Deskbot

Deskbot is a cross-platform desktop-based Jabber client for talking to a single user – normally a bot.

deskbot

This is a screenshot of me using it to talk to the bot we run at work and asking for the details of a particular user.It’s written in wxRuby and uses xmpp4r-simple. There is a slight complication writing applications which need to poll a queue in wxRuby (such as the list of incoming replies from the bot) since you can’t just use green Thread objects and must use a Timer to make sure the Thread gets serviced. Very annoying.You can get the code like this:

bzr get http://philwilson.org/code/deskbot

You need to configure both who deskbot logs in as, and who it’s talking to in the code. There are some interesting questions around presence, invisibility, and client redirection here, but I just created a test account to log in as, and the bot already existed to talk to.

Theoretically I should be using things like ad-hoc commands and data forms, but I’m way too lazy.

It’s only a demo bit of code really and not enough to talk about, but I promised myself I would talk about more of the code I write!

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One thought on “Deskbot”

  1. Looks interesting. I like the idea of using a dedicated client for bots.

    BTW, it’s possible to receive del.icio.us (and Twitter) updates (except private ones) in near real-time thanks to Gnip.

    Get a Gnip account, go to the del.icio.us filter page, add your JabberID, a comma-separated list of tags (in the “Tag” form) and users (in the “Actor” form), subscribe to xmpp:gnip@xmpp.gnipcentral.com, and voilĂ  you get del.icio.us bookmarks sent to you in near real-time.

    I’m running a bot that publishes updates as presence stanza. It’s even possible to subscribe with different JID resources (e.g. romeo@montague.net/del.icio.us & romeo@montague.net/twitter).

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