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wirc protocol

This document attempts to describe the wirc protocol. The source code will always be authoritative, but this protocol has been around for a while now so should be changed often, if ever.

Out Queue

Any files that appear in the directory outq/ are written verbatim to the IRC server.

You may put multiple lines in a single file.

Filenames beginning with "." are ignored.

You are advised to create files beginning with ".", then rename them on completion of the write, to avoid race conditions.


Log Filenames


Log Messages

IRC messages are written to the log, one message per line. Messages are translated to an easier-to-parse format:

timestamp fullname command sender forum [args...] :text


  • timestamp is in Unix epoch time.
  • fullname is the full name of the message origin (typically nick!user@host.name)
  • command is the IRC command
  • sender is the IRC name of the entity that sent the message
  • forum is the IRC name of the audience of the message
  • args are any additional arguments not otherwise covered
  • text is the text of the message

sender and forum are provided in every message, for the convenience of the client. A PRIVMSG to sender will make it back to whomever sent the message, a PRIVMSG to forum will be seen by everyone in the audience.

For example, a "private message" will have sender equal to forum. But a "channel message" will have forum set to the channel.

See wirc.go for details of each message type.

Initial Messages

Each log file will contain the following initial messages, to facilitate stateful clients: