9 Oct 2002 follower   » (Journeyer)

Anyway, as you may have guessed I've been playing with Jabber lately. Probably too much actually... But with the help of jabberpy the Python jabber library I've been having *heaps* of fun. Got a first version of a bot running within a few hours of trying thanks to the example test client included with the library.

I tried a whole bunch of ideas, pretty much just jammed 'em all in so it ended up being a bit of a mess. Since then I've been refactoring it to use a plugin based system which is going pretty well...

Of course, what I think is *the* coolest part is I was working on automatic chat translation, between languages. It's pretty cool. Works quite well. You let the bot know what language you speak e.g. "I speak German" and then it translates everything you say from then on into English in the chatroom. Optionally it also translates the room's chat in English to your language via a private chat... If you have your user info set up correctly it also detects your language choice automatically.

The bot uses translation service plugins to do the translation, so far I've got a couple for babelfish and google.

So anyway my current little toy is a plugin which allows me to write to my Advogato blog via the bot. It uses Advogato's XML-RPC interface (very nice by the way, easy as to use, and the short documentation tells you pretty much everything you need to know) to do its work. The idea being that I'm more likely to update my diary if I do it via chat--maybe... :-)

So anyway, all of this is coming to you via the bot--one message per paragraph. It starts a new diary entry for each day automatically. The only downside is that I had to enable it to detect the local date of the postings, which I couldn't work out how to do via RPC (short of updating and checking the date which seemed messy) so that's why there's a date stamp at the end of each entry...

So, to all those (Jabber, jabberpy, python, google/altavista, Advogato, etc) that have made this possible so far thanks for the fun! :)

If anyone's interested in the code let me know, it's still somewhat messy, but it's better than it was. Planning to put it up somewhere later...

(It's also kinda handy that Gabber my Jabber client has automatic message spell checking...)

It's lots of fun, and the machine translation stuff has a lot of potential I reckon. And, rather conveniently, 'cos it's all XML related I might even be learning something to help me with my Software Engineering exam next month...

And a special shout out to vapor, just for reading. :)


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