Internet Relay Chat, or otherwise known as the IRC, is the old school chat we now know it to be. Or at least that’s how I understand it.
IRC – as defined by Webopedia is:
Short for Internet Relay Chat, a chat system developed by Jarkko Oikarinen in Finland in the late 1980s. IRC has become very popular as more people get connected to the Internet because it enables people connected anywhere on the Internet to join in live discussions. Unlike older chat systems, IRC is not limited to just two participants.
To join an IRC discussion, you need an IRC client and Internet access. The IRC client is a program that runs on your computer and sends and receives messages to and from an IRC server. The IRC server, in turn, is responsible for making sure that all messages are broadcast to everyone participating in a discussion. There can be many discussions going on at once; each one is assigned a unique channel.
Internet Relay Chat sounds old school. I guess you can say it was the original chatroom, where anyone who wants to converse can ultimately do so. It’s a complicated system where you are not only allowed to chat, there are also different commands that you can apply. This is probably why there is a lot of opportunities for coders and developers within this area. Some say this old school tech might be coming back on trend.
What I’ve noticed in the last couple of years is a resurgence in using IRC as a primary means of communication, especially for open source projects. While there have been group-based services for a while no (Skype, Campfire, Google Hangouts, etc.), the relatively open nature of IRC makes it easy for large groups of people to hop on a channel and collaborate easily.
I’m also going to say (and I’m sure I’ll get some grief for it) that I think there’s a little bit of “geek cred” action going on here when you can tell someone, “let’s chat about it on IRC”.
So you want to get into this “IRC thing”. That’s actually a good thing because to be honest, a LOT of great discussions are happening on there and in some cases, going to a channel is the only way to get any decent support, especially for some open source efforts.
Is it passe or a classic tech the people will always come back to? I guess some things we just have to look out for to find out.