Forum:Restore manual update of Exchange prices

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Forums: Yew Grove > Restore manual update of Exchange prices
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This thread was archived on 4 July 2012 by Liquidhelium.
This discussion is a follow-up to Forum:New bot and protection for Exchange namespace.  a proofreader ▸  00:33, May 23, 2012 (UTC)

Support the new Exchange bot - but - Strongly Oppose Exchange protection and Easy Update removal - Whoa whoa whoa, back this up. The web page that the data is pulled from is already lagging several hours behind real-time grand exchange prices. And then there's the lag of when this bot actually picks up on the prices and injects them here. But you've removed the only way to get accurate real-time price data updated: by a human who is actually playing the game. You've made the exchange data utterly worthless. You've steamrolled the discussion, and taken way too much power away from the user. So just back this discussion up and give access to people - at least registered users - to update the prices. Dis-allow anons is ok I think, but dis-allowing registered users too, gives no chance to get real-time data to make the calculators useful. This defeats a large reason why I even use Wikia in the first place. If you're going to remove the update function, you may as well be a static site. If price data is not real-time, it is as worthless as a static site. This decision was premature and short-sighted. Warp9pnt9 23:26, May 22, 2012 (UTC)

As an example, I am still looking at the Death rune price as 367 gp. Over 10 hours ago, the in-game price was already 348 gp. The Wikia price is stale, and there is no way to fix it. How many hundreds of other prices have changed over 5% and still not updated? Bots are very cool, but there always has to be the ability of a human to override. As it stands, wikia's GEMW is totally nerfed and useless as a result of this rash decision by half a dozen people to strip power and control from all users. Warp9pnt9 23:46, May 22, 2012 (UTC)


Comment - Rollback/custodians/admins can edit the exchange namespace if I remember correctly. 200 edits isn't a huge price to pay to stop vandalism. cqm talk 23:48, May 22, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - I agree with Cåm. The new way we have it now is a good way to prevent vandalism. Blaze_fire.png12.png 00:14, May 23, 2012 (UTC)

It also prevents accuracy, and ensures all price data will be as much as a day old. Warp9pnt9 16:17, May 28, 2012 (UTC)
Support - The previous discussion implied heavily that only anonymous users would see the Exchange namespace become uneditable for them. I supported that thread insofar as autoconfirmed users could still edit the namespace; my support used the wording of semi-protection, which implies protecting against unregistered and non-autoconfirmed users, but allows registered autoconfirmed users the ability to edit. I am not supporting the additional requirement to be a rollback, custodian or sysop.  a proofreader ▸  00:33, May 23, 2012 (UTC)
After some reconsideration of Ty's reply about the bot's status below, I am now modifying my position to another one not defined by the proposer. My position is now the following:
Have the namespace editable by only bots, rollbacks, custodians and sysops except when the bots malfunction, in which case any sysop can be asked to change the protection level to autoconfirmed. This would both serve the need of having accurate prices (when the bots work) and the need to curtail vandalism (when they don't work) while keeping the spirit of this thread, to allow users to fill in for the bots when they malfunction.  a proofreader ▸  21:03, May 25, 2012 (UTC)
People are ignoring the fact that the bots are not actually capable of grabbing real-time data from within the game. Jagex's web-based data from which bots grab their prices is usually stale. Warp9pnt9 16:17, May 28, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - Well, that's all a bit hyperbolic. I'd appreciate it if you assumed some good faith about the changes and didn't think we're a bunch of authoritarian hacks. That being said, the bot has some kinks that we were not aware of and that need to be worked out quickly. Looking at the history of Exchange pages, users such as yourself were never a major source of price updates, but if you really think autoconfirmed users without further rights update a significant number of prices, I don't really have a problem with lowering the protection to that level. It'll mean we'll still need to patrol the namespace a bit (something I'm not fond of), but it might be a worthy tradeoff.

In a perfect situation we'd have a perfect bot and the Exchange namespace could act as a data namespace instead of something people like you actually have to edit. I thought we had reached that point, but I guess not. ʞooɔ 05:27, May 23, 2012 (UTC)

Looking at the history of exchange pages, you can not count any bot updates, because they all pull stale data. The only thing left are users such as myself. We like to have calculators that are worth a damn. With inaccurate prices, and no way to update, they're not worth much. Most people couldn't be bothered to update prices, and don't care if they're using stale data that will cost them money. Then again, those people can't even be bothered to use a Calculator or even read about strategies or even look at the Wiki. Warp9pnt9 16:17, May 28, 2012 (UTC)

Strong Support - I was not aware that registered users were also prevented from editing the namespace. This was not explicitly stated as part of the proposal. Preventing anonymous users from editing is fine, but not registered users; especially considering the problems we've been having with the bot recently. 222 talk 06:15, May 23, 2012 (UTC)

Support - for semi-protect. Wasn't the idea that the bots would be able to update prices much more timely than a 10-hour lag, though? If and when that goal can be achieved, another, separate discussion would be worthwhile whether to lock it down more. --Saftzie (talk) 09:47, May 23, 2012 (UTC)

I'm fairly sure that was an isolated case, possibly due to some problems with the bot recently. Apparently those have been fixed, so hopefully no more outrageously delayed price updates. 222 talk 09:57, May 23, 2012 (UTC)
I'm sitting here again looking at stale prices. Go figure. Warp9pnt9 16:17, May 28, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - as one who uses the GE extensively, the key thing about this is that since the return of free trade and the bot nuke, GE "official" prices are wildly inaccurate on many items in terms of game strategy. The "value" of an object is the price at which a willing buyer and seller agree to make the exchange (street price), not the price listed at the GE (even though the GE matches the buyer and seller). While it may be useful to quickly see the GE price, taking GE prices and embedding them in articles describing effective game strategy can be misleading or downright wrong, in addition to being a maintenance headache since those types of strategies constantly change as prices evolve.

The reason for the drift of GE prices is that while the 5% +/- is gone as a trading limit, it lives on internally within the GE. After each price update cycle, the new "middle"/official price is the average of the trades the prior cycle - however, trades outside the +/- 5% "limit" are excluded from the average selling price calculation. When an entire day goes by and not a single trade was within the "allowed" trading range, no update to the "official" price occurs (unless there is human intervention, which is rare). Once the "street" price for a commonly traded item gets around 10% "wrong" (up or down), the price will never be updated because the actual buy/sell price range is entirely outside the limits of the "official" jagex controlled prices.

"Street Price" would be valuable information, but most players don't know how to determine it and publishing it would invite people to use the Wiki as a way to mislead people or change perceptions of value - the root of this problem lies within Jagex, and the Wiki can't fix that.Calquatter 14:12, May 23, 2012 (UTC)

Street price is out of the question as there's no way to accurately define/verify it. It is excessive to ask an editor to pore through the forums or to spend all day trying to buy/sell items at what may be great personal cost in terms of gp and certainly a great expenditure of time. Not to mention the vast potential for vandalism. cqm talk 15:50, May 23, 2012 (UTC)
I agree, there is absolutely no way to more accurately define prices than the guide price. While it's true that guide prices are not absolute, the true prices and instant buy/sell prices move around constantly throughout the day. There's no good way to determine those prices. ʞooɔ 19:34, May 23, 2012 (UTC)
When I say prices are out of date, I am referring to those guide prices. Warp9pnt9 16:17, May 28, 2012 (UTC)

Support - I feel manual price updates are more accurate than bot updates, but I still think anon's should be excluded. Hair 22:13, May 23, 2012 (UTC)

Manual updates are actually less accurate than bot updates because the manual updates tend to use the rounded GEDB prices. ʞooɔ 09:37, May 24, 2012 (UTC)
So you're saying that nobody who uses the GEMW ever looks at the guide price in-game as a source? Only the GEDB web page? I tend to doubt that. Saying that manual updates (looking at the guide price in game) is less accurate than letting a bot use the GEDB, that just makes no sense. Warp9pnt9 16:17, May 28, 2012 (UTC)

Current status of le bot - I was asked to provide the current status of the bot that does the GE updates. Since the bot was released, we were noticing a problem with it not saving the edits after running for so many hours. Last night I tried something to see if that was the issue, and it appears to have been seeing how it is managing to update as we speak without having to restart the process. Sigma added a throttle to better ensure that we won't hit a throttle on Jagex's end, and I added to the update function so that it will take a note of the pages that failed to update and will go back through them after it gets through the initial item list. All of these things should lead to to it being able to update the pages faster, because the process shouldn't need to be restarted and the error list will let the pages be retried so that they can get updated. svco4bY.png3Gf5N2F.png 18:23, May 24, 2012 (UTC)

Any work to improve the bot is much appreciated! While the kinks are being worked out, we should have the update button available. And if there are query limits imposed by Jagex, and I supposed to just sit around and twiddle my diddle and maybe hope the bot eventually gets back around to updating the price, after a cooldown period? Absolutely not. Still need to update sometimes. :/ Warp9pnt9 16:17, May 28, 2012 (UTC)

Strong oppose - Cook has a very good point about manual edits often being very innaccurate compared to the new bots. If this ten hour delay was an everyday occurrence, I would have supported this thread, but it's to my understanding that that delay was a bug and is now fixed. To be honest, since we're now being super accurate with our GEMW prices, I don't think I can trust anyone short of rollback to correctly update the price (ie, not the rounded price the GE watch feature on the RuneScape website shows). Sorry, but autoconfirmed doesn't mean a thing (besides that fact you've managed to not get yourself banned within three days). It's not vandals I'm worried about, but good faith editors who simply do it wrong. PS: It really would be nice, proposer, if you'd act a bit more decent to the many individual that make up the wiki in your proposal. Hofmic Talk 05:48, May 25, 2012 (UTC)

Cook has some good points, but the claim that manual edits are less accurate is highly outrageous. If you can understand my frustration, I heavily use price cheking, and the calculators, they've just been decimated by decisions and opinions made by people who apparently do not care about them. You assume no one can update a 4-9 character string of text (numbers) without making a mistake. I find that a very much the opposite of good-faith. Perhaps if some people didn't assume all editors are morons who can't read a number and remember it correctly for 3 seconds and type it correctly and check it, then they'd deserve more decent treatment. Warp9pnt9 16:17, May 28, 2012 (UTC)

Oppose - As someone who can currently update the exchange namespace, I have to say I don't know how to update the prices as accurately as the bot can. I believe the bots pull the prices from a graph, but my understanding of the rollback+ protection was that we had a group of trusted users able to alter the exchange prices should the bot update them incorrectly, or not at all, to be used as a last resort. As long as the bots are functioning correctly I see no reason to change the situation as it stands. cqm talk 11:11, May 25, 2012 (UTC)

Also, we know from experience that bots can have bugs than are missed during testing that come from using the bots properly, not doing small quantity testing. Something like this was inevitable, but if it has been fixed then the bot updating the prices is quantifiably superior method. cqm talk 23:46, May 25, 2012 (UTC)
Yep! I learned that after maintaining the image renamer bot for the past... month or two? Anyway, this time, we're dealing with Jagex's shitty APIs instead of Wikia's bugs in the MediaWiki API. Jagex has been known to change its pages and pseudo-APIs around, breaking stat trackers and signatures with their HTML changes to highscores until came about. They have also started to enforce a request limit, and it is not guaranteed that the Grand Exchange JavaScript "API" will stick around in its current form with its current request limit. While the bot works, having more protection would make sense, but having a little back-up procedure won't hurt.  a proofreader ▸  02:52, May 26, 2012 (UTC)
The bot lag is a one-time recurring incident. Oxymoron. Today's random item: Plank. 352 on Wikia, 364 in game, been 364 for a few hours. No way to update combined with people who deny the facts and refuse to accommodate a very simple reality adds up to user frustration. Warp9pnt9 16:17, May 28, 2012 (UTC)
A few hours difference is to be expected due to Jagex's limits. I'm not sure about the ins and outs (perhaps ask Proof or Σ), but I think it would be asking a little too much for every price to be updated almost immediately. cqm talk 23:25, May 28, 2012 (UTC)
Nowhere did I claim that this bot lag was a "one-time recurring" incident, whatever that means (because a recurring incident is not one-time, by definition). However, I was alluding to Jagex not providing a stable API with well-known characteristics.
The page that TyBot's updater pulls from seems to update sporadically, much like the GEDB web site. Your example item, Plank, is 331 gp today, and as of this writing, the latest entry in [1] is 331, but this price is available 17 hours after the GE's last update. Perhaps the bot's coder(s) should figure out how much time needs to be given to Jagex so that they update their JSON (it may be 5 hours one time, 10 hours another time). Perhaps it's midnight UTC every day. In either case, the API is shoddy, and I do not consider the current state of the bot to be a working state. It also takes a long time just for the edits to be performed to Exchange namespace pages.  a proofreader ▸  06:48, May 31, 2012 (UTC)
Update: the GE just updated, and planks are now 317 gp in game and in the JSON. TyBot is currently editing pages.  a proofreader ▸  08:17, May 31, 2012 (UTC)

Comment At the end of the day, all I'd like is to be able to have control put back into my hands to update prices with accuracy when I see they are inaccurate. I don't think I should be required admin rights to do this. Any other options would be nice. Warp9pnt9 16:17, May 28, 2012 (UTC)

You have the editcount to request rollback rights. If it bothers you that much you can upate them manually. Having said that, we have pointed out that the bot is more accurate than a human updating the price manually for numerous items due to the Jagex pages rounding them to a certain amount of significant figures. Using the right to update exchange prices when the idea was that the exchange-edit right was to be use as a last resort, not a norm, is defeating the point of having it included within rollback. Added to the fact that it's not like we don't provide a link to the RuneScape GE page. If you've taken the time to find out it's different, then what's he issue? Is the wiki that important a resource for merchers that they rely solely on the prices the wiki has? cqm talk 23:25, May 28, 2012 (UTC)
You sound like someone has just insulted your pride and joy or something. As a matter of fact, the GEMW being up to date is very important to some merchers. How would you like your stock prices to be an hour out of date if you were investing? You should be happy that people want to rely on the wiki for their RuneScape careers, because it proves how great a source we are. In addition, the link to the GEDB is useless if they are utilising another of our tools, calculators. We can't fetch data from the GEDB for calculators, so up-to-date data from the GEMW is essential. So what if the prices are temporarily rounded, the bots when they come around can simply correct them. That I know is easily within the technological reach of the bots. There is no need to detract users from being able to utilise the wiki most effectively, and certainly not by limiting their choices. 222 talk 06:33, May 29, 2012 (UTC)
Just as a note, I haven't taken this thread as an insult to my pride - I have nothing to gain/lose whichever way it goes. I'm more surprised that the ge prices here are so relied upon when they can be easily viewed ingame. However, your point about calculators is certainly valid and is enough reason to consider altering the protection on the exchange namespace. As a question, how long are the bots likely to take to update all the pages? cqm talk 09:58, May 29, 2012 (UTC)
The bots require at least (but usually around) 5 hours to update the majority of the pages. This is a fairly long time frame considering the needs of the merchants. As I said about the in-game prices, they cannot be imported into a calculator, which I believe is the main reason users updated the GEMW immediately before we protected the namespace. 222 talk 10:55, May 29, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - I could make a script that would add a button to the Exchange: namespace, which the users may press so that the price is updated automatically using Jagex's APIs. This could be restricted to a specific amount of updates per period of time using AbuseFilter, so that users won't spam RC to update prices, while merchants would still be able to update the prices they need. Also, because this script would make use of or, the servers of those sites would be logged in Jagex's logs under their IPs, so if we would allow any IPs to update, every price update would add to that total. If too many price updates would happen in a too short period, those servers may be blocked by Jagex from accessing the APIs. Because of this, it's impossible to let users update an unlimited amount of prices. Anyway, I could make this button which would allow users to update the prices they need updated. JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 11:43, May 29, 2012 (UTC)

So, what do you guys think about this suggestions? JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 20:57, May 31, 2012 (UTC)
As long as you're willing to code it, I see no reason not to. Seems like it's the "best of both worlds", maintaining accuracy without being "delayed", which seems to be what the proposer is worried about, rather than the ability to manually edit the pages. Hofmic Talk 23:10, May 31, 2012 (UTC)
This seems to be an excellent idea. I agree with Hofmic. 222 talk 05:03, June 2, 2012 (UTC)
Support the button, definitely! Blaze_fire.png12.png 06:03, June 3, 2012 (UTC)
I like the idea, but if the prices listed on the GEDB lag behind the real in-game prices, it won't solve much... Celanil 07:17, June 3, 2012 (UTC)
Celanil has a point, but it's the system we used before (unless someone went and got the prices ingame). Unless someone wants to create a bot that runs ingame, which is probably against the rules anyway, it's not going to get much better. cqm talk 09:43, June 3, 2012 (UTC)
I was under the impression that the GEDB was as reasonably accurate as can be expected, and as much so as a manual edit in most cases. Hofmic Talk 02:00, June 5, 2012 (UTC)
I thought the prices on the website update long after they update in game... that's the impression I got from reading the thread, anyway... Celanil 03:22, June 5, 2012 (UTC)
No, the prices on the wiki update long after the GEDB updates, because of bots that can't update more than a certain amount of pages per time. The GEDB should update within 10 minutes or so. The button that gets the price from the GEDB should work fine. JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 09:27, June 5, 2012 (UTC)

Oppose - with condition If the button is in put in I would oppose, other I'm neutral. I did find that the prices were out of date one for 3 days, but it never happened after. Serious merchanters, if they don't trust the wiki's prices could easily set up their own price tracker on something, for example, I've made one for my friend to track herblore and fletching items. That uses the GEMW page on and if the prices there aren't the same as in game. Well, I fail to see why they would need to look at wiki. Just look at the Grand Exchange if needed. Dragon longsword.png Cire04 TalkAttack.png 11:56, June 5, 2012 (UTC)

In case you haven't read, people need prices on the wiki for the calculators to be up-to-date. Have you written your own JavaScript calculator for this friend of yours by any chance? No? Then he'll probably find the wiki's GEMW and attached calculators useful. 222 talk 12:03, June 5, 2012 (UTC)
I do you really trust that people will update everything in the calculators when it is open? I know full well how badly it is important that prices are right for those. About a month and a half ago, when we started the money making guide revamp, I made two pages that when I calculated from Data in game, it turned out a very good profit, but in wiki it was negative. I went to check the history of the items and that they weren't updated for 3 or 4 days. However, that was a one time thing, and from my 8 months being on this wiki, that was the only occurence, simply because the bots were malfunctioning from a change in code. It has never gone to that severe before or after. Now, if, let's say if, the bots were all down and the people were the ones changing the prices for a day, a single day, do you really think that it will work? Right now, we have prices updated on average, if rarely ever over a day now that we have an extra bot and are more active. You simply can't have any closer to that, even with human editors. We used to have about 2 changes to GEMW by a human editor on average, by what I remember. That is hardly a worthy figure that is worth opening a new space for vandals to attack, and they do that a lot, since it is so much easier to vandalize the GEMW without someone noticing. Now back to the situation where someone finds calculator doesn't work, and wants to update price because that's the reason. Well, that's why I support, strongly support infact, the update button that will fetch it semiautomatically, and prevent vandalism at the same time. As for merchanters, unless really I'm just too smart for the rest of the world, I would say most people would use the prices here on wiki as a basis for an idea, and then check it over with the actual prices in game. The wiki cannot be accurate enough to be completely relied on, even with human editors for the GEMW, so the setting for all things are to give an idea of how something may work, not saying that this will work for sure.Also, to your last question, no, I have not created JavaScript calculators, I use Visual Basic, thanks. Dragon longsword.png Cire04 TalkAttack.png 23:20, June 5, 2012 (UTC)
My intention is not for editors to manually update the GEMW. My intention is to give interested editors (evidently not you) the ability to accurately update pages that affect them if they so wish. There is no way and has never been, human editors updating the entire GEMW. I did not even hint at that, so I do not know why you would suggest that. There is currently one bot updating the GEMW, because the other operators trust it to update immediately. The other two bots, one run by myself and the other by another editor are manually started backups. We have never had a problem with vandalism of the GEMW, as a matter of fact. Vandalism of the GEMW is also no harder to revert than other vandalism, I don't see why you would think that. In fact, we have specialised tools for quickly correcting errors and vandalism to the GEMW. Finally, I am not advocating manual edits to the GEMW, I support the button that fetches exact prices from Jagex's database. 222 talk 06:30, June 6, 2012 (UTC)
Comment I agree with Mr. repdigit composite number. If there is a button that can be pushed for the die-hards to update, that would be great! 16px‎AtlandyBeer.png 17:22, June 11, 2012 (UTC)

Comment/Suggestion - We could make a priority list of items to update the prices on, to ensure that their prices get updated faster, and then proceed down the rest of the list. svco4bY.png3Gf5N2F.png 20:42, June 11, 2012 (UTC)

Request for closure - I think that we've had enough discussion, and it appears all the participants agree as nothing has been posted for 9 days. Since I'm quite partisan in this issue, I don't feel fit to close it, but the discussion is clearly over. 222 talk 06:20, June 20, 2012 (UTC)

Closed - The protection of the Exchange namespace will not be unilaterally changed. However, Pim has the green-light to code his button if he so chooses; the protection may be lowered to semiprotection on his request when the button is ready to work and when the abusefilter is up and running. --LiquidTalk 19:29, July 4, 2012 (UTC)