An IRC Bot with a cmd attitude

## Why, oh, why!

tl;dr: because I needed it.

Now with the actual reason…

Yes, yes, yes, I know. “Yet another IRC Bot”… But why oh why oh why did you need to make a new one? There are tons of them: SupyBot Phenny, and the super-hyper Hubot… Here’s the deal, right? There are a lot of bots, but all of them suck at one thing: remembering. Usually, these bots only know how to perform small tasks that only require a ping and a pong back with the answer. After doing this task, your question and its answer are gone, and the bot forgets about it.

Here was my challenge: I wanted to hack a bot that could handle a small IRC- based game, with several players, a subset of rules, dice rolling, keeping scores during the game, and a winner when the score of a player was reaching the goal. To do that, your bot needs a brain.

### The case of Hubot

I’ve been tempted to build it using Hubot, and its Hubot-irc adapter. But I’ve lost three full evenings trying to make it work, without success. My bug report lead to solve it. It might change in the future, but my node-js skills are close to zero, and my Javascript is a bit above this level.

I needed to succeed. Building a “dumb” IRC bot is quite easy. There are tons of examples you can find on the web. You can extend these bots by adding a plugin system, like Supybot’s or phenny’s. But that’s not good for my use, because it “only” consists of an ephemereal callback function. I needed a “smarter” bot.

### Introducing CmdBot

Here is my take. It’s far from being 100% perfect, but I think it takes the best of Python’s introspection mechanism.

By the way, why the name “CmdBot”? Because its function loading system has been inspired by the Python’s cmd module, that uses class member introspection to catch the designated functions and execute them.

This piece of software is published under the terms of the WTFPL (Do What The Fuck You Want License), that can be summed as its term “0”:

1. You just DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO.

## Install

CmdBot is hosted on Github. If you want the latest code, go fetch it here:

https://github.com/brunobord/cmdbot

You can install the program using:

python setup.py install

### A cute “ini” file

The mandatory step: building an ini file. You can use the sample bot.ini file that sits in the source code, or edit your own. You just have to know that only two variables must be set in it:

[general]
host = name.your.server
chan = #nameyourchan

The other vars are optional, and usually default values would suit.

If you want some admin to take this bot over (and you surely need it at some point), set the value with a space-separated list of nicks… e.g.:

admins = nick1 nick2 nick3

You may use the “@admin” decorator in your extended classes to process the bot line only if the user that has send the order is in this nick list.

### Want to run the bot?

It’s as simple as:

python bot.py bot.ini

But… your bot won’t be able to do much. Here is a sample “dialog”:

22:31 -!- cmdbot [~cmdbot@127.0.0.1] has joined #cdc
22:31 < cmdbot> Hi everyone.
22:31 < No> cmdbot: help
22:31 < cmdbot> No: you need some help? Here is some...
22:31 < cmdbot> Available commands: help, ping
22:32 < No> cmdbot: ping
22:32 < cmdbot> No: pong
22:32 -!- cmdbot [~cmdbot@127.0.0.1] has quit [EOF From client]

## Want a more clever bot?

Here’s how:

• Create a module / script with a bot that extends the core bot

• add it a few “do_[stuff]” commands

• make it more clever, by using its “brain”

You can see a few example of what a “brainy bot” can do, remember by browsing the bots available in the “samples” directory.

## What’s next?

Well… now, the sky is the limit. Extended bots can manipulate data, remember it, treat and process it… And you can still use this bot as a “dumb”, if you want!

## Project details

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