IRC Hacks
100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: July 2004
Pages: 436

IRC (Internet Relay Chat) may very well turn out to be the world's most successful hack. In 1988, Jarkko Oikarinen wrote the original IRC program at the University of Oulu, Finland. As he says in his foreword, "IRC started as one summer trainee's programming exercise. A hack grew into a software development project that hundreds of people participated in, and then became a worldwide environment where tens of thousands of people now spend time with each other. I have found many of my friends through IRC and learnt a significant part of my present software engineering knowledge while using and working with IRC. That would not have been possible without learning from code examples and hacks from others".IRC has continued to grow in popularity since its inception. Millions of people from all over the world now use IRC to chat with friends, discuss projects and collaborate on research. With a simple, clearly defined protocol, IRC has become one of the most accessible chat environments, with clients written for a multitude of operating systems. And IRC is more than just a simple chat system it is a network of intercommunicating servers, allowing thousands of clients to connect from anywhere in the world using the IRC protocol.While IRC is easy to get into and many people are happy to use it without being aware of what's happening under the hood, there are those who hunger for more knowledge, and this book is for them. IRC Hacks is a collection of tips and tools that cover just about everything needed to become a true IRC master, featuring contributions from some of the most renowned IRC hackers, many of whom collaborated on IRC, grouping together to form the channel #irchacks on the freenode IRC network ( all of our Hacks books, there are many different ways to use IRC Hacks. You can read the book from cover to cover, but you might be better served by picking an interesting item from the table of contents and just diving in.If you're relatively new to IRC, you should considering starting with a few hacks from each progressive chapter. Chapter 1 starts you off by showing you how to connect to IRC, while Chapter 2 acquaints you with the everyday concepts you'll need to use IRC effectively. Chapter 3 is all about users and channels, and introduces the first pieces of code. Chapter 4 shows you how to make useful enhancements to IRC clients.Chapter 5 is where you will learn the basics about creating IRC bots, with Chapters 6-12 introducing more complex bots that can be used for logging, servicing communities, searching, announcing, networking, managing channels or simply for having fun. Chapter 13 delves into the IRC protocol in more detail, and Chapter 14 demonstrates some interesting alternative methods for connecting to IRC. Finally, Chapter 15 will move you on to new pastures by showing you how to set up your own IRC server.This book presents an opportunity to learn how IRC works and how to make best use of some of the features that have made it the most successful, most scalable, and most mature chat system on this planet. IRC Hacks delves deep into the possibilities.

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oreillyIRC Hacks

(based on 3 reviews)

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


Good book for learning how to make bots

By Carlgo11

from Sweden

Verified Reviewer


  • Accurate


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      Comments about oreilly IRC Hacks:

      I find this book useful. Some of the code examples are really useful and I've copied large parts of the code to rewrite and learn from.

      However the book is outdated and many of the examples are no longer usable.
      Most of the examples are based on the authors own java bot API called Pircbot. This bot's API is no longer updated and mostly unusable too.

      It's a good book and I recommend it if you like me want to learn the basics of making a irc-bot in java but I don't recommend it for beginners.

      (11 of 11 customers found this review helpful)


      Book Review - IRC Hacks""

      By Dan C

      from Undisclosed

      Comments about oreilly IRC Hacks:

      IRC Hacks

      100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools

      By Paul Mutton

      First Edition July 2004

      Series: Hacks

      ISBN: 0-596-00687-X

      432 pages, $24.95

      I found this book to be fairly interesting and somewhat useful. Being quite familiar with IRC already, some of the introductory material was information that I already knew, but I did learn a few things about the more technical aspects of the IRC protocol and IRC servers/networks. Much of this book has to do with writing and using IRC channel "bots", which I think most casual IRC users would not be all that interested in.

      The first four chapters introduce what IRC is, and how to connect to an IRC network and begin chatting with others. Various IRC client applications are described, including the most popular ones for Linux, Mac, and Windows. Other topics here include how to register your nickname, configuring your client, how to join servers/channels, and some nice customizations to add functionality and enjoyment to your use of IRC. I would think that these first chapters would be very useful to a newcomer to IRC, and allow them to get up and running quickly.

      Chapter 5 introduces the concepts of "bots", and how to write your own bots in various languages, including Perl, Python, and Java. Some of it is fairly technical, and may appeal mostly to programmers and more serious IRC "hackers". Also mentioned is the idea of bot "ethics" and the policies that many IRC networks have regarding their use.

      The next several chapters (6 - 12) provide numerous ideas and examples of making and using your own bots. IRC bots can perform many functions, some of which can be very useful, and others that have primarily an entertainment value. Much of the content of these chapters is actual code examples for many different types of bots, including Logging, Social, Search & Query, Announcement, Network and Channel Management, and Fun bots.

      Chapters 13 - 15 go a little further into the technical side of how the IRC protocol works, encryption, web access to IRC, and even how to run your own IRC server. Many readers will find these subjects more complex than they care to get involved in.

      Overall, I think this book is best suited to IRC users who are somewhat more than beginners, and are fairly technically oriented. I was surprised by the large amount of bot programming examples, which actually make up the majority of the book. I am not sure there will be that many users who really want to code their own bot. The first few chapters are helpful for IRC beginners, although there are probably better books for that purpose. I did get some ideas for modifying an existing bot, which I presently use occasionally in our LUG's IRC channel for entertainment (trivia contests). All in all, this title is best suited for more experienced users who may enjoy programming and "hacking" around with IRC bots.

      (4 of 19 customers found this review helpful)


      IRC Hacks Review

      By Deep6

      from Undisclosed

      Comments about oreilly IRC Hacks:

      This book was well written but was definately NOT for beginners and covered very little on mIRC and scripting with that client. This book is mostly for programmers familiar with python and java. There was also lots of info in reguards to unix and linux. I was hoping that this book would have been more beginner friendly and give some handy hacks for mIRC for windows platforms. Needless to say, I wouldnt recommend this book for any begginers or windows users. I feel that I wasted my money on this book.

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