Noah Jacobson

Internet Relay Chat

What is IRC?

IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat, which as the name suggests is a way to chat with people over the internet. It can be used for things like getting support, or just to chat. Many projects use IRC as a way to provide support.

How Does It Work?

First off there is the network. There are tons of networks, which is basically a server you connect to. You connect with a client, there are many clients. Some are web-based while some are computer programs. Then there are channels. These are basically chatrooms and they are in the networks. Channels are prefixed with the # symbol. For example, the #android channel is on the Freenode network. These channels can have a wide range of topics. They even do have topics that are displayed. Some networks are more popular and dense than others.

How to Use IRC?

This is probably going to be the longest paragraph, and I still can't fit everything into it. First off let's begin with channels. If you are joining to ask a question, these are some very good guidlines to follow. The article does seem long but it really isn't and it can really help. If you decide to read it, you can probably see why. You can also be in these channels to provide help or just to chat (if the channel allows it). Of course like most things on the internet that people connect to. There is moderation, channels have operators, which are usually indicated with a green dot in the user list they moderate the channels and free them of trolls and other unwanted people. Respect the OPs, yes sometimes they can "abuse" their power and be a bit annoying; if you don't like it you can leave. Please note though, some operators (OPs for short) like to keep their status off and hidden except when needed. There are some channels just meant to chat and have fun in. Please always read the channel topic and motd to see the rules (commands are "/motd" and "/topic"). So how do you actually connect to IRC? Well you can use any client but my personal favorite is HexChat. It comes with a bunch of preset networks but you can always add more. I personally like the Freenode network. IRC has usernames, or nicknames/nicks as people call them. Most networks have services called NickServ that allows you to register your nick (you can use the command "/ns help register" for more information on that). Now usually, you can go off-topic in support channels if no one needs help. So that is usually fine unless an OP tells you otherwise. Also, you don't need to listen to some random person. Don't be an annoying idiot but you don't need to be the nicest person ever, arguments and debates are more common than you think on IRC. Use common sense, if you are a fool then you can and will get hate. Don't be a troll either.

What Channels do I Frequent?

Here are the channels I usually frequent. I'm not usually active on all of them but I do autojoin there. I'll most likely be under the nick noahajac.

Freenode
SpotChat