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Our good old Amithkk has made a IRC bot that adds RSS feeds for tags in IRC channels. Currently, the bot servers the #juju and #ubuntu-app-devel rooms for and with plans to add to #ubuntu-community-team as well.

When I first brought this up with dpm, he was quite interested to do the same. And, going through our Trello board, Marco Ceppi seems to have wanting to do the same with juju room. I then requested Amithkk to consider building a bot and he has duly delivered a bot that seems to handle the task quite efficiently.

Now, would it be good that we closely monitor the rooms with RSS feed added and see how the users react with a bot spewing links to Ask Ubunbu questions? Perhaps, if it works out well, we can probably extend this to other relevant tags and rooms as well.

I am more than interested in knowing what Jorge Castro, Marco Ceppi and the other moderators have to say regarding this.


Just a quick glance about what this is about and what I think might be good and bad about this:

A quick intro
What this means is that, if there is a new question tagged with juju, then a link to the question will be posted in the juju IRC channel. If we are to extend this to other tags, we can get the bot to do the same with other tags as well.

Possible benefits

  • Allows the relevant people to answer questions in their field of expertise.
  • It could benefit both the users who might want precise and accurate responses.
  • Experts would know what users are looking for and might adapt their tutorials to include that.

Possible problems

  • The users of channels might be bogged down by too many questions if the tag was high volume.
  • They might not be interested in Ask Ubuntu after all.

This is how each chat message look like:

twobottux> auappdev: Problems with simple media player tutorial <https://askubuntu.com/questions/139420/problems-with-simple-media-player-tutorial>
  • Could you please add a description of what it means to add RSS feeds for certain tags to IRC channels and what the benefits and problems are? – N.N. May 20 '12 at 10:00
  • @N.N You want to watch it live?... Please come to the #2buntu channel – Amith KK May 20 '12 at 10:08
  • @N.N. Added what came to my mind. – jokerdino May 20 '12 at 10:23
  • @AmithKK Good point. However, I mostly meant adding a background description and pros and cons (like jokerdino just did) so that one has something here to base the discussion on. – N.N. May 20 '12 at 10:28
  • Just a note: This is hosted on my server, so don't rely on it just yet. I'm still tinkering with some other stuff, so this bot's behavior might be a little spotty. So just regard this as an experiment. – jrg May 20 '12 at 15:45
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    I'm not actually on IRC that often, but maybe someone should ask the admins of #ubuntu-packaging if they'd like the packaging tag there. The channel is for general packaging help. As opposed to #ubuntu-motu or #ubuntu-devel, you can go there for advice on your PPA or personal projects, not just distro development. – andrewsomething Oct 7 '12 at 16:00
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I am pleased to announce the completion of the first version of such an application.

Introducing StackIRC:

StackIRC is a small Python application that posts questions from Stack Exchange sites to IRC channels.

Similar to the Twitter feeds for each Stack Exchange site, this small IRC bot retrieves questions from any Stack Exchange site and regularly posts them to an IRC channel of your choice. The bot offers quite a few configurable settings and is capable of posting questions from multiple tags to multiple channels.

So basically, I have written a Python application that you can download, install, and run which will periodically poll the API for new questions with a specified set of tags. When one matches the criteria, its title and link are posted to a predefined IRC channel.

You can find instructions for setting up and using the app here:
https://github.com/nathan-osman/StackIRC

Note: the code is barely a day old so I haven't subjected it to any long term testing yet.


A single bot is best run with ~10 tags.

So there are currently two bots running AskUbuntu_ (By Marco Ceppi) and AUfeedbot (By Amith KK). Both are running on the Freenode network.

Here's a taglist:


Amith's Bot


Marco's Bot


  • 2
    I've set up the bot which is running as "AskUbuntu" on freenode with the above mentioned rooms and tags monitored. – Marco Ceppi Oct 9 '12 at 17:56
  • @GeorgeEdison tell me what channels you want to add and clearly I will help add it to my bot – smartboyhw Oct 13 '12 at 14:10
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Analytics

Will it be good to shorten the links in the RSS feeds to bit.ly links so that we can track if people are actually clicking the link?

2

This is a work item this cycle to better integrate Ask Ubuntu data into the ububots that sit in various support channels. It would be ideal to have this integrated in to the official Ubuntu bot setup so other teams can take advantage of this feature.

  • It is a little funny that I only hear about it just now. I never noted it being added to the blueprint. Thanks for mentioning it now anyway. – jokerdino May 20 '12 at 13:58
  • On a side note, this bot is actually functional right now. We could just integrate into the official bot setup. – jokerdino May 20 '12 at 14:02
  • The next 2 months will be the testing stage, all work will be done on twobottux, configuration can be ported easily to ubottu – Amith KK May 20 '12 at 14:50

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