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I simply want to write a script (maybe Groovy, Java or Postman) allowing me to update my own questions and answers, maybe in some cases also other people's. My concrete use case is to update links to AspectJ release notes and documentation, because I posted hundreds of answers about AspectJ, often linking to documentation. But the URLs and the document structure for the AspectJ documentation will soon change completely. I want to keep my posts helpful by automatically updating content linking to old URLs by updating them. I am not an admin on the old website and cannot set up server-side redirects. Finding and changing all links manually would take days, so I want to automate it. It is absolutely no problem to authenticate manually in the browser and copy the token into my script every time it runs. I am also 100% fine with the script doing things in my name, because I am not going to do anything abusive.

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  • Bulk changes of this sort of URL change are, typically, handled by Stack Exchange staff in a manner that doesn't bump all the associated questions. It's something that should be brought up in a question on a meta site, typically Meta Stack Exchange for things that affect more than one site. Once the actual transformation that's needed is known, then the site's moderators can mark the question with a [status-review] tag and work with SE staff to get the change accomplished. It's something that can be done on a per-site basis, but is normally done across the network.
    – Makyen
    Jan 8 at 4:42
  • In other words, for the specific thing that you describe as wanting to change, I'd suggest you create a meta post describing the need for those URLs to be changed. Even if the edits are not done by SE staff, creating a meta post on any site where you intend to make bulk changes and getting buy-in from other members/moderators is generally necessary, as such changes can be quite disruptive to the site when done in bulk by a user.
    – Makyen
    Jan 8 at 4:49
  • That doesn't mean that you shouldn't look at creating something for your own use. As to that, I'd suggest looking at some of the stuff that Glorfindel has, as they already have code that does various automated edits across SE and you might be able to adapt at least some of what they've done.
    – Makyen
    Jan 8 at 4:49
  • @Makyen, thanks for your advice. I do not feel like involving Stack Exchange staff for a couple hundred links on a single site. The URL changes are by no means as trivial as simply mapping one type of URL onto another. Not just the domain name has changed, but also URLs, and even anchors have been renamed due to a switch from DocBook to Asciidoc HTML generation. I would have to provide them with a big list of mappings. I really feel that I am responsible for updating my own content. Bumps are OK, because it has the positive side effect or notifying subscribed users of the website change.
    – kriegaex
    Jan 8 at 5:40

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