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

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


Private messages

IRC conversations can be strange indeed. Several topics seems to be going on at once; people are coming and going all the time, filling the channel with hellos and goodbyes; your screen will sometimes freeze for a while and then suddenly spew out more text than you can possibly read. Worst of all, you will see rejoinders to comments that were never made, or amused reactions to a joke whose punch line you never saw. It does not take long before you are asking yourself, Am I missing something here?

The answer is yes, you are – and it has nothing to do with the program you are using or the vagaries of the Internet. No, the point is that on IRC the public conversation is only some of what is going on. Underneath the general run of chat, like a discreet whisper lost in the rhubarb of a cocktail party, are private and semi-private conversations that you are not made aware of unless somebody wants you to hear them.

The command mostly responsible for this is:
/msg <nick> <text>
/msg Perry Didn’t we meet yesterday on #chat ?

Perry sees "*YourNick* Didn’t we meet yesterday on #chat ?"
You see
"YourNick:->Perry: Didn’t we meet yesterday on #chat ?"
No one else see anything.

When you receive a private message it will usually be colored red and be accompanied by a sound unless you have changed the Snak settings.

The /msg command has two useful variations:
/msg . sends to the last person you messaged.
/msg , sends to the last person that you received a private message from.

Using the period to stand in for somebody you are messaging can be very useful but the comma for "whoever last messaged me" can be dangerous. You could be concentrating on composing an affectionate message to Millie, and completely miss the fact that a new message comes in from DavyJ. You hit your enter key with a flourish, and off goes your Millie message to DavyJ. This usage is probably responsible for many misdirected messages, and misdirected messages can be embarrassing.

Furthermore, messages that accidentally become public rather than private because you get the syntax wrong can be very entertaining (for the other channel members that is).

If misdirected private messages plague you then you may find the command /oops useful. /oops is an alias (see the chapters on scripting for more information) but it's used just like a built in command.

The syntax is:
/oops <intended nick>
The result is that "Sorry, that wasn’t meant for you" is sent to the "misdirectee" and the original message is sent to the intended nick.

However, you can avoid misdirected private messages entirely by using the /query command which is described in the next chapter. The query command opens a special panel intended for private messages to and from one recipient only.


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