A script that handles tedius setup tasks for the Featured Content Report section of the Wikipedia Signpost.
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.



A script that handles tedious setup tasks for the featured content report section of the Wikipedia Signpost.


The "Featured content report" (or the FC report, or FC, for short) is a report published as a part of the weekly "Wikipedia Signpost", a community-organized and -written internal newspaper on the English Wikipedia that covers the Wikipedia movement at large. FC reports on the status and contents of the various types of "Featured content" promoted on Wikipedia: featured articles, lists, portals, topics, and pictures.

Traditionally a part of the compliation process has always been visiting the nomination pages and transcribing the pages, the nominations, and the nominators, the first step to writing this report. This is a time-consuming and rather boring process that takes ~20-30 minutes of work a week on the part of the section's writers. This script eliminates this process for the section's writers by doing the same thing autonomously.

"Wikipedia:Goings-on" or a subpage of this page contains a user-maintained list of all content promoted in any particular week, going back all the way to 2010 or so. This script works by using a combination of API queries and raw page scrubbing to take a list of all articles promoted a certain week from this page, find and add nomination and nominator information, store it in a dictionary, and then do various text transforms to this information to output the requestively-formatted section information, in wikicode.

This script uses the requests library to simplify API request construction and retrieval and the pywikibot library to handle writing content to Wikipedia smoothly.


This script requires:


Running this script directly requires:

  • Installation of Python 3 and its availability from the directory in which this script is run.
  • Installation and proper configuration of the pywikibot package and its availability from the directory in which the script is run.

Currently I am running this script manually on my own machine on a weekly basis. I am working on making it available remotely from Wikimedia Labs.

The simplest and most usual way to run the script is to run it without any parameters at all:

run FC_Importer.py

The script will seek out and draw content from the most recent archived WP:GO page it can find by working backwards from the current date as of the day that the script is run.

Instead of running on the most recent findable page you can you run on a subpage of your choosing (but be aware of the limitations discussed in the section below). For instance:

run FC_Importer.py -p "Wikipedia:Goings-on/March 2, 2014"

By default the script throws the content at the next Signpost Featured content report section page, discovered via methods in the included signpostlib.py. To have the script splash a different Signpost subpage instead, use the "-t" parameter:

run FC_Importer.py -t "Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2015-06-17/Featured_content

And of course you can combine these two options in one execution:

run FC_Importer.py -t "Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2015-06-17/Featured_content -p "Wikipedia:Goings-on/March 15, 2015"


To improve configurability this script takes certain information from setup pages on Wikipedia:

  • The Signpost's next publication date is taken from User:Resident Mario/pubdate, which parallel's the Signpost's own master publication timetable tempate, Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Issue. This date might change if the Signpost moves its publication date backwards or forwards; though the script should be able to compensate automatically it will be worthwhile to check to make sure it is still operable, and fix the configuration of this page if it is not.
  • The date associated with the Goings-on page used for input into the FC draft is taken from User:Resident Mario/godate. This date might change if the Signpost moves its publication schedule for WP:GO forwards or backwards; FC is currently published two weeks post-archiving. It would also change in the occurance that the Goings-on archival schedule is changed, which is highly unlikely because the page has been publishing on the same schedule basis since 2004.


Because of the way that Wikipedia servers handle incoming queries an issue occassionally occurs with the server returning a cached copy of a time-sensitive page being requested. I am told that this is an issue with the setup of [Vagrant](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vagrant_%28software%29) on Wikipedia (see also the [MediaWiki manual page](https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki-Vagrant)). The practical effect is that when this script is run without any commands (`python FC_Imptorter.py`) it sometimes fails to intake the correctly dated `Wikipedia:Goings-on`, because instead of letting the script go to `User:Resident Mario/godate` the engine returns an old copy of the page, from which the script gets a stale date.

If this happens, the workarond is to set the correct goings-on page manually using the -p parameter. I have so far been only partially successful in fixing this bug. See also this StackOverflow thread.

NOTE: This appears to have now been fixed. Still evaluating.


This script has a number of important limitations that are worth taking into account in regular use.

  • This script is written for and meant to be used with the most recent WP:GO pages available. Support for the input of older archived pages was added primarily for testing purposes, to catch as many as possible of the bugs that can occur. Although the script can nominally be executed on any archived WP:GO pages, it may fail on execution with increasing possibility as you try to run it on archives further back in history. The last time a major change in nomination formatting occurred was in late 2011---at this point this script will begin to reliably fail.
  • Because of a lack of standardization amongst the featured nomination processes, mining them for information is a difficult task in general. The script catches and accounts for the most common errors and ambiguities that occur in peoples' nominations, but when working not with data but with raw HTML it is nonetheless impossible to catch every possible error that will occur. Thus expect this script will still occassionally fail when it encounters a new and unexpected 'quirk' in peoples' nomination formatting. Please bring these errors up with the author: most are easily accounted for once discovered (though some are not).
  • Oftentimes the script will not be able to find a certain piece of information. In these cases it will print a non-fatal warning and continue execution after writing in '???' for that particular piece of information, necessitating the that the user input that info manually.
  • Certain kinds of username formatting will cause the script to return garbled output as a page's "nominator". This should be easy to spot and fix manually, and is akin to the '???' that the script returns in other such instances. The difference is that because of peoples' freedom of expression (specifically, freedom to do what they please with their username signatures) there's no obvious way to tell when a username is breaking or being returned incorrectly or not.
  • A known limitation: because of the way that the script is written, a file that has been renamed since its nomination will reliably break the script. Workaround: Go to the Goings-on archival page and rename the file there, so that the link points directly at wherever the file is now located. Example.
  • A known limitation: because of substandard standardization even by the standards of the featured content processes, to find the nominaters for featured topics and featured portals this script finds and returns the first username that appears on those pages. This will cause it to fail to return the correct (or fully correct) output in cases when there are co-nominators present. Thought the script will be in the right 95% of the time, featured portals and featured topics ought to still be checked by the writers to make sure everything is in the right.
  • A known limitation: if a featured picture nomination's creator field is populated by multiple links, then the script will return '???'. The script will not attempt to discern who's who in these cases, as it is not intelligent enough to do so; it will instead leave that task to the section's writers.
  • The page target has to be in the domain of the Wikipedia Signpost (ae. a subpage of "Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost"). If an invalid target is provided the script will fail. If no parameter is provided, the next Featured content report sectional page will be used instead.


Date Comment
6/03/2015 First version posted here.
6/07/2015 This documentation was written!
6/30/2015 The script will now find the correct FCR page on its own by default.