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Using karma on ##java

Ah, karma:

me> ~karma
javabot> All living beings have actions (karma) as their own,
         their inheritance, their congenital cause, their 
         kinsman, their refuge. It is karma that differentiates
         beings into low and high states.
me> ... what?

Karma is normally a way of referring to the kind of person you are. It’s the sum of your actions in Hinduism and Buddhism.

IRC isn’t Hinduism or Buddhism, but karma in ##java is a way of showing what people think of you; positive karma (and lots of it) means you do a lot of good things, and negative karma (and lots of that) show that people don’t care for you much.

In ##java, there are a few operations related to karma. You can:

  • Add or subtract karma.
  • Query for karma.
  • Complain about there being no third point.

Adding or subtracting karma

The grammar for changing karma is pretty simple:

~ TARGET ( ++ | -- ) COMMENT

Thus, you might see:

someone> ~ eclipse -- for never working the way I want it to

This means that the user someone is decrementing Eclipse’ karma, which – given Eclipse’ karma of -673 as of this writing – happens a lot.

The text that follows the operation (the ++ or --) isn’t significant – it’s just a way to allow people to say why they’re changing karma, without the burden of an extra line.

There are a few problems with the syntax: note that changing C++’ karma is rather hard, because it looks like an increment of C’s karma…

Note that you can’t positively affect your own karma! Doing so is lame, and attempting to do so lowers your karma… let others sing your praises.

Querying for karma

The grammar for querying karma is also simple:

~ karma TARGET

This will tell you what TARGET‘s present karma score is, much as you’d expect. You can tell if nobody’s ever tried to change something’s karma, based on whether the score is 0 or “neutral” – neutral karma means there are no karma changes for the subject of the query.


Javabot is, of course, open source; if you have suggestions or improvements, feel free to contribute. File issues! Fork the project and submit pull requests; most of the code in Javabot is fairly simple, and we all benefit when things in the bot get smarter.

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