Wikipedia:Bot owners' noticeboard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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 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).

JJMC89_bot Task 7 concerns

WP:AN content

Moved from WP:AN

The administrator intervention for this has been resolved and the task is now disabled. Follow up as to that task to be continued at WP:BONxaosflux Talk 05:28, 10 February 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.

User:JJMC89 bot is running through articles that use infobox settlement coordinates parameters and switching to coord. I'm fine with the purpose of the bot, but a significant percentage of the edits made by the bot have been removing heading lines / comments in the infoboxes, such as in this edit. With several dozen to more than 100 parameters used in any given article, these headings in infobox settlement serve a rather useful function and are being removed simply because of a known bug that User:JJMC89 acknowledges, but refuses to address. Repeated requests to fix the problem or shut down the bot left at the user's talk page have been brushed off or simply ignored. WP:Bots suggests WP:AN as the forum for dealing with bots that are not following the "harmless" standard specified by WP:Bot policy.
Any help in resolving this matter will be appreciated, both to stop / fix JJMC89 bot and to have User:JJMC89 fix the articles he has damaged. Alansohn (talk) 02:49, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
User:JJMC89 has responded after all, with the clear indication that he refuses to correct the knowingly defective bot: "As far as I am concerned, there is no problem. Therefore, there is nothing to fix." Alansohn (talk) 02:54, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
  • I have blocked the bot. This is not to be interpreted as taking sides in this discussion, but there seem to be valid objections and therefore the bot should stop until a consnesus is reached, and the bot operator should probably be a little less dismissive of these concerns. Beeblebrox (talk) 03:10, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
    The bot is not malfunctioning, contrary to the reason given in the block log. The manner of parameter removal has not changed since the task's approval. Since HTML comments do not effect the rendering of the page, the edits are harmless. Also, blocking the bot was unnecessary since there is way to disable the individual task on the bot's user page. — JJMC89(T·C) 03:56, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
    @JJMC89: for background, can you verify if this is Task 7? — xaosflux Talk 04:28, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
    And if so, confirm that placing data in User:JJMC89 bot/shutoff/InfoboxCoordinatesParametersMigrator is sufficient to stop this task. — xaosflux Talk 04:32, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
    @Xaosflux: Yes, it is task 7, and anything that is not whitespace will disable the task. — JJMC89(T·C) 04:38, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Again, I have no objection to the bot, but unless the removal of headings / comments is intentional, the bot is malfunctioning. The premise that knowingly removing material from articles is acceptable simply because it doesn't change how the page renders is a blatant misrepresentation of policy. The bug can be fixed and should be fixed and the bot should not be re-enabled until the problem is addressed. Alansohn (talk) 04:34, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
@Beeblebrox: Are you OK with the block being lifted on condition that Task 7 (see above) is suspended until this issue is resolved? — xaosflux Talk 04:40, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
@Alansohn: Beeblebrox may be offline, are you ok with this? — xaosflux Talk 04:55, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
If I read correctly, that makes sense, but I acknowledge my ignorance of the minutia of bots. Alansohn (talk) 05:21, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
OK, Unblocking, but this task (that deals with the coordinates in infoboxes is disabled - needs more disuscsion) - will venue change this to BON for follow up. — xaosflux Talk 05:25, 10 February 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.

Issue 1: editing HTML comments

  • @JJMC89: to get to the core of this complaint - it does not appear that removing non-coordinates related HTML comments is part of the task approval as referenced in this edit. If you were making this edit by hand - would you have had a coordinates related reason to touch that comment? — xaosflux Talk 05:38, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
    @JJMC89: Can you provide any input to this discussion? — xaosflux Talk 19:29, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
    The HTML comment in the example edit is part of a coordinates parameter value (|longEW= W\n\n<!-- Area/postal codes & others -->\n). The removal of coordinates parameters is approved; therefore, the bot was not malfunctioning, and the edit is within the scope of the approval. Whether a human editor would remove the HTML comment (obviously not required to be removed) has no bearing on whether or not the bot was malfunctioning or acting outside of its approval. — JJMC89(T·C) 03:02, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
    @JJMC89: not sure what I'm missing - in the example edit, <!-- Area/postal codes & others --> appears to be an instructional heading for the next section - not a footer of the "General information" section. Why do you think it is part of that section? — xaosflux Talk 03:45, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
    That is what editors intend it to be. However, as far as the template is concerned it is part of |longEW=. To quote Anomie, [it] is part of the value being passed to the removed coordinates parameter, it's not an independent thing that the bot is additionally removing and the bot isn't malfunctioning by removing it. I never said I thought it was part of any section. — JJMC89(T·C) 05:00, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
    The question here is not is the comment technically part of the parameter, thus technically authorized by the BRFA, thus not a bug? but rather is removal of the comment desired, meant to be authorized by the BRFA, and the bot behaviour within consensus?. The answer to the former matters little. And the answer to the latter is a clear no. So fix the issue and resume editing once that's done. It could be as simple as having some regex to find <!-- Comment -->, replace with |TEMPJJMC89BOT=<!-- Comment-->, apply coordinate logic, then find |TEMPJJMC89BOT=<!-- Comment--> replace with <!-- Comment -->. Or you could do skip conditions when it finds comments and semi-automate those cases. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 10:23, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
    My comments have only been to address the former since it was claimed that the bot has a known bug and was malfunctioning, neither of which are accurate. Addressing the latter, changing the bot's code to retain HTML comments, is something that I have not commented on here previously. IMO, retaining HTML comments is not desired. Retaining HTML comments would result in this example edit:
    |latd         = 1<!-- Latitude degrees -->
    |latm         = 2<!-- Latitude minutes -->
    |lats         = 2<!-- Latitude seconds -->
    |longd        = 4<!-- Longitude degrees -->
    |longm        = 5<!-- Longitude minutes -->
    |longs        = 6<!-- Longitude seconds -->
    <!-- "header" comment -->
    |coordinates  = {{coord|1|2|3|N|4|5|6|E}}
    <!-- Latitude degrees --><!-- Latitude minutes --><!-- Latitude seconds --><!-- Longitude degrees --><!-- Longitude minutes --><!-- Longitude seconds --><!-- "header" comment -->
    — JJMC89(T·C) 19:53, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
So how about not touching lines that don't begin with one of the parameters you are converting? — xaosflux Talk 20:28, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
The bot does not operate on lines of text since infoboxes (or parameters) are not guaranteed to be on multiple lines. (The removal is tpl.remove(param).) (\n(?:\s*<!--.*?-->)+) can be used to capture and reinsert giving
|latd         = 1<!-- Latitude degrees -->
|latm         = 2<!-- Latitude minutes -->
|lats         = 2<!-- Latitude seconds -->
|longd        = 4<!-- Longitude degrees -->
|longm        = 5<!-- Longitude minutes -->
|longs        = 6<!-- Longitude seconds -->

<!-- "header" comment -->
|coordinates  = {{coord|1|2|3|N|4|5|6|E}}

<!-- "header" comment -->
— JJMC89(T·C) 19:04, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
  • I too do not see the removal of such comments as authorized for this or any other bot, or even remotely likely to garner consensus both in general and in this specific instance. It is not because something doesn't change the appearance of the page that this something can be done. Task 7 can resume iff the bot leaves such comments alone, or consensus has been demonstrated for their removal. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 11:45, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Syntactically the comment being removed in the one provided diff is part of the value being passed to the removed coordinates parameter, it's not an independent thing that the bot is additionally removing and the bot isn't malfunctioning by removing it. However, if people find these comments useful it would be a good thing for the bot to recognize them and re-insert them in the semantically appropriate location if this is a common-enough situation to be worth caring about (what is the actual "significant percentage" alluded to?).

    I also don't see any major communication issue here. Perhaps the botop could have been less dismissive of the complaint, but it appears that until it was brought to AN it was just one editor hyperbolically complaining, and the bot op didn't resist the determination by uninvolved editors that the task should be stopped. Anomie 14:14, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

    1/100+ templates that the bot has started/completed processing have a HTML comment that could be possibly worth retaining. — JJMC89(T·C) 03:02, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

What is needed for this task to be reactivated? There are over 300,000 pages that need attention from this bot task (295,000 now, plus more templates that have not had tracking added yet). – Jonesey95 (talk) 00:17, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

@Jonesey95: @JJMC89: assuming you are not willing to stop removing content that is unnecessary for the coordinates conversion than someone else will have to close this to override the complaints if you want to continue. If you will will make changes to avoid this then you have addressed the complaint and this should be able to be resumed. What do you want to do? — xaosflux Talk 22:41, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
I am not the bot's operator. – Jonesey95 (talk) 23:06, 1 March 2017 (UTC). [edited to add: Ping JJMC89Jonesey95 (talk) 00:16, 2 March 2017 (UTC)]
Sorry, wrong ping - fixed. — xaosflux Talk 23:25, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
I provided two possible solutions weeks ago. Either could be implemented. — JJMC89(T·C) 04:20, 2 March 2017 (UTC)
@JJMC89: the second option appears to resolve the original complaint. I've remove protection from User:JJMC89 bot/shutoff/InfoboxCoordinatesParametersMigrator - after you make adjustment and test go ahead and reactivate. — xaosflux Talk 04:43, 2 March 2017 (UTC)

Issue 2: undo's

As there was no follow up from the requester, and reversions are not easily feasible due to subsequent edits on pages, no actions to take at this time. — xaosflux Talk 02:35, 5 March 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.

  • @Alansohn: while your first issue (issue 1) above is being discussed there is also your note about undoing certain edits - I suspect that the scope of this will be very large and undo's just to restore html comment code may not be useful -- thoughts? — xaosflux Talk 05:42, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
    Regardless of the closure on Issue 1, I don't think this is warranted and could result in more trouble. — xaosflux Talk 22:42, 1 March 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.

Looking for new maintainers of RfC & GAN related Legobot tasks

Hi, for quite a while now I haven't had time to properly maintain a few scripts that perform tasks related to RfCs and other ones related to GAN. These PHP scripts are badly in need of love (plenty of unresolved bug reports on Legobot's talk page) and someone who has time to actually debug when something goes wrong:

  • goodarticles.php
  • rfcbot.php

I'm currently running this on Tool Labs, so I can help with moving the databases over to a new shared account or whatever you'd prefer. Thanks, Legoktm (talk) 20:59, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

A new bot maintainer would be very welcome for the GAN side of things. We've had false failure notices for ages for some of the nominations that pass, and would really like to update the list of GA subtopics so that it matches the latest changes at GA, but we can't without a bot maintainer who has time to deal with requests. (There aren't many requests, but minor things do come up from time to time.) A huge thank you to anyone who takes this on. BlueMoonset (talk) 20:38, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
@Legoktm: I couldn't catch you on IRC (yet), but samtar agreed with me to take over the scripts. How would we go now? Dat GuyTalkContribs 18:01, 25 February 2017 (UTC)


A week or two ago, we wrote this little handy guide for WP:BAG members. It mostly details best practices, and act as a general resources for BAG members. BAG members had a chance to give its opinion on it, but bot owners (and the community at large) are certainly welcomed to suggest improvements to the guide, or point out some things that might be relevant to BAG members that we don't already mention. The discussion can be joined at WT:BAGG.

Thanks for any feedback you might have. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 03:13, 25 February 2017 (UTC)

RCStream will be removed on 7 July 2017

I don't know if any of you depend upon this service. There's more information from User:Ottomata here: Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:02, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

Editing outages on Wednesday, 19 April 2017 and Wednesday, 3 May 2017

wikitech:Server switch has new dates: Tech Ops is planning for editing outages on Wednesday, 19 April 2017 and Wednesday, 3 May 2017 (two weeks later). The team has not settled on the exact time yet, but it will probably be between 14:00 and 16:00 UTC (afternoon in Europe/Africa and morning in the Americas).

This is a repeat of the work done last April (only, they hope, a little faster and more reliably). Some bots may need to be restarted after the wikis come back online, so please mark your calendars. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:31, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

New Task Idea?

Hey all, I'm kinda new to this bot thing, but I have an idea for a new task, and it might or might not be good. The reason I'm not asking at Bot Requests is because me and that page have some bad history between us about 2-3 years ago. I'm nervous to see what would happen if I went over there again so I'm posting it here. It's CHECKWIKI Task 64, "Link equal to linktext" ([[Apple|apple]] --> [[Apple]]). The reason I'm asking is because normally FrescoBot does Task 64, but looking at its contribs, it only seems to edit every 2-3 days, and only edits 20-30 articles at a time. If you look at here, you can see that there are 2,100+ articles with that error. Editing 2,100+ articles to remove that error is something that is tedious to do manually, so I am asking if this is a good idea. I know PrimeBOT uses AWB to edit, and is run manually by Primefac, so I thought it might be a good idea to do something like that. Please let me know what you think. Please leave constructive criticism only please. Thanks! Yoshi24517Chat Very Busy 04:05, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

This error looks like it falls under WP:NOTBROKEN and WP:COSMETICBOT. Also, I believe your example is incorrect – the capitalization is altered, which a bot would not be allowed to do. I also don't see which BRFA has FrescoBot approved for this task. Did you mean something else, not what CheckWiki 64 lists? —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 12:13, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
@Hellknowz: I forgot to tell you that it would be supervised. I was gonna watch it make its edits. It won't be automatic. And to answer your other question, this shows FrescoBot being able to take care of Task 64. Other things you mentioned: I am trying to make each link have one, not two, so it would not fall under WP:NOTBROKEN. {Meaning just leave it with [[apple]]). Second, what you said about it going under WP:CONTEXTBOT, as I explained above, it would be supervised. I can see it fails WP:COSMETICBOT though. Just a thought, every time it would run and fix all the articles with the Task 64 error, should I have it clean up the whole article at the same time, like AWB normally does when you load a new page? Just a thought. Yoshi24517Chat Very Busy 15:12, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
That list shows FrescoBot as doing that task, but I could not find any BRFA for it. Either it's listed there by mistake, was meant in regards to similar tasks, or it's doing an unapproved task (or I failed to find the BRFA). I don't think we have any bot approved to do this as the main task rather than just an addition to a substantive edit.
Converting apple ([[Apple|apple]]) to apple ([[apple]]) is WP:COSMETICBOT. In fact, AWB genfixes have other cosmetic edits. Cosmetic tasks aren't allowed by themselves. Even with other substantive edits, it has recently been very contentious.
Also, whether you watch the task or not, doesn't really change matters. Even if you repeatedly do it manually, it would still be under bot policy via WP:MEATBOT. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 15:26, 17 March 2017 (UTC)


Hi. I have an idea to create articles about PGC objects. I have full list like table with characteristics of this objects. Is that possible? I'm not from Engish Wikipedia, I'm just asking, is that possible. Thank for response. --Artificial123 (talk) 06:59, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

What is PGC? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 10:16, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
If it is about Principal Galaxies Catalogue see Category:PGC objects. There are already over 500 articles. StarryGrandma (talk) 11:45, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Artificial123, you might want to read WP:NASTRO and make a post at the Astronomy WikiProject before jumping into this. I have a vague recollection of this being discussed (and rejected) before, but I could be wrong. Primefac (talk) 12:01, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Primefac, I don't talk about English Wikipedia. I just wanna to have an answer on my question: is that possible? File is similar to xls-table, where are name, right ascension, declination and some other parameters. --Artificial123 (talk) 12:07, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Well, if you're not talking about editing the en-Wikipedia, then our policies (or our opinions) don't really matter. Primefac (talk) 12:12, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
I don't see why it wouldn't be technically possible. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 12:17, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Hellknowz, can you see how difficult is that? I will send the list. --Artificial123 (talk) 12:46, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Not quite sure what would "sending the list" achieve exactly, at least at this stage. If you are planning on creating articles on a large scale, make sure you are familiar with WP:MASSCREATION and WP:NASTRO. You will also want the people at WP:ASTRO to give their feedback on your proposal/idea, since they will know a lot more about the PGC catalogue than most people. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 17:01, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
I repeat: I won't do that in English Wikipedia. --Artificial123 (talk) 18:18, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Artificial123, are you asking if this group could tell you if it is possible for a bot to take data from the list and write, or at least start, articles for the Belarusian Wikipedia? And tell you how to write such a bot. StarryGrandma (talk) 23:40, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
StarryGrandma, I'm asking if it possible to take data in a good way. --Artificial123 (talk) 07:11, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Yes, it's possible. (Please mind the gap between "possible" and more favorable words, such as "likely" or "desirable".)
However, I have two alternative suggestions for you: the first is to have this tool enabled on your wiki. People will get information, but you won't have "an article" (that will be incomplete and probably never updated). The other is that you create an infobox that draws its contents straight out of Wikidata (importing whatever is missing to Wikidata), so that you can bot-create a sentence or two but still benefit from updated information.
(For anyone who is not familiar with Wikidata, then I recommend File:A Gentle Introduction to Wikidata for Absolute Beginners (including non-techies!).webm (also available on YouTube; the link is in the file description page).) WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:54, 20 March 2017 (UTC)


Is broken.

  • 73 added, 16 in error.
  • 36 added, 18 in error
  • 6 added, 4 in error.
  • 56 added, 56 in error.
  • 14 added, 9 in error.
  • 15 added, 11 in error.
  • 147 added, 147 in error

It was reported a month ago and also (in the wrong place) here. -- GreenC 20:28, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

Retrieved from ""
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia :'_noticeboard
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Wikipedia:Bot owners' noticeboard"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA