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Add a button on URL fields to archive the URL
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Jc86035 added subscribers: Samwalton9, Jc86035.EditedNov 4 2019, 11:35 AM

Could you be more specific about what this would entail? (I'm assuming based on your title that you're requesting something different to that proposed in the linked proposal, as the proposal is for archival being requested automatically as soon as an edit is made.)

  • It's already possible to archive individual URLs to the Wayback Machine using e.g. Firefox/Chrome extensions (or, of course, the Internet Archive website). Since equivalent functionality already exists outside of MediaWiki/gadgets/user scripts, this would only provide additional functionality for mobile users.
  • On the other hand, there is likely a use case for archiving all of the external links in an article; in addition to being less tedious than the former approach, additional functionality (e.g. screenshots, recursive archival) could be accomplished through use of the new Wayback Machine Save Page Now software and its API. It's possible it could be done using a gadget or user script, but I'm not sure if it would be fine from a security standpoint.

@Samwalton9, would this be within the scope of Knowledge-Integrity?

@Samwalton9, would this be within the scope of Knowledge-Integrity?

It's certainly relevant, though unfortunately KI was only a one-year program, and there's no direct equivalent this year.

That said, Internet Archive now watches the page-links-change EventStream (T115119) and immediately and automatically archives any URL added to a Wikimedia project. That's different from automatically adding that link to the citation data in an article, however. While InternetArchiveBot will add the relevant archive if the link ever goes dead, pre-emptively adding the archive is an idea that's been discussed a few times. Per the discussion at the link above, this is technically feasible via Citoid, but currently delays the time required to add a citation substantially.

@Sophivorus, could I clarify whether you want the ability to just archive the URL, or add a link to an archive in the citation?

Sophivorus added a comment.EditedNov 4 2019, 2:00 PM

I was thinking on adding an Archive button to the URL fields in the ProveIt gadget interface, similar to the Today button in the date fields that adds today's date, but that would transform a URL like "news.com/new-president-elected" into "archive.org/news.com/new-president-elected" and do the necessary archiving in the background through an API call to archive.org, I guess. I'm not 100% sure if this makes sense or is even possible because I haven't researched it yet, but that was my general idea when I created this task. Thanks for all the useful info though!

That makes sense. Relevant Citoid task is T115224.

Just to check, is there a way to find out whether a URL has been archived already and use that rather than create a fresh archive copy every time?

There may be a quicker way but you can go to https://archive.org/, put the URL in, and see if you get results.

There may be a quicker way but you can go to https://archive.org/, put the URL in, and see if you get results.

Yes, I know how to do it manually, but I was thinking in terms of this theoretical button. What's the likelihood that users will bother to check if there's a handy button to mash?