On Mon, Feb 20, 2017 at 4:40 AM, Michael <michael@micatie.com> wrote:

My expectation that it’s simply writing a few lines of code to login and then having access to the API was ‘wishful thinking’.

You should probably use one of the existing libraries. You can do a rudimentary API request in maybe six lines of code, but in practice you'll want error handling, logging, backoff when the servers are overloaded etc. which is a lot of boilerplate that existing libraries will handle for you. See https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/API:Client_code#Python

It seems going with OAuth will be the right approach, to continue with my idea …

Yeah, it's the recommended method as it frees you from having to deal with login at all.