Welcome to The Sims Wiki's official IRC channel, #wikia-sims, on the freenode network. IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat, created in 1988. It is the grandfather of the modern chat room, and still offers many benefits and features not included with modern chat systems. While the usage of IRC has slowly been decreasing, it still has a massive community of dedicated users.
On this page, we'll answer some of the more commonly asked questions newbies to IRC may have, and hopefully cover some of the basics. You may also want to see User blog:Lost Labyrinth/The Beginner's Guide to IRC, which covers the dummy-basics of IRC. I recommend you read that page first, then read this page.
The Sims Wiki invested in an IRC channel because IRC is fast, efficient, effective, and it works. The Sims Wiki uses the freenode IRC network, a global network of servers that connect hundreds of thousands of users and hundreds of thousands of channels, all in real-time. freenode supports the free and open-source communities, and freenode is, in itself, free.
No special registration or knowledge is required to use IRC. It is possible to use a browser-based IRC client, without the hassle of downloading additional programs. IRC offers us unique options to help moderate and control channels, something that many modern chat rooms still do not offer. And, best of all, IRC works. It really does. It has been tried and true, and its continued usage, three decades after its creation, shows that there really is some magic to it.
How do I join your IRC channel?
Why can't I join your channel?
There are a number of reasons why:
- The channel has been set to registered only (+r) due to multiple or persistent attacks from trolls. You will need to create a NickServ account and log in to it to join.
- If the ports 6665, 6666, 6667, 6697 (SSL only), 7000 (SSL only), 7070 (SSL only), 8000, 8001 or 8002 are not open on your Internet connection, you will not be able to connect to freenode at all. Talk with your network administrator to get them unblocked.
- freenode servers are currently down, or are experiencing a netsplit. Try again later.
It may also be possible that a ban in the channel matches your hostname, IP address, or nickname. If this is the case, join #wikia-sims-admins (You should be automatically directed to that channel if you are banned, if not, type
/join #wikia-sims-admins) and PM an op there for assistance. It may be likely that the ban was not intended for you, and was made to stop a persistent troll.
What is a nickname?
On IRC, a nickname, often shortened to just "nick", is the name you use on IRC. You need to specify the nickname you wish to go by when you connect to IRC. After you have connected to IRC, you can change your nickname using the
/nick command (
/nick <your new nick here>; for example,
/nick JohnDoe). Nicks can only be used one at a time throughout the entire freenode network; thus, if someone is using the nick "SomeIRCUser7", no one else on freenode can connect with or change their nick to that nickname.
Nicknames, by default, are not "owned" by anybody, so if you leave the network, someone else can come on and start using your nick. To prevent this, you will need to register for a NickServ account.
What is a NickServ account?
A NickServ account is the best way to stake your claim on a nickname. NickServ, by the way, is an automated IRC service, and is not a human. When you register a nickname with NickServ, NickServ will watch over your nickname for you, and can prevent other people from using your nick when you are not online. NickServ is also a prerequisite to using other IRC services, and it is mandatory if you want to gain special privileges in the channel. Having a NickServ account also makes us a bit more comfortable around you, because we know that you're the same person over and over again.
To register for a NickServ account, make sure you are currently using the nickname that you want to register. Then, type
/msg NickServ help register. NickServ should reply to you with instructions as to how to register your nickname. You will need to specify a valid email address (no throwaway or "nomail.com" addresses!) and a password, which you should never share with anyone else. You should receive an email with instructions on how to complete your registration. Once your registration has been completed, the nickname you currently have is now yours. The next time you connect to freenode using that nick, you'll be asked to "identify" to services; type
/msg NickServ identify <your password> to do this.
Keep in mind that you must use your registered nickname on a regular basis in order to keep it. If you do not use it regularly, it will expire, and someone else will be able to ask freenode staff to have it dropped, which will allow them to use it. See this page for more details about nick expiry.
Why do some people have an "@" beside their name?
Those are channel operators, often shortened to chanop. In modern terminology, they're basically the moderators of the channel. They have the ability to kick and ban disruptive users, modify various aspects of the channel, set quiets (mutes) on users, and much much more.
On The Sims Wiki, on-wiki administrators who also have a freenode NickServ account may be given chanop status automatically. Non-administrators can also apply for chanop; these users are not opped automatically.
Why do some people have a "+" beside their name?
Those users have voice on the channel. Being voiced does nothing by itself, except that it allows the user to speak when the channel is set to moderated mode (+m). If that mode is set, only users with voice or channel operator status may speak in the channel.
Who is ChanServ?
ChanServ is an automated IRC service, and is not a human. ChanServ's job is to help maintain and manage the channel, and assists channel operators in too many ways to count. ChanServ will not respond to any messages sent on the channel, so don't try to talk to it (It's not a human anyway). Additional help for ChanServ may be obtained by using
/msg ChanServ help.
Who is Mystique?
Mystique is a bot, owned and operated by Lost Labyrinth. It is the channel's main anti-spam bot. If the bot detects spam or flood in the channel, it will kick the user as a warning, and if they resume their behavior, will ban them from the channel. If you have been banned by the bot, please see the note about bans on Why can't I join your channel?.