Alfresco freenode IRC chat room transcripts now logged, searchable

I told you about the #alfresco chatroom on IRC a couple of years ago when Richard Esplin and I took it over and started promoting its use. Since then it has grown tremendously with somewhere between 30 and 40 people hanging out and discussing various Alfresco-related (and some unrelated) topics.

Richard recently rolled out some new features that I hope will help keep the momentum going.

First, the chatroom is now logged. The last 90 days of messages are available at chat.alfresco.com. That page also includes an embedded web chat client for people who don’t have their own desktop client or for quick questions.

Second, there’s a new member of the chatroom named alfbot. The bot’s primary purpose is to facilitate logging, but it gives us some additional functionality which is pretty handy. Here are a few examples:

  • If you want your message to be excluded from the log you can start your message with [nolog]. Your handle will appear in the log but your message will be redacted.
  • If you need to tell someone something but they aren’t currently logged in, you can say “alfbot later tell jpotts You finally decided to log in, eh?”. Then, when alfbot sees jpotts log in your message will be added to the chat.
  • If you want to know when the last time someone was in the chat room you can say, “alfbot seen resplin” and that would tell you when Richard was last on.
  • If you want to tell alfbot something and you don’t want to type “alfbot” at the start of your message, you can use a tilde as an alias, like this: “~later tell jpotts You finally decided to log in, eh?”.

People that hang out in #alfresco frequently will want their own desktop IRC client. There are many available. On Linux, I’ve used Pidgin and liked it. On my Mac I use Adium. On Windows there is HexChat, which I haven’t used.

Regardless of which client you use, just point it to irc.freenode.net, then join us in #alfresco.

Thanks to Richard and the IT team for getting this in place and to Ian Crew for making the pages on chat.alfresco.com look pretty.

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