Difference between revisions of "IRC:exec"

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"'''[[User:exec|exec]]'''" is a bot that runs in a CLI that connects to the Soylent [[SoylentNews:IRC|IRC server]] (irc.sylnt.us:6697) and executes other programs and facilitates their interaction with IRC.
"'''[[User:exec|exec]]'''" is a bot that runs in a CLI that connects to the Soylent [[SoylentNews:IRC|IRC server]] (irc.sylnt.us:6697) and executes other programs and facilitates their interaction with IRC.
[[IRC:exec_aliases]] | [[IRC]] | [[IRCiv]] | [[Suggestions]]
[[IRC:exec_aliases]] | [[IRC]] | [[IRCiv]] | [[Suggestions]] | [[Test page]]
==Quick start==
==Quick start==

Revision as of 07:48, 5 October 2014

"exec" is a bot that runs in a CLI that connects to the Soylent IRC server (irc.sylnt.us:6697) and executes other programs and facilitates their interaction with IRC.

IRC:exec_aliases | IRC | IRCiv | Suggestions | Test page

Quick start

/invite exec (must be channel op)
~join #channel (don't have to be channel op)
~sed on|off
sed syntax: [nick[:|,|>|.] ]s/pattern/replace[/[g]] (similar to SedBot)
~part (bot leaves channel)
~list (lists available commands)
~list-auth (lists available commands requiring NickServ account authorization)

~define term
~define-add term, meaning

~isup host[:port] (checks connection, returns http status if found)
~header <header> <url>
~rainbow text
~translate tolang text (auto-detects source lang, eg: ~translate en prueba)
~translate-sl fromlang tolang text (eg: ~translate-sl es en prueba)
~time location
~weather location
~weather-add name location (enables storing a short name to refer to a longer location description when using ~weather)
~queue (returns number of SN submissions in the queue)
~lock alias (treats all lines entered as being prefixed with alias, channel-specific)

~location code

~count <nick>
~first <nick>
~last <nick>
~find-first <text>
~find-last <text>

Commands requiring NickServ account authorization

~wiki login
~wiki title[|section] (gets [section] content)
~wiki edit title|section|text
~wiki edit title|section| (deletes section)
~wiki logout

~suggest text (currently appends to a section in the SoylentNews:Sandbox page)

~say text (say as exec with no amendments)

~bucket <index>
~bucket <index>
~bucket <index> unset


Administration commands

A whois command is issued to verify the account name of a user identified with NickServ for authentication purposes.

These functions are restricted for use by accounts in a hardcoded admin account list.

~q (bot quits, all child processes including SedBot2 are terminated)
~restart (bot process restarts, all child processes including SedBot2 are terminated)
~rehash (reloads exec configuration file)

~ps (list process id and command for all currently running child processes)
~kill <pid> (kills child process)


~buckets-dump (var_dumps bucket data to terminal)
~buckets-save (saves bucket data to file)
~buckets-load (loads bucket data from file)
~buckets-flush (clears all bucket data)
~buckets-list (lists bucket indexes in terminal)


Bot development

Developer(s): crutchy

Source: https://github.com/crutchy-/exec-irc-bot


Download above files, open a terminal and change to that directory, and run "php irc.php".

Scripts may be stored anywhere that is accessible to the bot script for CLI execution. If stored in a different location, the script path must be included in the exec file line.

Input to a script/program is via command line arguments only. Communication with a program through stdin is supported, but only using a similar syntax to IRC messages and currently stdin is used only to respond to bucket get messages (php scripts can use the lib.php get_bucket function).

stdout of an executed script/program may be passed to an IRC channel or output to exec's stdout (terminal), depending on the value of auto-privmsg in the exec line. If auto-privmsg=0, stdout from the script/program must begin with IRC_MSG or IRC_RAW for it to be sent to IRC. If auto-privmsg=1, all stdout from the script/program is assumed to be prefixed with IRC_MSG and is sent to IRC; this is generally required for programs that can't be easily edited, such as shell binaries (cowsay, fortune, etc).

Programs executed may be anything accessible from the CLI of the machine running the exec script. They may be shell programs (such as cowsay and fortune), php scripts (executed using the CLI php command) or scripts in any other language executable by their respective CLI interpreters (python, perl, haskell, etc).


"Buckets" are a feature of exec that allow scripts to store data in a common location which is accessible from any script and is retained/persistent between script executions. Each bucket consists of an array element in the main bot program that is read, written and cleared using IRC-like commands (see below) passed through stdout/stdin pipes from/to executed scripts - buckets are filled by pipes hahaha :-P

Complex data in array form may be stored using php's serialize/unserialize (or equivalent in other languages).

Buckets are referenced by an index string. Index strings cannot contain spaces.

:exec BUCKET_GET :index
:exec BUCKET_SET :index data
:exec BUCKET_UNSET :index

For PHP scripts, there are basic get_bucket, set_bucket and unset_bucket functions available, along with get_array_bucket, append_array_bucket, set_array_bucket, and bucket_list functions, which can be found here: https://github.com/crutchy-/exec-irc-bot/blob/master/scripts/lib_buckets.php


The exec.txt file resides in the same directory as the bot script (irc.php) file and links aliases (triggers typed in IRC) to scripts to be executed, and contains usage parameters and restrictions.





alias is the trigger typed in IRC at the start of a message that will trigger a script to be executed.

  • All aliases should start with a common trigger character (such as ~) but can be any lowercase string without spaces.
  • Aliases must be unique, but multiple scripts may be executed per alias by separating shell commands with &&.
  • The aliases *, <init>, <startup>, <quit> and <log> are reserved and have special meanings to the bot.
  • The * reserved alias occurs on every IRC message received. The exec bot in Soylent IRC uses a single script for this alias. cmd.php is executed on every line and contains a switch statement to dispatch internal trigger messages on various IRC events (such as numerics, PRIVMSG, NOTICE, JOIN, PART, NICK, etc). The bot then parses these internal messages to further trigger other scripts.
  • The <<init>> reserved alias is triggered on bot startup before the IRC connection is made. It is useful for initializing data buckets for particular scripts. Buckets and internal trigger messages may be called at this point, but IRC functionality is not yet available.
  • The <<startup>> reserved alias is triggered immediately after the bot sends an identify message to NickServ, but is not yet identified. It is useful for running scripts that require an IRC connection.
  • The <<quit>> reserved alias is triggered on bot shutdown and restart. IRC functionality is still available to this alias script. It is useful for saving data buckets to file so that data can persist when the bot is restarted.
  • The <<log>> reserved alias is triggered on every IRC message received (similar to *) but is executed immediately after the message is received (before other script triggers are processed) so is more stable for logging purposes due to a lower probability of messages being out of order.

A non-zero timeout is the number of seconds a script is allowed to run for before being terminated by the bot.

  • If a script times out a message is sent to the destination from which the alias was triggered to inform the user.
  • It is always a good idea to set a timeout to prevent infinite loops in scripts from chewing up bot host resources.
  • A timeout of 5 seconds is typical except for http-enabled scripts which sometimes require more time to complete.

A non-zero repeat is the number of seconds between each automated alias trigger.

  • Aliases with repeats may still be triggered manually.
  • The first trigger will occur after the repeat has elapsed on startup (repeat triggers don't trigger immediately on startup).

auto-privmsg may be 0 or 1.

  • A value of 1 will automatically privmsg every line of text output to a script's stdout or stderr so must be used with caution.
  • This is useful for running programs that aren't scripted, such as compiled binaries that can't be changed (apt-get, fortune, etc).
  • A value of 0 won't privmsg stdout/stderr and is required if a script needs to triggger other commands, send customized messages to IRC or use buckets.

empty-trailing-allowed may be 0 or 1.

  • A value of 1 will allow an alias to trigger if there is no text following the alias.
  • A value of 0 will require more text after the alias.
  • If an alias requires more text and a user enters only the alias itself with no other text, a privmsg is sent to inform the user.
  • If there is a chance that an alias may be entered without further text without intending to trigger the bot, this should be set to 0 and if need be handled silently within the triggered script.

account-list is a comma-delimited list of NickServ account names permitted to trigger the alias.

  • If a user attempts to trigger an account-restricted alias and their account isn't listed or they aren't identified with NickServ, a message is output to the terminal but not to IRC.
  • An empty list is unrestricted.
  • A value of "*" will allow any NickServ-registered user to trigger alias.

cmd-list is a comma-delimited list of commands that the alias may be triggered on, including IRC commands (PRIVMSG, NOTICE, NICK, etc) but also internal and bucket commands intercepted by the bot (INTERNAL, BUCKET_GET, etc).

  • Attempts to trigger a cmd-restricted alias on an unspecified cmd fail silently.
  • An empty list is unrestricted.

dest-list is a comma-delimited list of destinations that the alias may be triggered from, including channel names and nicks.

  • Attempts to trigger a dest-restricted alias from an unspecified destination fail silently.
  • An empty list is unrestricted.

reserved is an unused parameter reserved for future use, and may be 0 or 1.

shell-cmd is the cli command executed in a separate process by the bot when the assocated alias is triggered and all requirements are met.


  •  %%trailing%% excludes alias
  • aliases here must be all lower case letters
  • cmd list and dest list is not case sensitive, but conventionally use uppercase for cmd
  • account, cmd and dest lists are all comma-separated
  • set cmd list to PRIVMSG to enable alias to only be called by PRIVMSG cmd (NOTICE etc won't trigger)
  • set dest list to #soylent to restrict triggering of alias to the #soylent channel (can also use a nick to restrict to PM)

Available exec templates

  • %%trailing%% = the message string visible in an IRC client
  • %%dest%% = the channel/pm nick where the message originated
  • %%nick%% = the nickname of the sender
  • %%start%% = microtime(True) result when bot was started
  • %%alias%% = the command alias that triggered the script
  • %%cmd%% = the IRC command (PRIVMSG,NOTICE,QUIT,PART,NICK,JOIN,numeric,etc)
  • %%data%% = the entire IRC line (refer below)
  • %%exec%% = the exec line for the trigger alias
  • %%params%% = the params part of the IRC line (refer below; usually same as %%dest%% except when %%cmd%% is a numeric)

IRC line syntax:

:<prefix> <command> <params> :<trailing>

Script development

PHP script template


If anyone is interested in adding their own script, talk to crutchy (usually hangs out in #soylent and #test) who will be happy to help as best he can.

Internal commands

IRC commands

IRC commands maybe manually constructed by echoing a string to stdout using the ":<prefix> <command> <params> :<trailing>" syntax, but there is also a selection of shortcuts available to make scripting easier. The following commands may be called using a "/command <trailing>" syntax.

Usage in IRC

To invoke a script in IRC client:

alias [trailing]


<crutchy> ~define atlantic ocean
  <exec> 1 | noun | the 2nd largest ocean; separates North and South America on the west from Europe and Africa on the east\n2 | adjective | relating to or bordering the Atlantic Ocean

In the above example, "~define" is the alias, "atlantic ocean" is passed to the script as %%trailing%% and can be accessed in PHP scripts using the $argv global array variable.

Feeds Feed sources


See IRCiv.

Proposed IRC voting system

  • not complete (there are some pieces in place though)
  • open to suggestions/criticism


  • simple to use
  • simple to access
  • simple to get help
  • secure as practicable
  • difficult to vote more than once (governed by requirement for unique email address)
  • secret ballot


  • user connects to Soylent IRC and identifies with NickServ
  • user can get list of available polls using ~vote list (system will allow multiple concurrent polls)
  • optional time limit or due time for voting
  • user can get list of available preferences for a given vote id using ~vote list <vote_id>
  • user can get help on voting using ~vote, ~vote help, ~vote-help or ~vote ?
  • user registers to vote using ~vote register <vote_id> <email_address>
  • email address must be unique per vote
  • bot emails a vote key, which is only good for that user and that vote (key will be a short unique string of random characters, eg: Ar7u2y6T5koBW)
  • user votes using /msg exec ~vote <vote_id> <key> <preference>
  • if flag set by vote admin, users can suggest vote preference using /msg exec ~vote suggest <vote_id> <key> <preference>
  • creating polls by authorized staff/admins to be done via IRC commands
  • administrator can optionally set a flag to enable or disable multiple use of same key, and whether new votes replace old votes or cumulate
  • adminstrator can see results with ~vote results <vote_id>, or publish to channel with ~vote publish <vote_id>
  • bot uses secure connection to IRC, but emailing of keys will be in plain text
  • if necessary, possibly ban use of some web email hosts such as hotmail, yahoo, gmail, etc

Meeting assistant

This feature is currently under development.

Proof-of-concept script for development of a tool to assist Soylent PBC Board Meeting conduct, and also possibly to assist team meetings.

Intended to automate minute-taking and posting of minutes on the wiki. Meeting minutes will be posted automatically on the wiki on meeting close, with formatted sections for:

  • basic details such as start time, finish time, chair(s), etc
  • attendees with any notes regarding voiced/non-voiced nicks, speakers, authorized voters, admins, and anyone that joined/left partway through the meeting, etc
  • formatted IRC script
  • table of motions with vote counts, carried status, oppositions, who raised and who seconded etc
  • other data may be added as the feature is evolved
~meeting open
~meeting close
~meeting chair <nick>
~meeting motion <description>

There can only be one meeting per channel. Any number of meetings (in different channels) can occcur simultaneously.

The bot stores a list of meeting data bucket indexes in the <<MEETING_LIST>> bucket.

Meeting data buckets have indexes named <<MEETING_DATA $dest>> where $dest is the channel name.

Meeting data buckets are arrays, each containing the following elements:

channel = name of channel where meeting is being conducted
chairs = array containing chair data
finish = meeting close timestamp
messages = array of privmsg data
events = array of event data (quits/joins/kicks/nicks/etc)
initial nicks = list of nicks at meeting open
initial nicks complete = boolean
final nicks = list of nicks at meeting close
final nicks complete = boolean
quorum = boolean

Each chair data element contains an array with the following elements. A new chair array is added whenever the chair position is handed over.

nick = NickServ account name of chair
start = timestamp that chair commenced