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Ask is a plugin designed to allow admins of busy servers to help more people. In my experience, much of the time of admins and moderators was answering simple questions for users. Ask tries to solve this by allowing users to run a command followed by an english natural-language question. The plugin would attempt to match it with a pre-written answer. If no answer was found, the admins would be notified and they would have an opportunity to add an answer to the database.

How a player would ask a question. The plugin finds the right response.

The matching algorithm is very straightforward. It would look for a keyword followed by an interrogative word. Once this was found, a set of related words could be used to disambiguate any conflicts. For example, the questions “How do I make cash?” or “How is money earned in this server?” could be matched the following way.

Keyword money, cash
Interrogative How
Related words earn, make
Answer You can earn cash by farming wheat, or mining.

This configuration is stored in a text file.

An example of the configuration file

Reminders of how to use the plugin could be typed in chat with /ask r.