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    Bots noticeboard

    Here we coordinate and discuss Wikipedia issues related to bots and other programs interacting with the MediaWiki software. Bot operators are the main users of this noticeboard, but even if you are not one, your comments will be welcome. Just make sure you are aware about our bot policy and know where to post your issue.

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    Inactive bot (June 2024)


    The following bot can be deflagged as neither it nor its operator (Σ) has edited in two years.

    * Pppery * it has begun... 16:32, 22 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]

    Notification left, though for the record you're also perfectly able to add them yourself. Primefac (talk) 22:19, 22 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Is it time to deflag now? * Pppery * it has begun... 00:13, 1 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Sure. Primefac (talk) 01:02, 2 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by number of edits/Unflagged bots updated. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 07:00, 2 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]



    A few days ago, I saw option for thanking bots. At first I thought it was a glitch/fluke of some kind. But the option is still there as of today. Is this some desired or undesired change? —usernamekiran (talk) 17:09, 9 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]

    Desired. m:Requests for comment/Allow thanking bots * Pppery * it has begun... 17:37, 9 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]

    User:RMCD bot appears stuck/down as of yesterday


    The bot has not tagged any requested moves since yesterday. Is anyone able to investigate? Raladic (talk) 23:09, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]

    Looks like an attempt was already made to inform the botop at User talk:RMCD bot#Bot stuck/not running for requested moves? and User talk:Wbm1058#Bot frozen?, which is good. Ping @Wbm1058. –Novem Linguae (talk) 23:21, 16 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    It happened before two or three years ago when Wbm1058 went off the grid for a couple of days, and his home suffered a power outage at the same time, where the bot was running from. I remember suggesting to Wbm to use toolsforge to run the bot, and he tried (I think). I am not sure where the bot is currently running on currently. A side question to @Primefac, can there be a limited (in time) approval for another bot to take over the work temporarily until Wbm returns. The scope of the edits will be the same as RMCD_bot's work. I volunteer myself if so. The source code is available at User:RMCD bot/requestedmoves.php and it was last updated 100 days ago. I had just used it to generate the listing at WP:RMC and it seems to be working fine. – robertsky (talk) 03:23, 17 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Sure, ping me when you file the BRFA and I'll see about getting pushed through. Primefac (talk) 12:23, 17 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]

    HBC AIV helperbot5 and AdminStatsBot


    With the sad passing of JamesR mentioned at Wikipedia:Bureaucrats' noticeboard#JamesR, plans may need to be discussed to change maintainers for his two bots, HBC AIV helperbot5 and AdminStatsBot. Thoughts? –Novem Linguae (talk) 09:04, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]

    • Per Special:PermaLink/1235239503 at WP:BN the operator of User:HBC AIV helperbot5 and User:AdminStatsBot has died. These bots have been deactivated as they would be running without control. Interested operators may look in to using a different bot to take over those functions. — xaosflux Talk 09:50, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      Was blocking quickly necessary? Sounds like they were not malfunctioning. This kind of compresses the timetable for getting them replaced from leisurely to urgent. –Novem Linguae (talk) 10:06, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      Agreed; we should have left them running until they stopped working as intended or a replacement was found. Clearly they were still running properly at the time of blockage, which was after the time of death of the operator. Too little too late now... Primefac (talk) 10:29, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      Well, then it's time for admins to start clerking blocked users at AIV and UAA if HBC AIV helperbot5 stays blocked. Nobody (talk) 10:32, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      These bots were publishing revisions under CC-BY-SA, however as the actual person who would own the copyright to those revisions has deceased, they are no longer eligible to issue such licenses. — xaosflux Talk 12:59, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      In my opinion, these bots could have continued to run as it was, publishing revisions under CC BY-SA, until it is stopped for one reason or another as a result of an action (the bot programming to be looped indefinitely) and intent (explicitly instructions in the program to publish under the T&Cs of Wikipedia) by the the operator to publish as so as when they were alive. Now that the bots' operations have be interrupted, a continuance would be ill-advised unless a bot operator takes up the mantle. – robertsky (talk) 13:20, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      This...is not correct at all. Machine created works are not eligible for copyright protection (currently, see debates over LLM-created works). There is no mechanism in which I, as a bot operator, am constantly giving my approval under the CC licenses just by virtue of being alive. Or: there are plenty of plausible reasons to block accounts controlled by someone who is sadly deceased, copyright is not one of them. Legoktm (talk) 13:51, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      Should we unblock HBC AIV helperbot5? It appears to be the bot clerk for important pages such as WP:AIV and WP:UAA, and it is unclear how long it would take to spin up a replacement. –Novem Linguae (talk) 14:28, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      The account has been globally locked, so even if I did so (and the task wasn't killed because of the block) it wouldn't do anything. Primefac (talk) 15:35, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      The LLM debates have little bearing on this situation. Unlike LLMs, the inputs are known; the process to transform the data is known or can be deduced; the outputs are known. – robertsky (talk) 14:36, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      The bot weren't blocked for licensing issues, that's just a red herring. They were blocked for security issues.
      They could have remained operatorless until a problem arose, or they naturally crashed. But eventually we'd need new operators for them. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 14:54, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      As far as should someone be allowed to posthumously continue to publish revisions - in general we expect a person to be accountable for any edit or action they make, which literally can not be done here. — xaosflux Talk 15:47, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      Running out-of-control (running with no operator) was the primary reasoning for my block. The potential derivative works publication component discussion is mostly academic. — xaosflux Talk 15:51, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      It wasn't out of control, which is I believe everyone's point. The bot was running within its expected parameters, and until such time as that changes and/or it is replaced, it should have been left to run; we have bots operating with inactive operators, should we throw them under the bus as well? Primefac (talk) 15:56, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      Everytime you have your bot publish a revision, you are having it agree to the TOS and licenses for you. Perhaps that's a weak argument, but I can't find prior discussions where it was said that bot-published revisions are public domain, and where to draw the line there. — xaosflux Talk 15:42, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      The copyright argument doesn't apply. What the bot did was delete content (deleting content clearly is not copyrightable) and add hardcoded strings from its source code (User:HBC AIV helperbot/source), which were already licensed when they were posted on wiki. Agreed it's water under the bridge now, but the account should never have been blocked or locked. * Pppery * it has begun... 15:47, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      Considering these bots compiled statistics and removed handled matters, I doubt anything they did was copyrightable anyway. The suggestion that copyright had anything to do with it is laughable, and I agree that blocking them was premature (especially the AIV bot, which performs a time-critical function). HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 16:12, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      ...what? Is this true? This can't be true. jp×g🗯️ 16:11, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I am interested in taking over AdminStatsBot functionality. – robertsky (talk) 09:57, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    And I'll look into taking over AIV helperbot (I'll re-implement the current code for now, but look to port to pywikibot at some point out of preference). BRFA filed. Mdann52 (talk) 15:40, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    @Mdann52 I am requesting an adoption of the relevant tools on Toolforge as well per wikitech:Help:Toolforge/Abandoned tool policy – robertsky (talk) 15:47, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    @Robertsky: - if you want to add me on the request, go for it (just so there isn't a single owner on them). If you've only requested the AdminStatBot, I'll pop a new request in for the other one. However, the mandatory 30 day wait there isn't ideal under these circumstances. Mdann52 (talk) 15:49, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    If the codebase is available, spinning up a fork may be much quicker. — xaosflux Talk 15:52, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    The "helperbot" appears to have been forked many many many times before, so a new fork shouldn't be much of a problem. — xaosflux Talk 15:55, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    There are (or were) multiple helperbots to provide redundancy but I think the operators are all retired or only sporadically active these days. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 16:18, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Trying to get perl to run on toolforge is... interesting so that was the main reason I wanted to fork it. I've worked out a temporary solution for now so should be back up and running shortly. Mdann52 (talk) 16:20, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    When I checked earlier today the one most recently active was #11, and that was over 7 years ago. Hey man im josh (talk) 17:25, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    If there is still interest in maintaining another copy/instance of AIV helperbot, I'll be happy to use SodiumBot to setup a separate secondary instance (I was messing around with the code a while ago) Sohom (talk) 17:46, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    @Mdann52 Filled for both at phab:T370433 asking for a waiver on the wait time as well, but as what @Xaosflux suggests, go ahead and fork the aiv helperbot. The AdminStatsBot source codes can't be found on wiki (or I am not looking hard enough), so taking over the tool there would be helpful in getting the tool back up temporarily while I work on an open source version (or hopefully the codes in the Toolforge tool are already open source license, just not published). – robertsky (talk) 16:01, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Are you going to additionally attempt to get those user accounts usurped to you, or just use a new account for the 'tool' ? — xaosflux Talk 16:12, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    What would you suggest? Reading the source code for aiv helperbot does seem to show a need for unique secrets. – robertsky (talk) 16:22, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I would suggest that the new operators use a new user account, we can easily speedily approve it here. The adminstats stuff should likely be evaluated as to where it gets published (such as to a project space page instead of an operator subpage, but thats no rush). — xaosflux Talk 17:06, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    @Robertsky /data/project/adminstats/adminstatsbot-3.0.py should be what you need. I can copy over the code onwiki if you specifically need it. Sohom (talk) 17:30, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    @Sohom Datta yes please. – robertsky (talk) 17:32, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    @Robertsky Copied to this page :) Sohom (talk) 17:40, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Thanks! On it. – robertsky (talk) 18:15, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    • Just as an administrative note, I've unblocked those 2 accounts. This is mostly moot as they are still locked, but there is certainly enough opposition presented above that ongoing blocking would at least need more discussion. I've not re-flagged them, but if this ends up with developers usurping the credentials to new operators I've got no objection to any 'crat reversing that. I may have been a bit quick to act here, and did go off on a bit of a tangent about licensing above that wasn't really central to the primary concern. For those arguing that we have singular bots that are performing critical tasks, I suggest you start by approaching the existing operators about bringing on apprentices to become co-operators -- or to have mirrored bots on standby. — xaosflux Talk 17:47, 18 July 2024 (UTC)v[reply]
    • I'm shocked to hear of James R passing. We used to communicate regularly until he stopped editing on the project about a year or so ago. He was always so helpful
    Thanks for unblocking User:AdminStatsBot. Any chance someone could take over monitoring it? It rarely has any problems unless there are general problems with Wikimedia servers. Liz Read! Talk! 17:55, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Oh, I see it's only locally unblocked, it's still globally blocked. Didn't really read this entire thread before posting my comment. Liz Read! Talk! 17:59, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    • I'm going to give my comment here as the locking steward for both accounts; I locked the accounts at the same time as locking JamesR, based on the fact that the accounts belonged to JamesR, who was locked as deceased, as well as the fact that both accounts were also already locally blocked here at enwiki before they were locked. If you want to have them unlocked I would be happy to assist with that, if you find that there is a need to do so at the moment. Also, may JamesR rest in peace, and thanks for their work throughout the years. EPIC (talk) 18:55, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      I think temporarily unlocking the bot accounts makes sense. Daniel Quinlan (talk) 20:20, 18 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      If a steward unlocks and an admin also unblocks, will the bots restart automatically? Or are they now stopped permanently? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 07:43, 19 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      I believe the AIV bot will now be dead (I've taken over the toolforge account and the relevant passwords have been removed, and tasks stopped). A replacement for AIV clerking should be up soon. Mdann52 (talk) 07:51, 19 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      Yeah, at this point the damage has been done, probably not much reason to restart, especially with replacements in trial. Primefac (talk) 15:52, 19 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
      Same for AdminStatsBot. Password has been wiped. – robertsky (talk) 15:55, 19 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]

    Changing the bot policy


    Please see Wikipedia talk:Bot policy#RFC: Sever WP:MASSCREATE from WP:BOTPOL. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:53, 19 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]

    B-bot didn't tag any files for F5 deletion today when it usually tags several dozen per day (see Category:Orphaned non-free use Wikipedia files). B hasn't been around for a few days so I thought I'd bring it up here in case the situation applies to other bots. Liz Read! Talk! 23:14, 24 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]

    B-bot seems to run at 2:00 and 17:00 daily (judging from its internal lists at User:B-bot/List of orphaned images/day-0, .../day-1, and .../day2). It pulls its data from Wikipedia:Database reports/Unused non-free files, which updated at 16:32 yesterday, just before the B-Bot run, and 20:21 today, well after it. So I wouldn't start to worry unless B-bot doesn't do anything at 2:00. —Cryptic 23:32, 24 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Okay, thank you for the information, Cryptic. I think it tagged 96 files yesterday so it was suprising to see 0 today. Liz Read! Talk! 01:04, 25 July 2024 (UTC)[reply]