Internet Relay Chat (IRC) facilitates W3C work (including the Open Web Platform and SemanticWeb development) and deployment. An Introduction to Internet Relay chat (IRC) gives the general background. W3C notes on IRC are tuned to the W3C community. This is one of the communication channels for contributing to W3C work. And this community has its own reasons for liking IRC:
- it's sorta synchronous -- you can get real-time alpha testing and code-review, support, and the kind of clarificationt that only dialog brings footnotes (where's that cyc paper on how the ability ask clarifying questions raised NLP from 15% to 85% reliability?). Combined with weblog scratchpad, it's great for ConnectingAudiences. It is also great as a supplement to teleconferences; see ZakimDemo.
- it's sorta asynchronous; your client can log the conversation when you're not there. You can answer questions seconds, minutes, or hours afterward. Or you can follow up in email.
- it's fun to hack. We have swBot, chump and logger, Zakim the teleconference agent, wikibot, trustbots, and more.
Channels for different W3C areas
- HTML (Open Web Platform) has two main channels for discussing: irc.w3.org #html-wg (mostly meetings) irc.freenode.net #whatwg (discussions of everything in the galaxy).
- We use the the freenode IRC network for the Semantic Web Interest Group IRC Scratchpad and for the odd ScheduledTopicChat. The Semantic Web Interest Group server/channel is irc.freenode.net #swig (formerly we used #rdfig). ChannelsAreResourcesToo
- Note that W3C's public irc.w3.org server is on port 6665 rather than the more conventional 6667
Some good IRC clients include Xchat (all platforms), Xchat Aqua (for MacOs X), Textual (for MacOS X), Colloquy (for MacOS X and iOS), MIRC (Windows only), irssi (a nice UNIX console client) and BitchX (another UNIX console free IRC client).
IRC client development frameworks include:
- Pynfo (usage experience?)
The Jabber protocol is also looking pretty interesting, but doesn't seem to be used in practice enough yet for group chat. See JabberChickenEgg for notes on why this might be and whether we could do anything.
- Hmmm... ProxyTopic... this topic is really about local IRC conventions, not IRC in general. I suppose that's implicit, but I'd prefer a locally novel name for it. Oh well. -- DanConnolly
- I'm mostly a Linux users and xchat's the most productive IRC tool, multi server works well. There are also win32 and OSX versions that work just as well - no nagging to register. The other clients on win32 I've tried suck at multi server. For text only, irsii is pretty good if you can grok the key bindings. I tried chatzilla which although has handy click-url support, takes up too much screenspace and doesn't have key features such as logging. The multi-protocol IM clients such as as gaim handle IRC as a second-class citizen mostly and I wouldn't recommend them for sustained IRC. -- Dave Beckett
Use of Instantbird with Windows
Instantbird is a multichannel chatting service that can be used for many instant messaging services but also for IRC.
- Download instantbird.
- Install the file.
- When instantbird is open, go TO the menu bar with alt and CHOOSE "tools".
- Choose accounts.
- Tab until "new account".
- A welcome dialog opens. Press next to continue.
- the next dialog displays a list of choices. Use the arrow key until IRC. Use tab to select next.
- In the next dialog box type your username (the name you want to appear on IRC). Tab to server and enter irc.w3.org. Then choose next.
- The next dialog asks you to enter your password.
- On the next screen you have to type your local name. Then there is a text labelled "irc option", that is not always identified as a button by screen readers. Press space on this. If you tab again, you will be able to enter W3C server's port: 6665. Tab then to an edit box allowing to type your username and real name. If you have to enter proxy settings press the space bar to do so. Then select next.
- The next dialog will display a checkbox you have to check if you want to connect now.
- Then, a new window connecting to the W3C server opens. Leave it as is, and use alt tab to return to the account window. You will see your IRC acount and you will have to tab to the properties button.
- This displays a field with your password, your username, and an input field where you can type a channel code to join automatically, such as #eo. type the name of your group and choose ok.
Note: it may happen, that you are not able to view your channel. Just go to the instantbird window again, go to "account", disconnect your irc account and try connecting again. You can choose to connect to your irc account when starting instantbird or not. Once you have connected to your IRC account, a first tab with W3C server will open. A second tab with your channel will also open. Close the W3C tab. You will be prompted on an input field and be able to type something. If you want to see what others write, just press F6. If you want to type something again, just leave the IRC window and go back to it, you will be placed automatically where you can enter your text.