rcirc.texi   [plain text]

\input texinfo
@c %**start of header
@setfilename ../info/rcirc
@settitle rcirc Manual
@c %**end of header

Copyright @copyright{} 2006, 2007 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or
any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no
Invariant Sections, with the Front-Cover texts being ``A GNU Manual'',
and with the Back-Cover Texts as in (a) below.  A copy of the license is
included in the section entitled ``GNU Free Documentation License'' in
the Emacs manual.

(a) The FSF's Back-Cover Text is: ``You have freedom to copy and modify
this GNU Manual, like GNU software.  Copies published by the Free
Software Foundation raise funds for GNU development.''

This document is part of a collection distributed under the GNU Free
Documentation License.  If you want to distribute this document
separately from the collection, you can do so by adding a copy of the
license to the document, as described in section 6 of the license.
@end quotation
@end copying

@dircategory Emacs
* Rcirc: (rcirc).       Internet Relay Chat (IRC) client.
@end direntry

@title rcirc Manual
@vskip 0pt plus 1filll
@end titlepage

@node Top, Basics, (dir), (dir)
@top rcirc Manual
@end ifnottex

@code{rcirc} is an Emacs IRC client.

IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is a multi-user chat protocol.  Users
communicate with each other in real-time.  Communication occurs both in
topic channels which are collections of many users, or privately, with
just one other user.

* Basics::
* Reference::
* Hacking and Tweaking::
* GNU Free Documentation License::
* Key Index::
* Variable Index::
* Index::

 --- The Detailed Node Listing ---


* Internet Relay Chat::
* Getting started with rcirc::


* rcirc commands::
* Useful IRC commands::
* Configuration::

Hacking and Tweaking

* Skipping /away messages using handlers::
* Using fly spell mode::
* Scrolling conservatively::
* Changing the time stamp format::
* Defining a new command::
* Reconnecting after you have lost the connection::

@end detailmenu
@end menu

@node Basics, Reference, Top, Top
@chapter Basics

This chapter contains a brief introduction to IRC (Internet Relay Chat),
and a quick tutorial on @code{rcirc}.

* Internet Relay Chat::
* Getting started with rcirc::
@end menu

@node Internet Relay Chat, Getting started with rcirc, Basics, Basics
@section Internet Relay Chat
@cindex internet relay chat
@cindex irc

@cindex channel
@dfn{Internet Relay Chat} (IRC) is a form of instant communication over the
Internet.  It is mainly designed for group (many-to-many) communication
in discussion forums called channels, but also allows one-to-one

@cindex instant messaging, comparison
@cindex server
@cindex network
Contrary to most Instant Messenger (IM) systems, users usually don't
connect to a central server.  Instead, users connect to a random server
in a network, and the servers share information between them.

Here's a typical example:

@cindex redirection to random servers
When you connect to the Freenode network
(@code{http://freenode.net/}), you point your IRC client at the
server @code{irc.freenode.net}.  That server will redirect your client
to a random server on the network, such as @code{zelazny.freenode.net}.

@cindex channel name
@cindex # starts a channel name
Once you're connected, you can send messages to all other users
connected to the same network, and you can join all channels on the same
network.  You might join the @code{#emacs} and the @code{#rcirc}
channels, for example.  (Typically, channel names begin with a hash

Once you have joined a channel, anything you type will be broadcast to
all the other users on the same channel.

@cindex addressing other people
@cindex other people, addressing them
@cindex talk to other people
If you want to address someone specifically, for example as an answer to
a question, it is customary to prefix the message with the nick followed
by a colon, like this:

deego: fsbot rules!
@end example

@cindex nick completion
@cindex completion of nicks
@kindex TAB
Since this is so common, you can use @key{TAB} to do nick completion.

@node Getting started with rcirc, , Internet Relay Chat, Basics
@section Getting started with rcirc
@cindex getting started
@cindex connecting to a server

@cindex irc command
Use the command @kbd{M-x irc} to connect using the defaults.
@xref{Configuration}, if you want to change the defaults.

Use @kbd{C-u M-x irc} if you don't want to use the defaults, eg. if you
want to connect to a different network, or connect to the same network
using a different nick.  This will prompt you for four things:

@table @asis
@cindex server, connecting
@cindex Freenode network
@item IRC server
What server do you want to connect to? All the servers in a particular
network are equivalent.  Some networks use a round-robin system where a
single server redirects new connections to a random server in the
network.  @code{irc.freenode.net} is such a server for the Freenode
network.  Freenode provides the network ``for the Free and Open Source
Software communities, for not-for-profit organisations and for related
communities and organizations.''

@cindex port, connecting
@cindex 6667, default IRC port
@item IRC port
All network connections require a port.  Just as web servers and clients
use port 80 per default, IRC uses port 6667 per default.  You rarely
have to use a different port.

@cindex nick, connecting
@cindex changing nick
@cindex name changes
@item IRC nick
@vindex user-login-name
Every users needs a handle on-line.  You will automatically be assigned
a slightly different nick if your chosen nick is already in use.  If
your @code{user-login-name} is @code{alex}, and this nick is already
in use, you might for example get assigned the nick @code{alex`}.

@cindex channels, connecting
@cindex initial channels
@cindex startup channels
@item Channels
A space separated list of channels you want to join when connecting.
You don't need to join any channels, if you just want to have one-to-one
conversations with friends on the same network.  If you're new to the
Freenode network, join @code{#emacs}, the channel about all things
Emacs, or join @code{#rcirc}, the channel about @code{rcirc}.
@end table

@cindex server buffer
When you have answered these questions, @code{rcirc} will create a server
buffer, which will be named something like @code{*irc.freenode.net*},
and a channel buffer for each of the channels you wanted to join.

@kindex RET
@cindex talking
@cindex communicating
To talk in a channel, just type in what you want to say in a channel
buffer, and press @key{RET}.

@kindex C-c C-c
@cindex multiline messages
@cindex messages, multiple lines
@cindex pasting multiple lines
@cindex edit message before sending
If you want to paste multiple lines, such as source code, you can use
@kbd{C-c C-c} to edit your message in a separate buffer.  Use @kbd{C-c
C-c} to finish editing.  You still need to press @key{RET} to send it,
though.  Generally, IRC users don't like people pasting more than around
four lines of code, so use with care.

@node Reference, Hacking and Tweaking, Basics, Top
@chapter Reference
@cindex reference

This is the reference section of the manual.  It is not complete.  For
complete listings of @code{rcirc} features, use Emacs built-in

* rcirc commands::
* Useful IRC commands::
* Configuration::
@end menu

@node rcirc commands, Useful IRC commands, Reference, Reference
@section rcirc commands
@cindex rcirc commands
@cindex commands

@kindex C-h m
This is a list of commands that you may use in @code{rcirc}.  It is not
complete.  For a complete listing, press @kbd{C-h m} in an @code{rcirc}

In addition to using regular Emacs key bindings, you can call them by
typing them into an @code{rcirc} buffer.

@cindex call commands
@cindex typing commands
@cindex commands
For instance, instead of using the command @kbd{C-c C-j} to join a new
channel, you may type this in an @code{rcirc} buffer, and press @key{RET}:

/join #emacs
@end example

@cindex / starts a command
@cindex messages starting with a slash disappear
@cindex disappearing messages if starting with a slash
@cindex slash hides message
This is why you cannot start a message with a slash.  You will have to
precede the command with a space, or rewrite your message in order to
send it to a channel.

@cindex multiple words as parameters
@cindex string delimiters
@cindex quotes
@cindex double-quotes
Many commands take parameters.  IRC commands usually ignore string
delimiters.  Neither quote nor double-quote have special meanings in

/nick "alex schroeder"
@end example

This will try to change your nick to @code{"alex}.  Usually this will
fail because the double quote character is not a legal character for

@cindex case insensitive commands
These commands are case insensitive.

@cindex new command
@cindex unknown command
@cindex command unknown
If a command isn't known by @code{rcirc}, it will simply be sent along to the
server.  There is a list of some useful commands like that in the next

@table @kbd
@item C-c C-j
@kindex C-c C-j
@cindex /join
@cindex join channels
@cindex other channels
@cindex rooms, joining
@cindex discussion, joining
This joins a channel such as @code{#rcirc} or @code{#emacs}.  On most
networks, anybody can create new channels.  If you want to talk with
some friends, for example, all you have to do is agree on a valid
channel name and join that channel.  (Also @code{/join #emacs}.)

@item C-c C-p
@kindex C-c C-p
@cindex /part
@cindex part a channel
@cindex leave a channel
@cindex disconnect from a channel
@cindex stop talking on a channel
@cindex kill channel buffer
This leaves the current channel.  You can optionally provide a reason
for parting.  When you kill a channel buffer, you automatically part the
corresponding channel.  (Also @code{/part you are too weird!}.)

@item C-c C-r
@kindex C-c C-r
@cindex /nick
@cindex change name
@cindex nick changing
@cindex rename yourself
@cindex other name
This changes your nick to some other name.  Your nick must be unique
across the network.  Most networks don't allow too many nick changes in
quick succession, and have restrictions on the valid characters in nick
names.  (Also @code{/nick alex-test})

@item C-c C-w
@kindex C-c C-w
@cindex /whois
@cindex who are these people
@cindex identifying people
@cindex channels other people are on
@cindex what channels people are on
Gives you some basic information about a nick.  This often includes what
other channels people are on.  (Also @code{/whois fsbot}.)

@item C-c C-q
@kindex C-c C-q
@cindex /query
@cindex starting a private conversation
@cindex one-to-one conversation
@cindex talk privately
@cindex private conversation
@cindex contact one person only
@cindex query a person
Starts a one-to-one conversation with another person on the same
network.  A new buffer will be created for this conversation.  It works
like a channel with only two members.  (Also @code{/query fsbot}.)

@item C-c @key{RET}
@kindex C-c RET
@cindex /msg
@cindex single message
@cindex message sending
This sends a single message to a nick.  Like with @kbd{C-c C-q}, a new
buffer is created, where the response from the other party will show
up.  (Also @code{/msg nickserv identify secret}.)

@item C-c C-x
@kindex C-c C-x
@cindex /quit
@cindex quit
@cindex disconnect
@cindex kill connection
@cindex connection end
@cindex part all channels
@cindex end connection
@cindex server buffer killing
@cindex reason for quitting
This disconnects from the server and parts all channels.  You can
optionally provide a reason for quitting.  When you kill the server
buffer, you automatically quit the server and part all channels.  (Also
@code{/quit ZZZzzz...}.)
@end table

Some commands may not have a key binding, but only be available as typed
commands, such as:

@table @code
@item /ignore
@cindex /ignore
@cindex ignoring other people
@cindex trolls, ignoring
@cindex hide some posts
@cindex idiots online
This command toggles the ignore status of a nick, if you provide one.
If you don't provide a nick, the command lists all the nicks you are
ignoring.  All messages by ignored nicks are---you guessed it---ignored.
Since only ``operators'' can kick people from channels, the
ignore command is often the only way to deal with some of the more
obnoxious fellows online.  Example: @code{/ignore xah}.
@end table

@node Useful IRC commands, Configuration, rcirc commands, Reference
@section Useful IRC commands
@cindex irc commands
@cindex commands

As mentioned, if a command isn't known by @code{rcirc}, it will simply be sent
along to the server.  Some such commands are available on nearly all IRC
servers, such as:

@table @code
@item /away
@cindex /away
@cindex away status
@cindex pause status
@cindex unavailable status
@cindex set away status
This sets your status as ``being away'' if you provide a reason, or sets
your status as ``being back'' if you do not.  People can use the
@kbd{C-c C-w} command to check your status.  Example: @code{/away food}.
@end table

@cindex irc resources
@cindex help about irc
Typical IRC servers implement many more commands.  You can read more
about the fantastic world of IRC online at
@uref{http://www.irchelp.org/, the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) help

@node Configuration, , Useful IRC commands, Reference
@section Configuration
@cindex configuring rcirc

These are some variables you can change to configure @code{rcirc} to your

@table @code
@item rcirc-default-server
@vindex rcirc-default-server
the default server to connect to.

@item rcirc-default-port
@vindex rcirc-default-port
the default port to connect to.

@item rcirc-default-nick
@vindex rcirc-default-nick
the default nick to use.
@end table

(setq rcirc-default-server "irc.mozilla.org"
      rcirc-default-port 6666
      rcirc-default-nick "alx")
@end example

@vindex rcirc-default-user-full-name
@cindex full name
@cindex real name
@cindex surname
@code{rcirc-default-user-full-name} is used to set your ``real name'' on
IRC.  It defaults to @code{user-full-name}.  If you want to hide your
full name, you might want to set it to some pseudonym.

(setq rcirc-default-user-full-name "Curious Minds Want To Know")
@end example

@vindex rcirc-startup-channels-alist
@cindex channels, configuration
@cindex initial channels, configuration
@cindex startup channels, configuration
@code{rcirc-startup-channels-alist} is the alist of channels to join
when connecting to a particular network.  An alist is a list of lists.
Each sublist starts with a regular expression that is compared to the
server address you're connecting to.  The remaining sublist items are
the channels to join.

(setq rcirc-startup-channels-alist
      '(("\\.freenode\\.net$" "#emacs" "#rcirc" "#wiki")))
@end example

Note the subtle problem, here --- IRC clients connect to servers, and
there is no way of knowing which servers belong to a particular network.
In the example above we're exploiting a naming convention used by within
the Freenode network --- all servers within the network have a host in
the @code{freenode.net} domain.

@vindex rcirc-authinfo
@cindex authentification
@cindex identification
@cindex nickserv
@cindex login
@code{rcirc-authinfo} is an alist used to automatically identify
yourself on networks.  Each sublist starts with a regular expression
that is compared to the server address you're connecting to.  The second
element in the list is a symbol representing the method to use, followed
by the arguments this method requires.

Here is an example to illustrate how you would set it:

(setq rcirc-authinfo
      '(("freenode" nickserv "bob" "p455w0rd")
        ("freenode" chanserv "bob" "#bobland" "passwd99")
        ("bitlbee" bitlbee "robert" "sekrit")))
@end example

And here are the valid method symbols and the arguments they require:

@table @code
@item nickserv
@cindex nickserv authentification
Use this symbol if you need to identify yourself as follows when
connecting to a network: @code{/msg nickserv identify secret}.  The
necessary arguments are the nickname you want to use this for, and the
password to use.

Before you can use this method, you will have to register your nick and
pick a password for it.  Contact @code{nickserv} and check out the
details.  (Using @code{/msg nickserv help}, for example.)

@item chanserv
@cindex chanserv authentification
Use this symbol if you need to identify yourself as follows if you want
to join a particular channel: @code{/msg chanserv identify #underground
secret}.  The necessary arguments are the nickname and channel you want
to use this for, and the password to use.

Before you can use this method, a channel contact must tell you about
the password to use.  Contact @code{chanserv} and check out the details.
(Using @code{/msg chanserv help}, for example.)

@item bitlbee
@cindex bitlbee authentification
Use this symbol if you need to identify yourself in the Bitlbee channel
as follows: @code{identify secret}.  The necessary arguments are the
nickname you want to use this for, and the password to use.

@cindex gateway to other IM services
@cindex instant messaging, other services
@cindex Jabber
@cindex AIM
@cindex ICQ
@cindex MSN
@cindex Yahoo!
Bitlbee acts like an IRC server, but in fact it is a gateway to a lot of
other instant messaging services.  You can either install Bitlbee
locally or use a public Bitlbee server.  There, you need to create an
account with a password.  This is the nick and password you need to
provide for the bitlbee authentification method.

Later, you will tell Bitlbee about your accounts and passwords on all
the other instant messaging services, and Bitlbee will log you in.  All
@code{rcirc} needs to know, is the login to your Bitlbee account.  Don't
confuse the Bitlbee account with all the other accounts.
@end table

@kindex C-c C-SPC
@vindex rcirc-track-minor-mode
@cindex switching channels
@cindex tracking activity
@cindex active channel
@cindex abbreviated channel names
@cindex modeline tracks activity
Most people want a notification when something is said on a channel they
have joined, particularly if they have been addressed directly.  There
is a global minor mode that will do this kind of tracking for you.  All
you need to do is switch it on using @kbd{M-x rcirc-track-minor-mode}.
To make this permanent, add the following to your init file:

(rcirc-track-minor-mode 1)
@end example

When other people say things in buffers that are currently buried (no
window is showing them), the mode line will now show you the abbreviated
channel or nick name.  Use @kbd{C-c C-@key{SPC}} to switch to these

@vindex rcirc-mode-hook
If you prefer not to load @code{rcirc} immediately, you can delay the
activation of this mode:

(add-hook 'rcirc-mode-hook
          (lambda ()
            (rcirc-track-minor-mode 1)))
@end example

@node Hacking and Tweaking, GNU Free Documentation License, Reference, Top
@chapter Hacking and Tweaking
@cindex hacking and tweaking

Here are some examples of stuff you can do to configure @code{rcirc}.

* Skipping /away messages using handlers::
* Using fly spell mode::
* Scrolling conservatively::
* Changing the time stamp format::
* Defining a new command::
* Reconnecting after you have lost the connection::
@end menu

@node Skipping /away messages using handlers, Using fly spell mode, Hacking and Tweaking, Hacking and Tweaking
@section Skipping @code{/away} messages using handlers
@cindex /away messages

@cindex handlers
@cindex status codes
The IRC protocol specifies how certain events are signaled from server
to client.  These events have numbers and are dealt with using so-called
handlers.  You can override existing handlers by exploiting the naming
convention adopted for @code{rcirc}.

Here's how to stop @code{rcirc} from printing @code{/away} messages.
Since @code{rcirc} doesn't define a 301 handler, you don't need to
require @code{rcirc} before defining the handler:

(defun rcirc-handler-301 (process cmd sender args)
  "/away message handler.")
@end example

@node Using fly spell mode, Scrolling conservatively, Skipping /away messages using handlers, Hacking and Tweaking
@section Using fly spell mode
@cindex fly spell
@cindex spelling
@cindex spell-checking as you type
@cindex automatic spelling
@vindex rcirc-mode-hook

The following code activates Fly Spell Mode
for @code{rcirc} buffers:

(add-hook 'rcirc-mode-hook (lambda ()
                             (flyspell-mode 1)))
@end example

@xref{Spelling, , Flyspell mode, emacs, The GNU Emacs Manual},
for details.

@node Scrolling conservatively, Changing the time stamp format, Using fly spell mode, Hacking and Tweaking
@section Scrolling conservatively
@cindex input line
@cindex scrolling
@vindex scroll-conservatively
@vindex rcirc-mode-hook

IRC buffers are constantly growing.  If you want to see as much as
possible at all times, you would want the prompt at the bottom of the
window when possible.  The following snippet uses a local value for
@code{scroll-conservatively} to achieve this:

(add-hook 'rcirc-mode-hook
          (lambda ()
            (set (make-local-variable 'scroll-conservatively)
@end example

@xref{Scrolling, , Scrolling conservatively, emacs, The GNU Emacs
Manual}, for details.

@node Changing the time stamp format, Defining a new command, Scrolling conservatively, Hacking and Tweaking
@section Changing the time stamp format
@cindex time stamp
@cindex date time
@cindex format time stamp
@vindex rcirc-time-format

@code{rcirc-time-format} is the format used for the time stamp.  Here's
how to include the date in the time stamp:

(setq rcirc-time-format "%Y-%m-%d %H:%M ")
@end example

@node Defining a new command, Reconnecting after you have lost the connection, Changing the time stamp format, Hacking and Tweaking
@section Defining a new command
@cindex defining commands
@cindex commands, defining
@cindex new commands, defining

Here's a simple new command, @code{/sv}.  With it, you can boast about
your IRC client.  It shows how you can use @code{defun-rcirc-command} to
define new commands.

We're waiting for the definition of this command until @code{rcirc} is loaded
because @code{defun-rcirc-command} is not yet available, and without
@code{rcirc} loaded, the command wouldn't do us much good anyway.

(eval-after-load 'rcirc
  '(defun-rcirc-command sv (arg)
     "Boast about rcirc."
     (interactive "i")
     (rcirc-send-message process target
                         (concat "I use " rcirc-id-string))))
@end smallexample

@node Reconnecting after you have lost the connection, , Defining a new command, Hacking and Tweaking
@section Reconnecting after you have lost the connection
@cindex reconnecting
@cindex disconnecting servers, reconnecting

If you're chatting from a laptop, then you might be familiar with this
problem: When your laptop falls asleep and wakes up later, your IRC
client doesn't realise that it has been disconnected.  It takes several
minutes until the client decides that the connection has in fact been
lost.  The simple solution is to use @kbd{M-x rcirc}.  The problem is
that this opens an @emph{additional} connection, so you'll have two
copies of every channel buffer --- one dead and one live.

The real answer, therefore, is a @code{/reconnect} command:

(eval-after-load 'rcirc
  '(defun-rcirc-command reconnect (arg)
     "Reconnect the server process."
     (interactive "i")
     (unless process
       (error "There's no process for this target"))
     (let* ((server (car (process-contact process)))
            (port (process-contact process :service))
            (nick (rcirc-nick process))
            channels query-buffers)
       (dolist (buf (buffer-list))
         (with-current-buffer buf
           (when (eq process (rcirc-buffer-process))
             (remove-hook 'change-major-mode-hook
             (if (rcirc-channel-p rcirc-target)
                 (setq channels (cons rcirc-target channels))
               (setq query-buffers (cons buf query-buffers))))))
       (delete-process process)
       (rcirc-connect server port nick
@end smallexample

@node GNU Free Documentation License, Key Index, Hacking and Tweaking, Top
@appendix GNU Free Documentation License
@include doclicense.texi

@node Key Index, Variable Index, GNU Free Documentation License, Top
@unnumbered Key Index
@printindex ky

@node Variable Index, Index, Key Index, Top
@unnumbered Variable Index
@printindex vr

@node Index, , Variable Index, Top
@unnumbered Index
@printindex cp


   arch-tag: 2589e562-3843-4ffc-8c2f-477cbad57c01
@end ignore