Bothead as a service

45 minutes



"Chatops", also known as "somebody finally gave a hipster name to what
IRC savvy sysadmins had been doing for years", is, silly name aside, a
really useful concept - having bots report things to channels or direct to
users as they happen and being able to trigger infrastructure queries as
part of a conversation are great things.

On the other hand, this results in everybody writing their own bot
implementation so every time you screw something up you end up with
reconnect noise. And it's nice to be able to run the same code as plain
shell scripts - IRC/Slack/et. al. are wonderful things but sometimes you
really wanted a console and a pipeline.

So, obviously, the answer is to separate the two things - and define a
simple protocol for bot code to talk to scripts, and for scripts to talk to
bots. That way each component can be replaced separately, and code can more
easily be re-used.

The concept of a multibot style setup like this isn't new, of course - but
this one is designed, not for the empowerment of IRC gurus, but to make life
simpler for everybody else ... and also the people like me who know IRC
pretty well but often wish we didn't have to.

I might even be stupid enough to run a live demo somewhere.