IRC (Internet Relay Chat)
Internet Relay Chat is used by many Open Source projects for communication.
Connecting to the IRC server
You have two choices for connecting to the IRC server:
- Install an IRC client. There are many available, you may want to try a few to see which you like the best. Some are standalone applications, and some are browser plugins (like Chatzilla for Firefox.) I’ve heard that mIRC is the most popular for Windows, I use Colloquy on the Mac.
Here are some of the most important settings you will need. How you set these will depend on your client. You will want to install your client and do the setup in advance of our meeting, so you aren’t late.
- Server: irc.freenode.net
- If you can set a port, you may want to use 7000 since it can be used for an SSL connection.
- Nickname: Choose your own*
- Channel: ##WSU-CS401
- Use the webchat page on freenode: https://webchat.freenode.net
- Nickname: Choose your own*
- Channels: ##WSU-CS401
- Complete the reCAPTCHA
* You may want to register your nickname, so that no one else can use it. That way we can all get used to looking for a specific nickname for you. See the instructions: http://freenode.net/faq.shtml#registering
- An IRC Tutorial by IRChelp.org  I suggest reading the first two sections.
- Fedora's How to communicate using IRC 
- Freenode's guidelines on IRC etiquette 
- Chatzilla Firefox addon for IRC 
The most important commands for chatting
- /SERVER new-server-hostname
- /NICK new-nickname
- /JOIN #channelname
- /ME does something
This command is used for saying that you are doing something like:
/ME is looking for that information in my email
- If you want to address your comments to everybody, just type your comment and hit return.
- If you want to address your comments to a specific person, type their nickname followed by a colon, then your message. E.g.
kwurst: I have the answer to your question
IRC Meetings Using MeetBot
I have installed a MeetBot on the ##WSU_CS401 channel on freenode. The bot is named CS401Bot. This bot will listen to our meeting on the channel and produce minutes of the meeting. These minutes will be available as HTML after the meeting ends.
You can use the ##WSU-CS401 channel and the CS401Bot to run your own group meetings during the week. The full manual for MeetBot is here: http://meetbot.debian.net/Manual.html
Someone has to be the Chair of the meeting. That will be me for today’s meeting. The Chair can do the following:
- #startmeeting - Start a meeting. You are designated the owner (and have permanent chair powers).
- #endmeeting - End the meeting. Must be called by a chair.
- #topic - Set a new topic.
- #agreed - Document an agreement in the minutes.
There can be multiple Chairs for a meeting, see the manual.
Commands for meeting participants. These generally add items to the minutes, so we’ll want to use them relatively frequently.
- #info - Add an info item to the minutes. People should liberally use this for important things they say, so that they can be logged in the minutes.
- #action - Document an action item in the minutes. Include any nicknames in the line, and the item will be assigned to them. (nicknames are case-sensitive)
- #idea - Add an idea to the minutes.
- #help - Add a "Call for Help" to the minutes. Use this command when you need to recruit someone to do a task. (Counter-intuitively, this doesn't provide help on the bot)
- #link - Add a link to the meeting minutes. The link should be the first non-command on the line, other commentary after the link is OK. Links beginning with http:// and a few other protocols are automatically detected.
The minutes from the meeting will be placed here: http://cs.worcester.edu/kwurst/wsu-cs401/2013/
Every meeting will produce 4 files. They are all named by date and time. They are the minutes and the full logs.