Internet Relay Chat

IRCclientIRC clientchannelshostmaskIRC channelqwebircchannel operatorsInternet Relay Chat (IRC)IRC (Internet Relay Chat)
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is an application layer protocol that facilitates communication in the form of text.wikipedia
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Comparison of Internet Relay Chat clients

IRC clientClient software
Client software is available for every major operating system that supports Internet access.
The following tables compare general and technical information between a number of IRC client programs which have been discussed in independent published literature.

Bulletin board system

BBSbulletin board systemsbulletin board
IRC was created by Jarkko Oikarinen in August 1988 to replace a program called MUT (MultiUser Talk) on a BBS called OuluBox at the University of Oulu in Finland, where he was working at the Department of Information Processing Science.
Most surviving BBSes are accessible over Telnet and typically offer free email accounts, FTP services, IRC and all the protocols commonly used on the Internet.

Jarkko Oikarinen

IRC was created by Jarkko Oikarinen in August 1988 to replace a program called MUT (MultiUser Talk) on a BBS called OuluBox at the University of Oulu in Finland, where he was working at the Department of Information Processing Science.
Jarkko Oikarinen (born 16 August 1967, in Kuusamo, Finland) is the inventor of the first Internet chat network, called Internet Relay Chat (IRC), where he is known as WiZ.

BITNET Relay

Oikarinen found inspiration in a chat system known as Bitnet Relay, which operated on the BITNET.
It predated Internet Relay Chat and other online chat systems.

Instant messaging

instant messengerIMinstant message
IRC is mainly designed for group communication in discussion forums, called channels, but also allows one-on-one communication via private messages as well as chat and data transfer, including file sharing.
Some of these used a peer-to-peer protocol (e.g. talk, ntalk and ytalk), while others required peers to connect to a server (see talker and IRC).

EFnet

The "Eris Free Network", EFnet, made the eris machine the first to be Q-lined (Q for quarantine) from IRC.
EFnet or Eris-Free network is a major Internet Relay Chat (IRC) network, with more than 35,000 users.

Undernet

In Europe and Canada a separate new network was being worked on and in December the French servers connected to the Canadian ones, and by the end of the month, the French and Canadian network was connected to the US one, forming the network that later came to be called "The Undernet".
The Undernet is the fourth largest publicly monitored Internet Relay Chat (IRC) network, c. 2016, with about 19 client servers serving 17,444 users in 6621 channels at any given time.

File sharing

file-sharingfilesharingsharing
IRC is mainly designed for group communication in discussion forums, called channels, but also allows one-on-one communication via private messages as well as chat and data transfer, including file sharing.
Internet Relay Chat (1988) and Hotline (1997) enabled users to communicate remotely through chat and to exchange files.

DALnet

The new network was called DALnet (named after its founder: dalvenjah), formed for better user service and more user and channel protections.
DALnet is an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) network made up of 33 servers, with a stable population of approximately 8,000 users in about 7,000 channels.

Freenode

ircd-seven
Certain networks like Freenode have not followed the overall trend and have more than quadrupled in size during the same period.
Freenode, formerly known as Open Projects Network, is an IRC network used to discuss peer-directed projects.

IRCnet

Most notably, the "european" (most of those servers were in Europe) side that later named itself IRCnet argued for nick and channel delays where the EFnet side argued for timestamps.
IRCnet is one of the largest IRC networks with more than 60,000 users using it daily.

MIRC

Microelectronics and Information Systems Research Center
There are many client implementations, such as mIRC, HexChat and irssi, and server implementations, e.g. the original IRCd.
mIRC is an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) client for Windows, created in 1995.

XChat

HexChatsee below
There are many client implementations, such as mIRC, HexChat and irssi, and server implementations, e.g. the original IRCd.
XChat is an Internet Relay Chat client.

Irssi

There are many client implementations, such as mIRC, HexChat and irssi, and server implementations, e.g. the original IRCd.
Irssi ( ( audio)) is an IRC client program for Linux, FreeBSD, macOS and Microsoft Windows.

Application layer

Applicationapplication protocolapplication-layer
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is an application layer protocol that facilitates communication in the form of text.
IRCP, Internet Relay Chat Protocol

University of Oulu

OuluBiocenter Oulunew focus areas
IRC was created by Jarkko Oikarinen in August 1988 to replace a program called MUT (MultiUser Talk) on a BBS called OuluBox at the University of Oulu in Finland, where he was working at the Department of Information Processing Science.
Jarkko Oikarinen, D.Sc., the developer of Internet Relay Chat (IRC)

Twitter

tweetedtweettweets
After its golden era during the 1990s and early 2000s (240,000 users on QuakeNet in 2004), IRC has seen a significant decline, losing around 60% of users between 2003 and 2012, with users moving to more modern social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, but also to open platforms like XMPP which was developed in 1999.
Twitter has been compared to a web-based Internet Relay Chat (IRC) client.

List of TCP and UDP port numbers

well-known portportwell-known
IRC was originally a plain text protocol (although later extended), which on request was assigned port 194/TCP by IANA.

Netsplit

The "undernetters" wanted to take ircd further in an attempt to make it less bandwidth consumptive and to try to sort out the channel chaos (netsplits and takeovers) that EFnet started to suffer from.
In computer networking, specifically Internet Relay Chat (IRC), netsplit is a disconnection between two servers.

IRCX

Microsoft made an extension for IRC in 1998 via the proprietary IRCX.
IRCX (Internet Relay Chat eXtensions) is an extension to the IRC protocol, developed by Microsoft.

IRC bot

botbotsprebot
IRC servers, services, and other clients including bots can use it to identify a specific IRC session.
An IRC bot is a set of scripts or an independent program that connects to Internet Relay Chat as a client, and so appears to other IRC users as another user.

Chat log

Chat logs of these and other events are kept in the ibiblio archive.
Some irc networks have published guidelines on making chat logs public.

IRCd

K-lineZ-lineD-line
There are many client implementations, such as mIRC, HexChat and irssi, and server implementations, e.g. the original IRCd. IRC servers, services, and other clients including bots can use it to identify a specific IRC session. An IRC server can connect to other IRC servers to expand the IRC network.
An IRCd, short for Internet Relay Chat daemon, is server software that implements the IRC protocol, enabling people to talk to each other via the Internet (exchanging textual messages in real time).

IRC takeover

split ridingtakeovertakeovers
The "undernetters" wanted to take ircd further in an attempt to make it less bandwidth consumptive and to try to sort out the channel chaos (netsplits and takeovers) that EFnet started to suffer from.
An IRC channel takeover is an acquisition of IRC channel operator status by someone other than the channel's owner.

Multicast

multicastinggroup addressingmulticast channel
Once established however, each message to multiple recipients is delivered in a fashion similar to multicast, meaning each message travels a network link exactly once.
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) implements a single spanning tree across its overlay network for all conference groups.