I have written an overall guide which should help new community members get started with IRC. IRC can be quite confusing initially, creating a huge barrier of entry for new community members.
The guide is posted here: http://quality.mozilla.org/documents-home/test-docs/getting-started-irc
Feel free to post any feedback in this thread so that we can make the document even better.
Anthony Hughes (:ashughes)
People only need to read how to get a basic client setup once.
Breaking that section out to its own page makes sense.
The doc could be a lot more simple by using 3.5's irc protocol
> 8. You will be given a random username when you first connect.
> Usually something like IRCMonkey21710.
Chatzilla uses the user name from the operating system on Windows and
Linux, unsure about OS X behavior. If the doc is standardized using
Chatzilla right clicking on a tab will offer the option to open
server/channel at startup.
General Rules and Etiquette is one of the more important parts of the
document I would like to see it closer to the top.
Mentioning that irc activity varies and the peak usage is from ~9am
pst/pdt to ~7pm pst/pdt. Be aware of time zone differences.
Mozilla employees are less likely to be found during the weekends and
during US holidays http://www.opm.gov/fedhol/index.htm or wikipedia
Waiting for an answer is normal. If you leave shortly after your
question no one will be able to give you an answer.
I'm a big fan of Gerv's asking good questions page.
Fewer examples in the Commands and Channels section. Sorting the
channels alphabetically does not make sense. This is a qa doc, place
channels that we know are important first. My list would be #qa,
#firefox, #thunderbird with a mention of http://irc.mozilla.org or
http://searchirc.com/search.php?SCHANS=1&SSORT=SIZE&N=Mozilla to find
other channels. Make use of irc://irc.mozilla.org/channel links for
chatzilla and mibbit. My short list of commands are /join, /part
(/leave), /nick, /me, /msg for the basics.
Interacting with firebot via /msg firebot requires the user have a
registered nick with nickserv.
To answer your questsions...
Who is the target audience of this document? Anyone within the MozQA community. This ranges from n00bs to gurus.
Suggesting IRSSI for novices? I do not suggest using it. The only IRC client I suggest using is Chatzilla. However, I know that a lot of people may want to explore other possible clients. The purpose of that section is to get people started with researching alternatives.
Firebot requires registered nicks? I can /msg firebot without a registered nick.
Thanks again for the excellent feedback. I'll be working on implementing some of your suggested changes shortly.
Anthony Hughes (:ashughes)
How does mibbit fit into 3.5?
FWIW, as much as I like chatzilla, since we've started encouraging use
of mibbit more people have been coming into thunderbird channels in
recent months. The instructions simplify to
2. pick a nickname
3. click Go
multiple channels can be specified like
>> 8. You will be given a random username when you first connect.
>> Usually something like IRCMonkey21710.
> Chatzilla uses the user name from the operating system on Windows and
> Linux, unsure about OS X behavior. If the doc is standardized using
> Chatzilla right clicking on a tab will offer the option to open
> server/channel at startup.
> General Rules and Etiquette is one of the more important parts of the
> document I would like to see it closer to the top.
> Mentioning that irc activity varies and the peak usage is from ~9am
> pst/pdt to ~7pm pst/pdt. Be aware of time zone differences.
> Mozilla employees are less likely to be found during the weekends and
> during US holidays http://www.opm.gov/fedhol/index.htm or wikipedia
> Waiting for an answer is normal. If you leave shortly after your
> question no one will be able to give you an answer.
How about "If you leave quickly no one will ..."?
The above information will help newcomers, but getting an answer is not
assured *at any time of day*. To that extent we frustrate people who
come to IRC with high expectations - naturally expecting someone to be
there who will help. And we make it worse when "help!" bot response
gives "... Just ask your question and someone should be with you
Good time to update the bot response? Perhaps be shorter and refer to
this new IRC document. For example "Welcome. Please ask your question.
While waiting patiently for a possible response, please look through the
knowledge base: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Main_Page and <irc info>."
> I'm a big fan of Gerv's asking good questions page.
>> The doc could be a lot more simple by using 3.5's irc protocol
>> handler, mibbit.com.
> How does mibbit fit into 3.5?
Firefox 3.0.x doesn't offer Mibbit as handler for the irc protocol.
Check the applications tab inside the preferences.
> The doc could be a lot more simple by using 3.5's irc protocol
> handler, mibbit.com.
I have to second this. I read through the page and tested Mibbit for the
first time. That's really fantastic for novices of this protocol. There
is no need to install additional software. It really works OOTB. We
really should promote it as the simplest way instead of Chatzilla. I
know it from my first steps years ago. It is really hairy to setup.
Mibbit instead only needs a click.
> 1. Try to keep messages as concise as possible. If you have something
> long to post, a code snippet for example, use pastebin.mozilla.org
> and paste the generated URL in IRC instead.
Mibbit offers its own pastebin. It can be found at the lower bounds of
the screen. People dont have to remember the pastebin url and can
directly upload stuff with two clicks. That also saves the waiting time
for the shortened url and an additional c&p action. Oh, and file uploads
are also possible. Good for screenshots to demonstrate the problem.
Otherwise a nice and helpful write-up.