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PD Important note: When you edit this page, you agree to release your contribution into the public domain. If you don't want this or can't do this because of license restrictions, please don't edit. This page is one of the Public Domain Help Pages, which can be freely copied into fresh wiki installations and/or distributed with MediaWiki software; see Help:Contents for an overview of all pages. See Project:PD help/Copying for instructions. PD

A bot is a computer program that automatically retrieves or updates wiki pages when it is executed. In general, bots are used for repetitive maintenance tasks, whose volume and characteristics are too large to be performed manually by users.

Developing and executing bots is normally outside the role of normal users, requires programming experience and must be done in coordination with the wiki's admins.

By default, bot edits are hidden in Special:Recent changes.

Framework and interface for bot development

Bots do not access the wiki through the normal graphical user interface. MediaWiki has an API (Application Programming Interface) available for this purpose. An API is a protocol for standardised communication between two computer programs. Check API:Client code for more information.

To access a wiki through the API a bot must have a user account, which has been granted 'bot' permissions.


meta:pywikipediabot provides a framework for the development of bots, which are commonly used to perform maintenance tasks such as adding a footer to some categorized pages (, adding some wikilinks (, moving old contents of talk pages to subpages (, editing categories (, or managing templates (

The MassEditRegex extension

Extension:MassEditRegex provides an alternative way to perform mass edits using regular expressions, through a special page in the wiki. Only admins can normally use this extension.

See also

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