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Show HN: Using Google Sheets to create a survey chat bot without a server (github.com)
119 points by m88m 8 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 32 comments

This is beautiful.

Also - side-note but often overlooked on open-source & github projects - the documentation / getting started guide on home page is EXCELLENT!

Thanks. <3 GitHub!

This is great! I wonder can it be done for Telegram as well?

When I'm free this evening, I'll follow the guide and build a telegram bot. I will fork his repo if it works

Thanks. Waiting to hear more from you.

Thanks! Feel free to fork it.

If you're interested in this approach, there's a similar spreadsheet-based pattern available for building trivia-style games for the Google Assistant platform:


Seeing these chatbots I'm always wondering... Are customers rally using these? I'm wondering because it would never occur to me to chat to a chatbot.

In Russia, lots of people use telegram and the bots too. I use bots to do lots of things, from ordering pizza to managing my schedule. However, these bots are usually not NLP-powered...so there's less disaster as compared to how facebook bots rely heavily on natural language input from the user

Yeah, these are more chat wizards than chatbots... I think we should distinguish that.

So terminal UIs are coming back?

Yesterday typeform announced $35 million round. Maybe there are applications for a human to chat with a survey based application. IMHO calling something a bot, is a short for "oh, I have an API which people can interact with it".

From what I've heard - chatbots are bigger in China and other parts of Asia. In the US, we primarily use chat to communicate with others. In China, with apps like WeChat, you can fill out forms, send payments, etc...

How difficult, if at all possible, would it be to add images to each question?

Hi. Should be easy! I have another demo that actually send images, rich messages and other elements. However, I can't share its source code yet. Sorry!

I did something similar with AWS's S3, Lamba and a google spreadsheet.

You have a hacienda server, you're just not managing it.

Wow, I have no idea where that came from. Hacienda should be backend.

They didn't approve my developer account, so, I have no incentive to look into this when Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and many others are widely available.

Hi Nikolay. Viber's DevRel here. Super sorry to hear that. Can you please shot me an email over devsupport[at]viber[dot]com? I'll try to fix this.

Why do you need to manually approve at all? I have a bunch of public accounts and I want to take full advantage of those.

We are working on a new better system. Should be out anytime now.

A week late - no change!

That is not without a server... it's not your server, but it does have a server side.

In fairness, "serverless" architecture involves servers.

I am appalled by the constant erosion of meaning in the tech field, but there you are.

How do we refer to the type of architecture without server-side component proper[0][1][2] though? Makes it surprisingly hard to find material and research on those topics.

Recently I was looking for one insightful talk (with a PoC) where websites run completely on users’ machines. It’s been a couple of years since I saw that talk for the first time, “cloud” was the term of choice to refer to what’s “serverless” now. I had to give up after pages upon pages of search results talking about Lambda or Azure (otherwise I’d have linked the talk here, of course).

[0] https://github.com/jhiesey/peercloud [1] https://github.com/lucaspiller/shortly [2] https://paul.kinlan.me/serverless-sync-in-web-apps/

I think "serverless" always just implies there's not a server that you yourself have to spin up and manage. Of course there's still a server...

Yeah. You are right. Should have use a different terminology.

It's curious to see these occasional "cool little apps using google sheets for a datastore" when there are many "database as a service" around with free tiers, like firebase, restdb, and a whole bunch of others. Why not just use a real database instead of hacking google sheets?

Because it's cool that you can

Totally agree. Personally, I just adored everything about GSuite interface. They did an amazing work.

FTA "Most bot tutorials are for people who can code, so if you don’t have developers or staff with extra time on their hands your custom needs may not be met."

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