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Although it is completely unofficial, a number of us involved with the Text Encoding Initiative have been hanging out in an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channel. This allows us to communicate on all sorts of topics quickly, and occasionally a bit of social banter. In order to join into the network and the #tei-c channel you will need to use an IRC client which you run on your computer.

The technical information needed is:

  • Server:
  • Channel: #tei-c

More information is available about the freenode network if you wish.

IRC Commands

IRC is at its heart a text-based discussion network. This network is controlled by text-based commands prefixed with a '/'. Text without this command prefix is sent to the chat channel. In many modern clients there are graphical buttons or other methods instead of typing the following commands. However, for reference, some basic IRC commands are:

  • /away [message] (Set an away message, or use no message to return from being away)
    • /away In a meeting, back at 1pm
  • /invite <nick> [channel] (Invite a user to join the current or a specific channel)
    • /invite JuliaF #tei-c
  • /join <channel> (Join an existing or new IRC channel)
    • /join #tei-c
  • /list (Display a list of channels on a server. Warning, this can be quite large!)
    • /list
  • /me <action to perform> (Perform an action in a channel or private chat)
    • /me yawns and falls asleep over Chapter 16.
  • /msg <nick> <message> (Send a private message to a user (as opposed to a channel))
    • /msg Syd What is your opinion on floating <div> elements?
  • /names [channel] (List the users currently in a channel)
    • /names #tei-c
  • /nick <new nickname> (Change your nickname)
    • /nick SebastianR
  • /part [room] [message] (Leave the current channel, or a specified channel, with an optional message)
    • /part #tei-c I'm off to the pub!
  • /ping [nick] (Asks how much lag a user (or the server if no user specified) has)
    • /ping LOU
  • /quit [message] (Disconnect from the server, with an optional message)
    • /quit I'm off to the pub!
  • /whois <nick> (Get information on a user)
    • e.g. /whois James-C

There are other commands, but those basic ones should allow you to participate fully in discussions. Some clients remove the ability to send these commands in this way and implement other ways to send them on your behalf.

Freenode 'NickServ' Service

Freenode provides a method for you to have control over a static nickname. The 'NickServ' service allows you to register a nickname and prevent others from using it. The following commands allow for registration and maintenance of nicknames; to use them, type /msg NickServ <command>. For more information on a specific command, type /msg NickServ help <command> where <command> is any of:

  • access (Modify the list of authorized addresses)
  • drop (Cancel the registration of a nickname)
  • ghost (Kill a ghosted nickname)
  • identify (Identify yourself with your password)
  • info (Get information for a nickname)
  • link (Link your nickname to another)
  • list (Display list of nicks matching a pattern)
  • recover (Kill another user who has taken your nick)
  • register (Register a nickname)
  • release (Regain custody of your nick after RECOVER)
  • set (Set various options for your nickname)
  • unlink (UnLink your nickname)

Setup for Specific Clients

If you want to add installation instructions, helpful hints, or suggested customisations and links for specific clients, do it here.


Pidgin is a multi-protocol multi-operating system client that allows connection not only to IRC, but AIM/AOL, MSN, Yahoo, Jabber/Gmail, and other chat protocols all from a single client.


XChat is a multi-operating system IRC client


Chatzilla is a a firefox extension IRC client. If you have it installed then irc:// url should take you straight to the #tei-c channel. Otherwise just do /join #tei-c

IRC-Related Links

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