Brain Dump #1

Garrett G. Hodgson garry@REDACTED
Fri Feb 7 02:47:07 CET 2003

>   What do these things do?
> 	Zope is a content manager/publisher
> 	Jabber is an instant messaging system
> 	Blogger is software to write/syndicate and publish weblogs
>   I looked at the zope website and couldn't understand what it was all
> about.

we've been using zope for years and don't understand what it's all about.

>   I   thought  to   myself   -  any   of   the  things   they  do   in
> zope/jabber/blogger we could do *much* better in Erlang.

zope and blogger, yes.  jabber, you could do, but the value of jabber is
in the world surrounding it (users, servers, clients, etc), not the thing

>   But somewhere there  seems to be the idea  that instant messaging is
> something that people do - not things.
>   I can "chat" to my friend with jabber - but not get an instant message
> when a page in a data base is changed.

sure you can.   this, indeed, is the really cool thing about jabber.
it's easy to write bots and notifiers and such for it, since it's open
and well supported by various languages.

what would be great is if it was well supported in erlang, as well.
this would be pretty easy, given xmerl and such.

>   I once started on a system I called "things that do stuff" - the idea
> was to extend the idea of e-mail.
>   Again you can send e-mail to a person, but not to a web page, or an object.
>   I was thinking about things like booking rooms for meetings -
>  Why can't I send email to a web-page
>  And get the page to correct itself -
>  Why can't I get an instant message when a data base is updated?

you can.  this is one of the case studies in oreilly's jabber book.
they build a thing that notifies you when a cvs watch fires.

i've been real interested in the notion of chatbots lately, and have built
a small framework and some sample bots in python.  great fun, and you can easily
do lots of cool stuff.  building these using the features of erlang would be
really nice, but i don't have the time to build the jabber.erl i'd need to
build the framework i'd like to have.  it's on my todo list, but who knows.

in any case, there's a good paper on chatbots that you might check out to
get ideas at
another good one on purl, an irc bot in perl, is at

Garry Hodgson                   Did you see your God
Senior Hacker                   rising in the smoke
Software Innovation Services    to tell you
AT&T Labs                       that it was your time?
garry@REDACTED                - Warren Haynes

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