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User:RonBot trouble possibly in need of intervention

  Resolved: Actions have stopped, bot is unblocked. Categories can take a while to update, which is likely the root cause here. The file actually was deleted, so these actions were in scope - just stale. Local upload and protection, plus restoration and protection at commons have taken place to avoid issues with this specific placeholder image in the future. — xaosflux Talk 12:08, 20 March 2019 (UTC)

RonBot has been tagging a lot of pages with {{BrokenImage}} recently, with seemingly no broken images. I think this is due to the Commons file c:File:Blank.png being inadvertently deleted and promptly returned. It looks like it is used in a lot of infoboxes and the like. It looks like the bot is still tagging; I don't know why (maybe something not being updated instantly on our end?). Heaps of articles are now being tagged all the time. Could this require a shutdown? – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 02:05, 20 March 2019 (UTC)

I've shut down the bot pending an investigation and I've notified the bot's owner. Any administrator is welcome to overturn the block and unblock the bot without my prior approval; if it should be unblocked, unblock it. Just let me know that you did so and what was found as far as the issue goes (if any was found). ~Oshwah~(talk) (contribs) 03:24, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
Moved from ANI now that the block is in place, so that the bot related issues can be addressed. — xaosflux Talk 03:29, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for moving the discussion, Xaosflux. ~Oshwah~(talk) (contribs) 03:41, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
And thanks for the quick action @Oshwah:! I've asked for that image to be protected at commons while this is all figured out as well. — xaosflux Talk 03:42, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
Perfect; good call on the protection request. Hopefully this issue can be resolved quickly and without too much difficulty in modifying any code or process in order to fix it... :-) ~Oshwah~(talk) (contribs) 03:53, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
@Oshwah: Task 12 takes it's data from Category:Articles with missing files - that NOW has only 67 entries. Running bot with supervision to ensure it removes the unwanted entries. Looks like it's removing 9 entries a minute - it will take a while to finish. I've not changed the code - if a page gets added to the category then it will add the banner, when not in the category it removes the banner. Bot runs every 12 hours. I assume the category is populated by the wiki software, as nothing is added to the pages to put it in the category. Ronhjones  (Talk) 04:27, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
Oh, interesting... Thanks for responding with the in-depth explanation... :-) ~Oshwah~(talk) (contribs) 04:40, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
Blank.png was deleted at 20:00, 19 March 2019 and restored at 22:20, 19 March 2019. No idea why category was still filled at 01:00 when task 12 starts. Sadly the Commons Delinker bot only waits 10 minutes after a deletion. I protected the image on commons as "Highly visible image", but it does not really stop deletions... Ronhjones  (Talk) 04:39, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
I've checked the log files - The category had 1452 entries when Task 12 started at 01:00. Ronhjones  (Talk) 04:47, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
Task 12 has removed the banner from 682 pages. Ronhjones  (Talk) 05:01, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
Maybe we should host such critical image locally, marking them as not to be moved to commons. Ronhjones  (Talk) 05:07, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
I've done so. — JJMC89(T·C) 05:39, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
@Ronhjones and JJMC89: good idea for sure, I've also had commons admins protect this to avoid possible issues with phab:T30299 allowing a commons override in certain cases. — xaosflux Talk 12:03, 20 March 2019 (UTC)

User:Filedelinkerbot

  Resolved: No further action needed on this one. — xaosflux Talk 12:01, 20 March 2019 (UTC)

The issue also affects User:Filedelinkerbot, which has been unlinking this file from articles and templates, causing all sorts of layout problems. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 04:33, 20 March 2019 (UTC)

@Finnusertop: I've rolled back 240 pages that the delinker bot removed the image Ronhjones  (Talk) 04:59, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
This appears to have stopped, would like @Krd: to verify though. — xaosflux Talk 11:55, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
Filedelinkerbot has no backlog currently, so there shouldn't arise any more issues related to this file. --Krd 11:59, 20 March 2019 (UTC)

Bot-like user scripts

I'm not sure if this is the correct place to ask, but do user scripts that make many edits, with limited intervention from a user require a BRFA? I am asking because I have written a user script that bypasses the redirect created by a page move, if instructed. Once a user tells the script to make edits, there is no human intervention. WP:BOTSCRIPT states:

The majority of user scripts are intended to merely improve or personalize the existing MediaWiki interface, or to simplify access to commonly used functions for editors. Scripts of this kind do not normally require BAG approval.

However, this does not explain what to do for scripts that make edits with limited intervention. --Danski454 (talk) 14:10, 24 March 2019 (UTC)

@Danski454: the volume and impact of changes matter more then the mechanism of the change. As this would not be run from a bot account but from a regular editor account the primary concern would be if the edit should be made under a bot account to avoid being disruptive. What type of frequency and volumes would you expect to be making assisted edits? — xaosflux Talk 14:29, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: Running this from a bot account would hurt its usefulness as a script, at least for me. Regarding edit frequency and volumes, the script edits at a rate of 12 EPM, making an absolute maximum of 2,000 edits each time it is run, but it is unlikely that it would end up running that much, less than 100 edits each time is probably a closer estimate, with over 500 being very rare (as this requires many redirects, transclusions or links from templates). I would use this occasionally , mainly when moving a page away from an ambiguous title. --Danski454 (talk) 14:40, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
@Danski454: so the problem with throwing out 500 to 2000 edits is that you can flood watchlists and recent changes without the benefit of a bot flag. Think of this type of script use like people that use AWB. That being said having a "bot account" doesn't have to mean you need a server, advanced programming, etc - it can be as simple as having another logon that you load in another window to run the task. Noone would bat an eye if you ran this on 25 edits for example, of you ran it on 100 edits once every few months - it all becomes about volume and impact. A tangential issue to this is the general question if bypassing the types of redirects you would change in bulk (i.e. hundreds or thousands of updates) is something that is useful and strongly supported by most other editors; if it is then using a bot account also signals 'you don't need to worry about checking this' - if it isn't then it shouldn't be done at all. — xaosflux Talk 14:54, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
Considering this, I think AWB may be better suited for the task, a it allows review and is less disruptive. --Danski454 (talk) 16:09, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
Meanwhile, OneClickArchiver exists. —  HELLKNOWZ   ▎TALK 16:25, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
@Danski454: please keep in mind my note above that it is about the impact of actions, not the mechanism that most matters. Editors are welcome to make constructive edits using whatever method they want (web, api, AWB, scripts, etc) - but the same guidelines apply as to volume and types of changes. Likewise, making thousands of high frequency, repeated edits can be disruptive regardless of the tool - but running that tool under a bot flagged account can alleviate some of that concern. — xaosflux Talk 17:14, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
@Danski454: I run a number of tasks that are written as scripts but run through my bot. See User:DannyS712 bot/tasks tasks 3, 4, and 11 for approved tasks running via scripts. --DannyS712 (talk) 19:17, 24 March 2019 (UTC)

WP:URLREQ

I've created a Requests page for URL modifications related to link rot. Some bots/tools are generally approved for link rot work without going through BOTREQ for every domain change (currently WP:IABOT and WP:WAYBACKMEDIC). Obviously though any major scale change would need approval, for example modifying all of the NY Times links. URL changes are complex jobs requiring support for archive URLs (20+ archive providers not just archive.org), various templates and their parameters (CS1|2, {{webarchive}}, {{dead link}} etc), real-time detecting 404 and redirect status, etc.. and each request can have special conversion requirements.

URLREQ page does not replace BOTREQ, most requests will probably still arrive through BOTREQ, and elsewhere (talk pages, Village Pump etc), but it does help to keep these types of requests recorded on a single page so that the bot ops with the tools can better monitor scattered requests, not only on Enwiki but from other language wikis where the same URL changes would be applicable. Eventually a page like this on Meta for all projects might be created. -- GreenC 17:24, 27 March 2019 (UTC)

Breaking change for Wikidata descriptions

I don't know if anyone here will be affected by this, but there will be changes to Wikidata's database. If you know what this means, then this will affect you:

If you directly query the Labs database replicas for anything, then you need to update your code. The Wikidata development team will drop the wb_terms table from the database in favor of a new optimized schema on May 29th.

A new test system will be available on May 15th. You can read more on the mailing list. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 03:05, 27 April 2019 (UTC)

Manually updating database reports

I have a question, because I'm a bit at a loss. I've recently been trying to create database reports that can help with wikignome tasks. Since I have absolutely no idea how to use toolforge for cron jobs, I've created the tasks as python code hosted on PAWS that I manually run each time to update the report. Below are the 3 tasks I've filed so far, and the result

So, what is the view of BAG in general about manually triggered database reports? I don't want it to be where the task is either speedy approved or denied based on who reviews it first. Thanks, --DannyS712 (talk) 05:01, 28 April 2019 (UTC)

I denied Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/DannyS712 bot 32 because we came to the conclusion (mutually, I believe), that automation was needed, and moreover a lack of prior discussion about creating this report. You did not tell me about your other database report bots. I have reservations about those as well. No other report appears to be ran ad-hoc other than yours. As I said in the BRFA, I'm unaware of any strict rules, but I think we'd much prefer full automation for the official-looking WP:Database reports, which are meant to be reliably updated on a regular basis. If you were to go on a holiday to a tropical island, I doubt you'd want to be bothered with manually updating database reports :) Meanwhile consumers of these reports are quietly waiting your return. This is why we have bots.
I don't know how PAWS works but if you can make it set up a cron for those tasks, then that solves this issue. You have the Python code, so you're almost there... If you want I can give a quick run through of the steps you may need to get your bots on Toolforge. This would include some external learning resources. In the end, I think you'd be doing yourself a favour by letting your bots run independently of your sleep/holiday/real-life schedule :) MusikAnimal talk 05:36, 28 April 2019 (UTC)
@MusikAnimal: I've looked at toolforge, but I don't have the time to learn command-line syntax, etc. right now. Unfortunately, the conclusion was not mutual - I was agreeing that having it run automatically would be nice, but given that I am active almost every day I don't mind clicking a few buttons every few days to update the report. I agree that, in the end, I would be doing myself a favour, but in the middle (for now) I'd prefer a manual task over nothing. As for the official-looking database reports page, I note that many only run weekly, and 5 run even less frequently (4 of them only run once per month). Looking at the talk page, it seems that their isn't an official structure, but rather that it serves as a collection of individually maintained and updated (by bot) pages. --DannyS712 (talk) 05:43, 28 April 2019 (UTC)
Right, but those slower intervals are because they don't need to be updated more often, or that the queries they use take a long time to finish, etc. I see now there is at least one other editor who apparently is not using automation. So it would seem there is a larger discussion in store, one where I might possibly be in the minority.
Overall, let me make it clear there are no inherent rules being broken, as far as I can tell. I did deny your BRFA under the false assumption that you were in agreeance. For that, I apologize. But I do think the notion of manual WP:Database reports needs broader discussion. Maybe MZMcBride has an opinion?

As for your bot tasks, DannyS712: If you could (a) put your code on GitHub (public repo), (b) give me access to your Toolforge tool account, then (c) I can probably take care of the rest, showing you everything I did.

Above all else, it's much preferred to seek support for a new database report at Wikipedia talk:Database reports (though I admit the orphan/links report is surely useful for someone other than just yourself :)

Thanks for starting this discussion, as it is clearly needed. I was unaware others had approved non-automatic WP:Database reports. MusikAnimal talk 06:09, 28 April 2019 (UTC)

@MusikAnimal: I'll try to figure out how to do step b, and once I do I'll let you know. Thanks for the offer to help! However, no that I've cleared up the miscommunication with task 32, would you be willing to reconsider your decision? --DannyS712 (talk) 06:16, 28 April 2019 (UTC)
@DannyS712: Well, for starters, I still haven't seen anyone show support for it... That's probably easy to get. But at any rate you have most things scratched off of the Toolforge list. I don't see an urgency to write to WP:Database reports when we can do this the proper way, and with a proper BRFA to go with it. The bot userspace is always an option too, at least in the meantime! :) MusikAnimal talk 06:31, 28 April 2019 (UTC)
@MusikAnimal: I first posted 2 weeks ago at Wikipedia talk:Database reports#New reports, and since then there has been some support and no opposition. Until I figure out toolforge (thanks for the help with that) can you take a look and reconsider? --DannyS712 (talk) 18:18, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
  • @DannyS712: so as far as these go, once you publish something to WP:DBR - what ends up happening is other people rely on it, and rely on it being current. This is not along the lines of normal edits or bot tasks where we say that noone should even count on a future edit. Is it "right" - not sure, but it is what it is. You certainly should feel free to make all the reports you want, unless they are going to be "popular" and regularly maintained - putting them in your bot's userspace and just linking to a userspace index under the "Other reports" section on DBR may be best. For such reports, unless you are going to be updating them at some very high volume, you don't need BRFA's either. Is that guidance helpful? — xaosflux Talk 16:08, 28 April 2019 (UTC)
    Yes. I think I'll take MA up on their offer to help with toolforge - once its update automatically, it'll stay current. --DannyS712 (talk) 19:04, 28 April 2019 (UTC)

DannyS712, I wrote this for Kadane maybe it is of use. Any help let me know. --- GreenC 16:33, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

Permanent link, in case the page gets archived. eπi (talk | contribs) 05:00, 5 May 2019 (UTC)

In my experience, nobody really cares how a database report is being updated. For what it's worth, when I initially wrote these reports, I used this account ("MZMcBride") and there wasn't automation. I'm also not sure it needs to matter to a volunteer if users rely on a particular report. It's unreasonable to expect that a database report author needs to maintain the report, particularly when database report users will very often want the report updated indefinitely. That's a very long commitment! --MZMcBride (talk) 05:08, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave... –xenotalk 18:26, 13 May 2019 (UTC)

Inactive bots - May 2019

Per the bot policy activity requirements, the following bots will be deauthorized and deflagged in one week. These bots have not made an edit in 2 or more years, nor have their operator made an edit in 2 or more years.

BOT_user_name BOT_last_edit Oper_username Oper_lastedit Notes
User:StatisticianBot 20161104065821 User:Dvandersluis 20161019
User:DYKReviewBot 20161030205038 User:Intelligentsium 20161030
User:DefconBot 20160902053125 User:A930913 20160403
User:Mr.Z-bot 20160830220939 User:Mr.Z-man 20160821
User:BracketBot 20160719215737 User:A930913 20160403
User:DrTrigonBot 20150617013726 User:DrTrigon 20160626
User:DixonDBot 20130329214425 User:DixonD 20170204
User:MGA73bot 20130202213645 User:MGA73 20160925
User:Lucia Bot 20121116225341 User:Beria 20170501
User:Ryan Vesey Bot 20120928012455 User:Ryan Vesey 20170308

Should an operator wish to maintain their bot's status, please place "keep" and your signature in the notes column above for your bot. Deauthorized bots will need to file a new BRFA should they wish to become reactivated in the future. Thank you, — xaosflux Talk 03:27, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

Required user talk notices left. — xaosflux Talk 03:33, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
Discuss
With no comments by the operators, the above accounts have had their bot flag removed. Primefac (talk) 20:22, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

Naming conventions

Okay, so before I go ahead and say something that either ends up causing more confusion, and/or making it seems like I'm the absolute authority in this case...

Background: I noticed at this BRFA that there was a question about keeping the absolute numerical numbering of bot tasks even though there are three different bots being numbered (i.e. "Task 13" is run as bot II's first task), and the above Task 38 might be run by bot III (even though it's the first bot run by that bot).

I suppose my question is, should we allow this sort of "absolute" numbering between different bots run by the same operator? Does it matter? As an arbitrary example, the following could be a set of task requests:

  • GenericBot
  • GenericBot 2
  • GenericBot 3
  • GenericBot II 4
  • GenericBot 5
  • GenericBot II 6

I genuinely don't have a position on this (and said so in this discussion), but as mentioned above I'd like to not give advice that's either contrary to what should be done and/or what people expect. Primefac (talk) 20:20, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

In my experience, each bot gets its own list of tasks. See User:BattyBot, for example. In the case that you linked, a single operator is proposing to run multiple bots (you might call these bots "siblings"). In that case, in order to preserve everyone's sanity, I would love to see a single User page for the set of bots, and a single list of tasks, even if different tasks are performed by different Bot-siblings. Just include a column in the table that shows which bot performs each task. In short, I think it would be the most sane option to do it as you have shown in the list above. – Jonesey95 (talk) 20:55, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
There's a very small amount of past precedent: AnomieBOT, MusikBot, ClueBot and SoxBot restart their numbering when they go to "II", but Cyberbot doesn't. I suppose "It doesn't really matter" is a valid outcome of this discussion. Primefac (talk) 21:06, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
@Jonesey95: Does User:DannyS712 bot/tasks meet your needs? Its transcluded by all of my bots --DannyS712 (talk) 21:08, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
Yes, nicely. Sorry for not even looking before posting the above. Please check to ensure that the bot user name is correct for each task. I think task 38 might need adjustment, or at least a tentative mark of some sort, given the BRFA discussion. – Jonesey95 (talk) 21:12, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
@Jonesey95: yes, the default is DannyS712 bot, and once any bot goes to trial I update it if that isn't right. I was going to use III for 40, but since that stalled i'll use it for 38. --DannyS712 (talk) 21:17, 23 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Case by case is the way to go here. First, it is OK to "skip" task numbers (especially as some may not get approved) so having Bot,Bot 2, BotB 3, Bot 4, BotB 5 isn't a problem that some were "skipped". In general, it is a good idea to have the BRFA subpage name==the bot actual name - over very long periods of time we've seen bots be renamed, bots change operators, etc. None of this is a "big deal". Within an actual BRFA, the actual bot name of whatever it is should always be used. If someone has a suite of bot accounts, using a centralized page name (that is redirected from the other accounts) is also OK. — xaosflux Talk 00:23, 24 May 2019 (UTC)

SineBot inactive since 2019-04-30

SineBot's latest contribution is from 2019-04-30T06:38:33. See User talk:Slakr#SineBot down.

@Masumrezarock100: I'd say the issue is not urgent enough to require other users' assistance. As the bot's code sadly is not available to the public, other users can not help by running the bot in the meantime.

~ ToBeFree (talk) 16:44, 26 May 2019 (UTC)

@ToBeFree: Is there any alternate bot to sign comments? It's a pain now that those unsigned comments are not automatically signed. Teahouse suffers the most. Masum Reza📞 16:49, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
{{Xsign}} makes it relatively easy compared to other templates, but I agree that SineBot is extremely useful. I miss it dearly. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 17:09, 26 May 2019 (UTC)
User:Anomie/unsignedhelper.js is great for unsigned comments. Primefac (talk) 12:40, 27 May 2019 (UTC)
  Resolved: SineBot is running again :) ~ ToBeFree (talk) 01:56, 29 May 2019 (UTC)

Bot unblocks

Hi there, we currently have two blocked bots with pending unblock requests. To a lay admin, it's unclear whether these bots can be unblocked outright at this point, or if we should get the nod from BAG first, or at least from a bot-experienced admin. Can someone who is more qualified handle these?

Thanks in advance, ~Swarm~ {sting} 19:21, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

Often for blocks of bots any admin can feel free to unblock when they believe the original problem won't reoccur when the block is lifted, see Wikipedia:Blocking policy#Blocks in temporary circumstances (second bullet). This can be as simple as the operator stating that they've disabled the offending code. On the other hand, if it was blocked as an unapproved bot there's usually no reason to unblock until BAG approves a trial as there's usually nothing the bot account is allowed to do that is prevented by the block.

BTW, if the operator is an admin, that may even implicitly allow the operator to do it themselves. Exactly how clear it has to be before that applies is arguable, safest is to only do so if the blocking admin explicitly said something like "feel free to unblock when that's fixed". Anomie 21:06, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

As far as Citation bot goes, it appears the block was for making inappropriate edits (that would have been inappropriate if made by a human editor as well) - assuming this is the situation, it needs to be resolved first. It appears there is still active discussion occurring about that point? — xaosflux Talk 22:08, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
You are incorrect, the complaint was that a very few links to copywrite infringling citeceerx references were added. That is long since fixed. The second complaint is that the bot does edits on its own without a human being getting credit. AManWithNoPlan (talk) 22:13, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
It is a minor complaint that doesn't cause any harm to the encyclopedia, but it is an annoyance. IMO that shouldn't be enough to maintain the block, but I'm pretty involved in the discussion, so I'm not keen to give the thumbs up myself. Someone else could though. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 23:53, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
@AManWithNoPlan: can you elaborate? That bot is operated by Smith609, who is responsible for any edit made under that account. Is there a complaint that it is making edits outside of its approval, or that the approval needs to be revisted? — xaosflux Talk 00:20, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
People are able to request that the bot edit a specific page, but the bot does not force users to reveal their identities. AManWithNoPlan (talk) 00:27, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
OK? Is there a specific BRFA task # where you expect this to be occuring? Tt looks like it is using an ancient (in wiki time) passed-on BRFA (Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/DOI bot) - which doesn't seem to require that. As long as Smith609 is taking responsibility for the edits, this doesn't seem to be a specific violation of anything, is there more to this? — xaosflux Talk 00:41, 2 May 2019 (UTC)

The bot has been approved many different times as features were added. Always approved to run as a pure bot. AManWithNoPlan (talk) 02:42, 2 May 2019 (UTC)

@AManWithNoPlan: OK - so can you point to what task you think is malfunctioning? — xaosflux Talk 03:26, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
I take it that part of the contention is that some people want a feature request added - @Headbomb: I think you are one of the requesters of this? I'm not seeing how this is a showstopper. If Smith609 is allowing his bot to make "bad edits" then, sure it should be stopped (and putting a name of who they made the bad edit on behalf of isn't really fixing that core problem is it?). Smith609 could work on fixing that lots of ways, including by only allowing certain users to trigger the bot. Are there some examples of bad edits that the bot is making for reference here? — xaosflux Talk 03:49, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: I am indeed one of those that requested that. The reasons mostly being that when it was adding CiteSeerX links, this would have been useful to WP:TROUT users that didn't review the bot's edits. This would still be useful for trouting people that don't review the bot's edits, or to help users that try to use the bot, but there is no outstanding/egregiously problematic behaviour in terms of actual edits (at least as far as I can tell). Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 03:56, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
I have several concerns about this bot relative to BOTPOL. First that its operator of record appears to be an absentee landlord: before the bot was blocked they had not edited any page related to the bot for several months (and ditto before that). There was a recent, contentious, RfC about the bot's behaviour in which they were pinged multiple times, but did not participate at all (despite editing elsewhere on the project). I have several times asked them (on their talk page and on the bot's talk page) to confirm whether they are in fact still the bot's operator, and to address WP:BOTACC, second para, and WP:BOTCOMM. There has been no response, beyond removing the question with the edit summary Archive aggressive comments. During the RFC the bot's proponents argued that since the bot was user activated it was not the bot that was responsible for the problematic edits (but it didn't identify the user activating the bot). Once the bot was blocked for, among other things, not identifying the activating user, the bot's operator suddenly chimed in claiming it was, in fact, the operator that was responsible for the edits (see also this thread at WT:BOTPOL). The net result seems to be that nobody takes responsibility for the edits.
Second that this bot relies on a 11 year old BRFA for a task to "Adds DOIs to citations provided using {{cite journal}}". But the bot has changed extensively in the decade since that BRFA and its maintainers now appear to operate on the assumption that it has de facto approval to do "anything at all that is related to citations" with no need for a new BRFA (in the above RFC they were asked several times for the BRFA that authorized mass-removal of valid citation template parameters, with the only response a suggestion that it was "grandfathered in" due to the bot's age, and besides, the bot's maintainers didn't think anyone ought to use those parameters in any case, nevermind CITEVAR). There are several concerns surrounding responsiveness to the community and only making uncontroversial edits. I think the bot's various tasks need to be analysed (documented), and which ones have actual authorisation sorted. Existing BRFAs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 (last one in 2011).
As for the two direct reasons the bot was blocked… As I understand it the addition of the problematic links has been stopped and this reason for the block resolved. In fairness it should also be noted that just how problematic these links are (or are not) and how our various policies applies to that issue is not clear cut, and the bot's de facto maintainer has taken steps to get that question resolved through community discussion at Wikipedia talk:Copyrights#CiteSeerX copyrights and linking with no real conclusion (ie. the community has failed to provide the necessary guidance).
The second reason is the issue of not attributing edits to the user responsible for them, which has not been resolved. The bot now has some mitigating functionality that, when I looked at it, at least included a form field to voluntarily provide a user name that the bot would then insert into the edit summary (see https://tools.wmflabs.org/citations/). I've not paid close enough attention to tell whether this is the sum of the changes made to address this issue (I would hope the operator would answer that question). Usually this might have been "good enough" for practical purposes, but given the problems outlined above, the bot's mode of operation, and the potential for abuse (for example, during the RFC there were—alleged, not substantiated—claims that there was a dramatic uptick in removing the citation parameters in question, in an apparent effort to get them removed before the community could prohibit that behaviour: i.e. anonymous mass edit-warring using the bot), my conclusion is that in order to actually meet the requirement for attributing edits to the user making them, the bot must implement some form of actual authentication. It doesn't absolutely have to be OAuth, but it needs to be something that achieves the same effect. It should probably also not allow blocked or non-logged-in users to use the bot. But to be absolutely clear: I am here talking about potential for abuse, not any actual ongoing abuse (the bot is currently blocked, after all), and the requirements of BOTPOL.
PS. Apologies for the wall of text. I know some people dislike that, but if I could have written this shorter I would have. --Xover (talk) 14:29, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
some times it takes a lot of text. AManWithNoPlan (talk) 14:39, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for pointing out that the general community responce to my attempts at various times to start discussions has resulted in less than the sound of crickets. The whole citeceerx issue was never really resolved other than the bot stopping the addition since it is not a high value feature anyway. AManWithNoPlan (talk) 14:48, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
"There has been no response, beyond removing the question with the edit summary Archive aggressive comments". Sure, if you ignore the response, and the patently obvious evidence that Smith609 operates the bot. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 15:35, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
Easy to miss a response when it's ten days later. Fewer such assumptions might not go amiss. ——SerialNumber54129 15:40, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
You appear to be confused. They have indeed edited, sporadically, in the interrim. As I wrote above. However the first diff you provide (which message was one of the ones included in the diff I provided) is a response to the blocking admin, not to my query, and addressed a completely unrelated issue. My query was a reply to that message and they have not provided any kind of response to that, much less actually addressed the query. The third party presuming to answer for the bot's operator (your second diff, message also included in my original diff) may well find the answer blindingly obvious, but I am not posessed of such powers of mind reading. By pure happenstance I am perfectly capable of interpreting various logs at Github, but that does not seem a reasonable requirement for resolving a question addressed to a bot's operator. Their ability to periodically click the one button it takes to merge a pull request on Github is also completely orthogonal to the question asked: do they, in fact, consider themselves the bot's operator—with the attendant responsibilities set out in BOTPOL—and can they address WP:BOTACC, second para, and WP:BOTCOMM. I do not feel that this is an unreasonable question to pose to a bot operator, and by implication of your argument it should not be a hard one to answer. And yet I have now literally waited months without an answer (the irony...). --Xover (talk) 16:34, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
Citation bot (talk · contribs) is operated by Smith609 (talk · contribs), as it made evidently clear by the prominent {{bot}} template featured on its user page, as required per WP:BOTACCOUNT. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 17:14, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
That's a start. Let's get it to adhere to the rest of BOTPOL shall we. ——SerialNumber54129 17:35, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
What parts of BOTPOL do you feel the bot isn't adhering to? Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 17:37, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
All the more remarkable then, that after I have asked three times, over three months, they have still not managed to affirm this, much less respond to the rest of my question. In fact, you may feel free to consider the repetiton here the fourth time, in the fourth month, that I have asked the question. --Xover (talk) 18:01, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
That you refuse to hear the answer to your question is your problem. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 20:22, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
You may want to take a look in the mirror when it comes to refusing to get the point. --Xover (talk) 06:14, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
I could be wrong about this but my understanding was that user-initiated tools are not subject to bot policy. This came up when a well-known user-initiated tool by a well known and respected bot op was causing problems, and the operator was not responding to fix requests. A BAG member told me that it was outside the responsibility of the BAG group, they could not block it. Since this is similar to what happened with Citation bot, I'm thinking I was given bad information. Are Tools that edit Wikipedia (on behalf of a user and triggered through a web interface) subject to bot policy? -- GreenC 20:52, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
For tools like WP:TWINKLE or WP:AWB, the answer is usually no, unless there are WP:MEATBOT concerns. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 21:05, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
I mean tools like Citation bot and others like it, of which there are many, where the user initiates through a web interface and the bot edits on their behalf and the user (not the bot operator) is responsible for the edit -- this being the key difference from classic bots. -- GreenC 23:05, 2 May 2019 (UTC)

I am going to throw this out there. The bot is approved to edit any pages it wants to (as long as it does not have a no robots tag). In fact historically it did this and even did certain categories without being asked. So, the fact that we prioritize pages a human wants us to look at is a reduction in our authorized activities. I realize this is a highly technical interpretation of the rules, but some people want to follow the letter of the law, here you go. AManWithNoPlan (talk) 13:52, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

A quick reminder that I (like most people involved) actually have a day job, family, other volunteering, etc. Please everyone remember this during discussions, etc.. AManWithNoPlan (talk) 02:23, 4 May 2019 (UTC)


Please see this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Citation_bot#The_current_block_is_not_well-founded_on_the_policy AManWithNoPlan (talk) 17:03, 29 May 2019 (UTC)

Issue with a bot, not finding the bot maintainer's response satisfactory, not sure what to do now.

See Wikipedia talk:Username policy#Utility of reports by DatBot. This bot reports users at UAA for being possible sock puppets. 99% of the time they are not blatant violations of the username policy, which is absolutely the only thing UAA is for. I was under the impression that bot tasks all had to be approved so I'm curious as to whether this specific task was approved and if so, why?

When questioned about it the reply from the bot's maintainer was along the lines of "I think I might remember why I did this and since many of the users wind up blocked it's clearly working."[1] I think this ignores several pertinent facts:

  • There is no evidence that the UAA reports are in any way what leads to eventual blocks, let alone global locks, of these accounts
  • If you don't seem to know why you coded the bot to do certain things, when those things are challenged it seems reasonable to change the bot's behavior
  • It's a blatant misuse of UAA to report socks there, it is in now way a forum for anything other than blatant violations of the username policy

I would therefore appreciate input in the discussion at WT:UPOL from BAG members about how to proceed here. I don't have anything against DatGuy and I'm sure his bots do lots of helpful things, but this particular thing does not seem helpful and just creates noise in an administrative area that regularly experiences backlogs. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:41, 30 May 2019 (UTC)

@Beeblebrox: can you place a couple of Diff's here for edits you think this bot is making that you don't think have an approved BRFA? Then the operator can be called to identify if there is a BRFA task approved for them or not. If there is, but things have changed over time you can ask for a re-evaluation of the BRFA here as well. As this is all "back page" type stuff, I don't suggest blocking while this is sorted out. — xaosflux Talk 20:08, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
All the reports are like this: [2]. The creation of an account trips an edit filter and the bot reports it to UAA. Typically these accounts have no edits, which is something we normally discourage reporting at UAA unless it is something like hate speech or attacks on specific people, all the information it provides is "possible sockpuppet creation" which isn't in any way a username violation. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:37, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
As it happens, it appears that DeltaQuadBot is not making reports right now, so for the last few days all the action WP:UAA/B has been this bot making reports and admins removing them without blocking because literally none of them are based in any way on the username policy. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:21, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
For the record, the relevant BRFA is this one, as a takeover of this one. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 21:30, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
@Headbomb: is my reading of that that these UAA reports should only be getting triggered from filter 579? — xaosflux Talk 22:00, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
And if so, @Beeblebrox: can you think of a better place for "Possible sockpuppet account creations" to go (or do you think this is useless)? — xaosflux Talk 22:02, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
Without context I don't know how anyone can evaluate these reports other than the maintainers of that specific edit filter. It doesn't mention who's sockpuppet the reported user might be, and it reports them before they've actually done anything so there's nothing to go on without running a (completely unjustifiable) checkuser on them. If there was some way to post these reports to pertinent pages at SPI so that people who actually knew what the context was could review them that would be something, but they serve no purpose at all at UAA. Looking at that BRFA, it seems it was going to provide context by linking to relevant SPI pages, but it doesn't do that in practice. But even if it did, this just doesn't belong at UAA, it belongs at SPI if ti belongs anywhere. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:26, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
  • OK, so it seems this is "easy" to turn off (at User:DatBot/filters) - @DatGuy: looks like there is pushback on this one report job, do you have any issues with it being removed? (Perhaps one day a better filter can be made to feed that task). — xaosflux Talk 23:44, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
    • Also, if anyone thinks these are useful, perhaps they can go somewhere else? (You don't need a new BRFA to just change the target page if it is something easy, esp if it would be something like DatBot/PossibleSocks or something). — xaosflux Talk 23:46, 30 May 2019 (UTC)

The bot is still making these reports. Bot op has been intermittently active but has not responded here. I don't want to see this bot blocked, it does do a lot of good work against vandals, but this is just not acceptable. Beeblebrox (talk) 14:29, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

@Beeblebrox: I disabled that function by commenting out "579" from the line at User:DatBot/filters, at least pending engagement by the operator here for further discussion. I'm not sure how long it will take to go in to effect, but give it a at least a day to see if it helps? — xaosflux Talk 15:45, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Appreciate that, thanks. Hopefully that's the end of it. Beeblebrox (talk) 16:05, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

New archive box

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)

Remove bot flag?

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)

Wikipedia:Bots/Status

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)

User:KolbertBot is malfunctioning - breaking Archive URLs

  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)
[3] 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 #11

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 fixes

  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 Zimmerman

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 updating

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 discussion

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)

WP:SCRIPTREQ

I added the following hatnote

to the WP:BOTREQ header. I've been here for 12+ years, and today I thought, hey, why don't we have a script request page like we do for bots? That seems odd that no one thought of that before?

And what do you know, there is one. So now the children will see it and be joyful, and their hearts will rejoice. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 21:27, 26 July 2019 (UTC)

CfD: Category:Indefinitely blocked Wikipedia bots

As a follow up to the discussion that transpired at Template talk:Bot#status=expired. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 21:32, 26 July 2019 (UTC)

New BAG nomination: Enterprisey

Hi! This is a notice that I have nominated myself for the Bot Approvals Group. I would appreciate your input. Thanks! Enterprisey (talk!) 06:15, 31 July 2019 (UTC)

BOTPOL regarding triggering users

Hello all, please see Wikipedia_talk:Bot_policy#Bots_triggered_by_multiple_users for a discussion on codifying expectations for bots triggered by others. — xaosflux Talk 13:57, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

Bots Newsletter, August 2019

Bots Newsletter, August 2019

Greetings!

Here is the 7th issue of the Bots Newsletter, a lot happened since last year's newsletter! You can subscribe/unsubscribe from future newsletters by adding/removing your name from this list.

Highlights for this newsletter include:

ARBCOM
  • Nothing of note happened. Just like we like it.
BAG

BAG members are expected to be active on Wikipedia to have their finger on the pulse of the community. After two years without any bot-related activity (such as posting on bot-related pages, posting on a bot's talk page, or operating a bot), BAG members will be retired from BAG following a one-week notice. Retired members can re-apply for BAG membership as normal if they wish to rejoin the BAG.

We thank former members for their service and wish Madman a happy retirement. We note that Madman and BU Rob13 were not inactive and could resume their BAG positions if they so wished, should their retirements happens to be temporary.

BOTDICT

Two new entries feature in the bots dictionary

BOTPOL
  • Activity requirements: BAG members now have an activity requirement. The requirements are very light, one only needs to be involved in a bot-related area at some point within the last two years. For purpose of meeting these requirements, discussing a bot-related matter anywhere on Wikipedia counts, as does operating a bot (RFC).
  • Copyvio flag: Bot accounts may be additionally marked by a bureaucrat upon BAG request as being in the "copyviobot" user group on Wikipedia. This flag allows using the API to add metadata to edits for use in the New pages feed (discussion). There is currently 1 bot using this functionality.
  • Mass creation: The restriction on mass-creation (semi-automated or automated) was extended from articles, to all content-pages. There are subtleties, but content here broadly means whatever a reader could land on when browsing the mainspace in normal circumstances (e.g. Mainspace, Books, most Categories, Portals, ...). There is also a warning that WP:MEATBOT still applies in other areas (e.g. Redirects, Wikipedia namespace, Help, maintenance categories, ...) not explicitely covered by WP:MASSCREATION.
BOTREQs and BRFAs

As of writing, we have...

  • 20 active BOTREQs, please help if you can!
  • 14 open BRFAs and 1 BRFA in need of BAG attention (see live status).
  • In 2018, 96 bot task were approved. An AWB search shows approximately 29 were withdrawn/expired, and 6 were denied.
  • Since the start of 2019, 97 bot task were approved. Logs show 15 were withdrawn/expired, and 15 were denied.
  • 10 inactive bots have been deflagged (see discussion). 5 other bots have been deflagged per operator requests or similar (see discussion).
New things
Other discussions

These are some of the discussions that happened / are still happening since the last Bots Newsletter. Many are stale, but some are still active.

See also the latest discussions at the bot noticeboard.

Thank you! edited by: Headbomb 17:24, 7 August 2019 (UTC)


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Civil parish bot

There is a discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Civil parish bot help (if someone can code a bot ready) for this would be appreciated, thanks. Crouch, Swale (talk) 11:06, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

User:Legobot Request

I have tried to contact User:Legoktm regarding a request for User:Legobot found here on July 24. Talk page message to them on July 30 which was archived without a response here. Another ping today and note on their talk page here. Although I understand and appreciate that their is no compulsory requirement to edit, per WP:BOTCOMM I expect bot questions to be addressed promptly. This is especially true for a bot like Legobot that manages so many important processes. So, my question to this group is how to best manage this issue? « Gonzo fan2007 (talk) @ 20:00, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

  • Thanks for posting @Gonzo fan2007: if I understand the need correctly: the GAN process would like to make a change, and wants to ensure it is coordinated with Legobot Task 33, yes? — xaosflux Talk 20:09, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
    • Yep Xaosflux. In the past there has been a desire to split up topics in sub-topics (among other feature requests). If you look at WP:GAN real quick, you will see for example that the Social sciences and society topic has many sub-topics, whereas Sports and Recreation has none. However, Legobot manages this whole process, thus no changes can be made until Legobot is updated. The process for how WP:GAN works can be found at WP:GAN/I, specifically how to categorize the article when adding {{GAN}}. « Gonzo fan2007 (talk) @ 20:16, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
      • Thank you @Gonzo fan2007:. Talk notice and email notice sent to the operator. — xaosflux Talk 21:41, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
        • Thanks Xaosflux. « Gonzo fan2007 (talk) @ 21:45, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
          • Hasn't edited in 3 weeks and no (obviously) replies to this issue, is there a way someone else can make the desired changes to the script, outside of disabling the bot ? - FlightTime (open channel) 22:11, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
            • The bot can be turned off for just certain pages with {{bots|deny=Legobot}} - so if could be disabled on just certain GA pages. — xaosflux Talk 23:01, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
              • The technical item that I am requesting is a subtle change to how the bot responds to the user input when adding {{GAN}} to a talk page to nominate an article for GA status. As part of adding that template to the talk page, a user has to add the |subtopic= from the list of subtopics found on the documentation sub-page of {{GAN}}. Based on this human input, the bot lists the page at WP:GAN under the correct sub-topic. This helps reviewers focus their efforts on smaller categories of articles. However, the topic of Sports and Recreation (which spans a lot of articles from city parks to the Premier League) has gotten so large (75 articles right now) that it is difficult to focus on any smaller topics. So, what would need to be done for this request is a set of human edits to {{GAN}} (new sub-topic options) and WP:GAN (new sub-topic section headers and categorization of the existing nominations), which I am happy to do. However, I imagine Legobot probably will need to add these new sub-topics to its code to be able to properly respond to these new sub-topics. There are probably other human edits that will be needed as well ({{GA}} will also need to be edited to add the new sub-topics; new categories will need to be created, etc). I don't have the technical expertise to grasp how difficult these changes would be to the bot, but am willing and happy to make the human edits. « Gonzo fan2007 (talk) @ 23:22, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
I stopped responding a while back to all the GAN requests unfortunately. I'm basically keeping it alive in maintenance mode and accepting patches. I'm open to having someone else take it over entirely, but last time there was some issue in transferring the database, I don't really remember. Legoktm (talk) 21:56, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
@Legoktm: While you're alive, could you take a look at Wikipedia_talk:Dashboard#Bots_noticeboard_not_working? and Wikipedia_talk:Dashboard#Bot_section?. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 22:27, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the response Legoktm. Xaosflux, what's the best way to proceed? The WP:GAN process is pretty significant; ideally the bot that runs that page would have an owner that can make changes/updates/etc. Is there somewhere that we can post for any interested bot owners to take over this task? « Gonzo fan2007 (talk) @ 14:42, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
@Gonzo fan2007: WP:BOTREQ is where you could ask for someone to take it over. As far as what to do until then - we could stop the bot on pages that you want to change that it will not be compatible with (see the nobots directive note above). Once a new bot takes over the process, this task could certainly be shut down and the operator seems to be fine with that approach. — xaosflux Talk 15:12, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
Posted at Wikipedia:Bot requests#Operator to take over Legobot Task 33. There's no point in stopping the bot and making changes unless the bot code has been updated first. The bot would merely supersede any changes at its next edit. Thanks for the assistance Xaosflux. « Gonzo fan2007 (talk) @ 16:06, 19 August 2019 (UTC)