User talk:Bot flaginfo

From YPPedia

Pres Butan

Cool - bots come to YPPedia. Handy. We'd need to decide an appropriate time gap that the bot checks the flag pages for changed info. I propose 2 weeks. And, can the bot be told to do checks and updates in batches - because we wouldn't want to hammer yoweb. Unless of course, my understanding of what this script does is a way out - in which case - just ignore me :-P --Sagacious (talk) 11:59, 16 July 2006 (PDT)

To clarify what I didn't explain nearly well enough first time around - I already scrape yoweb at regular intervals and that data is then stored in a database on my own server. The bot will only access data in my database, not access yoweb directly. So it won't add a single iota of extra load on the Ringer servers. However, your point is well made and it would be sensible for me to allow it to do updates in batches if it puts too big a load on my servers :-) --Toesy 12:37, 16 July 2006 (PDT)

Technical comments

Keeping in mind that I have no experience with bots, here are some of my thoughts on the subject:

ensure that, for any flag with an existing YPPedia page, the info box was up-to-date with current flag details;

I'm sure you already know how the templates work in relation to the infobox. We are running MediaWiki 1.6.7 so default template values are in use here.

if a flag disappears, note this on an existing YPPedia page;

This is probably the easiest function to fulfil, the bot only needing to change {{Infobox flag to {{Infobox flag(defunct).

if a flag is renamed, note this on an existing YPPedia page and create a redirect from a new page if there is no :such new page already in existance; Sounds simple enough to me.

create a new page for any flags that are not currently listed in YPPedia.

What sort of content were you thinking of including on these auto-generated pages? Infobox, creation date, and public statement? Anything else?

I would have the bot only update the main article if it found an existing {{Infobox flag ...}} entry on the page. That prevents the bot from screwing up, say, the Bilging article if there's also a flag called Bilging. It would note somewhere any articles it finds that have flag names but don't have the flag infobox - maybe User_talk:Bot_flaginfo, maybe just in local log files...I'm not sure what would be best there. Then that could be resolved with a disambiguation page. I don't propose having the bot create the disambiguation stuff itself, just noting it and having a real person deal with it.

One thing you might consider is hiding the flagID number in the infobox template as a variable. Since templates function perfectly fine if you pass them a variable they don't use, you could use this as a simple method of making sure the bot is updating the right flag infobox.

A couple of situations to consider would be flags with listings on multiple oceans and same-named flags with no relation on different oceans. I suppose the second situation would fall under the disambiguation notes you mentioned above. Mainly I'm thinking of examples like Children of Chaos, Vilya, Cold Steel, and the like.--Fiddler 12:16, 16 July 2006 (PDT)

I was thinking that the bot might look at each ocean's Flag category page to grab names of flags - which it could then lookup on yoweb and update the content. --Sagacious (talk) 12:23, 16 July 2006 (PDT)
Lots of good thoughts!
The content I was thinking of for new flag pages is pretty much what you said, plus {{flagstub}}.
The multiple-ocean flags had me worried for a moment, but oceanname is a used variable in the infobox so that makes things much simpler than they might have been. But it's something I hadn't thought of and would have got wrong on the first pass.
My first thought on the flagid as a variable suggestion was very positive. But it also would allow for a subtle vandalisation that would be easy to miss. What I may do is have the bot put such a variable in there and use it as verification, but have it panic a bit and ask for human assistance if the flagid gets edited. It adds complications and that always makes me think something needs mulling over a bit to see if it's a worth-while complication. Toesy 12:54, 16 July 2006 (PDT)
Some Wikipedia bots are edit patrollers. Is it possible and worth programming it to keep checking the changes made to pages, to monitor if a 'flagid=' tag is edited or removed? If it is, then the bot could be told to revert the last edit. --Sagacious (talk) 13:03, 16 July 2006 (PDT)
Definitely possible. If we were to go that route, I think it might be good to write a generic edit patroller rather than put something very specific into the flag bot. --Toesy 13:38, 16 July 2006 (PDT)
I have one script that could be setup for edit patrolling, but I have always doubted if I would be able to use it. Since we're starting to talk bots, might be a good time to ask. Must go dig out the zip file sometime - it's somewhere on the other PC. --Sagacious (talk) 13:59, 16 July 2006 (PDT)