article. dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 23:47, 22 May 2008 (UTC)


I'm electing to work with the BAG here, I'd like to add myself to the table. Need consensus to do so. I don't think there needs to be a whole process, just some discussion/consensus. Thanks for the consideration. Regards, NonvocalScream (talk) 12:33, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

  • what if any experiance have you had with bots or the bot process? βcommand 2 14:07, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
  • In the past I have run a successful bot with the flag, a couple of tasks. I will send the name of the bot to selected users in good standing. Actually scratch that. Why don't we wait untill I can demonstrate this. On hold unless you all are already ok with my working with bag. Regards, NonvocalScream (talk) 16:08, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Please do provide me with the bots that you have operated. otherwise I cannot and will not support your request. βcommand 2 16:34, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I mean, I'll wait a couple of months and demonstrate this. So my request is on hold. NonvocalScream (talk) 16:49, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

BAG request: Bjweeks (BJ)

This request succeeds, and Bjweeks wins the red carnation. — Dan | talk 22:27, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Heads up

Hi there! Since it looks like Betacommand will be prohibited from running automated tasks, I've taken it upon myself to clone all of BetacommandBot's tasks that I find useful. The first one, WP:DABS, is already complete and is so utterly uncontroversial (one edit per day in userspace, runs with a flag, thoroughly tested like all my other bots) that I'm not going to bother wasting everybody's time by seeking approval for it. Also, this latter part was posted on the administrators' noticeboard but I thought you group of technically minded people should know that I'm also launching an adminbot to move-protect today's featured article for 1442 minutes, starting at 23:59 UTC. Like all my other adminbots, this one's designed with great care and I'll email the code to anybody on request; true open-sourcing will come when I get my grubby hands on a Fisheye account. :) east.718 at 00:01, May 21, 2008

heads up its a little more work than it first appears if you want the code for the task e-mail me. βcommand 00:41, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
east718 mentions open-sourcing his code. Beta, would you still allow him to base his code on yours if he intends to do so? I recall that you once gave my intention to write open-source code as a reason why I couldn't see your code. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 02:53, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I often write open source tools upon reqest, RFC bot is one example. some tools I release and others that I dont. βcommand 13:26, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
I am cool with east718 running admin bots MBisanz talk 04:55, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
This message is made by me as Dihydrogen Monoxide. I'm cool with east running an adminbot (I mean, it's not like it's a first...). dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 06:40, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
East, you write solid code. I only wish you'd submit to a WP:BRFA first, so we can help you find possible flaws. I also wish your bots were better documented. Outside of that, I couldn't give a crap. SQLQuery me! 03:20, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

To Rspeer - I prefer to open-source most of my stuff so I probably wouldn't use BC's code for that reason, but that's an issue solely between me and him; you shouldn't care as long as I open-source it by hook or by crook. To SQL - I've added details about these tasks to the bot's userpage and will bounce you the source when you get on IRC tonight. east.718 at 06:05, May 23, 2008

New icon

To differentiate between the traditional Bot icon Crystal Clear action run.png and actions taken by the BAG as an entire group (such as BAGcoms, etc), I've created Bot laurier.png. And I created a tiered notice system to avoid confusion when communicating messages whose weight and authority could be confused User:MBisanz/MESSAGES. MBisanz talk 08:43, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

The 'bot wheel' in that image seems blurry to me.. is there any way you can fine this up? — E TCB 09:05, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Suggest you use something other than ambox for those notices, since you're not going to be putting them on articles :D. A screen reader will have a whale of a time working out the real significance of the top notice, given that its ambox class is screaming "delete me!". I like the BAG icon very much, though. Happymelon 11:16, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Not sure how often we'd have to use these, but do like the image, have updated my userpage topicon User:Xaosflux/BAG with it. — xaosflux Talk 12:03, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Personally I think it is a bit grandiose. Hesperian 12:07, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

IMO a reef ought to be reserved for DR committees, but that's just me. Martinp23 12:29, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

The base images were Image:Crystal Clear action run.png and Image:Wikipedia laurier W.png and I used GIMP to scale and merge them. Basically I cut out the W and scaled the gears from 128*128 to 275*275. Since they're PNGs, I'll take them over to the graphics lab later and have them made into SVGs, that might make them clearer. And I'll look into other message box styles (or ask David to make scales userspace messages), I just like Ambox since it has levels included. Pretty much the only times I can image the laurel'd message being used are in extreme situations, such as notifying someone of BAGcom related matters, notifying a bot op of a community bot (MediationBot1 for instance) or revocation of the right to operate that bot, etc. Maybe once or twice a year tops, since everything else is done in our roles as individuals not as a group. MBisanz talk 16:39, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Ok, I had Crystal Clear action run.svg done, now waiting on the laurel image to combine the two. MBisanz talk 21:49, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
 Done as BAG laurier.png. MBisanz talk 23:12, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

What's a "BAGCom"? Martinp23 11:53, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

BAGcoms would be the instances where BAG acts as a Group making a decision instead of an individual acting in their capacity as a member of BAG. Prior examples would be actual matters at Wikipedia_talk:Bots/Approvals_group/Archive_3#Betacommand, Wikipedia_talk:Bots/Approvals_group/Archive_5#BAG_as_.27arbcom_for_bots.27 and proposed matters at Wikipedia_talk:Bots/Approvals_group/Archive_5#Opinions_Wanted, Wikipedia_talk:Bots/Requests_for_approval/Archive_4#Review_of_a_Betacommand_task. So it seems a lot of people feel that if there is a controversial issue, bring it to this page for all the members of BAG to discuss it and make a binding decision. This is different than BRFAs where each member of BAG is expected to follow WP:BOT, review the task, review the discussion, and make an individual decision on if the bot should be approved or not. MBisanz talk 21:30, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Comment: indicating a group decision is a good idea but I have to echo Hesperian that the icon seems a little grandiose. Are those laurel leaves? Like the emperors used? How 'bout a plain circle to indicate unity? Franamax (talk) 21:39, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I adopted it based on this and this category where its used pretty regularly among WP icons, but I'm always open to suggestions. If you give me another image, I can combined the two and post it here. MBisanz talk 21:51, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
I think Image:Applications-development.svg is the most appropriate image. It carries the connotations which accurately reflect the role of this group. Daniel (talk) 03:21, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
I've tweaked it to Hardhat laurier.png as an alternative. MBisanz talk 05:18, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
The idea of my suggestion was kind of to avoid the laurel altogether, but thanks :) Daniel (talk) 05:40, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Without a hint of facetiousness, I humbly submit Barnstar-repair.gif for your consideration. east.718 at 06:05, May 23, 2008
After my 25 years of IT work, I would really like a logo of a grinning guy in a white mario-type uniform and cap, holding a fistful of cables, that lead down to a monitor smashed on the floor. The caption would be "IT Dept. Helping you get through the day." or some such. Just my dream. Losing the laurels is best, the hardhat is OK, I'll still pull for a circle around the bot gears though. Franamax (talk) 06:21, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Find me a free image of a circle (I suck at drawing) and that will happen. MBisanz talk 06:23, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Oww, I suck at graphics worse, I did try for a half-hour, but I don't know what format to use, if you can scale it in png or, well, anything. What ever happened to whining long enough that someone else does it? :) I'll try again tomorrow, if someone else can help, please do, meantime I'll just shut-me-big-mouth :) Franamax (talk) 07:32, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Here's a really bad example of what I was thinking about: Bag-test.png The circles are ovals in there, but whatever. Franamax (talk) 20:03, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
Cool, I see your base images on the description page, so I'll give it a run later tonight. Good concept work though. MBisanz talk 20:36, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
Ok, so I took Franmax's idea and tried to tweak the base images to make the circles circular, etc. The end result is BAG circle.png MBisanz talk 08:44, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
I prefer the laurel leaves, in all honesty. But I'd be happy with any of the images proposed. Happymelon 10:27, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

Does anybody find the idea of a Bot Approvals Group logo just a little bit pretentious? — Werdna talk 08:59, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

Well MEDCAb's getting one, the Arbcom Clerks have their own Clerk-fez.png logo independent from the Arbcom logo, so I thought it was a good idea to discuss. MBisanz talk 09:02, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
Werdna, yes. MBianz, that is in no way a "logo" for ArbCom clerks.[19][20][21] Daniel (talk) 10:37, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
Interesting, someone might want to change the "Description A Clerk shall wear a fez." wording on the image. MBisanz talk 19:51, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
It should be no surprise that I approve of MBisanz's logo :) (even though MBsianz spelt my name wrong :) I also think it's a good idea to use these logos as a means of distinguishing between BAG members acting as members, as admins, and as the official representative of a BAG group decision. It brings clarity to the actions, and clarity can only be good. Franamax (talk) 20:59, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
I'll expand this a little further: the logos don't necessarily have to be used in MB's templates, they could also be tagged inline with comments, and the image description would have the same text as the templates, i.e. you can click the image to see what it means/popups tells you what it means; thinking about another logo that botops could use to indicate that they are commenting on behalf of their bot - "this message is on behalf of the bot I operate on en:wiki"; and Werdna, yeah I thought the laurel leaves were a little pretentious, but given the enormous impact bots have on the wiki community (diffs on request lol) and their somewhat privileged position here, again, the more clarity, the better. Franamax (talk) 21:18, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.
No clear consensus, therefore shall not go ahead. If someone wishes to bring this up again in a few months, feel free to do so. — E TCB 05:44, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

BAG Mailing List

I am currently discussing with the techs about having a mailing list for the Bot Approvals Group. It would be located at <> and would be called wikipedia-en-BAG. If we were to apply for one at bugzilla, we would need a positive consensus from the BAG itself. If you are in such support of this, please sign below and I will then lodge a bug for it. Thank you. — E TCB 09:27, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

  1. Support, as nominator. — E TCB 09:27, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
  2. Support -- Cobi(t|c|b) 09:28, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
  3. I support on the condition it is archived publicly. dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 09:39, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
  4. Support because I like having more new toys. Also, the BAG needs a place to secretly plot its takeover of the wiki, and a mailing like is the perfect location for this. (Propose that we do the same sort of thing as unblock-en-l, allowing emails from others only when they have passed moderation, and have the only members of the list be BAG members. If you go and allow anyone to post, well that defeats the purpose of a quiet ban discussion area.) --uǝʌǝsʎʇɹoɟʇs(st47) 10:41, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
  5. Oppose This is an utterly dreadful idea. Why can't you just discuss stuff on wiki? There's no need for any off wiki discussion, especially private. This just further enforces the false idea this group are somehow above everyone else, and can go making decisions about things where us common folk can't even read them. Just keep discussions on the wiki, if anywhere. Al Tally talk 11:23, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
  6. Oppose, I don't see much need for a list, and, I can see absolutely no reason for a closed list. SQLQuery me! 12:10, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
  7. Neutral If it's an open list, I don't care as much. There would be a little utility, in maybe getting everything more centralized, and, actually getting attention from current members, at least. SQLQuery me! 12:26, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
  8. Oppose. If I saw a reason for one, I might consider it. — Werdna talk 12:18, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
  9. Support - While I do think it may increase the "cabalness" of the BAG, that could be said the same for the other private mailing lists. I've always thought there should be a place where someone doesn't have to be at their computer when they get a notice. Plus, we could get BAGBot to do a daily report to the list, just like SQL does for the ACC mailing list. Soxred 93 12:19, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
  10. Neutral Trending oppose, I just don't like list-servs. MBisanz talk 14:33, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
  11. Oppose adds to the already existing unneeded bureaucracy. Monobi (talk) 20:05, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
  12. Neutral, leaning toward oppose. There's plenty of talk pages here and the IRC channel. I really don't see a need. Definitely oppose if it uses private archives. I can't think of anything BAG would discuss that would require such privacy. Mr.Z-man 20:22, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
  13. Oppose: Per Werdna. --MZMcBride (talk) 03:43, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
  14. Oppose, I'm not sure I see much of a point either. I'm not really a fan of mailing lists in general, and there's really not much else to discuss that we don't already discuss on-wiki or on IRC. krimpet 03:45, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
  15. Oppose, unless the devs have some reason for this which hasn't been expressed. What's next, clerks? Gimmetrow 23:21, 31 May 2008 (UTC)


What sort of discussions would this list be for? Will it be an open or closed list? WjBscribe 09:30, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

I would say that this list would be a closed list to just BAG members and also bureaucrats who wish to join and discuss bot approval related matters. It would cut down the IRC usage, but I believe using email is a more formal way of discussing the current bot approvals and whether to approve, trial or deny a bot which may be trivial to another member of the BAG, which I have noticed over the past month or so. — E TCB 09:36, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
As H2O has noted above in his vote, it should probably show the archives publicly. We could make it a public list after all and allow comments from other administrators and contributors. — E TCB 09:42, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't know if making it public will be a great idea—if the list is specifically for discussing BAG issues (should we approve this bot, etc.?) it might be better to limit to BAG members. But non-members can still discuss with the BAG here. dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 09:45, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Why does it have to be private? I fail to see why BAG would need to hold a private discussion on weather to approve a bot or not. You're going to have to post details on wiki anyway (I'd hate to be told that my bot was denied per a private mailing list discussion that I can't read) --Chris 09:58, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree, that's why it should be publicly archived at least. If others want to give everyone the ability to post to it, I'm cool with that (though I think it'd be better if that didn't happen). dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 09:59, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
It might be better as an open list, after all, we do these discussions currently either on the BRFA or on IRC, both are quite public. — E TCB 12:14, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Instead of a mailing list, why don't we have a page at Wikipedia:Bot Approvals Group/Discussion and start a discussion for BRFAs there? This talk page is meant for BAG related matters and WT:BRFA is for questions on BRFAs. — E TCB 21:07, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Why not used the established WP:BONB or just discuss it on the brfa page itself? Monobi (talk) 21:35, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

There is nothing at all that the BAG should be discussing that needs to be private. If there is, then this group needs to gain a lot more consensus for its activities than it currently has. MickMacNee (talk) 22:34, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

I see a lot of non-BAG members voting above, and E stated that what the devs wanted to see was a consensus of BAG members that we needed one. Among bag members, the tally is 5/1/2, which seems pretty clear to me. --uǝʌǝsʎʇɹoɟʇs(st47) 22:38, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

That's hardly fair. Why can't everyone vote? It's pretty obvious most BAG members will want a mailing list. It should not be up to just them to decide if they have a list. You can't just ignore good faith votes because they aren't part of the club. Al Tally talk 22:50, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Why is it not up to BAG on whether BAG needs a list? Who else would know? And why does anyone else have the power to oppose such a request that is no way affects them? Why are users attempting to hinder the productivity of this group? --uǝʌǝsʎʇɹoɟʇs(st47) 23:46, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, the final decision truly is up to BAG members alone (and in fact a vote of any sort is kinda silly IMO). However, given that several BAGgers have expressed a degree of indifference to the idea of another list, I'm not sure how effective the list would end up being. krimpet 00:06, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
It could affect the bots they make, which this group approves (or otherwise). It affects everyone. Al Tally talk 00:08, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

"We are the BAG, what the BAG does and does not do is down to the BAG to decide" - I half think this is the attitude that sparked this Mfd nomination of the BAG. MickMacNee (talk) 00:19, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

I simply don't see what say the community at large should have in what the bag needs and doesn't need. --uǝʌǝsʎʇɹoɟʇs(st47) 00:25, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
You are not above the community. Your group is not like ArbCom, or similar. Your attitude here is completely wrong. Al Tally talk 01:04, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Can you imagine a group like Arbcom having a member like ST47, given his most recent bout of instability [22]? Maybe being a diva is an essential requirement of the BAG, maybe us mere mortal wikipedians don't have a clue. MickMacNee (talk) 15:07, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Anyway, we have all forgotten the secret BAG cabal rules, what you do outside of wikipedia affects what you can and cannot do inside wikipedia [23]. MickMacNee (talk) 15:17, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't see why you're trying to blame whatever's going on at RFA on us now. SQLQuery me! 15:29, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Of course of course. An unrelated trifle. MickMacNee (talk) 15:38, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

I don't see a purpose for this list. Without a purpose, I expect it'll be active for about a month discussing nothing in particular, and then fall into disuse. --Carnildo (talk) 22:54, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


While this sounds good, just wondered if we should run this past the devs. This bot could double the number of articles on Rich Farmbrough, 13:10 30 May 2008 (GMT).

Just asked Tim on IRC, so long as its maxlag compliant, there are no WP:PERF issues. This of course should not be taken to mean that the devs approve of the bot or its purpose, just that adding the articles will not break anything. MBisanz talk 14:37, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Considering the articles are all notable and meet our inclusion guidelines (which they do) and this isn't going to kill the servers (it won't), everything seems cool. That's why I approved it. dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 14:42, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it meets all our standards for approval, good called :) MBisanz talk 14:50, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Possible unauthorized Bot

Came across this user while dealing with some WP:ACC stuff. I don't think I could get my bots to get that many EPM even if I wanted to. Q T C 18:39, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

User was already warned. Gimmetrow 19:20, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

BAG membership discussion (redux)

This is the section to discuss issues surrounding BAG membership - the history, the selection process, and other concerns. Could someone do a brief history, summarise the concerns, and link to the discussions further up this page (or in the archives)? Thanks. Carcharoth (talk) 08:56, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

From what I gather, the concern with the closed Group membership process pertains to its insular nature, which leads to organizational inertia, favoritism (i.e. tolerance for misconduct by members), and a lack of an established mechanism for community input or oversight. El_C 11:31, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, we could always go back to the old way, where anyone could add themselves (and, can be removed if there are issues)... I can't say I really understand why we switched back, but, that was just right around when I was getting more active around here... SQLQuery me! 11:37, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
It's useful to have a filter. But it's important to make sure this filter doesn't appoint and polices itself —without outside oversight— in perpetuity. El_C 11:46, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Look at the last several... I don't think it's any longer a case of 'self-appointment', so, let's get that out of the way now.... SQLQuery me! 11:48, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
The last several appointments? Where do I look? Who was made the decision? El_C 11:51, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
I'll go dig in the archives, but, IIRC, the last 6 or 7, the crats closed (as was suggested) I think, 6 pass one fail (+/- one, I seem to be getting old), I think most of them got a couple times the present level of participation as well. SQLQuery me! 11:53, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Also, the one ongoing, has 12 users participating.

Hope this helps. It's been a long night, but, my reading / counts should be more or less accurate. (and, apparently it was 6, mea cula...) SQLQuery me! 12:00, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Oh, okay. That's news to me. That solves the self-appointment problem. El_C 12:18, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Though it rather turns it into an "appointment with highly limited community participation" problem. Alai (talk) 15:48, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
So we should force the community to participate? We've tried spamming noticeboards. It doesn't work. -- Cobi(t|c|b) 16:06, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
I thought my preferred model was well-known and oft-stated, but I suppose we have lots of venue-drift in this discussion. Transclude RfBAGs from the RFA page, just as is currently done for RFB. Look at making BAG a flag-setting role. Make explicit that "judging consensus for the task" is part of the role. (Or if strictly necessary, split out the latter two from the "technical" role, but that seems over-complicated to me.) If at that point there continues to be highly limited participation, then assume that the community really doesn't care. However, purported counterarguments like "RFA is too political/about popularity/inherently broken" suggests to me a desire in some quarters for "limited" reform, and that slightly more input might be accepted to "too much" more input. Alai (talk) 16:18, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
I am not opposed to that stance, in fact I underwent an RfBAG at RFA. It seems that a few users have said that they do not want that method and have reverted everything. I am also in support of creating a BAG usergroup and assigning rights to grant/revoke the bot flag to that usergroup. -- Cobi(t|c|b) 16:26, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
You don't explicitly cover the "consensus" issue, but otherwise we seem to be of one mind. You should probably expect to be flamed from various quarters forthwith. :| Alai (talk) 16:31, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
I disagree, The fact is, they get more participation than ever now, by people outside of BAG, and, when there is an issue it comes up, and I think in the one case it did, it caused the nomination to fail. Silly politics, are minimized (although, not eliminated, see the string of 'protest comments' in a couple of those, still far less than say, Coren's one on RFA for instance). Appropriate people seem to be being picked, and, most of the 'closed group' arguments don't hold up to scrutiny anymore. I'm not convinced that there's still a problem. SQLQuery me! 20:16, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
If BAG was given flag setting rights (something incredibly easy to do now), I would support the RBAG on RFA proposal. I just felt it was premature before to start RBAG, and then later add the flag setting feature. MBisanz talk 16:38, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm not utterly wedded to either option on flagging, but if agreement on flagging is possible, and it facilitates agreement on other matters, then I'm all for that. Alai (talk) 16:53, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
So... It's an evil self-selecting cabal, and you want to give it more privileges? Or, that's about the only way to truly justify throwing the community input process on RFA? Either way, I'd strongly advise against a usergroup, I don't see a problem with the crats doing it now (they're often there faster than the pizza guy!) I'd also support having the 'crats actually look over the BRFA in question, as a last check and/or balance. SQLQuery me! 20:16, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
... and equally, if people are going to throw up straw man arguments against flag-setting, then I'm happy to move forward with a RfBAG process without it. The two are entirely separable in my mind, and I'm happy to argue for them together, or each under separate cover. Your "strong" advice seems to lack any actual argument against the idea, however. Alai (talk) 21:39, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Here's a proposal. What if those who could approve bots included any admin, and select non-admins. Admins presumably have some degree of community approval and could pretty much add themselves to BAG if they wanted, and be removed if they don't do anything for a month or there are other objections. "Select non-admins" would include anyone else trusted to deal with bots, which would be shown by a vote here. OK now, rip it apart. Gimmetrow 00:57, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
    • The skills required for evaluating bot requests are different from those required for adminship. For example, I expect that many of our thousand-plus admins don't understand why a fully-automated spellcheck bot is a bad idea. --Carnildo (talk) 01:03, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
      • And 99% of them also won't care to get involved with bots. Gimmetrow 01:34, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
        • That's why I think the 'easy come easy go' method that we did for a while works. I'd be fine with limiting it to admins, and, if one is approving inappropriate bots, etc, we should have a simple removal method. SQLQuery me! 04:42, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
          • OK, but then what about editors who are interested in doing the job but not currently admins? Should be some way for that to happen Gimmetrow 05:55, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
            • Indeed, something to work out. I still think, the appropriate way to address the concerns brought, is to have an easier to join and remove system, than a more "elite" system, where it is more difficult to join, and be removed. I'm not pretending this to be the perfect system, but, it sounds to me at least, to be an improvement. SQLQuery me! 06:03, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
              • I think there's a lot to be said for this sort of approach, in fact. Indeed, I'd have been pushing for it more strongly, except that I thought it'd provoke even more trenchant resistance from the existing BAG members, whom it'll be extremely difficult to implement "reform" over the objections of. But if it's politically doable, it's probably more practical than trying to treat the initial selection process as perfectable. I think RFA "works" -- in the sense that the whole edifice hasn't come crashing down around our ears, however unpleasant a place it might be on occasion -- because it achieves wide enough input to have a certain conservatism, because admins can essentially "cancel each other out" as regards to doing significant harm, and because ArbCom can more or less keep up with the "rogue admin" phenomenon (not in the least promptly or efficiently, but after the levels of wikidrama and toxicity get sufficiently high). The BAG gets less community input, seems to have been less than successful in self-regulation, and the ArbCom seems to be pretty clueless about what to do with it. If there were a "finite term" clause, or some sort of "recall" mechanism, the system would be more robust to the inevitable occasional lapse in initial "promotion". Alai (talk) 13:02, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
          • OK, in attempt to keep the system easy, how about this: anyone can join, but to start with they can only approve trials; if no (two?) BAG members object to the user for a month, then they can approve bots. Gimmetrow 07:11, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
            • I think that just goes back to BAG selecting itself, which many seem to have a problem with. BJTalk 07:12, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
            • A great idea, but, bjweeks makes a good point. I can't say I recall a problem with the 'anyone can join' system for the (year?) time it was in place, except for one user, abusing the privilege, whom probably should have been removed, instead of the system reverted. SQLQuery me! 07:19, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
              • Anyone can join, and any existing BAG remember can remove someone in trial. If someone still wants to join, then they must get community consensus through RfA. That allows the community to "override" any allegations of self-selection. Gimmetrow 07:23, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
              • That's similar to a WikiProject. Having the list split by active and inactive members might be an idea. The other alternative I would suggest is that a notice is posted at RfA, the one place missing from the notification list of the current request. Carcharoth (talk) 07:27, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
                • Also, one of the less relevant places, I think I recall there being some minor drama about someone notifying there, not sure tho. May have been something else. SQLQuery me! 07:29, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
                  • Seems I was thinking of something else. SQLQuery me! 07:31, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
                • Lets try it! Just added mine to WT:RFA. BJTalk 07:40, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
                  • Well, seems like a harmless experiment :) SQLQuery me! 07:44, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
                    • Brave move, BJ! :-) Carcharoth (talk) 07:45, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
                    • SQL, Why do you say it is less relevant? Bots can affect far more pages than admins can. Actually, what I am arguing for here is more community input at BRFA (as others have said). Once that is managed (and we need to recognise that boring-but-necessary bots will not get comments) then who is and isn't on BAG becomes irrelevant. Basically, most BRFAs will get so little community input that BAG will be able to approve the technical grounds easily, though a caveat should always be added that if objections arise then the bot may need to be re-approved (and a way to request that should be made clear to anyone reviewing the bot's edits). What BAG members need to be able to judge is which bots may be controversial, or need community input. A good example is the Fritzpoll one, which I believe has technical approval, but was passed off to a community discussion. Other examples are adminbots that were sort-of approved, but told they needed to pass an RfA. And so on. Betacommand's original bot request is a good example of one that didn't get a proper discussion at the time, was discussed later at a noticeboard, and was never properly re-evaluated during the time it ran after that. It did good work, but the processes of discussion and improvement and more discussion and improvement never really took place on Wikipedia. Carcharoth (talk) 07:45, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
    • As far as I can tell, the only way that RFA becomes relevant from all the arguments I've read, is that it's a high-traffic page. Why stop there? Why not the sitenotice? What about WT:MP? There are tons of high-traffic pages we could slap it on, with little to no added benefit, just like WP:RFA. Moving on, I don't think I would have approved Fritzpoll myself, and, I think, in that case, the approving user should have deferred to a more experienced user (It seems, that the overall task of approval was unclear to them). That leads me to another thing that needs to change around here, there should be some easier method of 'revoking' a BRFA. (Don't even get me started on adminbots :P ) As to the betacommand thing, I assume you're talking about one of the earlier tasks, before BRFA came into use. It was very early on, and, quite probably fumbled badly (no one gets it right on the first try, eh?). However, as you say, it's doing / did good work. IMO, the project came out on top, on that one, and really... Isn't that why we're here? SQLQuery me! 07:56, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
      • Can we agree that the BRFAs need higher levels of community input than the BAG nominations? If the community oppose a bot, they can do so at the BRFA, and BAG should (in theory) acquiesce and say "technically OK, but no consensus for the task"). I absolutely agree that some method of revoking a BRFA is needed. I'll take the Betacommand history discussion to your talk page. :-) Carcharoth (talk) 10:40, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
        • I agree, and, it would make our jobs (evaluating the bots) much easier, if we did get more community participation at BRFA. SQLQuery me! 05:24, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Note parallel discussion at WT:BOT. Gimmetrow 05:55, 6 June 2008 (UTC)


It's probably time we de-flag this bot, as both it, and it's owner have been indef. blocked for two weeks, and, are unlikely to get unblocked (I believe this is the user's second chance already, regarding sockpuppetry). I thought I'd get some opinions here, before looking for a 'crat to do it. (It's not like the bot can *use* the flag right now, as it's blocked) SQLQuery me! 17:15, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

given the reasonable amount of time and the very low chance of unblocking, de-flag. βcommand 2 17:32, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
I agree, and even if he was unblocked, I'd probably suggest he not be allowed to run bots, I'll flag a steward to look at this convo. MBisanz talk 20:36, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
A crat should do :) SQLQuery me! 20:41, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Doh! You can see I've been spending too much time at meta, BN post made. MBisanz talk 20:43, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
I know I'm not a BAG member, but just thought that I'd make a suggestion: that bots operated by indefinitely blocked users (especially for things that they are unlikely to be unblocked for, like abusive sockpuppetry) are deflagged without any discussion as a matter of process, as the flag is redundant (I know that deflagging doesn't do anything, but it keeps things tidy and in order). Just my 2p. RichardΩ612 Ɣ ɸ 20:54, June 16, 2008 (UTC)
Good idea Rich, SQL is working on a list to that end, also LemmeyBOT has made a post at [31] requesting unblock. MBisanz talk 22:04, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
I agree but wait at least a week after the block before de-flagging. βcommand 22:30, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Bot flag removed. — Dan | talk 02:24, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

An account is using the same code. Is there any objection to approving another account to use this script without bot flag? (The edit rate is low enough that a bot flag isn't really necessary.) Gimmetrow 19:07, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

More De-flagging requests

I've got a few more de-flagging requests that I'd like to bring forward for everyone's consideration, please.


The approval for this bot was withdrawn on May 20, 2007, according to the block log. The BRFA notes that it has been blocked, and, suggests that it is no longer approved. No further task requests have been filed pertaining to this bot in over a year, I would suggest it's flag be removed. SQLQuery me! 04:15, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Note EdBoy002 has been renamed to DoubleAW (talk · contribs) and is still active. We should ask him his intentions. MBisanz talk 04:17, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
The operator has been notified of this discussion. SQLQuery me! 04:20, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't plan to use him anymore. ~DoubleAW[c] 19:54, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
 Done EdBot no longer flagged as a bot. EVula // talk // // 04:29, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, EVula! SQLQuery me! 04:30, 19 June 2008 (UTC)


This bot was replaced by AFD Bot (BRFA · contribs · actions log · block log · flag log · user rights) when VFD was renamed. Bot was blocked by the operator over two years ago. BJTalk 04:38, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

AFD Bot is also now inactive (and deflagged). BJTalk 04:43, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
If it's no longer to be used, then, yes, it should probably be de-flagged, until it has a new task to complete. SQLQuery me! 04:52, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Looks like it pre-dates our existing Bot Status and Userrights Logs, hope the crats can still deflag it. MBisanz talk 07:15, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Bot flag removed. EVula // talk // // 04:32, 19 June 2008 (UTC)


The bot was blocked after the operator was blocked for rather colorful comments. BJTalk 05:02, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Relevant links: [35] and [36] SQLQuery me! 05:04, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Bot bit removed. EVula // talk // // 04:38, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

John Bot and John Bot III

Bot operator retired. BJTalk 01:45, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Agree that these shouldn't be running without an op. Anyone want to take up their tasks? giggy (:O) 01:54, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
ImageTaggingBot is handling John Bot III's work. --Carnildo (talk) 02:12, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
Im guessing they will stop soon enough, otherwise block in say a week or so. -- maelgwn - talk 02:08, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
Hold the phone! :) CWii 2(Talk|Contribs) 04:03, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Betacommand's status

I do not understand Betacommand's entry in the BAG table. Is he an "active member" or a "prior member"? Can someone please clarify his entry in the table? Thanks. Kaldari (talk) 15:20, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

I am both, I was a member, left and am now an active member. βcommand 2 15:41, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Per this thread Betacommand, are you still happy to run through a reconfirmation on 20 June? Ryan Postlethwaite 15:51, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
No response, and quite candidly I don't believe BC's happiness ought to be the key determinant in this matter. Until we get the community and bot approvals more or less in line with each other somehow, BRFA is going to continue to be a highly problematic process (even if we're currently in a period of a relatively large amount of skating in between consecutive fights). Alai (talk) 00:38, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Actually there is almost zero problems with the bot approval process. Ryan as for asking about reconfirming, I would prefer to wait until July 1, as I have real life commitments that have been engaging me, and I dont have time for a proper discussion at this time. βcommand 01:40, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
So until then, can we show Betacommand status as "suspended"? Franamax (talk) 02:19, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
I suggested that that would be appropriate at the time, but the page was protected and no one wanted to wheel war over it. Betacommand has not, to my knowledge, performed any actions in the capacity of a BAG member since his suspension, but in the interests of transparency WP:BAG should be reliable as a list of "paid up" BAG members for when quick exercise of authority is required. Happymelon 19:01, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
So far as I know, he is not suspended from the BAG: he's under community-imposed sanctions in (highly) related areas, that neither he nor the rest of the BAG have chosen to take heed of (at least in any formal way regarding said membership). If he's willing to undergo "reconfirmation", and there's some sort of agreement as to what sort of process as to use for that (at least pro temps), I don't imagine it will make much difference in hanging around until July. If no such process proves to be possible, the BAG ought to be considering what special measures might be required to resolve the situation. (The appropriate action seems fairly straightforward and clear to me, but given that it's somehow managed to take this long...) Alai (talk) 19:49, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
It's past July 1. Can we finally get this resolved? rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 04:33, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Indeed. Betacommand, would you like to initiate a reconfirmation, or would you like me to? Otherwise, pending consensus here, I will mark you as 'former'. SQLQuery me! 04:39, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
(e/c and SQL can initiate it too) Per Beta's statement above, I'd think it's safe to remove his name from the BAG list, pending his application for reconfirmation. Obviously, this does not prevent Beta from participating in bot approval discussions and subtracts nothing from his obvious expertise in bot operations, but does remove his authority to assign bot approval or rejection on his own stamp (which I don't think he's done in the last month or so anyway). Whether or not Beta is a formal BAG member, I think his input will be very much valued and considered. Franamax (talk) 04:44, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Concur fully. There's no need to force a reconfirmation on him - BC can stand for BAG again if and when he wants to resume involvement in its activities. Forcing him to stand for reconfirmation when there's no evidence he even wants to continue as a BAG member is pointless. Happymelon 11:35, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
I have moved Betacommand to former. He is welcome to sit for reconfirmation at any time. —Giggy 11:39, 2 July 2008 (UTC)



Post a comment to add a new topic of discussion.


Per the poll (now long old, but valid nonetheless) at WT:BOT, there is no method for selecting BAG members which has community approval. Members nominated (and added to this page post-poll) are not endorsed by the community by virtue of the fact that the community has no reason to participate in a system which it doesn't approve of. I see the last discussion, like the half dozen preceding it, all ended with little if any change (in fact, as far as I can tell, nothing was changed, and the status quo was silently maintained). Maybe the seventh time is the charm? —Locke Coletc 04:42, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm new to this, but perhaps the previous unsuccessful attempts for change can be taken as an indication that the community is well enough satisfied with the current system? Kelly hi! 05:29, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Not really "satisfied," more like "Nobody cares." Mr.Z-man 06:09, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
I'll have to admit that the old system seems to be doing well enough now, at least when people go to sufficient effort to publicize their nomination. If we can get a BAG that will listen to the community even when they don't agree with the BAG -- and I'd say we're getting there, by electing new people and changing the minds of old ones -- then the nomination process isn't as important. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 06:46, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
I just fear that ultimately things will return to how it was before (one or two people supporting a BAG nom with no other input and that being considered "good enough"; no change at all has taken place other than there being a lot of noise made about this entire process). Besides, by continuing to do things this way, we basically ignore that this process has no consensus, and that's never a good thing (especially when so many people seem so vested in keeping things the way they are). Anyways.. I'll join the shared delusion BAG seems to have and just pretend things are "just fine". Let's ignore the elephant in the room for a while longer. —Locke Coletc 06:56, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Community involvement cannot be forced. there needs to be a balance between informed discussion and voting without knowing anything. just getting people to vote does not help a discussion. A better solution is an informed discussion with as many informed people as possible. βcommand 13:20, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
I disagree with the pretext that there are so many uninformed people that a wider audience would actually introduce error into the process. RFA may have issues, but it's a high traffic destination that gets enough eyeballs to make the whole thing reasonably credible. And no, I'm not saying we should advertise in the site notice... —Locke Coletc 07:44, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
I think our best (indeed only) defence against successful RfBAGs with only a handful of contributors is insisting that bureaucrats close all discussions. They are appointed because they understand the crucial difference between "unanimity" and "consensus". Happymelon 18:51, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm not so sure about nobody cares so much as worn down in the face of a concerted effort by the incumbents to say as little as possible, do as little as possible, and wait for it all to blow over once again. I can't ascribe any motivations or group action to that effect, I can't say I wouldn't take the same course in a similar position, and I do think there has been some movement in the direction I've been personally pushing, i.e. toward the community. With some backward steps which are now in the past, also with the forward impetus of the RFA/RFBAG process. Like LC though, I'm thinking the sails are slack right now pending the next big blow. I'm still not grasping what was wrong with the RFA-presence process that brought so much community participation - what exactly was the negative there? Franamax (talk) 06:17, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
The oft repeated issue with the RFA-style process is that it brought in "the wrong kind" of opinion. Personally I think that's a bit high and mighty of a position to hold for BAG given the accusations of cabalism in this group. I can't imagine a situation, on a wiki, where there's such a thing as "too much opinion" (unless your attitude is that opinions that may disagree with yours are "the wrong kind"). AFAIK no BAG nomination in the currently active process has achieved the kind of input the RFA BAG noms received. —Locke Coletc 07:42, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Both systems work fine in my opinion, of course with the RFA style system getting more input. The only problem with the RFA style system is that some people don't think it is the proper venue. I, for one, welcome my new RFA overlords and would be happy to be reconfirmed under the system. BJTalk 07:51, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
I would be happy to undergo a reconfirmation under the WT:BAG or WP:RFBAG (ie. RfA) systems. giggy (:O) 07:55, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Bj and giggy. —Locke Coletc 01:01, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
Basically the only difference I can see between the current system and the RfA system is the amount of publicity the RfA systems gets, so many more people comment on it. I think with time this would 1. probably reduce and 2. regular visitors the RfA page would get used to what is needed in a BAG candidate, so would have a better understanding and be able to vote in a more informed manner. Can someone involved in the reversion explain the reason why the system was rejected? -- maelgwn - talk 08:25, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm not even sure the assertion that RfBAG at RfA would get more attention is true: my own RfBAG, at least, didn't really get that many more comments than the ones that have since been handled on WT:BAG — and that's even though it ran for twice the designated time (10 days instead of 5) before I withdrew it. It may be, as you suggest, that RfA regulars would get more used to RfBAGs over time and that this would let them participate better in the process — but then again, it might not. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 22:13, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Your RfBAG was right at the tail end of the test, and after objections were already being raised to the entire process. That, I suspect, lead to the low turnout in your case. The turnout in the other nominations were all (as far as I know) higher. As to nominations handled here on WT:BAG, again, the turnout increase is a recent event, prior to the drama over BAG nominations the turnout was typically far far lower (and I expect will return to that same level unless something changes, as nothing has changed AFAIK that would keep this level of interest up). —Locke Coletc 01:01, 23 June 2008 (UTC)


One of Lightbot's tasks has been delinking of date fragments which it has been doing everywhere despite the policy stating that some links are allowed if supported by context.

Date elements that do not contain both a day number and a month should not generally be linked; for example, solitary months, solitary days of the week, solitary years, decades, centuries, and month and year combinations. Such links should not be used unless following the link would genuinely help the reader understand the topic more fully; see WP:CONTEXT.

Since date-linking is quite an old practice on WP, the enforcement of this policy by a bot, which cannot determine context, can only be controversial. Allowing the operator to make that determination across the entire project would hardly be any better.

With that in mind it's not surprising that several users have complained to Lightmouse about the bot's behaviour. In all cases he has either deflected complainants to the surly world of Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers), replied with a boilerplate reference to policy or simply removed the comment from his talk page.

In my opinion, none of this is showing much respect to users or to the principles of consensus and collaboration. Many users when confronted with this kind of behaviour will just sigh and walk away. Indeed I'm rather sick of this issue myself, having thought it would be a simple matter of bringing something dubious to the operator's attention. This whole experience seems to be symptomatic of a disturbing trend in WP where only the most obsessed and aggressive win out.

Since Lightmouse is not really responding to complaints, could someone here have a look at this? I'm not sure exactly what needs to be done. I'm sure Lightbot does do valuable work, so I'm not asking for anything as dramatic as revoking bot status, but the current situation is not good.

Thanks for reading. ☸ Moilleadóir 00:53, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm hesitant to get involved here, as I don't think the bot policy nor the approval mandate are being violated. There is a discussion at WT:MOSNUM (as you know) and I think that is the proper venue for this. If you feel consensus is against bots removing the links and Lightmouse refuses to remove that function I would request a block at WP:ANI. BJTalk 01:19, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
Just commenting on BJs remarks above, but BAG is not a step in the DR process although, speaking for myself, we'd be more then likely to honor any such decisions that come out of it. Q T C 05:23, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
Why does there need to be a consensus against the bot removing the links? I can't see that any real consensus has been sought for removal. Surely that should come first. The first anyone knew of it was when the links were already being removed.
The 'discussion' at WT:MOSNUM seems to have entered the 'ignore it and it will go away' phase. I don't expect to get any substantive response there. ☸ Moilleadóir 07:49, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
It says on the approval for his bot, that it is manually assisted and that means the operator should be checking context on every edit. A quick glance at WT:MOSNUM shows support for removing the links. -- maelgwn - talk 10:23, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
Just to set the record straight...
Supporting: User:Tony1, User:Greg L, User:Jimp, User:Lightmouse (all MOSNUM regulars)
Opposing/Questioning: User:Justa Punk, User:LeadSongDog, User:Hroðulf, User:Moilleadóir, User:Jheald, User:Cardsplayer4life, User:Francis Schonken (mostly users drawn there by the actions of the bot)
It may be a little hard to see the people complaining due to the large volume of text that some of the regulars produce.
Re: manual checking, doesn't this effectively give the interpretation of the policy across the entire Wikipedia to one person? How is that collaborative? If an editor reverts an edit by the bot on the grounds that it's contextually appropriate (as allowed by the policy) won't it just be changed again by the bot?
From a cursory check of recent edits, it appears Lightbot has stopped delinking years, which I suspect is the main source of annoyance. No one that complained has been informed.
Moilleadóir 06:32, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
The bot should not be going back over the same page more than once because that can remove edits where more attention has been paid to the context. Manual checking is no different from an editor changing the page the 'normal' way, when it still relies on their interpretation of the context. -- maelgwn - talk 06:41, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

The bot seems to be running again, and I have seen complaints about it on the Village Pump. I'm trying to figure out if this bot has been given the go-ahead to make this change, especially since it's doing its work before a change to the MOSNUM guide has been put in place. Most bots have an explanation of what the bot does, and a link to where it got its approval on the user page, and WP:BOT#Bot requirements states the former, at least, should be done. But Lightbot's user page gives no indication of what it does, or of any approval processes it went through. The bot's talk page requests discussion be put on the owner's user talk page (the owner is in the list of "supporting" above, which certainly isn't appropriate), and the owner's user page is a redirect to his talk page, so there are no specs about the bot to be found there, either. I can understand the frustration some users have over this. BTW, I am not against utlimately delinking dates and I think MOSNUM should have made a stand on this by now. --A Knight Who Says Ni (talk) 17:13, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Are you sure this is an unsupervised task? If it's manually checked on each edit, I don't see the problem. After all, the policy quoted above does say "Date elements that do not contain both a day number and a month should not generally be linked". Are there any examples of links Lightbot had removed that should not have been? A quick perusal shows lots of cases where lone years were delinked, but in every case I see the link to the year was not informative or useful. If he's delinking 1995 from the 1995 in music article, then that's a problem, but so far this seems to be a complaint in search of a problem. – Quadell (talk) 18:26, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Deflagging part two

HBC AIV helperbot

Bot operator retired. BJTalk 19:52, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Agree with deflagging, user has retired and the task has been taken over by other bots, so there is no real need for this account to be flagged. RichardΩ612 Ɣ ɸ 20:02, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
 Done Kingturtle (talk) 16:50, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Gnome (Bot)

Bot has been blocked for almost a year. BJTalk 19:58, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Bot was blocked for a malfunction / blanking, and, apparently hasn't been addressed since then. A de-flag sounds appropriate. SQLQuery me! 20:00, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
 Done Kingturtle (talk) 16:52, 9 July 2008 (UTC)


Has been blocked since January. BJTalk 20:01, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Owner is no longer active, and, last checked, bot was still malfunctioning. Sounds sensible that it should no longer be flagged. SQLQuery me! 20:02, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
 Done Kingturtle (talk) 16:53, 9 July 2008 (UTC)


Operator is clearly incompetent. BJTalk 20:05, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Clearly :) Gary King (talk) 20:09, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Given that the operator brought his own bot here for de-flag, I'd say go ahead. SQLQuery me! 17:20, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Damn, Kingturtle already revoked the bit. I was looking forward to getting a dig in on this one. ;) EVula // talk // // 18:28, 9 July 2008 (UTC)


Blocked by operator because the password was released. BJTalk 20:08, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Owner likes his bot. He uses it for API reads. --uǝʌǝsʎʇɹoɟʇs(st47) 00:47, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Don't you have a stack of other bots to read API with? —Giggy 07:47, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Then change the password? One of the things we allow bots to do is bypass limits in the API. It's not available to everyone for a reason... SQLQuery me! 17:19, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Bot that haven't edited since before 2007

MBisanz notified the bot operators back in March. BJTalk 17:01, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

 Done - all of 'em. Kingturtle (talk) 17:10, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
I think everyone here would like to say a big thanks :> ·Add§hore· Talk/Cont 17:19, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Active vs. inactive BAG members

I was looking through the active vs. inactive BAG members, and there doesn't seem to be a clear guideline as to when one becomes inactive. Here is a list of BAG members, sorted by their most recent BAG-related edit. (For the purposes of this, I define a "BAG-related edit" as an edit to a Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/ subpage, that's not for a bot the member himself is trying to get approval for. There are other things BAGgers do, like comment on talk pages and whatnot, but it seems to me that approving/disapproving/commenting on another user's bot request is the heart of BAG-duty.)

BAG member Most recent BAG-related edit Days ago
User:Bjweeks 2008-07-15 (diff) 0
User:Cobi 2008-07-12 (diff) 3
User:Coren 2007-12-27 (diff) 201
User:Daniel 2008-05-29 (diff) 47
User:E 2008-07-06 (diff) 9
User:Giggy 2008-07-12 (diff) 3
User:Gimmetrow 2008-07-11 (diff) 4
User:Krimpet 2008-05-20 (diff) 56
User:MaxSem 2008-05-15 (diff) 61
User:Maxim 2008-07-13 (diff) 2
User:MBisanz 2008-07-06 (diff) 9
User:Mr.Z-man 2008-07-12 (diff) 3
User:OverlordQ 2008-07-12 (diff) 3
User:Reedy 2008-07-03 (diff) 12
User:Richard0612 2008-07-15 (diff) 0
User:Soxred93 2008-07-07 (diff) 8
User:SQL 2008-07-14 (diff) 1
User:Tawker 2008-07-09 (diff) 6
User:Werdna 2008-07-10 (diff) 5
User:Xaosflux 2008-05-08 (diff) 68

It seems there's a clear line between the fifteen member who have been active in the last 2 weeks (most in the last week), and the five who haven't been active in months. Should these members be moved to inactive? (Of course this isn't meant to slight them or their past work at all; it's just meant as a recognition of which members are active, empirically speaking.) – Quadell (talk) 17:02, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

We usually just change our own status'es. SQLQuery me! 18:49, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
I can respect that, but there is a bit of a built-in inefficiency there. Those who are most likely to update their status on a BAG page are least likely to need to. And vice versa. – Quadell (talk) 19:35, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
You expect people who suddenly stop editing for a long period of time to come back and change this particular page? ; - ) --MZMcBride (talk) 07:25, 29 July 2008 (UTC)


Wasn't Betcommand's reconfirmation supposed to have taken place on 2 July? What happened to the outcome? =Nichalp «Talk»= 07:34, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

He was removed from the Bot Approval Group. BJTalk 07:35, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Ok, I have removed the reconfirmation note on the BAG members page. [37] =Nichalp «Talk»= 07:40, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Request for BAG membership: Quadell


SQL has gone and removed all references to reconfirmation on this page (except for the asterisks next to the people who did it, where the footnote refers to it only as a "brief test"). This seems to eliminate from the record the fact that E, Reedy, SQL, and Werdna (am I missing anyone?) joined the BAG before BAG reform began and were never reconfirmed under any sort of process.

I know that we gave up on the idea of a new BAG approval process, but that's not the same as giving up on the idea that BAG members need to be reconfirmed under some sort of process. The "WT:BAG and spam various noticeboards" process, for example, would be one way to do so. But now the page makes it look as if reconfirmation never happened. Should it really be that way? rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 01:04, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

You are also forgetting the inactive BAG members, most who joined long before the current system. BJTalk 01:38, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
Am I missing something? Werdna is a confirmed member of BAG, with 99% approval. Has that process been deemed illegitimate somewhere? It was halted with a moratorium, but I don't recall anyone saying those 33 people were dead wrong. Franamax (talk) 02:26, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
And now I'm either more informed or more confused. The process was made available to the community and the community clearly expressed its wishes. Apparently that process has now been repudiated - but by whom? Through what consensus? As far as I'm concerned, WJBscribe, an en:wiki bureaucrat, has declared Werdna a confirmed member of BAG. I see no retraction by WJBscribe nor Werdna, and I see community consensus, accurately judged. Clearly some essential step has escaped my grasp. Could I be enlightened? Franamax (talk) 03:03, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
Nope, you didn't miss anything, I did. Werdna was properly reconfirmed. SQL didn't give him a star, so I overlooked it. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 05:48, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
I missed one, then. I assure you it was completely in error, and, I hadn't even noticed, an honest mistake. I don't have anything at all against Werdna that I'm aware of. I'll go correct that now. SQLQuery me! 05:59, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
FWIW, you left the star in, by Werdna. SQLQuery me! 06:10, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
If you don't agree with the summary I left, you could always edit it. It seemed like an accurate summary to me, and, follows the same basic format as the other way it was done. I am honestly confused why you couldn't just ask me, instead of making various insinuations here. It appeared to me to be a 'test system' much as the last one, and, I marked it as such. And, yeah, you did miss a few (that's nowhere near complete either, I lost the drive to go back any further at some point. IIRC there was a more complete list somewhere in the archives here however). I don't disagree with you about reconfirmation, FWIW. Anyhow, I made an attempt at a compromise to the page. I'm going to take a shot at cleaning the other one up a bit as well, if you don't mind too much. SQLQuery me! 03:31, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
Since the RFBAG-selected members were approved by the community and confirmed by bureaucrats selected for their judgement, I'm not aware of a need to place an asterisk beside any of those names. They are confirmed members of BAG. Is there any objection, should I desire to excise the asterisk and footnote from the page? Franamax (talk) 04:36, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
Well, do whatever you want, it's not that big of a deal to me. Frankly, I've come to realize, that whatever edits I make to that page, are the absolute wrong thing to do by some people, and, therefore will abstain from doing so from now on. Admittedly, apparently I was a bit confused about the actual status of that test (I thought it had been agreed to be a test, and, was discontinued... I can't find the thread I'm thinking of however, so, I must be remembering wrong), and, the proper way to format / present it. SQLQuery me! 04:43, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
Easy now :) I don't think it was me who said everything you do is wrong, and I'm pretty sure it's not me asking you to abstain. There's a whole lot of voices here though, you gotta figure at least one will always find something to argue with - if you said Wikipedia is run on computers, someone would say no.
My recollection was that it was not so much a test, I believe that Coren held a utalk discussion with advertising and decided there was sufficient consensus to make it live. I can understand your and others objection to that process - but it happened and 'crats closed discussions with determinations, which I haven't seen retracted.
Of course, the key issue here is BAG as a self-selecting group, and whether, once the RFBAG process became no longer self-selecting and went to the RFA page for some time, the self-selected BAG group can now invalidate the process and put asterisks against the BAG members confirmed by the community. I'm pretty much on record as supporting the wider community process, SQL I think you are more on the opposing side.
But don't stop contributing, stay cool and keep talking. Alternatively, tomorrow is another day :) Franamax (talk) 05:11, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Okay, there's been a bit of confusion over what I meant -- particularly because my list of people was not particularly accurate. The page used to list which members were reconfirmed. Now it doesn't. It's as if reconfirmation never happened. The previous BAG members who went to the effort to get reconfirmed with more community input deserve some credit for that, and the ones who haven't yet should still be encouraged to do so.

Anyway, I'm going to edit the page so that it once again indicates who has been reconfirmed and when. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 05:55, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Um, what? It was a system that was tried and (apparently) decided against for whatever reason. I strongly oppose this notion of "BAG member plus". If you want to make RfBAG the standard process fine but giving those people more weight is wrong. I agree with Franamax that the asterisks should be removed (as well as any other mention of RfBAG). BJTalk 06:01, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
It sounds like with "RfBAG" you are talking about whether the nomination was transcluded on RfA. That is a dead issue and it is not what I am talking about. I am talking about the fact that some BAG members who were put on BAG before April have reconfirmed themselves with more community input. For this issue, it does not matter where they did so, as long as the community was involved. If some people did so on WT:BAG, I've probably missed it, and it would be correct to list that as well. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 06:09, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
Then I'm really confused, most of the active BAG (actually active) were recently added under the new WT:BAG system. BJTalk 06:14, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
You are confused. They just joined and there wasn't anything particularly wrong with how they did so, so why would they be expected to reconfirm now? I'll start over once more in just a moment. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 06:16, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Starting over once more. Please stop digging up the past issue of RfA transclusion versus WT:BAG. It was divisive. It was resolved poorly. It's over. But I see no indication that anyone wanted to throw out the concept of reconfirmation with it.

BAG members who were promoted before April were promoted with essentially no community input. Some people who were promoted before April later went through another nomination and got more community input. This is called "reconfirmation".

If, like me and many others, you consider nominations before April to be shaky, these five or so people have a better nomination you can look at. Why remove the record of that? rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 06:21, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

I was confused because the only time I've heard "reconfirm" lately was in reference to RfBAG and this entire thread is talking about RfBAG links. This is the first time I know reconfirmation at WT:BAG was brought up. Regardless any form of reconfirmation is pointless unless we are going to remove people who don't do it. We both know those who would fail and they know it. Running for an optional reconfirmation you can't pass is just bad politics. BJTalk 06:27, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
There's more to this than whether you win or lose at wikipolitics. Yes, there are BAG members who would fail a reconfirmation. But think about this: the only reason anyone's on BAG in the first place is because they want to help Wikipedia, so hopefully they care on some level about what the rest of Wikipedia thinks of them being on BAG. Maybe one day they will reconfirm. Maybe they will decide to step down. Or maybe they will change the way they handle bot issues and try to get the community on their side. We don't need to make the ugly proposal of forcibly removing people from BAG, but we also don't need to pretend reconfirmation never happened just to defend people who may never be reconfirmed. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 06:46, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
You are clearly better at assuming good faith than I. If we are making a record, should the people that passed under the new system be noted? BJTalk 07:06, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
Seems hard to do without drawing arbitrary lines. I mean, the new system (assuming you mean WT:BAG) is basically the old one except that people care about it this time. What's important to me is that the historical links to the nominations and reconfirmations are there. Here's why reconfirmation links are useful: suppose I want to see why, say, Cobi belongs on BAG. If I click his "joined" link, the answer I get is "because he added himself back when you could do that". But his reconfirmation link shows that 43 people unanimously supported him, a much more useful observation. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 07:14, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
As far as I know everybody that added themselves was reconfirmed (under the old WT:BAG system?) or removed. BJTalk 07:17, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
Ah, so there are more reconfirmations out there. We should add those as well. They may have as little input as some of the non-reconfirmed people, but again, it's good to have the information out there. rspeer / ɹəədsɹ 07:23, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
(multi e/c - placing at my orig indent level - I agree all links are useful)
I'm going to take a wild stab at membership history here, based on my vague impressions:
  1. Members who "always were" - they joined back in the good ol' days, when you signed up because you cared and everyone worked together
  2. Mounting concerns culminate in an attempt to delete the BAG page - March 2007 or so?
  3. Formal BAG self-selection - candidates self-nominate and are approved by BAG internal consensus
  4. Experiment with self-addition (Nov07? Feb08?) ending in failure when a self-added member was found to be approving bad bots
  5. At this point (?) reconfirmation is decided as a requirement
  6. Return to BAG self-nom/self-selection
  7. RFBAG "experiment" where existing members and new members gained consensus at RFA
  8. Moratorium on RFBAG, initiation of wide advertising with inception and reconfirmation at WT:BAG
  9. Needs to be said (pace Krimpet) that one of the first inceptions under this system was the admin who declared the moratorium on RFBAG
  10. And the current status quo appears to be the wide advertising method with discussion centralized at (approx.) WT:BAG
I claim no particular grasp of the facts; I believe this is a reasonably accurate timeline; I am happy to be educated.
I will generally endorse rspeer directly above (06:46UTC) - there is no great need to eject anyone from the current group (though as in any group, inactive members may be considered to have lost their privilege).
My focus on Werdna was due to the apparent gap-out of both SQL and rspeer and not due to any wish to emphasize RFBAG selection above the current process, several other BAGers have reconfirmed under the current advertise BAG-page process, this process is equivalent. Per rspeer, the important criterion is desire and ability to contribute.
Notwithstanding, my preference will always be the RFBAG process, which I felt delivered solid results and was judged by bureaucrats - the community members selected by acclaim for their judgement and balance.
In my view, BAG should draw a date-line. At some point, BAG itself decided a reconfirmation process was desirable. When was that? Whether that reconfirmation was through RFBAG or WT:BAG is irrelevant, as long as it has happened. There seems no need for footnoting, the "discussion" link will provide the appropriate context. Franamax (talk) 08:18, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
Drama. Snowolf How can I help? 19:33, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your valuable contribution to resolving this thread. At least you have a comment, which stands in contrast to most members of the current Bot Approvals Group. The message here seems to be "we don't do Wikipedia community, we do bots. Go away." Franamax (talk) 23:57, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
There are a large number of people missing from the Inactive and Former section, it might be nice to dig back in the page history and construct an accurate timeline. MBisanz talk 01:22, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

BAGBot and Wikipedia:BAG/Status

Due to the request タチコマ robot (10), the status page is not being updated (formatting problems). Could someone take care of the request or even remove it off the BRFA page so the bot can continue its tasks. Thanks. — E TCB 08:29, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

WikiDreamer Bot concerns

WikiDreamer Bot

Wikipedia:Bot policy reads : Bot operators using the pywikipedia framework should ensure that they use the latest version of the framework and update this daily.

That pywikipedia bug report clearly states that WikiDreamer has been running an august 2007 version of pywikipedia - not to mention that it also clearly shows that WikiDreamer is not at all mastering python installation/usage.

This is incredibly irresponsible. You all know how much mediawiki has changed since that time: I bet that you imagine how much our framework has been changing to ensure compatiblity with the newer version of mediawiki (more than 2000 revisions), not to mention the huge number of bugs that have been fixed (rough number of closed bugs since that time : 250+ ).

I am in fact astonished that the bot has even been able to run, given the huge time difference. We are all very lucky that no important bug has been affecting our wikis: we tend to trust a lot pywikipedia interwiki bots, not checking closely their edits, something really bad could have happened.

On a sidenote, I still suspect WikiDreamer to be a sockpuppet of King Willan, owner of King Willan Bot (BRFA : Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/King Willan Bot ) - even if he claims that King Willan was... his brother ! That other bot had me to run to all the wikis where it had requested a botflag in February 2008, to warn local bureaucrats about dangers...

I have not been voting against WikiDreamer' bot flag requests in July 2008, nor here nor on fr:, because WikiDreamer had by the time waited 2 months and at first proved himself very communicating and willing to learn about bot techniques: I decided, basically, to let him try his chances.

However, the risks that have been allegedly taken force me to reconsider my choice. I have asked for his bot flag to be removed on fr:, and I really think that his bot flag should be removed too on en: :(

NicDumZ ~ 16:27, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

We've never done this without the case being clear cut. What's the procedure? BJTalk 16:37, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
I've blocked the bot meanwhile. Guess, its further operation requires some discussion. MaxSem(Han shot first!) 16:51, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
Might I suggest WP:RFC/BOT? MBisanz talk 17:02, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
On second thought, it appears the stewards have deemed this bot dangerous to wikis, maybe a simple request can be put in at WP:BN. MBisanz talk 01:12, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
I've left a note at BN. Mr.Z-man 03:05, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Endorse flag removal until the operator can verify that they are operating it responsibly (I.e. up to date!) Has anyone notified the operator of this discussion? SQLQuery me! 05:19, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Apparently not, so notified SQLQuery me! 05:23, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Actually I had warned him on fr: : [38] NicDumZ ~ 07:41, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Because of this report, and the one on fr:, WikiDreamer is now filling a case in the French Arbcom against me. Accordingly I am violent, impatient, and I violate the five pillars. This is here. I am not sure - in fact, I dont think - that this is going anywhere, but the least I can do is to warn you about what's happening overthere. I recommend waiting for this Arbcom case to evolve before taking into account my previous message, at least if no other person is able to confirm my words: in theory, if the French Arbcom rules that I am biaised, then any of my words would need to be reconsidered... NicDumZ ~ 07:41, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

As expected, the request for arbitration has been quickly rejected. NicDumZ ~ 14:17, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

I've removed the bot flag. See reasons at WP:BN. RlevseTalk 11:24, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Diff here. RlevseTalk 11:31, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Nobody thinks to wait my answer or read this page and this page? --WikiDreamer (talk) 13:25, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
No, bots are blocked until they are fixed. And we mostly don't read French, so your responses aren't helpful to determine what's wrong and what will you do to ensure that your boy is always up-t-date. MaxSem(Han shot first!) 13:29, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
I will try to translate these pages into English, but this will take very time. --WikiDreamer (talk) 14:23, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
I think it is useless. My cause is already lost in advance. —Preceding unsigned comment added by WikiDreamer (talkcontribs) 15:26, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Following the debate on the fr: botstatus page, WikiDreamer's bot bit has been removed. NicDumZ ~ 14:17, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

A bot to add archiver to talk pages

Currently the text to start archiving a talk page needs to be added manually. Should all pages have archives and if so anyway to add them automatically to all talk pages? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:13, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Archiving is usually handled on a page-by-page basis (some require longer waits, shorter waits, etc.) so automatically adding archiving to every page would probably not be well-received. I do think there is a userscript or some code snippet you can install to easily add archiving to a page if you find yourself setting a lot of automatic archiving up... –xenotalk 19:18, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Also if every talk page was to be archived, then the default config would not need ot be written to them. Rich Farmbrough, 14:21, 21 December 2009 (UTC).

Any input from the BAG appreciated

Hello, I wanted to open up to the BAG regarding a set of items (a tool + a bot) that I've been conceptualizing and designing. The tool is (tentatively) known as CollabRC and consists of two components: a tool similar in concept to huggle that allows for assisted reversion of vandalism, and the CollabRCBot which learns from those assisted edits and develops two models: one for recommending "high priority alerts" which are likely vandalism and feeding that off to the users of CollabRC, and one for determining "surely vandalism" and reverting it on its own (much like User:ClueBot already does). The design uses a genetic algorithm for implementation of artificial intelligence (the details of the genetics that have been laid out are at User:Shirik/CollabRC/Genetics) which I hope will be able to attack vandalism from a different angle, picking up things that ClueBot might miss due to recent trends in vandalism or simply vandalism which is not as obvious from a direct rule-based system. Any input from the BAG regarding concerns about the bot or things to be sure about during implementation in preparation for approval would be most appreciated. Please note that, while I have created the account already, it will not be editing until approval. Thanks for any insight from the experts. Shirik (talk) 19:15, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

When it comes time for the BRFA, the most important thing is to be sufficiently detailed in the proposal. For example, you could train the bot on half of the corpus of vandal/not vandal edits, and then run through the other half and report the resulting statistics. Also keep in mind that the community demands basically zero false positives in an anti-vandal bot, or it will be quickly shut down for biting newcomers. Anomie 15:36, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
The definition of "false positive" is a bit strange for this bot, but I totally agree. I have intentionally set the penalty for false "confident positives" extremely high, so it should be pretty much guaranteed if it does a reversion to be vandalism (naturally I can't say for sure until I've done some testing). However, there is the possibility of a false "unsure positive" where it thinks something is vandalism but isn't 100% sure. This penalty is much lower, but these edits aren't reverted. Instead, they follow something similar to edit filter tags where the revision is reported as a "high priority alert" to users that can manually inspect the revision and act upon it. I think this might be the compromise that the community is looking for; it doesn't bite newcomers while being productive at finding less trivial vandalism. Thanks for the input. --Shirik (talk) 18:53, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
As far as what I was saying, "false positive" means reverts that should not have happened. False positives in the bot's "these should have human attention" reports aren't really a community concern. Anomie 04:04, 21 December 2009 (UTC)