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AutoWikiBrowser (abbreviated to AWB) is a semi-automated MediaWiki editor designed to make tedious or repetitive tasks quicker and easier. It is essentially a browser that automatically opens up a new page when the last is saved. When set to do so, it suggests some changes (typically formatting) that are generally meant to be incidental to the main change.

At present, AutoWikiBrowser can create a list of pages from single or multiple categories, "what links here", the wiki links on a page, a text file, a Google search, a user's watchlist, or a user's contributions. AWB can also create a page list from special pages, such as Special:AllPages.

In addition, AWB comes with a program to scan the database. Database dumps can be downloaded using Special:Export.

Regulations[edit source]

The use of AWB at an edit rate fast enough to flood the Recent changes should be taken to a separate account designated for AWB and given the bot flag. Though the exact rate varies, and common sense should be used, a good benchmark threshold is 5 edits per minute sustained for a period of three or more minutes. Users who use AWB at a rate below what is necessary to flood the Recent Changes are not required to use a separate bot account.

AWB accounts are required to have some kind of emergency shutdown link on their userpage. Tesseract:AutoWikiBrowser/Shutdown preload is recommended, and may be added to the userpage with the following code: <div style="font-size:150%;">'''[{{fullurl:User talk:{{PAGENAME}}|action=edit&section=new&preload=Tesseract:AutoWikiBrowser/Shutdown_preload}} Emergency shutdown link]'''</div> .

Sysop AWB accounts[edit source]

Sysops may request that their AWB accounts receive sysop tools without the need for further discussion. This is because the person is given administrator tools in an RfA, and not the account. However, sysops should take the following measures into consideration.

  • Do not perform any consensus-determination on the bot account. Do it on your main account. This is to prevent any potentially important closing messages from being excluded from the Recent Changes.
  • Only use sysop tools on the bot account when necessary, such as when the AWB task requires the use of sysop tools. Actions that are not urgent, such as the requested protection of userpages, should be done on the main account.

Usage[edit source]

Make sure to use AWB version 6 or higher!

Site settings[edit source]

To have AWB edit the Tesseract Wiki, you must first set the Tesseract Wiki to be the project to edit in the Preferences. To do this, open AWB:

  1. Select Options on the menu bar at the top of the window and choose Preferences....
  2. Open the Site tab. Click the Project selection field (which has a default of "wikipedia") and change it to "custom".
  3. Under the Project selection field is a dropdown field and a input field. Select https in the dropdown field and type tesseract.wiki in the input field.
  4. Click Okay to apply the settings.

You may now save the setting by going to the menu bar at the top of the window and clicking File, then choosing Save settings, Save settings as..., or Save settings as default, depending on how you want to have the settings saved.

Logging in[edit source]

Logging in to AWB can be done with a normal account and password, but it is highly encouraged to login using a BotPassword instead. This helps attribute edits to their sources and limit the ability of bots (particularly sysop bots).

  1. Login to the bot account in your browser
  2. Go to Special:BotPasswords
  3. Choose a name for the bot - this isn't the account name, but rather a name for the actions this specific login will be doing; it will be appended to your bot's username when logging in. awb is probably a good choice.
  4. Click create.
  5. Give the bot some relevant grants for what is is going to be doing. You can hover over the ? to see what the grant is. Some grants you may want:
    • High volume editing
    • Edit existing pages
    • Create, edit, and move pages
    • If you know that you will need them, edit protected pages, edit MediaWiki namespace, delete, protect (all required sysop)
  6. If you are editing from one IP then you can apply an IP range filter to it here, but this is generally better for bots hosted on servers rather than AWB on your local machine.
  7. You will then be given a password - it will be long and alphanumeric, as well as your username (which will be [bot username]@[name you chose in step 3], e.g. Elijah Bot@awb) (you don't need the alternative method for AWB). You should save this password somewhere securely, like a password manager. You can't change this password or see it again, but you can change the grants if you need to by selecting the name from Special:BotPasswords.
  8. In AWB, click the red User: in the bottom-right (or click File > Log in/Profiles...). You can use the quick-login form (checking the save this account checkbox), or add a new profile then clicking login with that profile selected. The username and password will be the ones from the previous step.
  9. Done! You're ready to start editing.

Suggested settings[edit source]

While most settings are up to you depending on what you're using AWB for, here are some suggestions for settings changes from the default:

  • Toolbar: Options
    • Preferences
      • General
        • Enable Preview the diff in bot mode - when using bot mode, this allows you to see a diff to make sure things are still OK
      • Site
        • Enable Suppress "Using AWB" - generally unnecessary text added to the end of the edit summary, this removes it
      • Editing and saving
        • Enable Automatically save edit box every X seconds - if you are doing more involved edits via AWB, this will make sure the edit box from AWB is saved locally to your machine so that if AWB crashes you don't lose any work (i.e. it isn't an automatic mode, that's in a different place)
    • Disable Follow redirects - if you are performing edits to redirects you will need this disabled, and list generation via AWB's list maker, or via DPL, won't include redirects anyway. You'd only need this if you're manually typing the list of pages to edit
  • Bottom area: Options
    • Apply general fixes and unicodifiy whole page - you may want to turn these off to prevent AWB from changing anything other than what you're intending to change.
  • Bottom area: Skip
    • Page: Exists/Doesn't exist/Don't care - select whichever is appropriate for your project. By default it is doesn't exist, so if you're trying to create pages with AWB, it will automatically skip them unless you change this setting.

Check around other preferences and make changes that you think are good. Make sure to save your settings at File > Save settings (as...)!

A full guide to settings can be found in the user manual.

Requests for AWB access[edit source]

Please visit here to request the ability to use AWB, as well as the bot flag if needed. Users considering requesting a bot account to complete a single task are reminded that there are several users with access to a bot account who may be willing to perform the task for you.

See also[edit source]

External links[edit source]