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Bots noticeboard

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

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

Reporting article assessment "WP 1.0 bot" misbehaving[edit]

Back into August and now again since October 8th, and October 25 the bot is having "quality log" issues.

First part, creating assessment tables runs correctly.

Second part, is "stuck" creating multiple logs since October 25th. Tonight 8 days of logs with 7 days are repeats, for most but not all WPs. Details at Wikipedia talk:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Index.

Interested users are (audiodudeKelsonWalkerma). Regards, JoeHebda (talk) 03:16, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

  • Notified currently listed operator at w:fr:User talk:Kelson. I'm also a bit concerned as to who is in currently taking responsibility for this bot, it appears to have changed operators many times and even its own User and User talk pages do not agree on this matter. — xaosflux Talk 04:26, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
  • @JoeHebda: other than engage the operators and call them to task, the only other tool we have are blocking or deauthorizing a bot, as far as the possibility of blocking: I don't see an "urgent" issue as it is not editing reader-facing material (i.e. articles, certain templates). As far as the errors you are reporting, is this bot making any useful edits along with what you are calling out as problems? — xaosflux Talk 04:30, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: - Yes the bot is daily updating Wikiproject assessment tables - that function is working correctly & is visible to all interested WP updaters/maintainers. The second part of creating daily logs is not functioning correctly. Two issues, first with each passing day since Oct. 25, most WPs are being loaded up with repeat logs (last night 7 days worth); secondly the bot stops processing logs at "B" in the alphabet & never updates "C" to "Z" named WPs. These WPs have no logs updated since October 8th. Hope this clarifies.
Work is started on revamping WP 1.0 bot so ultimately it will be replaced. Because the timeline is uncertain, I'm reporting here to hopefully find someone to fix the bot. JoeHebda (talk) 14:24, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
@JoeHebda: thanks for the note, and we can certainly keep following up on this. To recap: you think the bot should keep working, but get rid of the problem - and the current problem isn't sever enough to block the bot and stop the things that are working until it is fixed - correct? — xaosflux Talk 15:18, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: - Yes, the bot is still running daily. From "back in the day" I was hired on to cleanup database mess created from aborted (2 days live) project. Had to learn IBMs PL/I programming in a couple days. And disk storage was precious & expensive in those times. My concern is all those daily (repeat) log files & how they can be removed? So far there have been zero complaints from WPs ("C" to "Z") not getting the daily logs. JoeHebda (talk) 15:31, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
@JoeHebda: the rate and size these are being editing isn't anything to worry about performance wise. From looking at the edits I'm not sure if they are useful to anyone but they don't seem to be "wrong"? I'm assuming you are referring to edits such as these? — xaosflux Talk 15:35, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

──────────── @Xaosflux: - Yes, those edits & there are 1000's of them. I was using them all the time along with Wikipedia:WikiProject Catholicism/Assessment & WP Saints, WP Military history, WP Biography; to check articles being updated. The logs are useful tracking tool & I miss them. JoeHebda (talk) 15:42, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

@JoeHebda: sorry, I'm a bit lost :D Can you show an example of a few edits this bot made that you don't think should have been made according to its current approval (e.g. a malfunction)? — xaosflux [[User tTalk 16:35, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: Many malfunction examples at Wikipedia talk:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Index. JoeHebda (talk) 20:59, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Xaosflux, as JoeHebda implies the bot does not make mistakes, it just does not complete its 2nd task. So any project log that I have an interest in never get made. They are beyond the letter B. These logs are incredibly useful to see project assessment changes and reasses such articles as necessary but without, it's very difficult to assess article that don't appear elsewhere as a convenient list. I really miss them. ww2censor (talk) 21:44, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
OK @Ww2censor and JoeHebda: the 'problem' is that the bot is not making an edit that you would like it to? If so only the operator can deal with that - I am still certainly concerned for whomever the operator of this bot is to be properly identified! — xaosflux Talk 23:05, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Answering @Xaosflux and Ww2censor: WP 1.0 bot has two problems
1. Not creating logs for WPs with names "C" through "Z".
2. When creating logs for WPs "A" and "B" (stalls out during Bs & goes back to assessment tables) it keeps repeat creating logs since Oct. 25. For example, last night Logs for Oct. 25,26,27,28,29,30,31-repeats and Nov.1-new; for every one of those A-B wikiprojects. Following this pattern, tonight's repeated logs will be Oct. 25 to 31 & Nov.1, and Nov.2-new logs. JoeHebda (talk) 23:24, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for update - still pending an operator to show up to this conversation. — xaosflux Talk 23:25, 2 November 2018 (UTC)
If it helps, Kelson seems to be the only person trying to keep this running per [1] and while elsewhere Hedonil nor Theopolisme may still be associated with the bot neither are active users here as I mentioned [Wikipedia talk:Versio 1.0 Editorial Team/Index#Is_tools.wmflabs_down?|this post] about 6 weeks ago. Audiodude is now also listed as a maintainer. ww2censor (talk) 22:12, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
Has anyone tried emailing Kelson (or contacting him through other channels)? He doesn't seem to be currently active on frwiki, where the talk page message was posted. --Paul_012 (talk) 03:59, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
I've tried leaving a message to get the attention of the operators - asking that the bots usertalk be updated. SQLQuery me! 06:45, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
Update for (XaosfluxWw2censoraudiodudeKelsonWalkerma) From Nov. 3 WP 1.0 bot processing I updated at Wikipedia talk:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Index#November 3, 2018 - WP 1.0 bot processing to report two bot issues. A possible "Missing template for WP Bihar" and "Date timestamps, corruption". JoeHebda (talk) 15:08, 4 November 2018 (UTC)

I have blocked the bot. Looking at e.g. Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Biblical Criticism articles by quality log, today, over the course of 28 edits, it duplicated the already present contents of that page, with logs for 2009 to 2012, and nothing newer. This is utterly useless and confusing. At Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Beyoncé Knowles articles by quality log it is working the 2014 log, making today more than 200 edits to that page in a row, with the end result that it reordered 14 entries, and changed http to https[2]... Here it made more than 100 edits to change absolutely nothing. As always, feel free to unblock without contacting me once these issues have been solved. Fram (talk) 14:48, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

@Fram: - Thankyou. At Wikipedia talk:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Index I posted summary of Nov. 4 processing and agree 100-percent with need to block bot. Difficulty is finding the Expert with knowledge and tech skillset to fix. Myself being retired (after 44 yrs with computers), I have the time, but zero ability to fix. I've only been on Wikipedia since 2014 mostly doing article tags & assessments. I can toss out questions is about all I can do. Regards, JoeHebda (talk) 15:23, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
Now that this account is blocked, it should not be unblocked without clearly identifying which human(s) is in control of it. — xaosflux Talk 17:58, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
Xaosflux, I support the block. The malfunction in of itself wasn't of a nature that caused major disruption to justify blocking, but the fact that the operator of the bot is not clear is enough to justify a block in addition to the malfunction. —CYBERPOWER (Chat) 18:14, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, I accidently sent above to Archive & I don't know how to "unarchive" so I copy-and-paste back here. JoeHebda (talk) 14:43, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
You could have gone to your contributions, clicked the "diff" links for this page and the archive, and then used the "undo" link provided in each one. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 22:50, 16 November 2018 (UTC)

Unblock for 1 hour?[edit]

Can I request that the Bot 1.0 be unblocked for 1 hour so I can update WP:MILHIST/Biographies and WP:MILHIST – Please? Adamdaley (talk) 03:08, 16 November 2018 (UTC)

@Adamdaley: - Since the bot was blocked at Wikipedia:Bots/Noticeboard, I will copy-and-paste your question there. I myself don't know how to block or unblock. Wish there was a button for those two functions.
Also be aware that when you request assessment with emwp10 it updates the assessment tables only & no quality logs. JoeHebda (talk) 14:37, 16 November 2018 (UTC)
@Adamdaley: please ask the operator of this bot to request unblocking, one of the reasons it is blocked is because it is unclear who is taking responsibility for its actions. @JoeHebda: while some bots have "enable/disable" buttons, this one is blocked and will require a administrator to unblock. — xaosflux Talk 14:54, 16 November 2018 (UTC)

Lint error repairs..[edit]

Odd request, but would a bot flag be needed for a contributor making a lot of manual edits, via Special:LintErrors (and links therefrom) using the standard interface, due to volumes involved? ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 13:36, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

If the error is pretty common but low-volume, I've used either my personal account or my AWB without bot flag. When you have an identifiable pattern for 1k+ pages, that's bot-reasonable (and I've used my bot account for those). --Izno (talk) 13:51, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
As always, it depends on what "a lot" means. I have been doing batches of one hundred to a few hundred semi-automated edits per day to resolve Linter errors, and I have had no complaints that I can remember. A few reverts, probably, but a minuscule percentage. I make sure to use a helpful edit summary like "Fix Linter errors". That experience tells me that a few hundred edits per day doesn't get you into WP:MEATBOT territory, but a few thousand a day might do so.
People also tend to get a little bit more unhappy about edits to User and User talk pages, so I tend to stick to Template and mainspace pages. YMMV. – Jonesey95 (talk) 17:22, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
If doing any to User talk root pages, a bot should be used with the bot and minor flag (such as to make use of the 'nominornewtalk' capability) - any other edit will trigger the "you have new messages" prompt - which is understandably annoying to others. — xaosflux Talk 17:57, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
I lack the ability to reapair a number of issues on talk pages, notably signatures, but the advice above is good . Thanks ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 08:04, 7 November 2018 (UTC)

Checking for bot activity[edit]

Other than contributions and logs, how can we tell if a bot is running or not? The bot in question is Joe's Null Bot (talk · contribs · logs) which is designed to always have empty contribs and logs. I suspect that it is stopped: see Template talk:Db-meta#Template:Db-c1. Are there other null bots available which could run through everything in Category:Empty categories awaiting deletion, in accordance with task 5 for that bot? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 11:58, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

Have you tried User talk:Joe Decker? — xaosflux Talk 13:37, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
I and others have noticed this bot not running too. I pinged on Monday but no response.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  13:48, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
I could possibly do a run through - is the "problem" you are trying to fix right now that there are pages showing in categories that should not be? (what is a current category with an issue, and what is an example article you want purged to fix it?) — xaosflux Talk 14:17, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
The information should be at Template talk:Db-meta#Template:Db-c1, which I linked at the start. In brief: when you add a {{db-c1}} to an empty category page, the cat is immediately placed in Category:Empty categories awaiting deletion. Seven days after the last edit to the empty cat page, a WP:NULLEDIT will remove the empty cat from Category:Empty categories awaiting deletion and add it to Category:Candidates for speedy deletion and Category:Candidates for speedy deletion as empty categories. It is that null edit that is not occurring. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 14:55, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
Redrose64, We should add something into the guidelines where null bots give some sort of visible indication of life, such as updating the last run timestamp of a page. —CYBERPOWER (Chat) 14:59, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
  • I'm running a pass through the ~350 cats and sub cats right now. — xaosflux Talk 15:01, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
    @Redrose64: my run completed, but it doesn't look like it "did" anything? If you update one of the categories manually is it working? — xaosflux Talk 15:13, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
    I don't know. Without going into every single page in Category:Empty categories awaiting deletion and doing a null edit myself to see if its categorisation changes, I don't know what shouldn't be in that category. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 15:31, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
    OK, so I did a null edit on every page - any chance that nothing is wrong and that NullBot is actually working fine? — xaosflux Talk 15:32, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
    If Joe's Null Bot had been working fine, the five redlinked categories mentioned at Template talk:Db-meta#Template:Db-c1 would not have been under discussion (and there would have been no reason for that thread to have been started in the first place); they would have been moved to Category:Candidates for speedy deletion as empty categories some days ago and promptly deleted. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 15:49, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
    @Redrose64: it looks like those were all taken care of before you asked for work here - are there currently any issues that you need addressed? As far as the initial question here your only option is to ask the operator. Keep in mind no operator is ever required to operate their bot, and having a bot not run is always fine. If you think the issue the bot is trying to address is serious enough, the community wishlist survey is still open and you could open a request to have it addressed by the development team at meta:Community_Wishlist_Survey_2019. — xaosflux Talk 18:23, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
    They were taken care of by me coming across miscategorised categories, and making manual null edits to them. If you look at the deletion logs for the last four categories that I named, Fastily (talk · contribs) deleted them at 11:26 today - that is, after I made this post at 10:38 today, which was in turn after I null-edited those four cat pages some five to ten minutes earlier than that post. I can't prove that last phrase, because null edits are not logged.
    Yes there are still issues: since Joe's Null Bot is apparently down, we need something else to trawl Category:Empty categories awaiting deletion periodically, and null edit every subcategory in it. It should not run constantly: once per day will do, although once every two to three days will not cause undue problems. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 20:04, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
    OK feel free to post over at WP:BOTREQUEST for someone else to make a bot if Joe Decker doesn't reply. Seems like this is a very low impact job (both in terms of impact to readers and for bot processing). — xaosflux Talk 21:23, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
Hi folks, sorry that I've been slow to respond -- a combination of life issues, temporary medical issues, and a change of residence. I think I have the previous bot tasks running now, and I will take a look again tomorrow to check in and see if there are additional problems. Thanks for your patience. --joe deckertalk 05:37, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

RFC: Should BAG members have an activity requirement?[edit]

Please comment at the RFC. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 17:47, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

Bots that haven't edited in a very long time[edit]

Moved from Wikipedia talk:Bot Approvals Group#Bots that haven't edited in a very long time. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 13:37, 15 November 2018 (UTC)

I've noticed that there are quite a few flagged bots that haven't edited in a very long (2 years or more) time.

Extended content
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Should we consider de-flagging these? SQLQuery me! 04:52, 15 November 2018 (UTC)

We have a consensus to do so, yes. We first have to send notifications. -- Magioladitis (talk) 09:22, 15 November 2018 (UTC)

  • @SQL: we usually run a clean up about twice a year, but per the Wikipedia:Bot_policy#Activity_requirements we only remove where both the bot and the operator have been inactive for 2 years. I'm all for re-reviewing the inactivity requirement. We certainly can ask if any of the operators would like to 'retire' their bot voluntarily as well. — xaosflux Talk 12:17, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
    • At minimum, those bots should be marked as inactive. Save for nullbots, if those are around. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 13:40, 15 November 2018 (UTC)