Several years ago there was a big boom in online presence in Romania. There were several romanian irc networks that fought for users: profm, kappa, atomic, apropo . This days only few survived. Back then "see you on mirc" was a popular expression. But i'm not going to talk about how things were. Instead i will focus on tehnology behind IRC networks. And how it still can be usefull today.
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a form of real-time Internet chat or synchronous conferencing. It is mainly designed for group (many-to-many) communication in discussion forums called channels, but also allows one-to-one communication via private message.
In an IRC network there are several servers interconnected and many clients connected to servers. By using several servers interconnected each server load is lowered and the response time is better.
There are several choices for an irc server software ( i will list only those that i tried ):
- hybrid ircd this is still used in EFNet irc network
- PTlink ircd this powered for a while profm irc network
- unreal ircd one of the most feature-packed IRC servers
Beside irc server software there are services for irc networks that can perform various taks:
- Nick / channel registration.
- Seen allow general users to find how when a nickname was online.
- hostserv allow general users to register a vhost so that their real IP address on IRC is hidden.
- memoserv allows short messages to be passed to nicks when they are not online.
There are many tools to help managing/using an IRC network
Ok . Enough with the tech. Why someone should consider using irc technololgy ?
- becasue it works.
- becasue is stable.
- becasue it can help a comunity to stay toghether. it can improve relations between comunity members.
- it can deliver real time news to members
- it can be another way to deliver content to users
At this moment i would recomend unreal ircd with anope services ( for the mysql integration with existing services ), pisg ( to get some statistics from channels) and cgi-irc and/or pjirc and an assorted mix of bots for special taks ( trivia , channer protection , etc ).