Back from the dead with more vaguely-obscure technical bullshit

Working on a chatbot for my BS-CS. Almost done with college, so the assignment is to make a bot that recommends you a CS career. Cool.

I get through making a joint personality and skill-interest quiz that gives you number grades on different spectra. So far, so good. But this project has to be done entirely in pandorabots' online editor. So no scripting. Zero scripting. 100% markup language. That means to even do math, you need to copy a standard library off GitHub.

I mean, that's fine and all, but the syntax is just atrocious, because everything in AIML is input->response. If you ask the bot "what is 5+5?" you must have it go:

- recognize pattern WHAT IS * + *
-> redirect -> XADD * XS *
-> do math -> recurse result
-> 10

uncomfy. Plus, variables can only be accessed through <get> and <set> tags. But mangeable.

So here's where the story becomes a rant.

In the standard docs, there's all these math functions, and they work. There's also logic.

And then there's this fucker
XIF [ * ] XS [ * ]
Which has no documentation and just doesn't work. No idea what the brackets mean. Tried putting in TRUE, tried putting in true math statements (5 XEQ 5), tried putting in recursion tags to trick it, tried everything. It just ignores it.
There is not a single comment, stackOverflow post, or youtube video that even acknowledges the existence of this thing.

So unless I want to convert the entire logic of my program into nested SWITCH statements with the <condition> tag, I'm just fucked.

The icing on the cake is, I go to tech support on Pandorabots to ask for help with this. What do they have except a chatbot to cheerfully tell me that no humans are around to help me right now?

gonna have to build an entire fuckin turing machine in markup tags to calculate whether x = 3


  • 0
    maybe XIF [ TRUE ] XS [ whatever ]

    i had a quick lock at grammar, aiml and stuff and i dont see that '[' has special meaning there.

    disclaimer: i have never worked with this crap
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