FreeEMS IRC User Guide And Rules
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Author:  Fred [ Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:54 pm ]
Post subject:  FreeEMS IRC User Guide And Rules

I've had trouble with a few users recently getting in the way of development and generally being disruptive, so I've decided to document my expectations for behaviour in the IRC channels.


The FreeEMS IRC experience is split over three special-purpose channels:

  • #freeems-dev - Development discussion
  • #freeems - User support discussion
  • #freeems-ot - Off-topic discussion

Anyone is welcome to /join any of them, however allowed behaviour varies depending on who you are and which channel you're in. Most chat clients have IRC capabilities - there are many to choose from. Once you have one setup, and are in one channel, you can simply type this to get into another one:

/join #freeems-dev

An easy convenient way to get into a channel is as follows: ... angeUrNick

We use the service for these channels if you're connecting with a client and need to know.

Note, you should copy this URL and change the nickname to something appropriate to you. Also note that it tends to be somewhat fragile in terms of the connection and doesn't allow reconnection AFAIK. Correct me if I'm wrong on that last point.

Below I'll add a post per channel with the guidelines inside. I'll also post on general etiquette, however the majority of you don't need to read that. I'm sorry for including it, but some do need to read it. Sadly those that do likely won't absorb what they should from this guide anyway, but one can only try. Finally I'll post some commands that I use (for my reference) and the reasons that I use them (for yours).


Author:  Fred [ Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:06 pm ]
Post subject:  #freeems-dev - Development discussion

#freeems-dev - Development discussion

This channel's purpose in life is to facilitate inter-developer and developer-to-tester communications. What that means is that if you're not a developer creating a product, be it software or hardware or documentation or whatever else of core use to the project, you should stay quiet unless you have something specific of value to offer the developers.

Think carefully before you send a message in this room:

  • Are you a developer? If so, maybe post.
  • Are you assisting a developer in testing? If so, maybe post.
  • Is what you have to say already known by the developers? If so, don't post.
  • If you are a developer or helping a developer, is what you are planning to say on-topic? If not, don't post.
  • Is there an existing discussion between people meeting the channel criteria occurring? If so, don't post.

That last point is key. There is nothing much worse than off-topic rubbish or useless stating of the obvious interrupting your train of thought when working on a tough problem, be it alone or with other key individuals. If you're another developer with a legitimate discussion to have, consider moving that discussion to the user channel instead to avoid interrupting the one that's currently occurring. Please keep in mind, silence is OK to have in the channel. We don't need a steady flow of text, only a dribble of gold.

If development discussion is dead and/or if a new user enters it's acceptable for developers and core members to engage in a more casual chat to welcome that person or briefly socialise in the wrong place, but only if dead and/or if a new user enters. Even in these cases the chatter should be fairly short lived so as not to displace key development information from listener's scroll back buffers and/or logs. It's not fun sifting through a bunch of off-topic rubbish looking for some key development detail when you need it in a hurry.

If you're in violation of these guidelines you'll first be asked to be quiet and/or shut up and/or go away. If you continue to speak/type once asked, you'll be warned. If you continue after that, you'll be kicked or silenced depending on what you've done, how you've interrupted, your intentions, how many times you've screwed up before, and your general reputation, etc. Those who have been around for a while receive less tolerance than someone new.

Author:  Fred [ Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:21 pm ]
Post subject:  #freeems - User support discussion

#freeems - User support discussion

This channel's function is to provide an interactive place for bonafide users to seek support for part of the project, be it documentation, software, firmware or hardware. This channel's atmosphere is more relaxed, but still serious in nature.

The same "don't interrupt" guidelines apply here too. This is a cardinal sin in this channel as much as the dev channel. When, as a developer, you're working with a user trying to assist them with a problem and find a timely solution, it's extremely annoying to suffer interjections of a non-helpful nature. Think twice! Is what you're going to say really going to offer actual value to the developer and/or users engaging in a discussion? If not, don't post!

If a discussion isn't currently taking place, it's totally OK for actual users and going-to-be-users to engage in casual on-topic chatter about their car, electronics, background, etc. More mundane and less interesting chatter should move to the third and final channel, though. Once again, this is to avoid displacing useful information from scroll back buffers and filling logs with useless time-killing information that is slow to search through.

The same disciplinary actions will be taken for the same reasons, in the same order.

Author:  Fred [ Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:30 pm ]
Post subject:  #freeems-ot - Off-topic discussion

#freeems-ot - Off-topic discussion

The off-topic channel is just that, a place for off topic discussion. FreeEMS users and developers and wannabe users and developers are free to talk about almost anything here. I say almost anything because some things are still not OK. The sort of things that aren't OK are the sort of things that are usually not OK in polite company in real life too. Basically be respectful to others.

We've had some problems with images of nudity being linked by one member. While this isn't the end of the world, it's not ideal either. Please don't do this, or you might find yourself kicked.

We've had some problems with another member negative and insulting towards developers efforts. This is just downright rude and inappropriate. Don't do this, or you will find yourself kicked.

Having said that, FreeEMS is a car project, and the internet is the internet; if you're not up for some adult conversation, don't come into the OT channel. People are very free with their opinions here, and if you're a shy person with a thin skin, you might find yourself feeling uncomfortable or worse.

Author:  Fred [ Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:40 pm ]
Post subject:  General Guidelines

General Guidelines

Most stuff is covered above, however there are a few more considerations.

Think twice and/or ask permission before posting log snippets to the forum or other places. It's definitely NOT okay to publish logs on the internet in full. The channels, all of them, are considered to be semi-private and treated that way. If this principal is violated then people will be hesitant to speak their minds, which is never healthy. Anonymising the comments may be appropriate in some cases. If in doubt, ask or refrain.

Developers should behave professionally at ALL times, but especially when dealing with users and/or testers. Assumptions shouldn't be made about what they are and are not capable of. Commands given should be conservative and safe. Things should be done step-by-step with checks done after each step to avoid getting into an unknown state and wasting people's valuable time. Developers should be patient with users and testers and remember that only they know their system best. They should not assume and expect that people are technically competent, even if they think that the person should be. They should not be rude to users or short tempered with users. There has been one repeat offender of these guidelines and they're being replaced. Keep in mind that your contribution, no matter who you are, or what you think, is NOT that valuable; you are expendable - be polite or you'll find yourself unwelcome here.

People who are opped should _never_ kick un-logged-in developers unless they want to unleash the wrath of a very angry Greek god, IE, naked and with the ability to cause lightning to fall. This causes the developer to lose their scroll back and thus causes a massive loss in productivity. It's certainly not funny under most circumstances.

Suggestions welcome, in #freeems-ot.

Author:  Fred [ Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Useful Commands

Useful Commands

People with some power are allowed to, appropriately, change the channel topics.

/topic Some relevant text here.

People who have pushed it too far, get this done to them.

/kick username_here

People who have opened their mouth when they shouldn't have in #freeems-dev or #freeems are silenced like this:

/msg chanserv QUIET #freeems(-dev) username_here

If you've earned the trust and respect of myself, I'll do this to you.

/msg chanserv flags #freeems(-dev) username_here +vVoOti

Likewise, if you previously had my trust and respect, and have some how lost it, this is what I'll do.

/msg chanserv flags #freeems(-dev) username_here -vVoOti

And, if you're permanently no longer welcome, such as MotoFab, the first person to ever be banned from anything FreeEMS/, and the author of 80% of the posts in the deleted area, then this is what you get:

/msg chanserv flags #freeems(?) <pattern> +b

I'll update this next time I need to do some IRC magic. You can help by making sure that I generally don't need to.

Some good info can be found in these three links, too: ... tion_guide


Author:  Fred [ Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: FreeEMS IRC User Guide And Rules

Update to the rules, just a guideline:

When going home for the night, or going to work for the day, or going out for dinner, or going for a shower, just say so, or otherwise more vaguely say "goodbye". Do not change your nick to nick-away or nick-idle or nick-afk or whatever. This irritates quite a few of the users, myself included for a variety of reasons, such as terminated no longer online PMs and nick mentions etc.

Note: This is different from having an at work and at home nick or this box, that box nick. This is still annoying, but somewhat necessary and utilitarian too.

Also note: Nick changes for humour value, that return to base fairly promptly, are perfectly acceptable :-) Here is an illustration of both the problem, and humour, when this topic came up a week or so ago:

17:55 -!- ToxicGumbo-work is now known as ToxicGumbo-poop
17:55 -!- ToxicGumbo-poop is now known as ToxicGumbo-wipe
17:55 -!- ToxicGumbo-wipe is now known as ToxicGumbo-flush
17:55 -!- ToxicGumbo-flush is now known as ToxicGumbo-work

This won't be enforced as such, however expect to receive a hard time about it if you do this. This hard time will escalate over time to outright abuse given enough nick changes :-)

In other news, please, if you're using -dev, re-read the above post on -dev usage, and take it seriously. -ot is provided for talking about whatever. -dev is provided for development, not IDE arguments, not arranging meetings, not having a tanty, not for discussing OEM stuff, except with relation to implementing it in FreeEMS, not anything except discussion about code/features/behaviour/testing and/or announcements about dev related stuff and/or project progress. It's supposed to be quiet and dry, ot is supposed to be noisy and colourful. Thanks for your cooperation.


Author:  Fred [ Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: FreeEMS IRC User Guide And Rules

Useful post splits/drops/etc: /nickserv ghost <nick> <password>

Author:  Fred [ Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: FreeEMS IRC User Guide And Rules

Overzealous bans in place:

[08:57] -ChanServ- Flags +b were set on *!*@* in #freeems.
[08:57] == mode/#freeems [-o simis] by ChanServ
[08:57] <@FreeAir> just banned anyone on jazztel in spain :-o
[08:58] <@FreeAir> If this is affecting you, let me know. :-p

I'll edit this to add/remove others in future.

Author:  Fred [ Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: FreeEMS IRC User Guide And Rules

Used the quiet feature to mute someone on -ot who was interrupting the flow of the conversation today, then realised I didn't have documentation on how to reverse it. So here it is:

/msg chanserv UNQUIET #freeems(-dev/-ot) username

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