The stupidest panel applet in the world

Following on from the usual sensible, structured discussions you find on IRC, a remark was made about Eliza, the program which acts as a Rogerian therapist (and which can lead to chaos) and the other programs which talk back to input you give them. Simultaneously, another conversation produced a remark about computers telling you, No! Don't do that! You'll regret it!

For some reason, the combination amused me, and I thought you could have a little Eliza running as a panel applet. And, playing with the newer GNOME stuff, I had two panels. And I remembered a few bored hours spent cutting and pasting responses between three of this sort of programs: Hal2000; a puppet on a MUSH which both picked up remarks from other people and filtered them through a style which made the remarks sound like the puppet was genuinely talking to you; and a certain Doctor mode in a certain popular editor.

And I thought, Hey, you could have Eliza or something in one, and Hal2000 or something in the other panel, and drag and drop the responses.

And someone who shall remain nameless (but he wrote gnome-iconedit) pointed out that CORBA (which is not, apparently, a misspelling of a snake, but something purported to be useful, though I currently doubt this) would mean you didn't need to drag and drop: you could simply watch them talk to each other...

That's it, really.

Well, that's it except that refinements (ahem) to this idea have varied from furbies, to furbies throwing rocks at things in the other panel, to the conversation being piped through the speakers to my personal favourite (well, except for rock-throwing furbies): having something like Eliza respond to the parsed resultss of periodic sweeps through df and du with Why do you feel full? What do you think would help? Do you really think deleting the whole of /var is a good idea? and so on. (Actually, there's a bizarre system management tool in the making somewhere there...) I really thought that conversations like this would be a lot more entertaining than the cursing that currently happens as I try to find out what ate the diskspace this time and nuke it.

Fortunately, however, the problems (everything from AI to copyright: I suspect whoever makes furbies would probably have opinions on rock-throwing furbies...) seem to preclude the chance of yet another silly panel app to document :)