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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 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).

Bot-like user scripts[edit]

I'm not sure if this is the correct place to ask, but do user scripts that make many edits, with limited intervention from a user require a BRFA? I am asking because I have written a user script that bypasses the redirect created by a page move, if instructed. Once a user tells the script to make edits, there is no human intervention. WP:BOTSCRIPT states:

The majority of user scripts are intended to merely improve or personalize the existing MediaWiki interface, or to simplify access to commonly used functions for editors. Scripts of this kind do not normally require BAG approval.

However, this does not explain what to do for scripts that make edits with limited intervention. --Danski454 (talk) 14:10, 24 March 2019 (UTC)

@Danski454: the volume and impact of changes matter more then the mechanism of the change. As this would not be run from a bot account but from a regular editor account the primary concern would be if the edit should be made under a bot account to avoid being disruptive. What type of frequency and volumes would you expect to be making assisted edits? — xaosflux Talk 14:29, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: Running this from a bot account would hurt its usefulness as a script, at least for me. Regarding edit frequency and volumes, the script edits at a rate of 12 EPM, making an absolute maximum of 2,000 edits each time it is run, but it is unlikely that it would end up running that much, less than 100 edits each time is probably a closer estimate, with over 500 being very rare (as this requires many redirects, transclusions or links from templates). I would use this occasionally , mainly when moving a page away from an ambiguous title. --Danski454 (talk) 14:40, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
@Danski454: so the problem with throwing out 500 to 2000 edits is that you can flood watchlists and recent changes without the benefit of a bot flag. Think of this type of script use like people that use AWB. That being said having a "bot account" doesn't have to mean you need a server, advanced programming, etc - it can be as simple as having another logon that you load in another window to run the task. Noone would bat an eye if you ran this on 25 edits for example, of you ran it on 100 edits once every few months - it all becomes about volume and impact. A tangential issue to this is the general question if bypassing the types of redirects you would change in bulk (i.e. hundreds or thousands of updates) is something that is useful and strongly supported by most other editors; if it is then using a bot account also signals 'you don't need to worry about checking this' - if it isn't then it shouldn't be done at all. — xaosflux Talk 14:54, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
Considering this, I think AWB may be better suited for the task, a it allows review and is less disruptive. --Danski454 (talk) 16:09, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
Meanwhile, OneClickArchiver exists. —  HELLKNOWZ   ▎TALK 16:25, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
@Danski454: please keep in mind my note above that it is about the impact of actions, not the mechanism that most matters. Editors are welcome to make constructive edits using whatever method they want (web, api, AWB, scripts, etc) - but the same guidelines apply as to volume and types of changes. Likewise, making thousands of high frequency, repeated edits can be disruptive regardless of the tool - but running that tool under a bot flagged account can alleviate some of that concern. — xaosflux Talk 17:14, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
@Danski454: I run a number of tasks that are written as scripts but run through my bot. See User:DannyS712 bot/tasks tasks 3, 4, and 11 for approved tasks running via scripts. --DannyS712 (talk) 19:17, 24 March 2019 (UTC)


I've created a Requests page for URL modifications related to link rot. Some bots/tools are generally approved for link rot work without going through BOTREQ for every domain change (currently WP:IABOT and WP:WAYBACKMEDIC). Obviously though any major scale change would need approval, for example modifying all of the NY Times links. URL changes are complex jobs requiring support for archive URLs (20+ archive providers not just, various templates and their parameters (CS1|2, {{webarchive}}, {{dead link}} etc), real-time detecting 404 and redirect status, etc.. and each request can have special conversion requirements.

URLREQ page does not replace BOTREQ, most requests will probably still arrive through BOTREQ, and elsewhere (talk pages, Village Pump etc), but it does help to keep these types of requests recorded on a single page so that the bot ops with the tools can better monitor scattered requests, not only on Enwiki but from other language wikis where the same URL changes would be applicable. Eventually a page like this on Meta for all projects might be created. -- GreenC 17:24, 27 March 2019 (UTC)