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Post Internet Relay Chat (IRC) -- What is it and how to?
Know the ins and outs of IRC and just want the details?
irc.starsonata.com:7777 - #starsonata
Or just want a web client link?
http://www.starsonata.com/browserirc/
https://kiwiirc.com/client/irc.starsona ... starsonata
http://chat.mibbit.com/#starsonata@irc. ... a.com:7777

In short, Internet Relay Chat is an old networking protocol which allows communication between multiple people easily. It's a bit like a group Skype conversation or other group conversation, but it's from the 80s (everything from the 80s is cool, even the shoddiest of music). That doesn't mean it's not loaded with awesomeness.

This topic is split up into fives sections for ease of use.
Getting on Star Sonata IRC -- Basics of getting on the server and chatting
Okay, cool, but is there something better than Mibbit? -- IRC clients
Okay, so why use it? -- Yes, why? Cause it's awesome!
So where's the cool parts? -- Information about some cool stuff
Cool, anything else I should know? -- Misc other information (moderation and powers mainly)

Getting on Star Sonata IRC
The easiest way to get onto IRC is by using a web client.

We host a minimal web client to bypass some technical issues with web irc clients so it's recommended that you use this, but for completion-sake I'm including links for KiwiIRC and Mibbit.

http://www.starsonata.com/browserirc/
https://kiwiirc.com/client/irc.starsona ... starsonata
http://chat.mibbit.com/#starsonata@irc. ... a.com:7777

All these links are setup with the information already needed to get you into the right place, all you have to do is tell it what nickname you want to use and then click Go/Connect/similar.

You can also access the top link at any time from the "IRC" item in the Community menu.

From there, you'll be in the public IRC channel, #starsonata and you can talk to people like you would on any other chat (type your message, hit enter)!

Okay, cool, but is there something better than these web clients?
You bet there is!

There is a whole plethora of IRC clients that you can use, some free and some not, for all sorts of operating systems.

Popular ones include:
mIRC (paid, but unlimited trial with annoying button on start)
HexChat (free, replaces XChat)
XChat (dead software, use HexChat instead)
HydraChat (free)
IceChat (unsure)
KVIrc (unsure)
AndChat (for Android)

You can find a bunch more pretty easily by googling "IRC clients" or "list of IRC clients" or looking on this comparison list on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_IRC_clients

For those of you who do use a separate IRC client, the details for the server are as follows:
Server: irc.starsonata.com
Port: 7777
Channel: #starsonata

Where to put this information in your IRC client, obviously depends on what IRC client you get, but it's pretty simple to work out, and there's always help pages/FAQs/newb tutorials (not this one) for it.

Okay, so why use it?
IRC is useful in various situations, being a developer it's pretty much a requirement to be on IRC and most of us [developers] are on IRC a lot (if not all the time, just leaving our computers on because we hate fossil fuels). Even if you can't see us, we might still be hiding away in the nooks and crannies of the server because we're ninja like that.

So, given that a lot of the developers are on it a lot of the time, it's a great way to get in contact with one in a pinch if something super crazy is going on.

This doesn't mean it's acceptable to hop on IRC, say something about a bug and log off. We have our ticket and bug tracker to keep these things together in one place. Tell us on IRC and we *will* forget and it *will not* be fixed in most cases. So create a ticket or post in the bug forums.

Additionally, it's usually the first place to get information about any potential unforeseen server down time.


So where's the cool parts?
IRC servers have loads of commands and little funky things your client can do.

Most IRC clients have support for client-to-client protocol or direct client-client protocol allowing things like chat outside of the IRC server (as in, you can chat without being connected to the server) and file transfers.
This page on wikipedia should have a relatively sound list of commands:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_In ... t_commands

IRC servers have these included services, called... Well, services. The Star Sonata IRC server makes use of three of these services, NickServ, ChanServ and MemoServ.
ChanServ is of little importance to you (a general user).
NickServ allows you to register your IRC nickname with the server so that other people can't use it and allows you to do other funky things.
MemoServ requires you have your nick registered with NickServ. MemoServ is a messaging service which lets you leave offline messages for other uses which they receive when they connect to the server.

You can access all of the services by type '/msg <service>', they each come with help text for all their commands and pretty decent explanations of what stuff does. So just type '/msg NickServ help' or whatever service you wish to find out about and you can go from there.


Also, on the IRC server resides our very own IRC bot, BobboBot. Which was written by me using Perl (and some funky modules from CPAN).

BobboBot has a lot of commands, some are SS-specific and useful things, like manhour calculations, multibuild calculations, some are for fun and games, like the roulette game or the urban dictionary lookup.

All of BobboBot's commands can be accessed by typing '!' before the command, help text can be accessed from !help [command]. A list of all the commands available can be accessed via `!help` or `!list`.

BobboBot also automatically checks the status of all three servers (liberty, test and livetest) regularly gives updates if they stop/start.

Cool, anything else I should know?
Yes. There are rules to follow just in on the forums and in the game, generally, IRC rules aren't that dissimilar to the forum rules. The rules are posted in the News forum with the other rules, and can be viewed with the rest of our rules on our rule page.

The #starsonata channel does have some protection from flooding, in the form of channel mode +f [2c#C1,6j#R1,5n#N1,6t]:5 (no idea that this means? Google IRC channel modes!)
Basically, this automatically applies some rules if something happens more than X times in 5 seconds. The main one is that you will be kicked from the channel if you send more than 6 messages in 5 seconds (but don't worry, you can come back using /join #starsonata). The others are just to inhibit some other forms of flooding.

BobboBot has op and can perform some trivial channel moderation.

Aside from this, you should be wary of the IRCops. The IRCops are operators of the entire server (not just channels), so they have more power than me. The IRCops will make themselves known if needed, but generally it is not required.



I think that's everything for now!

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Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:29 pm
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