2.2.2 • Public • Published

    Hubot Group Alias

    Group Alias is a simple Hubot package which allows you to define new "@mentions" which are automatically expanded. For example, you could define @dev, @design to send a message to all members of your teams. Using hubot-auth, you can also dynamically define groups!


    1. All this package to your package.json. Do this by running this command:

      npm install --save hubot-group-alias-whitespace
    2. Add "hubot-group-alias" to external-scripts.json:

    3. Set the HUBOT_GROUP_ALIAS variable.

       heroku config:add HUBOT_GROUP_ALIAS=...
      • (Read below for configuration instructions.)
    4. Optional: set HUBOT_GROUP_ALIAS_NAME_PROP

      • This is the property of the User object that contains the short or @ name for each user. The problem is this field is non-standard and defined by each user.
      • This field is likely required if you want sender's usernames to be filtered from the messages sent, or you're using hubot-auth. This is because both those features rely on matching this property for expanding the message.
      • This property first checks User.mention_name then
      • Here are some examples:
        • HipChat: HUBOT_GROUP_ALIAS_NAME_PROP="mention_name"
        • Slack: I think this should be just, but I'm not sure, because I don't use Slack.


    The format for configuration is easy:


    That is:

    • Separate different aliases by ;.
    • Define an alias with =.
    • Separate users by ,.
    • Users (and aliases) should not have @.
    • Aliases are case insensitive.

    Note: When set in a shell environment, you may want to put '' around your alias definition so that any ; don't try to break the command.

    Dynamic Configuration

    Group Alias supports dynamically defining groups using the hubot-auth package. All "roles" that are created by hubot-auth will be treated able to be expanded into @mention messages. To do this, simple set:


    and make sure hubot-auth is installed.

    • The only supported modes are dynamic or pre-defined. There is currently no "hybrid" mode. (I would welcome a PR if anyone wants this!)
    • Currently dynamic mode is not case sensitive because hubot-auth roles act the same way.
    • You should probably set HUBOT_GROUP_ALIAS_NAME_PROP because otherwise, hubot-auth may use a different User name from the @ name. (Please see the section above for more details)

    Autocomplete Abilities

    By default, most chat apps don't support autocomplete for bots. :(

    However, Group Alias includes the ability to use custom emoji in order to allow apps autocomplete. This should work with most chat clients, though please file an issue if there is a different emoji syntax I've missed. To use this feature, all you need to do is add the emoji to your particular chatroom, with the same name as the alias.

    The script matches the following forms of the alias dev:

    • @dev
    • (dev)
    • :dev:
    • ::dev::


    For example:

    If you set the configuration as: dev=Alice,Bob,Eve

    And the message sent is:

    PO> Hey @dev, there's a standup in 5 min.

    Then this message will be sent by Hubot:

    Hubot> Hey @Alice @Bob @Eve, there's a standup in 5 min.

    Note that as of version 1.6.0 users' names are filtered from the messages they send.

    In the above example, the following would happen if @Alice sent a message:

    Alice> Hey @dev, there's a standup in 5 min.`
    Hubot> Hey @Bob @Eve, there's a standup in 5 min.`


    npm i hubot-group-alias-whitespace

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    • tophattedcat