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Snak Manual

Introduction
Quickstart
Connecting to a server
Joining channels
Sending messages
Actions
Keeping track of people
Customization and settings
Using DCC
IRC commands
Scripting
Troubleshooting

 

Adding or editing servers

Snak comes with an updated list of about 350 major IRC servers on many networks from around the world, but there are a great deal more. Any server that is not already in the list can be easily added. As mentioned earlier it is possible to use the /server command to manually connect to any server. However, the server must be in the list of known servers in order to use it in a connection profile.

The server list is stored in the file servers.ini in the ~/Library/Application Support/SnakV5 folder (this is called a "path" to the file and it means that the SnakV5 folder is inside the Application Support folder in the Library folder in your home directory).

The server list comes from the excellent PC IRC client mIRC and is used with permission from the author. The list is updated regularly and the latest version can be downloaded from the mIRC website at http://www.mirc.co.uk/servers.ini

To use an updated mIRC server list in Snak, quit the program and place the new list in the folder mentioned above. The list is only read into Snak when the program starts up, so be sure it is not running when the server list is replaced. Snak also comes with an AppleScript called Update Servers that will automatically replace the list with the most recent version. To launch the script, show the Script folder with the command from the Windows menu, open the folder in the Finder, and doubleclick on the script to run it.

To add a server or network to the server list, open the Server Selection dialog with Cmd-E or choose the Server List item in the Windows menu.

To add a server, first select the network to which the server belongs. If the network is not already in the list of networks it can be added it by pressing the Add button to the left of the network list.

Once a network is selected you can add servers by pressing the Add button that is to the left of the server list.

The dialog that comes up contains fields for the server name, what port to use on the server (typically port 6667), a comment field and a timeout value. If the server takes a long time to respond you might want to increase the timeout value.

To edit the values for an existing server, select it in the list and press the Edit button.

SSL servers

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer, and it is a method of encrypting the traffic between your computer and the IRC server. The IRC server has to be specifically set up to support encrypted communication, and currently only a small number of servers are configured in this way. To make Snak attempt to open a SSL encrypted connection when it connects to a server, select the SSL check box in the Edit Server dialog.

It is also possible to specify SSL when connecting manually. To do this, use a "-ssl" flag in the /server command like "/server -ssl ssl.ircserver.org:9999". This will attempt to connect the currently selected profile to the server using SSL. The port number 9999 is separated from the server name by a : (colon) character. The "/sslserver" command is just an alias for "/server -ssl".

The benefit of SSL is that the information you exchange with the IRC server over an encrypted connection can not be viewed by others. For example, if your company operates an IRC server for business communication while you are travelling there is clear benefit in using SSL. There are other scenarios but at the end of the day it comes down to your personal situation and needs. Most likely SSL is not something you need.

Also, due to the nature of IRC and the way the IRC servers communicate with each other, SSL must be used carefully to reap the full benefit. The traffic between you and your IRC server is encrypted, but if the IRC server has to forward the messages to another IRC server in order to reach other channel members, the messages will be sent in clear text.

So, to ensure an encrypted communication, both you and the person you communicate with must use SSL and be connected to the same server. If you communicate in a channel, every single member of the channel must use SSL, and every one must be connected to the same IRC server. If just one channel member is on a separate server or does not use SSL the communication will not be secure.

 

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