Keybase chat bot in 10 lines of bash

I’ve been getting very excited about recently, not least because it offers secure conversation, and you can have bots.

I wrote a quick bot to simulate Arnold Schwarzenegger which I thought I’d share to demonstrate how easy it is. It is based on the keybase command line tool (which comes with the desktop client as standard) and jq, the brilliant command-line JSON manipulator.

For this to work, you need to have the keybase command installed and working, and you need jq.

Here’s the bot:

keybase chat api-listen | while read L; do
    OUT=$(jq --raw-output 'select(.type == "chat")|select(.msg.content.text.body|startswith("!arnie "))| .msg.content.text.body | "*" + ltrimstr("!arnie ") + "*"' <<< "$L")
    if [ "${OUT}" != "" ]; then
        keybase chat send "${CHANNEL}" "${OUT}"
    }; fi
}; done

and here's it working:

andy> !arnie Do eet do eet now!!!
andy> Do eet do eet now!!!

Note: here the bot is pretending to be me. To do this nicely, you will want a different account for the bot, but you get the idea.

Obviously, I am now working on a comprehensive bot framework in Rust. Watch this space.

Is it ok to represent dates as Unix time (seconds since the epoch) in JSON?


If your JSON contains integer numbers that represent Unix time (seconds since the “epoch”), and you parse your JSON to JavaScript, the range of integers that can accurately be represented is -9007199254740992 to 9007199254740992 (ref: EcmaScript standard, section 8.5).

The year 4000AD starts at unix time 64060588815, which is 9007135194152192 less than the maximum.

The year 1AD started at unix time -2177452800, which is 9007197077288192 more than the minimum.

So there are enough numbers.