Sending messages     Basics    The input field     The user list     Shared windows     Private messages     The query command     The panel bar     Logging messages
Version History

Snak Manual

Connecting to a server
Joining channels
Sending messages
Keeping track of people
Customization and settings
Using DCC
IRC commands



You can start talking in the channel when Snak displays the "You have joined the channel" message.

All channel members see the normal messages that you send, but you can also send messages that are only seen by a particular recipient. Those are called private messages and are explained in chapter Private messages.

Busy IRC channels can be confusing because there are usually several threads of conversation going on at the same time. Like at a party you will have people gather in small clumps and talk about something. The difference is that unlike a party you hear all the threads, all mixed together. It takes a little bit of practice to keep the threads separated but IRC does have the advantage that the text is preserved in your windows. That way you can scroll back and forth in the conversation that streams into your computer until you get a handle on what is going on.

You can turn on the Colorize the Nicks option in the Message preferences in order to assign a particular color to each speaker. That may make it easier to follow the threads.

When you join a channel you should probably wait in the background without jumping into the fray until you know what the other members are talking about.

In addition to public and private messages that are basically conversational you will see a third kind, called action messages that are used more for "environment". You can use those messages to describe moods or opinions that are intended for the whole channel. Action messages are issued by the /me command that is described in the chapter on basic IRC commands.


The server to which you send your messages is responsible for passing them on to other servers which in turn send it to the IRC clients of the other channel members. Normally this happens almost instantaneously but sometimes you will experience what is called "lag". Lag means that one of the servers between you and the other channel members is overloaded and need to delay the messages.

When the delay clears up you will suddenly see a surge of messages in your window and you will wonder what happened. Normally conversations in IRC are pretty much real time but in a lagged situation a significant amount of time (10 seconds to a minute or more) will pass before your messages reach the other members and vice versa.

Server Splits

As mentioned above, the server you are connected to, is also connected to other servers so that it can relay messages. Sometimes that connection goes down, and if that happens it's as if the IRC world suddenly splits in two. Those people connected directly to the server can continue as usual, but their messages aren't going anywhere outside of the server. All the other channel members will suddenly seem to disconnect en masse and you may even find yourself completely alone in the channel. This phenomenon is called server splits or server desynchs. The connection can go down due to malicious actions or simple overload. You can try switching servers with the Cmd-E command to find a server on the other side of the split, but the connection will eventually be restored. When that happens there will be a stream of reconnects and everybody comes back.


Snak is Copyright © 1997-2006 Kent Sorensen. All Rights Reserved.
Logo design by energetics-design.