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  1. #1
    Sergeant Rakurai's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
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    Script Reporting Standard

    I'm fairly new to the botting community, so excuse me if I am ignorant of some existing software that accomplishes this. I am interested in running multiple bots in VMs, probably on a headless machine, but logging into each one to check on them seems very tedious. If we had some kind of 'collector' running on your personal machine that could collect messages passed by the bots reporting their progress/status, that would be great. The collector program could take on any form, whether it's a simple text logger or a GUI that does a line graph, or whatever. On the bot side, it could report its status with UDP messages fired at the destination collector. This could be accomplished using a UDP message from AutoIt.

    It seems silly that every script writer should have to reinvent the wheel, so I propose that we come up with a standard for bot reporting. A UDP message should be formatted in a standard way so that any bot conforming to the standard can successfully report to any collector conforming to the standard. That way, any script writer can choose to use the standard reporting library, and it would work with anyone's existing collector programs.

    I could write the include script that would provide a 'report' function, that would simply take a few parameters and a UDP address/port and format them to the standard, and fire it off. I could also write a simple 'collector' as a proof of concept, although I'm sure other people would have ideas about how they would like data to be displayed. The collector could probably be written in Java for cross platform compatibility, so it would work on whatever OS flavor you prefer.

    Before I begin, though, I would like some feedback. Here are a few questions:

    • What information should be included in a report message? We could define a few message types, such as 'death', 'gold collected', 'error', etc. Auction bots might report things like 'bought', 'sold', and stuff. The idea is to define a useful set of messages that could be used by any script, and let the collector figure out what to do with it. So, I think a UDP message consisting of (type, param1, param2, ... , paramN) would work. The number of parameters would be fixed for a message type. In the message, they could be tab (or whatever) delimited. Are there any parameters that should be common to ALL message types?
    • What form would be best for the reporting library to take? AutoIt function? DLL? It would of course be non-blocking, but should still be as quick as possible to avoid introducing excessive processing time.
    • Should this be expanded to a full bot/controller communication protocol, where the controlling program could execute scripts on the guest machine? This could take the form of an executable (Windows service?) running on the guest VM that listens for UDP messages from the controller. Of course, this introduces a whole wide array of security breach possibilities, but I trust everyone can handle securing their bot network :P

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