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Ergore - The IRC Emacs Igor

;;; ergore.el --- Personal Bitlbee robot and helper

;; Copyright (C) 2012 Jonathan Arkell

;; Author: Jonathan Arkell <>
;; Created: 5 Oct 2012
;; Keywords: erc bitlbee bot
;; Version 0.1

;; This file is not part of GNU Emacs.
;; Released under the GPL     

;;; Commentary: 
;; Please see the org-file that this was generated from. 

Note, if you are reading this on Github, it won’t work untill they update their org-mode parser to respond properly to the #+begin_src blocks.


Provide a simple robot to be in intermediary between spell weaving (coding) and the outside world.


First Version!
  • Added some debug code
  • Ergore brain more descriptive


  • This is super-beta software. Right now it works great on my emacs, with only one IRC server, using bitlbee.


To interact with Ergore, you send the string “ERGORE! <cmd>”, where <cmd> is the name of a defined command.

ERGORE! fetch me a wrench!
ERGORE! dig me a brain!
ERGORE! sleep!

These commands are for example only.

Bot Name

Right now I am enforcing the name (and invocation) of the bot to be “ERGORE!” Soon I will make her respond to any customizable name.

(defconst ergore-invocation "ERGORE!")

Bot Commands


Commands are defined in a customizable variable that contains a list of commands to be executed.

fix brain/ping/chao to work once loaded.

(defconst ergore-invocation "ERGORE!")

(defcustom ergore-commands 
  (append '((test . ergore-command-test)
            (info . ergore-command-info)
            (help . ergore-command-help)
            (seen . ergore-command-seen)
            (time . ergore-command-seen)
            (why  . ergore-command-why)
            (poke . ergore-command-force))

          (when (featurep 'sauron)
            '((ping . ergore-command-ping)))

          (when (featurep 'mindwave-emacs)
            '((brain . ergore-command-brain)))

          (when (featurep 'emagician-starter-kit)
            '((chao . ergore-command-chao))))

  "An associative list of command names and functions to call in the format of:
((command-name-symbol  . (lambda () ...))
 (command-name-symbol2 . 'funname))"
  :type '(alist :key-type symbol :value-type function))

(defvar ergore-debug t)

Writing your own command

Writing your own command is a fairly simple thing to do. Each command function takes 1 or more arguments. The first argument an erc-response data structure. All other arguments are optional, and are essentially the commands passed to the bot by the irc user. For sinace someone might issue:

ERGORE! fetch me brains!

Assuming the “fetch” command was mapped to the function ergore-command-fetch, that funciton would get the following arguments:

  • erc-response
  • “me”
  • “brains!”

It is recoomended when you write your command function such that it does not require a particular set of arguments, that way if a user tries to send it too few, or too many arguments it can be handled gracefully.

You might do something similar to this:

(defun ergore-command-test (data &rest args)
  "Test command.  Outputs to the Emacs log.  NO one will see it."
  (message "Data: %S Args: %S" data args))

Useful functions when writing your own commands

I provide a few useful functions for working with commands. In particular:

retrieves the nickname from an erc-response data dstructure
sends text to a named nick int eh &bitlbee channel. the text sent could be a string or a list

Full documentation is in the embedded documentation for those commands. C-h f <command-name> is your friend

(defun ergore-get-nick (data)
  "Retrieve the nickname from an erc-response structure."
  (car (erc-parse-user (erc-response.sender data))))

(defun ergore-send (sendee lines)
  "Send LINES to SENDEE.
SENDEE should be in the format of erc-response.sender 
LINES should be a string or a list of strings, which are the lines to send to the user."
  (let ((nick (car (erc-parse-user sendee))))
    (cond ((stringp lines)
           (erc-message "PRIVMSG" (concat "&bitlbee " nick ": " lines) nil))
          ((listp lines)
           (mapc (lambda (line)
                   (erc-message "PRIVMSG" (concat "&bitlbee " nick ": " line) nil))

Built-In Commands

!ERGORE help

Displays help text to the user. Horray for self documenting code!

(defun ergore-command-help (data &rest args)
  "List all available commands."
  (ergore-send (erc-response.sender data)
               (append '("here are the commands I accept:")
                       (mapcar (lambda (command)
                                 (format "ERGORE! %s - %s"
                                         (car command)
                                         (documentation (cdr command) t)))

!ERGORE test

This exists for my own testing purposes. Writes a log message to the *Messages* buffer.

!ERGORE info

Send basic information about ergore. My MSN status in bitlbee is set to

send me "ERGORE! info" to interact with my robot helper

When then tells the user how to use “ERGORE! help” and “ERGORE! ping”

(defun ergore-command-info (data &rest args)
  "Basic info about ERGORE."
  (ergore-send (erc-response.sender data) 
               (list "Hello.  I am Ergore.  You can interact with me, and I can things for you--and especially--for my MASTER."
                     "Say 'ERGORE! help' for a list of commands.  Say 'ERGORE! ping' to get Jonnays attention.")))


Sends the user the reason why I wrote this in the first place, and why she is named Ergore

(defun ergore-command-why (data &rest args)
  "Learn why Jonnay made this and how"
  (ergore-send (ergore-get-nick data)
               (list "Like Dr. Frankenstein, Jonnay made me in his Emacs laboratory one night.  He wasn't wearing his lab-coat at the time, but he sure wishes he was."
                     "I was made because people sometimes need to contact Jonnay in the middle of a deep coding session.  Since Jonnay uses Emacs (his code editor) as his IM client, sometimes he misses messages because he is in the state of flow."
                     "I am named Ergore for a few reasons.  First, it sounds like 'Igor'.  It has 'Er' in front because the client jonnay uses is called 'ERC'.  It also is reminiscent of 'ermahgerd' ("
                     "Now you know.  ERMAHGERD ERTS ERGORE!")))

!ERGORE seen

Tells the user when you were last working with emacs.

(defun ergore-command-seen (data &rest args)
  "Returns the last time that Emacs has seen jonnay."
  (let ((idle (current-idle-time)))
    (ergore-send (ergore-get-nick data)
                 (format "Jonnay has been away from emacs %s%d.%2d seconds (can you imagine?)"
                         (if (> (first idle) 0)
                             (first idle)
                         (second idle)
                         (third idle)))))

!ERGORE ping

Uses sauron to send an alert to Ergors Master

(defun ergore-command-ping (data &rest args)
  "Alerts me that you want my attention.  I may not answer right away.  Use poke in an emergency."
  (message "%s %s" 
           (car (erc-parse-user (erc-response.sender data))) 
           (erc-parse-user (erc-response.sender data)))
  (sauron-add-event 'ergore
                    (concat "MASTER! " (car (erc-parse-user (erc-response.sender data))) " Sent you a ping in ERC.")))

!ERGORE force

Pops the &bitlbee window up, and moves it to the bottom of the buffer. Used for when someone really wants your attention. Note, this is done in the most unobtrusive way I know, so that if you’re in the middle of hacking code, or avoiding being sniped by a grue, it won’t interupt your flow.

(defun ergore-command-force (data &rest args)
  "FORCE the IM window to the front.  This is the equivalent of yelling at me."
  (let ((cur-buffer (current-buffer)))
    (set-window-point (display-buffer "&bitlbee" '(display-buffer-pop-up-window ((inhibit-same-window . nil))))
                        (set-buffer "&bitlbee") 

!ERGORE brain

If you have mindwave-emacs (and a neurosky device) then it will send the attention and meditation levels that you have to the user.

(defun ergore-command-brain (data &rest args)
  "Show Jonnays CURRENT NEUROLOGICAL EEG STATE. How cool is that?"
  (let ((brain mindwave/current))
    (cond ((or (null (cdr (assoc 'poorSignalLevel brain)))
               (= (cdr (assoc 'poorSignalLevel brain))
           (ergore-send (ergore-get-nick data) 
                        "Jonnay Doesn't have his mindwave on."))
          ((> (cdr (assoc 'poorSignalLevel brain))
           (ergore-send (ergore-get-nick data) 
                        "Jonnay's mindwave has a bad connection right now"))
           (ergore-send (ergore-get-nick data) 
                        (list (format "Attentive: %d/100  Relaxed: %d/100"
                                      (mindwave/access-in 'eSense 'attention brain)
                                      (mindwave/access-in 'eSense 'meditation brain))
                              (format "Relative EEG:  δ:%s  θ:%s  α:%s %s  β:%s %s  γ:%s %s "
                                      (mindwave/access-in 'eegPower 'delta brain)                 
                                      (mindwave/access-in 'eegPower 'theta brain)
                                      (mindwave/access-in 'eegPower 'lowAlpha brain)
                                      (mindwave/access-in 'eegPower 'highAlpha brain)
                                      (mindwave/access-in 'eegPower 'lowBeta brain)
                                      (mindwave/access-in 'eegPower 'highBeta brain)
                                      (mindwave/access-in 'eegPower 'lowGamma brain)
                                      (mindwave/access-in 'eegPower 'highGamma brain))))))))

!ERGORE chao

If you use the Emagician Starter Kit, then display a cookie of chaotic wisdom.

(defun ergore-command-chao (data &rest args)
  "Make me read to you from a chaotic book of wisdom.  Could be long, could be short..."
  (ergore-send (ergore-get-nick data)
               (split-string (emagician/cookie) "\n" t)))

Interface to ERC


This sets up an erc insert-pre-hook that intercepts the text, and if it is an ergore command, run the executor.

Note that this is very basic right now, and doesn’t do a lot of error checking. (It does do SOME though, I am not a complete madman. Err… well.. maybe I am. But It still does some error checking regardless.)

(defun ergore-erc-hook (string)
  "Hooks into ERC and makes ergore go."
  (let ((pos (string-match ergore-invocation string)))
    (when pos (ergore-run-command (substring string (+ pos (length ergore-invocation))))))

(defun ergore-run-command (cmd-string)
  "Main dispatch for running an ergore command."
  (when ergore-debug
    (message "Ergore received command %s" cmd-string))
  (let* ((cmd-parts (split-string (substring-no-properties cmd-string)))
         (cmd (intern (substring-no-properties (car cmd-parts))))
         (args (cdr cmd-parts))
         (data (get-text-property 0 'erc-parsed cmd-string)))
    (message "CMD: %S  ARGS: %S  DATA:%S" cmd args data)
    (let ((cmd (cdr (assoc cmd ergore-commands))))    
      (if cmd
          (cond ((functionp cmd) 
                 (apply cmd data args))
                ((and (symbolp cmd)
                      (functionp cmd (symbol-value cmd)))
                 (apply (symbol-value cmd) data args))
                 (message "Ergore: Someone tried to call %s with %s.  (%s)" cmd args data)))
        (message "Ergore: Unknown command %s" cmd)))))

(add-hook 'erc-insert-pre-hook 'ergore-erc-hook)

determine whether or not it makes sence to refactor it to be more functional

  • should a command return a list that is the string to send back?

Tests. Sorry, they suck for now.

(ert-deftest test-egregore-run-command ()
  (let* ((test-run nil)
         (ergore-commands '((test . (lambda (arg) (setq test-run arg))))))
    (ergore-run-command "test someargs")
    (should (not (null test-run)))
    (should (string= test-run "someargs"))))

The End

Provide the package

(provide 'ergore)

And thank some dudes

Thanks to Perry, Demian, and Cory for helping to test it out.

Thanks to the erc folk for erc.

Thanks to my wife, cause she is awesome.

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