A simple Perl IRCBot

A couple things I want to talk about. First of all, I will be participating in project52; which is a competetion to write a blog post in every week of the year. The last 2 years I have done the november post-a-day, and gotten about 25 of the 30 required posts. So hopefully writing twice that number of posts in 12 times the amount of time will be easy, right? Anyways, this is the first post in that series, so stay tuned for more regular and hopefully useful content :)

And since I don’t like posting just basic updates, here is some perl code that I just recently dug up.

The code

I was thinking about adding IRC integration to a side project that I have been working on lately. I remembered that I had written something similar while in high school, and I’ve decided to throw that code up online, and clean it up a little bit. I don’t really expect anyone to use it, but I think it’s pretty neat, considering I wrote it 6 years ago.

The code is up over at github with basic installation instructions. It comes with a client in perl and python.

The idea is that the IRCBot has a basic TCP server in it, that you can use to send it messages across a network. So you can send a message crafted in the form of password&server&channel&my sweet message, and the bot will display it on the correct channel.

It uses POE, which I believe is perl’s analogous idea to Twisted. I assume something like this is possible for Python, but I figured since it was already written, I should go ahead and use and release it.

The story

So the reason that this code exists is because I was a huge nerd in high school. I went to a computer class in the afternoons, where we each had our own computers, but the networks were locked down. This was in a time before I was good enough at SSH Tunneling, so I went ahead and wrote this code as a way to use HTTP to get into IRC.

The code released was half of it, it would site on IRC, and log all activity into a Mysql database. It also had a TCP server built in, so that I could ping it from another process/server and send messages out to other channels.

The second half was a basic web interface, which would pull and display all of the logs from the Mysql DB. It was broken down by channel, giving historical logs of each. It also had a firehose display that showed all incoming messages and what channel/server they were from. Along with this there was a form that hit a CGI script that sent a TCP request across to the client process and sent messages into the IRC channels. This allowed me to have two way communication into IRC from my web browser.

I happily used this to chat with people on IRC for my last year in high school. :)

Hey there! I'm Eric and I work on communities in the world of software documentation. Feel free to email me if you have comments on this post!