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I proposed this feature in Chat a while ago and haven't had any complaints, but I wanted to ask the community before I added it.

I have developed a bot and would like to add it to the Ask Different Chat main room. It is open source and the plugin API is extremely simple so people can add their own functionality. People can also request a feature that we can decide if we would like to implement. I have written extensive documentation on how everything works here (feel free to add if you can).

Many other chat rooms have their own bots for various functions. Welcoming new users to chat, stating rules, auto moderation (can help mods find bad questions), fun commands (increases chat activity), post links to questions based on certain criteria (better version of Feed), and many other functions. Ask Different might benefit from a command to search for Apple Support articles, etc.

If you want to test the bot you can do so here. The command prefix is || (pipe character). The Help menu can be accessed by || help and the format is || command_name arg1 arg2.

Please upvote or downvote the features you agree/disagree with (see answers below).

This is a discussion, so please share any feedback, concerns or suggestions you may have. Also feel free to add your own answers and proposals!

I hope that we can add the bot. :)


If you down voted (or upvoted), please consider adding a comment with your thoughts. I think any opposition should be discussed. Maybe it can be addressed, or if not there will at least be a post for future people on why a bot doesn't exist on this site.

  • 4
    Could you put up an answer with one specific thing you want the bot to do for us? That will make this real for many and get some votes going. Thank you so much for proposing this discussion. +1 for that – bmike May 19 at 4:10
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    Glad to see you've come this far! :) I remember you saying how complicated SE's chat API was to work with, so kudos to you for sticking it out! :) I think some of the functions you reference show some promise, so I agree with @bmike - adding an answer with a specific function will give users something more specific to vote on. If you want, feel free to post multiple answers - one for each function - so we get a sense of the level of support generally. Otherwise, start with one first and, if that gets up, we can expand from there if/when necessary. All the best with it! :) – Monomeeth May 19 at 6:36
  • @bmike Done. :) – JBis May 20 at 21:28
  • @Monomeeth Done. :) – JBis May 20 at 21:28
  • That's great. Thanks! :) – Monomeeth May 20 at 21:44
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Proposal Title: Apple Support Search Command

Description:

Currently I have setup commands for both Wikipedia and MDN:

|| mdn Array
|| wiki Apple

It allows people to easily search for commons things without leaving chat.

I propose an Apple Support version of this. Using a command, people could search Apple Support or anything else to find support articles. I often link official support articles in my answers so it would be nice to be able to search them in chat with a command. Additionally, if someone is asking a question in chat you can use the command to show them a relevant support article. This is very similar to the MDN command in the JavaScript chat.


This command has been added to the test bot || aps [query]

  • This is appealing to try in a side room. Not sure it would harm the main one either – bmike May 22 at 2:51
  • @bmike How do you think it might harm the main room? Not opposed to separate room, just want to get discussion going :) – JBis May 22 at 2:53
  • I don’t think it can harm the main room, you can always remove it. I think it might turn people off prematurely. It also might get critical mass. Hard to tell if a gradual intro will help or hurt. – bmike May 22 at 2:59
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Proposal Title: Auto Moderation

Description:

Could scan the site and/or chat for content against the rules (aggressive behavior, threats, offensive behavior) and alert moderators. Eventually, after detection is could enough it could automatically delete or flag things. Similar to what IPS Bot does in https://interpersonal.stackexchange.com.

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Proposal Title: Chat Owner

Description:

I propose that, once people get conformable with the bot, the bot become a chat owner. This would allow more features for the bot, relating to moderation.

I have implemented some security/bot management features:

  • Command Access - Different groups of users can have different access, so admins/mods/chat owners can only run certain commands while normal users can't
  • || sudo disable command that disables the bot. It will ignore any messages from anyone until a || enable command is ran by an admin. The disable command is also only allowed to be run by admins.
  • || sudo kill self ends the bot process. This can either restart the bot, if it is set to restart by cron or launchd or shut it down completely. Can only be run by admin.
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Proposal Title: Bot Ran By Site Moderator

Description:

If people would feel more comfortable with a moderator running the bot (this would require a computer/server connected to the internet 24/7) and a moderator is willing to do this, I am more than ok with that. I can help them set it up and manage it. The bot is completely open source so they can just pull from GitHub when there are changes.

Any mods volunteer?

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