Community Wishlist Survey 2017/Bots and gadgets/Deploy Article Alerts to other languages

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  • Problem: Article Alerts is an automated subscription-based news delivery system designed to notify WikiProjects and Taskforces when articles tagged by their banners or placed in their categories enter various formal workflows (such as Articles for Deletion, Requests for Comments, Peer Review, and many more). See WikiProject Physics/Article alerts for example. This is currently an English-Wikipedia exclusive, and is maintained by one user (en:User:Hellknowz), meaning the bus factor leaves the whole project in a fragile state.
  • Who would benefit: Every edition of Wikipedia. For scale, on the English Wikipedia, 1467 WikiProjects and Taskforces subscribed to the Article Alerts system. Virtually every active project is subscribed, and the system is one of the best lines of defense against improper deletions and one of the best ways to advertise ongoing high-level discussions to communities of interest.
  • Proposed solution: Have the WMF / larger Wikimedia community create a more solid and scalable framework for Article Alerts that can also be deployed to all languages. Maybe it's not possible to have something as customizable as the English Wikipedia's implementation, but there are loads of things that could be ported and deployed. (Edit: See en:Wikipedia:Article alerts/Roadmap for a tentative roadmap.)
  • More comments:
  • Phabricator tickets:


  • I rank this as one of the most useful watchlist tools on en.wikipedia, and the bus factor worries me, although the code could presumably be shared even as is. However the main barrier to overall global implementation is probably on places like simple.wikipedia where there are no WikiProjects and the category’s are generally incomplete. Therefore it will probably be of more use on Wikipedia language editions with a larger userbase like de.wikipedia. A Den Jentyl Ettien Avel Dysklyver (talk) 15:08, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
To clarify, there is redundancy in code access (two people have it), the problem is that there's only one coder. This makes new features / bug fixes /general maintenance dependent on the will, time, and capabilities of one person. Running the bot on the toolforge would also be great and make the bot more reliable during holidays if there's a power failure and such. The bot clearly is more useful for the larger Wikipedias (certainly all 10 Wikipedias feature on the main landing page would greatly benefit from this), but if a framework can be designed and ported, it wouldn't be a lot of work for dedicated subcommunities on smaller wikis to benefit from this as well even if it's easier to follow every discussion on a smaller Wikipedia. Headbomb (talk) 18:33, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
Not even all larger Wikipedias use WikiProjects, though. It's not only a size thing, but also history (how have we organized) and editing culture. It's probably good for editors to be keenly aware of the fact that if they don't have WikiProjects, the infrastructure for something like this isn't there on their home wiki, and it won't work for them. /Julle (talk) 12:29, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
@Julle: To a point. You don't have to be organized by Wikiproject, you can be organized by categories for instance, or organize via any other grouping of topics. For instance, you could have alerts based on the transclusion of an infobox, such as en:Template:Infobox biography. So even if you don't have a Wikiproject structure in your own wiki, there are still ways this could be used. That's part of what the proposal is. Have the WMF take over, and have a team that's dedicated to making it work for the specific needs of other (non-en:wiki) Wikipedias. Headbomb (talk) 20:20, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • I love Article Alerts! It is a great tool that can be used for informing large groups of editors about issues that interest them without annoying others. It is also wonderful for those interested in collecting wiki-statistics. Wikiprojects that have been set up to look after a group of articles can add Article Alerts to the wikiproject with minimal effort, and have the Article Alerts available to anyone who knows where to look for them. There was a good Signpost article about Article Alerts back in 2009.
The has thousands of Wikiprojects (the Signpost has many articles about individual wikiprojects). Wikiprojects are a great way for editors to find other editors interested in a certain topic, which can be a great motivator for many. Tools such as Article Alerts help shift the burden of running wikiprojects from human editors to BOTs. This in turn helps retain editors since much of this task is repetitive/tedious and tends to burnout humans.
I am shocked to hear that Article Alerts depends on one individual editor. I hope the Wikimedia Foundation has taken out an enormous life insurance policy on this individual. Ottawahitech (talk) 17:17, 12 November 2017 (UTC) Please ping me
  • I would love WMF to make this as a wiki-compatible configurable tool (at least to English WP for start) rather than an external bot. The benefits are too numerous for me to list, but multiple languages is certainly one of them. This would be much too big of a project for me to do to convert it into an extension or tool labs bot or something of the sort. It's been quite a few years since coding AAB and real life certainly means that one volunteer coder for the project is unfeasible for any serious expansion into other languages or complex workflows and on-wiki features. The code is also pretty atrocious and team-unfriendly now that I can look at it with some 10 years of experience. It was more of a "wow, this sounds like a cool bot I can code" rather than a plan for a community-driven open source tool. The things that would be different/new/incompatible for a tool that directly works with database and/or MediaWiki is again too numerous to list. I can fix and keep the bot running when issues occur, but getting to new features and even bugs is a hurdle that could be abruptly terminated by a bus. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK  ▎enWiki 23:26, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Don’t underestimate yourself User: Hellknowz (and you too User:Headbomb). The code you wrote ten years ago may not be up to your standards of today, but it is robust and has served Wikipedia’s community well. I worry that the code the WMF staff replaces it with will be inferior in terms of features.
Also I wanted to add a comment about statistics, which are not harvested and put to good use. For example, Alerts of AFD discussions show the number of participants in each deletion discussion when they are displayed on the project(s) page(s). However, no one is capturing this information for statistical purposes as far as I know. Wouldn’t it be nce to know how many articles are deleted overall based on the votes/consensus of one or two people? Ottawahitech (talk) 19:39, 2 December 2017 (UTC) Please ping me
@Ottawahitech: The bot has served the community well, we're well aware of that. I gave a restropective at Wikimania this summer, where WMF devs expressed interest in taking over [assuming it's endorsed on the community survey]. To be frank, the code's status has gotten to a point that whatever new feature we wanted to have, we can't have either because it would blow up the whole bot because of en:spaghetti code, or take too much of Hellknowz' time to implement. Very little has been done on en:WP:AALERTS in over two years. WMF taking over would mean much better integration (e.g. possibly even integrate this with en:WP:Notifications), have much better/reliable performance [we need manual restarts on our personal machines if the bot crashes, if we're busy, that can take a few days before we get to it], and allow other languages to benefit from it. It might have less features at first, but over time they would likely do more, and do it better. Headbomb (talk) 19:51, 2 December 2017 (UTC)


  • Support Support Tgr (talk) 08:17, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Dvorapa (talk) 08:33, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support YFdyh000 (talk) 10:23, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 12:55, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Sadads (talk) 13:34, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support As proposer. Headbomb (talk) 20:53, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Thomas Obermair 4 (talk) 21:39, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Shizhao (talk) 02:53, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support an extremely useful services. Needs further support to survive long-term. --LT910001 (talk) 05:59, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support I'm surprised it doesn't exist elsewhere already. Certainly a useful tool. Tuxipedia (talk) 09:28, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support HighKing (talk) 12:09, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Absolutely. Dragfyre (talk) 14:46, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support WolreChris (talk) 16:59, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Article alerts are incredibly important to work that I do on Wikipedia. Expanding and supporting this service is awesome. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 18:38, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Seb26 (talk) 21:49, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support - Evad37 (talk) 23:11, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support 夢蝶葬花 (talk) 23:11, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Strong support. Other languages will love this. Recommending especially the Spanish Wikipedia and the German Wikipedia. Mr. Guye (talk) 03:59, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support George Ho (talk) 05:43, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support --L736Etell me 08:09, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Rlendog (talk) 11:36, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Danii.3 (talk) 13:08, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support I didn't know this was a thing on en.wikipedia and often wished it existed on fr.wikipedia. Exilexi (talk) 14:46, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Spinster (talk) 16:49, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support --OrsolyaVirág (talk) 19:38, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Dromedar61 (talk) 20:39, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support SBaker43 (talk) 00:10, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Daniel Case (talk) 00:51, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support SupportAmmarpad (talk) 03:17, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support JAn Dudík (talk) 05:53, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support AndyAndyAndyAlbert (talk) 08:20, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support The reason for keeping an article my be easier to find on another language Hogne (talk) 09:29, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Balon Greyjoy (talk) 12:04, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support --Superchilum(talk to me!) 16:21, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support ديفيد عادل وهبة خليل 2 (talk) 20:42, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Xavi Dengra (MESSAGES) 22:54, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK  ▎enWiki 23:03, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support SEMMENDINGER (talk) 00:55, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support I support this, better monitoring for non-English wikipedia would be extremely useful. SunnyBoi (talk) 06:12, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Bkonrad (talk) 09:49, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Wostr (talk) 10:37, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support ~Cybularny Speak? 12:16, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support: while I only use a lot for the enwiki Ireland project, I find it great for reviewing proposed deletions that allowed me to save two articles this week alone. I sure other language wikis will find it useful too. Ww2censor (talk) 12:38, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Wolbo (talk) 12:59, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support SusunW (talk) 14:27, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Slafayette (talk) 14:31, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 15:30, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support James (talk/contribs) 15:47, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support TheCatalyst31 (talk) 17:03, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Tacsipacsi (talk) 18:39, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Ottawahitech (talk) 19:40, 2 December 2017 (UTC) Please ping me
  • Support Support combined with Wishlist Survey 2017/Bots_and_gadgets/Commons_deletion_notification_bot this Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:53, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Jclemens (talk) 02:43, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support. Iazyges (talk) 06:47, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support --Edgars2007 (talk) 12:08, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 16:29, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support ★ Anoop / ಅನೂಪ್ © 18:10, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Jcc (talk) 19:52, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support This looks promising, I would like it to be configurable per-wiki too. It would be nice to have it as a part of wiki software rather than an external bot. Gryllida 00:35, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support StarryGrandma (talk) 02:58, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Would be brilliant! ShadessKB (talk) 04:47, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support This is a good idea for any important bots. In particular this is a feature I do use, and it would be a shame to lose it. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 04:51, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Halibutt (talk) 14:22, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Galobtter (talk) 14:51, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Davidpar (talk) 15:17, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support vallue (talk) --Vallue (talk) 15:50, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support --Cbyd (talk) 16:51, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support B25es (talk) 17:02, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support —— DePlusJean (talk) 17:47, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Cedalyon (talk) 19:58, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Fixer88 (talk) 20:46, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support BlanchardJ (talk) 02:48, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support X:: black ::X (talk) 13:54, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Alafarge (talk) 18:23, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Need something that is supported by more than 1 coder. Keith D (talk) 22:49, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support noticed from WOMRED and think this is good enL3X1 ¡‹delayed reaction›¡ 03:31, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Chicbyaccident (talk) 11:18, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Couldn't do some of my work without it. So much so that I'm afraid I've rather taken it for granted. Kudpung (talk) 11:26, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Anthere (talk) 16:17, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support the wub "?!" 00:11, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Ixocactus (talk) 01:33, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Muhebbet (talk) 01:57, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Ahm masum (talk) 08:24, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Vinegarymass911 (talk) 08:38, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support PamD (talk) 10:18, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support as it is very useful at en.wp. J947 18:44, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Very useful at times and increasingly valuable as editors dwindle. --Mark viking (talk) 19:56, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Article alerts are even more valuable for smaller Wikipedias, where there are fewer editors, and their coordination becomes much more important. GregorB (talk) 09:23, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 13:39, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Jmmuguerza (talk) 20:03, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support The bot is indispensable to what I do. By all means, expand it to other languages! Dolotta (talk) 21:37, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support RandomDSdevel (talk) 01:13, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Nick Moyes (talk) 09:21, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support I easily see how this will help other projects. I don't at all see how it could negatively affect anyone. R8R (talk) 12:13, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Ruslik (talk) 13:13, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Like R8R I can't imagine any negative affects this might have. ----DanTD (talk) 21:43, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Jack who built the house (talk) 22:22, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Serhio Magpie (talk) 22:22, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support WikiProjects, as communities of knowledgeable specialists, need all the help they can get. This is very handy for directing users' energies. Choess (talk) 01:15, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support A very useful too that I use daily. IDVtalk 10:44, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support — Luchesar • T/C 13:17, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Support SupportNickK (talk) 13:24, 11 December 2017 (UTC)