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IRC 101 - Realtime Spree Talk

Posted on March 20, 2013 by Andrew Hooker

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a protocol for live chat designed primarily for group communication via discussion forums called channels or rooms. Spree has had an IRC channel since April 2008, and it has been a valuable resource for Spree users to get help quickly and to get to know other community members better. It’s not unusual to have several core team members, creators of Spree extensions, Spree users, and even general Rails developers present in the Spree IRC room at the same time. There’s typically between 30 and 50 people in the room, and there is usually somebody available no matter what time of day.

Read below to get started using IRC and communicating with the Spree community.

The Easy Ways

If you have an IRC client installed, Click Here and it should automatically connect.

If you don’t have an IRC client installed, Click Here to use a web-based client to access the Freenode IRC network.

Pick a nickname, fill out the CAPTCHA, and click connect. You should be in the Spree room ready to talk!

Becoming a More Permanent Resident

There are a variety of IRC clients available on every platform imaginable. A few that we recommend are WeeChat (Mac, Linux), Pidgin (Mac, Linux, Windows), and XChat (Linux, Windows). It’s fairly simple to use most of these clients. They normally save your nickname and all your configuration settings, so all you have to do is launch the app to be connected. The vital information you’ll need to get it configured is below. Freenode is a large enough network, that many clients actually come preconfigured for it, so it’s simple to get started.

Vital Information for Expert Users

If you have an IRC client installed, Click Here and it should automatically connect.

If you want to set up your configuration manually, here are the settings:
IRC Network: Freenode
IRC Server: morgan.freenode.net
Port: 6667
Channel: #spree

Getting More out of IRC

Once you’re comfortable with IRC, you might look to get more out of it. Part of the value of IRC is there are a wide variety of channels on the network (over 13,500 at the time of this post), covering a wide variety of topics. Most clients will show you the list by simply typing /list in the web chat. The list will print in the “Status” tab. Some large channels that might be interesting to give you inspiration: #jquery, #rubyonrails, #postgresql, #mysql, #css. There are channels on virtually every topic imaginable, so check out the list and find things that interest you.

Hope to see you in the Spree IRC room soon!