PHPBot – Can a PHP Bot Help You Look up Documentation Faster?

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.

Bot welcoming image

Concept

The idea is that you use the text input on the page to enter a PHP related term (like “ksort”) and the application will reply with an explanation and some example code, like so:

<img src=”https://dab1nmslvvntp.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/1502792810Screenshot-2017-08-15-12.26.24-1024×473.png” alt=”PHPBot’s reply to ksort input" />

Different queries will produce different responses. So, if you ask it for echo:

<img src="https://dab1nmslvvntp.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/1502792917Screenshot-2017-08-15-12.28.06-1024x706.png" alt="PHPBot's reply to echo" />

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Source: Sitepoint