Manual:Pywikibot/ is a pywikibot script which solves a problem that afflicts many wikis. It finds pages which are currently displaying a template that says the page is being protected in some way, and then checks to see if it actually is protected. If the page is not genuinely protected, it will prompt the user to remove the protection template.

Unlike many pywikibot scripts that are a part of the standard complement of scripts, however, this one doesn't work on any English language wiki straight out of the box. You must tailor the raw code to your particular wiki to get it to work. Once you've done so, though, operation is genuinely easy.


When administrators want to restrict the editing of a page, they will protect it in some way. They might prevent a page from being moved (renamed). Or they might restrict editing rights to only registered users. Or they might prevent anyone but administrators having anything to do with it.

Many wikis have created protection templates, which alert readers about the protected status of the page.

However, these templates sometimes get abused by non-administrators, who wish to "warn off" other users from editing a page. Or sometimes administrators place a temporary editing ban on a page, but then forget to return to the page to remove the template after the protection expires.

Whatever the reason, there are, on almost every wiki where administrators care about page protection, some pages which claim to be protected, when they actually aren't.

This script finds the pages that have a protection template, then checks to see whether the page is actually protected in the way the template suggests. If it isn't, it signals the operator to delete the template.


Syntax is fairly straightforward. Just type:

$ python blockpageschecker ''-parameter1'' ''parameter2'' . . . ''parameter3''

Although the script can be run without parameters — in which case it will check the categories which are defined by the script's raw code — it also accepts a number of command line parameters. These include:

-xml              Retrieve information from a local XML dump (pages-articles
                  or pages-meta-current, see
                  Argument can also be given as "-xml:filename".

-page             Only edit a specific page.
                  Argument can also be given as "-page:pagetitle". You can
                  give this parameter multiple times to edit multiple pages.

-protectedpages:  Check all the blocked pages; useful when you don't have
                  categories or when you have problems with them. (add the
                  namespace after ":" where you want to check - default checks
                  all protected pages.)

-moveprotected:   Same as -protectedpages, for moveprotected pages

Furthermore, the following command line parameters are supported:

-always         Doesn't ask every time if the bot should make the change or not,
                do it always.

-show           When the bot can't delete the template from the page (wrong
                regex or something like that) it will ask you if it should show
                the page on your browser.
                (attention: pages included may give false positives!)

-move           The bot will check if the page is blocked also for the move
                option, not only for edit


The easiest way to use this script is to take the time to alter the raw code of the script so that it looks for what you want to find on your own wiki. Indeed the script will not work on any English language wiki with just command line instructions (like python blockpageschecker) unless you take the time to open it up in an editor and change the base code. Once you've made the appropriate settings in the code, operation becomes totally painless. If you've set up your code correctly — and it really is fairly straightforward! — the only way you'll need to use this script is to type

$ python blockpageschecker

That's it! You won't need a single parameter.

However, if you wish to add any of the parameters suggested above, then you can add them, one right after the other, like:

$ python blockpageschecker -cat:"Popular templates" -always

Customising the codeEdit

Because the code "ships" with English language options set to "none", it won't work on English language wikis without modification of the code. Fortunately, the code is very well annotated, and has examples of syntactically correct setups in other languages.

All you have to do is navigate to in your pywikibot folder, open it, then take a few moments to read through the code carefully. The default on most code editors is that instructions are given in red. Pay special attention to these sections.

What you're particularly looking for is a section called "preferences".

Customise templates to look forEdit

This section allows you to tell the script what the names of your protection templates are. Most wikis have at least a total protection and a semi-protection template. Figure out what yours are, and put them in there. You'll note, however, that it's expecting the name of the template to be given in terms of a regular expression. This kind of coding may be unfamiliar to some, so here's a good example to use:

'en': [ur'\{\{(?:[Tt]emplate:|[Pp]rotect)\}\}'],

This will find {{protect}}, even if it appears as {{Protect}} on pages. Change this to be whatever the name of your template, making sure that the first letter of the template name is given with upper and lower case. For instance, if your template is called {{lockdown}}, then change [Pp]rotect to [Ll]ockdown. Make sure you change nothing else about the code snippet, however. Even a missing comma or an extra space can introduce a syntax error.

Note, however, that the example above only works for templates that accept no variables, and one where there are no spaces between the curly braces and the word protect. If you have a protection template which uses variables, such as {{Protect|2}} then it won't work to just look for {{Protect}}. You'll need to do a more complicated regular expression (regex) to account for the fact that variables are possible. Luckily, the code has some examples built in. Examine what's happening on the French and Italian lines, for instance.

Put another way, the example above works in a lot of cases, but it does make assumptions that might not apply to your particular wiki.


On the French Wikipedia by default the script displays: WARNING: No edit-protection template could be found, because it didn't searched for {{SP}}.

The solution was to add into line 86:

 'fr': [ur'\{\{(?:[Tt]emplate:|[Mm]odèle:|)(?:[Ss]P)(|[^\}]*)\}\}'],

and to relaunch python blockpageschecker -lang:fr -family:wikipedia.

Customise categories to search inEdit

After you've changed the templates, you then need to scroll down at change the categoryToCheck variable. Again, you'll go to the line marked 'en', if you're on an English language wiki. Change the category to whatever category is appropriate for your wiki. Generally protection templates automatically put pages into a category (and if they don't, they should be altered to do this). If you then tell the bot to look in all the categories that are generated by the protection template(s), you'll be able to check your wiki for invalid tags most easily. Take the time to change the category here in the base code and you'll be able to type only python blockpageschecker to completely check your wiki. It'll reduce your maintenance time to a matter of seconds.

Customise other thingsEdit

There are a few other buttons you can push in the preferences section, but there are none others that you need to set in order to get the script to run. Look through the list to see if there are any other changes that might work for you.