[Foundation-l] Possible changes regarding *all* Wikimedia IRC bots

Sean Whitton (Xyrael) sean at silentflame.com
Sun Mar 4 17:32:20 UTC 2007

Hey all. Please excuse the fact that this is posted to multiple
mailing lists, but I need to ensure that it reaches all concerned.

I'm writing as an IRC Group Contact to call all operators of Wikimedia
IRC bots to state their activity and use of their bot to me, using a
private e-mail, as I'm doing a bit of reorganisation. I have a few
issues to address and would like to try and smooth out the rather
convoluted situation we have right now.

As many will know, I'm a freenode staffer and as such am in a position
to notice the lack of continuity present. In particular many of our
bots use flood-protection exemption due to the nature of their
much-data roles. Unfortunately, with the death of freenode's founder
Rob Levin, there is no longer a very organised record of which bots
are doing what and where, and I would really like to establish a
better one. By doing this I aim to make things a lot easier for bot
operators to get the information/permissions they need. Please note
that this has nothing to do with MediaWiki bot flags or community
permission, which is still very important for bots that edit as well
as speak on IRC.

I would like to make two major changes to what we do at the moment.
Firstly, I would like to cloak all active bots with wikimedia/bot/nick
(wikimedia can be replaced by wikipedia, wikisource etc.) and add them
to a list I'll keep on meta (not set up yet, will see how this goes
first!). At the moment, there are a good few usercloak/bot/botnick
(e.g. I have wikimedia/xyrael/bot/winesteward) and a few
wikimedia/bot/botnicks around. I would like to make the distinction
that usercloak/bot/botnick is a non-Wikimedia bot and that the
project/bot/botnick is for those that are run specifically for one of
our projects.

Secondly, I would like to use one bot o:line for flood protection.
Currently, there are a good few floating about, and I'm not sure who
is actually using them actively - a cull of bots no longer in use
would be good from freenode's perspective. There are obvious trust
issues with this in that one password leak would be a lot of trouble
compared with bot operators guarding their own personal passwords, but
I think it's worth it because of the two stage process of changing the
o:lines: me as group contact and then as staff, then actually getting
hold of someone to make the change.

I realise that I've rambled a bit here, and so I'll summarise my requests:
* That all operators of IRC bots contact me via e-mail telling me
their bot nickname, what is does and what it is cloaked with, as well
as a note if it uses an o:line. I can then recloak them with your
assistance. This also has the purpose of weeding out inactive bots (no
action being taken yet, though).
* That anyone who knows an operator who doesn't read any of the lists
forwards this to them and asks them to complete my request, perhaps
translating if necessary.
* That any ideas/complaints/ways-that-are-significantly-better-than-this
are expressed in this mailing list conversation!

Thank you,
Friendly IRC group contact

—Sean Whitton (Xyrael/xyr)
sean at silentflame.com

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