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Remotely and collaboratively debug your Python application via IRC

Project description

https://travis-ci.org/coddingtonbear/ircpdb.svg?branch=master https://badge.fury.io/py/ircpdb.svg

Ircpdb is an adaptation of rpdb that, instead of opening a port and allowing you to debug over telnet, connects to a configurable IRC channel so you can collaboratively debug an application remotely.

import ircpdb
ircpdb.set_trace(
    channel="#debugger_hangout",
    limit_access_to=['mynickname'], # List of nicknames that are allowed access
)

By default, ircpdb will select a nickname on its own and enter the channel you specify on Freenode, but you can feel free to configure ircpdb to connect anywhere:

import ircpdb
ircpdb.set_trace(
    channel="#debugger_hangout",
    nickname='im_a_debugger',
    server='irc.mycompany.org',
    limit_access_to=['mynickname', 'someothernickname', 'mybestfriend'],
    port=6667,
    ssl=True,
)  # See 'Options' below for descriptions of the above arguments

Upon reaching set_trace(), your script will “hang” and the only way to get it to continue is to access ircpdb by talking to the user that connected to the above IRC channel.

By default, the debugger will enter the channel you’ve specified using a username starting with the hostname of the computer from which it was launched (in the following example: ‘MyHostname’). To interact with the debugger, just send messages in the channel prefixed with “MyHostname:”, or simply “!”.

For example, the following two commands are equivalent, and each will display the pdb help screen (be sure to replace ‘MyHostname’ with whatever username the bot selected):

!help
MyHostname: help

Installation

From pip:

pip install ircpdb

Options

You can either specify the server to connect to using a series of keyword arguments, or using a single URI string described below in URI Format. If you happen to specify connection parameters using both a URI and keyword arguments, the keyword arguments will take priority.

  • uri: A ‘URI’ specifying the IRC server and channel to connect to. If you specify a URI, there is no need to specify the below parameters, but if you do specify any other parameters, they will override settings specified in the URI. See URI Format below for more information.
  • channel (REQUIRED IF NOT USING URI): The name of the channel (starting with #) to connect to on the IRC server.
  • limit_access_to (REQUIRED IF NOT USING URI): A list of nicknames that are allowed to interact with the debugger. When specified in a URI, this should be a comma-separated list of nicknames.
  • nickname: The nickname to use when connecting. Note that an alternate name will be selected if this name is already in use. Defaults to using the hostname of the machine on which the debugger was executed.
  • server: The hostname or IP address of the IRC server. Default: chat.freenode.net.
  • port: The port number of the IRC server. Default: 6697.
  • ssl: Use SSL when connecting to the IRC server? Default: True.
  • password: The server password (if necessary) for the IRC server. Default: None.
  • message_wait_seconds: The number of seconds that the bot should wait between sending messages on IRC. Many servers, including Freenode, will kick clients that send too many messages in too short of a time frame. Default: 0.8 seconds.
  • dpaste_minimum_response_length: Try to post messages this length or longer to dpaste rather than sending each line individually via IRC. This is a useful parameter to use if you happen to be connected to a server having very austere limits on the number of lines a client can send per minute. Default: 10 lines.
  • activation_timeout: Wait maximally this number of seconds for somebody to interact with the debugger in the channel before disconnecting and continuing execution. Default: 60 seconds.

Default Settings via Environment Variable

You can specify default connection parameters by setting the DEFAULT_IRCPDB_URI environment variable with a URI matching the format described below in URI Format.

URI Format

Example:

irc+ssl://botnickname@ircserverhostname:6667/#mychannel?limit_access_to=mynickname

This is a shortcut format to use for specifying IRC connection parameters; roughly this follows the following format:

irc[+<ssl?>]://[[<nickname>][:<password>]@]<hostname>[:<port>]/<channel>

All other parameters mentioned in Options above can be specified as query string arguments.

Note that this diverges from a standard URI in that you should include the # characters at the beginning of your channel name unescaped.

Use in Django Templates

In your settings.py, add ircpbd.django to your installed apps:

INSTALLED_APPS = [
    # Other apps
    # ...
    'ircpdb.django',
]

Within the template you’d like to add a debugger trace to, load the ircpdb template tags by adding the following to the top of the template:

{% load ircpdb %}

And, where you’d like to inject the ircpdb trace:

{% set_trace channel='#my_channel' limit_access_to='coddingtonbear' %}

Note

Although most parameters are unchanged between when invoking set_trace in python and invoking set_trace from within a template, the parameter limit_access_to should be a comma-separated list of usernames rather than a list literal when using set_trace in a template (like above).

Next time you render this template (probably by going to a view that uses it), rendering will be halted at the point where you’ve placed your trace, and the ircpdb bot will appear in your channel.

Security Disclaimer

The way that this library works is inherently dangerous; given that you’re able to execute arbitrary Python code from within your debugger, it is strongly recommended that you take all reasonable measures to ensure that you control who are able to execute debugger commands.

To limit your risk as much as possible, you should consider taking the following steps:

  • Always use an SSL-capable IRC server (read: leave the ssl argument set to it’s default: True).
  • Connect to an IRC server you or a company you work for owns rather than Freenode (the default).

Just to make absolutely sure this is clear: you’re both responsible for determining what level of risk you are comfortable with, and for taking appropriate actions to mitigate that risk.

As is clearly and thunderously stated library’s license (see the included LICENSE.txt):

THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE AUTHOR AND CONTRIBUTORS ``AS IS'' AND
ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE
IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE
ARE DISCLAIMED.  IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE
FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL
DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS
OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION)
HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT
LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY
OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF
SUCH DAMAGE.

Good luck, and happy debugging!

Troubleshooting

If you do not see the bot entering your specified channel, try increasing the logging level by adding the following lines above your trace to gather a little more information about problems that may have occurred while connecting to the IRC server:

import logging
logging.basicConfig(filename='/path/to/somewhere.log', level=logging.DEBUG)

Author(s)

Adam Coddington <me@adamcoddington.net> - http://adamcoddington.net/

This library is a fork of rpdb, and the underpinnings of this library are owed to Bertrand Janin <b@janin.com> - http://tamentis.com/ and all other contributors to rpdb <https://github.com/tamentis/rpdb> including the following:

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