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A terminal-based IRC client

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****** quIRC: readme ******
** quIRC is a lightweight terminal-based IRC client. It is written in C. **
***** Contents *****
    * Further_Help
    * Commands
    * Configuration
    * Input_Controls
    * Other_Controls
    * Keymapping
    * Tab_strip
    * Troubleshooting
***** Further Help *****
If this file doesn't answer your question, you can find help from several other
First port of call is the website, (sometimes
it's not there, in which case try
Then there's the github page, (which should also
have an up-to-date link to the abovementioned website).
Or try our IRC channel, #quirc on (if your problem doesn't
prevent you from joining us there!)
Note: before reporting a bug, check the file wontfix, which lists things which
are known to be wrong but whose fixes would be unacceptably crocky.
***** Commands *****
All commands are prefixed with a '/'. Anything else is a message to be sent to
the channel (or nick if current tab is a private messaging tab).
  /server url
      Connects to the given server (will open in a new tab).
  /nick nickname
      Sets your nickname. Scope is server-wide (or, in (status) tab, sets
      default for new /servers).
  /join channel [key]
      Joins the given channel (will open in a new tab).
  /me action
      Sends an 'action' to the channel.
  /msg [-n] recipient [message]
      Private message; sends the message to the given recipient. Will open a
      private messaging tab if one is not already open for that recipient
      (suppress with -n). If message is omitted, just opens the tab.
  /amsg message
      Send message to all attached channels on this server.
  /topic [message]
      Sets or gets the channel topic.
  /away [msg]
  /away -
      Indicates that you are away, by storing an away message (msg) on the
      server; it will be sent to anyone who private-messages you. /away - or /
      unaway removes any away message you have set.
  /afk [msg]
  /afk -
      Indicates that you are 'away from keyboard' ('afk') by appending |afk (or
      |msg) to your nick. /afk - removes any such indications.
  /set option [value]
      Sets configuration options; the options are analogous to those in .quirc,
      with one or two extras.
          * The options 'height' and 'width' are used to tell quIRC how many
            rows and columns your terminal has (for cursor-positioning). quIRC
            will try to deduce these values (from environment variables $LINES
            and $COLUMNS, using defaults of 80x24 if these env vars are not
            found), but you can override those guesses here or on the command
          * The option 'conf' can be /set for each channel (the rc and cmdline
            versions control the default setting). In Conference Mode (/set
            conf +), joins, parts, quits, nick changes etc. will not be
            displayed. This can be useful in busy channels.
      For full details see config_ref.htm.
  /ignore [-ipd] user[@host]
  /ignore [-ipd] -r regex
  /ignore -l
      Adds a user to your "ignore list", thus preventing messages from that
      user from appearing.
            Match will be case-insensitive
            Will also ignore matching private messages
            Instead of adding a rule, remove all rules matching the given
            Supply a regular expression match. The usual form (without -r)
            generates the regular expression ^user[_~]*@host$; if user or host
            are not given (or begin with *), they are replaced with [^@]*
            Instead of adding a rule, list rules which apply to this tab
  /rejoin [key]
      Rejoins a channel tab which is dead (eg after losing server connection).
      Reconnects to a server from which you have become disconnected.
  /part channel
  /leave channel
      Leaves (departs) the given channel.
  /disconnect [message]
      Disconnects from the server, optionally sending a 'quit message'.
      Closes the current tab. In addition, has an effect which depends on the
      tab type:
            Disconnects from all servers and quits quIRC
            Disconnects from the server and all channels on that server
            Leaves the channel
  /quit [message]
  /exit [message]
      Quits quIRC, optionally sending a 'quit message' to the server.
  /cmd command
      Allows you to send a raw command to the server; not recommended.
  /tab n
      Switches to tab number n; (status) is tab 0.
      Swaps the current tab with the tab on its left (or right); tab 0 (status)
      cannot be moved.
      Sorts the tab list into an intuitive order (grouping channels after their
      parent servers; maintaining the order of the servers and of each server's
      Sends /msg to the channel.
***** Configuration *****
quIRC can be configured through an "rc file" as follows. (For a compact
reference table see config_ref.htm)
In your home directory (/home/username), create a folder called ".quirc", a
file within that folder called "rc", and open it in your editor.
In this file you can set servers, nick and channels to automatically use:
nick global-nickname
ignore -options global-ignore
server url
*chan channel-on-that-server
*nick nick-on-that-server
*ignore -options ignore-on-that-server
where the options to [*]ignore are those for the /ignore command (except for l
and d), and must not be separated by whitespace. You can however combine
options, like -ipr. The options may not be omitted; if none are required, use -
Set the maximum length of nick that will be displayed, with lines
mnln maxnicklen
You can also set mirc-colour-compatibility, with
mcc mcc-level
where 0 doesn't scan for mirc-colours, 1 silently strips them out, and 2
displays the appropriate colour. The default is mcc 1.
Another setting here is force-redraw, with
fred force-redraw
which will redraw the whole screen when things change; the number controls how
0 won't redraw at all, while 3 will redraw every 0.25 seconds. The default is
now 0 (it used to be 2, which redraws whenever any buffer is written to or
input is entered). Since some improvements were made to the drawing code,
fred's assistance should no longer be needed, but we've kept him around just in
The size of each scrollback buffer, in lines, can be set with
buf buf-lines
the default being 256. Larger values will, of course, increase memory
You can turn on a few display options too;
will turn on Full-Width-Colour (makes coloured backgrounds for lines (eg. /me)
run all the way across the terminal), Highlight-Tab-Strip (gives the tab strip
a magenta background, to make it more visible), Top-Status-Bar (uses the top
line of the terminal for some status information), and Quiet Mode (many
informational messages, including unrecognised IRC traffic, are suppressed). To
turn them off prefix them with no-, like
By default fwc, hts and quiet are turned off; tsb is turned on.
You can control the timestamping settings:
ts ts-level
The timestamping levels are:
ts-level Meaning
0        No timestamps will be displayed
1        Display timestamps in the form [HH:MM]
2        Display timestamps in the form [HH:MM:SS]
3        Display timestamps in the form [HH:MM:SS +hhmm], where +hhmm is the
         time zone offset
4        Pointlessly, display timestamps as seconds since the Epoch
If utc is enabled, timestamps will be displayed as UTC instead of local time,
and +hhmm will be replaced by UTC.
If its is enabled, a clock will be displayed at the left-hand end of the input
line, using the format specified by the current ts setting.
The default setting is ts-level 1, no-utc, no-its.
These settings and others can be overridden at runtime with commandline
options. For details run "quirc --help".
You can also customise the colours quIRC uses. A custom colour line starts with
'%', followed optionally by 'S' or 'R' (only use this colour when Sending or
Receiving respectively), followed by an identifier, then space or tab, then
four space-separated numbers. Like this:
%[S|R]identfore back hi ul
Fore and Back set the foreground and background colours (8 colours each, red=1
green=2 blue=4, add for mixtures, eg white=7). Hi sets bright, Ul sets
underline; both are true if nonzero.
ident can be any of
      Ordinary messages
      Channel-Join notifications
      Channel-Leave notifications
      Nick-change notifications
      Actions ('/me does something')
      status messages
      error messages
      Unknown commands (splurged to output)
      Unknown numerics (splurged to output)
***** Input controls *****
These are based, broadly, on bash's controls.
      Read lines from the input history. History is local to the current tab.
      Move the cursor within the current input line.
      Move the cursor to the beginning of the input line.
      Move the cursor to the end of the input line.
      Clear the input line.
      Clear everything to the left of the cursor.
      Clear everything to the right of the cursor.
      Autocomplete the nickname to the left of the cursor.
      Delete the character to the left of the cursor.
      Delete the word to the left of the cursor. Words are delimited only by
***** Other controls *****
      Scroll the current buffer a line at a time.
      Scroll the current buffer a page at a time.
      Scroll to the top of the current buffer.
      Scroll to the bottom of the current buffer.
      Change tab.
  F1 through F12
      Equivalent to /tab #, except that F12 is /tab 0.
***** Keymapping *****
quIRC's mapping of function and other special keys defaults to a VT100 mapping,
such as used by xterm and rxvt. However, this mapping can be changed with a
file /home/username/.quirc/keys.
To change key mappings, add lines of the form MODNAME hex. The MODNAMEs
expected are those which appear in the "keys" file in the quIRC source
directory; at present, these are:
CPGDN, APGDN, F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, F6, F7, F8, F9, F10, F11, and F12.
The prefix 'C' refers to Ctrl, and 'A' to Alt.
If, for instance, your terminal sends Ctrl-Left as ^[OD, you would add the
following line:
CLEFT 1b4f44
Similarly, if your terminal sends backspace as ^H, you would add:
BS 08
You can find out what sequences your terminal sends for various keys by running
a hex-dump program such as xxd or hd, pressing the key, and noting the output.
(You will usually need to press first the key, then enter/return, then ^D)
***** Tab strip *****
The strip of tabs along the bottom of the screen has various indicators.
The parens bracketing the name tell you what kind of tab it is:
      nick (private messaging)
The background colour is green for the current tab, and blue for the current
tab's parent server (if applicable).
The foreground colour of tabs other than the current tab will turn red to
indicate that there are new messages on that tab (and flash cyan if a message
contains your nick). If a tab is 'dead' (eg. disconnected from server), it
turns yellow.
***** Troubleshooting *****
  I get several copies of the status line scrolling up my screen!
      One possible cause of this is that your terminal size is not what quIRC
      thinks it is. You may need to /set height and width, or export the
      environment variables $LINES and $COLUMNS from your shell (typically you
      would also add this to your shell's .rc file), or as a last resort resize
      your terminal to 80x24.
      Another possibility is that your terminal emulator isn't recognising
      VT100 escape sequences (which quIRC uses heavily for eg. cursor
      positioning). For details see your terminal emulator's documentation; it
      is known that xterm works out-of-the-box, and that PuTTY has an option to
      enable VT100 support.
  The control keys/cursor keys/function keys don't do anything!
      This probably means your terminal isn't sending VT100 (ANSI) escape
      sequences, but rather some other set of sequences. See the section
      "Keymapping", above.
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