Guild Wars Wiki talk:Requests for adminship/Wikichu

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  • "If there's a specific need for a repetitive and approved task that involves deletions, then we create a process in which sysop rights can be applied for on a need basis, not a permanent basis."

From how I understand this, you don't trust me to use this bot only for approved tasks and you believe that I would misuse the sysop rights with Wikichu? That makes me sad. poke | talk 08:36, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

If the bot sysop rights are only going to be temporary, then poke needs to have permanent bcrat rights, so it can be implemented whenever necessary. Lord Belar 21:31, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Xeeron: "but I don't feel that RC spam by a non-bot account every now and then is a big problem either, so I am indifferent on the bot running on pokes account or the wikichu account."
There is a big difference in having a bot run to delete the pages and having to get real people to delete all those pages by hand, so it is not only (but a big factor though) the reduction of RC spam (which is really annoying when you can't see other things) but it is also the work that is needed to open thousands of pages by hand, click "delete", paste the reason and delete the page.
If you mean that I could run Wikichu on my account, then that is obviously true, but first I wouldn't feel well, running a bot on my own account and also that would make things, as I explained at the bottom of the page, impossible; when I change and move pages with Wikichu, and want to delete the page immediately after that, I cannot change the account I use with the bot. So I would have to run everything on my account and that really destroys RecentChanges.. poke | talk 22:50, 8 January 2009 (UTC)


Deleting move remnants doesn't require a whole lot of discretion. It just involves deleting the remnant of the page you just moved (so what you're deleting doesn't even have a history). If there is something else that will need mass bot-deletion in future, it'd be decided through requests and discussion, not on Poke's whim. Unless Poke codes it wrong, Wikichu can't "malfunction", and I don't think Poke's actually coded any of his bot-work wrong before. Also, the very purpose of a bot is for convenience - to make repetitive edits to a lot of pages without bothering other people (i.e. edits being hidden), and so other people don't have to do it themselves. Giving Wikichu deletion (I doubt we'd ever need it for anything else) is just an extension of that, and I don't think it's a bad one. --User Pling sig.png Brains12 \ talk 14:54, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

I see poke has began using his l33t wiki h4x0rz to replace other sysops by bots. GG, poke, gg. Erasculio 15:17, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
(edit conflict) And you should know, that I never run Wikichu without testing before what exactly changes when and why. Also what Calor said, that Wikichu lacks discretion is not really true; of course itself can't and won't decide on anything (as it doesn't work alone), but especially because of this my discretion applies when I use Wikichu because I program it and I say what it does and I start it and watch over all changes.
Also saying that Wikichu hides all changes and that there is a higher risk of making something wrong without it being noticed is true - of course - but doesn't only apply to deletions; and as far as I remember you never had any problem with mass edits made by Wikichu and as there is no technical difference between edits and deletions on a wiki, as both could be undone without any problems, I can't count this as an argument.
As for temporary sysop rights; while it sounds good to only habe sysop rights when needed it doesn't change anything. When sysop rights are active, there is absolutely no difference to permanent rights. All good and bad points of a bot with sysop rights apply. When the sysop rights are not active, there is no difference either, as a bot with sysop rights that makes no use of that rights is not more than a normal bot. And you all should know that I won't abuse the sysop rights when they are not needed. So the only thing that changes with temporary rights is that we always would have to wait fo a bcrat to be online to give the rights - not really a valid point.
To Erasculio: No, I don't plan to replace anything, I just want to avoid things like this. poke | talk 15:31, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Relax, my insinuation that you had replaced Brains with a bot was just a joke. I saw the recent changes being overwhelmed by deletions yesterday (and the days before), and I agree with it. Although it would be amazing to have a full sysop bots team quietly going around the wiki banning vandal bots and being chosen by bureaucrat bots through bot elections. Reminds me of the Keepers from Mass Effect. Erasculio 21:37, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Lol, sounds a bit boring for normal people, so I oppose :P poke | talk 13:22, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Of course I trust you poke. It's just that I'm finding it uncomfortable and strange giving a bot account delete rights. I will notice your deletion sprees, but I won't notice Wikichu's deletion spree. If Wikichu made an edit mistake that you missed (you're still human enough to make scripting mistakes right? :P), at least users will notice and can help revert; whereas for deletions, only sysops can help revert. But I agree that's a weak argument at best. Still, when I previously mentioned the apply and approve thingy, I was basically thinking of one purpose: We at least get to know that you're going to use Wikichu to delete stuff. On hindsight, that's a weak argument as well given it's you handling it; but I'm still uncomfortable with the idea, but if you can convince the other admins, I'm guess I can live with it. -- User Sig.png 16:49, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
"We at least get to know that you're going to use Wikichu to delete stuff" - In the past I always have logged everything that Wikichu did on its userpage; and with my new bot framework that I'm currently working on, I plan to publish very detailed logs for each run.
But I know what you mean; as I wrote, I would never thought that I would actually ask for sysop rights for Wikichu because I don't like the idea either that there are automated bots doing the sysop work. But still, after having done a task that would be very suited - the deletion of all those redundant guild pages after Wikichu's archiving - I am certain that it will help a lot.
And as I said, I won't use Wikichu for that many sysop task, and I'll continue doing nearly everything of it alone (see for example the deletion spree of ~300 images yesterday). I only plan to use Wikichu there where it is already involved before. poke | talk 17:03, 29 December 2008 (UTC)


...Isn't about time this ended? Erasculio 21:54, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

The first big test of the Ecker presidency! What will he do? Next up on GWW-SPAN! Vili User talk:Vili 22:00, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
As an admin, I am not comfortable making comments on specific candidates. I would prefer to use my political capital on other things, such as trying to minimize the drama resulting from an arbitration case invoving a popular troll. As for this specific case, I will not stand in the way of the overwhelming support for granting the bot sysop status. -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 03:43, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

A quick explanation[edit]

My understanding of a bot with deletion rights is that it would be deleting things that are either tagged by users or become automatically tagged based on some criteria. Once it gets to this point, when it is a human deleting it they will go to the page, see the tag, be able to determine whether or not it has been applied correctly, then delete it or not. The bot will delete what it has been programmed to delete. This isn't an issue of trusting or not trusting Poke, as some people seem to have suggested, but rather a question of trusting the methods that select pages for deletion by the bot, which likely involves many more people than just Poke. If I am mistaken and it is impossible for Wikichu to delete a page tagged by a normal user or a page that has incorrectly become tagged by a system (such a a screenshot that is only linked to using an external link being deleted as an orphaned image), please feel free to correct my misunderstandings. To suggest that a vote against this RfA is a show of lack of trust in Poke is pretty irresponsible and essentially a form of emotional blackmail. Yes, any damage done can easily be restored, but that is assuming it has been noticed, in my mind it makes more sense to insert possible human intervention at the deletion stage. People get quite emotional (irrationally I admit) when a page they worked on gets deleted incorrectly, it just seems like drama that could be easily avoided. --The preceding unsigned comment was added by User:Misery (talk). 14:03, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

AFAIK, Wikichu doesn't really delete stuff that has been marked by users; it's only used in cases of very large deleting sprees, such as the one seen here: the deletion of a long list (more than 200, I think) of guild pages that had been moved to "historical guild" status and thus were reduntant, as an existing copy of each page was kept (and is kept) in the wiki at the "historical guild" section. That kind of non controversial deletion, which floods RC, could be done by a bot without any problem, IMO (it wasn't even common deletions, rather speedy ones). Erasculio 14:36, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm well familiar with deletion sprees, every page that gets created on PvX practically will be deleted two weeks later. If we don't keep on top of it Grace Period Expired can often get up to like 50 pages. My question would be more how are those pages marked for deletion and how would pages in future be marked for deletion? When someone moves a guild to historical do they place a tag on it marking it for speedy deletion? I know redirects in the Guild namespace don't get tagged automatically for deletion, there are some in there now. Do move remnants get automatically tagged? --The preceding unsigned comment was added by User:Misery (talk). 14:59, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
It was actually a list of almost 4000 guild pages that were moved to historical and in that case it was the guild redirects left from the moves that had to be deleted. --Wyn's Talk page Wyn/talk 15:02, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I understand that, what I don't understand is how Wikichu would identify which pages need to be deleted. --The preceding unsigned comment was added by User:Misery (talk). 15:04, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
Using the same list it used to determine which needed to be moved. It wouldn't be looking at any tags at all. And in case you are wondering, in this case, I was the one that compiled the list by hand and provided it to poke to load into Wikichu.--Wyn's Talk page Wyn/talk 15:05, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
Impressive dedication. Would only administrators compile these lists? --The preceding unsigned comment was added by User:Misery (talk). 15:28, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
Generally bot requests can be placed by any user, poke however has the final say on whether a job is done with the bot or not. And he always monitors the bot closely while it's running. This all comes down to whether we trust poke, which I do. --Wyn's Talk page Wyn/talk 15:40, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
I would appreciate not phrasing it in such a manner. In my opinion it isn't about trusting Poke, it is about the fallibility of human inputs with bots. You've already indicated Poke didn't provide the list for the last major deletion, I doubt he checked all 4000 entries. I'm not implying I don't trust you either, but it's one less check and who knows what could slip through unintentionally or maliciously. --The preceding unsigned comment was added by User:Misery (talk). 15:44, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
At the point a human came across a similar issue I'd imagine it would get glossed over as surely as a bot would. So it would be the same level of fallibility as a human doing it manually. --JonTheMon 15:51, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
Ok, to explain this; first of all, of course it would be possible to run the bot once a day or something and delete all pending deletions, but exactly that is not what I want to do and that is exactly that what I don't want to be done by any bot. As I said the bot should not replace a sysop by doing the same job, instead the sysop flag is meant to be a help there where such an automated task is appropriate.
In case of the archiving of the inactive guilds, I got the list from Wyn that contained all inactive guild pages, that should be moved to historical. So in the first step, Wikichu changed the page so it is appropriate for a historical guild, and then in the second step the page was immediately after the edit moved to the new title, leaving back a redundant redirect. Due to the log I generated when editing/moving, we were able to quickly see what pages were moved to where, so we just needed to go the the redirecting page and could delete them without really looking at it - the only thing we had to check that it was still a redirect (some of those archived pages were immediately after the archiving moved back to an active state).
And exactly that is one of the examples where sysop rights would help a lot. When the page is edited and then moved, it is really safe to say that the original page is only a redirect now, so that page can be deleted in a third step before moving on to the next page. And in that case the possibilty of failure in the 3rd step is nearly zero, because it happens in one row, so even if the page shouldn't be archived, nothing would be lost, as everything was moved before.
"You've already indicated Poke didn't provide the list for the last major deletion" – I got that list directly from the output of Wikichu's actions. Wynthyst gave me a list in the beginning of which guild pages are pending – and in the same way she trusts me, I trust her that she that isn't just a copy from Category:All guilds, also Wyn is probably the most capable person when talking about guild pages. The deletion list then I got from the results of which pages were moved; you might want to take a look at that list, it is still there.
And as we deleted the page some hours after Wikichu's action we - of course - checked the content, or rather if the page is a redirect; so yes, you can say that we checked all those pages by hand if they qualify for deletion. But in the same way an automated deletion would work; either you perform the deletion directly when it is appropriate (here directly after the move, so the page doesn't contain something), or you start with a list that contains qualified pages from a reasonable source (here: the log Wikichu generated) and check if it contains the expected content and therefor qualifies for deletion. poke | talk 17:13, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

So... (2)[edit]

Isn't it really time this one ended? What are we waiting for, exactly? Erasculio 12:51, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

The rise of the machines. Misery 12:54, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
I thought picking a bot as a sysop was actually the first step to the rise of the machines o.O Erasculio 12:58, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
I think the two bcrats are still waiting for the third to comment (Gordon) poke | talk 19:22, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Balancing out issues and solutions[edit]

Here's how I see the various items that have been raised by various supporters and opponents of this endeavour:

  • Mass deletions unnecessarily spam recent changes.
    I find this to be a valid point. Some users don't mind RC spam, others do. Unless someone has a deep desire to see every single one of these deletion entries (anyone? speak up), I see no reason why we might seek to find a reasonable solution to mitigate their impact on the RC list.
  • A fair number of deletions require little discretion, and are tedious/time-consuming for a human individual to perform.
    Somewhat a valid point, though such deletions tend to occur in bursts from specific changes where the creation of deletion-worthy items is known. Most day-to-day items marked for deletion should be at least glanced at by a human before being deleted.
  • Automated and hidden deletion brings up trust issues, not necessarily with the bot owner but with the bot code itself.
    This aspect is also valid. The entire point of deletion being restricted to sysops is that an arbitrary outside factor can't control deletion with malicious intent, but the decision of deletion has to be made by someone. So either we are burdening the owner of the bot with the responsibility for deleting only pages which should be deleted, or we're opening up a potential risk for some other non-sysop individual to control page deletion.

So here's what I'd suggest as a possible solution that addresses the various concerns raised.

There are 3 elements to deletion as it currently stands: identification of pages to be deleted, verification as to whether those pages are truly valid for deletion, and the actual act of deleting them. Currently, the first element is performed via the {{delete}} template, and the second/third are performed manually by sysops. In cases where we wish to mass-delete, I would propose the following:

  1. poke (or others) create a list of pages to be deleted. This could be compiled by bot, or by individuals adding items to the list.
  2. The list is made available to all users for a set period of time (3 days? A week?), but locked from editing. Any user can point out a potential mistake on the talk page. To save time, any page that is pointed out as questionable will be removed from the list and from consideration for automatic deletion; if it turns out it should be deleted, it should go through the normal deletion process instead.
  3. After the set period, a bureaucrat grants the bot temporary sysop privledges (and notes on the page when it was granted) and the bot job is run.
  4. After the bot job is run, the bureaucrat removes the privledges, and a link is placed on the page to the bot's edit log (with bot edits shown).

This allows the automation power of a bot to eliminate the repetitive parts of the task at hand, while still allowing human intervention, and keeping potential abuses to a minimum. I do not see bot deletion being something that is required as a constant and ongoing process, but rather as something that can be invoked for batch lots now and then, and put "back into the closet" when unneeded.

Thoughts? Go to Aiiane's Talk page (Aiiane - talk - contribs) 01:01, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

It's a nice solution, but my main issue (which i think may have been mentioned somewhere) would be that giving temporary Sysop, would require a Bureaucrat to be around, when the deletions are needed, which obviously may not be possiable. While it's arguable that the deletions could wait a day or two for a BCrat to come one, to me it would make more sense to jsut give the bot permanent Sysop privileges, and if there is any misuse of such privileges, the sysops privileges would be revoked. That point aside though, I do like points 1 and 2. The point of locking the page worries me slightly...(that's probably just me though). ~PheNaxKian User PheNaxKian sig.jpg Talk 15:09, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
Firstly Phen, these are highly planned deletions we are talking about so "delaying a day" because a Bcrat isn't around is hardly going to be a problem, secondly if we don't protect the deletion list, then it's basically giving deletion powers to the whole community and consensus. Do you want to check every revision on that page? Misery 15:12, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
I like Aiiane's idea. Personally, I don't have a problem with Wikichu having a sysop flag all the time - but I can see why people would disagree. Regardless, this idea of a publicly-viewable deletion list for community scrutiny sounds good - as I only expect Wikichu to be used for planned mass-deletions deletions which would require some time to prepare. -- User indochine dsk tree.png Indochine talk 17:57, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
I seriously don't understand where the problem with permanent sysop rights is. It is not as if the bot would start something without me being around or explicitly starting any job. So as long as nothing is run, there is no possibility that possible programming errors could do something with the sysop rights that shouldn't be done - because simply the bot process isn't running.
When the bot then is running, of course there is a chance that some errors lead to unwanted actions, such as deletions of pages that shouldn't be deleted. However as I said before, I always check what Wikichu does while the bot is running; apart from that I claim to say that I won't ever make the mistake and put deletion or other sysop-related commands into the script when those commands are really not wanted in that task. And apart from that it is very easily noticeable to see that there is something wrong when the bot should edit pages and suddenly there is a deletion log entry in between - in which case I'll stop it immediately.
Your steps you proposed above are ok, Aiiane, at least for planned mass deletions, but I don't think we will have that many mass deletions in the near future (maybe the suggestion pages?). For the inactive guild archiving I would like to do it as I explained above: editing the page so it is appropriate for the historical status, move to the historical name and delete the old page - in a continous step. Making a list first and waiting for input and then later for bcrat action that gives sysop rights just leads to the problem that the content of the pages needs to be checked again for the deletion; whereas we can be sure that the page is only a redirect directly after the move and can be deleted without any risks. But again, this would require sysop rights before the whole task is started. And as I plan to have the guild archiving as a repeating task (as there always be inactive guilds), it would be a lot easier to have permanent rights - in which I don't see more risks than temporary rights. poke | talk 20:16, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
The main reason I would be more comfortable with batches is that it provides set periods of time that are known to be checked over in case of errors; a constantly ongoing task on the other hand is much less likely to be doublechecked for errors, simply because it will "blend into the background" too much, so to speak. If there's a set period of time in which people know the bot is running, they can know to check after that, and only need to check a specific set of logs.
As for wanting to do marking/deletion/etc atomically, poke, you could still do that - just make the list of what pages are going to be atomically modified, put that up for review, with a note of what will be done to each page, and then after the review period run the batch. Basically, just set up the review before any batch that would need sysop permissions - the batch doesn't have to be limited to just the sysop-needed subelements. Go to Aiiane's Talk page (Aiiane - talk - contribs) 00:09, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Sorry maybe you have misunderstood what I meant with the inactive guild archiving as a repeated task. Of course it won't "blend into the background" - it still stays the same; I'll get a list of what pages should be done (most probably from Wyn who gets it from the list of inactive guilds which is public for everyone and has a simple condition for its status anyway), and execute the run for those pages. It's very unlikely that there are any problems, and it is much more likely that possible errors will be eliminated with further runs. And again, I don't see that a reason for not giving permanent sysop rights. poke | talk 09:55, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
I really like what you put out Aiiane, but seems like it's just gonna create trouble for him when he just wants Wikichu to help with the tediousness they're willing to put with. I'm tempted to resolve this RfA favorably, especially with so many sysops in support, so I'll put aside my discomfort about a bot having deletion power if poke can give an assurance to only use Wikichu deletes only for the Guild: namespace. Anywhere else, and it should be as outlined by Aiiane above. Bear in mind though, that reconfirmation for Wikichu, if any, is swift and harsh ;) -- User Sig.png 14:22, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
Thank you Aberrant; As for now I don't want to use Wikichu's sysop powers for others than historical guild archiving but we'll see what we will have in future. As always I'm open for ideas and others are free to leave comments for all tasks I will do in the future. poke | talk 14:28, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure poke will keep a good watch on Wikichu. Anyway, the "bot stop" on the talk page of Wikichu will still work, so anyone watching the hidden bot changes (as scheduled) can place a stop or rollback of some kind easily. As I said before, I am in support of both poke and his bot. Really, Wikichu is an extension of poke, and I trust him and his programing prowess. --TalkAntioch 22:31, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
It seems that overall consensus is leaning towards granting a permanent flag. I suppose I'm not dead set against it, but I would sort of like to see greater-than-usual logging of activity if it's going to involve deletion - if nothing else, a log kept of specific runs, as opposed to just the single contribution log. Go to Aiiane's Talk page (Aiiane - talk - contribs) 04:57, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
The new framework I'm working on is already designed to have a much higher logging level; I plan to publish all actions of each task - which will be accessible for everybody with the page history. poke | talk 19:12, 2 February 2009 (UTC)


Given that I have seen enough to satisfy most of the concerns raised, and there is also a fairly substantial basis of support for this, I have marked the request as accepted and implemented it accordingly. Go to Aiiane's Talk page (Aiiane - talk - contribs) 09:50, 5 February 2009 (UTC)