IRC bot written in Erlang
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** Contents

1. What is Erlbot?
2. How do I use it?
3. About


1. What is Erlbot?

Erlbot is an experimental IRC bot written in Erlang. I wrote it to teach
myself a bit of Erlang, so it's not all that enterprisey or even very well
tested. It also contains all manner of unsound practices when it comes to
networking (assuming lots of things about protocols, for example,) but
whatever; it works and it was fun to write.

Erlbot features a simple plugin structure and hot code reloading, because
Erlang is cool like that.


2. How do I use it?

You need Erlang installed on your system to run Erlbot. To connect to a server,
first start an Erlang shell by running:
$ erl
Then, from within the Erlang shell, start the bot itself:
> c(erlbot),
> erlbot:start({"hostname", 6667}, {"bot_nick", "admin_pass", []}, []).

This will start the bot. The empty list in the config tuple denotes a list
of channels to join after connecting to the server.
The empty list that's passed as the last argument is the list of plugins to

You can boss it around by /msg:ing it:
/msg bot_nick admin_pass join #some_channel
/msg bot_nick admin_pass part #some_channel
/msg bot_nick admin_pass load some_plugin
/msg bot_nick admin_pass unload some_plugin
/msg bot_nick admin_pass reload
/msg bot_nick admin_pass die

These commands will cause the bot to join #some_channel, leave #some_channel,
load some_plugin, unload some_plugin, reload all running code, and quit,

You can also send it messages through the erlang shell:
> erlbot:reload().       %% This will reload all running code
> erlbot ! die.          %% This will kill it.
> erlbot:load(module).   %% This will load the module 'module'.
> erlbot:unload(module). %% This will unload the module 'module'.

To actually have it do something, you need to add some plugins.
Only two are included (though writing your own should be a fairly trivial
affair;) dpress.erl and interjection.erl.
The dpress plugin requires another silly project of mine, dpress, in order
to do something (namely, generate random sentences based on learnings from
the channels the bot is in.)

To have that setup, here's a quick walkthrough:
1. Get dpress from and compile it:
   $ git clone ; cd dpress
   $ make
   (This requires that you have GHC with network libraries installed.)
2. Build a dictionary to start with from some text you like:
   $ ./compile < some_text.txt > dictionary.bin
3. Start the dpress server:
   $ ./server dictionary.bin
4. Start Erlbot with the dpress plugin:
   > c(erlbot),
   > erlbot:start({"hostname", 6667}, {"bot_nick", "admin_pass", ["#some_channel"]}, [dpress]).
5. Congratulations, you're now up and running!


3. About

erlbot (henceforth "the software") is written by Anton Ekblad (
and is made available to you under the terms of the WTFPL version 2.
The full text of the license can be found at

The author(s) of the software do not accept any responsibility or liability for
anything, related to the software or not. The software comes with no warranty

Although this is not required by the license, the author(s) would be very happy
if you contributed any improvements you make back to erlbot.