How to Use IRC
Interested in getting involved with F/OSS development? Have a question you want to ask? IRC is often the best way to talk to other F/OSS developers in real time, or just see what they are talking about.
Internet Relay Chat is essentially a big group chat, which allows you to talk in real time to the entire group of people in the channel (you can think of this as the “chat room”), or directly (privately) message any other person in the channel.
The Internet Relay Chat is hosted on a server, which means you need a client to connect to it.
Try it out
If you want to try it out without downloading a client and you have Java enabled in your browser, you can visit the Freenode Java applet for IRC:
- Visit http://java.freenode.net/
- Enter in a nickname that will be used to identify you in the channel, and in the Channel textbox, put “sahana-ghc” and click connect. This will bring you to a screen with a list of the other people in the channel on the right. You can watch the conversation that will scroll into the middle of the screen as people send messages to the channel.
- To send a message to everyone in the channel, just type into the text box at the bottom of the screen.
- To send a private direct message to a specific person in the channel, click on their name in the list on the right.
- To send a message directed at one person in the channel, but visible to all people in the channel, start your message off with their nickname (e.g. “jan: my message”).
- Get a client
The experience only gets better when you download a client.
For any given Operating System, there are a bunch of popular clients, mostly free. Just Google “irc client [your operating system]!”
For Windows and Linux, you can use X-Chat http://www.xchat.org/.
For Mac OS, you can use Colloquy http://colloquy.info/.
Each of these will ask you what server you want to connect to and what channel you want to join. See below for the server and channel information.
The important information
See you there!