I've noticed that a lot of people are having trouble connecting to Sponge's IRC channel, even though it's pretty simple. IRC is short for Internet Relay Chat and is used widely across the internet, most among developers. You can join a particular chat-room of your choice and talk to other's interested in the same stuff. The official Sponge chatroom is #sponge, on the irc.esper.net networks and requires you to be registered with NickServ.
Step 1: Picking an IRC Client
There are a wide variety of IRC Clients out there, and all of them are much a like. Below is a summary of clients you can use:
This is the easiest way to connect to an IRC network but it's not really useful if you're planning to actively participate in the chatrooms as these don't really support bouncers (explained later on). Some of the good ones out there:
CIRC (Chrome extension)
Chatzilla (Firefox addon)
HexChat (Windows/Linux/OS X)
Hexchat is a free and open-source client which is an excellent choice for beginners and veterans. It comes packed with the most of the functions you'll ever need on IRC.
mIRC is a paid client (though it offers a trial). It has a different look and even though it has almost the same features as any other IRC client, it may be worth having a look as lot's of people like it.
Colloquy (OS X)
Colloquy is a free IRC client which has adapted the OS X look into it's client. It has a very nice feel to it and again offers most of the features you need. This is OS X only.
Konversation (Linux KDE)
Most Linux users have their own favorite client and there are lot's out there but for the ones who don't know where to start there is Konversation. This is your generic IRC client packed with all the goodies you'll need to become a true master.
Building Konversation from source
Step 2: Configuring your IRC Client.
Most IRC clients come with a set of preconfigured networks so that you don't have to configure that yourself. Esper is the most popular IRC network for the Minecraft modding community. You can find a list of servers on their site(or you can connect to irc.esper.net). You want to select the server closest to you so you'll have as little latency as possible. If you're still having trouble configuring your client, you can always check out your clients knowledge base.
Step 3: Registering with NickServ
Registering with NickServ is a requirement to join most of the bigger channels (including #sponge), and will also protect your username to be used by others.
Enter the command
/msg NickServ REGISTER <password> <email> , replacing
<password> with your preferred password and
<email> with your current email adress.
You'll see something like:
An email containing nickname activation instructions has been sent to <email>. If you do not complete registration within one day, your nickname will expire...
Now the only thing you'll have to do now is enter the command that got sent to your email adress. It should look similar to:
/msg NickServ VERIFY REGISTER <yourname> <code>
Once you've entered that command you should see something like:
Thank you for verifying your e-mail address! You have taken steps in ensuring that your registrations are not exploited.
Now you should be all set to chat on! You can join the sponge channel by entering the command /join #sponge (only on the esper network).
List of most used IRC commands
/join #channelname :joins that particular IRC channel.
/part #channelname :leaves that particular IRC channel
/msg username :sends a private message to a user across the network.
/nick newnickname :changes your nickname.