The RepRap IRC channel is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get answers to your questions.
RepRappers from around the world can be found at all hours of the day, seven days a week, in the #reprap channel on irc.freenode.net.
This is an informal chat session and is a great place to come ask questions, seek help for technical problems, or just chat about RepRapping and similar topics.
Click here to start irc
A simple browser-based chat interface is at http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=reprap.
There are also channels specific to some countries :
* Germany : Click here * Finland : Click here * France : Click here * Spain : Click here * Sweden : Click here
Firefox Chatzilla plug in
Firefox Users can download the Chatzilla Firefox plug-in and simply use the link to irc://irc.freenode.net/#RepRap (This may work with other clients as well). You can add a bookmark to this URL, which makes reaching the page quick and easy, but you have to do it in a round-a-bout sort of way. Create a bookmark to any random page (such as this one), then go in and edit the bookmark. Change the URL to the one above, and edit the title and description however you want. Then clicking the bookmark will automatically launch Chatzilla and open the channel.
Getting an IRC client
Find an IRC client that seems appropriate for your platform (Win/Mac) and has the features you want. A web search for "free IRC client" should find plenty of options. Wikipedia also offers a comparison of IRC clients. For Windows there is a free independent-build of X-Chat maintained as Y-Chat. Also, many messaging clients for AIM, MSN, etc., also offer IRC support.
Connecting to freenode
Here's the basic information that you'll need to tell your IRC client:
- Protocol: IRC
- Server: irc.freenode.net
- Username: (choose something you like, see the section below for info on registering your nickname)
- Password: (enter this if you've registered a nickname, otherwise leave it blank)
- Advanced settings, which your client will probably set by default:
Port: 6667 Encodings: UTF-8
Use your client's command for joining a chat and specify #RepRap when prompted for the channel. If you are prompted for a password, leave it blank.
Joining a regional channel
You may not speak english fluently, or you may want to hang out with reprapers close to you. There are some country-specific channels
Le salon francophone est #reprap-fr, sur le meme serveur ( irc.freenode.net ).
Vous pouvez y acceder immediatement grace a un client web : Cliquez ici.
Den svenska reprapkanalen finns på #reprap.se ( irc.freenode.net ).
Du kan använda webbklienten här för att ansluta direkt till kanalen : Click here.
There are channels for other countries, for example #reprap.fi, #reprap.de and #reprap.no.
If you speak those languagues, please add a specific section for those channels here.
Same thing if you know of any other channel not mentionned here.
Registering a 'nick' (nickname)
It is a good idea to register the nickname that you like to use. See freenode's FAQ on Registration for details on how to do this.
When visiting one of the Reprap channels, please make sure you do your best to respect the following guidelines.
It's important you read this before joining a channel.
Respect other users and the channel
This is a good thing to read : https://www.ubuntu.com/about/about-ubuntu/conduct
A good start is : if you wouldn't do it in real life, don't do it in the channel.
In particular, make sure you avoid the following :
- Any adult topics. This is a channel with many young users, about technical topics, you don't *need* to talk about adult topics. If you really want to, just do it in a private message.
- Discussing and doing things that are illegal.
- Discussing politics. It's okay to mention a political topic, but you should stop when it becomes a debate, and definitely don't want to become upset or to upset somebody else. Again, go to a private message.
- Avoid strong language. If you wouldn't say it near small children, don't say it here.
- Do not abuse other users. If it's not ok in the workplace, it's not ok here.
In general, simply be nice to each other.
Don't flood the channel
If you ask it once, it's enough. Repeating messages is useless, and annoying, and will get you banned.
Other users have backlogs of messages, they do not need you to repeat, they can read your first message.
Do not paste large quantities of text into the channel : use http://pastebin.com instead
How to ask for help
This is a good read on the subject : http://www.sabi.co.uk/Notes/linuxHelpAsk.html
The basic idea is :
- Don't ask if you can ask : You can. Just say hello and ask your question.
- Provide as much information as possible, so it's easier for others to help you
- Make sure your question is not answered in the documentation. It's disrespectful to ask others to help you with a problem you can help yourself with.
- If your question is about a product, make sure you ask the seller of that product first. It's the seller's responsibility to help you. This helps reduce how much help is asked to the community, and makes sure help is more readily available when it is really needed.
- Don't ask a question if other people are talking to each other. Wait until they are done talking, then ask your question.
- Use the right language for the channel you are in.
Don't abuse the bot
Bots are there to help users.
Don't abuse the bots, for example by asking them questions too often/repeatedly or by changing their data with advertising or spam.
Also, note you can ask the bots questions privately, which makes sure the channel doesn't get spammed.
IRC channels welcome any help, but we do ask you to stay as helpful as possible.
If you get stuck, then please say so, instead of guessing; someone else will step up and continue.
There is heaps of information available on the wiki, in the infobot, and at other places.
Try to familiarize yourself with that information.
Telling people to "RTFM" or to "just google it" is not very polite.
Ideally, you should find them a link, or at least give them some directions to documentation they can use.
Thank you !
( These guidelines are loosely based on https://wiki.ubuntu.com/IRC/Guidelines with some extensions for fixing problems common in #reprap )