User:K6ka/IRC handbook/Wildcards

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So you are probably wondering... what the heck is a wildcard?

In computing, a wildcard is a special character that the computer may interpret as any character in a search or command. On IRC, wildcards are particularly useful for searching and for ban setting.

IRC supports two types of wildcards: * and ?.

*[edit]

The * (asterisk) wildcard is a powerful wildcard. It can either mean no characters, a single character, or many characters.

For example, searching for fire* will match the following search terms:

fire
fireplace
firestone
firework
fire_eating
fire_juggling

Searching for fire_* produces this:

fire_eating
fire_juggling

The * can get pretty wild at times. For example, if you set a ban on f*d!*@*, you'd ban everyone using the nicks:

fod
food
fold
faded
fainthearted
famished
farced
feliz_navidad

And a whole lot more.

?[edit]

The ? wildcard can be used to substitute for any single character; that is, a single character must exist to replace it. It won't accept a non-existent character or more than one character.

For example, searching for wiki?edia will bring up:

wikipedia
wikimedia

Banning ?uck!*@* will ban anyone using the nicks:

buck
duck
huck
luck
muck
puck
ruck
suck
tuck
yuck