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Questions and Answers from DareNET

What should I know before reading this FAQ?
The most important thing is to know what IRC is. If you are not sure, check out the IRC Prelude or pick up your favorite guide to the Internet.
What the heck is an IRC bot?
This is one of the most common questions that appears on channels or newsgroups dealing with IRC. Bots, short for robots, are clients that have automated responses to certain commands (they are just a bunch of scripts). Confused? You should be. Hopefully this will be clear as we continue.
How does an IRC bot?
Normally a bot contains scripts of "on" commands that react to particular events on IRC. A simple one that people might use in an ircII client is:
on join * /whois $0
What this does is tell you who the person is when they join a channel. That is how a bot works: you tell it to do particular things on the occurrence of particular events.
How is an IRC bot ran?
Bots are normally separate processes from your normal client. However, you can be the bot if you wish by simply loading the bot script into your chatting client rather than another copy of it.
What good is an IRC bot?
There are various opinions on what bots are good for. Most people use bots to aid in controlling a channel by managing the distribution of ops through an oplist; however, on networks such as DareNET this unneeded due to ChanServ. Bots can also be great information tools such as Helpbot (which sends out help documents like this FAQ).
Does this mean IRC bots can do more than I can?
No, bots are just users; they can only do what you have access to. So running a bot does not mean you can get ops on a channel that you don't presently have ops on.
What are Warbots?
There are a lot of malicious people out there that have created bots that "take over" channels. What these bots are designed to do is join a channel and try and force a netsplit to get ops or flood out all of the users on the channel. Fortunately on DareNET, timestamping prevents this from happening. Running bots that are malicious will get your site K-lined/G-lined pretty fast, which means you (and everyone else from your site) will not be allowed to connect to DareNET servers. Good rule of thumb: Don't run warlike/malicious bots.
Where can I get an IRC bot
There are a lot of different bots out there. These bots were all written by other people. As described above, there are malicious people out there: some of them must have written bots that aren't warlike, but do have backdoors. What this means is that they (or someone else) has programmed in a loophole in the bot to let them can take over your bot, and most likely be able get access to your computer or account from this. DareNET recommends Eggdrop, which can be found here OR Supybot, which can be found here.
Do I want an IRC bot?
This is not really a frequently asked question, but it should be. It seems that a lot of people want bots but have no clue what to do with them. Ask yourself what would you use a bot for. Most people use them to hold their channels open and for better stability and control of their channels. Do you have a channel that *needs* a bot? Don't forget that DareNET provides a channel registration service (ChanServ) to help users maintain their channels. DareNET's ChanServ is probably better because someone else does the hard work of running the service 24 hours a day and and leaves you free to chat! Keep in mind the dark side of bots. By running a bot, you are slowing down everyone, especially yourself.