Wikipedia talk:Bot Approvals Group - Wikipedia
Requests to join the Bot Approvals Group are currently made here, although other methods have been proposed. Users wishing to join BAG, or to nominate another user to become a member, should start a new nomination page via the form below (replacing "UserName" with the nominee's) and transclude the discussion in a section below. Please note that notification to WP:AN, WP:VPM, WT:BOT, and WP:BON is required. After a suitable length of time (usually one week unless the nomination has not received a reasonable level of support), the discussion will be closed by a bureaucrat.
Hi everyone! Since I often see the BAG overloaded, and it's not unusual for requests to wait a long time for action, I'd like to volunteer myself to help keep BRFA flowing. It's important work and I feel I'd be good at it, so here I am.
I understand a BAG member needs two key qualities: the technical expertise to judge the soundness of a bot, and a good understanding of community norms and the bot policy to evaluate the consensus for one.
For the technical part, most of my on-wiki activity is in the areas of bots and templates. I've been through BRFA half a dozen times with my bot, and off-wiki have a CS background. I'm also familiar with most of the common programming languages used to develop bots. For the latter, I've been active in helping out at BRFAs and WP:BOTREQ in the past few months, providing gentle advice and picking out possible issues. I'm also used to evaluating consensus when patrolling TPERs, closing TfDs (~150-200 closed to date), and the odd RfC.
Nominating myself for BAG membership as I'd like to help out more in this area. While there are good reasons for BRFA being slower than the average process given the potential for disruption, I think faster service here can inspire more creative automation ideas to be brought forward.
I run SDZeroBot whose favourite task is compiling a popular collection of reports that has brought me a number of barnstars! I'm more proud of writing its – a rich JS bot framework and the only one out there that also works with TypeScript – a promising new language that's fast becoming popular. My other technical work on WP includes writing user scripts, improving gadgets, and helping out at VPT. I am a major contributor to Twinkle and am also working on a funded project to expand it to other wikis.
This is something I've been thinking about on and off for a while now; at what point is it no longer appropriate for a BAG to approve a bot task?
Scenario 1 is a pretty clear "recuse" to me, and Scenario 3 is a pretty clear "no issue", but what about Scenario 2? If a BAG member says "I have this idea, we should do this" and someone says "sure", does that BAG now have a duty to let a different BAG member review the case and determine if all of the "boxes" have been ticked? Since they're not the one running the bot, is it not an issue? What if there's opposition to or concerns about the initial proposal? I know it kind of comes down to a case-by-case basis, but I have seen in the past where the BAG member was both BOTREQ proposer and BRFA accepter, despite concerns being expressed (and largely not addressed). Curious to see what others think about this. Primefac (talk) 21:47, 1 November 2020 (UTC)To ensure the impartial reviews of BRFAs, BAG members should not oversee the process for their own bots, or in other BRFAs where impartiality would be compromised. Such involved BAG members can still participate and comment on the task, however.
offer[ing] sound bot-related advice to bot operators, admins, bureaucrats, and editors alike
Someone pinged me on IRC the other day to discuss edit summaries; they had seen a bot not linking to a related BRFA and wasn't sure if it was "legally" operating (it was, but it took some digging). However, it got me thinking that we should be better enforcing either mandatory links to BRFAs in edit summaries, or mandatory links to BRFAs on the bot's userpage. Personally, I think both should be happening, but I know for some long-term bots like lowercasesigma or AnomieBOT they're well-established and don't necessarily need to link to specific runs. That being said, I've been encouraging new bots/operators to be linking in their summaries.
Should we be mandating either of these disclosures, and if so do we have the authority to block bots if their operators are not complying? I know we're in the CREEP land of instruction, because BOTPOL implies that these links should be provided but don't really go into detail about where and how, but I think it's a reasonable point of clarification. Primefac (talk) 11:03, 16 November 2020 (UTC)For what it's worth, I posted it here instead of at BOTPOL because it's more about clarifying how we as BAG deal with these issues than necessarily updating the policy
There's a new template that will be useful in BRFAs, post is at BOTN, crossposting here not only for increased eyes but also because there is a question I'd like asked. Primefac (talk) 14:12, 23 October 2021 (UTC)