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[OH-Dev] Possible plot for an IRC training mission: Pancakes

Asheesh Laroia asheesh at
Wed Sep 28 15:41:43 UTC 2011

Hi all,

I was thinking last night about an IRC training mission, and here's the 
plot I've come up with.

I'm hoping for feedback, so if people have it, let's hear it!

The set-up

You just invited a friend over for breakfast. After she said "yes," she 
also said she can't eat eggs or milk.

For breakfast, you wanted to prepare pancakes, but because of her diet, 
your usual recipe won't work. What to do?

Luckily, there is a community of enthusiastic vegan robots who hang out on 
chat room using IRC. Vegans are people who don't eat eggs, milk, or other 
animal products, and if you can get a good recipe from them, you can save 
the day!

In this training mission, you will:

* Join a chat room

* Practice changing and registering a nickname

* Learn about "pinging" people

* Gain experience chatting on IRC

* Learn the secret ingredient to the robots' delicious pancakes

Connect to IRC

For this training mission, you'll join the Freenode IRC server using 
their web chat system.

Friendly bots are awaiting you in the #vegan-bots chat room. Join that 
room, and say this special string so that the bots know to connect your 
OpenHatch username with your IRC nick.

    {{ random_six_words }}

These words change every time you use them. If you ever disconnect from 
the channel, you'll have to come back to this page and say the words 
currently on this page so the bot knows who you are.

(Backend note: JavaScript auto-refreshes this mission step, so that when 
the bot notices you said these words, it marks this stage as completed 

Changing your nick

On IRC, you can change your nickname whenver you want. Try saying 
something, and then changing your nick, and talking again: you'll see that 
your name changes.

Try typing this into the chat window:

    /nick pancakes123

(Backend note: The bot will notice that you successfully changed nick, and 
update this mission step saying you've succceeded.)

Highlighting users

(Backend note: As soon as you load this mission step, the bot highlights 
your nick and says hello.)

If you want to get someone's attention, you can say their nickname in a 
chat message.

This is also called "pinging" someone.

You should ping the nice bot who said hello to you, and say hi back!

(Backend note: This mission step is marked as succeeded when you say 
anything with the bot's nick in it.)

Registering a nick

So far, you have used a nickname without entering any sort of password. 
It's convenient that on IRC, you can use any nick you want, but that means 
that anyone else can take your nickname when you're not online.

If you register with the network, you can be sure that whenever you want 
to, you can use your nick. To do that, send a private message to one of 
the Freenode bots called "NickServ" asking for help. To do that, type 
this in:

     /msg NickServ help

Note that this does actually register your nickname with the real FreeNode 

(Backend note: The mission step is marked as completed when the bot 
notices that your nick has mode +i, which means "i"dentified on Freenode.)

Getting the recipe

(Note: When you become "i"dentified, the bot pings you and asks you if you 
want its favorite pancake recipe.)

The bots want to know if you want their pancake recipe. At any time, if 
you ping the bot saying anything with the word "yes" in it, it will give 
you a link to the recipe.

Once you have a link to the recipe, give it a read. What's the secret 
ingredient that makes the pancake hold together, even without any eggs?

    __________________________ (submit)


Congratulations! You now have a nickname registered on freenode, and 
also can prepare pancakes at any time for breakfast.

We encourage you to join the #openhatch IRC channel if you want to 
give us feedback about the mission or find an open source project to 
contribute to!

is a good sample recipe. Probably we should find a nice freely-licensed 
recipe text so that we don't end up running afoul of copyright law by 

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