DALnet Netiquette Kzoo kzoo@dal.net 2000-10-22
DALnet Netiquette

This guide was written to give you a brief overview of how to be a successful chatter on DALnet. There are other documents available which go into more depth on some of these topics. The location of these documents will be noted so you can increase your knowledge in these areas.

Just to review, there are certain things you should not do while on DALnet. These include flooding, mass advertising (including mass invites to a channel), flooding, open proxy abuse, spreading virus, cloning, and abusing services. For more information on things of this nature, please read http://help.dal.net/docs/general.html.

IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is a great adventure, open to anyone with an internet connection. There are certain things a user can do to make this adventure pleasurable and without hassles from other people on the chat net. Every activity has its etiquette, and the IRC is no exception.

Your Nick

When you chat on the IRC, you adopt a nick (nickname) by which others will know you. Your nick is your first impression to those you meet, and it should be chosen wisely. Nicks which contain offensive words (we all know what those are) or relate to activities or opinions which should best be kept private, may be considered to be inappropriate in some channels.. It's best to choose something which reflects you, as opposed to a nick that is chosen for its shock value. Avoid spaces and unusual characters in your nick.

On DALnet, it is possible to register a nick with a password and protect it from use by others. Please see for information on how to register and maintain your nick at http://www.dal.net/services/nickserv/. You can also join one of DALnet's help channels, such as #DALnetHelp, #Help, or #IRChelp for assistance.

Entering a Channel

After connecting to DALnet, you may enter a channel by typing

/join #channelname (#channelname being the name of the channel you wish to join).

For example, if you wished to join the channel, #DALnetHelp, you would type

/join #DALnetHelp

If there is a topic for the channel, always read it. Often the channel rules are summarized in the topic. Sometimes you may see a greeting from a channel bot. You may find the channel policies in this greeting. It is always best to simply say 'hi' and then figure out what the channel is about and how conversation is done in that channel. Keep your greetings short. A conversation is a conversation, whether it is on the IRC or in person, and interruptions are not appreciated. Do not blast your way into a channel. That may end in unexpected results, such as being banned from the channel.

For more information about selecting a channel, please view "Finding a Channel" which can be found at http://help.dal.net/docs/channels.html.

Channel Conversation

Remember that people will form their opinions of you by your actions and comments, so think before you type and send your message. Once it is sent, there is no taking it back.

The topic and style of conversation varies from channel to channel. It is best to say little and figure out what kind of things happen in a particular channel. Adapt your style of conversation to whatever is happening and, if you don't like the tone of the channel, find another one.

Stick to the language of the channel. If the channel is in English, then use English. If the conversation is in Portugese, use Portugese. Do not impose your language on the one which is commonly being used.

Avoid being critical of other people's spelling or typing skills. No one is perfect.

The IRC is a great place to be anonymous, and some users prefer to stay that way. Try not to ask personal questions or for pictures until you have become acquainted with some of the people in that channel.

Some channels enjoy playing and exchanging sounds, such as wavs or mp3s, while others do not. Wait and watch what the channel members do with the sounds before you jump in with yours. Look at the kind of sound files that are played and use yours accordingly. If you have a few x-rated files, you probably should not use an automatic player until you see if those would be acceptable in the channel.

ASCII art is often interesting, especially with the new IRC clients which permit color. Watch the channel for a while before displaying yours. If you are not sure, ask first. Some channels do not want colors at all.

Some people like to hold conversations by /msg, and some do not. Avoid beginning a side conversation with someone you do not know. Chat with the people first and get to know them in the channel.


Many users prefer not to get DCC materials from people they do not know. Set your DCC options so that you do not automatically receive files. Viruses which can destroy data on your computer, or permit others to access your computer without your permission, can be sent to you by DCC. Either turn off your DCC all together or set it so you have to click a button in order to get a DCC file. Please refer to the instructions for your IRC client or join #mIRC or the channel dedicated to the client you use.

If you think you may have a virus, please visit #Nohack for help.

DALnet has a system to prevent you from receiving virus files. If you want a file, and it is blocked, you can type

/dccallow +sender's nick

which will permit the file to be received by you.

For more information on viruses, please visit #nohack or http://help.dal.net/docs/exploits.html. You can also get information at http://www.nohack.org/

Channel Operators

Channel operators are at the top of the list of participants in the channel, and have the @ sign in front of their names. These people are responsible for seeing that the channel runs smoothly and that the general 'flavor' of the channel is preserved. In some channels the ops run things with an iron hand and have absolute say in what happens there. If you are not sure something is permitted in the channel, ask first. If someone is being inappropriate, the channel operator has the option to kick a person from the channel. There does not have to be a reason given for the kick, although it may be given. If the behavior continues, the person may be banned from the channel and will not be allowed to return. Again, the reason for the ban may or may not be given.

On most channels, being a channel operator is a privilege granted by those in charge. Going into a channel and asking for ops is considered to be rude. Asking for anything over and over again is a good way of making everyone not want you in the channel. If you are a frequent visitor to the channel, and are noticed as a good chatter by the channel management, you may be invited to be an op in that channel after a period of time. Many help channels require you to pass a quiz or have special training in order to be an operator.

The operators in DALnet help channels do not involve themselves in channel management problems. Neither do the IRC Operators. These management problems are best worked out between the individuals on a given channel who are having a disagreement. If you are kicked or banned from a channel, you will need to /msg an operator in that channel to find out why and if someone will lift the ban. If you get no answer, you can assume you will stay banned for a while.

For more information on channel bans, please visit http://help.dal.net/docs/banguide.html

Help Channels

There are many official help channels present on DALnet. These are listed at http://help.dal.net/. You will notice that there are help channels for several languages, such as Spanish or German. #DALnetHelp is the English channel.

There are also many unofficial, but very good, help channels on any chat network. You can tell what their specialties are by their names, #mIRChelp, #HTML-helpdesk, #ircle, #newbies, etc. If you have a problem, you should know which channel to visit to get the kind of help you need. If you are in the wrong channel, you will be referred to a channel which answers the kinds of questions you are asking.

When you enter a help channel, do not start asking your question over and over again. Often times one of the helpers is in the middle of working with someone, and another user who is making demands could cause confusion. If there are many users needing help, and only a few operators on duty, you may have to wait a bit for someone to get to you.

Be sure you know what your question is, and that it is right for the channel you are in. Going into #OperHelp and asking for help with a mIRC script is not appropriate for that channel. You need to have gone to #mIRC. At the same time, going to #macintosh and asking about a message you received from MemoServ is also not what that channel is designed to handle.

#OperHelp is a moderated channel. This means that you must wait for an op to voice you. Do not message or send notices to the ops in that channel. Users are voiced in the order they have arrived. If you keep messaging or sending notes to an op there, you may be kicked from the channel and moved to the end of the line.

Expect delays between having your question acknowledged and getting an answer. Many times an answer depends on the operator checking with services records. Just because you don't get an immediate answer does not mean that someone has forgotten you. Repeatedly asking the same question only makes you irritating and it will not speed up the response.

For more information on #OperHelp, please visit http://help.dal.net and click on the #OperHelp link at the top of that page. You can also find information about other official help channels from that page.

Sitting in a help channel is a good way to learn, however regular chat is often kept to a minimum. Some channels may limit the time you may watch. #OperHelp does not allow sitting in the channel at all. Helping someone in some help channels may not be permitted. Always read the topic when you enter a help channel, since channel policies are often listed there. Repeated interference with the help process in a help channel will most likely result in you being banned.


Stalking may be done by following a user from channel to channel, or harassment by constant /msg and other unwanted attention. If someone is bothering you, and you use mIRC, put them on

/ignore nick 3.

This will ignore the person even though s/he changes nicks. If the individual changes his connection, you will have to put a new /ignorenick 3 in place.

You can also use the

/silence nick

This will also effectively remove this irratant. If you feel that the harassment is threatening, feel free to contact the Internet Service Provider (ISP) for the individual. You can determine that by typing /whois nick.

If you see all numbers, try

/dns nick

to see if it will tell you the ISP. Send a copy of the harassment and the user information to abuse@user.net (the ISP of the offending user). If you feel that the harassment is extreme, please contact your local law enforcement agency for help.

The IRC Operators

The IRC operators are responsible for maintaining the integrity of the individual servers and the whole DALnet network. Contrary to popular opinion, they are not the 'police' of DALnet, however they will take action when an individual does something which threatens to interfere with how the network is operating. IRCops are responsible for the way you connect to DALnet, and maintaining the links so that the system functions as one unit. Some IRC Operators can help with password problems. You can find them in #OperHelp.

It is not possible to 'apply' to become an IRC operator on DALnet . Please type /motd to see the policy on asking for IRC operator status. Begging to become an IRC operator on DALnet will move your name to the bottom of the list of the 60,000+ DALnet users. It could also cause your unexpected departure from DALnet if you are persistant.

For more information on IRC Operators, please visit http://help.dal.net/dnh/wannabee.html or http://lineone.net/community/ircop.html and http://ahnberg.pp.se/ircop.html . From a server administrator's view, please visit http://www.dal.net/zine.issue9/ircop.html If you would like to read more on finding an IRC Operator, please visit http://help.dal.net/docs/findoper.html