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27. Jan. 2013

IRC CakePHP Channel

27 Jan

Introduction

IRC (internet relay chat) is a text based chat system that is fast and yet powerful. Many online groups (as CakePHP) use it for semi-synchronous communication (unlike google groups, SO or asynchronous communication channels).

I must admit that I wasn’t really into it until last year. But I must say: If you want to communite with others, ask questions, get quick feedback etc there is no better way. Join in and try it!

Tools

For windows/unix: KVIrc (freeware, that’s what I use).
In general there are quite a few different clients for all OS.

Channels and first steps

See this list for channels, although only #cakephp itself is frequently used.

You can connect to groups using the command /join #{channel} – so in our case /join #cakephp.

You can address others by mentioning their name either anywhere inside a message or at the beginning like {nick}: {message}, e.g.:

awesomedude: Thank you

Tip: If you address someone directly, you should use auto-complete (Write the first few letters and tab multiple times until the right user is selected) to avoid spelling mistakes. You wouldn’t like your name misspelled, either, right? 🙂

Rules

There are usually a few rules you have to obey. Some are channel specified, others basic guidelines for IRC.

  • Don’t ask for help like "Can someone help me?". Directly state what your problem is. As descriptive as possible.
  • Be patient. Might need a few minutes for someone to respond. Re-post your question only after quite some time has gone by (no flooding).
  • Do not PM others without their permission. Ask the (whole) channel for help.
  • "Rule one": Never make up names when asking for help. Doing so will always complicate things unnecessarily. Rather use the real names you plan using in your project.
  • The language of the main channel is English. If necessary only use the localized channels for the language of your choice.

More on how to ask questions can be found on this IRC help page.

Bear in mind that people that help you there are unpaid, might not have a lot of time and therefore should be treated with respect.
Also, don’t forget to thank them if they helped you getting on the right track. You might need their help again some time in the future 🙂

Common Sense

This is worth a whole chapter probably. But I want to keep it brief.

You should at least try to use Google or consult the official documentation before throwing out questions you were too lazy to try to answer yourself.
My 5 cents to why:

  • You save others the trouble to send you the link to the usually then pretty obvious solution linked at place 1-3 in the google result page.
  • You show others that you at least tried – and your effort is usually rewarded with a little bit more responsiveness.
  • If you are really stuck at some point and desperately need help (for something there really seems no solution to be found) someone might actually be able to help you then. And will gladly do so as you have proven that you are not just bleeding try those who can help you where you could have easily helped yourself.

Channel log

The log is pretty useful if you got disconnected for a moment or if you want to loop up the channel history from some point in the past.
You can also search it by username or by what has been written.

Tells

They can be looked up at irc.cakephp.org/tells/.
Basically they are some shortcuts to output in the IRC channel.

If you want to look up a tell, just write !{tell} or ~{tell}, so for example !acl to lookup the tell for ACL stuff (if available).
Both ! and ~ trigger the tell commands. I will just use the first one from here on now (easier to type, as well).

Adding tells

The syntax for adding tells is CakeBot {tell} is {description}.
So it is just a private conversation with CakeBot like this:

CakeBot foo is this is some example sentence for the word foo!

This will add this is some example sentence for the word foo! as tell for foo

So if you type !foo it will output what you just added.
If you type !tell {nick} about foo it will print this message for the user you specified as nick.

Removing tells

If you need to do so, please ask one of the senior members of the channel or a core dev online. We decided to not make this public knowledge to avoid misuse.

Other small bot tools

Php, Book, and Google

You can check on a specific php command, a book search term or a google search term with !{command} {term}:

!php exec
!book updateAll
!google Search plugin CakePHP

It is adviced to do so via private bot chat if you plan on using it extensivly (as others would also always get your calls printed on their screen) to avoid creating too much noise.

Of course you can also help others here using !tell {nick} about {command} {term}, for example.

Bin

With !bin you can create a bin.cakephp.org shortcut link for your nick. You may also tell others about it (e.g. when they posted multiline code in IRC) via !tell {nick} about bin.

Seen

With the command !seen {nick} you can check on a specific user and when he was last online in the chat.

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Posted by Mark in Common

 

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  1. Sid

    February 17, 2013 at 23:06

    Good old IRC 🙂
    I use barwen.ch shell hosting to run irssi 24/7, so it also records the history when i’m gone.

    In your article you haven’t mentioned that the #cakephp channel is on the FreeNode server, [irc.]freenode.net
    The first thing I tried is connecting to irc.cakephp.org, and it rejected connection on 6667, naturally.