Birny the Bot's Page

This page is devoted to the IRC bot, birny, who hangs out in channel #tcpip and channel #emacs on the freenode IRC network ( Birny was written by FranLitterio, who is the current maintainer. Birny is written in EmacsLisp and depends on ERC, the EmacsIRCClient. You can find birny’s source code at ← This link is dead ( Aurélien)

The source code is licensed under the GNU General Public License (

Birny’s cousin, ErBot, is also an EmacsLisp bot. He was written by DeepakGoel.

How To Use Birny

To use birny, say something he recogizes in the channel. You can speak privately to him using “/msg”. If you speak to him privately, he’ll answer you privately, otherwise he’ll answer in the channel. Say something that has one of these forms:

.command …
?word or phrase to lookup

The former is a command to birny to do something. The latter is a request that birny lookup the definition of a word or phrase in his terminology database. To get an index of terms in his database, use the “.index” command. Birny understands the following commands:

.help [topic]
Show help for topic. Type “.help ?” to see a list of all help topics. This is the only command that does not require the leading “.”, so you can type “help topic” and “help ?”.
.seen nick
Report on the last time Birny saw the person with that nick do or say anything.
Displays recent Slashdot headlines.
Show statistics about the bot and his databases.
.time city-name
Show the time in the given city.


Feature Requests

These are features that would be nice:

Development "Things To Do" List