IRC MADE EASY, by QUINTUPLICATE, 2019.
Second printing with some errors corrected and other assorted revision, 2020.
Third printing with corrections and revisions, 2021.
Part I. The Nature of IRC.
Part II. Connecting.
Part III. Commands.
Part IV. Services.
Part V. Modes.
Tabulation of Mod Roles.
If you are reading this, you do not need reasons for using IRC; therefore none will be given.
Brevity, simplicity, clarity, organization, and convenience have been the goals of this work, and not literary beauty.
I would like to thank all those who read and offered feedback on this work. I do not pretend to be an expert, and this work is mostly based on my personal experience. All faults in this work are mine alone, and suggestions for improvement are eagerly requested.
This work is intended to be read from beginning to end. Sequential indices head every part and division, in order to provide a concise summary of the matter contained therein.
I disclaim all legal responsibility for anything done in consequence of this work. I also disclaim all rights in this work; it is in the public domain.
PART I. THE NATURE OF IRC.
1. IRC, servers, clients.
2. Clients only receive when they are online.
3. Networks and channels.
4. # and & channels.
5. Life and death of channels.
6. Channel, network, and server operators.
7. Existence of # channels.
8. Commands and ordinary messages.
9. / for starting commands.
1. Internet Relay Chat, or IRC, is a protocol for communication between:
First. Servers, which carry the communication; and
Second. Clients, which are connected to servers, through which they communicate with each other.
2. Servers do not store messages for clients; a client will only see the messages servers transmit when it is online.
First. May be grouped into networks, which allow channels to be shared;
Second. Carry channels, in which all communication between clients takes place.
4. Channels begin with--
First. # for channels usable throughout the network; and
Second. & for channels usable on one server only. Few networks will have or allow the creation of such channels.
Note. Channels beginning with ## are # channels, and on Freenode are used for conversation unrelated to FOSS.
5. A channel is created when the first user joins, and is destroyed when the last user leaves.
Note. When a client joins a channel, it is created on the server to which the client is connected.
6. Channels, servers, and networks have their own classes of operators, each having a wider range of power than the one before it.
7. A channel beginning with # exists--
First. On every server to which a client that is a member of it is connected;
Second. On every server through which a message to every server covered by the first item must pass.
8. Clients and servers may send commands to servers. An ordinary message is interpreted as "/query <message>".
9. A command always begins with "/".
PART II. CONNECTING.
11. Web chats.
12. Finding channels.
13. Server key, address, and nick.
14. Message of the day.
15. Joining channels.
10. There is no single make of client; instead there is a variety of types. Ones I've used are:
mIRC: For Windows. Proprietary shareware with a $20 license fee after 30 days.
Pidgin: For Windows and Linux. Is also a client for many other chat protocols, but is slightly different from more conventional IRC clients.
Trillian: For OS X, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. Proprietary, has a free version and a paid version without ads, resembles an IM client much more than an IRC client. Is also a client for its in-house chat protocol.
HexChat: For Windows. FOSS version of XChat, which has a proprietary Windows version that requires payment. Past a certain point, will clear old messages as new messages come in. Has support for mIRC color codes, but not for Chinese characters.
Irssi: For Linux. A Text Based client, unlike the 4 others, which are GUI clients. Not recommended for new users.
There are also other clients that I haven't used:
Chatzilla (an add-on for Firefox), XChat (FOSS for Linux), WeeChat, Quassel, AdiIRC, etc.
11. For connecting on the go or from foreign devices, use KiwiIRC (kiwiirc.com) or Mibbit (mibbit.com), or see if the IRC network provides a web chat.
12. To find IRC channels, use irc2go.com. Most clients will include lists of networks with them.
13. To connect to IRC, it is needed to provide:
First. A server key or password. Very few servers will have this.
Second. A server address. Use the address the network provides for the whole network; a server will be automatically assigned to you.
Third. A nickname or nick. If your nick is already in use, the server will let you join with numbers added to the end.
14. Once you have connected, you will receive a Message Of The Day. This will usually include ground rules for the network and helpful tips.
15. From this point on, type "/join [channel, including leading symbol] [password if one is needed]" if you were asked to join a channel, or just "/list" if you're just looking around.
16. Here are some networks:
Freenode: Focuses on free and open-source software and other collaborative projects. Much more centralized and strictly governed than other IRC networks. (chat.freenode.net)
Rizon: A general-purpose IRC network. It aims to cultivate a free, fun atmosphere. Both entertainment channels like #4chan and #8chan as well as more serious channels like #bibanon are there. (irc.rizon.net)
EFnet: The original IRC network (not exactly, but close enough.) Has no ChanServ or NickServ, so keeping your nickname and channel yours will require some legwork. (irc.efnet.org)
IRCnet: A European split of EFnet. Has no ChanServ or NickServ, so keeping your nickname and channel yours will require some legwork. (open.ircnet.net)
Undernet: Has no NickServ, and registering channels is by application; channels will only be registered if they are active and have 5 regulars. (irc.undernet.net)
These are the biggest ones, but there are many small networks. You're liable to find a good conversation and many friends on any of them, so give them a try!
17. At this point you may be wondering how to have your client join a channel every time you log on. Your client should have an "execute upon connection" box. Type /join [channel] [password if one is needed] in it.
PART III. COMMANDS.
Prior reading: par. 9.
18. /join, /j.
19. /msg, /m
20. Target of /msg.
23. /say, /query.
24. Important notices for /say and /query.
26. /op, /deop, /voice, /devoice, /hop, /dehop.
27. /ban, /unban, /kick, /kickban, /kb.
28. /whois, /whowas.
18. The first command we will look at is /join or /j. It has two parameters:
First. Channel to join. Mandatory. The initial symbol must be included.
Second. Channel key. Optional. If you happen to forget it, you may ask ChanServ using /cs GETKEY.
Note. A /join command may fail because the channel you join is an invite-only channel. Again, ask ChanServ for an invite.
19. Another command is /msg, or /m for short everywhere except Pidgin. It is used for private messages, (DO NOT CALL THEM DIRECT MESSAGES UNLESS YOU WANT TO SOUND LIKE YOU USE DISCORD WHICH YOU SHOULDN'T BECAUSE IT'S NOT FREE AND OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE.) It has two parameters:
First. The target. Mandatory.
Second. The message. Mandatory.
20. The target can be:
First. A user. The message might not get through because the user might not take PMs from unregistered users or have put you on /ignore.
Second. A channel. Channels are set by default not to accept messages from users that are not in them.
Third. A service. In most clients, messages to services do not appear in a separate window.
21. Another command is /quit. It disconnects you from IRC. The command takes one parameter: a quit message. It is optional to leave a quit message, but usually people will tell a joke in it. If none is given, it will default to "Leaving".
22. Another command is /part. It allows you to leave a channel without disconnecting altogether. It has two parameters:
First. A channel to leave. Optional, defaults to channel you are typing /part in.
Second. A part message. Optional, defaults to none.
23. Another two commands are /say and /query. They send a message normally as if no command were being used, and are good for two purposes:
First. Sending a message beginning with / without triggering a command.
Second. PMing someone and opening a separate window with that person (/msg doesn't do that.)
Note. For the first item, if you begin a message with ./ you will be understood.
24. For using /say and /query, remember that:
First. /say works on channels, while /query works on users.
Second. /say takes only the message as a parameter, while /query takes the same parameters as /msg except it is not possible to /query channels.
25. Another command is /invite. For invite only channels, this will be necessary if you want to get someone in. It has two parameters:
First. The user to be invited. Mandatory.
Second. The channel to be invited to. Optional, defaults to current channel.
Note. You have to be an op to use this. If you are already one and can't get in, use ChanServ.
26. Another set of commands are /op and /deop, /hop and /dehop, /voice and /devoice. They will save you a lot of effort if you don't want to use /mode or ChanServ.
Note. To op yourself when you have the right to do so, use ChanServ.
27. To punish people, use /ban and /unban, /kick, or /kickban or /kb if you want to do both. People who are under a plain /ban will not be allowed to send messages to the channel, but will still be able to view messages. If they leave, they can't rejoin for the duration of the ban. It takes one parameter, the mask, consisting of