POE::Component::IRC::Plugin::BotCommand - A PoCo-IRC plugin which handles commands issued to your bot


 use POE;
 use POE::Component::Client::DNS;
 use POE::Component::IRC;
 use POE::Component::IRC::Plugin::BotCommand;

 my @channels = ('#channel1', '#channel2');
 my $dns = POE::Component::Client::DNS->spawn();
 my $irc = POE::Component::IRC->spawn(
     nick   => 'YourBot',
     server => 'some.irc.server',

     package_states => [
         main => [ qw(_start irc_001 irc_botcmd_slap irc_botcmd_lookup dns_response) ],


 sub _start {
     $irc->plugin_add('BotCommand', POE::Component::IRC::Plugin::BotCommand->new(
         Commands => {
             slap   => 'Takes one argument: a nickname to slap.',
             lookup => 'Takes two arguments: a record type (optional), and a host.',
     $irc->yield(register => qw(001 botcmd_slap botcmd_lookup));
     $irc->yield(connect => { });

 # join some channels
 sub irc_001 {
     $irc->yield(join => $_) for @channels;

 # the good old slap
 sub irc_botcmd_slap {
     my $nick = (split /!/, $_[ARG0])[0];
     my ($where, $arg) = @_[ARG1, ARG2];
     $irc->yield(ctcp => $where, "ACTION slaps $arg");

 # non-blocking dns lookup
 sub irc_botcmd_lookup {
     my $nick = (split /!/, $_[ARG0])[0];
     my ($where, $arg) = @_[ARG1, ARG2];
     my ($type, $host) = $arg =~ /^(?:(\w+) )?(\S+)/;

     my $res = $dns->resolve(
         event => 'dns_response',
         host => $host,
         type => $type,
         context => {
             where => $where,
             nick  => $nick,
     $poe_kernel->yield(dns_response => $res) if $res;

 sub dns_response {
     my $res = $_[ARG0];
     my @answers = map { $_->rdatastr } $res->{response}->answer() if $res->{response};

         $res->{context}->{nick} . (@answers
             ? ": @answers"
             : ': no answers for "' . $res->{host} . '"')



POE::Component::IRC::Plugin::BotCommand is a POE::Component::IRC plugin. It provides you with a standard interface to define bot commands and lets you know when they are issued. Commands are accepted as channel or private messages.

The plugin will respond to the 'help' command by default, listing available commands and information on how to use them. However, if you add a help command yourself, that one will be used instead.



'Commands', a hash reference, with your commands as keys, and usage information as values. If the usage string contains newlines, the plugin will send one message for each line.

If a command's value is a HASH ref like this:

     $irc->plugin_add('BotCommand', POE::Component::IRC::Plugin::BotCommand->new(
         Commands => {
             slap   => {
                info => 'Slap someone',
                args => [qw(nickname)],
                nickname => 'nickname to slap'

The args array reference is than used to validate number of arguments required and to name arguments passed to event handler. Help is than generated from info and other hash keys which represent arguments (they are optional).

An optional handler key can be specified inside the HASH ref to override the event handler. The irc_botcmd_ prefix is not automatically prepended to the handler name when overriding it.

An optional aliases key can be specified inside the HASH ref containing a array ref with alias names. The aliases can be specified for help and to run the command.

Accepting commands

'In_channels', a boolean value indicating whether to accept commands in channels. Default is true.

'In_private', a boolean value indicating whether to accept commands in private. Default is true.

'Addressed', requires users to address the bot by name in order to issue commands. Default is true.

'Prefix', a string which all commands must be prefixed with (except in channels when 'Addressed' is true). Default is '!'. You can set it to '' to allow bare commands.

'Bare_private', a boolean value indicating whether bare commands (without the prefix) are allowed in private messages. Default is false.


'Auth_sub', a subroutine reference which, if provided, will be called for every command. The subroutine will be called in list context. If the first value returned is true, the command will be processed as normal. If the value is false, then no events will be generated, and an error message will possibly be sent back to the user.

You can override the default error message by returning a second value, an array reference of (zero or more) strings. Each string will be sent as a message to the user.

Your subroutine will be called with the following arguments:

1. The IRC component object
2. The nick!user@host of the user
3. The place where the command was issued (the nickname of the user if it was in private)
4. The name of the command
5. The command argument string

'Ignore_unauthorized', if true, the plugin will ignore unauthorized commands, rather than printing an error message upon receiving them. This is only relevant if 'Auth_sub' is also supplied. Default is false.

Help Command

'Help_sub', a subroutine reference which, if provided, will be called upon the end of the predefined help command. The subroutine will be called in list context.

Your subroutine will be called with the following arguments:

1. The IRC component object
2. The command.
3. The resolved command(after alias processing).
4. The arguments.
5. The generated help text as array.


'Ignore_unknown', if true, the plugin will ignore undefined commands, rather than printing a help message upon receiving them. Default is false.

'Method', how you want help messages to be delivered. Valid options are 'notice' (the default) and 'privmsg'.

'Eat', set to true to make the plugin hide irc_public events from other plugins when they look like commands. Probably only useful when a 'Prefix' is defined. Default is false.

Returns a plugin object suitable for feeding to POE::Component::IRC's plugin_add method.


Adds a new command. Takes two arguments, the name of the command, and a string or hash reference containing its usage information (see new). Returns false if the command has already been defined or no info or arguments are provided, true otherwise.


Removes a command. Takes one argument, the name of the command. Returns false if the command wasn't defined to begin with, true otherwise.


Takes no arguments. Returns a list of key/value pairs, the keys being the command names and the values being the usage strings or hash references.


Takes one argument, a string to match against command aliases, if no matching command can be found undef is returned.



You will receive an event like this for every valid command issued. E.g. if 'slap' were a valid command, you would receive an irc_botcmd_slap event every time someone issued that command. It receives the following arguments:

  • ARG0: the nick!hostmask of the user who issued the command.

  • ARG1 is the name of the channel in which the command was issued, or the sender's nickname if this was a private message.

  • ARG2: a string of arguments to the command, or hash reference with arguments in case you defined command along with arguments, or undef if there were no arguments


Hinrik Örn Sigurðsson,