Sun 22 Jan 2017 4:53PM

wiki bots

RO Rudolf Olah Public Seen by 416

There are some pages that have broken links or that need better formatting. I know there are lots of Wikipedians who use wiki bots to do routine cleanup and tagging of pages.

Has this been considered to automate some of the maintenance of the wiki? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Bots#Examples


Simon Grant Sun 22 Jan 2017 8:30PM

As Michel says on http://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/Help:Editing_wiki_pages this isn't done exactly the same as WIkipedia, so if we are to implement any bots they would need to be carefully explained and agreed as valuable, by everyone, but particularly by Michel. I understand that there have been instances of many things being messed up in the past by automated supposed "corrections". So please tread carefully here. You're welcome to suggest the most obviously helpful ones first.


Michel Bauwens Mon 23 Jan 2017 6:14AM

yes, we do not follow the Wikipedia rules and previous attempt to automate the wiki have been disastrous,

so rather than a general implementation, I think we should proceed with caution, and look at improvements one by one,

however, a tool that flags outdated URL's for example, could be of interest,

so thanks to Simon for explaining this so well and thanks Rudolph for suggesting improvements, and for the ones already done on the wiki

but keep in mind that we keep older material even if the URL has disappeared, for archival and historical reasons, and often the Web Archive has a copy of the older material to back it up,



Maïa Dereva Mon 23 Jan 2017 9:20AM

As an example for the Web Archive, in the French Bibliography, I put the old links in a specific section called "archives" and found the links in the "wayback machine": https://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/Bibliographie_Francophone#Archives


Simon Grant Mon 23 Jan 2017 9:43AM

Yes, finding links on web.archive.org, and putting them in place, is really helpful. For this purpose, I also find it very useful if the person making the original entry puts at least a year next to it, so that someone looking for an archived link knows when to search for it, without having to comb through the page history. And also, it helps the reader know when that resource is dated.

There are two significant dates, of course, for any web resource. First is the date of authorship, second the date of retrieval, access, viewing, etc. of the URL, and I'm not sure how best to distinguish the two. If a wikipedia-like citation template is used, it can be clear, but these are more difficult to use and easy to get wrong. Anglophone academic usage is varied. Some journals use "accessed", some use "retrieved". Informal usage includes "visited" or "viewed". What is francophone practice here? I was wondering if a very simple convention like (v. 2017) might work in English and Romance languages, but not really in Germanic ones.

Is this worth thinking more about?


Maïa Dereva Mon 23 Jan 2017 10:00AM

Francophone practice is to trust the "view history" tab ;)
I mean there is no formal practice at all for the moment...


Rudolf Olah Mon 23 Jan 2017 12:40PM

That makes sense to me, thanks for linking to the page on editing the wiki very helpful. Checking for broken links and fixing them with internet archive links would be great. I'll see if there's a bot for that or a command-line tool that can flag it for me so I can fix some links manually.


Simon Grant Fri 27 Jan 2017 10:28AM

Here's an actual question from me. Is there a bot that will find all instances of, say a full name as in an existing page title, and make sure it is shown as a [[link]] ? I was looking for this with John Thackara in mind yesterday. I've set up a bio page, but was hoping to link all the instances of his name in other pages, of which there are many.


Michel Bauwens Fri 27 Jan 2017 10:43AM

hi Simon,

for books and articles, we always add the year of publication, but not for other source materiai; the reason is of course, time, the advantage of opportunistic updating methods is that I can easily add 10 to 30 items per day in the wiki, and one of our unique features is the breadth and depth of specialized material; it is true that this comes at the price of academic correctness.

The thing is of course, if we want to be correct, the time it takes to find out, probably would double the time of entry, if not more. Already adding the author, which I do, takes up a lot of extra time.

I see another disadvantage: we live in presentist times, and people routinely dismiss info that is more than say 3 years old, and yet, in our case, the pioneers that we follow are routinely 3 to 10 years in advance of the 2nd wave of pioneers; adding a date might actually being counterproductive, in that it reduces the attention and seriousness with which the material is taken.

Now, of course, I have no problems if anybody else improves the articles by adding these time stamping procedures; nor, of changing our practice if there is a consensus that it must be done,

so I welcome the discussion and your attempts to improve our working practices

another key context is: we have mostly unpaid volunteer staff, is it fair to demand full professional practice from them ?


Simon Grant Fri 27 Jan 2017 11:21AM

I completely agree with you, Michel that it is not fair to demand full professional practice from volunteers. Apologies if I have suggested otherwise. What I am suggesting is to note what is helpful, and contributors and editors can do what they find time to do. Personally, I would much rather see people contribute something valuable imperfectly, and leave tidying up to someone else, than not contribute. There is no need, either, to "tell people off". We -- other editors -- can Just add the useful extras if we have time.

On your other reply, I completely agree that we do not want extra red links. I was thinking, simply, of asking a bot, when I have put in a Bio page, to go and find the uses of that name, and link them to the new page. It must be possible; I just don't know if it has been done.

Your other suggestions are great -- sorry I don't know the answers, but I will keep my eyes open in case I come across anything useful.


Michel Bauwens Fri 27 Jan 2017 10:47AM

I'm not aware of such a tool myself

these kind of add-ons which save precious work, would indeed be useful; on the other side, they may also create numerous dead links for all the people we don't have a bio from.

May I suggest something myself.

Is there any way to interlink carefully selected wiki's in a family, so that in a search, the main wiki would still come first, but then the material of the other sister wiki's could be shown,

BUT THIS IS what I think is the MOST IMPORTANT update and improvement (emphasis mine )

=> combined category searching

since we have topic , format and country tags, people should be helped in asking their questions,

for example, Permaculture Books

or Videos about Peer Production in Asian countries ...

right now, the multi-category search seems rather messy and unworkable


Michel Bauwens Fri 27 Jan 2017 12:48PM

I didn't take your suggestions in any negative way , Simon, I take them in the positive spirit that they are meant; we are just sharing our mutual perspectives from where we stand , and that is unavoidably not always the same place. Full agree that if dating an be added, that is a good thing.

Very good idea for the bio pages as well, is that solvable through semantic wiki ...

just to make my own position clear, I very much look forward to improvements, including automatic routines, as long as they are introduced one by one and with care, to see always what can go wrong as well,

would be great for example to have a 'improvement of the month; that way we can have 12 improvements per year .... and we would have time to digest and integrate them,



Danyl Strype Mon 13 Feb 2017 11:23PM

I agree that we don't want to give bots edit powers, but if they can be used to flag things that might need fixing (eg dead links), that does seems useful. Particularly if there are volunteers who want to put in some regular hours to help improve the wiki, but don't know where to start.


Simon Grant Tue 14 Feb 2017 6:46AM

Agreed. And I suspect that the way we will build up the set of volunteers is to be respectful, yes, but also genuinely welcoming, friendly, and good at appreciating each other's work.


Michel Bauwens Wed 15 Feb 2017 8:27AM

yes, I agree with that approach, by the way, Simon Grant has recently become a super-contributor, shaming me in producing much more than the 10-30 I add daily ...

He can certainly help others in knowing how to contribute to our wiki, and has a feeling of what needs to be done,