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So, after some deliberation, I came up with two solutions for making DrProject admin’s life easier and both have their pros and cons. I would like to get some opinions on which is better, por favor.

DrProject signal capturing method

This seems like the best way to automate the process of registering channels / users in IRC. DrProject provides signals whenever a new project is created or a user is assigned to a project. The idea is to create a handler for these signals. Next step becomes a little hazy. As I mentioned before, DrProject and Supybot are two separate processes. So, the idea is to have a separate bot for services. Whenever a new project is created, DrProject will modify a config file for this bot, start it up to do all the mundane IRC services tasks (creating a channel, adding a user to a channel, etc.), and the bot will automatically quit the network and die an honorable death after it’s done. The biggest problem with this approach is how does DrProject know if the bot has completed its tasks successfully? Does it have to wait for the bot to finish its work and then parse the log file to see if everything was done?

Supybot plugin to simplify services management

This is the method which I personally prefer as a developer because it’s clean. It follows Supybot plugin architecture (plugin is just an extension that provides commands which Supybot executes). However, it will put more burden on the administrator because not everything will be automated. The idea here is to provide the admin with commands which would automate the process of registering channels, adding users, etc. It could be as simple as !doMagic, which would then create and protect a channel for each project, create and register every user in every project, and assign each user to the corresponding channel’s access list. Or, !assignUserToChannel <user> <channel>, !createChannel <channel>, !registerUser <user> <password>, etc. Another reason why I like this approach is that it provides more fine-tuning to the administrator.

Even though I agree with Greg that there should be as much automation as possible (otherwise, users might not adopt a feature), there must be a balance between making someone’s life easier versus making software too complicated. In this case, the first approach is complicated because there’s many soft points where something could go wrong. Also, as I mentioned before, the second solution provides more power to the admin. It’s possible to use both methods as well. I would like to hear some ideas, especially from my supervisor 🙂

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2 Comments

    • Jeff Balogh
    • Posted July 11, 2008 at 2:25 pm
    • Permalink

    I think you should make a plugin with the !doMagic command, and have that
    command called after a project_added signal is sent.

    That way, if something goes wrong, the admin can follow the same automated
    procedure drproject is using.

    And the !doMagic command could be a catch-all that runs each of the subcommands,
    so you can allow more fine-grained control if people disable the
    auto-magic-on-project-added feature.

    • drprojectirc
    • Posted July 12, 2008 at 9:18 pm
    • Permalink

    Yep, that’s what I’m planning to do next. I’ll write a plugin to simplify the process of managing IRC first, and then integrate it into DrProject.


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  1. […] Zabashta is looking for input on one more feature for DrProject IRC integration before his demo on Tuesday.  You could win a prize!  (Not from him […]

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