Talking about the new factoid plugin

Elián Hanisch lambdae2 at
Mon May 16 20:29:01 UTC 2011

Hi, as some of you already know, since UDS-M we have been working in an 
improved factoid plugin, named Stormyfacts, to replace current Encyclopedia 
plugin. This new plugin should bring support for MySQL, multiple databases, 
localisation, better handling of factoid suggestions, factoid history and some 
more. [1]

There's still plenty of time before Stormyfacts is ready for ubottu, things 
like factoid suggestions and the web interface aren't implemented yet, and 
there are several bugs. But I'd like to start introducing it now so any issues 
can be discussed with time. The current documentation of the plugin can be 
found here [2], it's not complete yet, but commands and usage are covered.

Should you want to test out the plugin now, my devel bot, scratDev, is idling 
in #ubuntu-bots-test. Note that the database is an old database from ubottu. 
Anyone can open a query with it and call/edit factoids (scratDev will notify 
any edits in #ubuntu-bots-test). For example, to check the history of a 
factoid, you can use "!test --rev -1" and see the previous value of !test, or 
"!ops --rev 0" and see who were the very first ops to be annoyed with 
highlights :P
You can edit "!no, test is BLAH", and undo it with "!undo test". Check the 
docs for find what else you can play with.

Here are some of the most visible differences between Encyclopedia and 
Stormyfacts, so everyone is aware of them:

- Factoid names can't contain spaces.
Factoids with spaces are rarely used and removing support for them makes 
parsing a lot simpler. It also allows us to simplify the factoid call "foo | 
nick" (which is easily 90% of the commands used in #ubuntu) into just "foo 
nick", "foo | nick" will still work as expected, see documentation [3]

- Channel factoids
just a notation change, "foo-#channel" changes to "foo#channel".

- "ubottu foo" won't address the bot.
Whenever somebody says "ubottu something" most of the time is not trying to 
address it, so is ignored. To address it by nick you will need to use the 
standard "ubottu: foo" or "ubottu, foo".
Though you may still get an error about not finding a command, you won't get a 
error about factoids not being found, or accidentally add a factoid.

- Creating factoids
The syntax "foo is <reply> bar" is no longer used, it changes to "foo: bar"
(note the space after the colon).
This is simpler, less typing and doesn't depend on language.

The syntax "foo is bar" will work as expected, but only in channels using the 
English setting ;)

There are more changes similar to the one above, like "foo is <alias> baz" 
changes to "foo alias baz". See documentation [4]

- Getting factoid information
instead of "-foo" use "foo --info"
instead of "+foo" use "foo --preview"

- In #ubuntu, the "I'm just a bot" reply will be a PM.

- There's no "restricted editor" capability
This feature was introduced into Encyclopedia for new editors not yet familiar 
with the plugin. But with Stormyfacts there's no much point in having it now, 
the plugin will notify -ops when somebody makes an edit and it keeps an 
history of changes that can be easily reverted. Jussi and tsimpson already 
gave the thumbs up, but I don't know about the rest of the IRCC.

- Notices
Already mentioned this in a previous email to this list, most of the 
notifications/warnings/alerts/etc sent to -ops will be with a NOTICE, the 
reason behind this was explained in that email. (it doesn't show in logs, is 
less abusable and other bots (if any) won't parse it)

- Setting ignores
Stormyfacts doesn't have commands that allow editors to set bot ignores, since 
it doesn't fall into the plugin's scope (is just a factoid plugin), thus, 
after the switch only those with admin privileges in ubottu can set global 
ignores by using Supybot's Admin commands (sorry, no page I can link with 
documentation, but the commands are documented within Supybot, use "@list 
admin" for a list of commands, and "@help admin <command>" for usage help, eg, 
"@help admin ignore add")
This feature may (or may not) be moved into another ubottu-specific plugin.


~ m4v
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