June 10, 2003 00:25 | WebBlogging / WebTech

IRC to weblog

Over on Joi Ito's IRC channel, I expressed the desire to have an ongoing log of the goings-on. It caused some heated debate and Joi decided we should discuss it and come to a decision via his Wiki.

So here I will explain my idea a bit more fully and why I think it would be at least a neat thing to try out, in the spirit of Joi's ongoing experiment to fuse various "social softwares".

First of all, the reasons I'd like a log of the channel are several fold: 1- catch up on anything interesting I may miss while I am asleep or commuting to work or otherwise logged off from the channel. 2- I feel much of what goes on there would be interesting to a bunch of other people who otherwise may not want to participate in an IRC "life". Also a log would remove the time requirement of participating etc...

Secondly, a simple "log" is not what I had in mind. I'd like the "log" to be dumped, in XHTML, into a weblog CMS system (I believe Bloxsom to be the tool of choice here), enabling it with Comments and Trackbacks and making it available to Google and Technorati. This would extend the conversation while stripping the time element.

I propose a proof of concept. A separate IRC channel complete with a logging bot which would dump everything into xhtml textfiles, ordered by day and perhaps at one hour increments, into a directory on a webserver which would have Bloxsom running over them. We could dev this out there, show it off.. and perhaps do a trial run for a day or two on #joiito...

So, I need an IRC channel, a python bot script and an installation of Bloxsom on a server... i can take care of the last one, who will do the first two? :)


I like the idea. here two additional aspects to think of :

  1. how the bot decides when to post to the wiki/blog? how can it know the conversation topic has changed? (i'm not a irc geek, but i guess it would be possible to use the irc channel topic that can be changed by users with proper privileges .. !?)
  2. the bot should transfer back comments/trackbacks added to the wiki/blog page to the irc channel .. in real time.

Great comments F...

  1. thebot would log everything, using xhtml markup, which would allow a CSS stylesheet to display user comments and system alerts, etc in different ways. Also, there would be no topic categories.. everything would be dumped into daily archive directories and maybe a new file for each hour of chatting.
  2. absolutely awesome suggestion... this could be done!

Also, i'd like to add that one of the reasons I'd like the IRC=>Blog interface is so I (and others) can partake in the conversation "asynchronously" and from outside the IRC client world...

see also : http://irclog-xml.sourceforge.net/

"irclog-xml will read the given input IRC chat log, convert it to an xml document, then apply a stylesheet (using XSLT) to the resultant xml document. In plain english: irclog-xml converts IRC chat logs to HTML"