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Logging the IRC channel?
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andi (Administrator) #1
User title: splitbrain
Member since May 2006 · 3423 posts · Location: Berlin Germany
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Subject: Logging the IRC channel?
The IRC chat channel [1] is now active for several months and has a regular user base. New users often go there to ask a quick question to get DokuWiki running or to adjust things to their needs. Developers use it to coordinate development efforts. A lot of useful information is exchanged through this channel which is not available to those who weren't in the chat at this time.

One way to solve this problem would be to use a logging bot and make chat log publically available and searchable. On the other hand, is IRC often treated like spoken conversions and people might feel bad with the knowledge of every word they say being recorded.

I know that other Wikis and Open Source projects do log their IRC chat rooms to make them available as another support resource. I'd like to get your feedback on what you think about it. Should we log the DokuWiki IRC channel?

[1] http://wiki.splitbrain.org/wiki:irc
Read this if you don't get any useful answers.
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poll
Poll: Should the IRC channel be logged?
(6 votes · 75%) Yes, the information should be available to everyone
(2 votes · 25%) No, being logged would destroy the ease of communication
This poll has ended in Jun 2007 · 8 votes
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jib #2
Member since May 2007 · 1 post
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Registered to voice my opinion on this.

If you want to go with logging ..

.. I think it'd be wise to flag that the channel is logged so that people know this when they join it. This is usually done by having the logging bot message the joining clients with a statement that the channel is logged and an URL for the log-archive and its search engine.

The problem with using irc-logs as documentation is that it can be really hard to search them later for relevant information. An idea to improve upon this would be to implement a search engine that would allow for "incremental searches". You'd specify a keyword, search and get lots of matches, then specify another keyword that searches the results from your last, narrowing down. The search output would need to be presented as lines from a log excerpt .. and the second click from the results should auto-scroll to the relevant bits in the full archive.

I think how this is implemented is important to the usefulness of an archive like this.

As a side note you'd all probably seen how some projects has solved this with some kind of ircbot-to-web-knowledgebase based on keywords. While this could work I think its worse than full logging as someone has to feed the bot with info and then ping it back to those asking, and so on. Less human, in a way, and fills the channel with bot-chatter. Not a good way to welcome new users.
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BlackFog #3
Member since May 2006 · 95 posts
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I could be useful, but I think it's to hard to salvage informations from the log. Mostly chats resole in other actions eg bug report or regular questions should be collected in an FAQ.
Further I don't like to see every word recorded for the future.


BlackFog
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andi (Administrator) #4
User title: splitbrain
Member since May 2006 · 3423 posts · Location: Berlin Germany
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Okay, most users either where in favor of logging the channel or didn't care, so I set up simple a logging bot. Logs will be available at http://irc.dokuwiki.org.
Read this if you don't get any useful answers.
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purplepaisley #5
Member since May 2006 · 142 posts · Location: UK
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That looks handy, thanks Andi. (And sorry, but in IE it's very hard to read one word per line....  :blush: )

Can I ask what bot you're using? I run an eggdrop from my mac machine for channel logging (not made public) and producing a who's in irc chat feed to 2 websites, so I'm just curious what's under the hood if you don't mind.
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andi (Administrator) #6
User title: splitbrain
Member since May 2006 · 3423 posts · Location: Berlin Germany
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Quote by purplepaisley:
That looks handy, thanks Andi. (And sorry, but in IE it's very hard to read one word per line....  :blush: )

Hmm looks bad in IE? Damn. I never tried it. Will be fixed some day.

Quote by purplepaisley:
Can I ask what bot you're using? I run an eggdrop from my mac machine for channel logging (not made public) and producing a who's in irc chat feed to 2 websites, so I'm just curious what's under the hood if you don't mind.

http://www.splitbrain.org/blog/2007-05/27-logging_an_irc_c…
Read this if you don't get any useful answers.
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purplepaisley #7
Member since May 2006 · 142 posts · Location: UK
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That's interesting, nice work. The bookmarklets look useful too...

IE screenshot attached.
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