Once you have connected to a server and the connection is online you can join
channels. The connection status is visible in the server message panel and the
A channel is a virtual meeting place on the Internet where people from all
over the world can meet and chat in real-time. You can join as many as you want
(some servers limit you to 10 or so). In Snak it's easy to have multiple channels
share a window, which can save a lot of screen space. You will see examples
of this later.
When the connection is online you can send a command to the server to join
a particular channel. Snak will then open the channel panel while it waits for
the server to respond.
Normally you will be let into the channel in a few seconds, but sometimes the
server may not be able to let you in. The other participants may have set a limit
on how many people they want in the channel, the channel may be protected by a
password or several other things can prevent you from joining a channel.
You cant send messages into a channel before the server has successfully
let you in. If you type text before that, you will see a message saying "Please
join the channel before sending text".
As you become proficient with IRC you will learn that you can easily and quickly
control the program through typed commands. Commands are text strings, typed into
the input field that start with the forward-slash "/".
Snak supports the /join and /channel commands, but it also provides more user-friendly
ways of joining channels.
The rest of the chapter explains the various ways of joining channels. To leave
a channel, simply close the panel with Cmd-W, click the red close box or type
/part into the input field of the window.
If you use the shared windows option there may be multiple channels in a window.
In that case Cmd-W will only close the active channel and the window itself
will not go away until the last channel is closed. To close all channels in
a window at once, click in the close box of the window.
IRC channels don't really exist anywhere in the physical sense of the word.
They are just digital records on the servers on the network that describes how
to route messages. Channels come and go at all times. A channel is willed into
existence when the first user types /join <channel> and disappears when
the last user leaves it.
That means that you can create channels yourself easily. You just have to type
/join MyCoolNewChannel to make the server create it for you. Then you join it,
but you will be the sole occupant and you may not be able to get other people
to join you because no one knows about the new channel or see a reason to go
there. That's the reason for those thousands of one-person channels you see
if you do a full channel list.