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IRC is a bit like a cross between instant messaging, an email list, and a sports bar. It is useful if you need quicker turnaround than that provided by a mailing list, and is a good way to discuss general issues. IRC is a useful tool to help users pinpoint specific without initially knowing exactly how that should be done. Wikipedia has info on IRC as well as a comparison of IRC software.

Here are a few IRC channels used by BioPerl users/devs:

BioPerl #bioperl Webchat
General Perl Help #perl-help Webchat

Getting help

Those of us that hang out in IRC enjoy helping people use BioPerl. Here are some tips to help us help you.

When you join IRC, ask your question and wait. Someone will show up in a few seconds, hours, or days depending on your timezone and whether or not you've asked your question at the beginning of a holiday weekend. We've been hanging out in IRC for years, so with a little patience you'll run into us. If our silence exceeds your patience, please send email to bioperl-l.

To help you, we often need to be able to reproduce your output on our own computers. Please use (or, better yet, a github repository containing runnable code and input) to provide all of the following:

  • Your source code
  • Minimal input to reproduce your output
  • Your output
  • The output you were expecting

When using or other pasting service, please put everything in a single gist / paste. It's hard to keep track of half a dozen different links as you tweak things based on our suggestions.

Regulars on IRC

Nick GMT Where IRC client
deafferret -6 Omaha, NE USA Irssi under screen
pyrimidine -6 Champaign, IL USA Colloquy
ende -5 Washington DC, USA Colloquy
drycafe -5 Durham, NC USA XChat Aqua
bosborne +3 Skullcrusher Mountain Colloquy
dbolser +0 A series of tubes Irssi under screen
Nath +10 Brisbane, Queensland, Australia ChatZilla
majensen -11 Deep Sea 1 XChat
rbuels -8 Portland, OR USA XChat and dircproxy
brunov -11 Deep Sea -1 XChat
ptl +5 Principality of Sealand Irssi under screen
kblin or kai +2 Tübingen, Germany Irssi under screen
dave_messina +1 Stockholm, Sweden Colloquy
russellsmithies +12 Dunedin, New Zealand Firefox
Jun 0 Dublin, Ireland mIRC

Things to do...

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