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Wikipedia tools (for Humans)

Project description

Python and command-line MediaWiki access for Humans:

  • get an HTML or plain text “extract” (lead or summary)
  • get a representative image, pageimage, thumbnail
  • get an Infobox as a python dictionary
  • get selected Wikidata properties
  • get a Wikidata item by title
  • get info in any language
  • get random info

This package is intended to make it as easy as possible to get data from MediaWiki instances, expose more Wikidata, and extend the MediaWiki API just for kicks. We say “(for Humans)” because that is a goal. Please see NOTES for details. Questions, feedback, and especially contributions are welcome!


$ pip install wptools


>>> import wptools

An instance can be initialized by: (self)

  • None: <NoneType>
  • lang: <str> MediaWiki language code (default=’en’)
  • title: <unicode> a MediaWiki article title
  • wiki: <str> any MediaWiki site
  • wikibase: <str> Wikidata entity ID

The simplest way to begin is with a title:

>>> f ="Flannery O'Connor")
Flannery_O'Connor (en)
  lang: en
  title: Flannery_O'Connor

The default language is ‘en’ (English):

>>> t ='穐吉敏子')
穐吉敏子 (en)
  lang: en
  title: 穐吉敏子

Leaving off arguments invokes a random lookup in English:

>>> r = (action=random) None
Sylvia_Rivera (en)
  lang: en
  pageid: 3296309
  title: Sylvia_Rivera

If you give only lang, you get a random article in that language:

>>> zh ='zh') (action=random) None
哈莉特·塔布曼 (zh)
  lang: zh
  pageid: 211070
  title: 哈莉特·塔布曼

You can also start with a wikibase item:

>>> q ='Q43303')
Q43303 (en)
  lang: en
  wikibase: Q43303

Or, another wiki site:

>>> m ='') (action=random) None

Malala_Yousafzai (en)
  lang: en
  title: Malala_Yousafzai

Instance attributes echo automatically. You can turn that off with silent=True:

>>> r =

Request details echo to stderr with verbose=True:

>>> r =


Get a representative image:

>>> frida ="Frida Kahlo").get()
>>> frida.Image



Get a text (or HTML) extract:

>>> ella ='Ella Fitzgerald').get_query()
>>> print ella.extext

**Ella Jane Fitzgerald** (April 25, 1917  June 15, 1996) was an
American jazz singer often referred to as the First Lady of Song,
Queen of Jazz and Lady Ella. She was noted for her purity of tone,
impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like"
improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.

>>> print ella.extract

<p><b>Ella Jane Fitzgerald</b> (April 25, 1917  June 15, 1996) was an
American jazz singer often referred to as the First Lady of Song,
Queen of Jazz and Lady Ella. She was noted for her purity of tone,
impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like"
improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.</p>

Get an Infobox as a python object:

>>> fela ='Fela Kuti').get_parse()
>>> fela.infobox['instrument']

'Saxophone, vocals, keyboards, trumpet, guitar, drums'

Get wikidata by title:

>>> fry ='Stephen Fry').get_wikidata()
>>> fry.wikibase


Get geographic coordinates:

>>> paris ='Paris').get_wikidata()
>>> paris.geo

Get special lead section HTML:

>>> b ="Buddha")
>>> b.get_rest()
>>> b.lead
u'<p heading><a href="">Buddh...
<img pageimage src="
<p snipped><span><b>Gautama Buddha</b>, also known as <b>Siddh&#2...
Gautama taught a <a href="
Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism. He is recognized by Bu...
<p metadata>Last modified: 2016-09-01T08:15:49Z</p>'

Get all the things by wikibase:

>>> jill ='Q6192915').get()

Jill_Lepore (en)
  Description: American historian
  Label: Jill Lepore
  extext: <str(1018)> **Jill Lepore** (born August 27, 1966) is an A...
  extract: <str(1109)> <p><b>Jill Lepore</b> (born August 27, 1966) ...
  g_parse: <dict(3)> {info, query, response}
  g_query: <dict(3)> {info, query, response}
  g_wikidata: <dict(3)> {info, query, response}
  infobox: <dict(39)> {academic_advisors, alma_mater, alt, author_ab...
  lang: en
  pageid: 22469182
  parsetree: <str(19661)> <root><template><title>Infobox scientist</...
  random: Spanish immigration to Chile
  title: Jill_Lepore
  wikibase: Q6192915
  wikitext: <str(13011)> {{Infobox scientist| name = Jill Lepore| na...


Get help on instance methods like this:

>>> help(wptools.core)
>>> help(<instance>)

get (self)

make all requests necessary to populate all the things

  • get_query()
  • get_parse()
  • get_wikidata()

get_parse (self)

MediaWiki:API action=parse request for:

  • infobox: <dict> Infobox data as python dictionary
  • links: <list> interwiki links (iwlinks)
  • pageid: <int> MediaWiki database ID
  • parsetree: <unicode> XML parse tree
  • wikibase: <unicode> Wikidata entity ID or wikidata URL
  • wikitext: <unicode> raw wikitext URL

get_query (self)

MediaWiki:API action=query request for:

  • extext: <unicode> plain text (Markdown) extract
  • extract: <unicode> HTML extract via Extension:TextExtract
  • images: <dict> {qimage, qthumb}
  • pageid: <int> MediaWiki database ID
  • pageimage: <unicode> pageimage URL via Extension:PageImages
  • random: <unicode> a random article title with every request!
  • thumbnail: <unicode> thumbnail URL via Extension:PageImages
  • url: <unicode> the canonical wiki URL
  • urlraw: <unicode> ostensible raw wikitext URL

get_random (self)

MediaWiki:API action=query request for:

  • pageid: <int> MediaWiki database ID
  • title: <unicode> article title

get_rest (self)

RESTBase /page/mobile-text/ request for:

  • Description: <unicode> apparently, Wikidata description
  • images: <dict> {rimage, rthumb}
  • lastmodified: <str> ISO8601 date and time
  • lead: <str> encyclopedia-like lead section
  • pageimage: <unicode> apparently, action=query pageimage
  • thumbnail: <unicode> larger action=query thumbnail
  • url: <unicode> the canonical wiki URL
  • urlraw: <unicode> ostensible raw wikitext URL

The lead attribute assembles a stand-alone, encyclopedia-like HTML fragment:

  • <p heading> wiki-linked title and description
  • <img {type}> {Image, pageimage, or thumbnail}
  • <p snipped> lead paragraphs with (noprint, reference, &c.) snipped
  • <p metadata> available metadata (e.g. Last modified, Coordinates)

get_wikidata (self)

Wikidata:API action=wbgetentities request for:

  • Description: <unicode> Wikidata description
  • Image: <unicode> Wikidata Property:P18 image URL
  • Label: <unicode> Wikidata label
  • geo: <str> P625 Geographic coordinates (lat,lon)
  • images: <dict> {wimage}

show (self)

pretty-print instance attributes


Detailed request info can be found in these instance attributes:

  • g_parse: <dict> {info, query, response}
  • g_query: <dict> {info, query, response}
  • g_rest: <dict> {html, info, query, response}
  • g_wikidata: <dict> {info, query, response}

The wptools user-agent will look like this:

wptools/version ( pycurl libs


Basic functionality on the command-line is provided by the wptool command.

$ wptool -h
usage: wptool [-h] [-H] [-l L] [-n] [-q] [-s] [-t T] [-v] [-w W]

Get Wikipedia article info and Wikidata via MediaWiki APIs.

Gets a random English Wikipedia article by default, or in the
language -lang, or from the wikisite -wiki, or by specific
title -title. The output is a plain text extract unless -HTML.

optional arguments:
  -h, --help      show this help message and exit
  -H, -HTML       output HTML extract
  -l L, -lang L   language code
  -n, -nowrap     do not wrap text
  -q, -query      show query and exit
  -s, -shh        quiet output to stderr
  -t T, -title T  get a specific title
  -v, -verbose    HTTP status to stderr
  -w W, -wiki W   use alternative wikisite

Powered by

For example:

$ wptool -t "Jeanne d'Arc" -l fr -s
JEANNE_D'ARC—_sainte et héroïne de l'histoire de France_

![Jeanne d'Arc](

**Jeanne d'Arc**, née vers 1412 à Domrémy village du duché de Bar dont
une partie relevait du royaume de France pour le temporel et de
l'évêché de Toul pour le spirituel (actuellement dans le département
des Vosges en Lorraine), et morte sur le bûcher le 30 mai 1431 à
Rouen, capitale du duché de Normandie alors possession du royaume
d'Angleterre, est une héroïne de l'histoire de France, chef de guerre
et sainte de l'Église catholique, surnommée depuis le XVIe siècle «
_la Pucelle d'Orléans_ » et, depuis le XIXe siècle, « _mère de la
nation française_ ».

Please enjoy!

@siznax 👹

Release History

0.1.3 (2016-09-04)

  • Patch get_rest() path, tests/test_advanced
  • Implemented get_wikidata() by title, lang
  • Geo coordinates Property:P625 from Wikidata

0.1.2 (2016-09-02)

  • added RESTBase support, lead attribute

0.1.1 (2016-08-25)

  • Made the atomic object.

0.1.0 (2016-08-25)

  • Many fixes, enhancements.
  • Much testing of random (title, lang, and wiki).
  • Allow chaining get_s or just get().
  • Enabled full-hydration from wikibase only.
  • Block further requests on fatal error.
  • Get 240x thumbnails instead of default 50x.
  • Harmonized silent and verbose arguments.
  • Mock-up tests/
  • Made a knowledge base.
  • Use _humans_ in README examples. ;-)

0.0.5 (2016-08-23)

  • Major re-write.
  • Exposed core.WPTools as entrypoint.
  • Added get_parse(), get_query(), and get_wikidata().
  • Added get(self) to query all APIs.
  • Added show(self) method to display fetched attrs.
  • Show instance attributes after each request.
  • Ignore requests if attrs will not be updated.
  • Enabled language support across APIs.
  • Gets random article if no arguments.
  • CLI scripts and tests disabled pending update.

0.0.4 (2016-08-16)

  • Added wptools.lead.
  • Added safe_exit() to CLI scripts.
  • Removed a fair amount of unused code.

0.0.3 (2016-08-12)

  • Implemented wptools.image choices.
  • Added wptools.api to simplify python i/f and CLI scripts.
  • Merged @0x9900’s CLI dist fixes.
  • A little more test coverage.

0.0.2 (2016-08-02)

  • Starting to look like a legit module.

0.0.1 (2015)

  • Still better than alternatives for working with articles.

0.0.0 (2012)

  • It seems to work!

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