Last updated 15 June 2017.

When you're chatting in IRC, normally after entering a line of text, it is sent to the server and displayed to all the other people in the chat channel. You'll also see what the other participants type.

If the beginning of a line you type is a / character, it will be interpreted as an IRC command and will be sent to the server but not displayed.

This page shows both actual IRC commands and things you can type that have special meaning in IRC (in different sections). Throughout this page, "joe" is used to signify an IRC nickname of a person you're chatting with, and "mary" for your IRC nickname.

Chat conventions

This section shows things you can type that are not strictly IRC commands, but which have special meaning in IRC or specifically in Drupal IRC channels.

joe: ping
When you want to start up a conversation with a user, use this line to get their attention. They will probably respond with mary: pong to say "OK, I'm ready to talk to you".
joe: take a look at this site...
Continuing the conversation, each time you say something to "joe", preface it with their user name. This serves two purposes: (a) in some channels, multiple conversations are happening at once, so it makes it clearer which one you're in, and (b) most IRC clients will highlight or pop-up notify someone when you mention their nickname.
joe: ^^
"Hey, Joe read what I just typed in above." -- use when you forgot to preface a line with "joe:" or you typed it originally to someone else and you think Joe might also be interested.
/me reads the documentation
This is a way to say what you are doing, and it is displayed in different type from a normal chat, prefaced by your user name.
Most chat clients have tab-completion on IRC nicknames. So if you type the first few characters of a long user name, and then the tab key, it should complete the name for you. However, beware! If there are multiple people in the channel whose nicknames all start with jo in this example, you might get the wrong person!

Using drupalbot in IRC

Many Drupal IRC channels have an IRC bot in them named "drupalbot" (which you can see in the user list for the channel, normally displayed in your chat client window). drupalbot watches the chat, and responds to particular things that are typed. Here are some things you can do to interact with the drupalbot bot:

drupalbot: tell joe ping me next time you are on IRC
This saves a message for Joe. Next time Joe is chatting in an IRC channel with drupalbot, drupalbot will pass along your message.
This indicates that Joe did something you appreciated, and gives Joe some "karma".
drupalbot: karma joe
This will query drupalbot for the karma total of Joe.
drupalbot: seen joe?
Find out when Joe was last chatting in a channel with the drupalbot bot in it, and what channel it was.
Any line that ends in a ? is interpreted by drupalbot as a "factoid" query. drupalbot has a database of "factoids", and if there is a matching one in the database, drupalbot will respond by giving the stored information.
drupalbot: my_factoid_name is [type the information here]
This is how to set up a new factoid. Make sure it doesn't already exist first!

IRC server commands

/join #channelname
Joins a chat channel
/nick mary_2
Changes your username.
/whois joe
Displayes the information about a person
realname : drupalbot :
channels : #drupal-features
server : [NL]
account : drupalbot
/away your-away-message
Puts an away message while you are not in IRC
Removes the away status