Forum:Bot policy revision
Currently the bot policy only really accounts for two types of bot: automated or AWB. This is reflected in the user tags added to the oasis profile masthead and the hilites given to bot flagged accounts. However, what if a user want to use another semi-automatic script such as [[w:c:dev:FileUsageAuto-update]] which is popular on wikis such as [[w:c:mlp|mlp]]? Currently we shove it in with AWB which is a little confusing. Similarly, once a user has a bot flagged account for AWB there is nothing stopping them from running a program that isn't AWB. We wouldn't know as the tasks that can be run by AWB can also be done by any other program and vice versa.
So, a solution to this problem:
- Automated bots continue to receive the same hilite and BOT user tag.
- The AWB 'group' will become part of a semi-automated and one-off task group which will receive the current AWB hilite and the SEMI-AUTOMATIC-BOT user tag (unless someone can come up with a better name for it).
This new group will have a new page to request rights on, say RuneScape:Bots/Requests, where they can request the bot flag along with any additional rights they might require for running the bot. The current requirements for requesting AWB seem sensible to be transferred to this group: 500 non-User/User talk edits and an account older than 30 days. Any additional rights, such as custodian and sysop can only be requested if the bot's operator already has them. If the user does not have the extra rights themselves but does qualify for them then they may request them as well.
This new group will also be required to declare the program(s) they're using on the bot's userpage along with the source code if it's available. Personally, I think there's little excuse for providing the source code when github exists which can host your code for free, but seeing as we don't require automated bots to provide it I didn't see the point in trying to enforce it here. This declaration is to avoid situations where a malfunctioning bot is allegedly using AWB but isn't and we try to stop the bot by leaving a talk page message instead of blocking them. I did consider proposing an approval process for using a non-AWB program but a program is only as good as the person who wrote it and even AWB can cause issues sometimes. Instead, we'll simply require the operator to check the bot is working correctly and not causing problems or risk losing the bot flag on their account or end up blocked (which is more or less how it works now).
Rules for fully automated bots will not be affected by this, they will still be required to go through the Yew Grove to get consensus for their tasks and bot flags.