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Now seems like a good time to write a plan for the next few weeks on what I’m planning on doing with my project.

DrProject has RPC functions for things like getting project’s roadmap, milestones, etc. So, wouldn’t it be cool if you could get information on your project straight from the IRC chat? For this, I’m planning on writing a plugin for Supybot. While searching around, I came across TracBot, which is a plugin written for Supybot. Users in channel can ask the bot to give them a link to a ticket, change set, wiki, or do a search. However, this is not good enough. It would be really cool if you could see all of this information in the IRC channel. Imagine a scenario where students are having a conversation, and somebody mentions a ticket or a wiki. Instead of posting a link, they could just ask the bot to spit this information into the channel, so everyone can see it at the same time. Since every project will have its own channel, this is not spamming. The people in the channel are all working on the same thing, and are very likely discussing the same thing.

So, back to implementation. It seems that some things, such as tickets, don’t have RPC implemented. What I’ll be doing next is finishing these features in DrProject. Then, I’ll develop a plugin for Supybot, so it will relay user requests in the IRC channel to DrProject via RPC’s.

We’re also hoping to get IRC daemon installed on our server, so everyone working on projects this summer, including profs, will be able to start using this as soon as possible. It’s also a great way of collecting data, since the next step would be to “wikify” conversations on DrProject, so that users can see the archive. Feedback will be invaluable also.

I’m hoping to talk to my supervisor about the actual architecture when he gets back next week. What I really want to discuss is security. Right now, I’m guessing each project will have its own channel, and each channel will have its own bot, which has an account on DrProject with view rights.  There’s tons of ways in which this could be compromised. IRC daemon alone could have a lot of security holes. What happens if somebody breaks into it and can view all channels? Then they can get information on projects from bots. Should the users be authenticated with the bot before they can issue commands? Would that become too tedious to be used (particularly for student projects)?

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  1. […] Zabashta has posted early thoughts about integrating IRC into DrProject. (Gray on black? Kosta…your design skills rival mine…) I need to tell him that […]

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