IRC

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Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a form of instant communication over the Internet. It is used for GnuCash to enable group (many-to-many) communication in a discussion forum, called channel. IRC in itself additionally also allows one-to-one communication.

Prerequisite

IRC Client

At first you need a program which supports the IRC protocol. Many IRC and multi-protocoll clients exist. Probably one is already on your computer or smartphone. If you find one neither on your computer nor on your installation media, see the following lists:

Setttings

At least one version of Mozilla Thunderbird has by default strange settings, again and again reconnecting after a few minutes. So please adjust the settings and feel free to report the adjustments here.

Non ASCII characters
To get the right presentation of non ASCII characters like umlauts or accents, you should set the encoding of your client to UTF-8 instead of e.g. Latin/Hybrid. Otherwise the log files might look ugly.

Usage

For historical reasons there are several IRC networks. The official GnuCash channel is on the network named GIMPNet. Its server address is irc.gimp.org with the alias irc.gnome.org as it it used by many GTK+ based appplications. It does not matter which of them you choose in the following commands. Depending on the client you are using, you will have to enter either the netwok name or a server address.

In an normal chat window, commands to your client or the server are prefixed by / (Slash) and commands to our gncbot by @ (At). Other text is sent to the channel.

Join

Any IRC application first needs to connect to an IRC server. The discussion forum for GnuCash is hosted on the following server and has the following channel name:

server
irc.gnome.org
channel
#gnucash

In many IRC applications you will be asked to specify the server to connect to. Choose irc.gnome.org in that dialog. After that, your IRC application might have a button labeled "Join Channel", in which you can specify to join the #gnucash channel.

Alternatively, you can perform these two steps by entering the following commands at the command prompt of an IRC application:
/server [irc.gnome.org]
/join #gnucash

If your computer had a correct setup of MIME types and applications, all you would have to do is click on: irc://irc.gnome.org/gnucash. Now you can 'listen' to the channel.

Sorry, but because of spam attacks we had to restrict the rights. To get a voice on the channel you need to use a registered nickname.

Register a Nick

This has to be done only once:
# connect with the server:
/server irc.gnome.org

# If not already set in your client:
/nick <your desired nickname>
# If you get a warning like 'This nickname is registered and protected...' choose another name.

# Register your nick:
/msg NickServ register <password> <email>

# Only, if you already joined, leave and rejoin the gnucash channel:
/part #gnucash
/join #gnucash

Identify

On the start of each later session you will have to identify:
/server irc.gnome.org
/msg nickserv identify [<nick>] <password>
/join #gnucash

The nick in the identfy command is only needed, if the registered nick different from the current nick.

Tip
you can store your nick and password in the configuration of most IRC clients. So they can do the procedere on behalf of you in future sessions.

Quit IRC

To quit IRC, just execute:
/quit
Note for information
Unless you have used Chat programs before it is not very simple or intuitive to use them. I have tried a number of the programs mentioned above and the only one that worked and was relatively easy to use was Mibbit. Once downloaded you click on the chat now button and you get the home screen, you then need to click on server (because the irc.gnome.org server is not on the list) and enter, irc.gnome.org, then choose a nickname to use (this can probably be anything), then enter, #gnucash, in the channel box and then click connect and wait. You should then be connected and can type your question / comment in the box at the bottom and it should appear on the main screen when you press enter, and then wait for an answer. Hope this is helpful.
User:Chrisardy 2014-04-17

Public Logging

The discussions in the GnuCash irc channel are logged on a public web page:

The timestamps in the log pages are given in EST (UTC-5).

If you want to say something that shouldn't be logged, prepend your text by the prefix [off] which should stand for "off-the-record". Lines that begin with [off] will not show up on the web page logs.

N.B.
The brackets are part of the command.

How to speak up in the channel

When you join the GnuCash IRC channel, you should speak up. If you have a question, please ask it right away.

But then you should wait. Don't expect an answer right away. Sometimes you'll get an answer within seconds. Other times you might have to wait several hours until one of the core developers wakes up. Please be kind, and please wait in the channel.

Note that many of the active participants in that channel are active only during US daylight time, corresponding to timezones EST (UTC-5), CST (UTC-6), PST (UTC-8). Other participants are active only during Europe daylight time, GMT (UTC+0) and CET (UTC+1).

Use pastebin for longer text and imagebin for screenshots

Sometimes you will be asked to show your console output or a trace file. Please do not use copy&paste in the chat window for this longer texts. Instead call a pastebin like https://pastebin.ca or https://pastebin.com in your web browser, paste the text in the offered input window and push Submit. Then copy the returned link into your chat client to provide it to your chat partners.

If you wish to share a screenshot, use a service like https://imagebin.ca.

Gncbot

We run an instance of Supybot named gncbot on the channel. It provides the #Public Logging facility noted earlier and some other useful features. For a list of available modules say

 /msg gncbot list

The commands in a module can be obtained with

 /msg gncbot list module_name

And a description of a particular command with

 /msg gncbot help command
Tip
Instead of repeating /msg gncbot again and again, you can also start a private session with the bot with
/query gncbot
list
:

Commands are issued by prefacing the command with '@' at the beginning of the line. For example

 @tell foo bar

Will save the message "bar" for nick "foo" and play it back the next time "foo" says something in the channel. A side effect of this is that attempting to use the common "@foo" to address a post to user foo will produce an error about an unrecognized command. N.B. Supybot is not terribly smart about nicks so "foo" and "foo," are different. "foo," isn't a legal nick but that won't stop gncbot from saving a message for it. Remember not to use punctuation after the nick when creating an @tell message. Note as well that one can @tell only one nick at a time.

Further Reading

You can find much information around IRC at irchelp.org. As the IRC standard is ancient most networks have developed their own extensions. So for details refer their online help.

NickServ Help

/server irc.gnome.org
/msg NickServ help
will return a text like
NickServ allows you to register a nickname and prevent others from using it. The following commands allow for registration and maintenance of nicknames; to use them, type
/msg NickServ command.

For more information on a specific command, type
/msg NickServ HELP command.
     CONFIRM        Confirm a passcode
     GROUP          Join a group
     HELP           Displays this list and give information about commands
     IDENTIFY       Identify yourself with your password
     INFO           Displays information about a given nickname
     RECOVER        Regains control of your nick
     REGISTER       Register a nickname
     RESETPASS      Helps you reset lost passwords
     STATUS         Returns the owner status of the given nickname
 
Accounts that are not used anymore are subject to the automatic expiration, i.e. they will be deleted after 600 days if not used.
Then
/msg NickServ help register
will return a text like
Syntax: REGISTER password email

Registers your nickname in the NickServ database. Once your nick is registered, you can use the SET and ACCESS commands to configure your nick's settings as you like them. Make sure you remember the password you use when registering - you'll need it to make changes to your nick later. (Note that case matters! ANOPE, Anope, and anope are all different passwords!)

Guidelines on choosing passwords:
Passwords should not be easily guessable. For example, using your real name as a password is a bad idea. Using your nickname as a password is a much worse idea ;) and, in fact, NickServ will not allow it. Also, short passwords are vulnerable to trial-and-error searches, so you should choose a password at least 5 characters long.
Finally, the space character cannot be used in passwords.

This command also creates a new group for your nickname, that will allow you to register other nicks later sharing the same configuration, the same set of memos and the same channel privileges.