Helper Options

If you are developing a custom helper (or if you have installed it and want to edit the helpme.cfg file in the root of the install folder, given appropriate permissions) you can choose from one or more custom options. Setting any custom option for a helper will influence the data that is submit to the helper system. For example, let’s take a look at Github:


user_message_welcome = Hello Friend! I'll help you post a Github issue today.
user_prompt_repo = What is the Github repository that you want to post to?
record_asciinema = True
record_environment = True
user_prompt_issue = Please describe the issue you are having

The helper is going to be called in the order specified there. For example, it will first greet the user with a welcome message, and prompt him or her for the name of the repository if it wasn’t provided as an argument at runtime. It will then ask the user to record an asciinema to capture the issue, record a restricted set of environment variables, and then submit the issue per the Helper endpoints. Since giving information is at the discretion of the user, regardless of the configuration setting, the user can say no to providing any kind of recording or information.

User Inputs


The user_message_<name> value can be set to deliver a custom message to the user. There is no collection or recording to save data to the helper.


This will ask the user to confirm yes or no to a particular query, and return a boolean to the calling function. For example, specifying this in the helpme.cfg:

user_confirm_colors = Would you like colors added to the request?

Will ask the user “Would you like colors added to the request? [y/n/Y/N]” and then save the response in the helper data dictionary as:



The user_prompt_<name> value will again prompt the user, but free text is given until the user presses enter. The data saved is then the user response. For example, if I want to collect the name of a Github repository I might put this in the config:

user_prompt_repo = What is the Github repository that you want to post to?

and then if the user types “researchapps/helpme” [ENTER] we save the following in data:



A recorder is a plugin that comes with HelpMe that is configured to perform a particular kind of recording. This comes down to having a set of functions under helpme/action/ that are then called if the action is found in the configuration.


If set and found as True, and if the user approves, record an asciinema to file that will be upload and submit to the helper’s endpoint as a link. The flow of logic goes as follows:

  1. The user confirms it is ok to record
  2. The record_asciinema setting is present and True in the config
  3. An asciinema file path has not been provided by the user

If the user has previously recorded an asciinema, it can be provided on the command line of the request:

$ helpme github --asciinema /tmp/pancakes.json


If set and found as True, we look for a section of the same name and a list of whitelisted variables to include. The user is shown the list to confirm, and nothing is sent without the user’s consent. For a complete list and description of the environment recording, see the environment docs.