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A simple extendable irc bot in Erlang
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An extensible ircbot written in Erlang

It all started when I decided I need to learn Erlang. At the same time I needed a simple ircbot to handle some of the channels I frequent on. These two things put together and I decided to start this project.

The evolution of my knowledge can be best seen from the history of the git commits.

Now that the bot is extensible by plug-ins, and quite stable it's becoming pretty useful. It still needs improvements and is work in progress, but plug-ins can be written for anything.

Patches, help and feature requests can be sent on the github issue tracker. There's a TODO list I keep there too.

The bot is MIT licensed (for no particular reason), it's a very liberal license with no strings, so you can really do whatever you want with it.

Quick start

First, compile everything:


Second, edit and rename the settings.cfg.sample file (to settings.cfg). Then start an Erlang REPL shell. Make sure the module path is set to the ./ebin/ directory, where all the compiled .beam files are:

erl -pa ./ebin

or simply:

make run-shell

Once in the Erlang REPL you can start the bot with:

{ok, Settings} = file:consult("settings.cfg").
{ok, IrcBot} = ircbot_fsm:start(Settings).
gen_fsm:send_event(IrcBot, connect).
gen_fsm:sync_send_all_state_event(IrcBot, {add_plugin, 'plugins.rps', []}).

You can make changes to the source code & plugins while the bot is running. Just hit "make" in another terminal and then, if everything is ok, in the Erlang REPL run:


to reload the 'plugins.rps' rock-paper-scissors module.



to reload the 'ircbot_fsm' module.

Erlangs code switching and the gen_fsm/gen_event frameworks will handle all the details to run the new code without even disconnecting.

Parametrized Module API

Using the parametrized module support in Erlang we can do something like this too:

{ok, Settings} = file:consult("settings.cfg").
IrcBot = ircbot_fsm:new(Settings).
IrcBot:add_plugin(plugins.rps, []).

The parametrized module feature is officially supported since Erlang R14, so now I consider this the official API of the bot.

Real OTP Application

To start it:

erl -sname ircbot@localhost -setcookie xxx -pa ebin/ \
    -sasl errlog_type error -s ircbot_app -conf settings-app.cfg

To connect a remote shell to it:

erl -sname ctrl -remsh ircbot@localhost -setcookie xxx

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