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EFB Telegram Master, a channel for EH Forwarder Bot.
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EFB Telegram Master Channel (ETM)

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Channel ID: blueset.telegram

ETM is a Telegram Master Channel for EH Forwarder Bot, based on Telegram Bot API, python-telegram-bot.

Beta version

This is an unstable beta version, and its functionality may change at any time.

Requirements

  • Python >= 3.6
  • EH Forwarder Bot >= 2.0.0
  • ffmpeg
  • libmagic
  • libwebp

Getting Started

  1. Install all required binary dependencies

  2. Install ETM

    pip3 install efb-telegram-master
  3. Enable ETM in the profile’s config.yaml

    The path of your profile storage directory depends on your configuration.

    (As of EFB 2.0.0a1: Default profile storage directory is located at ~/.ehforwarderbot/profiles/default )

  1. Configure the channel (described as follows)

Alternative installation methods

ETM also has other alternative installation methods contributed by the community, including:

Configuration

Set up a bot

Create a bot with @BotFather, give it a name and a username. Then you’ll get a token, which will be used later. Keep this token secure, as it gives who owns it the full access to the bot.

Use /setjoingroups to allow your bot to join groups. Use /setprivacy to disable the privacy restriction of the bot, so that it can receive all messages in the group.

Complete configuration file

Configuration file is stored at <profile directory>/blueset.telegram/config.yaml.

A sample config file can be as follows:

##################
# Required items #
##################

# [Bot Token]
# This is the token you obtained from @BotFather
token: "012345678:1Aa2Bb3Vc4Dd5Ee6Gg7Hh8Ii9Jj0Kk1Ll2M"

# [List of Admin User IDs]
# ETM will only process messages and commands from users
# listed below. This ID can be obtained from various ways
# on Telegram.
admins:
- 102938475
- 91827364

##################
# Optional items #
##################
# [Experimental Flags]
# This section can be used to toggle experimental functionality.
# These features may be changed or removed at any time.
# Options in this section is explained afterward.
flags:
    option_one: 10
    option_two: false
    option_three: "foobar"

# [Network Configurations]
# [RPC Interface]
# Refer to relevant sections afterwards for details.

Usage

At the beginning, messages from all senders will be sent to the user directly, that means every message will be mixed in the same conversation. By linking a chat, you can redirect messages from a specific sender to an empty group for a more organized conversation.

In a nutshell, ETM offers the following commands, you can also send it to BotFather for a command list:

help - Show commands list.
link - Link a remote chat to a group.
unlink_all - Unlink all remote chats from a group.
info - Display information of the current Telegram chat.
chat - Generate a chat head.
extra - Access additional features from Slave Channels.
update_info - Update the group name and profile picture.
react - Send a reaction to a message, or show a list of reactors.

Note

In case of multiple admins are assigned, they may all send message on your behalf, but only the 0th admin can receive direct message from the bot.

/link: Link a chat

  1. Create a new group, invite your bot to the group
  2. Send /link directly to the bot, then select your preferred slave chat.
  3. Tap “Link” and select your new group. You can also choose to unlink or relink a linked chat from this menu.
  4. Tap “Start” at the bottom of your screen, and you should see a success message: “Chat linked.”

Note

You may introduce non-ETM admin users to the group, however, they:

  • Can read all messages send from the related remote chat;
  • May NOT send message on your behalf.

If the “Link” button doesn’t work for you, you may try the “Manual Link/Relink” button. To manually link a remote chat:

  1. Add the bot to the group you want to link to
  2. Copy the code provided by the bot, and send it to the group.
  3. If the group is linked successfully, you would receive a confirmation from the bot.

Also, you can send /unlink_all to a group to unlink all remote chats from it.

Also, if you want to link a chat which you just used, you can simply reply /link quoting a previous message from that chat without choosing from the long chat list.

Advanced feature: Filtering

If you have just too many chats, and being too tired for keep tapping Next >, or maybe you just want to find a way to filter out what you’re looking for, now ETM has equipped /chat and /list with filtering feature. Attach your keyword behind, and you can get a filtered result.

E.g.: /chat Eana will give you all chats has the word “Eana”.

Technical Details

The filter query is in fact a regular expression matching. We used Python’s re.search with flags re.DOTALL | re.IGNORECASE in this case, i.e.: . matches everything including line breaks, and the query is NOT case-sensitive. Each comparison is done against a specially crafted string which allows you to filter multiple criteria.

Channel: <Channel name>
Name: <Chat name>
Alias: <Chat Alias>
ID: <Chat Unique ID>
Type: (User|Group)
Mode: [Linked]
Other: <Python Dictionary String>

Note

Type can be either “User” or “Group”

Other is the vendor specific information provided by slave channels. Format of such information is specified in their documentations respectively.

Examples:

  • Look for all WeChat groups: Channel: WeChat.*Type: Group
  • Look for everyone who has an alias Name: (.*?)\nAlias: (?!\1)
  • Look for all entries contain “John” and “Johnny” in any order: (?=.*John)(?=.*Johnny)

Send a message

Send to a linked chat

You can send message as you do in a normal Telegram chat.

What is supported:

  • Send/forward message in all supported types
  • Quote-reply to a message
  • Send message with inline bot in supported types

What is NOT supported:

  • @ reference
  • Markdown/HTML formatting
  • Messages with unsupported types

Send to a non-linked chat

To send a message to a non-linked chat, you should “quote-reply” to a message or a “chat head” that is sent from your recipient. Those messages should appear only in the bot conversation.

In a non-linked chat, quote-reply will not be passed on to the remote channel, everything else is supported as it does in a linked chat.

Quick reply in non-linked chats

ETM provides a mechanism that allow you to keep sending messages to the same recipient without quoting every single time.

In case where recipient is not indicated for a message, ETM will try to deliver it to the “last known recipient” in the Telegram chat only if:

  1. your last message with the “last known recipient” is with in an hour, and
  2. the last message in this Telegram chat is from the “last known recipient”.

Edit and delete message

In EFB v2, the framework added support to message editing and removal, and so does ETM. However, due to the limitation of Telegram Bot API, although you may have selected “Delete for the bot”, or “Delete for everyone” while deleting messages, the bot would not know anything about it. Therefore, if you want your message to be removed from a remote chat, edit your message and prepend it with rm` (it’s R, M, and ~`, not single quote), so that the bot knows that you want to delete the message.

Please also notice that some channels may not support editing and/or deleting messages depends on their implementations.

/chat: Chat head

If you want to send a message to a non-linked chat which has not yet sent you a message, you can ask ETM to generate a “chat head”. Chat head works similarly to an incoming message, you can reply to it to send messages to your recipient.

Send /chat to the bot, and choose a chat from the list. When you see “Reply to this message to chat with ...”, it’s ready to go.

Advanced feature: Filtering

Filter is also available in /chat command. Please refer to the same chapter above, under /link for details.

/extra: External commands from slave channels (“additional features”)

Some slave channels may provide commands that allows you to remotely control those accounts, and achieve extra functionality, those commands are called “additional features”. To view the list of available extra functions, send /extra to the bot, you will receive a list of commands available.

Those commands are named like “/<number>_<command_name>”, and can be called like an CLI utility. (of course, advanced features like piping etc would not be supported)

/update_info: Update name and profile picture of linked group

ETM can help you to update the name and profile picture of a group to match with appearance in the remote chat.

This functionality is available when:

  • This command is sent to a group
  • The bot is an admin of the group
  • The group is linked to exactly one remote chat
  • The remote chat is accessible

Profile picture will not be set if it’s not available from the slave channel.

/react: Send reactions to a message or show a list of reactors

Reply /react to a message to show a list of chat members who have reacted to the message and what their reactions are.

Reply /react followed by an emoji to react to this message, e.g. /react 👍. Send /react - to remove your reaction.

Note that some slave channels may not accept message reactions, and some channels have a limited reactions you can send with. Usually when you send an unaccepted reaction, slave channels can provide a list of suggested reactions you may want to try instead.

Telegram Channel support

ETM supports linking remote chats to Telegram Channels with partial support.

The bot can:

  • Link one or more remote chats to a Telegram Channel
  • Check and manage link status of the channel
  • Update channel title and profile pictures accordingly

It cannot:

  • Process messages sent by you or others to the channel
  • Accept commands in the channel

Currently the following commands are supported in channels:

  • /start for manual chat linking
  • /link to manage chats linked to the channel
  • /info to show information of the channel
  • /update_info to update the channel title and picture

How to use:

  1. Add the bot as an administrator of the channel
  2. Send commands to the channel
  3. Forward the command message to the bot privately

Technical Details

Telegram Bot API prevents bot from knowing who actually sent a message in a channel (not including signatures as that doesn't reflect the numeric ID of the sender). In fact, that is the same for normal users in a channel too, even admins.

If messages from channels are to be processed unconditionally, not only that other admins in existing channels can add malicious admins to it, anyone on Telegram, once knows your bot username, can add it to a channel and use the bot on your behalf. Thus, we think that it is not safe to process messages directly from a channel.

Limitations

Due to the technical constraints of both Telegram Bot API and EH Forwarder Bot framework, ETM has the following limitations:

  • Some Telegram message types are not supported:
    • Game messages
    • Invoice messages
    • Payment messages
    • Passport messages
    • Vote messages
  • ETM cannot process any message from another Telegram bot.
  • Some components in Telegram messages are dropped:
    • Original author and signature of forwarded messages
    • Formats, links and link previews
    • Buttons attached to messages
    • Details about inline bot used on messages
  • Some components in messages from slave channels are dropped:
    • @ references not referring to you.
  • The Telegram bot can only
    • send you any file up to 50 MiB,
    • receive file from you up to 20 MiB.

Experimental flags

The following flags are experimental features, may change, break, or disappear at any time. Use at your own risk.

Flags can be enabled in the flags key of the configuration file, e.g.:

flags:
    flag_name: flag_value
  • chats_per_page (int) [Default: 10]

    Number of chats shown in when choosing for /chat and /link command. An overly large value may lead to malfunction of such commands.

  • network_error_prompt_interval (int) [Default: 100]

    Notify the user about network error every n errors received. Set to 0 to disable it.

  • multiple_slave_chats (bool) [Default: true]

    Link more than one remote chat to one Telegram group. Send and reply as you do with an unlinked chat. Disable to link remote chats and Telegram group one-to-one.

  • prevent_message_removal (bool) [Default: true]

    When a slave channel requires to remove a message, EFB will ignore the request if this value is true.

  • auto_locale (str) [Default: true]

    Detect the locale from admin’s messages automatically. Locale defined in environment variables will be used otherwise.

  • retry_on_error (bool) [Default: false]

    Retry infinitely when an error occurred while sending request to Telegram Bot API. Note that this may lead to repetitive message delivery, as the respond of Telegram Bot API is not reliable, and may not reflect the actual result.

  • send_image_as_file (bool) [Default: false]

    Send all image messages as files, in order to prevent Telegram’s image compression in an aggressive way.

  • message_muted_on_slave (str) [Default: normal]

    Behavior when a message received is muted on slave channel platform.

    • normal: send to Telegram as normal message
    • silent: send to Telegram as normal message, but without notification sound
    • mute: do not send to Telegram
  • your_message_on_slave (str) [Default: silent]

    Behavior when a message received is from you on slave channel platform. This overrides settings from message_muted_on_slave.

    • normal: send to Telegram as normal message
    • silent: send to Telegram as normal message, but without notification sound
    • mute: do not send to Telegram
  • animated_stickers (bool) [Default: false]

    Enable experimental support to animated stickers. Note: you might need to install binary dependency libcairo to enable this feature.

  • send_to_last_chat (str) [Default: warn]

    Enable quick reply in non-linked chats.

    • enabled: Enable this feature without warning.
    • warn: Enable this feature and issue warnings every time when you switch a recipient with quick reply.
    • disabled: Disable this feature.

Network configuration: timeout tweaks

This chapter is adapted from Python Telegram Bot wiki, licensed under CC-BY 3.0.

python-telegram-bot performs HTTPS requests using urllib3. urllib3 provides control over connect_timeout & read_timeout. urllib3 does not separate between what would be considered read & write timeout, so read_timeout serves for both. The defaults chosen for each of these parameters is 5 seconds.

The connect_timeout value controls the timeout for establishing a connection to the Telegram server(s).

Changing the defaults of read_timeout & connect_timeout can be done by adjusting values request_kwargs section in ETM’s config.yaml.

# ...
request_kwargs:
    read_timeout: 6
    connect_timeout: 7

Run ETM behind a proxy

This chapter is adapted from Python Telegram Bot wiki, licensed under CC-BY 3.0.

You can appoint proxy specifically for ETM without affecting other channels running in together in the same EFB instance. This can also be done by adjusting values request_kwargs section in ETM’s config.yaml.

HTTP proxy server

request_kwargs:
    # ...
    proxy_url: http://PROXY_HOST:PROXY_PORT/
    # Optional, if you need authentication:
    username: PROXY_USER
    password: PROXY_PASS

SOCKS5 proxy server

This is configuration is supported, but requires an optional/extra python package. To install:

pip install python-telegram-bot[socks]
request_kwargs:
    # ...
    proxy_url: socks5://URL_OF_THE_PROXY_SERVER:PROXY_PORT
    # Optional, if you need authentication:
    urllib3_proxy_kwargs:
        username: PROXY_USER
        password: PROXY_PASS

RPC interface

A standard Python XML RPC server is implemented in ETM 2. It can be enabled by adding a rpc section in ETM’s config.yml file.

rpc:
    server: 127.0.0.1
    port: 8000

Warning

The xmlrpc module is not secure against maliciously constructed data. Do not expose the interface to untrusted parties or the public internet, and turn off after use.

Exposed functions

Functions in the db (database manager) class and the RPCUtilities class are exposed. Refer to the source code for their documentations.

How to use

Set up a SimpleXMLRPCClient in any Python script and call any of the exposed functions directly. For details, please consult Python documentation on xmlrpc.

License

ETM is licensed under GNU Affero General Public License 3.0 or later versions:

EFB Telegram Master Channel: An slave channel for EH Forwarder Bot.
Copyright (C) 2016 - 2019 Eana Hufwe, and the EFB Telegram Master Channel contributors
All rights reserved.

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License as
published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the
License, or any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU Affero General Public License
along with this program.  If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.

Translation support

ETM supports translated user interface with the help of community. The bot detects languages of Telegram Client of the admins from their messages, and automatically matches with a supported language on the go. Otherwise, you can set your language by turning off the auto_locale feature, and then setting the locale environmental variable (LANGUAGE, LC_ALL, LC_MESSAGES or LANG) to one of our supported languages. Meanwhile, you can help to translate this project into your languages on our Crowdin page.

Note

If your are installing from source code, you will not get translations of the user interface without manual compile of message catalogs (.mo) prior to installation.

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