Forums: Helping Hand > Using a bot on FRW

Use the following template for a nicely presented post:

{{Forum post|Write your message here!|~~~~}}

I've learned and created a bot to help me get through the +2700 Years pages. If you don't know, it's an automated wiki editor that can be programmed to make basic edits that are too dumb and too tedious for a human editor. That's things like find-and-replace (say "Faerun" to "Faerûn"), appending or prepending a block of text, adding tagging templates (stub, cleanup, etc), categories, and maybe other things. It's useful for when you have a vast number of pages to make some basic changes to, which we have a lot of.

You can see the bot at User:UnseenServantBot (a secondary account of mine), named for the unseen servant spell, naturally. I've made some test edits with it on the unused Category:16th century pages. (This also shows some of my organizing ideas for the timeline.)

If you have some editing task you want to see automated, you can explain it to me and I'll run it. Or get your own bot. :p

If you think a bot has gone crazy and is doing the wrong thing, then tell an admin to block it until its owner can get to it and stop it.

Now, one problem: when the bot makes a large bundle of edits, it will flood the Recent Changes or Wiki Activity and we may miss regular edits. We can hide bot edits, but UnseenServantBot will need to be flagged as a bot first. For this I need to contact Wikia, and show them the community's support for the use of a bot.

So, all in favour of the bot say "Aye!" Otherwise, I'll dispel it.

— BadCatMan (talk) 09:46, July 7, 2013 (UTC)

Anything that makes it more fun and less work is a good thing. Aye!
Moviesign (talk) 12:58, July 7, 2013 (UTC)

I'd certainly like to see a bot in action from start to finish. I only ever seem to catch them for a brief moment before they slip away. Aye.
-hashtalk 13:42, July 7, 2013 (UTC)

Their edits should always be visible, shouldn't they? Most can be shown or hidden with "Show/Hide bots" on Recent Changes.
— BadCatMan (talk) 13:50, July 7, 2013 (UTC)

It's just that on the major wikis, their edits quickly get buried under those by regular users and I expect that it would be weird for a non-admin to follow a bot.
-hashtalk 14:36, July 7, 2013 (UTC)

Sounds interesting... let's see what it can do :)
-Darkwynters (talk) 16:30, July 7, 2013 (UTC)

The bot is now official and I will put it to work. You can hide or show its edits in Recent Changes.
— BadCatMan (talk) 13:10, July 9, 2013 (UTC)

Okay, the bot's first project is complete: I've correctly categorised all the pages from the 16th century and applied other categories and details. Works fine, though I have to tune the parameters properly and check on its work. And I have to be logged in for it to work.
— BadCatMan (talk) 13:56, July 9, 2013 (UTC)

Hmmm maybe a bot could be used for Licensing for images? (Aye btw!)
Terrorblades (Cant logg in right now)

Assuming all the (unlicensed) images need to be licensed the same (generic fair use), then yes, that should be possible, provided the images are already marked as unlicensed or something that the program can easily look for.
— BadCatMan (talk) 11:36, July 10, 2013 (UTC)

Hi everyone! Long time no see you guys.. Nice to see you all working hard. :) Just like BadCatMan, I went forward and created a bot account to help us with tedious works and other massive changes-checks.

e.g. In my second session with the specific bot tool, I listed some 700 pages (only ~5.6% of our wikia's pages) for it to check for wrong spelling (common rules) and some other typos, but also for "û" in faerûn. The results were awesome, with more than 80 changes as some of you noticed, but at the same time they flooded the recent changes without the option to "hide bot changes". At the time of posting I'm in contact with a Wikia Admin so as to flag it as bot. After the flagging I will have it check a list of nearly 7300 pages (~59%)!, but with more rules specific for many FR names, usually or easily mispelled, like Jarlaxle. Nevertheless, it's only a small stony golem, so give it a hug at StoneGolemBot.

I named it after the fact that many magicusers of Forgotten Realms tend to have guardians and assistants in their towers, many of them being golems. (I don't like flesh golems as they tend to look like Frankenstein..:)

Here is a link of the conversation I had with BadCatMan conserning the bot account User_talk:BadCatMan#Bots!

I learned a bit about its programming and how to do some basic work with it, but still a lot of study and many trials to undergo. I want to make a page like so as to cover this gap on our wiki as well as bousting the understanding of how to make bots work for us and better organize this aspect.

Would you mind me creating a page conserning our bots, as mentioned above, fellow adventurers?

The poll was created at 09:39 on August 2, 2013, and so far 2 people voted.
Jandor (talk) - 09:33, August 2, 2013 (UTC)

Personally, the bots scare me a little... massive fixes can lead to massive errors... while it is great having ole "Stony", he does make errors... for example, he (honorably) fixed the spelling of "Faerûn" on the Interior Faerûn image... but then the picture would not function under the new spelling, but I can see where they would be useful... and, Jandor, you got me on the line, "everything disorganized and messy"... which we all know DW hates :) Right now, I will abstain to see how the other editors vote (though, I think BadCat will say Yes, for some unseen reason)
-Darkwynters (talk) 17:34, August 2, 2013 (UTC)

I admit you faced him (Stone Golem) successfully (were you armed with a magically enchanted +3 weapon or better? :)) As you can see in [[1]] Bot changed only the dashes. It's as they say: Bots (robots) are what you make them be. I'm running the bot in semi-automatic mode, meaning I was there when it checked the pages I put it check. When it revealed the particular change I undid the "u" change (Considering that, faerûn mispelling will be eradicated (bouhaha!) from everywhere except links to files and files themselves, soon) but not the dash change. That is that caused the mess. But I changed an option and I now know that .gifs have this problem.

By the way, our Golem is now flagged and ready, but first I will look again at all <100 changes it did to make sure that those changes were ALL positive, then make perfect my typo code I build for many FR names-places. So from the middle of next week feel free to misspel any word you want (Ok, not the FR specific yet, but soon these too...)

— Jandor (talk) 18:53, August 2, 2013 (UTC)

Wikia went and flagged me a bot! What did you tell them?! Is StoneGolemBot properly flagged now?

I'd be wary of letting it make its own changes, like with "Apply general fixes" or "Enable RegexTypoFix". When I was using it, it started applying <references/> to the bottom of the page, not noticing that we used {{refs}} for that. With the fantasy language we have a lot of here, it's easily possible for a character to have a name that is listed as a common mispelling, so letting it make its own spelling changes could be disastrous. It's good if you do this in semi-automatic mode, but then you might as well do it under your own account and rack up your edit score. :)

I think the RuneScape Wiki rules on bots are a bit excessive, at least for the purposes of our wiki. RuneScape Wiki is a much higher rated and more populous wiki with twice the number of pages. We're really not organized enough as a community to mess around with formal proposals and approvals. Plus, there's currently only two of us with bots, neither of us experienced.

So I'm voting "meh" on the need for a guide.

— BadCatMan (talk) 08:28, August 3, 2013 (UTC)

I don't want to stack up edits that don't change something, but only deleting a spacebar, changing a u or fixing an error, when they can really flood the "recent changes" (It is different when that happens by Moviesign: His changes are also adding new pages and other staff). In fact, it's a rule that every bot account must have an operator account.

I have learnt many about Reg(ular)Ex(pressions) in the past 5 days and I intend to learn ever more. No-one was born experienced.

From next time, it won't fix anything not previewed first. Our FR names are kind of unique, so there are no ready RegexTypoFixes for them, but up to now only 15 rules that I created. That's why, for both transparency (this will help Darkwynters fight his "fears" as he will know how it works...) and helping others (you BadCatMan :), or others cause sometime this wiki will grow. It already does quickly...) I should make a page or something, maybe not right now...

And for your tagging as a bot fellow Admin, see below my amazing conversation with the wikia admin:

1. Jandor from StoneGolemBot e-mail, Jul 31 09:44 pm (UTC): Hello there. I would like to ask you to flag this account (StoneGolemBot) as a bot, so that its changes could be hidden as noted also by an admin. Thanks in advance.

2. semanticdrifter, Aug 01 07:57 pm (UTC): Hello, Thanks for contacting Wikia. We usually like to see Admin and/or community approval before we issue a bot flag. Can you have an Admin OK and then send me a link to that conversation? Thanks,

3. Jandor, Aug 02 08:07 am (UTC): Thank you for the reply sir, You are right indeed in asking for approval and/or Administrators asking for Bot flag, as I saw in Wikia Community Central, but quite late and after i requested the flagging. (Some other wikias, like RuneScape, or others but I can't find the spesific link, pose specific requirements before someone could request a bot-flag, requirements like 500 changes, but I didn't want to flood our wikia's "recent changes" with no easy as "Hide Bot Changes" option.) The conversation with me (note that I'm Jandor, my regular-normal account and operator of the bot) and BadCatMan (Admin and operator with the other bot of our wikia-forgottenrealms), where we talk about bots, their functions and other spesific things, can be seen here: Note that there is no need to hurry for the reply-flag (as in the meantime I try to perfect a set of RegEx typos), but please take your time checking the above link or as well as my main-normal account for anything else you might want to check Jandor. Thanks for your consideration in the whole matter.

4. semanticdrifter, Aug 02 03:37 pm (UTC): Hello, Thanks for contacting Wikia. I have flagged the bot as you requested. Please make sure that it does not achieve sentience and attempt to destroy humanity. Happy Editing,

5. Jandor, Aug 03 10:08 am (UTC): Hello again and sorry for the inconvenience, but I would say that an error occurred. As seen here ( you flagged an Admin (the Admin named BadCatMan, referenced in the later reply of mine that indicated the bot flag) as a bot, but not the account that needs to be flagged. The Admin undid the change of his profile-account. In Short:Please, for the reasons stated on the previous conversation, as requested, flag as bot only the account StoneGolemBot ((StoneGolemBot)) for ForgottenRealms Wikia. Thanks again and our apologies for the inconvenience. --Jandor, would-be-operator of requested Bot (StoneGolemBot).

6. semanticdrifter, Aug 03 07:18 pm (UTC): Whoops. Sorry about that. Human error from having too many tabs open! I have flagged Hope this helps,

Sorry for referrencing you BadCatMan at first place...

— Jandor (talk) 19:03, August 4, 2013 (UTC)

I still need to find the time and inclination to study these regular expressions.

Well, that explains that. All sorted now then, good.

— BadCatMan (talk) 02:23, August 5, 2013 (UTC)

So it seems that History indeed repeats itself. The first bot created in this wiki seems to be Sanns wasn't categorised and was abandoned as soon as it was created... Funny, huh?

By the way, anyone can look my RegEx typo rules for FR names at User:Jandor/Lab#3rd_Workbench. Do you think of any other easily misspelled names? Write them on my talk page, whenever you think of one or encounter one.

— Jandor (talk) 22:15, August 6, 2013 (UTC)

If you really want to get ambitious, then you could do the List of dragons, but I think your brain might start leaking out of your ears by the time you reach the G's. Note that Tchazar is a gemstone and Tchazzar is a dragon. Don't say I didn't warn you! >) :D

Moviesign (talk) 01:10, August 7, 2013 (UTC)

...hehe. You are right about List of dragons... It's a brain-melting page for many reasons... I might try integrating at least some of the names in my typos, whether it's a gem or a dragon (In the end I might want to keep out of the code names that can be ambiguous and tend to alert the program falsely, when it shouldn't...). If you or anyone else want help with a RegEx, contact me any time...
— Jandor (talk) 06:55, August 7, 2013 (UTC)
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.