Playing around with Hubot

I was totally drawn in when I came across Hubot. It’s the kind of fascination I had for Alfred. I know next to nothing about coffeescript and I still wanted to try this out *immediately*. Turns out I didn’t have to know anything about coffeescript to at least install it and get it running.

Here is walkthrough/commentary on how Hubot worked for me. I admit, I will have to update this post extensively in the next one month for me to make it meaningful for anyone who wants to draw some use out of this blog post. Also, it is going to be exhaustive. Going to be a post on the discovery, challenges faced and developer-guilt.

Current status: Hubot is installed in my mac locally. Does some simple tasks for me.

Setting Up

I came across Hubot when I was casually exploring Github and wandered to the projects powering Github. This was the project that immediately caught my attention. I read, went to the homepage and immediately started following the Getting Started guide. I already had node.js set up in my system (though I use it now and then, I admit I have still not been able to get the aha moment of understanding what it is exactly). And the first command listed there to pull the Hubot generator threw a warning of updated node version and so I ended up updating node with their friendly package installer that installed node and npm for me. All good! Time to have the yo generator pull Hubot for us. Went smoothly.

I created a new directory and navigated to it through terminal and was itching to actually configure Rusty — well, that’s what I wanted to call my bot. :) So, a yo Hobut command later, I was greeted with my own version of a personal bot.

He was there already. Yaaay!I then formally named him, set up chat adapters (the creators wanted to have a conversation with a personal bot and have him do tasks, so Hubot makes sense to sit inside a chat app) and then he says,

Is he already teasing me?There he was, my very own bot. I was childishly happy I tell you. :) I was already imagining so many use cases for him.

I committed the setup as-is locally and was ready to try out some built-in functions Rusty had.


As is the everyday norm for a developer, my first try at using him failed! Alas. I tried to animate an image (animation is really a recent strong fascination) and it failed! Something to do with Google Image Search API no longer available. But I wouldn’t dishearten, I found that Microsoft’s Bing Search API is available to be configured as a custom script. Yaay.

<Rest of this post, tomorrow.>

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