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Channels and Public Conversations

On IRC , there are a lot of places where you can ``hang out''; those places are called ``channels''gif  . You can compare conversations on a channel to a conversation among a group of people: you see/hear everything that is said, and you can reply to anything that's said. What you type is received by everyone who's willing to listen --- and everyone who is late will not hear what is said before unless repeated by one of the ones who were there. (who said ``real life'' ?)

All channels on IRC have names: a `` #'' sign followed by some kind of text-string, like `` #C++'' or `` #Asians'' or `` #EU-Opers'' . Usually, the name of the channel will indicate the type of conversation that's going on in there. Don't count on it, though.

Table: Channel commands  

Every channel has certain characteristics, called channel modes. These will also be explained below. Recall the NAMES and LIST commands; they will show you the names of existing channels.

/LIST [[<flags>] <channel mask>]   LIST 
Lists all current ``channels'', number of users, and topic. The displayed list may be quite long, so you can limit it using flags. `` /LIST -MIN n'' for instance removes channels with less than n users of the output.

*** #aussies   5
*** #amiga     5      Daily Amiga Silence...join&enjoy
*** #hottub    21     Imagine sky, high above, in Caribbean blue..
*** #tuebingen 11     Happy Birthday CHUCK!!!
*** #Christian 6      Jesus is King of Kings!!!
*** #Twilight_ 15     The Oper Bar & Grill
*** #initgame  5      guess we need some willing players..
*** #Taiwan    8      Welcome, good friends.
*** #espanol   6      EMERGENCIA SE Necesitan Mujeres!!!
*** #sherwood  7      The enchanted Sherwood forest welcomes all...:)
*** #francais  6      on apprend le japonais (japanese welcome)

/NAMES [[<flags>] <channel mask>]   NAMES 
Shows the nicknames of all users on each ``channel''gif.

Pub: #twilight> Mycroft @sojge scorpio @Troy @Avalon @Nap
   phone Merlinus LumberJak @tzoper 
Pub: #espanol   Cacique Bonjovi leopardo Carina Miguel Cisco r2 
Pub: #amiga     @gio @Radix @xterm @Mama @AmiBot 
Pub: #aussies   @Bleve @GrayElf @Insomniak @Morkeleb @titus 
Pub: #hottub    baby @Aldur KnightOrc @Toasty Gwydion
   @Belkira @Aiken Edge @Spockobot @Nada @ZBot @Aurik @anna
   @Redbaron @Katzen @esashi IceWolf @Eniigma @Digger @TheHeck

To join in the conversation on a certain channel you may use the /JOIN command.

/JOIN [<channel>]  JOIN 
Sets your current channel to the supplied channel.

/JOIN #Twilight_Zone
*** Nap has joined channel #Twilight_Zone
*** Topic: The Gernsback Continuum
*** Users on #Twilight_Zone: Nap msa tober phone @julia @SirLance
   igh @Daemon @Avalon @Waftam @Trillian @tzoper

The CHANNEL  command has the same effects. Note that if no parameters are given, your current channel is displayed.

Upon entering a channel, you are given useful details about it: list of users talking in that channel, topic... Joining a channel does not cause you to leave your previous channel unless NOVICE is set to on. See `` /HELP SET NOVICE'' .

Once in a channel, you may wish to get a detailed list of the people IRC 'ing inside. That's where the WHO command comes in handy:

/WHO [<channel>|<wildcard expression>]   WHO 
Gives a listing of users. `` /WHO *'' for the list of users in your current channel.

/WHO #Twilight_Zone
Channel    Nickname  S   User@Host (Name)
#Twilight_ Nap       H* (Quidquid latine
   dictum sit, altum viditur.)
#Twilight_ msa       H (Markku Savela)
#Twilight_ tober     H (
#Twilight_ phone     H
   (third row seats to the cure? WHO ME? nah.. *grin*)
#Twilight_ julia     G*@ julie@turing.acs.Virginia.EDU ( Future graduate of
   ACME Looniversity )
#Twilight_ SirLance  G*@ (Sir Lancelot)
#Twilight_ igh       G   igh@micom1.servers.unsw.EDU.AU (igh)
#Twilight_ Daemon    G*@ frechett@spot.Colorado.EDU (-=Runaway Daemon=-)
#Twilight_ Avalon    H*@ (Avalon ...)
#Twilight_ Waftam    G*@ (Daniel Carosone)
#Twilight_ Trillian  G*@ (I turn to stone when you
   are gone)
#Twilight_ tzoper    H*@ (/msg tzoper help)

The first field is the current channel, then nickname, status, real name (in internet user@host form) and a small witty comment you can set yourself with the environment variable IRCNAME (this will be detailed page gif). Status indicates if a person is `` H''ere or `` G''one (see AWAY), if IRCop (`` *'') or chanop (`` @'').

It is also possible, when you are already on a channel, to ask someone to join your channel. The command is called INVITE.

/INVITE <nickname> [<channel>]   INVITE 
Invites another user to a channel. If no channel is specified, your current channel is used.

*** Inviting Nap to channel #Twilight_Zone

If you receive an INVITE message, you can type `` /JOIN -INVITE'' to join the channel to which you were last invited, or simply `` /JOIN <channel>''.

To leave a channel, just issue a LEAVE command ( PART  has the same effects):

/LEAVE <channel>   LEAVE 
Leave a channel.

/LEAVE #Twilight_Zone
*** Nap has left channel #Twilight_Zone

Well, you guessed it, if there's a way to invite someone on a channel, there's also the possibility to KICK someone out of it, for example if this person is behaving like a jerk, annoying people or flooding the channel with unwanted information:

/KICK [<channel>] <nickname>   KICK 
Kicks named user off a given channel. Only channel operators are privileged to use this command.

/KICK #Twilight_Zone Target
*** Target has been kicked off channel #Twilight_Zone by Nap

Channels have topics, that indicate the current topic of conversation. You can change the topic on a channel with the TOPIC command.

/TOPIC [[<channel>] <topic for channel>]   TOPIC 
Changes the topic for the named channel.

/TOPIC The Silent Channel.
*** Nap has changed the topic on channel #EU-Opers to The Silent Channel.

At times, you may want to send a description of what you are doing or how you are feeling or just anything concerning you, to the current channel or query. The correct convention is to include a period at the end of the sentence.

/ME <action description>   ME 
tells the current channel or query about what you're doing.gif

/ME opens up the fridge.
* Nap opens up the fridge.

You can also use your own nickname as command, i.e. you can type the line with a leading slash:

/Nap reaches out for the orange juice.
* Nap reaches out for the orange juice.

The same goal can be achieved towards a specific nickname using

/DESCRIBE <nickname>|<channel> <action description>   DESCRIBE  
Sends anything concerning you to the <nickname> or <channel> you pass as first argument.

These commands make use of CTCP, a client-to-client protocol crafted to perform specific actions, but not understood by all clients (more about CTCP page gif). If you get an error message, your description may not have arrived properly.

next up previous contents index
Next: Channel and User Up: Let's Go! Previous: Communication and Private

Nikos Drakos
Thu Jan 12 11:58:54 GMT 1995