AUTOMOME is a random internet meme generator based on snowclone templates. It is a black-box reimplementation and extension of AUTOMEME (now defunct), based on the English dialect known as OTTish, spoken in the xkcd forums thread of the Time comic, better known as the One True Thread or OTC. The canonical web version is available at http://automome.penguindevelopment.org/.
- Python 3, tested versions 3.2.3 and 3.4.1
- Unicode-compatible system
- Apache web sever or compatible (hosted web version only)
- Modern graphical web browser (web client only)
- Qt 4 and PySide 1.2.x (qautomome only)
Obtaining and installing AUTOMOME
AUTOMOME is designed to run from its own directory;
cding to the directory and calling
automome.py directly should work. Likewise, the web version should work out of the box if the AUTOMOME directory is in a location served by Apache.
If a setup is desired where the dictionary files (
*.dict.txt) are placed in a different directory from the script files, the
AUTOMOME_PATH environment variable may be set to the path to the dictionary files.
automome-web.py may be placed in a different directory from
automome.py, so long as
automome.py is in the module search path; see .
The client-side web interface
automome.html by default attempts to get its data from
automome-web.py at the same base URL as
automome.html: e.g. if you host a web version of AUTOMOME at http://example.com/molpy/grapevine/automome.html, it will try to fetch data from http://example.com/molpy/grapevine/automome-web.py. Likewise, it will try to locate
cuegan.svg in the same directory.
There are several ways to use AUTOMOME: as of version 4.0, it can be used as a text-only command-line version (
automome.py), on the web using a fancy AJAX interface that gives nice formatting (
automome.html, and the canonical version at http://automome.penguindevelopment.org/), as a text-only web version (
automome-web.py), or using the graphical qautomome (
Using the command-line version
The plaintext command-line version can be used on any system with Python 3.x, and is perhaps the simplest way to use AUTOMOME. At present, it supports only two significant options: picking the categories and the number of memes displayed.
automome.py --help should provide an adequate explanation:
$ automome.py --help Usage: automome.py [option] [num] [option] may be one of the following: -h, --help show this message and exit -V, --version show version and exit -c [cats], --categories=[cats] generate memes from the categories [cats] (see below); the default is aom [cats] may be any combination of the following letters: a molpish memes from the original AUTOMEME (possibly OTTified) o molpish other memes, i.e. non-AUTOMEME memes m molpish meta-memes, i.e. memes originating in the OTT A unmolpish AUTOMEME memes O unmolpish other memes t OTToMeme memes (xkcd memes by azule) [num] is the number of memes to generate; if it is missing or invalid, it is assumed to be 1.
As an example, the following code produces 10 memes from the "Molpish other" and "Meta-memes" categories:
automome.py -c om 10
Using the web GUI
The web GUI offers more advanced features, including formatted text and the ability to filter memes. A quick run-through of features:
From the main layout, clicking the image of Cuegan produces a single meme. There is not much more to be said.
Clicking the Meme categories link allows you to change the categories of memes that will be displayed; the categories are the same as those used in the text-only version.
The Lock meme checkbox allows you to lock the template of the current meme: if it is active, clicking the Cuegan image will only produce memes using the same template as the currently shown meme.
The Copyable formats tab provides three easy-to-copy output styles: plaintext (the same as
automome.py itself would produce), BBCode (used on most forums) and (X)HTML, which can be used on your own websites.
Using the text-only web version
The text-only web version is a lightweight wrapper around the command-line version. In fact, if it is at all possible, you should use the command-line version directly. Nevertheless, if you still wish to use the text-only web version, simply point a browser at automome-web.py, either at your site or the canonical version. Categories can be passed using the
c= GET-parameter, and the number of memes can be passed using the
n= GET-parameter. The categories are the same as the ones used in the text-only version, and the number of memes is limited to at most 100 at a time.
As an example, http://automome.penguindevelopment.org/automome-web.py?n=10&c=om produces 10 memes from the "Molpish other" and "Meta-memes" categories.
qautomome is essentially a stand-alone version of the web client; most of the web client's feature descriptions transfer directly to qautomome and therefore aren't listed separately in this section. One notable capability of qautomome is the export function: qautomome can export the full history of memes to a file (or it can generate a set amount of new memes to export); the currently supported formats are CSV (which has plaintext, BBCode and (X)HTML fields) and fortune. You can find this feature in the Copy/export tab.
In qautomome, there is no separate back-button; you can instead right-click Cuegan to view the previous meme. Keyboard-based operation is also possible; use the space bar, enter key or right arrow key for the next meme and backspace or the left arrow key for the previous one. Holding shift inverts the function.
Bugs and feedback
Report bugs through MantisBT at http://bugs.penguindevelopment.org/ (you will need to sign up for an account). If and only if you're unable to use MantisBT, you can report bugs via email at bugs[at]proj[dot]penguindevelopment[dot]org.
Send your feedback to feedback[at]proj[dot]penguindevelopment[dot]org.
Before reporting a bug, make sure it isn't listed on MantisBT!