Wikisource talk:Bots

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Bot flagging section[edit]

We might want to write up a section for flagging bots, as well, since local bureaucrats can now do that.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 12:53, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

That's briefly mentioned under Community authorisation, which states "Once authorised, it will be granted a bot flag and may be run within the limits of these policy and guidelines". Is there anything else to say about bot flagging, beyond the procedure to obtain a flag? // [admin] Pathoschild (talk/map) 15:12, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
How long should bureaucrats wait before granting the flag? I believe the last time we got a bot flag here, the steward who assigned it waited a week before granting it. Should we wait a similar amount of time? Give people enough time to discuss the bot, especially if it will perform odd tasks? Or should we just let the bureaucrats decide the appropriate length?—Zhaladshar (Talk) 00:53, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
I would suggest three or four days before running the bot to ensure that there is no opposition, and roughly a week of slow trial operation before being granted a bot flag. The trial period would depend on whether or not the bot is actually run in that period, of course. Wikipedia is rather vague on the time periods (see w:Wikipedia:Bots), but there are only a select few users empowered to approve bots; I think we should opt for wider community input on Wikisource. // [admin] Pathoschild (talk/map) 05:11, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Agreed on all counts.—Zhaladshar (Talk) 13:25, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

encouraged tweaking[edit]

Encouraging performance tweaks to bots is just encouraging bad programming practice. Operators should be encouraged not to fix what ain't broke. When performance becomes unacceptable, that's the time to worry about it—not before. —Αναρχία 21:07, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Programming practice is up to the individual bot operator. I see no problem making beneficial changes to Pathosbot whenever I notice something that could be improved. —{admin} Pathoschild 21:29:38, 06 March 2007 (UTC)
On the contrary, it's a matter of policy! I see no problem with tweaking either; it's encouraging it that's no good. —Αναρχία 02:38, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Review of bot processes; managing ad hoc tasks[edit]

With the broader use of AutoWikiBrowser and Pywikipedia scripts that enable smaller and specific requests of ad hoc fixes, I would like to suggest a newer approach for the utilisation of bots on-site, and one that is more inline with how we have been operating anyway. It is the demonstration of the competence up front, and then allowing some latitude on operations. At the same time, I don't want a sea of red unpatrolled tags, so need a solution in that regard. So maybe a way to step forward is.

  1. Consideration of whether a proposed bot could be auto-patrolled, or should be given a bot flag
    Part of this consideration is whether we are comfortable of running AWB and pywikipedia under a person's account, and some are used that way
  2. Intent of the bot: interwiki; specific repeated tasks; or ad hoc.
    The first two can be readily addressed, by existing means, the last needs some regular oversight

I would like to propose that we have a greater allowance for competent bot operations to operate in ad hoc mode by requiring for the operators of the bot to state on Wikisource:Bot requests the tasks that is being undertaken, magnitude of the task, expected complexity of the task, so in effect we have a quick record of what is being undertaken, by whom, and when. Plus we should have a spot to record that oversight has been undertaken, eg.

Task No. of edits Complexity Bot Date done Checked by

To give a level of oversight, I would similarly propose that an increasing level of scrutiny, the higher level of risk of the bot operation, so

  • simple, small tasks — oversight of the bot operator (low risk)
  • small, complex tasks or extensive, simpler tasks — oversight of the process by another trusted contributor; following/during (medium risk)
  • larger, complex bot operations (high risk) are run through normal proposals for approval

billinghurst sDrewth 14:00, 1 June 2010 (UTC)


A couple of minor change suggestions for next time. They have been lightly touched on elsewhere but here is probably the better place to discuss them. Jeepday (talk) 01:32, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

1. "Prompt user, give 90 days of notice" It has been suggested [1] to lower this to 60 days.

We are about 40 days into Wikisource:Scriptorium#90_day_warnings_posted and there have been 2 bot owner responses, both in the first couple of days and both supporting removal of the bots flag. Given this I would like to cut it back to 30 days warning. Jeepday (talk)
Sure, though would suggest that the period of time aligns with the confirmation period. Just simpler. Call it a ... minimum of 30 days ... and that gives us scope

2. We posted the confirmation with this message "Bot flag will be reconfirmed automatically unless at least three established users oppose, which will trigger an election with decision by simple majority. Loss of flag does not prevent edits, only impacts recent change visibility." which is nearly identical to the admin confirmation message. Given the what we saw here Admin and Bot re-confirmation are not same. It gave us a procedural redo that does not add value to the project.

Proposed reword - "Bot flag will be reconfirmed automatically unless; if at least three established users oppose unanimously with no users supporting, then the right will be removed; three or more oppose and one or more support this triggers a vote, with a decision by simple majority. Loss of flag does not prevent edits, only impacts recent change visibility." Jeepday (talk) 01:32, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
^^ text changes — billinghurst sDrewth 13:31, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
Updates Completed. Jeepday (talk) 12:24, 5 March 2013 (UTC)