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Is there a thing to queue edits and automatically apply them slowly (assuming there hasn't been a preempting edit)?

Ben N on chat

Let's write a script!

StackApps (placeholder): https://stackapps.com/questions/7617/trickleedit-queuing-edits-to-prevent-flooding-placeholder

Repo: https://github.com/RootAccessOrg/TrickleEdit

Goals:

  • This tool only queues edits. It does not generate edits. The user must still make each individual edit themselves using the normal editor tools.
  • Queue up batch edits so not too many are applied at once, for mass tag editing
    • Apply them slowly on a timer
    • Detect if a new revision has been created since the edit was queued, to prevent clashes
  • The edits need to be applied under the account of the editor. So no edit-bot — either the user logs in via the API or we do it completely in-browser using existing auth cookies.
  • The user is still responsible for all edit content. This isn't an excuse to spam poor edits, and doesn't give users the ability to do anything they normally can't. The only purpose is to prevent flooding of the front page.
  • Possibly collaboration between instances so users are aware of other users' pending edits.
    • Possibly a global timer rather than per-user.
  • Minimal interference with the normal editing workflow.
    • Probably just add a "Queue" button next to "Save"

Needed:

  • We need questions to test on. I think creating up to 5 questions on meta.SU just for editing should be fine — this is a fairly quiet site anyway.

Notes:

  • Most likely can't use a userscript because they run within a page context. This needs to be able to run in the background.
  • Any kind of collaboration or a central server significantly complicates this. We'd also want to avoid centrally storing any user auth keys for the API if possible — this might not even be allowed by ToS?
  • A browser extension could work. WebExtensions should work across Firefox, Chrome and Edge.
  • Or some other local program. Electron-based pseudo-browser? But it's probably best to avoid moving the user out of their normal workflow.
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    bit more context here - I've been trickling in tag edits to a tag that's redundant. It would be nice If we could go "hey, this tags need edits" and have people do the edits, and let the bots time them for application – Journeyman Geek Sep 28 '17 at 1:42
  • Here's an idea that can speed up this process: Let users edit questions with the tag, one after another, by automatically going to the next question once the current question's edit has been submitted, through a special editing page accessible from the tag page. The system would queue and complete the edits at the desired interval as the user works on editing other questions. – bwDraco Sep 28 '17 at 2:01
  • Sounds like something we could collaborate with SO on as well. Applicable/useful network-wide, yeah? – allquixotic Sep 28 '17 at 3:39
  • @allquixotic Eventually, yea. I'll probably copy this over to StackApps at some point. But it's easier to start (testing) in a small-ish community, I think. – Bob Sep 28 '17 at 4:09
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    If I get the purpose of all this right, I would rather see something like "silent edit" checkbox. An edit with this option checked would not bump the question. I guess it requires changes in site code though. – Kamil Maciorowski Sep 29 '17 at 5:54
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    @KamilMaciorowski Unfortunately, that would have to be a SE change. And it will never happen: all edits must bump so vandalism can be detected. At least, that was the reasoning the last few times this was brought up. So, the only solution to edit flooding is to do it slowly, in batches. The idea of this extension is to make it easier to time those slow batches. – Bob Sep 29 '17 at 6:02
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I'm basically somewhat ecstatic about most of these - the test questions would be bending the rules a bit, so I'm going to have to check with a CM I've had a word with a CM, and it ought to be ok. Apparently its fine to do so if its essential and the community agrees soooo anyway...

I'm personally fine with this being a "per user" thing, since it still solves the main issue (that its a pain to do.)

What I'd like to see as a minimum is what's essentially a queue for editing out a tag, and running it by time. There's certainly precedent for entirely automated tasks (smokey does this) and at this level, its not automating the tasks, only when they are applied. Of course, if we extend this to edits, either not applying the edits (and throwing them back into the queue) or diffing it, and letting the user know should be nice.

I don't want a retag all. I do still want to review the posts (there's a few tricky edge cases - like having no tags a human needs to deal with.).

Super nice to have? An unofficial review queue with delayed application. But that's beyond minimum

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A list of questions used for testing:

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