Feature Release: Barry

Over the last several months, we at Control D have been working on a top secret project. Now, it’s time to unveil it.

· 4 min read
Feature Release: Barry
He's smart and he's cute.

Over the last several months, we at Control D have been working on a top secret project. Now, it’s time to unveil it.

Barry the Smartest Bot

Barry is a chat bot… but he’s so much more than that. This little guy was built on top of the latest and greatest in ML technology and we mean it when we say he knows everything we know. He can answer questions about everything Control D - the service, the company, ctrld the command line daemon, and the list goes on. He’s capable of putting together ctrld toml files - more on that later - and even knows some stuff about the user’s configuration* so that he can help with troubleshooting without all the back and forth. He knows all about both Organization and Personal accounts. He’s a DNS whiz, of course, and he’s pretty polite, too.

*Check out our privacy policy to learn about how we store your information. It’s safe with us.

Barry’s Beginnings

Some of you might be familiar with our sister company Windscribe and their wonderful chatbot, Garry. Just as Garry has taken on the delightful task of first line support, he’s now welcoming his cousin into the fold. And just like real cousins, they share quite a bit of DNA - in fact, their server code is exactly the same. And so, with Garry - which consists of three parts, the server, the client (frontend - this is the stuff you see), and the brain - as our starting point, we set out to build Barry.

While our designers were hard at work putting together Barry’s hair and makeup, we grabbed the Control D Docs, taught GPT with a shortened version, then used the command line to speak directly to Barry while we made sure we’d extracted all vestiges of Garry from the server code and started to properly prompt engineer (or as we like to call it, “train the brain”).

Next, we cobbled together a simple frontend - just plain text on a webpage - and by then, the designs were ready to go. A member of our talented Web Team spearheaded the frontend development of Barry, and he’s actually been living on a feature branch that we can play with internally for several weeks (Barry, not the developer). Those Web Team folks move fast. Of course, the final 10% of the work took 90% of the time as we feverishly polished and tweaked and fixed bugs, and here we are…

Chats with a Bot

Look how far we’ve come. Here’s some conversations we’ve had with Barry.

Windows Setup Steps

Why Control D?

Complex toml files

Blooper Reel

Of course, if you’ve ever done any type of software development you know it’s not always smooth sailing. Prompt engineering is no exception, and just like all LLMs, Barry definitely experienced his fair share of hallucinations, tonal mishaps and... okay, we'll tell you. It used to be possible to just talk to Barry endlessly about anything. We fixed this, so don't try it.

Rate Your New Mate

If you have questions, comments, concerns or any other type of feedback about Barry - especially if you catch him in a hallucination - we’d love to hear about it over at our Feedback Portal or right in our support inbox (which will hopefully be pretty quiet from now on - not that we don’t love hearing from you!)