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TOMMY DHOSS KEEDI DRTECH GIBUS
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Author image Tom Insam
and 1 contributors

NAME

Bot::BasicBot - simple irc bot baseclass

SYNOPSIS

  # with all defaults
  my $bot = Bot::BasicBot->new( channels => ["#bottest"] );
  $bot->run();

  # with all known options
  my $bot = Bot::BasicBot->new(

    server => "irc.example.com",
    port   => "6667",
    channels => ["#bottest"],
    
    nick      => "basicbot",
    alt_nicks => ["bbot", "simplebot"],
    username  => "bot",
    name      => "Yet Another Bot",
    
    ignore_list => [qw(dipsy dadadodo laotse)],

    charset => "utf-8", # charset the bot assumes the channel is using

  );
  $bot->run();

DESCRIPTION

Basic bot system designed to make it easy to do simple bots, optionally forking longer processes (like searches) concurrently in the background.

There are several examples of bots using Bot::BasicBot in the examples/ folder in the Bot::BasicBot tarball. If you installed Bot::BasicBot through CPAN, see http://jerakeen.org/programming/Bot-BasicBot for more docs and examples.

A quick summary, though - You want to define your own package that subclasses Bot::BasicBot, override various methods (documented below), then call new() and run() on it.

STARTING THE BOT

new( key => value, .. )

Creates a new instance of the class. Name value pairs may be passed which will have the same effect as calling the method of that name with the value supplied. Returns a Bot::BasicBot object, that you can call 'run' on later.

eg:

  my $bot = Bot::BasicBot->new( nick => 'superbot', channels => [ '#superheroes' ] );

run()

Runs the bot. Hands the control over to the POE core.

METHODS TO OVERRIDE

In your Bot::BasicBot subclass, you want to override some of the following methods to define how your bot works. These are all object methods - the (implicit) first parameter to all of them will be the bot object.

init()

called when the bot is created, as part of new(). Override to provide your own init. Return a true value for a successful init, or undef if you failed, in which case new() will die.

said($args)

This is the main method that you'll want to override in your subclass - it's the one called by default whenever someone says anything that we can hear, either in a public channel or to us in private that we shouldn't ignore.

You'll be passed a hashref that contains the arguments described below. Feel free to alter the values of this hash - it won't be used later on.

who

Who said it (the nick that said it)

raw_nick

The raw IRC nick string of the person who said it. Only really useful if you want more security for some reason.

channel

The channel in which they said it. Has special value "msg" if it was in a message. Actually, you can send a message to many channels at once in the IRC spec, but no-one actually does this so this is just the first one in the list.

body

The body of the message (i.e. the actual text)

address

The text that indicates how we were addressed. Contains the string "msg" for private messages, otherwise contains the string off the text that was stripped off the front of the message if we were addressed, e.g. "Nick: ". Obviously this can be simply checked for truth if you just want to know if you were addressed or not.

You should return what you want to say. This can either be a simple string (which will be sent back to whoever was talking to you as a message or in public depending on how they were talking) or a hashref that contains values that are compatible with say (just changing the body and returning the structure you were passed works very well.)

Returning undef will cause nothing to be said.

emoted( $args )

This is a secondary method that you may wish to override. It gets called when someone in channel 'emotes', instead of talking. In its default configuration, it will simply pass anything emoted on channel through to the said handler.

emoted receives the same data hash as said.

chanjoin( $mess )

Called when someone joins a channel. $mess is an object similar to a said() message, $mess->{who} is the nick of the user who joined, $mess->{channel} is the channel they joined.

This is a do-nothing implementation, override this in your subclass.

chanpart( $mess )

Called when someone leaves a channel. $mess is an object similar to a said() message, $mess->{who} is the nick of the user who left, $mess->{channel} is the channel they left.

This is a do-nothing implementation, override this in your subclass.

got_names( $mess )

Whenever we have been given a definitive list of 'who is in the channel', this function will be called. As usual, $mess is a hash. $mess->{channel} will be the channel we have information for, $mess->{names} is a hashref, where the keys are the nicks of the users, and the values are more hashes, containing the two keys 'op' and 'voice', indicating if the user is a chanop or voiced respectively.

The reply value is ignored.

Normally, I wouldn't override this method - instead, just use the names call when you want to know who's in the channel. Override this only if you want to be able to do something as soon as possible. Also be aware that the names list can be changed by other events - kicks, joins, etc, and this method won't be called when that happens.

topic( $mess )

Called when the topic of the channel changes. $mess->{channel} is the channel the topic was set in, $mess->{who} is the nick of the user who changed the channel, and $mess->{topic} will be the new topic of the channel.

nick_change( $mess )

When a user changes nicks, this will be called. $mess looks like

  { from => "old_nick",
    to => "new_nick",
  }

kicked( $mess )

Called when a user is kicked from the channel. $mess looks like:

  { channel => "#channel",
    who => "nick",
    kicked => "kicked",
    reason => "reason",
  }

The reply value is ignored.

tick()

This is an event called every regularly. The function should return the amount of time until the tick event should next be called. The default tick is called 5 seconds after the bot starts, and the default implementation returns '0', which disables the tick. Override this and return non-zero values to have an ongoing tick event.

Use this function if you want the bot to do something periodically, and don't want to mess with 'real' POE things.

Call the schedule_tick event to schedule a tick event without waiting for the next tick.

help

This is the other method that you should override. This is the text that the bot will respond to if someone simply says help to it. This should be considered a special case which you should not attempt to process yourself. Saying help to a bot should have no side effects whatsoever apart from returning this text.

connected

An optional method to override, gets called after we have connected to the server

BOT METHODS

There are a few methods you can call on the bot object to do things. These are as follows:

schedule_tick(time)

Causes the tick event to be called in 'time' seconds (or 5 seconds if time is left unspecified). Note that if the tick event is due to be called already, this will override it, you can't schedule multiple future events with this funtction.

forkit

This method allows you to fork arbitrary background processes. They will run concurrently with the main bot, returning their output to a handler routine. You should call forkit in response to specific events in your said routine, particularly for longer running processes like searches, which will block the bot from receiving or sending on channel whilst they take place if you don't fork them.

forkit takes the following arguments:

run

A coderef to the routine which you want to run. Bear in mind that the routine doesn't automatically get the text of the query - you'll need to pass it in arguments (see below) if you want to use it at all.

Apart from that, your run routine just needs to print its output to STDOUT, and it will be passed on to your designated handler.

handler

Optional. A method name within your current package which we can return the routine's data to. Defaults to the built-in method say_fork_return (which simply sends data to channel).

body

Optional. Use this to pass on the body of the incoming message that triggered you to fork this process. Useful for interactive proceses such as searches, so that you can act on specific terms in the user's instructions.

who

The nick of who you want any response to reach (optional inside a channel.)

channel

Where you want to say it to them in. This may be the special channel "msg" if you want to speak to them directly

address

Optional. Setting this to a true value causes the person to be addressed (i.e. to have "Nick: " prepended to the front of returned message text if the response is going to a public forum.

arguments

Optional. This should be an anonymous array of values, which will be passed to your run routine. Bear in mind that this is not intelligent - it will blindly spew arguments at run in the order that you specify them, and it is the responsibility of your run routine to pick them up and make sense of them.

say( key => value, .. )

Say something to someone. You should pass the following arguments:

who

The nick of who you are saying this to (optional inside a channel.)

channel

Where you want to say it to them in. This may be the special channel "msg" if you want to speak to them directly

body

The body of the message. I.e. what you want to say.

address

Optional. Setting this to a true value causes the person to be addressed (i.e. to have "Nick: " prepended to the front of the message text if this message is going to a pulbic forum.

You can also make non-OO calls to say, which will be interpreted as coming from a process spawned by forkit. The routine will serialise any data it is sent, and throw it to STDOUT, where POE::Wheel::Run can pass it on to a handler.

emote( key => value, .. )

emote will return data to channel, but emoted (as if you'd said "/me writes a spiffy new bot" in most clients). It takes the same arguments as say, listed above.

reply($mess, $body)

Reply to a message $mess. Will reply to an incoming message with the text '$body', in a privmsg if $mess was a privmsg, in channel if not, and prefixes if $mess was prefixed. Mostly a shortcut method - it's roughly equivalent to $mess->{body} = $body; $self->say($mess);

channel_data

ATTRIBUTES

Get or set methods. Changing most of these values when connected won't cause sideffects. e.g. changing the server will not cause a disconnect and a reconnect to another server.

Attributes that accept multiple values always return lists and either accept an arrayref or a complete list as an argument.

The usual way of calling these is as keys to the hash passed to the 'new' method.

server

The server we're going to connect to. Defaults to "irc.perl.org".

port

The port we're going to use. Defaults to "6667"

password

The server password for the server we're going to connect to. Defaults to undef.

ssl

A boolean to indicate whether or not the server we're going to connect to is an SSL server. Defaults to 0.

nick

The nick we're going to use. Defaults to five random letters and numbers followed by the word "bot"

alt_nicks

Alternate nicks that this bot will be known by. These are not nicks that the bot will try if it's main nick is taken, but rather other nicks that the bot will recognise if it is addressed in a public channel as the nick. This is useful for bots that are replacements for other bots...e.g, your bot can answer to the name "infobot: " even though it isn't really.

username

The username we'll claim to have at our ip/domain. By default this will be the same as our nick.

name

The name that the bot will identify itself as. Defaults to "$nick bot" where $nick is the nick that the bot uses.

channels

The channels we're going to connect to.

quit_message

The quit message. Defaults to "Bye".

ignore_list

The list of irc nicks to ignore public messages from (normally other bots.) Useful for stopping bot cascades.

charset

IRC has no defined character set for putting high-bit chars into channel. In general, people tend to assume latin-1, but in case your channel thinks differently, the bot can be told about different charsets.

This feature requires perl 5.8+, I'm not fannying about with charsets under any other version of perl.

flood

Set to '1' to disable the built-in flood protection of POE::Compoent::IRC

STATES

These are the POE states that we register in order to listen for IRC events. For the most part you don't need to worry about these, unless you want to override them to do something clever.

start_state

Called when we start. Used to fire a "connect to irc server event"

reconnect

Connects the bot to the IRC server. Called 1 second after the 'start' event.

in an ideal world, this will never get called again - we schedule it for 'x' seconds in the future, and whenever we see a server ping we reset this counter again. This means that it'll get run if we haven't seen anything from the server for a while, so we can assume that something bad has happened. At that point we shotgun the IRC session and restart everything, so we reconnect to the server.

This is by far the most reliable way I have found of ensuring that a bot will reconnect to a server after it's lost a network connection for some reason.

By default, the timeout is 300 seconds. It can be set by changing $Bot::BasicBot::RECONNECT_TIMEOUT.

stop_state

Called when we're stopping. Shutdown the bot correctly.

irc_001_state

Called when we connect to the irc server. This is used to tell the irc server that we'd quite like to join the channels.

We also ignore ourselves. We don't want to hear what we have to say.

irc_disconnected_state

Called if we are disconnected from the server. Logs the error and schedules a reconnect event.

irc_error_state

Called if there is an irc server error. Logs the error and schedules a reconnect event.

irc_kicked_state

Called on kick. If we're kicked then it's best to do nothing. Bots are normally called in wrapper that restarts them if we die, which may end us up in a busy loop. Anyway, if we're not wanted, the best thing to do would be to hang around off channel.

irc_join_state

Called if someone joins. Used for nick tracking

irc_nick_state

Called if someone changes nick. Used for nick tracking.

irc_mode_state

irc_said_state

Called if we recieve a private or public message. This formats it into a nicer format and calls 'said'

irc_emoted_state

Called if someone "emotes" on channel, rather than directly saying something. Currently passes the emote striaght to irc_said_state which deals with it as if it was a spoken phrase.

irc_received_state

Called by irc_said_state and irc_emoted_state in order to format channel input into a more copable-with format.

irc_ping_state

The most reliable way I've found of doing auto-server-rejoin is to listen for pings. Every ping we get, we put off rejoining the server for another few mins. If we haven't heard a ping in a while, the rejoin code will get called.

Recently, I've adapted this for servers that don't send pings very often, and reset the counter any time _anything_ interesting happens.

You can change the amount of time the bot waits between events before calling a reconnect event by changing $Bot::BasicBot::RECONNECT_TIMEOUT to a value in seconds. The default is '500'.

irc_chanjoin_state

Called if someone joins a channel.

irc_chanpart_state

Called if someone parts a channel.

irc_chan_received_state

Called by irc_chanjoin_state and irc_chanpart_state in order to format channel joins and parts into a more copable-with format.

fork_close_state

Called whenever a process forked by POE::Wheel::Run (in forkit) terminates, and allows us to delete the object and associated data from memory.

fork_error_state

Called if a process forked by POE::Wheel::Run (in forkit) hits an error condition for any reason. Does nothing, but can be overloaded in derived classes to be more useful

tick_state

the POE state for the tick event. Reschedules a tick event for the future if the tick method returned a value.

names_state

names_done_state

topic_raw_state

topic_state

OTHER METHODS

AUTOLOAD

Bot::BasicBot implements AUTOLOAD for sending arbitrary states to the underlying POE::Component::IRC compoment. So for a $bot object, sending

    $bot->foo("bar");

is equivalent to

    $poe_kernel->post(BASICBOT_ALIAS, "foo", "bar");

log

Logs the message. This method merely prints to STDERR - If you want smarter logging, override this method - it will have simple text strings passed in @_.

ignore_nick($nick)

Return true if this nick should be ignored. Ignores anything in the ignore list

nick_strip

Takes a nick and hostname (of the form "nick!hostname") and returns just the nick

charset_decode( foo, bar, baz )

Converts a string of bytes into a perl string, using the bot's charset. (under perls before 5.8, just returns the thing it's passed.

Takes a list of strings, returns a list of strings, this is useful in the contexts that I tend to be calling it from. Bytes that cannot be decoded are converted to '?' symbols - see http://search.cpan.org/~dankogai/Encode-2.09/Encode.pm#Handling_Malformed_Data

charset_encode( foo, bar, baz )

Converts a list of perl strings into a list of byte sequences, using the bot's charset. See charset_decode.

AUTHOR

Tom Insam <tom@jerakeen.org>

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

CREDITS

The initial version of Bot::BasicBot was written by Mark Fowler, and many thanks are due to him.

Nice code for dealing with emotes thanks to Jo Walsh.

Various patches from Tom Insam, including much improved rejoining, AUTOLOAD stuff, better interactive help, and a few API tidies.

Maintainership for a while was in the hands of Simon Kent <simon@hitherto.net>. Don't know what he did. :-)

I recieved patches for tracking joins and parts from Silver, sat on them for two months, and have finally applied them. Thanks, dude. He also sent me changes for the tick event API, which made sense.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Bot::BasicBot is based on POE, and really needs the latest version as of writing (0.22), since POE::Wheel::Run (used for forking) is still under development, and the interface recently changed. With earlier versions of POE, forking will not work, and the makefile process will carp if you have < 0.22. Sorry.

You also need POE::Component::IRC.

BUGS

During the make, make test make install process, POE will moan about its kernel not being run. I'll try and gag it in future releases, but hey, release early, release often, and it's not a fatal error. It just looks untidy.

Don't call your bot "0".

Nick tracking blatantly doesn't work yet. In Progress.

fork_error_state handlers sometimes seem to cause the bot to segfault. I'm not yet sure if this is a POE::Wheel::Run problem, or a problem in our implementation.

SEE ALSO

POE, POE::Component::IRC

Possibly Infobot, at http://www.infobot.org