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Daneel is an irc robot. He runs on a few rooms I'm in doing various things for me.


Currently, all daneel does is listen for URLs, fetch summaries for them, and print them out in the room. Suggestions or implementations for commands are welcome.


All you need is gevent and this repository; daneel uses no other libraries. If you are crazy, you can use:

apt-get install gevent-python

But if you are a python programmer or a sane person, you can install gevent with pip via:

pip install gevent

The bulk of his IRC support is in, which is a very small gevent-based IRC library I wrote after irctk kept on failing to reconnect. girc does not support reconnecting, but it will when daneel starts disconnecting :)


If you want to write your own bot, bin/ is a good place to start.

Despite being gevent based, daneel still uses callback handlers, as they are a pretty standard way of dealing with the multiplexed, async nature of IRC. Handlers receive a context object which looks like this:

class Context(object):
    server    # current server object
    channel   # channel message was sent to, or None if N/A
    line      # raw line of this message
    sender    # sender of the message, eg. user!
    type      # type of message, eg. PRIVMSG
    target    # target of the message, eg. #channel
    msg       # the message text, eg. "Hello everyone!"

You can use channel.say() to send a message to the channel, or use server.say(msg, to) to reply to the sender. Although gevent will not prevent the readloop from running while your plugins run, the handlers are all run in the same thread and can block eachother; spawn your own greenthreads if you need to do some networking that might take a while.

While handlers live at the server level, there are some helpers as well:


A wrapper (or decorator) for a function which should only respond to PRIVMSG type messages.

handle_on(handler, type=None, sender=None, target=None, msg=None)

A generic handler wrapper which will filter out messages which do not match all of the established criteria. For instance, you can use handle_on(handler, type="NOTICE") to have your handler only run on NOTICE functions. The filters can take strings (at which point there is an in comparison) or callables which receive a string and return a booley value. This means you can also do something like handle_on(handler, type=lambda x: x != "PRIVMSG") to handle all non-privmsg messages.


A convenience method which is equivalent to channel.server.handlers.append(handle_on(handler,, ie. only handle messages that go to this channel.


Sometimes, your bot needs to have a kind of conversation with another user or with the server. There is a simple abstraction for this called server.waitfor(...), which creates filters in the same way that handle_on does. The server connection step uses waitfor to connect and identify nicks before attempting to join any channels. It's worth noting that this will block your thread, so if you need to do this in a handler you should spawn a greenlet to continue that conversation without blocking other handlers.


  • The server object installs its own handler,, which takes care of IRC's PING/PONG.
  • Nearly any type of error will currently crash the bot, including disconnections.
  • The timeout param for servers is not used, but should be used in the future by the ping handler to initiate a dc/rc sequence if it is exceeded.
  • The entire bot code is currently only around ~200loc and can easily be read and understood by anyone who knows python, though reasoning about what might block and what won't can be more difficult.


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