User talk:NepheleBot/Archive-2008

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Account Guidelines[edit]

Everything on the user page is basically a proposal at this point. Before starting to actually do anything using the NepheleBot account I want to get feedback from the community on the idea. Although bots are regularly used on wikipedia [1] [2], none have been implemented on UESP before so there hasn't been any previous discussion about what bots should or should not be allowed to do here.

Note that this account does not yet have bot status. Once it seems like the basic expectations have been figured out, I'll do a few demonstration edits. At that point if there are no objections I'll ask Daveh to turn the account into an official bot account. Also, it seems probable that the requirements will evolve once the bot has been used a few times.

Does anybody have any feedback on the ideas? In particular, are there any additional controls/limitations that are needed, such as times when the bot runs, types of tasks that can be done, what type of approval is needed before starting a task, etc? --NepheleTalk 21:22, 16 May 2007 (EDT)


There are a few updates to the guidelines that I've been meaning to implement for a while now. I've modified the user page based on my new suggestions, but as always feedback on whether or not the guidelines are acceptable is welcome.

The two changes are:

  • Ongoing Tasks. This actually a change that I've already partially implemented; I just got side-tracked before fully updating the Nephele Bot info. There are a few general types of tasks that are likely to keep coming up, but are basically just repeats of previous tasks: creating redirects, or replacing one particular link with another. In these types of cases, the NepheleBot scripts can just be reused over and over again; all that needs to be changed are the names of a few parameters. Treating each of these cases as a brand new task that requires a one week approval period seems like overkill. Instead it seems more appropriate to define and approve the general task once, and then just deal with new cases as they come up. So the bottom line is to make it faster (potentially) to get some trivial types of changes done. (Potentially because it still requires me remembering to sit down one evening and start the bot going... and I'm the bottleneck right now, not the bot!)
  • Modifying Content. Up until now I've limited NepheleBot to changes that alter the formatting of articles. Admittedly, substantial reformatting at times, but still they've only been changes the "invisible" parts of the page that readers don't directly see. However, a few cases have now come up where it would be useful to allow NepheleBot to update some of the parameters in infoboxes (#Oblivion NPC IDs and #Morrowind Trainers). While I still don't think NepheleBot should be used to make most types of changes to article content, it seems that adding/updating individual parameters is a useful ability, in particular in cases where the parameters are just raw data extracted directly from the construction set.

Hopefully over the next couple days I'll have time to make some progress on the backlog of NepheleBot requests. I'll hold off on any requests that involve changing the content until at least a week has passed, in case there are any objections or concerns. --NepheleTalk 20:59, 4 January 2008 (EST)

Ongoing Tasks[edit]

These are open-ended tasks that the bot will continually work on as new examples are identified. If you are aware of other edits that fall into one of these tasks and could be done by the bot, just add the information on this talk page.

Create Redirects[edit]

The ultimate goal is to create redirects for almost all topics/terms on which someone is likely to do a search, or for which someone is likely to create a link. For example, all individual creatures in each game will be given redirect pages that point to the page providing the most detailed information on that creature. Categories are used to organize the redirect pages (e.g., Category:Oblivion-Creatures-All).

So far, most of the redirect pages for Oblivion and Shivering Isles have been created.

If you would like the bot to set up a new set of redirects, you can help by making sure that the existing pages contain Linkable Entries for all the words that need to be turned into redirects. For example, in Oblivion:Magic Items, the name of every listed item is a linkable entry (in the page source, it is embedded in the code {{Linkable Entry|...}}). This allows the redirects to point to the correct location on the page; it is also how the bot identifies words that need to be turned into redirects.

Update Links[edit]

Find links that are out-of-date and replace them with links to more appropriate articles. Generally every time pages are reorganized there end up being a ton of links that need to to be updated; NepheleBot can quickly go through all of the pages with links to the old page and edit those links so that they now point to the new article. This can include both standard links ([[...]]) and template-style links ({{...}}).

Past examples include:


Update Morrowind Item Links[edit]

Now that all Morrowind item redirects have been created, it would be good to change all links of the form [[Morrowind:Item Page#Item|Item]] to this form [[Morrowind:Item|Item]]. Especially because there may be several links pointing to the wrong page after the reorganisation of the items. --DrPhoton 03:50, 31 January 2008 (EST)

Would you mind if RoBoT took a shot at this one? –RpehTCE 05:09, 31 January 2008 (EST)
If you're asking me, I don't mind. BTW, I didn't know you were also running a bot. From what I see it is brand new and still smelling of wet paint ;) What will its main tasks be? How would you split tasks between NepheleBot and RoBoT? --DrPhoton 08:45, 31 January 2008 (EST)
Indeed - shill shiny and new! There are two main reasons for writing it: 1) it takes some of the workload off Nephele, although I'm sure she'll make up for that by taking something else on ;) and 2) I like playing with fun code. As for splitting things up - well me asking Nephele if she doesn't mind me doing it is the way to go for the moment! NepheleBot already has a lot of code written for it so will probably be the first choice for the trickier tasks for quite a while. RoBoT did the template expansion and will hopefully do this one because they're fairly straightforward tasks that will help me learn how things work and what to look our for. I've told Nephele that, for the moment at least, I'll be asking her before doing anything bot-wise because it would be silly not to take advantage of her greater depth of knowledge on the matter. Hence the question here, although I'm obviously also happy to hear other opinions too! –RpehTCE 09:24, 31 January 2008 (EST)
I'd actually been just about to hit start on doing this last night ;) But if RoBoT would like to take on some of it, that's fine too, because there's actually a fair bit to be done. I'd also like to get this done for the Oblivion redirects, especially because I'm considering revamping everything on the Oblivion:Leveled Items page, at which point existing links will no longer be the right ones. So one possibility would be that NepheleBot focuses on the Oblivion redirects while RoBoT does the Morrowind ones, and then we can see where we're at.
Also, one detail with how NepheleBot is set up to do this type of link updating: by default, my bot will only fix links that match the existing redirect page. So for example, my bot will find links to [[Morrowind:Quest Items#Lugrub's Axe|whatever label]] and change them into [[Morrowind:Lugrub's Axe|whatever label]], but it won't look for other options such as [[Morrowind:Unique Weapons#Lugrub's Axe]]. That's because the bot gets its input list of links by scanning through the redirects in a given set of categories. Other links could be manually added to the list but, well, that requires manual work ;) Or the code could be revamped, but that's also effort on my part ;) So there are also some possibilities for task-sharing there.
But basically any part of it that RoBoT wants to jump in and do is fine. It's not as if the bots will end up undoing one another's work or otherwise interfere with each other :) --NepheleTalk 12:45, 31 January 2008 (EST)
I'll kick it off on Saturday morning on the Morrowind ones then. I'm getting my list slightly differently but the effect should be the same: basically I'm loading What Links Here for each of the Items pages then using a regular expression to find links of the format [[(pagename)#(section)|(label)]] and replacing it with [[(namespace of pagename):(section)|(label)]]. I was deliberately excluding cases where there wasn't a label because I assumed they were being deliberately left in the full format. If not, it's only a matter of adding a "?" to the RE. I'd been wondering about the Oblivion ones but this seems like a fair division of labor and as you say, it's not like we'll have any problem with an overlap. –RpehTCE 13:30, 31 January 2008 (EST)

(Outdenting for sanity) It sounds like the main difference is that I'm being more selective with the regexp and only doing a replacement if the link matches my prescribed list. A more general approach like yours will be good for finding possible out-of-date links such as [[Morrowind:Unique Weapons#Lugrub's Axe]]. But you're also likely to pick up some more problematic links in the process, so it might be good to add some extra checks to the code (if you haven't already done so!).

  • One class of problem links is existing broken links. Just to keep picking on Lugrub's Axe, let's say there were some links such as [[Morrowind:Quest Items#Lugrubs Axe]] or [[Morrowind:Quest Items#Logrub's Axe]]. My approach skips them and leaves them as blue links that don't really work; your approach will probably turn them into redlinks. Your approach is probably better in terms of actually identifying the problem and getting the links fixed.
  • Another class of problem links will be anchor links that need to be kept as is.
    • For example, in the intro text for Category:Morrowind-Weapons-Short Blades I added a link [[Morrowind:Base Weapons#Short Blades|short blade weapons]] (there are similar links on each of those category pages... and no, I really didn't do it just to trip up RoBoT ;) ). I didn't create any redirects for the general weapon classes, so there is no [[Morrowind:Short Blades]] redirect page... and arguably there shouldn't be because it will just cause confusion compared to the skill at Morrowind:Short Blade.
    • There are also links such as [[Morrowind:Quest Items#Belt of Sanguine Fleetness]] that shouldn't be replaced with Morrowind:Belt of Sanguine Fleetness, because the latter link is a link to the quest page not the item page.
  • One other caution while I'm thinking of it: be careful not to replace the links on the redirect pages themselves. I've made that mistake ;)

I'm know I'm taking a fairly conservative approach which limits the bot's usefulness, but it also means that I can ignore a few headaches. I'm not trying to discourage other alternatives; rather, I just wanted to point out some of the issues ahead of time :) --NepheleTalk 15:36, 31 January 2008 (EST)

I don't know the details of how bots work, but what I would like to see is the following links be changes to [[Morrowind:Lugrub's Axe]]:
  • [[Morrowind:Quest Items#Lugrubs Axe]] or [[Morrowind:Quest Items#Logrub's Axe]] (mispelled item)
  • [[Morrowind:Unique Weapons#Lugrub's Axe]] (wrong item page)
  • [[Morrowind:Quest Items#Lugrub's Axe]] (proper link)
The label in all cases should be maintained, and caution should be taken with the cases Nephele has described above. So it seems RoBoT's approach is more thorough, given that the proper limitations are put in place. The mispelled items will be left red in this case, but if RoBoT can identify them and log them, they can be fixed manually later. --DrPhoton 03:58, 1 February 2008 (EST)
I'd been thinking of adding a check for broken links and this has convinced me it's a good idea. If I'm about to create a link to a page that doesn't exist, I'll skip the change and make sure it's logged so that I can then go through and correct them. That will also take care of the category page problem Nephele mentions.
If I'm now doing that, then The Belt of Sanguine Fleetness and similar items aren't too much of a problem either - I can check for the "Redirects to Broader Subjects" category and if it's not present, log it and don't create the link.
As for replacing the links on the redirect pages - I'm already there :) There are three extra checks: 1) It won't edit a redirect page, 2) It won't create a link that points to itself and 3) It won't create a new link to the item page. The first two should stop RoBoT messing up too badly!
This is another good reason for having more than one bot - the authors can bounce ideas off each other and swap stories of problems! –RpehTCE 05:19, 1 February 2008 (EST)
Mini-update - I'll just check that the new link is to a redirect rather than checking for the presence of the category. Not that it should make much difference. –RpehTCE 05:35, 1 February 2008 (EST)
Another mini-update - you can see the sort of log file the bot will be generating here. From that it's pretty easy to see what will still need to be corrected. –RpehTCE 08:17, 1 February 2008 (EST)
One suggestion with that log page - Can you remove whatever it is causing the links to not be links? It would be much more useful if you could from that page click on any of the questionable pages linked there, rather than having to copy/paste them into the address bar manually. --TheRealLurlock Talk 09:28, 1 February 2008 (EST)
At the moment it's just an example so people can see what's going on - RoBoT hasn't actually done anything yet so all the links will show up exactly as they were. When I've run it, I'll look at posting the logs in a friendly fashion. –RpehTCE 09:54, 1 February 2008 (EST)
Okay the final, edited log is available here. I've fixed a lot of the broken links so what's left is the pages where the bot hit some other problem. There seem to be a lot of missing items - the Spear of Light, Imperial Skirt and several other perfectly legitimate items just aren't on the site (or if they are, I can't find 'em). On the other hand a lot of those links are clearly fine as they are, for example a link to [[Morrowind:Scrolls#Charm|Scrolls]] on the Charm page. Looks like there's some work to do though. –RpehTCE 14:25, 2 February 2008 (EST)

Proposed Tasks[edit]

These are the currently proposed tasks for the bot to do. All tasks will be listed here for at least a week before being done; during that time, the community can provide feedback (including vetoes) on the individual tasks. Also, if anybody has suggestions for tasks that the bot could do, feel free to add them here.

Since it's clear that I'm not managing to keep too well with the NepheleBot requests ;) I've drifted into prioritizing requests. I've tried to put the highest priority onto tasks that readers will notice, then medium priority onto tasks that editors will notice. Tasks that are more cleanup-related (deleting obsolete parameters, for example) I've been letting slide. Please feel free to still add those types of tasks; if I get a chance I'd like to tackle those, too. And adding it to the list here is the best way to ensure that it doesn't get forgotten. But please don't be surprised if it takes a while before I get to the suggestion!


A bunch of pages for NPCs or locations in the Morrowind namespace may be stubs without a proper stub tag on them. Most notably, they may be missing the NPC Summary or Place Summary that adds them to all the relevant categories. Tracking these down by hand is a hit-or-miss proposition. It'd be nice if the bot could somehow go through all pages in the namespace and flag all minimal pages, or collect a list to post somewhere, so that a human can go and see what improvements may be needed. Things to look for would be pages that are abnormally short, pages without any categories, pages with no breadcrumb trail, etc. Obviously, filtering out things like redirects and /description subpages which are supposed to be short, of course. You might want to run this in the other namespaces as well, because I'm sure there are some other overly-short but poorly-labeled pages in other places. --TheRealLurlock Talk 01:46, 14 December 2007 (EST)

Unnecessary Table Formatting[edit]

A huge number of UESP articles have unnecessary table formatting that is overriding the site's default table appearances for no apparent reason. Some of these cases will need to to be fixed manually (to check what the actual intent of the formatting was), but there are several distinctive sequences that were clearly just copied and pasted from one page to another to another to another. In particular I've noticed two very common strings: border = 1 table = left cellpadding = 3 cellspacing = 0 style = "text-align:left" and style="border: 1px; cellpadding: 3px; cellspacing: 0px" (which includes a couple of non-existent CSS tags). NepheleBot would do a search on any tables that contain these formatting strings and delete them. --NepheleTalk 22:45, 22 January 2008 (EST)

I've done a search for those two specific strings and cleaned them up. And the bot was very conservative with its matches. For example, it skipped this edit because the line started with an extra colon -- ":{|" instead of "{|" ;) I'm going to keep this task in place for now just in case I notice any other widely used, unnecessary, and safe-to-clean-by-bot strings. --NepheleTalk 13:01, 31 January 2008 (EST)

Morrowind Merchant Page Linking[edit]

Now that we have redirects for all the MW items, we should theoretically be able to make every entry on the Morrowind merchant wares lists into links. Sounds like a perfect job for a bot. (Or are we actually finished with the item redirects? If not, well, the red-links will quickly tell us which still need to be done, I guess...) --TheRealLurlock Talk 23:55, 9 February 2008 (EST)

Split Morrowind:Generic Magic Apparel[edit]

I want to split up this page into Morrowind:Generic Magic Armor and Morrowind:Generic Magic Clothing. The split itself will be easy, but there's a lot of redirects that will have to be updated. (Just did the same to Morrowind:Special Magic Apparel, but there weren't nearly as many items on that page, so I didn't mind doing it by hand.) --TheRealLurlock Talk 20:34, 26 February 2008 (EST)

This is a very good idea! This page is huge, and by splitting it browsing will be much faster. But then all links pointing to this page need to be changed (mainly item redirects), which is a great task for NepheleBot or RoBoT. --DrPhoton 03:22, 6 March 2008 (EST)

Spell Redirects[edit]

Well, we have redirects for just about everything but Spells (both Oblivion and Morrowind). Might as well make those as well - the pages are already set up with Linkable Entries, so it should be a piece of cake to use your old bot-code to make this work. Only thing to note is that Morrowind spells are divided into 6 pages by school, whereas Oblivion has them all on 1 page (there just aren't as many of them), so it'll have to be altered to take that into account. Not sure about the expansions (I don't think there are that many spells added by expansions, but there's definitely a few), but we can hold off on those for now, I guess. --TheRealLurlock Talk 17:56, 20 April 2008 (EDT)

Bot Request-Automatic Reverts[edit]

Is it possible to configure NepheleBot to monitor the Recent Changes page and automatically revert any unexplained blankings/additions of profanitys etc(In a similar way to ClueBot)? I would give it a go myself but I do not have the facilitys nor the technical knowledge to pull off such a feat. --Volanaro 13:09, 29 May 2008 (EDT)

It probably could be done, although NepheleBot and ClueBot are written in different lingos (NepheleBot - Perl, ClueBot - PHP). I'd edge towards no, because in wikipedia they get so many vandalisms that it's usually safe to assume that an edit that's all caps, or no caps, or one that contains rude words is probably a vandal's work. (Just to pick out some of ClueBots commands there). On UESP however, no caps is normally someone quicktyping, and all it needs is another editor to polish it off. Similarly all caps can be caused by the caps lock key being left on, or for emphasis. Although it's bad style, it's not always vandalism. Rude words: Often vandalism, but often just someone venting their anger, or, once again, emphasis. All in all I just don't think that UESP has enough vandals to need an anti-vandalism bot. The admins and patrollers do the job well enough. For example; see my talk page. Only around 100 edits every month go unpatrolled and even those get weeded out eventually. - Game LordTalk|Contribs 16:45, 29 May 2008 (EDT)
Obviously, given how much wikipedia relies on such bots, it is possible to create bots that can monitor recent changes and cleanup edits. However, NepheleBot is not designed to do such a task, nor was it ever my intention to tackle any such task with NepheleBot. The guidelines I set up state that "This account is not a bot that will be running continously on the server" and that the bot's tasks are limited to ones that "Modify the wiki markup, but not the written content of the article." I put those guidelines in place because those are the limits of what I believe a bot should be used for on UESP. I definitely do not want to be responsible for a bot that is running on UESP 24 hours/day. I'd be compelled to spend far more time monitoring the bot to make sure it isn't running amok than it would ever possibly take to undo the handful of vandalistic edits that happen on the site. Not to mention the time that it would take to set up the bot in the first place. There is nothing easy about what you're suggesting, and I agree with GameLord that there really isn't any need for it either. --NepheleTalk 18:46, 3 June 2008 (EDT)


I like the idea, and most of the implementation, except for the not showing the edits on recent changes. I'm a bit wary of allowing a bot to edit hundreds of pages without any oversight at all that comes from recent changes. Is there a way that we can make one of its edits appear on recent changes? Or perhaps you (since I assume you're going to be running the bot) could make an example edit before turning the thing loose? I just have a small nightmare about there being a small problem with how the bot is changing things, and nobody picking it up until a month later, since nobody saw the edits. --Ratwar 01:26, 17 May 2007 (EDT)

I suggest a procedure: make a dummy edit to this page by the Nephele account with a summary of "Starting Bot: (Task summary)" immediately before starting the bot. That way if someone's looking at the Recent Changes page, and they see that edit listed, they'll know the bot was run and can click Show Bots to view the changes made by the bot. That way it's still on the Recent Changes page with bot edits hidden, but condensed down to one line. --Deathbane27 02:53, 17 May 2007 (EDT)
Thanks for saying what I was going to say, Deathbane :) As I mentioned at the end of User:NepheleBot#Bot Tasks I'd been planning to edit User:NepheleBot before starting any task (using an edit summary like Deathbane's suggestion) to let everyone know that the bot is running.
My instinct is that I'd prefer to encourage people to monitor the bot by looking at a list of all the bot's edits, rather than by highlighting just one edit. Hopefully different people will randomly look at a number of different edits, which would be more useful than having a dozen people examine a single edit over and over again. I'll definitely be checking the first few edits every time I start up the bot, so if there is some random unexpectedness, it's going to pop up somewhere other than the first edit.
Also, once the bot starts operating I'd like to find a way to make it easier to scan through the bot's history. Something like a list of tasks the bot has done with links that pull up the appropriate part of the user contributions listing. That should hopefully provide people with another way to occasionally check in on what the bot has been doing.
Given the volume of edits that the bot will be doing, my guess is that it will be much more convenient overall to have the bot edits not show up in recent changes. In cases in the past when one of us has manually gone through and done some trivial edit to 100+ pages, I've always found it more annoying than helpful to have all those edits flood the recent changes page. In particular it's been much harder to pick out any other edits that are done in the middle of the flood. Overall, it seems like the bot status provides a pretty reasonable solution: by default the bot edits don't show up, but anybody who wants to see them can just click one button and they'll all be shown.
Does that provide any reassurance, Ratwar... perhaps at least enough to be willing to give it a try? If you continue to have concerns after the bot has tackled a couple tasks, we could definitely discuss more options; the bot status could always be revoked if necessary. --NepheleTalk 14:06, 17 May 2007 (EDT)
Well, as long as you know what you're doing, I won't worry.--Ratwar 00:32, 20 May 2007 (EDT)
It seems to be doing a great job so far, but is now showing up in Active Users. Intentional? As a possibility for further functionality: what about spelling? Not everything, but substituting the more obvious Americanisms for Englishisms (hmm. Americanisms is in FireFox's dictionary but Englishisms isn't) such as armour, travelling, levelling plus stylistic choices such as Mages Guild/Fighters Guild/Thieves Guild as opposed to Mages' Guild etc? In other words, extra work for you to clean up mistakes I might be making. Sound fair? ;-) Rpeh 16:28, 13 June 2007 (EDT)
NepheleBot showing up in active users isn't intentional, but I'm not sure whether it's worth bugging to Daveh to modify the code just for that.
As for spelling, it's actually somewhat tricky to get a bot to do spell-checking. In fact, Wikipedia policy expressly forbids bots from being used to attempt "to fix spelling mistakes in an unattended fashion" [3]. For UESP, it's potentially even more problematic than for Wikipedia. We preserve any spelling mistakes made by Bethesda (in books, quotes, item names, etc.). So, for example, there will always be some cases of "Mages' Guild" and "Mage's Guild" on the site because those spellings are used in a couple of cases by Bethesda. Eventually I could perhaps put together a version of the bot that shows me each individual suggested change and allows me to approve/reject each one, but that is a fundamentally different type of operation and it requires a lot more of my time. --NepheleTalk 14:59, 15 June 2007 (EDT)

Breaking Redirects[edit]

I've just noticed that the recent round of category-adding has broken all the redirects. Instead of #redirect being treated as a redirect, it's being interpreted as a numbered list. Here is one example.

It's not a huge problem as those pages probably don't get used very much, but it's something to bear in mind for the future. Also, the deletions should be expedited to remove the problem. --RpehTalk 07:15, 29 July 2007 (EDT)

Biggest problem with that is that NepheleBot can't actually delete anything, since it doesn't have Admin priveleges. This means that a human Admin is still going to have to go through that list one by one and delete them all. And it'll probably have to be me if we follow the rule of pages not being prod'd and deleted by the same person - not a job I'm looking forward to. Or is that rule suspended for bot-deletions? --TheRealLurlock Talk 08:03, 29 July 2007 (EDT)
I thought you wanted another 500+ edit project ;-) --RpehTalk 09:02, 29 July 2007 (EDT)
Yeah, except deletions don't count towards your edit-count. Although it would REDUCE NepheleBot's edit-count by however many there are, but then, I'm not the one competing against a bot... --TheRealLurlock Talk 09:17, 29 July 2007 (EDT)
I'm not completely sure what the problem is. It wasn't category-adding that broke those redirects, it was proposing them for deletion. At least for the example you pointed to, it is an orphaned page that hasn't contained any actual content in the last year. So I don't see why anybody would be pulling up the page. If for some reason a person does pull up that page, I'd actually say having the page come up (instead of automatically getting redirected) would be a good thing, to let the person know that page is going to be deleted. Then they can either change their bookmark or whatever to that page, or notify us of the reason why the redirect shouldn't be deleted yet. Because next time they use that link there's a good chance they'll just get an error message instead of any type of useful information.
Yes, eventually the page is going to be deleted. But I don't think that the deletions need to be rushed because of this issue. I consider the bot-proposed deletions to be pretty low priority, in part because there are hundreds of them now. It's going to be a pretty time-consuming process for whichever admin ends up doing it. --NepheleTalk 12:19, 29 July 2007 (EDT)
Oh I dunno - I'm not 100% sure either one of you is human ;-) --RpehTalk 13:00, 29 July 2007 (EDT)
I figured out what caused the error. For a redirect to work, the #REDIRECT[[]] thing has to be the very first thing on the page. You can't put anything before it, including a deletion tag. If you move the deletion tag below the redirect, as I just did on Rpeh's example, it now functions like a proper redirect. --TheRealLurlock Talk 12:38, 29 July 2007 (EDT)
That's what I guessed. I'm not having a go, Neph - just pointing out that it's something that should be fixed for the future. Yes, nobody's likely to access the page, but that's not a reason not to fix it for next time. I just wanted to bring it to your attention and - disliking bits of the site that don't work - wanted to suggest the deletes didn't stick around too long.
Except I don't think that the redirects should still work once they've been proposed for deletion. If someone is using a redirect that is scheduled to be deleted, I think that they should be notified that the redirect is going to be deleted. That's the only way they have a chance to point out if the redirect is being actively used offsite or for whatever reason was mistakenly proposed for deletion. And it's the only way they have a chance to update their bookmarks or otherwise make adjustments. I'd rather have readers end up at a broken redirect page with a chance to figure out what's going on, instead of having everything work completely normally until suddenly the entire page disappears without any explanation (when it is deleted), at which point the source link is completely broken and useless, not just ugly.
The other problem with moving the redirect to the top of the page is that even if someone does go to the trouble of pulling up the actual redirect page, there still isn't any notification that the page is going to be deleted. Yes, the deletion categories show up at the bottom of the page, but the deletion notification box is missing, along with all explanation of why the page is going to be deleted. The point of having the deletion notification is to inform readers what is going on, and so I don't think it should be hidden for the sake of making an obsolete redirect work.
I've tried another possible layout for Oblivion:Quests/The Sunken One. While I can make the bot do something similar next time the bot does a round of proposed deletions, I doubt that regular editors are regularly going to do it. And the original page layout is exactly what has been done previously for every single redirect on the site that has been proposed for deletion. The only thing that's different with the bot is the number of pages to which it's been done; on the other hand, the bot is also more methodical about checking that the redirect is orphaned (i.e., unlikely to ever be viewed by a reader) before adding a proposed deletion. --NepheleTalk 14:28, 29 July 2007 (EDT)
Yeah, I like that page formatting much better. As you say, there's no reason for the redirect to work properly, but at least this way it doesn't look like a broken page. I'd say go with that for the next round. --TheRealLurlock Talk 14:51, 29 July 2007 (EDT)
Agreed. Much better. Thanks, Nephele. --RpehTalk 00:36, 30 July 2007 (EDT)

Skipped Tasks[edit]

These are tasks that were suggeted for NepheleBot but, for various reasons, I've decided that I'm not going to do, either in whole or in part. I've moved the tasks here along with my reasons for not doing them. If I've overlooked something, feel free to provide additional feedback.

Remove &nbsp's[edit]

Non-breaking spaces are pretty much obsolete for most applications. Almost every instance of them on the site could be just as easily replaced with a simple space. Some of the Daggerfall books use 4 of them in a row, but these could be replaced with the Indent template, or ideally, we could handle indenting on book pages via CSS. It's a simple job that would probably have no visible effect, but tedious enough that it'd be a pain to do by hand. Hardly a priority, just makes the code on these pages a little less ugly. --TheRealLurlock Talk 19:33, 21 August 2007 (EDT)

FYI, my hope is to implement some type of book formatting that can be used on all book pages and will automatically indent all paragraphs (without a need for a nbsps or any other type of space). The problem at the moment is how to implement that formatting without having to edit every book page... a wiki tweak may be needed. --NepheleTalk 21:19, 4 January 2008 (EST)

/Description Pages[edit]

It's occurred to me that the large number of /Description pages that we have (mainly for the Places and Quests, not so much for the Books), could all easily be done away with in the following manner:

  1. Put the Description text onto the Place or Quest page itself.
  2. Surround the rest of the page content with noinclude tags.
  3. Change all external templates that refer to the /Description page (e.g. Template:Place Link, Template:Quest Link) to simply transclude the Place or Quest page itself instead of the /Description page.
  4. Internal templates which appear on the actual page (e.g. Template:Oblivion Places Summary, Template:Quest Header) might be tricky - can a page transclude itself? If not, we could arrange for the Description to somehow be inside that template and the rest of the template not display anywhere but on the page itself. I'm sure it can be done somehow.
  5. Mark all of the now redundant /Description pages for deletion. (Or if we get a delete-bot, we could set it to the task.)

The advantages of this is that we'd eliminate hundreds of tiny little pages, most of which contain only one line of text which is used in only a couple places. It also puts the text onto the same page as the Place/Quest description which makes these descriptions easier to edit for those unfamiliar with the way in which the sub-pages are transcluded in the current system. Also makes the "Random Page" feature much less useless, as you're far more likely to end up on an actual article page if there aren't so many little sub-pages to choose from. I don't think this would work so well for Book /Description or /Author pages, since the books are already transcluded onto the namespace pages, and additionally all the multi-volume books would be a complication. Place and Quest pages are generally not transcluded anywhere, however, so there'd be few conflicts, if any. So what do you think? Big enough job as a follow up for Tamriel:Books? ;) --TheRealLurlock Talk 13:41, 18 September 2007 (EDT)

I think we need /Description-type pages; I think trying to merge the content into the main article would create too much of a mess. And given some of the limitations we now know exist for templates, I think any attempt to transclude a 10 kB article in order to actually display just 20 words from the article would probably break pages like Oblivion:Places. There are improvements that need to be implemented with the /Description pages, but I don't think merging them into the main article is the best approach. --NepheleTalk 21:19, 4 January 2008 (EST)

Redirecting Book Talk Pages[edit]

I can see good reasons for both doing and not doing this so here goes... How about redirecting the talk pages for all the books to their Tamriel version where a Tamriel copy of the book exists? At the moment, many books could have two or three different talk pages, which isn't going to be very helpful as questions may be asked in one place that have already been answered on another. The argument against would be that there might be OB-specific stuff (for example) to discuss, but then that's already the case for most of the Tamriel NS and doesn't cause too much trouble there. --RpehTCE 06:34, 9 October 2007 (EDT)

In the final stages of Tamriel Book reorganization, I added redirects for any book talk pages that already exist. But I didn't go as far as creating redirects to non-existent talk pages. I'd guess only 5% of the book pages have talk pages, so creating redirects for all of the non-existent ones would be a lot of new redirects, which would probably then show up in some Special pages list of broken pages (assuming that our Special pages lists all worked...). Hopefully that's an acceptable compromise? --NepheleTalk 21:19, 4 January 2008 (EST)
That sounds like a good idea. Thanks! –RpehTCE 05:10, 10 January 2008 (EST)

Tes3Mod Redirects[edit]

A slightly different redirect job here. If you take a look at Tes3Mod:Alphabetical Function List, (and also possibly at Tes3Mod:Categorical Function List, though they should just be the same commands in different order), you'll notice that a lot of the links go to the same page. E.g. most of the "SetXXX" commands link to Tes3Mod:SetStat, etc. If you could create redirects for each of the commands listed on those pages to go to the pages where the links go, it could come in really handy. I just created 3 I needed for a page I was working on, but it makes sense to me to have them all done, and it's a perfect bot-job. Likewise for the Tes4Mod commands if there is such a setup for these. (And if not, there darn-well should be, but that's another job...) --TheRealLurlock Talk 23:40, 23 November 2007 (EST)

OK, Tes3Mod redirects have all been done, including all abbrevations (e.g., COC, TFOW) that were listed on the page. As for Tes4Mod however, my understanding of the existing guidelines is that such pages are never going to be created on UESP. Those commands would seem to fall under the purview of TESCSWiki, where they already have articles documenting most of the commands. I agree with Wrye: I don't think UESP should be duplicating content better suited for TESCSWiki. --NepheleTalk 12:59, 9 January 2008 (EST)
Question - are external redirects possible? I ask because my main reason for asking for the Tes3Mod redirects was so that if I want to in an article tell somebody to COC to a location, I can have COC be a link to COC. With all console commands now having their own page (even if it's just a redirect), you can now use any of them as a link in an article. But with Oblivion's console commands being stored off-site at TESCSWiki, such links are quite a bit more complicated. I don't think that off-site redirects are possible unfortunately. What do you feel about making short articles for each command (or group of related commands) with a link to the full article on TESCSWiki for those who want more nitty-gritty information? By short, I mean, try and summarize what the command does in 1-2 sentences, and have a link saying "See TESCSWiki for more information." Just for the convenience of being able to link to commands easily from within articles. --TheRealLurlock Talk 00:18, 10 January 2008 (EST)
Well, given that TESCSWiki is a wiki, redirects could be created at their site, as could any missing pages. I'd be inclined to say that making any necessary changes at TESCSWiki would provide more benefit to the community as a whole than creating duplicate pages here. In terms of links, there are various options available with interwiki links, although I've never taken the time to figure out much about them. It may be possible to set things up so that linking to TESCSWiki isn't terribly different from a standard link. Worst case we can just create a TESCSWiki or TESCS template in which case it will be even less typing than creating a Tes4Mod link. --NepheleTalk 12:05, 10 January 2008 (EST)

Valentine's Message[edit]

Zeroes are round
Ones are quite straight.
I think NepheleBot
Is really great
Will you be my Valentine? RoBoT 13:28, 14 February 2008 (EST)
/* 02/19/2008: Code added to rescue NepheleBot from infinite loop apparently
   triggered by inability to parse poetry */
$answer = (($message=~/Valentine.*RoBoT/s)?1:0);
--NepheleBot 12:18, 19 February 2008 (EST)

   language.Parse("$answer = (($message=~/Valentine.*RoBoT/s)?1:0);");
catch (WeirdPerlSyntaxException wpse)
   Console.Write(string.Format(CultureInfo.InvariantCulture, "I found the perfect mate... but she just didn't speak my language: {0}", wpse.Message);
RoBoT 16:11, 19 February 2008 (EST)

Convert maplinks - Flax Seeds[edit]

The recent process to convert the map links broke the Flax Seeds page for some reason. Is there something peculiar about that page? It seems to have worked correctly on all other ingredient pages. --Gaebrial 02:55, 8 July 2008 (EDT)

Thanks for catching that glitch. The problem was just a missing space in a place where I incorrectly assumed there would always be a space... yep, something that minor caused the bot to effectively delete most of the page. Thus demonstrating one of the dangers with bots ;) --NepheleTalk 19:32, 9 July 2008 (EDT)