FAQ: What is ircWx?

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Introduction To IRCwx Protocol

IRCwx (IRC web extension) is a protocol and system that natively integrates website and IRC server, and brings web based experience to IRC. It improves on the standard IRC model by integrating web and IRC security, customization and location, and database backend.

Main features include:

  • Native support for web-based: chatting (through RIAs), live chatroom lists and categories, chat room creation, member list, and profiles etc...
  • Database backend.
  • Powerful user, chatroom, and IRCOP permission system; including four different levels for increased chat room security and management.
  • Template driven and flexible interface.

Protocol Draft(s)

Although outdated but might help: ChatDrive IRC Protocol 1.0 [rough] (dated: 17-Mar-2005)


What is ircWx?

ircWx, stands for irc Web extension, is a protocol designed to bring IRC into web paradigm providing protocol level support for web based authentication, registration and management of user accounts, browsing of channels, profiles, fully integrated web-based chat, and other features required by a modern web user. It is based on IRCx protocol so most of the protocol is similar to IRCx.

As for what is IRC, in layman terms, it is a form of live/instant communication over the internet. For those who have used Instant Messangers, instant messaging is live/instant communication; however, instant messengers are usually made for one-to-one chat, IRC is designed for group(multi-user) live/instant communication. For technical and more detailed information, visit the following wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Relay_Chat.

Why the need for new IRC protocol?

Web technologies have grown tremendously in recent years, and daily more and more applications are moving into web paradigm. Therefore, ircWx's goal is to bring internet relay chat to web paradigm.

To my experience fitting standard IRC protocol (current IRC RFC at the time of this writting 'RFC 2812') applications to web has certain problems since it wasn't designed for web model; hence, protocol level support was necessary.

What about backward compatibility with IRC protocol and can I use standard IRC client?

I've tried to make it backward compatible, and mIRC can be used to chat out of the box. However, to use all the features, a client with full support for ircWx protocol is required. Although, mIRC with little scripting can use registered accounts, view profiles, etc...

How do I use it?

There are networks using this protocol, please visit our network list: ircWx Networks List.

How can I use it for my own server?

At the moment system is only available as SaaS. I want to give it to others, but lot of development and updates at the moment would make the deployment difficult. It also constitutes of multiple server side services and components which makes it difficult to setup.

There are limited number of slots though since I want to focus more on development even for SaaS. However, if you are interested in using it as SaaS and has good standing/decent network, you can apply to ircwx_setup@net-bits.net.

Why you are building a desktop client when this is for web paradigm?

Web technologies still have limitations compared to desktop application (for example flashing a window in taskbar and title for notification), so for some advance features that can't be done in browser application I'm building a desktop client which is called "Sabertooth IRCwx Client."

Protocol is free to develop for and use?

Yes, protocol is free to develop for and use for server, client, or any other application. However, any protocol level changes are made by net-bits.net, this is to ensure protocol is kept with its original goals and doesn't get bloated. Protocol level changes can be suggested on ircWx forum: http://ircwx.boards.net.