IRC Channel FAQ
Like any community, the #code4lib IRC channel can be intimidating to newcomers. For those who are new to the channel, here are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
What is IRC? How do I login to #code4lib?
Basic technical information is available here.
Is the channel logged?
Not publicly, no.
Who can I ask for help?
#code4lib has a designated group of “helpers,” who can answer questions or provide support. The channel’s official group contacts to Libera are Mark Matienzo (
anarchivist), Dan Scott (
jeff; all three of them have channel operator privileges.
Zoia is a supybot who hangs out in #code4lib. To get a list of commands it understands, type
@list (the “@” symbol tells zoia you’re talking to it). Here’s a quick list of the more common commands:
Find out how to use a particular command. The correct syntax is (usually)
@help followed by the command name, e.g.
@help karma. You can also just ask the other people on the channel how to do something.
Add or display quotes that have been added to zoia’s quote database. Type
@quote add "<jeffdavis> welcome to code4lib!" to add a quote,
@quote jeffdavis to see the last quote from a specific person, or
@quote random to see a random quote
Look up a term in the Library of Congress authority files.
Create an English-language anagram of the word or phrase that you enter.
@tunes, @alltunes, @blockparty
These commands look up people’s listening history on Last.fm.
@tunes jeffdavis displays the last song that jeffdavis listened to, and
@alltunes jeffdavis lists the last half-dozen or so songs jeffdavis listened to.
Causes zoia to insult or praise the person or thing of your choice.
You can increase or decrease the karma for a person or thing by appending two pluses or two minuses to the person or thing’s name. For example, if you type
jeffdavis++, my karma score will increase by 1. (You can’t raise your own karma.) Type
@karma jeffdavis to see the karma for that person/thing, or just
@karma for the three highest and lowest karma scores. You can only raise or lower karma by one point at a time (so
jeffdavis++++ will only raise jeffdavis’ karma by one point, not two), and commenting does work (
jeffdavis-- # you suck! works correctly, thanks to gsf’s regex-fu).
Do a Google search and show the first few results in-channel.
If the results of a command are over a certain length, zoia may end his response with “more” or “2 more messages”. You can use the
@more command to display the rest of zoia’s response. If you didn’t give zoia the original command, add the nick of the person who did, e.g.
@more jeffdavis (this only works for one message deep on another nick).
When you send zoia a message it doesn’t understand (for example, if you address it as if it were a person or get the syntax of a command wrong), it responds with a random error message. You can use the
@dunno command to add a new error message to its repertoire, e.g.
@dunno I don't know what you're talking about.
What do people talk about in-channel?
Information technology, software development, librarianship, cultural heritage, digital repositories, the web, programming languages, cataloging, metadata standards, games, food… just about anything! The channel is informal, and a lot of off-topic socializing takes place. If you don’t understand something, just ask. That goes for the techie stuff as well as the social stuff – for many regulars, #code4lib is where they learn about all kinds of interesting technology.
What are the ground rules?
- Follow the Code4lib code of conduct.
- Respect everyone.
- Be sensitive of the fact that cultures, opinions and ideas of what is funny or appropriate are different, and that text is a very poor medium for conveying humor.
- Because this is the case, and people will be people, be quick to forgive and slow to take offense.
Aside from that, it’s a bit of a free-for-all. Basically, use common sense, be respectful of others, and don’t do anything that will get everyone kicked off of Libera.
What does “++” mean?
The double-plus is used to increment someone’s karma (see above, in the section about zoia).
How do you do that thing where you talk about yourself in third person?
/me agrees. This allows you to send a message like
***jeffdavis agrees rather than literally saying “I agree”.