Using the LightIRC Client on GeekShed

LightIRC logoWelcome to all the LightIRC users who now call GeekShed home. LightIRC is a Flash IRC client that can be embedded on a web page. Earlier this year, LightIRC developer Valentin Manthei shut down his own IRC server and made GeekShed the default server for the LightIRC client.

What is the server information for connecting LightIRC to GeekShed?
If you use the Connect button on the LightIRC homepage, you’ll connect to GeekShed automatically. The address redirects to the GeekShed network.

If you want to configure the client yourself, point to, port 6667, and policy port 843.

Where do you get help for LightIRC?
While GeekShed is the default network for LightIRC, GeekShed network staff do not provide the technical support for the client. If you have a question about using LightIRC, visit the client’s website and its FAQ/Help Wiki.

If you can’t find an answer to your question in the online help, visit the official support channel for LightIRC: #lightIRC on GeekShed. Keep an eye out for the user Valentin, the developer of the client.


—Posted by tengrrl

What is Hate Speech?

Hate speech is prohibited on GeekShed. The official definition is included in the Terms of Service, which you agree to when you connect to GeekShed:

  1. Hate Speech
    1. You may not use any language defined as Hate Speech, which includes–but is not limited to–text or actions that are any of the following:
      1. Demeaning in any manner.
      2. Harmful.
      3. An attack on religion, race, or sexual orientation.


What’s the difference between hateful comments and hate speech?

Hate speech attacks someone (or a group of people) based on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, culture, religion, nationality, or other characteristic. It may use abusive or belittling language or communicate bigoted or defamatory ideas.

Hate speech does not include statements like “I hate you” or “You are a troll.” Those are hateful or mean comments. It’s poor netiquette (or bad manners) to say rude or mean things to someone, but it’s not against the network rules. Network staff will not ban someone for mean comments.


What can I do if someone is using hate speech?

If network staff are already active in the channel, just wait a minute for staff to handle the situation. If a couple of minutes pass and nothing happens, alert the staff member.

If no staff member is in the channel, please come to #help and report the incident to network staff. You will need to provide logs of the incident in most cases before staff acts.


How do I alert staff?

Okay, listen up. This part is important. Do NOT repeat the hate speech in another channel to report it. You may accidentally be banned yourself if you do.

Here’s the right way to alert staff: “Hi. I need help. SomeBadUser is using hate speech in #channel.” Of course, you need to use the user’s real nick and the actual channel. When a staff member replies, they may ask you to PM what the person said or to share the log of what happened with Pastebin.


Can I do anything about hateful, mean comments?

Yes you can! If you are a moderator (hop or op) in the channel, you can kick or ban the person. You can also use an extended ban to silence the person. If it’s a channel you own, you can include a rule against hateful comments as well.

If the person is sending private messages or you’re not a moderator, use the /IGNORE command. Check your client documentation for details on how it works. Generally, the syntax is this: /IGNORE nick (for instance, /IGNORE SomeBadUser).


—Posted by tengrrl

Manners and Polite Behavior on GeekShed

When you connect to GeekShed, you are bound by the GeekShed Terms of Service, linked in the footer on every page. If you’re new to IRC, you should also know about netiquette, that’s the expected standards of behavior and common courtesies for online chatting. The word netiquette is a combination of net + etiquette. It’s the etiquette, or manners and polite behavior, for the network.

Good and polite users on GeekShed will follow these general guidelines:

  • Be nice and helpful to new users. Everyone was new at some point.
  • Do not type in all caps. That’s like shouting in the real world.
  • Best to avoid AlTeRnAtInG cApS too.
  • Do not flood channels or private messages with ASCII art. Ask first if you have something to share.
  • Avoid calling people names or insulting them. Words like moron, n00b, and retard aren’t very nice.
  • Ask before you send someone a private messages, notices, and or CTCP requests. It’s like whispering in someone’s ear without permission.
  • AME and AMSG should be used sparingly, and only for very important messages. Broadcast messages that are sent to every channel you are in are considered impolite.
  • Avoid changing your nick frequently. It gets annoying if you are changing to nicks like Steven|school, Steven|work, Steven|afk, Steven|bacon, and Steven|eating. Just choose a nick, and stick with it. It’s unlikely anyone needs that much detail on what you’re doing.
  • Read the online help on the website. You can find the answer to nearly every question on the site if you look for it.
  • If you can’t find an answer, please ask. Don’t ask if you can ask a question. Just go for it.
  • Make sure people understand your tone. On IRC, we can’t see your face or hear your voice.
  • Avoid flame wars, trolling, and spamming.
  • Remember that GeekShed has international users. Don’t make fun of people who have trouble with spelling or grammar.

In channels, try to follow these suggestions:

  • Check the topic and entry messages for details on specific rules and the purpose of a channel.
  • Spend some time idling and watching a channel before you jump into the conversation. Don’t just barge into a conversation.
  • Keep channel business in the channel it belongs in. Do not bring a problem with one channel to another one. Check the Channel Bans Appeals page if you need to appeal a ban on another channel.
  • Always ask before running scripts or away messages in a channel.
  • Ask before sharing links in a channel—and be sure that any link you share is virus-free and appropriate for the age-level of the people in the channel.
  • Don’t ask for ops or voice. Most people consider it rude.

What if someone isn’t being polite on GeekShed?

  • If you are a channel owner, you can ask the person to leave or ban the user. Your channel can have whatever rules you like.
  • If someone is being impolite to you personally, ask the person to stop. If that doesn’t work use the /ignore command. It’s usually something like this: /ignore nick. For example, to ignore the nick RudeUser, you’d type /ignore RudeUser — check the documentation for your IRC client for more details.

Generally, you should not report impolite users in #help. Just use /ignore. There is no network rule that says people have to be polite, so network staff will not reprimand people who are impolite.

Beware though.While netiquette is not a network matter, every channel can have its own rules. Being impolite and ignoring these guidelines may get you kicked or banned from channels that do not tolerate rude users.


—Posted by tengrrl/bunny

GeekShed Embed v2 Released

NOTE: This is a plugin for users of the self hosted software; it is not for users of (Although I would love it if at some point in time… well, that’s me dreaming…)

As I posted last month, I have been working on updated to the GeekShed Embed plugin for WordPress that I wrote. This update provides shortcodes to easily embed the TFlash client, the userlist, and the userbadge that GeekShed provides for its users.

In addition to the TFlash shortcode, the plugin now offers a settings page where you can input the options (similar to our chat generator) and select the page that you want TFlash to appear on; TFlash will appear on that page without requiring you to copy and paste any code at all. This settings page also allows you to set more than one channel; simply enter the channel names as you would in a regular client – e.g. #chan1,#chan2,chanN. There are additional usage notes on the settings page.

Although the plugin has not been tested in a WordPress MultiSite environment, the plugin uses the built-in settings API that WordPress offers, so it is very likely that it will work (please let me know if you use WPMS and if the plugin works or not).

The plugin does reside in the WordPress Plugin Repository, so it can be installed via the Plugin Installer in your WordPress admin section, and if you already have it installed, will notify you that there is an update available.

If you require any assistance in using the plugin, please leave a comment here or at the plugin page here. Also, comments and/or suggestions are always welcome.

Note2: It can take a little bit for the WordPress servers to process that the plugin has been upgraded. Please be patient.

Channel topic on your site – using Javascript

We have set up a JSONP service to allow you to use a simple bit of Javascript to get your GeekShed channel topic on your website. This has been possible for a while with PHP (, which provides a more flexible solution. This, however, cannot be used on hosting services that do not support PHP. The Javascript method works in all modern browsers and doesn’t require anything special on your hosting server.

All you need do is paste the following code into your page’s HTML where you require your topic to be shown, change phil to your own channel name (without the #) and style it all appropriately:

<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>

<script type="text/javascript">
jQuery(document).ready(function() {
   var channel = 'phil';

   jQuery.getJSON("" + channel + "&callback=?",
      function(data) {

<div id="geekshed-topic"></div>

If you’re stuck, ask in #help.

TOS Change

We have today, after much discussion, changed our terms of service. The reason for this is that the way it was previously done was confusing for users. The terms of service were previously called “Rules” and featured prominently on our site. Many users confused these with a definitive set of laws for which punishment would surely be issued if they were broken. This is not the case. They are a set of guidelines to ensure GeekShed remains “a free to use and family-friendly Internet Relay Chat network”.

Some parts of the terms of service are legacy remnants which have been removed due to no longer being relevant. Others have been refined to make them more clear. We have also removed the following clause:

Do not send Private Messages, Notices, and or CTCP requests to a user without his or her permission.

This has always, throughout the history of IRC, been considered common courtesy. It was, on reflection, an oversight to have this in our terms of service and as the network has grown, we are becoming unable to handle the number of complaints about PM without permission.

In the near future, we will post an article for newer users of IRC which details the expected standards of behavior and common courtesies – ‘Netiquette’. EDIT: here it is!

Our refined TOS can be found at If you have any questions on this, feel free to ask in #help or as a comment on this post.