Talk:User-Agent policy

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I'm trying to run a script to collect some data from Wikipedia for the first time and I've run into this measure. Is there any way I could see the format of the user_agent string that Wikimedia expects so as to properly format my settings? I tried a vernacular description, but still ended up with the "give a descriptive user agent" response. Elijahmeeks 02:05, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

Never mind, I didn't realize I had to set it in curl instead of as the usual initialization.Elijahmeeks 02:26, 11 April 2011 (UTC)


Strangely enough, I get the message about a temporary server problem unless I take out this line:


Not sure why that might be. Leucosticte (talk) 09:26, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

"temporary server problem" is strange indeed, but i bet it is "you're sending a POST request when the server expect a GET request". Divinity76 (talk) 12:43, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Does my bot need a bot user agent?[edit]

I'm working on an irc bot. I want to make it have a command !wikipedia <something>. The command will print the first 300 or so letters of the wikipedia article on <something>. As it will just read data from pages, do I need a bot user agent? Thanks. 02:36, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Yes. Anomie (talk) 12:39, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Ok, thanks. It has a bot user agent now :) 03:55, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

User-Agent restriction or lack thereof[edit]

According to the article, the various MediaWiki sites are supposed to generate errors given an empty/missing/blacklisted User-Agent string. Is this supposed to be only on editing or all the time? Skimming the old discussion, it sounds like all requests should fail, but I just tried sending various read-only requests to multiple MW sites with no/empty/"lwp bla" User-Agents via both index.php and api.php and they all came back fine. What gives? RobinHood70 (talk) 07:42, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

MediaWiki? This is described as a Wikimedia policy. Also, it says "may"; there is probably a soft enforcement. --Nemo 10:18, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Oops, forgot to monitor this page and only noticed your reply now. I had meant Wikimedia, not MediaWiki. My bad. I hadn't thought of a soft enforcement scenario. Thanks for that. RobinHood70 (talk) 15:28, 3 December 2014 (UTC)


There is a proposal by the Analytics team to require that 'bots' add 'WikimediaBot' to their user-agent even for reads. See John Vandenberg (talk) 10:32, 28 January 2016 (UTC)

Perhaps they should propose it on wikitech-l where people are likely to actually see it. Anomie (talk) 14:30, 28 January 2016 (UTC)