Internet Relay Chat, or IRC, is an online protocol used to chat in near-realtime. IRC predates instant messaging and is particularly popular among F/OSS developers.
- it is an open protocol, and
- it is widely supported, including popular F/OSS implementations
FreeCulture.org maintains an IRC channel at #freeculture on server irc.freenode.net.
How to use
IRC is widely supported by many programs. Below are a few:
- IRC with Gaim - using Gaim, the cross-platform F/OSS instant messaging program.
- IRC with irssi and screen
- Colloquy for Mac OS X
- X Chat for Fedora Linux and Windows
- Chatzilla, an extension for Mozilla Firefox
If your ISP attempts to block IRC, there are ways around an IRC block.
In addition to the above programs that support IRC, Our friends at Yossman have setup a web based irc portal from which you can access #freeculture. In the first field, erase yossnet08 and enter your name with no spaces. In the second field, erase #wikipedia and enter #freeculture. Then, press the login button.
This may be particularly useful if you have trouble connecting via other mechanisms.