Manual:Pywikibot/lonelypages.py

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lonelypages.py is a bot that labels pages which are currently unlinked by other pages — in other words, pages which appear on Special:LonelyPages. To accomplish this, it places {{orphan}} on a page, and substitutes some magic word dating, so that you know when you've added the template. What your wiki gets out of this very much depends on how you've coded {{orphan}}.

Syntax and usage[edit]

Usage is incredibly straightforward. Just type python lonelypages.py. That's it! No parameters or arguments to fuss with. It will then go through the main namespace and find lonely pages on which to place the template. If it encounters a page where the template is already in place, it will go on to the next page.

Why do I need this?[edit]

You may not. It depends on how much you care about lonely pages on your wiki, or if you think it's worthwhile to use a bot to accomplish this task. Wikipedia, for instance, do think it's important to tell their users that a certain page is un-referenced elsewhere on their project, but they adamantly don't want a bot to place the template. So for Wikipedians, this bot has no value. They say that there are some pages which are always going to be lonely, and they only want {{orphan}} on pages where there's a reasonable prospect of future linkage.

However, if your wiki community believes that all pages can potentially be linked, then there's no reason whatsoever not to use a bot. You can have your wiki patrolled in no time!

Still, some might wonder why this is needed when Special:LonelyPages exists? A good rationale, though not the only one, is that many new editors aren't aware that the "special" namespace even exists. Fewer still will have navigated to Special:LonelyPages. And almost no one will have actually waded through all the pages there. Placing a template on a lonely page is a much more immediate way of alerting users to a problem than relying on a page in the "special" namespace.

How do I code {{orphan}}[edit]

That's really up to you and your community. Wikipedia's version of the template can be seen at wikipedia:template:orphan. But it can be done in any way, really. Some wikis use the template merely to insert a category. Some use it to create detailed categories that track lonely pages by the month and date on which the template was placed. Because this script places a category, the true potential of the script lies in the hands of the person coding the template.