User:LifeBot

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Bot This user account is a bot operated by Ayacop (talk).

It is not a sock puppet, but rather an automated or semi-automated account for making repetitive edits that would be extremely tedious to do manually.
Administrators: if this bot is malfunctioning or causing harm, please block it.


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This is a bot for maintenance of the plants category. This bot is owned by User:Ayacop. The bot is supposed to help with the following maintenance tasks:

Problem[edit]

The Tree of Life Project extensively uses articles to orderly collect images in galleries belonging to one species. The reasons for using articles have been beaten to death. (Summary: Categories present images unordered, categories cannot be searched, moved easily, moved with version history, nor is there a simple way to redirect them. Also, they aren't cached, so they are slow.) The only difficult problems with articles is that it was policy within the Tree of Life Project to remove images from family categories after they had been put into articles, confusing users. A satisfying solution was found to change policy to instead move images into an 'indexed' category after having identified and put them in a species article. For this, the LifeBot can help a long way.

The referred discussions can be found at the following places:

The proposed policy with discussion at the Tree of Life project can be found here:

Maintenance Algorithm[edit]

For every plant family (subcategory of Category:Plantae by family which will be given manually, let FAMILIA be the name):

  1. Create the subcategory named 'FAMILIA (Indexed)' if it doesn't exist. This cat itself has the tags 'Category:FAMILIA' and 'Category:Indexed plant families'.
  2. Collect all names of images that are included in articles under the category FAMILIA.
  3. For every of these images:
    1. Add tag 'Category:FAMILIA (Indexed)' if it isn't there.
    2. Remove all tags 'Category:FAMILIA' if there. (Alternatively, just rename)
  4. (optional) For every image now still in 'Category:FAMILIA'
    1. Remove all tags 'Category:FAMILIA (Indexed)'
  5. (optional) For every image now in 'Category:FAMILIA (Indexed)' but not in an article
    1. Rename tag 'Category:FAMILIA (Indexed)' to 'Category:FAMILIA'

The last two steps address wrong tagging by users and are probably not needed first but do not present much additional work/traffic.

What users will/won't see[edit]

  • Image uploaders usually put images in Category:FAMILIA. They no longer will be puzzled by deleted categories. Instead, they will just see the change from FAMILIA --> FAMILIA (Indexed). The version history will show the comment "Indexed plant image" or "Plant image indexed in species article (see Links)".
  • Users of Uncategorized images page will no longer see images from species articles, as it should be. They wouldn't see them anyway, however, if they have a valid licence tag, so this argument actually is a strawman.
  • Maintainers in the Tree of Life Project don't need to wait for the bot to take article images out of Category:FAMILIA, they can simply add the word '(Indexed)' themselves to the tag. However, this is no longer necessary as the bot will clean up after them, anyway. What will remain in Category:FAMILIA is images that are still to be indexed/identified in a species article.
  • A few people not associated with the Tree of Life Project started to use categories as species. From the algorithm can be seen that they will not be affected, except where there also exists an article with the image.

When will this happen?[edit]

First, the bot has to be written, and tested in one or two of the 400 families. Then all families will get a first run (which will create most of the traffic of all runs). After that, it depends how necessary this will be. Experiences from the first run will be appended here. Please use the discussion page for discussions. -- Ayacop 15:02, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Run notes[edit]

  • 2006-Sept: Using Category:Portulacaceae for first running, 37 images changed.
  • 2006-Oct-01: Changing 141 images from Category:Apocynaceae in 70 articles took 26 minutes, without problems at first look.
  • 2006-Oct-02: Changed 114 images in Category:Acanthaceae (51 pages), in two runs with a few last bugfixes. The bot is now considered stable and the code is here.