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posted on Fri, Oct 30 '15 under tags: mozilla, telegram

Grambot (@gram_bot) is the Telegram <=> IRC integration bot that I made for Mozilla India policy and advocacy task force. It was later used for various other groups too.

What is Grambot?

Grambot is a node.js program that runs on an openshift server and connects to both Telegram (using the bots api) and IRC (using the IRC protocol).

You can see the source code of an earlier version here.

It is running as @gram_bot on Telegram and as grambot TelegramUser on Mozilla IRC.

What does Grambot do?

It does a lot of things. But the primary job it serves is,

It also has some extra features which should not be used in groups.

What does Grambot not do?

Why was Grambot created?

Telegram is a great messaging tool. But Telegram isn’t completely FOSS. Also, Telegram requires a phone number for signing up. Not everyone can be on Telegram. But IRC is FOSS. And IRC doesn’t require a phone number to sign up. So some people who can’t be on Telegram can be on IRC.

More importantly, anyone can join any public IRC channels. One doesn’t have to be an Indian to join #india. They can join and leave as they wish. But Telegram groups aren’t like that. You don’t get added to a Telegram group which you don’t belong to. So Telegram makes conversations very difficult to passively listen to.

Grambot wants to solve that. It makes it convenient for people on Telegram to continue doing whatever they were doing. Then, it gives an option for everyone else to listen to what happens in the Telegram group.

It makes conversations open.

And at Mozilla, we believe in openness.