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This is a message board for coordinating and discussing bot-related issues on Wikipedia (also including other programs interacting with the MediaWiki software). Although this page is frequented mainly by bot owners, any user is welcome to leave a message or join the discussion here.

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

Contents


New archive boxEdit

Thanks to Primefac for getting the ball rolling on this with the creation of Wikipedia:Bots/ArchiveBox. I spiffied it up a bit, and deployed it on all bot-related venues we have.

The functionalities are what you'd expect. The relevant section of the box automatically opens up, providing you with a search box specific to the venue you are at, with a general search box covering everything bot-related. Specifically, any pages that start with Wikipedia:Bot or Wikipedia talk:Bot, including things like Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Bibcode Bot.

Suggestions for improvements and general feedback welcomed, of course. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 19:22, 23 June 2019 (UTC)

Looks nice! — xaosflux Talk 19:53, 23 June 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Bots/StatusEdit

Soooo... anyone feel like working on redoing Wikipedia:Bots/Status? I think it would be handy to have an index of all bots, but it will be a lot of work. — xaosflux Talk 01:15, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

It might be the perfect job for a bot. Someone should make a bot request. --Izno (talk) 01:58, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
Izno, someone should file a bot request to make bot requests, one to handle BRFAs, and another bot to write the bots. —CYBERPOWER (Around) 02:39, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
 :) I mean, we already do have a bot which takes care of the WP:Bot requests table of contents, and this feels like a similar kind of request; a bot could keep track of recent changes for editing bots or something similar. An alternative implementation might be to request that bot ops, when they file their BRFA, to make a JSON representation or something of the tasks their bot is executing, which a bot could keep track of. --Izno (talk) 02:49, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
Could have a standardized template that can be placed on bot user pages to indicate tasks. Galobtter (pingó mió) 08:33, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
I went with Json as that's machine-readable, but that's another alternative. --Izno (talk) 13:14, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
@Galobtter: I've seen other projects do that, it it normally works pretty well as long as some exceptions are allowed for very complex bots with lots and lots of tasks - I don't think that solves a central database (table?) of bots ask though. Such a location could include every task summary and the status of each task (proposed/approved/completed/unapproved). — xaosflux Talk 13:31, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
We now have Category:Active Wikipedia bots. At some point we use categories to better work with these things. -- Magioladitis (talk) 13:41, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
Doesn't help for the "does someone have a bot that does x" or looking for what other bots might this new request conflict with type searches though. — xaosflux Talk 14:39, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

─────────────────If we were to create a table of which bots do what, the category of approved BRFAs would be a good place to start - just create the first column based on that cat. Then, go through and mark whether it was a one-time-run or continuous. The latter group can then be further categorized/described. So yes, a lot of work. Primefac (talk) 16:03, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

I made a start on something similar a while ago, taking all of the approved BRFAs and sorting them by bot. I should be able to post something within a few days.— DannyS712 (talk) 16:06, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

I can certainly cleanup the list. How many years of no editing is considered ad "inactive"? I recall we had a rule on when to remove bot flag. -- Magioladitis (talk) 17:03, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

I think this is more for listing the tasks being performed by active bots (not necessarily listing just the bots). For example, Task 30 by my bot for dealing with deprecated/broken parameters in templates, or Task 2 which disables cats on draft pages. Primefac (talk) 17:06, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
User:DannyS712/sandbox10 is a list of all approved BRFAs, as of 14 May 2019. I'm organizing it by bot. Once that is done, separating the "active" bots from the "inactive" bots results in 2 lists: a list of tasks that are completed or still running, and a list of tasks that either were completed or have standing approval but are no longer being actively done by current bots. --DannyS712 (talk) 17:09, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
To get to the point where they need a new BRFA it is very lenient and we usually batch process them twice a year. The current policy require both the bot AND the operator (would be nice to have these on a table :D ) to be 100% inactive for 2 years to force retire a bot. Though if a bot only had one-off-tasks and they were all completed it would be feasible to mark them inactive and deflag them as well. — xaosflux Talk 17:11, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
Xaosflux do you recall when was the last check for inactive bots? -- Magioladitis (talk) 18:42, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
May 2019. Primefac (talk) 18:46, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

I found many inactive bots (more than 5 years with no edits) that their owners are active. I wonder if we should at least ask bot owners if they are OK to have the bot flag removed for security reasons. I took the liberty to ask User talk:Traveler100. -- Magioladitis (talk) 18:52, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

xaosflux Can you please remove the flags from Traveler100's bots? I contacted them and they agree. -- Magioladitis (talk) 23:41, 3 July 2019 (UTC)

@Magioladitis:   Done per the operator's request. — xaosflux Talk 23:51, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
I did that a maybe 2 years ago, its fine to check in with the inactive operators periodically - they can always re-BRFA, not likes its RfA! — xaosflux Talk 23:52, 3 July 2019 (UTC)

Remove bot flag?Edit

User:Italic title bot has no edits since 2013. -- Magioladitis (talk) 17:11, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

@Magioladitis: (see also prior section) the current bot policy only forces removal if both the bot and operator are inactive. However if @~riley: isn't going to operate this anymore and asks, we certainly can mark it retired! — xaosflux Talk 17:13, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

User:KolbertBot is malfunctioning - breaking Archive URLsEdit

  Moved from WP:ANI
BOT: KolbertBot (t · c · del · cross-wiki · SUL · edit counter · pages created (xtools • sigma· non-automated edits · BLP edits · logs (block • rights • moves) · rfar · spi) (assign permissions)(acc · ap · fm · mms · npr · pm · pcr · rb · te)
OP: Jon Kolbert (t · c · del · cross-wiki · SUL · edit counter · pages created (xtools • sigma· non-automated edits · BLP edits · logs (block • rights • moves) · rfar · spi) (assign permissions)(acc · ap · fm · mms · npr · pm · pcr · rb · te)

I just noticed this on something on my watchhlist, and I suspect it's a problem everywhere now. While performing "Task #2 : Remove link referral data", the bot removes the referral information from the URLs. Which is fine for most normal URLs, but if the archive URL had referral data, it now doesn't work. Example:

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Chinese_People%27s_Liberation_Army_Support_Base_in_Djibouti&curid=54667043&diff=904972637&oldid=903790483

Replaced archive-url=https://archive.today/20181206171026/https://thediplomat.com/2018/12/chinas-djibouti-base-a-one-year-update/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ebb%2006.12.18&utm_term=Editorial%20-%20Military%20-%20Early%20Bird%20Brief

with

archive-url=https://archive.today/20181206171026/https://thediplomat.com/2018/12/chinas-djibouti-base-a-one-year-update/

Well intentioned, I'm sure, but the new link does not work. Which rather defeats the whole point of having an archive-url to begin with.

Could we consider disabling this feature on "|archive-url" for the time being? Or somehow preventing it from mangling them?

PvOberstein (talk) 03:12, 6 July 2019 (UTC)

"archive.today" appears to be the only archive "service" that incorrectly uses the URL tracking parameters in this manner. (See for example https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:https://thediplomat.com/2018/12/chinas-djibouti-base-a-one-year-update/ or http://web.archive.org/web/20190626001057/https://thediplomat.com/2018/12/chinas-djibouti-base-a-one-year-update/ ) Have you notified the bot's operator? ST47 (talk) 03:46, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
@ST47: I believe I have now, thank you. PvOberstein (talk) 14:55, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
I wouldn't assume it is the only one (we use 20-some archive providers), or that it is "incorrect", just how archive.today does things. All the providers have features. -- GreenC 15:34, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Operator Jon Kolbert has been notified. @PvOberstein: are you seeing malfunctions at a high rate, such that blocking may be needed prior to giving the operator a chance to review? — xaosflux Talk 15:23, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: I've only seen it on few pages on my personal Watchlist (since I use archive.today a fair bit) such as in this example, but have yet to encounter it in the wild. I'll defer to more experienced hands as to whether it's a severe enough problem to necessitate blocking. PvOberstein (talk) 15:34, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
The problem is still ongoing diff. -- GreenC 15:42, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Jon and I discussed this before. He said in December 2018, "I have added the necessary adjustments" to avoid modifying archive URLs to 20-some archive providers. -- GreenC 15:27, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
  • @PvOberstein: regarding "the new link does not work" - when I'm checking right now it also appears the old link doesn't work either - is it working for you? — xaosflux Talk 16:06, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
[1] works (for me). -- GreenC 16:08, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Wait what? From your example above, is the bot changing "archive.fo" links to "archive.today", if not what does that have to do with this? — xaosflux Talk 16:15, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
  • archive.today is an alias to archive.fo etc.. they have multiple alias domains. -- GreenC 16:19, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
@GreenC: Hmmm, in your other example of old link to new link, both links are failing for me right now as well. Any chance there is an issue going on with this provider? — xaosflux Talk 16:10, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
Provider is ok looks like something on your end. -- GreenC 16:18, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
archive.today is breaking dns via cloudflare

> server 8.8.8.8 Default Server: dns.google Address: 8.8.8.8

> archive.today Server: dns.google Address: 8.8.8.8

Non-authoritative answer: Name: archive.today Address: 51.38.113.224

> server 1.1.1.1 Default Server: one.one.one.one Address: 1.1.1.1

> archive.today Server: one.one.one.one Address: 1.1.1.1

Non-authoritative answer: Name: archive.today Address: 127.0.0.3

  • Further research, CloudFlare is just fine, the archive.today people are purposefully giving bad dns responses to anyone trying to resolve them via cloudflare. — xaosflux Talk 02:35, 9 July 2019 (UTC)
  • OK, so Cloudflare is being sucky, but yes confirmed this is causing "breaking" changes. Really, the archiving services should work better, but we can't control that, we can only control our changes - and the changes this bot are making are currently making the article worse for readers. Would like to give the operator a chance to reply before we apply heavy measures (blocking). — xaosflux Talk 16:26, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
    FYI: Additional research indicates cloudflare is working fine, this archive.today people are intentionally breaking dns when cloudflare dns is used to look them up, so archive.today is the one being sucky. — xaosflux Talk 02:35, 9 July 2019 (UTC)
    FYI: Nyttend blocked the bot. — xaosflux Talk 23:11, 6 July 2019 (UTC)

[edit conflict] Since it's been more than a day since Jon Kolbert last edited, and since the bot was still editing today, I've blocked it. Maybe the fix will be really simple, so I've told him basically "you may unblock this bot when you think it's fixed". The point of WP:NEVERUNBLOCK is to stop disruptive unblocking, and as applied to bots it's to prevent someone from unblocking his bot against opposition from the blocking admin and others (e.g. to prevent wheel wars). I just want him to address the bot's behavior before it makes any more edits, and that's why I'm fine with him unblocking at will. This will not be a disruptive self-unblock, and it's one of those rare cases where we can ignore the rules to make things work more smoothly. Of course, any other admin should feel free to unblock at will. Nyttend (talk) 23:17, 6 July 2019 (UTC)

  • Thank you, Anomie; I'd never noticed that. I figured that unblocking your own bot was always inappropriate, unless you'd blocked it or you had a reasonable IAR justification like this one. Nyttend (talk) 22:06, 8 July 2019 (UTC)

Another case from July 5. WaybackMedic has been finding and deleting broken archive.today links for months, I assumed it was user entry error, but now believe many are due to KolbertBot. There must be thousands given how many I found and the happenstance of two bots editing the same articles. -- GreenC 15:29, 7 July 2019 (UTC)

User:RonBot #11Edit

Hello, As others have noted at Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Archive309#User:RonBot, User:RonBot and its creator User:Ronhjones have not been active since the first week of April this year, although most of his bots are marked as Running. I am particularly interested in #11, which searched declined AfC submissions for biographies of women, and added newly declined drafts to Wikipedia:WikiProject Women in Red/Drafts once a week. I was able to use it to develop over a dozen declined drafts to acceptable articles about notable women, but without the bot, there is no way of identifying drafts relevant to the Women in Red project. Is it at all possible for someone else to operate the bot, or to check why it's not running automatically, even though it says it is? It would be very beneficial to have it active again. Thanks, RebeccaGreen (talk) 16:25, 8 July 2019 (UTC)

Hello @RebeccaGreen:, only Ronhjones could can address issues with their bot. I sent them an email about this discussion as well. We are unable to make their bot make edits. If there is no response you can request someone else make a clone (copy) of that bot to do the same task at WP:BOTREQ. Thanks, — xaosflux Talk 16:35, 8 July 2019 (UTC)
Hmm they seems to have disabled their email, so it never went. — xaosflux Talk 16:36, 8 July 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for your help, I'm glad to know what to do. I think I will have to request a clone, as it's been three months, and the email being disabled is not a hopeful sign. Cheers, RebeccaGreen (talk) 16:40, 8 July 2019 (UTC)
For the record here's the BRFA, which has the source code attached. Primefac (talk) 19:44, 8 July 2019 (UTC)

I just want to remark that having bots run for months and not being around is clearly against BOTPOL, but we have so many of those and generally nothing is done about until it goes wrong. —  HELLKNOWZ   ▎TALK 20:11, 8 July 2019 (UTC)

We can have a bit of WP:IAR leeway in the case of correctly functioning bots that aren't causing issues. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 09:48, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
Hellknowz, I will say if the bot is doing what it's supposed to, then don't try and break it by stopping it. We shouldn't bother to hunt down orphaned bots if they are still doing a good job at what they're supposed to be doing. —CYBERPOWER (Chat) 23:13, 12 July 2019 (UTC)

Midnight rollover fixesEdit

  Moved from Wikipedia talk:Bots/Requests for approval#Midnight rollover: —⁠andrybak (talk) 09:24, 12 July 2019 (UTC)

I've been thinking of trying out Pywikibot on Wikipedia. Before writing any code and starting a BRFA, I would like to ask bot users about a possible bot task. Editors who live in timezones close to UTC±00:00, are likely to hit an unfortunate point, where an XfD page is created before midnight, but notifications are sent out after midnight. This leaves links which lead to empty (if pages are created by a bot, like Redirects for discussion pages by User:DumbBOT) or non-existent "next day" discussion pages. I've noticed once this issue in other editor's notifications, and got hit by it today. A possible algorithm could be:

  1. for bot created pages, check if "next day" page has been created
  2. if the page is not created or the only change is creation by the bot, the go to the next step
  3. go through user (and sometimes WikiProject) talk pages from Special:WhatLinksHere
  4. and try to substitute instances of "yyyy Month d" to previous date

Would a bot that fixes these issues be useful? —⁠andrybak (talk) 00:23, 12 July 2019 (UTC)

If the discussion pages is already not empty (new discussions were added between the actions of unfortunate user), the bot could also compare the link to both yesterday and today's section titles. But that's could be construed as violating WP:CONTEXTBOT. —⁠andrybak (talk) 11:03, 13 July 2019 (UTC)

User:Marianne ZimmermanEdit

There is nothing else for us to do here at BOTN, please follow up at the discussion(s) on the other pages. Thank you for the notice. — xaosflux Talk 13:49, 14 July 2019 (UTC)
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.

Cross-posted here, at User talk:Marianne Zimmerman, at User talk:Citation bot, and at User talk:Smith609

This account has made tens of thousands of edits by proxy using the Citation bot. It is still ongoing while I'm writing this. The account itself has made only 11 edits so far.

It is obvious that this 'Marianne Zimmerman' account is a bot, since it is working around the clock, 24/7. The account is not labeled as such, and has not been authorized by the Bot Approvals Group. In itself not a big deal, because the account has been making only positive edits and has not caused disruption. Still, it is technically violating policy, and I'm wondering why a bot would use another bot to make bot edits. That seems rather silly. I hope the author of the 'Marianne bot' can come forward so that we can work things out. Cheers, Manifestation (talk) 12:04, 14 July 2019 (UTC)

Account has been blocked. - Manifestation (talk) 13:44, 14 July 2019 (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.

Community Tech bot - Popular pages, stopped updatingEdit

Greetings, At VPT I posted a notice here stating the bot has stopped updating "Popular pages" 12:08, 13 July 2019. Further investigation is needed to get the bot running again. Regards, JoeHebda (talk) 15:07, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

Template:Bot discussionEdit

I've started a discussion at Template_talk:Bot#status=expired which I'd appreciate some input on. Apologies for cross-posting. --kingboyk (talk) 23:45, 15 July 2019 (UTC)