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Writing Automatons

An automaton (also called robot or service) is a program that is connected to the IRC network to provide services.     Many people try to set that up with a few ircII commands like:

on -MSG "% help" notice $0 This is LameBot 1.0

However, you should know that setting up an automaton using ircII ON facilities is quick and dirty, and should be reserved for robots that rely on ircII specific features such as DCC (file servers for instance). Writing a program in C, perl or any decent programming language should take longer at the beginning, but your efforts will be rewarded. You can even download skeletons of such programs on some ftp sites that keep IRC -related stuffgif.

Although most robots-writers believe they have created a ``smart thing'', 99 % of the robots online happen to be a nuisance to the IRC community, because a few simple rules were not respected by their owners. The main idea is that robots should neither be seen nor heard:

on -JOIN "Lamer #BotTub" mode #BotTub +o Lamer

then you are wrong. Because this is what you will get:

*** Lamer (clueless@where.the.hell) has joined channel #bottub
*** Mode change "+o Lamer" on channel #bottub by LameBot
*** Mode change "+o Lamer" on channel #bottub by StupidSrv
*** Mode change "+ooo Lamer Lamer Lamer" on channel #bottub by FloodServ
*** Mode change "+o Lamer" on channel #bottub by Dumbbot

And this will get boring very soon, so don't be surprised if such robots get banned from most channels. A good kludge is to wait until someone asks explicitly the robot to be opped on a channel. This could be:

on -MSG "Lamer op me on #BotTub" mode #BotTub +o Lamer

If you don't respect rules 2 and 6 above, this may happen too:

*** TalkBot (clueless@where.the.hell) has joined channel #bottub
<LameBot> Hi TalkBot!
<TalkBot> Hello LameBot! How are you?
*** Mode change "+o TalkBot" on channel #bottub by LameBot
<LameBot> Fine thanx.
<TalkBot> Thank you for the op, LameBot.
<LameBot> No problem, TalkBot.
*** Signoff: Talkbot (ircserver.irc.edu where.the.hell)
*** TalkBot (clueless@where.the.hell) has joined channel #bottub
*** Mode change "+o TalkBot" on channel #bottub by where.the.hell
*** Mode change "+o LameBot" on channel #bottub by TalkBot
*** Mode change "+o TalkBot" on channel #bottub by LameBot
<TalkBot> Thank you for the op, LameBot.
<LameBot> No problem, TalkBot.
...

See ? Remember the golden rule:



next up previous contents index
Next: Frequently Asked Questions Up: Let's Go! Previous: Sample .ircrc


Nikos Drakos
Thu Jan 12 11:58:54 GMT 1995