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ITN credit

This should track WP:ITN Stories like it does WP:DYK. Rod Blagojevich corruption charges is on the main page at ITN and it should be noted by this bot. P.S. the bot did not run for WP:CHICAGO today at the usual time.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 06:47, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

I have no opinion either way on ITN being included (if that's even feasible), but the bot's been out of commission for everybody. But that's okay. §hepTalk 07:36, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Regarding ITN: Yes, I can include that (need to review the DYK implementation anyway, at some point). Regarding today's bot run: It appears that one of the toolserver machines crashed tonight due to lack of free memory [1]. Most probably the forthcoming run will be OK. --B. Wolterding (talk) 15:24, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
It did not run again today. Look forward to ITN. Did we ever get TFA fixed so it doesn't show up as DYK?--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 04:01, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
The next version of the bot will feature ITN. That implementation evaluates the date in the actual {{ITNtalk}} tag, so I hope it's more stable than the current DYK solution. Once we're sure it is in fact stable, I can use the same solution for DYK without much effort. --B. Wolterding (talk) 23:57, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
ITN is active now. --B. Wolterding (talk) 17:11, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Getting more people on board

I think AAB has been battle-tested enough to be deployed across more Wikiprojects. I could run AutoWikiBrowser and send a one time message to each Wikiprojects so they know this exists. However, this might lead to a sudden increase in the traffic of this webpage and a massive increase in bug reports.

So before I do something like this, a few thing needs to be discussed IMO.

  • Do we all agree that the benefits to WikiProjects and Wikipedia in general is worth the one time "spamming" of WikiProjects?
  • The AAbot page should probably be overhauled into something similar to [[2]] so people can browse and find things more easily (especially the "home" "bug report" and "feature requests" sections). I could do this over the next few days.
  • Can the bot handled the increase in workload?

Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 20:48, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

I've build a "revised home page" for what I feel should be close to the final "look and feel" of AAB related pages.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 22:48, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree, rolling out the bot to more projects can - and probably should - be done at this time. The server load does not seem to be a problem (though perhaps Legoktm should comment on this). However I think we should settle a few things beforehand.
  • The documentation should be improved, in particular regarding "how to subscribe to the bot". Any help in that respect is appreciated.
  • I think we should use this page (i.e. User:B. Wolterding/Article alerts) as the home for the process. It can be moved to Wikipedia namespace if you prefer. The page should be restructured, e.g. the detail specification can be split out to a subpage. Leave the bot user page (User:ArticleAlertbot) alone, that one is more for technical purposes.
  • I'd like to make some changes to the bot before the "advertising" starts. (Or rather, the changes are made on my local machine, I want to roll them out and see them running for a few days.)
As for the time scale, the "advertising" could start in a week from now I'd say. Is that OK for everybody? --B. Wolterding (talk) 00:52, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
I'd go for the Wikipedia namespace then. It seems more suitable than user namespace for this, IMO.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 01:42, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
For security issues and documentation purposes, I would also suggest moving the {{User:ArticleAlertBot}} template to {{ArticleAlertbotSubcription}} and have the page semiprotected. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβςWP Physics} 01:45, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
Moves done. --B. Wolterding (talk) 20:52, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
I've set up a home page at WP:AABOT (that was before you moved the pages). I suppose you don't mind me changing these pages to what I made since the namespaces you picked is better than the one I've picked? Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 03:42, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, please go ahead; the Wikipedia:Article alerts page can certainly use some improvement. --B. Wolterding (talk) 12:35, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
You might want to let the Signpost know about the project, now that it's in 'pedia space. §hepTalk 01:02, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
Not sure - Headbomb mentioned the bot there a few months ago, but they didn't really pick it up. Perhaps we can try again when we reach the "100 subscribers anniversary" or so... --B. Wolterding (talk) 22:56, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Alright, I've set up everything and everything should work fine. Any last tweak to the subscription page (or others) before spamming/signposting? Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 04:42, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

(removed indent) Thanks for your work - the pages look much better now. There's just one last point: A few days ago, I submitted a new version of the bot to Legoktm for rollout [3]. He didn't get to it yet, but will hopefully do so soon. I'd rather wait until the new version has run at least once; just to avoid the (unlikely) situation that directly after you advertise the bot widely, it breaks down because the new version turns out to have some major problem. --B. Wolterding (talk) 21:37, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Good idea. Also I got WP:MILHIST to enroll in the Article Alerts and basically told them nothing about it other than what it does, they'll have to figure how to set it up using the documentation. This way we can make sure that a) the documentation is sound b) get feedback on taskforce implementation c) see how it performs on large scale and active projects/taskforces. After they set it up, and see how it goes, and after the next version's roll out, then we'll know if we're truly ready for wide-scale deployment. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 00:36, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Alright following the Signpost article's publication, the subscriptions nearly doubled in a single day. I've filled the spammer bot request, which has been approved for trial.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 20:53, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Signpost article

I wrote an article for next week's Signpost. Any feedback/corrections? The next Signpost is to be published this Monday I think, is this enough time to make sure the last revision of the bot is stable?Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 05:53, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Fine for me - I made a small edit. The new bot version is live now. There are a few minor issues, which I added to the bug report page. But I'd rather leave the code as is now, despite those bugs, and roll out the next batch of changes only a week or two after the "ad campaign". --B. Wolterding (talk) 17:22, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
That's a good start. I'm guessing it would be most appropriate under a Dispatch (WP:FCDW). It reads a bit too much like an advert though, they only run neutral items. The first couple sentences should probably be wiped out completely. §hepTalk 05:08, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
I really don't see what's so ad-like about it. It's called a hook and is a valid journalistic tool used to get attention and provide context. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 05:47, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

I've made some revisions after feedback from Ragesoss. I also added some details about the history of ArticleAlertbot, so if B. Wolterding and Legoktm could make sure I got it right, that would be nice.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 20:36, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

I'd say that reads much better. Come to think of it, I've got to finish this weeks' DRAMA (read:Start writing now and hope for the best). Good job! §hepTalk 21:10, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, Stepshep made a valid point about the previous version - but the new one avoids these pitfalls. Good work! Let's hope now that they "print" (post) it. --B. Wolterding (talk) 22:03, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

And it's a go: An automated article monitoring system for WikiProjects. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 10:16, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Requested moves?

The bot has just removed all of the requested moves from the WikiProject Films listing [4]. Was that supposed to happen? PC78 (talk) 00:25, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

I suppose there was a technical problem with one of the requested move entries; in which case the bot skips that section and continues with the next. Legoktm, did you see anything in the logs? --B. Wolterding (talk) 00:40, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

DYK going haywire

For the second day in a row the DYK section has a bunch of incorrect information at WP:CHICAGO. I see some other project such as WP:OHIO and WP:PHYSICS are having the same problem and some projects such as WP:COMICS are not.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 00:51, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

May be a related problem but this change in today's run gave a DYK entry from 16 Mar 2008 as though it had happened on 9 February 2009. Keith D (talk) 01:30, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Up above. ^^ §hepTalk 02:33, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Incorrect report on FTC

On this update the bot said the FTC Beauchamp-Sharp Tragedy was not promoted. In reality, this topic was promoted. Not sure what the issue is with that. Acdixon (talk contribs count) 01:26, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

That's a bug in my code. To see whether the article has been promoted, the bot looks whether it was added to a certain category. I was under the impression that the correct cat to look for was Category:Wikipedia featured topics; but in fact the article went to Category:Wikipedia featured topics Beauchamp–Sharp Tragedy featured content (huh!). I'll now look at Category:Top-importance Featured topics articles, hopefully that will work out. (The change in the bot will be visible with the next rollout - it's not quite clear yet when this is.) --B. Wolterding (talk) 22:58, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

More than 10 discussions link

Wikipedia:WikiProject Ohio is currently being overrun by the incorrect DYKs from earlier this week. There used to be a link inserted by the bot when a section hit over 10 (IIRC) entries. I was wondering if this feature been turned off or is it just a quirk? Thanks. §hepTalk 00:17, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

The 10 articles "cutoff" is disabled when transcluded discussions are used. The reason is that I thought the discussions break the "newsticker" format anyway... well, one might discuss.
If you want to disable the DYK entries temporarily, you can add "workflows=ALL,!DYK" to your subscription. --B. Wolterding (talk) 01:06, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Interesting... Thanks for the quick reply! §hepTalk 01:17, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Topic candidate discussions

At WP:CHICAGO, I noticed that the topic candidates don't have discussion links. Can you add this feature.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 00:54, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

The feature is actually there, but apparently it's not working - thanks for the report. Will add that problem to the list above. --B. Wolterding (talk) 12:12, 15 February 2009 (UTC)


The large header at the top of the alerts page means you have to scroll down to view the alerts. I'd like to reduce that if possible. Is this a problem, and have you a better idea? Hesperian 00:25, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I can easily include that in some future version of the bot. (However, manual edits to the alerts page will be overwritten with the next bot edit.) --B. Wolterding (talk) 15:31, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

New articles bot

A useful tool our WikiProject (and some others) have been using is the list of new articles in our field, provided by User:AlexNewArtBot. I'd assume that all WikiProjects who want article alerts also want alerts about new articles, so I'd suggest (if it hasn't been done already) integrating User:AlexNewArtBot into the Article Alerts. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 22:26, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Two Questions

Would it be possible to get some examples of how to set up subpage transclusions such as what WikiProject Comics gets their Article Alerts to appear in a subpage? I'd like to implement that style of alerting on the WP:P* page by moving it to a subpage but I can't suss out how it's done...

Also, I'm wondering what would happen in this theoretical example: an article on Foo is nominated for deletion but there's no banner for the project placed on the article at the time of the AFD. Someone then comes along and tags the Foo article with the project banner. Would the Article Alert then get updated to show the AFD? Tabercil (talk) 01:57, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Simply place {{Wikipedia:WikiProject Pornography/Article alerts}} on that subpage and the alerts will appear on that page. As for article that get bannered after being submitted in AfD (for example), I think the bot picks them up. B. Wolterding could confirm, however. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics}
Apart from what is documented at Wikipedia:Article alerts/Subscribing, you can currently only have a look at the examples you mention - I might add some more documentation later. However, if you just want an existing alerts list to be transcluded in more pages, that's pretty easy - just use it like a template, as Headbomb said. For the AFD question: If a project template is added after the AFD nomination, the bot will pick up the AFD for the newly added project in its next run, i.e., normally within 24 hours. --B. Wolterding (talk) 20:11, 25 February 2009 (UTC)


Is there a parameter to have the article alerts append text instead of replace text?

For example, if I were to set the article alerts to only display DEL, that it would merely append new discussions, rather than replace old ones?

This for the sake of archiving. - jc37 03:15, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Setting archivetime=9999999999999999... would probably work. B.Wolterding could probably tell you what's the biggest number that ArticleAlertbot could support, although I doubt that archiving more than 5 years' (archivetime=1825) worth of deletion links is required.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 03:36, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
And then you could do snapshots of this every year or so if you want to make sure that nothing is lost, even in 25 years.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 03:37, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
Ok, I'm confused, but possibly it's merely by usage of terms...
Does this bot do automatic archiving of the information posted after a certain time? (When I use the term, I'm meaning, does it save the info to some subpage.)
My goal is to merge this with an existing noticeboard, and up to this point, we've archived all notices. So it would be nice to continue the practice while using this bot, if possible. - jc37 06:07, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
No the bot doesn't archive anything. It removes the entries after they are resolved (by default 14 days, but you can set it to longer). You can either keep archiving these things manually, or set archivetime= a very large number of days. However, since the bot always overwrite the entire page, bugs and mishaps could result in temporary or permanent deletion of some entries. What you could do is something like set the archivetime to say three months, and let the bot do its thing. Then every month or so, you'd archive what AAbot produced manually. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 06:21, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
Ohhh, ok. And it keeps them in numerical (by date) order?
Well, our archive tends to be yearly, so this could indeed work. Shame we don't have a "trigger" to place it automatically at Project/year/Article alerts. (with year determined automatically by the bot.) And if that's felt to be too much, to have: Project/year/month/Article alerts. (with year and month automatically determined/created as needed.)
Is such a thing possible? - jc37 06:58, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
Well everything's possible, but that might involve a large rewrite of ArticleAlertbot. Yearly archiving might not be the highest priority at this moment, but I don't call those shots, B. Wolterding does. Either way you are welcomed to make the feature request all the same. Keep in mind that ArticleAlertbot is still limited in its scope: it can only cover those articles which are tagged by a project's banner. So if you really want to make sure everything was brought up to your project or taskforce' attention, you'll still need to patrol AfD, Prod, etc... Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 10:09, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand why it would require a "large rewrite"...
It would just mean adding two things: a subroutine/function/object (depending on the programming language) which determines the current date; and the ability to change the target of the article alerts based upon the date.
So, for example, let's say that the bot currently posts to WikiProject Comics/Noticeboard/Article alerts.
What I'm suggesting is that it would post to Wikiproject Comics/Noticeboard/Article alerts/2009/March.
And on 1 April 2009, it just merely changes it's target automatically to Wikiproject Comics/Noticeboard/Article alerts/2009/April. (No longer posting to /March.)
Staying in "append" mode throughout.
That said, I don't know the intracacies of the current implementation (or the language it's written in), so perhaps this is more complex than I envision? - jc37 18:53, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
This is easily explained: The bot's functional requirements (not its programming language or implementation) demand much more than just appending to a list. Entries could move up in the list (e.g. if an AfD is closed); they could be modified in a quite arbitrary fashion (PRODs get endorsed, discussion pages are created, GANs are put on hold), not to speak of changes to the output introduced by fixes or extensions to the software. Doing these as differential edits to the wikitext would be much too complex, if feasible at all. The bot's design, therefore, is quite different: It keeps its "alert entries" in its own database, and each time it runs, it regenerates the entire wikitext of the output pages, and then writes it to the live wiki. This also makes the bot quite stable, since it is completely independent of any manual changes accidentally made on the output page. (It just overwrites them.)
Of course it would in principle be possible to write, additionally, closed entries to a separate "archive" page (by appending them). However, this would be quite a change to the design of the bot; further it would require a more intricate setup than it seems at first (certainly people would want to append AfDs to different sections than PRODs, would want configuration options regarding when the log page "rotates", etc. etc.). On the other hand, I don't see a large demand for it. That all does not make me feel that this is a direction in which I (or rather the bot) should be going. --B. Wolterding (talk) 23:07, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
"Doing these as differential edits to the wikitext would be much too complex, if feasible at all."
Could you further explain the above? If it means what I think it does, then it's quite possible you and I are talking about different things. But on the other hand I may merely be confused : ) - jc37 11:57, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

(remove indent) As an example, suppose that a PROD, already on the alerts list, gets endorsed. Hence the entry on the alerts list needs an "(endorsed by...)" added to it. There are basically two options to do this: (1) Read the text from the wiki; try to find the place where the PROD is listed; replace this bit of text with the new version; save the wikitext. (2) Keep the alert list data (in structured form) off-wiki, for the bot only; modify this data; regenerate the entire wikitext of the page; write it to the wiki. Now, (1) gets extremely complicated, and it's almost impossible to test all error conditions that could appear. (For example: One "incorrect" user edit to the page, and the bot would screw up, with the page needing manual fixing.) (2) is what the bot actually does. --B. Wolterding (talk) 20:41, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Ok, yes. I think you and I are talking about two separate things.
What I'm suggesting would only require 1 change from how the bot currently operates.
1.) the target page that the bot posts to be changeable based upon the current date.
Everything else, the bot already does.
As Headbomb notes, there already is an archivetime variable which can be set.
So for the implementation that I am suggesting, the archivetime (in this case) would be automatically 1 month. That's already done in the code.
So have a new subroutine "call" the archivetime subroutine, with the "set" archivetime of 1 month. And then, have the output posted to a date-based page. Such as: Wikiproject N/Article alerts/2009/March.
And when the bot notices that it's now April, it would stop posting to that page, and start posting to: Wikiproject N/Article alerts/2009/April.
Essentially, the idea is to have the bot do what headbomb suggests be done manually (that is, to change the "subscription" target page monthly).
I would presume that this would be something easy to do?
Check for the date. Have a variable in the targetname based upon currentdate. Or some such.
Or am I missing something? - jc37 10:23, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Ping : ) - jc37 06:42, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, you are missing something. When just changing the output page, the previous output page would be left in an inconsistent state, since active items will no longer be marked as closed, changed items no longer updated, etc. Look, I do not want to appear rude, but my time for bot work is limited and there are many /Feature requests. Please just regard this one as denied for the time being. --B. Wolterding (talk) 21:48, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
The "previous output page" would presumeably be exactly as the last post to it, left it. Which was my understanding.
Anyway, since you say your time is limited, I'll see about talking to some other bot operators and see if perhaps I can find a bot to archive a bot. (Sounds odd, but that's essentially what it'd be doing.)
Essentially, find a bot to automatically change the subscription page monthly. (Since this is apparently too difficult for you to implement for the time being, due to your limited time for bot work.)
Thank you for your help with this thus far (and for creating a really useful tool for WIkiProjects). - jc37 18:15, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Thread break

Hi! No, the bot currently doesn't have an archive function in the strict sense. It keeps items on its list for a certain time (configurable, but I wouldn't recommend more than a few months), and then just drops the old entries. These entries are not per se lost - they are still available in the page history - but there's currently no support for writing them to a separate archive page. That would also be quite a change to the way the bot works. --B. Wolterding (talk) 21:02, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
The problem with the page history is that, with daily updates, it will rather quickly become quite lengthy, and be quite labour intensive to go through and find any particular discussion. (I've personally had to do that in the past in the old version of the Comics' project's noticeboard.)
And as I think this is an awesomely useful tool for WikiProjects, I think having the information more readily available would be a great boon... - jc37 18:53, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but like I said, just set the archivetime=90 (or whatever) so you'll have three month's worth of deletion logs, and manual update your permanent archive each month or two.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 19:39, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Or, I suppose, I could find someone with a bot to archive it... Oh wait, this operates by bot : ) - jc37 20:41, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Feedback from WP:MILHIST


There's this discussion group getting set up at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Assessment working group (name is temporary). Basically it aims to be a centralized discussion forums for wikiprojects and wikipedia processes. I signed up as a link between here and there, but if you want to sign up as well, go for it.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 04:08, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Hello? Is the page on?

So what option can we use if our project wants to get a daily, or so, notice on our talkpage? This is very helpful for AfDs for ensuring someone is working on it but a new separate message would be about the next day's AFDs and discussions kept apart. -- Banjeboi 02:16, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm not exactly sure what you are asking. The options are detailed here and here.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 05:29, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm looking for a new alert, expressly for AfDs, that will post each day in it's own talkpage section so out project members can see it posted as if one of the members said "hey, here's a new AfD" that we all could discuss. The next day a new talkpage section would be created with AfDs for that run. I didn't see an option that fit that only a static post that is updated with new replacing old. -- Banjeboi 10:54, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
That's "roughly" doable, if I read the documentation correctly. Simply set up a separate page just for AfD results. I believe that they're sorted by date. - jc37 11:28, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Well you could set up an individual AfD page (like Wikipedia:WikiProject Tulips/AfD, and place {{ArticleAlertbotSubscription|banner=WPTulips|workflow=AfD|discussion=1}}. This will only include the AfD articles on that page, and will transclude the deletion discussion for as long as they are open.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 11:34, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
That's exactly what I was suggesting. Nice of Headbomb to provide the actual syntax : ) - jc37 11:42, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
That still sounds different than what I was hoping for. For instance, each week I get the signpost delivered as a discussion thread on my talkpage and an archive bot removes it in the allotted time. I could also choose just to have a permanent signpost that shows the latest issue. I prefer the talkpage thread instead as i actually notice it, read it, then it's later archived. What I'd like here is a talkpage post like "AfDs for project X" that provides a list of AfD's - and as I think of it - might also point me to the proper subpage y'all are talking about. In this way our project members are more readily alerted to something that is time-sensitive and needs action. Does that make sense? -- Banjeboi 12:05, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Well you could do something similar to {{Physics Member Navbox}}. Or you could watch the alert page (show bot edits). Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 16:17, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
I think Headbomb's suggestion is what comes closest to what you want: Set up an alerts page for AfDs only, and have interested project members watchlist it. They will get informed about new or closed AfDs within 24 hours.
The bot will, by principle, never post to anybody's talk pages, but rather write its own page. In fact, if it were to post to your project talk page, the slightest bot malfunction would show you (or rather, would show me, since I'd be taking the blame) that this is a rather bad idea. --B. Wolterding (talk) 22:19, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Spambot run approved.

Let's brace for a massive influx of projects. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 07:55, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

When's the next bot rollout?

We're about to receive a massive influx of subscribers. I know you want to hold back because of possible bugs, but I thought about it and it doesn't all that wise. What's the difference between having a bug say tomorrow (with ~225 projects), and having a bug in say 4 days (with ~800-1000 projects)? There's also the bad subscription category thing, which to me, seems better to have ready before the influx rather than after. Comments? Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 01:56, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Basically the bot is ready, I could send a new version to Legoktm right now. The difference would be that you alert users to come here, they subscribe, and the first thing they might see is that the bot is not working. So they'll be confused whether their subscription was OK, or whether the bot works/has ever worked/will ever work. This is what I'd like to avoid. On the other hand, if I put out the bot now, and Lego starts the new version tomorrow (supposing he's around), and you send the "spam" on Tuesday, that would seem like a reasonable schedule. --B. Wolterding (talk) 02:13, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I'll ask for the spam to be delayed to Tuesday.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 02:24, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Done.Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 02:27, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
I sent the new bot version. --B. Wolterding (talk) 02:42, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Everything seems to be mighty fine one the receiving end of the Alerts. The logs don't indicate any error. I take it I can tell Addshore to spam-away? Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 06:00, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Yes, everything seems OK. I think the current bot version will survive the masses of new subsribers... Go ahead! --B. Wolterding (talk) 21:18, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Bot rollout: DYK lists will be emptied

A note regarding the upcoming rollout of the new bot version: In the first run, the DYK lists will be reset for all subscribers, i.e., all "historical" items will disappear. This is necessary since the bot has been completely rewritten at this point. --B. Wolterding (talk) 02:47, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

I did notice it recently removed In the news from the list of supported workflows. Is this intended? Thanks, §hepTalk 03:53, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
No, that's not intended. We had some problems with the bot rollout last night, and reverted to an old version - apparently the wrong one, i.e. a version that did not support ITN. Will hopefully be fixed today. --B. Wolterding (talk) 18:38, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Awesome. Thanks, §hepTalk 20:30, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Other news

How can this flow be hidden? I can't find reference to it in Wikipedia:Article alerts/Specification or Wikipedia:Article alerts/Subscribing. Thanks, — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 18:42, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

It can't be hidden yet. Dunno when B. Wolterding is going to implement that option, but its probably on his top priorities for this bot (he can correct me if I'm wrong about this). Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 05:04, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
Will be in the next bot version. See /Feature requests#Turning off the other news section. --B. Wolterding (talk) 16:48, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Misleading Error Message

The Wikipedia:WikiProject National Football League project had added the {{ArticleAlertbotSubscription|banner=NFLproject}} code to their project page but the Wikipedia:WikiProject National Football League/Article alerts page disaplys an error message.

The message itsefl is a bit misleading as it says that the project banner needs to be in Category:WikiProject banners but the bot documentation says that it can be in one of three categories. Can the error message be changed as people are trying to add banners back into the WikiProject banners category when there shouldn't be any need to.

Other than that, is there a reason for the bot not working for WikiProject National Football League ? -- WOSlinker (talk) 07:53, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Seems to be fixed by now. (Will update the error message at some point.) --B. Wolterding (talk) 21:03, 18 March 2009 (UTC)


Opt out Wikipedia Signpost alerts

How do I configure the settings at Wikipedia:WikiProject_Lakes#Article_alerts to remove news on the updates of Wikipedia signpost and other not directly project related? -- User:Docu

Currently not possible; see however /Feature requests#Turning off the other news section. --B. Wolterding (talk) 20:58, 18 March 2009 (UTC)


Diff. When the article was deleted, instead of stating "blah was deleted", it just removed the entire section. Is this one of the new changes or an error? Thanks, §hepTalk 21:17, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Appears to be a bug: /Bugs#Entries disappear from the alerts list when AfDs are closed. --B. Wolterding (talk) 21:24, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I forgot about that subpage. §hepTalk 01:24, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

New feature request

Just to let people know, I have added a new request for a feature (not really a feature, but a request nonetheless) at Wikipedia talk:Article alerts/Feature requests.  The Windler talk  01:58, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Put alerts at the top

Every time I check an alerts page, I have to scroll past the "About this report" section. Can we please put the alerts at the top of the page, and the "About this report" stuff at the bottom? Hesperian 04:45, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

See this FR. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 10:01, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
So, what, I'm supposed to transclude? So when an alert update hits my watchlist, I can't just click on the link; I have to manually type in the name of a user subspace page wherein I have transcluded the alerts page. That is even more annoying than having to scroll to the bottom every time.
What I see in the linked discussion is a coherent argument for putting the "About this report" section at the bottom, and an argument against it that is personally incomprehensible. What the heck does all that talk about "moving the columns below the alerts would wrap up the alerts" mean?
Hesperian 00:29, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I didn't really follow that discussion, I just know another guy requested the same thing. As for transcluding, you can place, for example, {{Wikipedia:WikiProject Foo/Article alerts}} in your userpage or on your project's mainpage and the alerts for WikiProject Foo will be displayed without the "about this report" message. If that's not what you'd like, and that the argument from the other guy is incoherent, then simply make another (coherent) request. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 02:40, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Or you can continue the linked one, it's still open for input. I just personally don't see what is gained by losing the information. Although no one is forcing you to watch the alerts, so the slightly aggressive approach doesn't seem warranted. §hepTalk 02:44, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I want to watch the alerts, Shep. I apologise if my "slightly aggressive approach" suggests a lack of appreciation for the efforts of B.W. et al. I got annoyed at (perceiving that I was) being fobbed off with an unworkable solution.
I want it to be easy to watch the alerts. I want to see an alert come up on my watchlist, click on it, and quickly be alerted to whatever is new. There are two obstacles to that: 1. I have to scroll down before I can even start searching for new information; and 2. I have to search through what is sometimes a longish list to find whatever is new since last time the alerts page was updated. Problem 2. could be fixed by bolding new entries and unbolding old entries with each update, so that entries posted in the most recent update are in bold. Problem 1. could be fixed my moving the "about this report" to the bottom of the page. As I said above, I don't understand the arguments not to do so; that's not rhetoric; I'm not saying I disagree; I literally do not understand the arguments being made.
Hesperian 00:45, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
If your concerns is to "quickly get the new information", have you considered using click on the "prev" diff link when it shows up in your watchlist? It seems to do everything you are looking for. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 01:07, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Multicolumn format

How do I switch the WP:CHICAGO subscription to multicolumn format?--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 03:22, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Use display=columns. Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 05:23, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Like this?--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:LOTM) 05:48, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Are the alerts set up like you want now?Headbomb {ταλκκοντριβς – WP Physics} 02:41, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
Return to the project page "Article alerts/Archive 2".