What is an Eggdrop?
An IRC bot is a program that sits in an IRC channel around the clock, keeping it open 24 hours a day. It looks just like a normal user on the channel, but is usually idle until it's called upon to perform a particular function. A bot can contribute greatly to the stability of a channel by protecting it from takeovers and abusers, and providing a central location for storage of the channel op list and giving ops to those users when they join the channel. It can also perform many other useful functions, such as logging channel events, providing frequently-requested information, hosting trivia games, and so on. IRC bots are particularly important on IRC networks without channel registration services, such as EFnet and IRCnet, and on networks that may prevent your channel being registered due to certain registration requirements, such as Undernet. On these networks, keeping a channel running smoothly without some kind of IRC bot would often be impossible.
There are many types of bots out there, such as Acidblood, ComBot, EnergyMech, IncuBot, HackBot, and so on. Most of these are old and unsupported, leaving only one bot that has survived the test of time - the Eggdrop.
Eggdrop is the most advanced, most popular, and best supported IRC bot. If you've never used a bot before, you'll find Eggdrop provides a staggering array of options for channel management, and can easily be expanded further to provide even more functions. The Eggdrop code is free for anyone to download and use. Some of the main features of Eggdrop include:
Eggdrop is not a simple bot, so don't expect it to run inside 100KB of memory. The bot is quite complex and packed with features, making it the Microsoft Office™ (a la resource hog) of IRC bots. If you're after a smaller and tighter but less customisable bot, consider EnergyMech.
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