Revision 1 as of 2010-01-17 09:11:08

Clear message

This is a checklist of items that is generally useful to go through when opening a new channel to the public. Some of the items may be overkill for limited-scope channels, but please consider them carefully in any case, as neglecting them may easily have unintended consequences even or especially in the long term.

  • When deciding the channel name, follow the naming conventions. This can be amended later by using channel redirection (see the instructions about renaming channels), but obviously it's much better to use an appropriate name to begin with.

  • Seek the approval of the contacts for the channel namespace, if necessary. For example, consult the IRC Council for channels in the #ubuntu* namespace. If unsure which team you should contact about a certain channel, you can ask for guidance in #ubuntu-irc.

  • Register the channel using the command

/MSG ChanServ REGISTER #ChannelName
  • "Locking" the channel by making it secret and invite-only, while setting it up and before it is officially open, is often a good idea for channels potentially attracting a substantial amount of traffic. To achieve this, do

/MSG ChanServ SET #ChannelName GUARD ON
/MSG ChanServ SET #ChannelName MLOCK +stnmi
/TOPIC #ChannelName This channel is not yet open
  • Populate the channel's access list. Single operators should be added using the following syntax:

/MSG ChanServ FLAGS #ChannelName <Nickname> +votiA
  • Groups that are identifiable through freenode cloaks may be added as a whole. As an example, to make every Ubuntu Member potentially a channel operator, use

/MSG ChanServ FLAGS #ChannelName *!*@ubuntu/member/* +votiA
  • It is good practice to add freenode staff and the Ubuntu IRC Council account. That way they can intervene in case of serious channel disruption even in the absence of operators:

/MSG ChanServ FLAGS #ChannelName *!*@freenode/staff/* +votiA
/MSG ChanServ FLAGS #ChannelName UbuntuIrcCouncil +votiA
  • In the above commands "+votiA", while just an example, is a reasonable default access level for most operators.
  • Set a channel topic. A topic should generally briefly indicate: the scope and purpose of the channel, with possibly a URL linking to a more detailed explanation or the channel's parent team; a URL linking to any rules the channel asks users to observe, if not covered by the previous link; optionally, a collection of the main URLs that may be of interest to users; if users are very likely to join your channel while really looking for other channels, a mention of such channels; finally, any temporary notices that may be of interest to users. An example:

/TOPIC Official Ubuntu support channel | | FAQ: | Pastebin: | Join #kubuntu for Kubuntu support | The Flash package is currently broken
  • If the channel should be publicly logged, send a request to rt at ubuntu dot com
  • If the channel if an official Ubuntu channel open to the public, especially a support channel, it should be added to the official list of IRC channels.

  • If information about the channel should appear in other channels' bots, such as ubottu, it should be added there shortly before the channel opens. Also, if the channel's scope was previously part of the scope of another channel, it's useful to mention the new channel in the old channel's topic for some time (a week, indicatively).

  • Open the channel for public access, using

/MSG ChanServ SET #ChannelName MLOCK -s+tn
/MSG ChanServ OP #ChannelName
/MODE #ChannelName -mi
  • The IRC Team would be glad to be informed about the new channel in #ubuntu-irc.

  • If you desire to give the channel some advertisement in other channels that are likely to cater to the same users, please do so only after having obtained the approval of the channels' contact persons.