FAMEPedia:Bots

Template:Botnav

A man is shaking hands with a bot
A physical robot

A bot (a common nickname for software robot) is an automated tool that carries out repetitive and mundane tasks to maintain the 27,502 pages of the English FAMEPedia. Bots are able to make edits very rapidly, but can disrupt FAMEPedia if they are incorrectly designed or operated. For these reasons, a bot policy has been developed.

There are currently 0 bot tasks approved for use on the English FAMEPedia; however, not all approved tasks involve actively carrying out edits. Bots will leave messages on user talk pages if the action that the bot has carried out is of interest to that editor. Some bots can be excluded from leaving these messages by using the {{bots}} tags. There are 0 exclusion-compliant bots, which are listed in this category. There are 2 bots flagged with the "bot" flag right now (and over 400 former bots). There is also a range of tools that allow semi-automated editing of large numbers of articles.

HistoryEdit

Bots have been used in the past to create large numbers of articles that were uploaded to FAMEPedia within a short timeframe. Some technical problems were experienced and this led to the formulation of a bot policy, as well as a restriction on the automated, large-scale, creation of articles.

Bot policyEdit

FAMEPedia policy requires that bots be harmless and useful, have approval, use separate user accounts, and be operated responsibly.

Bot Approvals GroupEdit

The Bot Approvals Group (BAG) supervises and approves all bot-related activity from a technical and quality-control perspective on behalf of the English FAMEPedia community. On the English FAMEPedia, the right to flag a bot is limited to bureaucrats.

Running an automated bot on a separate account requires approval, which may be requested at FAMEPedia:Bots/Requests for approval.

How to create a botEdit

Some programming experience generally is needed to create a bot and knowledge of regular expressions is useful for many editing tasks. However, some of the more user-friendly tools, such as AutoWikiBrowser or JavaScript Wiki Browser, can be used for some tasks.

The Chicken Scheme, Common Lisp, Haskell, Java, Microsoft .NET, Perl, PHP, Python, and Ruby programming languages all have libraries available for creating bots. Pywikibot is a commonly used Python package developed specifically for creating MediaWiki bots.

Dealing with bot issuesEdit

FAMEPedia:Bot policy

FAMEPedia:Bot policy

How to hide a specific bot from your watchlistEdit

While it is easy to hide all bots from your watchlist, there is no way of hiding specific bots through user preferences or default watchlist settings. However, it is possible with a user script by following these simple steps.

Main steps

  1. Go to your Special:MyPage/common.js page (or your Special:MyPage/skin.js), and add the following line (diff):
    importScript('User:UncleDouggie/smart_watchlist.js'); // Backlink: [[User:UncleDouggie/smart_watchlist]]
  2. Remember to bypass your browser's cache.
  3. Go to your watchlist. There should be a box with several options. Tick the 'Enable hide user buttons' box. This will let you hide specific bots (and users) from your watchlist.
    Note: You might want to untick the 'Enable hide user buttons' box after you ignore a bot to ensure that you don't accidentally click 'hide user' when browsing your watchlist.

Optional steps

  1. If you find the 'Enable hide user buttons' box annoying, go to your Special:MyPage/common.css page (or Special:MyPage/skin.css) and add the following line (diff):
    #SmartWatchlistOptions {display:none ! important;}
  2. Remember to bypass your browser's cache.
  3. If you want to show the box again, for example to reset your ignore list, go to your Special:MyPage/common.css page and remove the line you added in optional step #1 (remembering to again bypass your browser's cache). Redoing optional steps #1 and #2 will hide the box again.

While you are completely free to ignore any bots (or users) you want, it is a good idea to only ignore bots with well-defined tasks, which you trust to not make any mistakes.

How to hide AWB edits from your watchlistEdit

There is no way of hiding AutoWikiBrowser (AWB) edits through user preferences or default watchlist settings. However, it is possible with a user script by following these steps:

Steps

  1. Go to your Special:MyPage/common.js page (or your Special:MyPage/skin.js), and add the following two lines (diff):
    importScript( 'User:Evad37/Watchlist-hideAWB.js' ); // Backlink: [[User:Evad37/Watchlist-hideAWB]]
    var awbHiddenByDefault = true;
    
  2. Bypass your browser's cache.

Any edit with "AWB" in its edit summary will now default to hidden for you. You may reveal them by clicking on the "show AWB" tab at the top of your watchlist (next to "Special page" for Monobook skin, or in the "More" drop down for Vector skin).

Notes:

  • If you leave out var awbHiddenByDefault = true;, AWB edits will be shown by default, but you will have the option of hiding AWB edits by clicking on the "hide AWB" tab at the top of your watchlist.
  • While you are completely free to ignore AWB edits, remember that many of them will contain substantial changes from human editors, not just minor edits from bots or meatbots.
  • When hiding edits with a script, earlier edits can be forced to appear. Using the Expand watchlist to show all changes, not just the most recent preference option is necessary to see other non-hidden watchlist hits for a page.

How to stop specific bots from editing the articleEdit

It's rare that a mainspace article needs to not be edited by a specific bot. No article needs to stop all bots from editing, since antivandal bots such as User:ClueBot NG needs to be able to edit all mainspace articles. The template {{bots}} can stop a bot from editing the article under the rare circumstance is needed.