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Manual Reference Pages  -  NETHIRC.PL (1)

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nethirc - A nethack-flavored IRC client



<B>nethircB> [<B>-m?B>] [<B>-bB> dbfile] [<B>-fB> rcfile] [<B>-hB> hostname] [<B>-iB> ircname] [<B>-jB> channel] [<B>-lB> localport] [<B>-nB> nick] [<B>-pB> port] [<B>-sB> server] [<B>-uB> username] [<B>--dump-databaseB>] [<B>--helpB>] [<B>--databaseB>=dbfile] [<B>--hostnameB>=hostname] [<B>--rc-fileB>=rcfile] [<B>--joinB>=channel] [<B>--local-portB>=localport] [<B>--nickB>=nick] [<B>--portB>=port] [<B>--serverB>=server] [<B>--usernameB>=username]


<B>nethircB> is an IRC client written almost entirely in Perl, with the help of the POE::Component::IRC module from CPAN. It is named <B>nethircB> because of the influence of <B>nethackB>, which is the theme behind many of the things that <B>nethircB> displays on your screen.


<B>nethircB>’s command line interface is intentionally a bit different than that of <B>ircIIB>, arguably the standard IRC client.
<B>-bB> dbfile
<B>--databaseB>=dbfile Use a database of quips, quotes, and other text found in dbfile. This file can be created with the <B>-mB> or <B>--dump-databaseB> switches, and modified with a text editor. This is a YAML file.
<B>-fB> rcfile
<B>--rc-fileB>=rcfile Use the named file for initialization instead of the default ~/.nethirc. This is also a YAML file.
<B>-hB> hostname
<B>--hostnameB>=hostname Assert a particular hostname to IRC servers. They may not always like it. This switch can be used to pick an interface to which to bind on a multi-homed host.
<B>-iB> ircname
<B>--ircnameB>=ircname Use the indicated witty comment as your real name on IRC. The default may be less than flattering, if you do not set the IRCNAME environment variable.
<B>-jB> channel
<B>--joinB>=channel For the first server which you specify, join the indicated channel. You may specify this switch more than once. By default, you join no channels.
<B>-lB> localport
<B>--local-portB>=localport Use the indicated port for your client instead of letting the operating system pick one for you.
<B>--dump-databaseB> Dump NetHirc’s internal database to the standard output. You can feed this back into later invocations with <B>-bB> or <B>--databaseB>.
<B>-nB> nick
<B>--nickB>=nick Use the indicated nick. If not specified, the environment variable IRCNICK will be consulted. If that’s empty, you will get your login name, or something worse.
<B>-pB> port
<B>--portB>=port Connect to the indicated port on the remote server instead of the default. The default is usually what you want.
<B>-sB> server
<B>--serverB>=server Connect to the named server. If you do not have a startup file (see <B>-fB> and <B>--rc-fileB>), you must specify this switch.
<B>-uB> username
<B>--usernameB>=username Use the indicated user name, instead of choosing a default (probably your login name).
<B>--helpB> Ask for help.

    The Initialization File

The initialization file (see the <B>-fB> and <B>--rc-fileB> switches) is a YAML file that has at least one top-level section, called nethirc. Inside it are several servers to which to connect, and how to do it. A minimal example would be:

- Server:

There can also be a section called commands, which are executed after the first IRC server greets you. They are executed just as if they were typed. For your own safety, please do not put anything that causes network traffic in the commands section.

A more complex example of an initialization file:

- Server:
Nick: Eggplant
- Server:
Nick: Aubergine
Ircname: le plante du egg
- #nethirc
- #perl
- Server:
Nick: Nasu-chan
Hostname: I.know.stupid.DNS.tricks
LocalPort: 23456
Port: 12345
Username: notvegan
- #lasagna commands:
- /bigbrother on
- /count start nethirc.counts

If it’s not obvious what this file attempts to do, keep reading it until it makes sense. :-)

Note that the file is case-sensitive, and whitespace is important.

Switches specified on the command line override things only for the first server specified.

    The Database File

The database file (see <B>-bB>, <B>--databaseB>, <B>-mB>, and <B>--dump-databaseB>) is also full of YAML, and is arguably more interesting than the initialization file.

If you see an interesting message appear on your screen, look for its counterpart in the database file. Note that a lot of things in here may not make sense to you unless you know the source somewhat. But don’t let it stop you from trying. :-) Perhaps the most interesting portions of the file are the channel_mode_comments, complaints, <B>formatsB>, and self_mode_comments.


Start the client. Have fun. Yell at people. There is a full command set at your disposal. Those used to ircII should have little problem with the default command set.


Does it really matter?




The IRCNAME and IRCNICK variables retain their usual meaning.


RFC1459, perl(1), nethack(6), fortune(6), POE::Component::IRC, YAML.


The command set is not complete yet.

The event set is not complete yet. Need to generate more error-type events.

This client is not very oper-friendly.

DCC support is nonexistent. This may actually be a feature.

Should provide various files for i18n/l10n, based on locale, LC_LANG, whatever. The mechanism we use should support this...once we write it. (Probably based on various database files.)


Tony Monroe <tmonroe plus perl at nog dot net>, sometimes known as Eggplant on EFnet.


<B>nethircB> was written in a fit of experimentation and madness and frustration with a previous creation known as hoserchat. The main idea was, of course, Wouldn’t a Nethack-like IRC client be cool? Or at least amusing? And so, several months of on-and-off development time later, I felt that the world won’t wince too much at the sight of version 0.01 of this program. So it was released.

It went through a few revisions after that, but it suffered because its internal architecture was rather stinky. Starting with version 0.7, its code layout made much more sense, though it lost a good deal of its dynamic-reload capability (which was a gross hack anyway). However, it added some random amusements, to increase the appalling factor.

Version 0.9 was a complete rewrite to be even cleaner than version 0.7, gratuitously interface-incompatible, yet somehow cleaner and more willing to play nicely with multiple servers. And to take advantage of POE, which is insanely cool. (Yes, both insane and cool.)

Version 0.91 takes advantage of new features in POE::Component::IRC 3.0 and later.

Version 0.92 uses the new way to create POE::Component::IRC objects, as presented in version 3.4 and later.

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perl v5.20.3 NETHIRC (1) 2005-03-02

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