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This is a message board for coordinating and discussing bot-related issues on Wikipedia (also including other programs interacting with the MediaWiki software). Although its target audience is mainly bot owners, any user is welcome to leave a message or join the discussion here. This is not the place for requests for bot approvals or requesting that tasks be done by a bot. It is also not the place for general questions about the MediaWiki software (such as the use of templates, etc.), which have generally a best chance of being answered at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical).


I'm hearing that phab:T53736 is being discussed seriously, and that it may affect bots. I don't understand the project yet, but if you're interested in how bots cope with redirects, then please take a look. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:19, 27 June 2017 (UTC)

Note: This RFC has been scheduled for public discussion on June 28 (Wednesday) 21:00 UTC (2pm PDT, 23:00 CEST). As always, the discussion will take place in the IRC channel #wikimedia-office. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 17:34, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
The phab does not adequately explain what "change wikipage redirects to be proper HTTP redirects" means, i.e. what is proposed. I get that this is about making section links work better and not be javascript-dependent. The API just provides a means to read the contents of a page; it's up to the bot coder to decide whether to "follow redirects" or not. Following redirects is accomplished by reading the page, determining that it is a redirect, and then making another API call to read the contents of the page it redirects to. I don't think there is an API for just reading sections of a page. wbm1058 (talk) 13:53, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
I believe this won't have any effect on bots using the API to access pages. The proposal is about the behavior of redirects being accessed via the web UI entry point (index.php). If your bot is using web UI entry points, you really should update it. Anomie 15:53, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

Bot talkpage issue

It's clear that nothing more will be achieved by leaving this open any longer. The technical issue was quickly explained here and elsewhere, and the wording of the bot's message is being discussed here. The rest of the discussion has little relevance to bots or bot operation. ​—DoRD (talk)​ 13:12, 1 July 2017 (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.

This section is stale. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 01:13, 30 June 2017 (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.

See VPT:#Bot_talk_page_ignores_talk. -DePiep (talk) 20:45, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

User:InternetArchiveBot is a bot. Responding to an edit of it, I posted on their talkpage this. After "saving", my post did not show?! I had to do research, to discover that the (regular looking) page said like: "Please do not edit this page. Messages left here will likely go unnoticed.". In other words: the bot is deaf. (to be clear: talkpage instructions are not defining. For example: we have Redirects). Why is this bot allowed to operate like this? -DePiep (talk) 20:40, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

I commented at VPT for the "technical" concern you had, as for the conceptual this is a better venue. — xaosflux Talk 20:52, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
@DePiep: I don't see any real problem on that page, but do see several points to address:
  1. You edited over page protection to put that message there - not something that most editors will encounter. You should have seen an obvious indicator of this, along with the protection log explaining this page more.
  2. The bot's userpage, User:InternetArchiveBot, very clearly identifies the bot and it's tasks.
  3. The operator User:Cyberpower678 is clearly identified - did you contact him?
  4. That page had very clear directions about how to report bugs, and how to contact the operator on wiki. It is in effect a large non-standard soft redirect.
  5. Of course bots don't listen - they aren't generally programmed to - they generally don't talk back either.
xaosflux Talk 21:04, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
C'mon. I go to a talkpage of a bot. That one should not be deaf. My comment is flushed by Saving. All right that talkpage even Promises in small print "I'll dump your contribution", but that's not OK. My point is, again: why is this acceptable bot talkpage behaviour? (todo: why even does it even require TE rights to post at all???). -DePiep (talk) 21:14, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
re #2: I don't see any real problem on that page: then why reply here at all (duh)?
Even worse: why do you reply in 5 points to a thing you don't see or get? -DePiep (talk) 21:25, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
Note: The <div style="display:none"> appears to be why your post doesn't show. Of course, the placement of that may be disputable, as it appears intended to make new entries added at the bottom invisible (except when viewing the talk page source). —PaleoNeonate - 21:34, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
Not 'disputable', PaleoNeonate. Plain talkpage abuse. -DePiep (talk) 22:12, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
I would suggest contacting the bot's operator - Cyberpower678, as the bot likely isn't programmed to respond to your queries on it's talkpage. SQLQuery me! 21:54, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
Yes sir. That says it all: to contact the bot operator you must got to bot operators talkpage. So why does not User talk:InternetArchiveBot simply Redirect to that operators talkpage? ? ? (Instead of dumping my post down the drain) -DePiep (talk) 22:09, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
Probably because contacting the botop is only one of the four potential reasons why you'd be wanting to fix something related to the bot. I find the FAQs on that talk page rather helpful for figuring out where to go. Primefac (talk) 22:18, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
Missing the point again. When I go to a Talkpage, my post should be handled, not sunk. -DePiep (talk) 22:24, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
Not really. If you go to a talk page that says "Don't click this link" you shouldn't click the link. Similarly, if the talk page says "Posts here will be ignored, try one of these other four options" you should probably try one of the other four options. As for "not showing" your message, I believe that's been answered above - the page is designed not to show messages. Primefac (talk) 22:29, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
(ec) Bull shit. Talk pages are open for talking. If the owner wants something else: use a smart template or a redirect. But do not require that I read a talkpage manual. -DePiep (talk) 22:40, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
I can totally understand why IABot has this set up - I use a similar one with TheMagikBOT with a redirect to my talk page. Managing 2 talks is unnecessarily complicated, and because you never sign into the bot account in the 'normal' way, messages can go unnoticed (not see on watchlist etc.). Using 1 talk page with notifications that I will definitly see makes it far easier for the bot op to communicate, which is good for everybody in the long run. Using a redirect is seemless, and in this case, I can't see how you can miss all the big notices and protection level without checking what the issue is and where to leave concerns. As long as where concerns/issues should be directed to is clear, there is no issue. TheMagikCow (T) (C) 08:51, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
Basically what Primefac said above. I don't see the issue, you were told where to go for bugs/feedback/questions, and you purposefully didn't do that. That's not on the bot op, that's on you. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 22:31, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
I was not 'told'. It is a regular talkpage. -DePiep (talk) 22:42, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
Which has a prominent warning "Please do not edit this page. Messages left here will likely go unnoticed. Please follow the directions below." You saw this. You didn't follow directions. My point stands. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 00:10, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
I assume it omits redirecting in order to give information specifically to users who encountered the bot and not its operator. The same information at User talk:Cyberpower678 would distract posters with no interest in the bot. I suggest adding __NONEWSECTIONLINK__ when posts are unwanted on the page. Users using the new section link can see their post in preview and then it vanishes on save. The top could also have a source comment saying "DON'T POST TO THIS PAGE. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS." Maybe repeat in the last section for users who try to edit that and manually add a section heading. Or add __NOEDITSECTION__ to prevent that. The unclosed <div style="display:none"> was apparently added deliberately.[1] That does seem a little extreme without an explanation. PrimeHunter (talk) 22:32, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
PrimeHunter, that's actually a pretty decent idea, were the page not TE protected. Maybe Cyberpower thought that a TE or admin would notice all of the various/subtle cues about not posting on the page. The other option, of course, would be for them to bump it to full admin protection, since they have that ability and probably only one person (*coughcough*) would object . Primefac (talk) 22:52, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
Both magic words added. — xaosflux Talk 23:21, 28 June 2017 (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.

Bot talkpage requiring TE permission

This discussion has become unproductive. SQLQuery me! 00:43, 29 June 2017 (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.

While we are at it: how and why can such a talkpage get TE-level of protection? -DePiep (talk) 22:45, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

Probably to avoid non-template editors from posting on a page that isn't supposed to be posted on? Primefac (talk) 22:49, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
What Primefac said. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 22:50, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
I'm the admin who added the TE protection. It was an increase in level following a request to do so (using the same reason as previous) and TE was the chosen level because the botop was a TE and not a sysop at the time it was applied. Probably, full protection would be more appropriate at this stage. -- zzuuzz (talk) 23:00, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
Yes, full protection would be most appropriate at this point. We occasionally use template editor protection as a hacky solution (e.g. the auto-substitution page for AnomieBOT), but that should be done as infrequently as possible. ~ Rob13Talk 23:25, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
Thirded and  Done. Primefac (talk) 23:29, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
(ec)re are you both talking about the user:bot page or about the user talk:bot page? Do you know & apply the difference in these pages by my original question? -DePiep (talk) 23:34, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
Your original question was already answered. The reason your post never displayed was because Cyberpower placed <div style="display:none"> at the bottom of the page, meaning that all new sections would immediately disappear. Thank you for reminding me to extend full protection to the IABot's user page, though. Primefac (talk) 23:37, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
To be precise, the new sections don't disappear; they are not flushed, dumped, sunk or otherwise removed. They are present, but undisplayed. A <div> tag starts a page division. If there is no corresponding </div> tag, the division ends at the bottom of the page. Any HTML element may be given a style= attribute, and the display:none declaration causes the element to not appear in the formatting structure. So if your browser has an "inspect element" feature which permits the toggling of styling, it is possible to make the thread in question displayed by deselecting the display:none declaration. As noted above, editing the page source also shows that it is present. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 23:53, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
To be more precise, Rr64: this WP:BON is a WP:ANI where all "established" ANI/BON-editors can go loose, without restraint, to protect their friends. Against other editors, sentiment only no reading or arguments needed. For example: by now the Talkpage is blocked (level Obama!). A talkpage!, just to kill my reasonable question. -DePiep (talk) 00:01, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
This is a noticeboard for bot matters, you brought a bot matter here, you got your answer. There are no issues of non-compliance with WP:BOTCOMM or with WP:BOTACC, and were given clear directions on User talk:InternetArchiveBot on where to ask your questions about the bot. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 00:16, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
To answer your secondary question (which has also already been answered) - there are four options given on the bot's talk page giving directions on what to do if you need to notify someone of the bot doing something it shouldn't. A bot can't think for itself, which is why there's no real reason to be able to post on its talk page. Primefac (talk) 23:39, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Just to be clear: what is the WP:BON final reply to my original question? -DePiep (talk) 00:03, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
    Either I'm missing a question (or two), or this reply should have done it. Did I miss part of the question you asked, and if so, would you mind re-asking it? Primefac (talk) 00:06, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
You just linked to one of dozens of replies, so why do you claim that is the answer? (BTW it is not, for example it says: "Your original question was already answered...".). Do you feel proud? What a load of BS you PON homies have to kill any decent argument. You all are promoted to level WP:ANI! Your result: a bot talkpage is protercted (more heavily to keep edoitors like me out!), and none of you have a fair talk to explain it. -DePiep (talk) 00:24, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
OK, I tried giving you the benefit of the doubt here, but you don't seem interested in listening. So, for the last time the talk page was protected because that's not where the bot operator wants you to leave messages. You were told where to ask your question: at User talk:Cyberpower678. This is prominently displayed and explained on User talk:InternetArchiveBot, which is fully compliant with our WP:BOTACC and WP:BOTCOMM policies. What part of your question hasn't been answered? Why are you still here badgering people who try to help you, rather than ask your question about User:InternetArchiveBot at User talk:Cyberpower678? Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 00:34, 29 June 2017 (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.

Okay, let's try this again

  • DePiep, clearly we have missed something fundamental in translation between your original request and what this thread has become. Let's just forget all of that above. What is your question edit: assuming it hasn't been answered by Headbomb above? Primefac (talk) 00:28, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
  • You all are promoted to level WP:ANI. I am not; I am but an assistant pig-keeper Face-smile.svg. —PaleoNeonate - 00:50, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
re Primefac: the question has been answered, implicitly: by changing the talkpage setup without admitting something was wrong. -DePiep (talk) 10:55, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

I believe that AWB bots automatically stop if a message is left on the talk page. This is good practice and it probably wouldn't be a good idea to fully protect these talk pages. I see that User:InternetArchiveBot has a shut-off option so this is not a concern in this case. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 11:30, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

@MSGJ: yes, that is standard for bots running AWB, but not for most custom frameworks such as the one used by this bot. — xaosflux Talk 11:34, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

The real question, aside from the drama above, seems to be: should bot talk pages be allowed to redirect to other pages, or should bot communication be on the bot talk page only? Personally, I'm strongly opposed to this (as above) but welcome constructive discussion to clear the matter up formally. TheMagikCow (T) (C) 12:26, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

In my mind, it all boils down to "yes, they should be allowed but not forced." For a bot like PrimeBOT, the talkpage-as-redirect serves as the "shut down" function and it would be a pain in my arse to have to re-log-in every time someone left a thank-you at the bot's talk page. For a bot like IABot or AnomieBOT, the shutdown is an external process and so the talk page commenting doesn't do anything to affect the processes; that doesn't mean that people have to comment there. Bot accounts are essentially alt accounts, and as far as I can tell no one is forcing every alt account to have their own talk page (i.e. many people with alts have the talk page redirect to their main). Primefac (talk) 12:38, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
Hmm. I'm not sure about this interpretation of "the real question". I have read the above, and it sounds to me like one could with equal accuracy summarize the discussion as "Do editors have a right to have their comments displayed on a bot's talk page, even if that talk page says not to post there?" Which is quite different, and so we probably shouldn't guess.
But another question seems more salient to me: User:DePiep, did you actually see/read/understand the message that said not to post there, before you saved the page? That little coffee-roll-colored box looks like exactly the thing that would produce banner blindness in experienced editors, through no fault of your own. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:09, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
If we go down that logic - what's the difference between "I post on a bot page and it disappears" vs "I post on a bot page and the owner immediately removes it"? If a user wants their bot talk page permanently protected, because they don't want other editors posting there, they are allowed (at least in my mind) to use any means they want to ensure that doesn't happen. We're flinging around silly hypothetical situations, making wild accusations (both real and fantasy), and really I don't see us reaching any sort of "conclusion" without either a straight question-and-answer or an RFC (i.e. question and discuss). Primefac (talk) 21:35, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
"The owner immediately removes it" doesn't make the poster feel like his comment will never be read, or that the editing software is broken. Perhaps a more clearer example would be "I post on a bot page, and the bot reverts me with an edit summary of 'Do not post on this page. Please read the directions.'". WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:32, 30 June 2017 (UTC)

Speaking as a bot operator, I tried giving blatant warnings on the bot's talk page that the bot won't respond on that talk page and all queries are routed to the bit recycling bin. Even then that didn't prevent editors from trying to engage the bot as a user. I filed for Full Page protection (requiring an admin to be able to edit) and still that doesn't prevent industrious admins from dropping notices when they'll be ignored. There's no reason good reason (IMO) why IAB uses that unclosed div tag, and has the side effect of potentially gobbling up other data. Highly reccomend (with what I see as the application of Full protection) to remove that unclosed tag. Hasteur (talk) 13:53, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

I closed that div tag referencing this discussions. With both the magic words, and the full protection if an admin really wants to override all that and put a message there that the directions already say will be ignored then it won't matter much anyway. It may help if such admins develop a taste for fish though. — xaosflux Talk 14:01, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
  • TL;DR: You all, all keep blaming me for 'not understanding' the talkpage header, while meanwhile clearly feeling the need to change that page's settings [2]. (As in: "I don't smell *goes for a shower*"). Why did not any WP:BON habitual admit I do have a point? -DePiep (talk) 00:48, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
re WhatamIdoing did you actually see/read/understand the message that said not to post there .. before saving. This is a good Q, but not enough. My A:
Of course I did see it. But why should I grasp that it says: " Ceci n'est pas une Talkpage"? Why even can a talkpage self-declare that? Please someone explain why this talkpage opening would wikilegally enforce me to understand the self-contradicting message?
The main line is: never you can say "Do not talk on this talkpage". Full stop. And then, when I do use that talkpage to talk, blame ME for talking?! Also, each and every editor should know that per WP:TALK: never manipulate someone else's talk (includes hiding, and [3]).
Counter-question: If all this is MY fault & misunderstanding, why did you all scramble to edit that talkpage (into blocking Talk at every crippled cost) [4]?
Then, in a following stage, here at WP:BON (my first visit, AFAIK) not a single habitual editor came forward to say: "DePiep does have a point". Not one of you all. Everyone kept repeating that I was at fault for not reading a header "ceci n'est pas une Talkpage". Even on my own talkpage editors came to 'explain' my error, then with a support !vote afterwards [5]. Otherwise respectful editors rushed to asap close resolved? [6] [7]. This is why I referenced to WP:ANI: when I make a (minor) critical point, you all circled the wagons (one of us is attacked! Fire outward!), and not one of you kept cool. -DePiep (talk) 00:48, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
Never you can say "Do not talk on this talkpage". You most definitely can, we even mention this possibility in the bot policy WP:BOTCOMM in the form of redirects. IABot's talk page is effectively a soft redirect, giving you four options depending on what you want to do. There is no 'penalty' for not following talk page directions, but you if you ignore the bot op's directions for contacting them, you can't expect a prompt reply from them. never manipulate someone else's talk WP:TALK does not say that, otherwise one couldn't revert vandalism or other inappropriate posts made by error. why did you all scramble to edit that talkpage To prevent further misunderstandings / posts made at the wrong location.
This discussion is rather unproductive, so unless you actually have something to say that is of relevance to the operation of bots, I'll point you to the RFC on IABot. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 01:11, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
Why should you grasp this? Well, like most experienced Wikipedians, you're usually pretty smart about following directions, so I'd have assumed that if you saw and understood "Don't post here: For A, go there; for B, go to this other page; for everything else, go to this third page", then you'd have just done that (assuming that you wanted a timely response, etc.). It is not really that different from the instructions that we spam on all sorts of pages, beginning with Talk:Main Page – in fact, the only substantive difference is that when you reach the end of this list, there's nothing left that should be posted to that particular talk page. Talk:Main Page provides you with 17 different places to post questions (I just counted), but leaves one topic of discussion that should be posted to that talk page.
I'm feeling like you were really surprised when the comment (the one you left after reading the directions that told you not to do that...) was not displayed to you. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:32, 30 June 2017 (UTC)

This is so far out of hand. @Cyberpower678: In order to get this discussion over with and move on, would you be fine with adding a literal soft redirect to the bot user talk page to make it even more obvious that the editor is intended to comment on your talk page? This is not indicative of any wrongdoing on your part, just the path of least resistance (if you're interested in taking it). ~ Rob13Talk 01:41, 30 June 2017 (UTC)

Nope. What’s the soft redirect template name?—CYBERPOWER (Message) 02:05, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
@Cyberpower678: not sure how it will really look there, but it is {{soft redirect}}. — xaosflux Talk 02:10, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
Speaking only for myself, I'd find this more confusing than anything else. "Comment at X" at the top, followed by "WAIT, if you want to comment somewhere, comment at A for this, B for that, C for this, and D for that." {{Soft redirect}} should only be used for directing people to other sites/other projects. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 03:15, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps that's right. Bah. Well, can't please everyone. I think the clear consensus here is that this talk page is wholly appropriate based on our bot policy and talk page guidelines. ~ Rob13Talk 05:05, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
  • WhatamIdoing, Headbomb, Xaosflux, PaleoNeonate, MSGJ, Primefac, Rob13: whatever you like to claim. The horror. -DePiep (talk) 00:42, 1 July 2017 (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.

New discussion on "friendly" (human) wording of InternetArchiveBot et al.

There is a discussion happening at the Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals) page on the tone of the wording of the InternetArchiveBot messages that are being left on article talk pages. If you are interested, please see that discussion. Thanks! KDS4444 (talk) 23:43, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

Concern about Magic links bot

Unproductive complaining about a problem that doesn't exist. Jc86035 (talk) Use {{re|Jc86035}}
to reply to me
14:44, 6 July 2017 (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.

(moved from WT:BAG#Is this the right forum to bot operators unpermissioned?)

Is this the right forum to bot operators unpermissioned? If not, could you redirect me? Thanks. --Hobbes Goodyear (talk) 20:59, 2 July 2017 (UTC)

@Hobbes Goodyear: I'm not exactly what you are asking, this is about the Bot Approvals Group - for more general bot/operator discussions please see Wikipedia:Bots/Noticeboard. — xaosflux Talk 21:26, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: Thanks, that's helpful. --Hobbes Goodyear (talk) 02:18, 6 July 2017 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: Hobbes is concerned about the edit summary used by Magic links bot, claiming it isn't clear what it's doing. Everyone else (see here) seems to think the edit summary is fine. Hobbes is looking for someone to remove the permission granted by BAG to operate the bot because he doesn't like the edit summary. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 21:32, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
Nihonjoe (talk · contribs)Please do not make requests on my behalf, especially when they misrepresent me, such as in this claim: "Hobbes is looking for someone to remove the permission granted by BAG to operate the bot because he doesn't like the edit summary". --Hobbes Goodyear (talk) 02:25, 6 July 2017 (UTC)
Nihonjoe, I was thinking that might be the case, but xoasflux is right that BOTN is the proper location for that request. Primefac (talk) 21:36, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
Thanks! ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 21:45, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) @Nihonjoe: thanks for the note, BON is the place to ask for bot authorization reviews if needed - pretty drastic for an edit summary - but that is the venue if really warranted and at an impasse with the operator. — xaosflux Talk 21:38, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: In this case, it seems to be more of an impasse with the concerned person as everyone else in the discussion (including me, so perhaps I'm biased) seems to think the edit summary is acceptable. Thanks! ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 21:45, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
JYI, There was one more person who complained(?) about the task in different place. -- Magioladitis (talk) 23:12, 2 July 2017 (UTC)

@JJMC89, Hobbes Goodyear, Magioladitis, Xaosflux, Primefac, BU Rob13, SQL, SkyWarrior, and Cyberpower678: Pinging those involved in previous discussions of which I am aware. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 03:37, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

Since the ping doesn't seem to have worked for everyone, I posted a note on everyone's talk page (except Magioladitis, since he already commented here). ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 16:13, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
@Smeat75: too. They raised concerns too. -- Magioladitis (talk) 09:31, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
@Magioladitis: Will you link to where they expressed their concern, just for the record here? Thanks in advance! ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 19:05, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
@Nihonjoe: I pinged the editor already. I received many complains myself for trying to do the same tas from my main account. A part of the complains had to do with the task itself. -- Magioladitis (talk) 20:46, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
@Nihonjoe: The discussion is in Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#User:Magioladitis_high_speed_editing where Smeat75 writes "My watchlist has been filled with edit notifications with the message "Replace magic links with templates per local RfC and MediaWiki Rfc" and I have no idea what this even means but I have to check every single article to see if something important was changed to the article before that which I have missed. It has been very irritating.". Judging by the edit summary they refer to the Magic links bot and not to my edits. -- Magioladitis (talk) 20:49, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment from passer-by I understand frustration with the large number of bot edits that are inflicted on watchlists by various bots, but User:Magic links bot is doing necessary work, and its volunteer operator deserves our thanks for the large amount of development work needed. The edit summary is good (example) because it is short yet exactly describes the edit, with links for whoever is curious about what a magic link is, and links to the RfCs. I do not see any attempt to offer a better alternative, and I would oppose adding more verbage to offer a half-baked explanation of what a magic link is and the fact that they will stop working in due course. Some bot edit summaries might benefit from a link to a bot subpage that describes the details, so the summary would be something like "replace magic links, see explanation" where the last word is a link to the subpage. However, that is not needed in this case. Johnuniq (talk) 04:37, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
  • I didn't get a ping, I just happen to watch this page. But I'm not really all that involved in this matter. I simply protected that redirect page to avoid further misunderstanding. I'll watch and leave a comment here saying if people are complaining about bots clogging the watchlist, then set your filters to remove them. I have, and it works just fine for me.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 11:57, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
  • As I, and several others, have stated, the edit summary for the bot is fine. It tells exactly what the bot is doing without going into excessive detail (that's what the links to the RfCs are for). The fact that Hobbes Goodyear wants to prevent someone from operating bots altogether because of a single edit summary (which the majority of users agree is perfectly fine) is laughable at best. SkyWarrior 16:42, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
  • It's perfectly fine. It's not too long and has multiple links for people who like reading things. Jc86035 (talk) Use {{re|Jc86035}}
    to reply to me
    17:03, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Magic links bot's edit summaries (e.g. here and here) seem perfectly reasonable to me. They describe exactly what is occurring, and link to the definitions and decisions that are driving the edits. These edits are properly being tag as minor and bot so as to avoid unnecessary recent changes and watchlist impact. Additionaly, no edits unrelated to the specific task are being made without explanation. Finally, the bot's user page clearly defines the task with examples. — xaosflux Talk 17:33, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
  • I would still be interested in any ways that our magic links bots could be improved - especially with the edit summaries. As such, I have asked 3 times so far for an example of how the summary could be improved: [8] [9] [10]. SQLQuery me! 03:01, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
@SQL:I don't think that you are. I feel as though I am speaking to brick wall here. I already told you what I think. If you really want an answer, and are not just being combative, please give it a shot yourself, and let me know. Please assume that I am am foolish and lazy enough to want an edit summary that can be understood from the summary itself, without having to scroll through various links purporting to explain the issue. Please give it honest go, or stop repeating yourself.--Hobbes Goodyear (talk)
If you read any of the BRFA's, you'd know that the edit summary was something I made it a point to spend time with the bot operators to make clearer. This was the best we could come up with - hence why I'm asking you for a fifth time now for an example showing how we could do it better. SQLQuery me! 04:06, 6 July 2017 (UTC)
Please get off your BRFA high-horse, whatever a "BRFA" is. Try again, per my suggestion, or please go away, as you are not convincing me, or apparently even listening to me, and you are otherwise preaching to your (rather small) choir of bot buddies. If you refuse to engage me, please do not waste people's time responding. Here's what I suggest: just say "I can't get through to this guy, no point continuing." You get the last word, I go away, and everybody's happy--except, of course, regular editors who continue to get spammed with inscrutable bot edits which, if they only took the time, they would discover are the the result of the sniveling capitulation by certain EN editors to the fiat of some pimply-faced WMF coder who thinks magic words are icky-poo. --Hobbes Goodyear (talk) 06:09, 6 July 2017 (UTC)
Hobbes Goodyear, if I might try to help - a BRFA is a "Bot Request for Approval", i.e. the process by which an operator requests permission to use their bot for a task. In the Magic links bot BRFA (see the very last thread under "Trial Complete 100 edits") you'll see a discussion regarding how the edit summary should read (there was also a discussion at my own bot regarding edit summaries). Between both bots, and a few other discussions, we worked out how to best display the summary so that it gave enough information. This is the reason why SQL keeps asking for your opinion on how to word it - we've already had the discussion a few times and (in good faith) confident that we do have the best wording. I don't think any of us are on a high horse, and if you have something better I at least would be happy to consider it. Throwing shade and incivility, though, is just a good way to get everyone else to ignore you. If you feel this environment is too hostile, though, I'm willing to discuss it elsewhere, such as my own talk page. Primefac (talk) 13:17, 6 July 2017 (UTC)
  • OK @Hobbes Goodyear: ball is in your court. Please clearly and specifically explain both what you see is the problem, and what you think a solution would be regarding this edit summary. If no response, this can be closed out as a non-issue. — xaosflux Talk 03:48, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
    • @Xaosflux: Hobbes Goodyear has not edited since July 2. No idea where Hobbes is located, but yesterday was Independence Day in the United States, and some people take time off around then. I suggest we allow at least another week (until about this time next Wednesday, July 12) before closing if there is no response. That should be enough time even if Hobbes was taking a vacation. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 17:25, 5 July 2017 (UTC)
      • Sounds fine to me. — xaosflux Talk 17:44, 5 July 2017 (UTC)
I asked a question, and you answered it. The rest is Nihonjoe's creation. I think that further discussion here is a waste of everyone's time, don't you? --Hobbes Goodyear (talk) 03:01, 6 July 2017 (UTC)
<snort> You're a real piece of work, Hobbes Goodyear. This was all done to try to satisfy your claim that the edit summary was unacceptable. Pretty much everyone who participated in all the various discussions disagreed with you, so now you're trying to make it look like you don't care. @Xaosflux: We can close this. It's obvious Hobbes only wanted the attention and didn't actually have a problem with the edit summary. He just wanted to waste everyone's time, apparently. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 14:38, 6 July 2017 (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.


Is it OK that the bot edits a page multiple times to change one by one HTTP→HTTPS to some external links ? It's page history cluttering. Your opinions? --XXN, 17:00, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

@XXN: history clutter isn't a "primary" factor for bots, but there could be an issue. Please provide the name of the bot, where you have asked the operator about it already (or at least invite them to this discussion), and some pages and diff's as examples of your concern. — xaosflux Talk 17:26, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
Are there cases where someone edited in between the bot edits, adding a new external link that needed to be changed? The bot (Bender the Bot) I've seen doing this seems to be doing things just fine. I'll admit I haven't paid attention to see if it's editing pages multiple times in situations other than the one I suggested. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 19:08, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
A recent case which speaks for itself (behaviour discovered only now).
Previously, thanks to my watchlist I've noticed only the fact that this bot edits the same page multiple times under this task, replacing HTTP→HTTPS for individual websites one by one. IMO, initially there should be created a list of websites for which to do such replacements and the bot should do all replacements in one edit per page. XXN, 20:24, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
@XXN: Let's assume the best of intentions in BtB and their operator's behavior. It could be that the bot's targeting system was based off a database extract of page content that did not have both links in it. I notice that the first change does it for the subdomain, whereas the second does it for the subdomain. I note that the changes before and after the second change are also for the subdomain. Going to take a leap and assume that the bot is configured to look for specific subdomains in the case of reuters as not all are converted over to the HTTPS version. Also, before raising this at a noticeboard, why didn't you raise this with bender235 as I don't see any talkpage discussion about this, which is expected for working with other wikipedians. Hasteur (talk) 20:55, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
Operator notification of this discussion has been left. Bender235 is normally quite responsive to feedback for improvements. — xaosflux Talk 21:03, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
I have implied in the past that this was happening but I did not want to report it. Glad that this is considered as something that needs to be handled. Still, I thing we need a pages that will say that we need to encourage devs to do more of what they do in a single run. -- Magioladitis (talk) 21:20, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
I'm the bot operator, and I thought converting one domain at a time was how I should run this HTTP→HTTPS conversion, so it can be more easily reverted if something went wrong (links don't work all of sudden etc.). Usually I convert all subdomains of a particular domain, the Reuters issue was an exception because I wasn't aware that these domains exist.
Anyhow, should I change the modus operandi of this bot to convert 5-6 domains at a time? --bender235 (talk) 04:51, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
@Bender235: Primarily - do what you are comfortable with. That being said, if you have already shown that a particular domain conversion is successful (a sufficient number of unreverted updates over a reasonable amount of time) adding them to a "master convert list" for other edits may be a good approach. Keeping the edit summaries useful may require some adjustment, and instead of linking to multiple BRFA you could link to a section on your bot's userpage that groups them. If you want to make this type of change, you do not need a new BRFA. As most of your runs are listed as "one-time run" - do you anticipate actually needing to make these edits again though? — xaosflux Talk 12:10, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
Most of the domains I converted are HTTPS-by-default as of today, so newly added links should always be HTTPS. I don't think there will be need for a re-run. --bender235 (talk) 12:51, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
Maybe it's a bit too late to talk about this, but personally I think that all such replacements in a page should be done in a single edit, per multiple reasons, including: to not clutter the page history unnecessarilly, to not mask some vandalism or uncostructive edits between two or more too frequent bot edits, or to not disturb unnecessarilly users watching a page with repeated similar edits again and again (don't recommend now to disable showing bot edits in watchlist). XXN, 11:08, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

Cydebot revisiting a page multipl times

Check edit history here (2013) Maybe we encourage the bot op to wrap up changes? I am sure there are more recent examples. -- Magioladitis (talk) 22:17, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

Probably not possible without a full rewrite, and the bot operator is no longer active. That is an extreme edge case. I agree it would be ideal to wrap together changes, just maybe not feasible. Long-term, we probably want a replacement for Cydebot with a more active botop. ~ Rob13Talk 22:51, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
I'm not really concerned with chasing down a 4 year old issue; is it currently occurring? — xaosflux Talk 23:22, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
Funny, that article shows a human editor making multiple cat changes in 2 edits recently though. — xaosflux Talk 23:23, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
Xaosflux yes, it's still happening. It also creates duplicated categories (CHECKWIKI error 17). This is how I spot these. -- Magioladitis (talk) 23:34, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
Do you have some recent diffs? We can certainly review if it is a problem or not, but need some recent data. — xaosflux Talk 00:24, 4 July 2017 (UTC)

I have proposed to do what Cydebot does with Yobot. At least in the level of closed XfDs. -- Magioladitis (talk) 23:35, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

Would you handle it with AWB or with a dedicated script? We'd need a replacement that works as Cydebot does at WP:CFD/W to be a workable solution. @Xaosflux: I have no diffs, but I've worked around CfD enough to figure out how Cydebot works. It processes the categories placed at WP:CFD/W one-at-a-time from top to bottom. So if multiple categories are put up at CFD/W at the same time and are on the same page, it will do one edit for each category being removed or renamed. This isn't ideal, though I will note it's exceedingly rare. Combine this with Cyde's general inactivity lately and it would be a good idea to look for a new bot operator. Definitely not worth blocking the bot in the short term, which would destroy CfD's workflow until replaced. ~ Rob13Talk 01:03, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
This isn't necessarily a "bad thing" - do one thing, and do it well goes a long way. If the removal isn't part of WP:CFDS then linking to the specific CFD may have use. — xaosflux Talk 01:20, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
I could use a dedicated script inside AWB. Right now AWB does not allow multiple category renames. -- Magioladitis (talk) 11:25, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
That likely wouldn't work, at least not without significant loss of functionality. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you'd have to manually start that. It couldn't just run and read things off WP:CFD/W? ~ Rob13Talk 13:14, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
You are correct, everything would have to be manually loaded/run. I don't know if that would necessarily mean a lack of functionality specifically (depending on the code being run) but it would certainly impact the efficiency and speed at which the changes are being implemented. Primefac (talk) 15:25, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
It depends. If you change the way the pages are shown in a format similar to WP:AWB/TR we could even do it automatically. -- Magioladitis (talk) 17:37, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
Hm... Is speed important when fixing things? -- Magioladitis (talk) 17:39, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
Maybe I misspoke. I don't think it's necessarily an issue of "speed" but "timing" - a bot that runs automatically like AnomieBOT (for things like automatic template substitution or TFD filing) will only be lagging a change by an hour or two, whereas a bot that runs "once a day" or similar could in theory start almost a full day later. If we're talking about efficiently removing categories from pages, it makes more sense to have it set up like the former. Primefac (talk) 17:54, 4 July 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Speed is kind of important for this one too. We want to minimize the time when articles are split between two categories when a category is being renamed. I wouldn't want a bot renaming a 500-article category making an edit every 10 seconds. AWB can do things quickly, so that's not a problem. The timing as Primefac states is kind of important to keep CFD running smoothly. Whenever Cydebot has been down for even a couple days, it's a huge pain to everyone trying to manage that process. ~ Rob13Talk 18:05, 4 July 2017 (UTC)

Another API thing

Krinkle posted at message to several mailing lists that some of you may want to read. It begins like this:

TL;DR: In April 2017, the jQuery library in MediaWiki was upgraded from 1.x to 3.x (the current stable version), with the jQuery Migrate plugin enabled to ease migration. We temporarily still load jQuery 1.x on Wikimedia wikis. Read about the API changes at

The full message can be read here:

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:53, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

That doesn't sound like the API that pertains to us, unless I'm missing something. jQuery is a JS library. JS run in browsers. If I'm missing something, please correct to me.—CYBERPOWER (Message) 00:17, 6 July 2017 (UTC)
You're not missing anything. This change will affect gadgets and user scripts, but probably won't affect any bots. Anomie 11:59, 6 July 2017 (UTC)

Blocking inappropriate use of a bot

User:Kandymotownie recently made sweeping disruptive edits to high-profile pages such as Barack Obama and Donald Trump, via IABot, adding archive links for hundreds of sources which are still live, so this only creates useless bloat in wikitext. I reverted those but there is similar bot-assisted damage to other pages, mainly about Ghana. This user's talk page is full of warnings that s/he never responds to over several years, indicating a WP:NOTHERE attitude. How was s/he ever authorized to run a bot? In view of the recent disruptive actions, bot credentials should be revoked immediately, and perhaps a stern warning or short block is in order. — JFG talk 05:33, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

@JFG: These edits do not appear to have been made by a bot, but directly by an editor. As such no "bots" are involved here. They do appear to be using a service to help them build their edits, but the actual edit commitments were done manually. There is no "bot credential" involved here to review or revoke. I see you left the editor a talk page message - if this needs further review WP:ANI may be the best venue if there is actually continuing disruption. — xaosflux Talk 10:46, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification, Xaosflux; indeed it wasn't clear to me that IABot is manually activated and available to anyone. Will just monitor this user account for a while… — JFG talk 12:23, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
JFG, please refer to Wikipedia:Link rot, where this practice is explicitly encouraged. – Jonesey95 (talk) 14:59, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
@Jonesey95: Encouraged to fix dead links, yes; to add blanket archives to all live sources, no. That's because the user clicked the checkbox "Add archives to all non-dead references" on the tool page. — JFG talk 15:46, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
Please read more carefully. Editors are encouraged to add an archive link as a part of each citation, or at least submit the referenced URL for archiving,[note 1] at the same time that a citation is created or updated. See also this how-to guide. If you have a problem with these how-to guides, please take up your issue with the guide pages, not with editors who follow the guides in good faith. – Jonesey95 (talk) 16:48, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, adding archive links to all cited URLs is a good thing. We have no idea if or when a URL may suddenly become unavailable. Also, it helps if the cited reference is updated or changed (thereby removing the cited information) because the originally cited version is then preserved. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 22:34, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Just as an FYI to all admins on Wikipedia. Admins on Wikipedia are also admins on the IABot Management Interface. If any user is abusing the tool and being disruptive with it, admins can look up the target user on the interface and block them. Consequently, if they are blocked on Wikipedia, they are also blocked on the interface. So there is more than 1 method to stop tool abuse.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 17:36, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

I nominated myself for BAG

Hello everyone!!! I just nominated myself for BAG membership. Your participation would be appreciated.

Wikipedia:Bot Approvals Group/nominations/Cyberpower678 3CYBERPOWER (Message) 23:51, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

Archiving links not dead - good idea?

The new IABot interface tool allows editors to archive all links in an article even when not dead, see Al83tito edit history (example diff w/ 563 links added). Unlike other tools that operate on a single page, this is more like unattended AWB with a queue system giving great powers to editors who enjoy the ability to make massive edit runs with little effort. This feature can be run by any editor on-demand without needing prior consensus or approval.

We should have a discussion because this feature is not being met with complete acceptance. User talk:Al83tito talk page has example complaints. There is an open RfC at Village Pump for doing this for all articles on Wikipedia via bot. This discussion concerns the IABOt interface tool which does the same thing on-demand. My opinion this feature is powerful and apparently disruptive enough it should have more community discussion. Do we want to have this feature (archiving live links on-demand)? If so, do we want to allow it for mass edits with an AWB-like tool? And if so, do we want an approval mechanism such as AWB, or a bot approval like BOTREQ? Or leave things as they are? @Cyberpower678, Al83tito, JFG, Lordtobi, and Dhtwiki: -- GreenC 14:51, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

  • Operator comment: The context is distorted here. Only the single page tool that makes edits directly from the user's account allows for the option to rescue non-dead links, and inside references only. The bot queuing tool has NO options, and uses the bot's default configuration values as defined on the wiki's on wiki configuration page for the bot.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 15:28, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Clarification comment: The IABot Management Interface is a permission based tool. Permissions are auto acquired based on the user's wiki tenure. After 10 edits and 10 days, users can use the single page analysis tool and queue the bot up to 500 pages per job. They can also report false positives. After 1000 edits and 3 months of activity, users can make alterations to the bot's DB that has an impact on the behavior of IABot, as well as queue 5000 pages per job. Administrators have even more power, by being able to queue up to 50,000 pages and can change user permissions, as well as block users on the interface, and alter URL data at the domain level. There's the bot user group, that grants high speed access to the tool's API, and then finally tool roots, like me and GreenC, have access to all of the tools and features. Everything is thoroughly logged, so disruptive users can be easily identified.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 15:34, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
    IMO the usage of the interface should not be made available to users who just happened to be here for a certain amount of time and a couple edits (e.g. you would register, edit a few pages, wait a few weeks, then use IABMI twice, 500 pages each, and you'd be good to go to spam 5000 pages into it; this makes abuse too easy). As noted below, it should either adpot AWB's permission system, or receive its own in a similar fashion. If neither of these is executed, the current should be toned down to extended confirmed users, and then just 100-or-so pages. Lordtobi () 15:43, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
    And how is summoning the bot to 500 pages any different than the bot eventually showing up on the page on its own? The queue tool has no options, so if you send the bot there, it will behave like it normally does.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 15:55, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
    @Lordtobi: Just for complete and total clarification, this interface's development was focused completely around abuse mitigation at its core, and considerable development time went into that before I built this interface over the core. Just so you know, there are two different tools that let users rescue links on Wikipedia. The first tool is called the Single Page Analysis Tool. This tool lets users analyze and edit articles right on the spot, and the edits are made from the user's account. In addition to that, they also have the option to change the bot's behavior by clicking a checkbox. This tells the bot to restrict operations to references only and rescue ALL links instead of just the dead ones. If anyone abuses that, it's simply a matter of stopping the user. They can be blocked from using the interface by any admin via two methods. The first one is on the tool interface directly. Users can still login but will receive a block message when trying to use it. The second option is to block the user directly on Wikipedia, which carries over to the tool. Any blocked user on Wikipedia is blocked from the interface as well. The second tool is the Bot Queuing Tool which lets users queue the bot up on as many pages as allowed by their permissions and watch the bot run through the list. This tool has NO options so the bot runs exactly the same way as it usually does with the exception of the username of the requesting user being linked in the edit summary. This can't be abused if all you can do is tell the bot to come visit a particular page and ask it to do what it usually does. You can't tell it to rescue all LIVE links as well as DEAD, and it's this reason of abuse I intentionally left that option out. So I'm not inclined to restrict the permissions.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 16:12, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Generally, I would say that there should be two regulations: Foremost, a permission that hinders users from using it disruptively, or respectively a subsequent exclusion from the tool usage if abused. I would suggest that it would receive the same rights management as has AWB, as both have a similar features (easy and quick [semi-]automated Wiki editing). A second matter would be limiting the tool to just dead link repairs, so that there is no archival of live source where not needed, and does not take up as much space before necessity. You could give the possibility of archiving live sources that are expected to die soon (for specific WP Video games examples, was closed in 2012 and GameTrailers' website in 2016, links from both sites started going down last year, and they could have been archived before that happened.
A specific issue here also comes with Al83tito not taking part in the community, does not respond to talk page messages, and is seemingly making such disruptive edits deliberately, despite numerous attempts tell them to cease them.
Now, off-topic [partially]: Often, links are considered dead by bots, just because they don't (or no longer) redirect to their latest URL position (such as with massive shift-arounds on IGN, GameSpot, GameRevolution over the past six years or so), and the bot archives the old version instead of looking for the new one. It would be nice if there was a tool, or a feature to AIbot, that manages to update links (also in cases where there no longer is a direct redirect), to prevent linkrot from the beginning, and never, or at a later point time, find it necessary to archive the link. Lordtobi () 15:06, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Question Do we want the IABot Tool to give users the option to add archives to good links like this? -- GreenC 17:01, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Answer: Yes we do. (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 17:11, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
  • The problem is this tool has become a global tool. So it's no longer just in enwiki's discretion.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 17:05, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
It can probably detect the language of the target article and abort if not whitelisted. -- GreenC 17:56, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
I'd really rather not bloat the code in that manner. IABot is already quite complex as it is.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 18:01, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
I doubt it would be that difficult, but the least bloat and complex would be not have the feature :) -- GreenC 19:54, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
  • All links should get archived, I do not see an advantage to limiting ourselves to only dead ones. (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 17:10, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Archiving and archive-citing is good: Wikipedia rules state that: Editors are encouraged to add an archive link as a part of each citation (Wikipedia:Link rot) What is the downside of using an automated tool like IABot to do that work? Actually, IABot and its prolific use will be of great service to Wikipedia. I would like to hear any substantive arguments of how this is not the case. (talk) user:Al83tito 18:50, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
Unclear where that phrasing Editors are encouraged originated, from consensus or 1 user's opinion, probably the later since it's an wp:essay. -- GreenC 19:54, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
That essay includes the phrase " the same time that a citation is created or updated", which indicates that it's the editor who knows the article text and what references support it who should be creating the archive link, someone who will audit IABot's sometimes imperfect output, and who knows what links have gone dead because the site has been reorganized (and thus an archive snapshot isn't needed, or that it's time to use the more timely information put on the front page) and when information has been deleted (and hopefully an archive snapshot is available). Nothing there about editors with little involvement curating a page making massive additions where they couldn't possibly be checking the viability or usefulness of the links provided by the bot. Dhtwiki (talk) 23:54, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Web-archiving and citing only has upsides. Can someone argue to the contrary? I read above several procedural arguments, but none really substantive, trying to argue for limiting the use of IABot and automated web archiving and citing. But, could someone actually spell out when would it be bad for anyone to do archiving and cite-archiving of existing references in wikipedia?
    • @GreenC: stated that "giving great powers to editors who enjoy the ability to make massive edit runs with little effort. This feature can be run by any editor on-demand without needing prior consensus or approval." and specifically point to an article I edited using the IABot, which was able to archive and cite-archive 500+ citations almost instantly. Could someone please elaborate how that goes against the Wikipedia rules and Wikipedia's spirit? When would that ever not be a great thing and time-saver in doing something that is actually necessary?
    • Archiving and citing the archived url of existing references has zero impact on the actual content/information of the article, while it improves citations by making them more resilient to linkrot, therefore making those citations more durable, and contributing to a more long-lasting article.
    • Whether 10 citations are improved at a given time or 500 I think is besides the point. In the case of web archiving and citing, does size matter in a negative way? I just don't see why pointing to the size edit, or edit ease, is relevant. Making big edits is not in itself bad. I would like to hear more substantive arguments about the quality, intent, and actual value of the edits themselves... Thank you.(talk) user:Al83tito 17:05, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
Hi user:Al83tito Can we agree to differentiate between adding archive links for dead links, which everyone agrees is a good idea; and adding archiving links for live links which is somewhat controversial. This thread concerns the later. Thanks. -- GreenC 19:54, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Downsides and some stats / info:
  1. There are about 20 million external links on enwiki. About 2 million of those are dead. The rest are live.
  2. Adding 18 million additional archive links (20 million - 2 million = 18 million live links) creates bloat and complexity in the wikitext, in the end fixing links that are not broken.
  3. IABot is already able to add archives when a link dies so there is no big gain doing it proactively.
  4. All live links on Wikipedia are already being saved to Wayback via an automated script.
  5. Wayback Machine is not a static database it is dynamic. Wayback archives that work today might not work tomorrow for various reasons. Site owners can request it be blocked for example at Wayback (different from robots). This then causes problems with bots which are unable to replace with a working snapshot at since it's already archived at Wayback in the wikitext (prior to the block). The best results are found by choosing the archive at the time its needed.
  6. Adding archive links to every URL creates a large maintenance overhead due to #5. They need occasional check and resetting. Doing this for 2 million links will take 3-6 months of 24x7 processing by a complex bot. For 20 million will be nigh impossible due to resource limits.
  7. Other archive services such as Webcitation and may not last. They are underfunded and could disappear anytime. Other services have already disappeared. Fixing those links when it happens will take considerable time and resources the more links there are to deal with.
-- GreenC 19:54, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
  1. The fact that a link is currently live does not mean it will always be live, which is why we use archives. In order to archive a link it NEEDS to be live... I am quite curious where you got those numbers from. What was the methodology used? For example: how does the spider know if a page has changed? Or if it is a 404 page?
  2. The best way to reduce the amount of characters required to link to an archived version of a page is probably to start a link shortening service that can be used for archive links. Something about babies and bathwater.
  3. The Wayback machine does not index the entire internet. Asking the Wayback machine to index (and even prioritize) the links we want indexed is a very good idea.
  4. Please post a link and the current status. Is it at 100%?
  5. We all wish there was something better than the Wayback machine. Webcitation is also far from perfect.
  6. I don't think this maintenance overhead will be significant. Why would it be? We can ask to let us know when they remove a page we have linked to, right? That way a bot can run every day to delete the links that has deleted the day before.
  7. Deleting links if and when the wayback machine goes down permanently is totally do-able. And webcitation and are used far less frequently.
(((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 20:04, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
I've doing it almost full-time for the past 18 months. My bot WaybackMedic has over 20,000 lines of code and runs 24x7 on the IABot database, as well as in the wikitext you can see diffs here. I know how long it takes and what's involved and the scope of the problems. The numbers I quoted are roughly accurate. -- GreenC 20:55, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
Thank you. I'll take a look. (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 21:06, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
TQP's #3 seems a compelling reason to attempt to add archive snapshots when creating references. Absent any other feedback, Wayback could register what links are wanted. But it should also be able to learn that by examining URLs in a Wikipedia data dump and get a more comprehensive view without all the trouble of people or bots proactively linking to its site. Dhtwiki (talk) 00:05, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
After doing some research I think I understand @GreenC: better. I agree with Dhtwiki that it would be a good idea to use regex to make a list of URLs each month, based on the latest data dump, and ask the Wayback Machine to archive those URLs but GreenC wrote: "All live links on Wikipedia are already being saved to Wayback via an automated script.". I am not sure which script that is. Ideally would tell us which of the URLs we use they've removed from their archives. (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 11:18, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

Bots Newsletter, July 2017

Bots Newsletter, July 2017
BAG laurier.svg


Here is the 4th issue of the Bots Newsletter (formerly the BAG Newletter). You can subscribe/unsubscribe from future newsletters by adding/removing your name from this list.

Highlights for this newsletter include:


BU Rob13 and Cyberpower678 are now members of the BAG (see RfBAG/BU Rob13 and RfBAG/Cyberpower678 3). BU Rob13 and Cyberpower678 are both administrators; the former operates BU RoBOT which does a plethora of tasks, while the latter operates Cyberbot I (which replaces old bots), Cyberbot II (which does many different things), and InternetArchiveBot which combats link rot. Welcome to the BAG!


We currently have 12 open bot requests at Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval, and could use your help processing!

New things
  • A historical correction was made to WP:BOTPOL (see discussion).
  • WP:HIDEBOTS now mentions how to hide all bots from your watchlist, not only specific bots.
  • The phabricator ticket T162685 is now closed, and we now have "#Bots-Framework" tag, so issues related to bot frameworks can be tracked.
  • Wikibits.js has been removed (see discussion).
  • 21 inactive bots have been deflagged (see discussion).
  • WP:BOTISSUE has been updated to mention that BAG members can act as neutral mediators in bot-related disputes.
  • WP:INTERWIKIBOT has been updated to reflect the post-February 2013 practice of putting interwiki links on Wikidata, rather than on Wikipedia (see discussion).
  • HTML Tidy will be phased out in June 2018, or possibly earlier. This may affect some bots (see FAQ).

Wikimania 2017 is happening in Montreal, during 9–13 August. If you plan to attend, or give a talk, let us know!

Thank you! edited by: Headbomb 17:12, 19 July 2017 (UTC)

(You can subscribe or unsubscribe from future newsletters by adding or removing your name from this list.)


  • I intent to attend. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 18:43, 19 July 2017 (UTC).
  • 90% likely for me.—CYBERPOWER (Message) 02:29, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
    UPDATE: I'm confirmed to attend. Due to costs, I will be attending the main conference days only and possibly present alongside with Internet Archives.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 13:56, 22 July 2017 (UTC)
  • I won't be there, sadly. After they announced the door costs, it all added up to be too much for me. Declining my proposals without bothering to even tell me didn't sit well either. ~ Rob13Talk 18:25, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
    @BU Rob13: Is CopyrightforDummies one of your declined proposals? It's a completed submission for Wikimania 2017 ready to be reviewed by a member of the Programme Committee. No indication that it's been reviewed yet. When do they do that? wbm1058 (talk) 21:16, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
    It's not on the schedule they've already released, so it's evidently declined. I never received any email from them. ~ Rob13Talk 21:43, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
  • I wanted to be there in order to organise a debate on bots and how to optimise our work in English Wikipedia but unfortunatelly I won't since the persons I contacted to co-organise this did not see enough movitated for that. -- Magioladitis (talk) 18:30, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
  • My article alerts talk was declined (sadly, [11]), but the one on WP:JCW was accepted ([12]). I think it might be possible to present my Article alerts at the pre-conference or something though (see [13]). Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 20:06, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
The article alerts one has been accepted at the preconference on the 10th. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 15:29, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Yes, the registration fees are a big turnoff. Relative lack of familiar names on the scholars list is another turnoff. Despite all that, I'm considering a day trip as a close relative lives within a 2 12 hour drive. Not sure which would be the best day. Not particularly interested in sitting through public-relations oriented talks given by WMF insiders. I can watch the videos online later (assuming that they're posted). wbm1058 (talk) 21:45, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
There's always been registration fees though. I can't recall what they were in the past exactly, but the early bird prices seemed comparable to what they have been in the past. I could be misremembering though. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 15:28, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
@Headbomb: In 2016, you could get into the entire conference (including preconference, without lunch or dinner) for 35 euros (~$41). You could get into the entire conference with lunch and dinner and accomodations for the entire time for 500 euros (~$582). The regular rate door cost alone with both days of preconference included is $415 this year (no accomodation, lunch included). That's a huge increase over last time around. ~ Rob13Talk 15:46, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
I think I may be mixing the per day cost of this year with the total cost of other year. Seems like a utterly crazy increase if that's the case, especially when WMF could easily fund all registrations. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 16:09, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
Indeed. I'm a bit bewildered. The most likely explanation is that Montreal is a more expensive city, but if that's the case, why go to Montreal? I know of at least one admin who lives in Montreal and isn't attending because of the door cost. I'm worried for those who made travel plans before the registration costs were announced. Those people might be in a difficult spot if they hadn't budgeted this much for the conference. Luckily, my flight arrangements were with airline miles. I've lost those miles, but at least I'm not out a substantial sum of money. It's horrible PR to have a conference on free knowledge that is more expensive than the combined costs to attending three days each of New York Comic Con, RTX Austin, and PAX East. ~ Rob13Talk 16:16, 21 July 2017 (UTC)
London 2014 was GBP 50.00 for 3 days, incl. lunch and dinner, excl. accommodation. Navigating your way around the rabbit warren that is the Barbican Centre (and finding that you'd missed half the presentation) was gratis. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 22:37, 21 July 2017 (UTC)

Update on Magic Links progress

As of this particular moment, the category counts for ISBNs, PMID, and RFC magic links are 1102, 1189, and 2067, respectively. Obviously RFC has been deemed enough of a problem that manual oversight is required, but I thought I'd mention it. The remainder of the ISBN/PMID pages are either on transcluded pages (i.e. the huge batch of AFD Log pages), in userspace (which I have agreed to avoid), or odd cases which manual editing will be required. I don't know what MW's timeframe for turning off magic links is/was, but I think we're at the point where en-wiki can turn them off with little to no issue. I'm not sure if that's something for us specifically to do, but I figured an update on the situation would be helpful.

There are new cases popping up (mostly in the article space) daily, so the bots will probably keep running, but the bulk of the work (249k out of 250k pages) is complete. Primefac (talk) 12:39, 23 July 2017 (UTC)

Nice. I've been hacking away are other identifiers, and non-magic link ISBNs / PMIDs, but help with them would always be good. Those aren't categorized, so it's hard to keep track of the numbers.
OCLC should be easily doable by the other bots. The structure is pretty much the same as PMID. \[?\[?OCLC\]?\]?(:| )?(\d+){{OCLC|$2}} has worked well for me. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 12:53, 23 July 2017 (UTC)

I think we should exclude from the list all the "Wikipedia:Articles for creation/..." pages. -- Magioladitis (talk) 13:50, 23 July 2017 (UTC)

What, all 8 of them? Primefac (talk) 13:52, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
Primefac Yes. And "Wikipedia:Articles for deletion" too. -- Magioladitis (talk) 14:06, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
Out of curiosity, why? Primefac (talk) 14:06, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
Primefac Because the reflect old archived contents not really suitable for searching material form there and it would be better not to overload these archives with templates. -- Magioladitis (talk) 14:12, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
That's reasonable. As I said above, there are pages that just won't get changed for one reason or another, and people will just have to deal with it. Primefac (talk) 14:15, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
True. Nobody really expects these pages to work fine anyway. We have re-purposed many templates in the course of time. But the main argument is still that these pages do no serve as links to other pages. -- Magioladitis (talk) 14:19, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
FWIW, there are pages with magic links that have not been added to the category yet. That's why you see AFD daily pages, but not the transcluded pages that actually contain the magic links, in the category. That means that there are additional pages that still have not made their way into the category. This is the long-standing Phabricator bug T157670. Legoktm might be able to do something about it for us. – Jonesey95 (talk) 15:48, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
The links are useful in old discussions too (which are often reviewed / consulted), as well as old drafts (which can always be resuscitated). I don't see a good reason why those should be purposefully excluded from bot work. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 11:57, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

Including "general fixes" on a current BRFA

Hello all, I'd like to get some additional feedback on Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Yobot 55 - as to if "any any genfixes" is appropriate to bundle in here or not. I'm on the fence - this is a very fine technical task that may already be confusing for some editors to determine what occurred - but I'm also generally in support of not wasting edits and making the page better all at once. Please respond at the BRFA. Thank you, — xaosflux Talk 15:53, 23 July 2017 (UTC)

Cydebot appears to be down

Right now, while we're in the middle of a huge list of speedy renaming of categories, Cydebot appears to have stopped working. It would be nice if some other bot could help out. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 02:58, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

See later discussion at User talk:Cyde#Please stop the bot!. Thincat (talk) 09:14, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Dashboard#Bot section?

I've proposed adding a bot section to the dashboard. Comments welcomed. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 17:26, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

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