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Welcome, Bot

Shauna Gordon-McKeon

Audience level:


WelcomeBot is an IRC bot written in Python who greets newcomers to a channel and alerts channel regulars to their presence. WelcomeBot has become a valued part of the community, with newcomers not only benefiting from it but contributing to its code and design. This poster talks about WelcomeBot, how it works, and its role in our community.


It used to be that newcomers to our novice-friendly IRC channel, many of whom had never used IRC before, would say hello, get discouraged, and leave before we even noticed they were there. Our solution? WelcomeBot, an IRC bot written in Python, who greets newcomers and alerts channel regulars to their presence. WelcomeBot supports our community by making implicit knowledge explicit. It gives newcomers guidance in understanding how IRC works as well as illuminating the social structure of our particular channel. Its simple structure also makes it a good first project for newcomers to open source to contribute to. WelcomeBot’s documentation contains introductions to concepts like unit tests, regular expressions, and basic network protocol and explains how they’re implemented through python libraries.
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