On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a new tutorial posted from editor Bruno Skvorc looking at PHPBot, a chatbot tool that might help you look up PHP documentation questions a bit more easily (and quickly).
I came across PHPBot the other day (not to be confused with Botman or Fondbot) – a “chatbot” which helps you look up PHP manual entries and generates example code for them.
If you follow me on Twitter, you know I don’t believe in chatbots being chatbots – as someone who’s built some for both commercial purposes and personal ones, and as someone who was around in the age of IRC auto-responding scripts, I see chatbots as a little more than a marketing fad designed to impress today’s Snapchat generation. However, every now and then one will appear that’s actually useful. Could this be the one? Let’s take a look.
He starts off with some of the basic concepts behind the bot and examples of some of the output from documentation requests. He goes on to talk about the actual usefulness of the bot and provides some instances where it is still lacking in functionality. He also looks at several other subjects including Knowledgebase and Bugs, Autocompletion / Suggestion and Copy / Paste Friendliness.