Slack API thoughts

I’m working on a Slack integration that marries the Riot games API to the Slack API, for a group of League of Legends gamers I play with. I’ve been doing simple message posting from a cron job for 6 months now and it works great. Now doing fancier stuff.

I’m not a fan of the message formatting options. There’s the basic markup which they call “markdown” even though it’s not markdown. Then you can add attachments which has a bit of a tabular layout to them but it’s not very flexible. I can’t make it look like what I want, so I’m reduced to doing fixed-width formatting of plain text. Ugly. I wish they’d let me do free form HTML but I guess they’re aiming for display consistency so don’t want that.

I am impressed with how easy it is to add basic slash commands though. You can just create a “Configuration” that causes /foo to fire off a POST to the URL of your choice. Done! There’s fancier stuff for installable commands, too.

Last comment; the slackclient.py that looks official is not awesome. There’s no proper release schedule so what’s on PyPI is out of date. And it seems to rely on an odd websockets implementation. I may want to look into alternative Python wrappers if I do anything too complicated. I’ve only been using the REST Web API so far, not any streams.