IRC Commands for using StarChat

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Always Learning
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Jan 5, 2018
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This post is meant to serve as a basic guide to using commands for StarChat IRC (where #AbsoluteWrite and #TheWritersCircle) are hosted. Before I begin, it is important to note that the channel goes moderated (i.e. muted) when there are no channel managers (owner or admins) to watch the users. This means without a voice (given at the discretion of channel managers) or channel manager privileges, we may not chat. This is only done in #AbsoluteWrite and not in #TheWritersCircle.

For those who do no know what IRC is, it stands for Internet Relay Chat. It was first created in the late 1980s, and continues today. Before Facebook and Twitter, it was the "social media" choice of people around the world. It has lost popularity since Facebook and Twitter, but it still exists today. It is a text-based chat and it is done in real time (i.e. synchronous communication, not asynchronous). You will have to ask a channel manager what kind of chat is welcome in channel or not, but politics (and, maybe, other taboo topics) is not allowed. We discuss a lot about our WIPs, ask for basic assistance or opinons, and chat on a lot of topics. For those concerned, StarChat offers default hostmasking (so your entire personal address is never seen) and something called virtual hosting, where you can request a custom address. I chose: - I will explain how to use this service in the HostServ section, below.

StarChat is a network of interconnected servers. It uses 5 services: NickServ; MemoServ; HostServ; ChanServ; and OperServ. This post will NOT cover ChanServ and OperServ. OperServ is for StarChat people who run the network. ChanServ is for people who are channel managers. For the rest of us, ChanServ and OperServ have no purpose for us (if we are there to just chat). I will only cover NickServ, MemoServ, and HostServ in this document.

There are three groups of commands: Client (software) commands; Services commands (noted in the previous paragraph); and IRCd commands. IRCd stands for IRC daemon (which is server-side software). IRC runs on a server-client relationship; i.e. the IRC clients we use to connect join an individual IRC server (to join the network). As per the three sets of commands, you do not need to know the vast majority of them, but this document will discuss those that are germane to regular users and what we can (and, maybe, cannot) use.

Finally, all IRC clients are not created equal. If you use a free, online Web client (like Kiwi IRC or Mibbit), you will not get the client commands of something more robust, such as the mIRC client you install on your computer to use (which is commerical software). I will only cover client commands that can be accessed on most, if not all, clients (free or not).

Basic Chat (IRCd and client) Commands....

1. /join - Syntax: /join #AbsoluteWrite (/join #TheWritersCircle) - Channels must start with a pound/hash symbol.

2. /part - Syntax: /part #AbsoluteWrite (leaves without a part message) -OR- /part #AbsoluteWrite message here (leaves with a part message) - Allows you to leave the channel, but not disconnect from the network.

3. /cycle (client command) - Syntax: /cycle - Once on a channel, it automatically/instantaneously, makes you leave the channel then rejoin it. Use this if you think a glitch occurs in channel.

4. /msg or /privmsg (/query is buggy, don't use it) - Syntax: /msg Nickname message-here (same command with /privmsg).

5. /me or /action - Syntax: /me message (e.g. /me knows her name! will look: * YOurName knows her name!); same command with /action.

6. /nick - Syntax: /nick YourNick - If you need to change nicknames, use this command.

7. /notice - Syntax: /notice nickname - Sends a short message to someone privately. In some clients, it will be seen as a private message. In others, it will be seen as a different colored message in channel. Use this command to respond to them, if you like.

8. /away - Syntax: /away away message goes here (e.g. /away Working on my WIP) - On StarChat, you need to type in channel to unset the away message (it may work in private windows with others too).

9. /quit - Syntax: /quit -OR- /quit optional message - This command makes you disconnect from the network (where you cannot chat anymore).

10. /server - Syntax: /server Vortex.NL.EU.StarChat.Net - This command will disconnect you from the server you are on and reconnect you to the specified server you issued. Below are some other servers you can try connecting to if Vortex is down, or you are already using it....

/server Coyote.WA.US.StarChat.Net -OR- /server -OR- /server (these servers may not always be online, but for now they work).

11. /list - Syntax: /list - Shows a list of channels on the network. On other networks, they allow more parameters, but StarChat is small, so this is all they allow.

12. /clear - Syntax: /clear - This will clear the text shown in your status/Message window, channel window, or private chat window.

13. /whois - Syntax: /whois nickname - Used on someone else, or your own name, it can show basic information. Use the nick twice (e.g. /whois Enlightened Enlightened) and the person's idle time is shown.

14. /whowas - Syntax: /whowas nickname - Use this on nicknames that disconnected recently. It will not work on nick's that part channel, but do not disconnect. This shows basic info on the user.

15. /ignore (client command) - /ignore nickname - This command will ignore someone you specify. You will not see their text in channel, private notices, nor their private messages. This command differs greatly from client to client. With Kiwi IRC (online, free, Web client), you must use a different command to unset an ignore (/unignore nick). If you use something like mIRC, it would be /ignore -r nick/address. The ignore is permanent, until you, manually, unset the ignore.

16. /silence +nick (IRCd command) - Syntax: /silence +Enlightened - The plus is needed. This only works as long as you are connected to the server. If you disconnect and reconnect, you need to reset it. This works like ignore, but is done at the network level (not at the client level).

Other IRCd Commands....

17. /invite - Syntax: /invite Someone'sNick #channelname - Allows you to invite someone to a channel (one you are on and they are not). This might be considered advertising by the network; be careful who you invite (maybe close friends only).

18. /ctcp - Syntax: /ctcp NickName version - This command allows you to know what IRC client the specified person uses. CTCP stands for client-to-client protocol. This appears to be the only, functional CTCP command supported by StarChat. Other networks have Time, Ping, and Finger.

19. /helpop - Syntax: Various; see below - These commands give you specific information.

a. /HELPOP USERCMDS - To get the list of User Commands (will give a complete list of user commands, but I shown important ones above). Some commands just don't work as they should, so I did not include them.

b. /HELPOP UMODES - To get the list of User Modes. Issue this command to see all available modes. I left several out; one's that are not important to regular users. I will explain how to use the modes in #20.

±p = Hide all channels in /whois and /who - This mode allows protection from people who want to harass you on other channels you visit. Using it will prevent them from seeing what channels you are on in a /whois command.
±r = Identifies the nick as being Registered (settable by services only)
±t = Says that you are using a /VHOST - Given to you via HostServ (see below for more on that).
±w = Can listen to Wallop messages - Wallop stands for (W)arn (all) (Ops) which are IRC Operators (who are people that run the network). Only IRCOps can issue wallops, but we can see them. These messages are unlikely used.
±x = Gives the user Hidden Hostname (security) - HIghly recommended to leave on at all times. This prevents people from knowing your real address, so they can attack your real computer address.
±z = Marks the client as being on a Secure Connection (SSL) - This cannot be switched on. You need to connect using the Secure Socks Layer (SSL) port (6697) and be using a server that supports it.
±G = Filters out all Bad words in your messages with <censored>
±R = Allows you to only receive PRIVMSGs/NOTICEs from registered (+r) users - Unregistered or unidentified nicknames cannot message or notice you. This can be bad if services are down.
±T = Prevents you from receiving CTCPs - This is pointless to use on StarChat, because only version is accessible.
±s = Can listen to Server notices - Given a "Server notice mask (+k)" message. I recommend never using these. On other networks, this options shows IRC Operator kill (forced disconnect) messages. These can flood your client. On StarChat, these are called "snomasks." For a list of available options, type: /helpop snomasks.

c. /HELPOP CHMODES - To get the list of Channel Modes - These modes are for channel managers only (Owner/Admin).

20. /mode - Syntax: I will not cover channel manager options; instead, I will cover how to set and unset user mode. - Example: /mode Enlightened +iwrxp (or, if you want to unset one, just type e.g. /mode Enlightened -p).

21. /motd - Syntax: /motd - Shows the motd (message of the day) of the server you are using.

22. /names - Syntax: /names #channelname - Shows names of users in channel, but only users who want to be seen (not protected by a channel mode preventing its use).

23. /watch - Syntax: /watch nickname - This command adds someone to your "watch" list (which is like the client command, notify). When the person is online, you will be told (as long as you do not disconnect where it resets itself or clears your watch entries).

24. /time - Shows the time of the server you are connected to.

25. /userhost - Syntax: /userhost Enlightened - Shows you the hostmask of the specified user.

26. /version - Syntax: /version - Shows what IRCd (Unreal IRCd) and version of it is used on the server you are using.

27. /admin - Syntax: /admin - This command shows the Server Administrator's name, username, and email. On other networks, you can find the Admin of an IRCOp who is abusive and show them logs of the abuse (e.g. /admin OperNick). This appears not to function on StarChat.

28. /info (and /dalinfo) - Syntax: /info - This shows information about the network or the IRCd version it uses (what you will see on StarChat). In it, you will see a command for /dalinfo. DALnet has been around since 1994. It was started as a private IRC server for friends of DAlvenjah. He left IRC many years ago, but DALnet is still going strong. It is one of the most popular IRC networks out there, and they have the VERY best IRCd and Services coders of any network, in my opinion. I've been using DALnet since 1998, and serving as official help channel staff since 1999. Unlike StarChat, they do not offer hostmasking or a custom vhost (HostServ) service. People must use BNCs (bouncers) they pay for to hide their IP, unless they are an IRC Op of the network. I do not know why this command is included in the StarChat, Unreal IRCd /info command, but I assume makers of Unreal are appreciative of DALnet coders helping them build Unreal over the years. The /dalinfo might be a sign of respect and proper crediting. Using /dalinfo shows some of the coders DALnet had in past years or currently has.

29. /topic - Syntax: /topic #AbsoluteWrite - Shows the topic of the channel, set by a channel manager.

Services Commands (to come, as time permits)....



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