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Configuration

Introduction

So you've got your Supybot up and running and there are some things you don't like about it. Fortunately for you, chances are that these things are configurable, and this document is here to tell you how to configure them.

Configuration of Supybot is handled via the Config plugin, which controls runtime access to Supybot's registry (the configuration file generated by the 'supybot-wizard' program you ran). The Config plugin provides a way to get or set variables, to list the available variables, and even to get help for certain variables. Take a moment now to read the help for each of those commands: config, list, and help. If you don't know how to get help on those commands, take a look at the GETTING_STARTED document.

Configuration Registry

Now, if you're used to the Windows registry, don't worry, Supybot's registry is completely different. For one, it's completely plain text. But there is at least one good idea in Windows' registry: hierarchical configuration.

Supybot's configuration variables are organized in a hierarchy: variables having to do with the way Supybot makes replies all start with supybot.reply; variables having to do with the way a plugin works all start with supybot.plugins.Plugin (where 'Plugin' is the name of the plugin in question). This hierarchy is nice because it means the user isn't inundated with hundreds of unrelated and unsorted configuration variables.

Some of the more important configuration values are located directly under the base group, supybot. Things like the bot's nick, its ident, etc. Along with these config values are a few subgroups that contain other values. Some of the more prominent subgroups are: plugins (where all the plugin-specific configuration is held), reply (where variables affecting the way a Supybot makes its replies resides), replies (where all the specific standard replies are kept), and directories (where all the directories a Supybot uses are defined). There are other subgroups as well, but these are the ones we'll use in our example.

Configuration Groups

Using the Config plugin, you can list values in a subgroup and get or set any of the values anywhere in the configuration hierarchy. For example, let's say you wanted to see what configuration values were under the supybot (the base group) hierarchy. You would simply issue this command:

<Mikaela> @config list supybot
<Limnoria> #alwaysJoinOnInvite, @abuse, @capabilities, @commands, @databases, @debug, @directories, @drivers, @log, @networks, @nick, @plugins, @protocols, @replies, @reply, @servers, defaultIgnore, defaultSocketTimeout, externalIP, flush, followIdentificationThroughNickChanges, ident, language, pidFile, snarfThrottle, upkeepInterval, and user

These are all the configuration groups and values which are under the base supybot group. Actually, their full names would each have a 'supybot.' prepended to them, but it is omitted in the listing in order to shorten the output. The first entries in the output are the groups (distinguished by the '@' symbol in front of them), and the rest are the configuration values. The '@' symbol (like the '#' symbol we'll discuss later) is simply a visual cue and is not actually part of the name.

Configuration Values

Okay, now that you've used the Config plugin to list configuration variables, it's time that we start looking at individual variables and their values.

The first (and perhaps most important) thing you should know about each configuration variable is that they all have an associated help string to tell you what they represent. So the first command we'll cover is config help. To see the help string for any value or group, simply use the config help command. For example, to see what this supybot.snarfThrottle configuration variable is all about, we'd do this:

<jemfinch|lambda> @config help supybot.snarfThrottle
<supybot> jemfinch|lambda: A floating point number of seconds to
          throttle snarfed URLs, in order to prevent loops between two
          bots snarfing the same URLs and having the snarfed URL in
          the output of the snarf message.  (Current value: 10.0)

Pretty simple, eh?

Now if you're curious what the current value of a configuration variable is, you'll use the config command with one argument, the name of the variable you want to see the value of:

<jemfinch|lambda> @config supybot.reply.whenAddressedBy.chars
<supybot> jemfinch|lambda: '@'

To set this value, just stick an extra argument after the name:

<jemfinch|lambda> @config supybot.reply.whenAddressedBy.chars @$
<supybot> jemfinch|lambda: The operation succeeded.

Now check this out:

<jemfinch|lambda> $config supybot.reply.whenAddressedBy.chars
<supybot> jemfinch|lambda: '@$'

Note that we used '$' as our prefix character, and that the value of the configuration variable changed. If I were to use the flush command now, this change would be flushed to the registry file on disk (this would also happen if I made the bot quit, or pressed Ctrl-C in the terminal which the bot was running). Instead, I'll revert the change:

<jemfinch|lambda> $config supybot.reply.whenAddressedBy.chars @
<supybot> jemfinch|lambda: The operation succeeded.
<jemfinch|lambda> $note that this makes no response.

Default Values

If you're ever curious what the default for a given configuration variable is, use the config default command:

<jemfinch|lambda> @config default supybot.reply.whenAddressedBy.chars
<supybot> jemfinch|lambda: ''

Thus, to reset a configuration variable to its default value, you can simply say:

<jemfinch|lambda> @config setdefault supybot.reply.whenAddressedBy.chars
<supybot> jemfinch|lambda: The operation succeeded.
<jemfinch|lambda> @note that this does nothing

Simple, eh?

Searching the Registry

Now, let's say you want to find all configuration variables that might be even remotely related to opping. For that, you'll want the config search command. Check this out:

<Mikaela> @config search op
<Limnoria> supybot.plugins.AutoMode.op, supybot.plugins.AutoMode.halfop, supybot.plugins.ChannelStatus.topic, supybot.plugins.LinkRelay.topicSync, supybot.plugins.NoLatin1.operator, supybot.plugins.Services.ChanServ.op, supybot.plugins.Services.ChanServ.halfop, supybot.plugins.Topic, supybot.plugins.Topic.public, supybot.plugins.Topic.separator, supybot.plugins.Topic.format, (1 more message)
<Mikaela> @more
<@Limnoria> supybot.plugins.Topic.recognizeTopiclen, supybot.plugins.Topic.default, supybot.plugins.Topic.alwaysSetOnJoin, supybot.plugins.Topic.undo, supybot.plugins.Topic.undo.max, and supybot.plugins.Topic.requireManageCapability

Sure, it showed all the topic-related stuff in there, but it also showed you all the op-related stuff, too. Do note, however, that you can only see configuration variables for plugins that are currently loaded or that you loaded in the past; if you've never loaded a plugin there's no way for the bot to know what configuration variables it registers.

Channel-Specific Configuration

Many configuration variables can be specific to individual channels. The Config plugin provides an easy way to configure something for a specific channel; for instance, in order to set the prefix chars for a specific channel, do this in that channel:

<jemfinch|lambda> @config channel supybot.reply.whenAddressedBy.chars !
<supybot> jemfinch|lambda: The operation succeeded.

That'll set the prefix chars in the channel from which the message was sent to '!'. Voila, channel-specific values! Also, note that when using the Config plugin's list command, channel-specific values are preceeded by a '#' character to indicate such (similar to how '@' is used to indicate a group of values).

Editing the Configuration Values by Hand

NOTE: We don't recommend this and you shouldn't ever do this, you should do everything with the commands in the Config plugin.

Some people might like editing their registry file directly rather than manipulating all these things through the bot. For those people, we offer the config reload command, which reloads both registry configuration and user/channel/ignore database configuration.

Just edit the interesting files and then give the bot the config reload command and it'll work as expected. Do note, however, that Supybot flushes its configuration files and database to disk every hour or so, and if this happens after you've edited your configuration files but before you reload your changes, you could lose the changes you made. To prevent this, set the supybot.flush value to 'Off' while editing the files, and no automatic flushing will occur.

If you cannot access the bot on IRC and your bot is running on a POSIX system, you can also send it a SIGHUP signal; it is exactly the same as config reload (note that the Config plugin has to be loaded to do that).