What is is a project that aims to support the IRC protocol, and help push it forward as a viable, usable alternative to the other messaging platforms out there today. There's a number of different projects under the umbrella, and our founding letter lays these out in some more specific detail.

If you have any suggestions for future work, please reach out to us!

What are you doing to push IRC forward?

With the IRC Foundation, we're providing support to IRC projects and developers. In addition, the Foundation's developer documentation provides updated protocol documentation to new and long-time developers, a place to look up general IRC terms, and guides to help developers new to IRC get their head around the protocol and software stack.

How can I join/contribute?

We're always happy for support! The IRC Foundation has specific contribution information here, and for any of our other projects please reach out to us.

The IRC Foundation

What is the IRC Foundation?

The IRC Foundation is a non-profit whose primary purpose is supporting existing and new IRC developers and projects. In short: If you’re developing with the IRC protocol, the Foundation is here to help!

It provides assistance in multiple ways – from maintaining protocol documentation, to sponsoring IRC projects and developers.

How are and the Foundation related?

The IRC Foundation is a non-profit which supports. Operationally, many of the Foundation team are employed to work on and simply spend the majority of their time on the Foundation.

How does the foundation relate to other groups?

The Foundation’s core purpose is helping push IRC forward, in terms of both development and end users. There are some existing projects that have similar goals – notably, the IRCv3 Working Group, and ircdocs.

Most of the contributors to the Foundation are also related to these projects in some way. Notably, both Daniel and Darren are members of the IRCv3 WG’s technical board, and Daniel is also the maintainer of ircdocs.

These other projects are separately-run community groups. They’re not owned by or run by the Foundation. However, we do share a lot of goals with them, link to them as appropriate, and do our best to make content which they can also make use of. We’re all working to push IRC forward, and improve the developer documentation for this protocol!

The main difference between those other groups and the IRC Foundation is that the Foundation is backed financially. In general, having more work towards the same goal is good, especially when there’s a healthy mix of both community-supported volunteer groups (such as the IRCv3 WG and ircdocs) and ones backed financially (as in the IRC Foundation).

Why are you maintaining and offering docs for free?

We’re passionate about the IRC protocol. As shown by our existing contributions to other volunteer community efforts, we do want to see the protocol, the user community, and the developer community prosper.

If we can do so with the Foundation through both supporting projects and maintaining useful IRC protocol documentation, that’ll make us very happy indeed.

How do your docs interact with the IETF?

We don’t have any current plans, and we think that a new RFC that more accurately describes the IRC protocol would be very useful. We’ve also chosen our documentation license specifically to facilitate this sort of interaction. However, we don’t have any explicit plans to push forward with this right now. It may be best to refer to the Modern docs as a more community-driven avenue for this.

Why are you supporting so much of the IRC space?

Plain and simple, we really like IRC and want to see it grow, as can be read in our founding letter. We're aiming to support (and our members are a part of) the existing pushes to improve the protocol and spread its influence out there.

How can I contribute?

Our developer documentation repo is (or will be) available online here, and anyone’s free to contribute their expertise and time to improve that documentation. We also have contributor guidelines in the repo that more clearly lay out how to go about writing new guides and reference documentation.

On the sponsorship side, we’re always interested in knowledgable people who can help us decide which projects to support, and otherwise actually provide support to the projects which we’re sponsoring. If you’re interested in this, please feel free to contact us so we can have a chat.

How do you support the projects you sponsor?

There’s a few different ways that we can provide support: Financially, as in sponsoring contributors or maintainer/s of a project so they can continue their work; making resources available for technical, graphic-design, legal, and/or business advisement; and otherwise making our contributors available to materially contribute to the project.

Really, each project is different, and the type of support that would be most useful differs between them as well. We’ll work closely with the projects we sponsor and do our best to support them in a way that makes sense, and does materially help them out.

What type of projects do you sponsor?

We have a few areas that we'd like to focus on, namely:

  • Projects that are widespread in the community.
  • Projects that are actively helping push the IRC protocol forwards.
  • Projects that help IRC developers or users.

That’s a pretty wide spectrum, but it does illustrate that our goals are to help support existing projects that are useful to the IRC ecosystem. If your project doesn’t fall under these categories but you’d still like to submit it, we’re happy to consider others.

How do you decide which submissions to sponsor?

Right now, it’s early days for the IRC Foundation as a whole. We don’t have any explicit ways to choose projects, but we’re focusing on doing our best to support the IRC ecosystem in useful ways. As we go further along, build out our site, and get more familiar with the requests that comes our way, it’s likely that we’ll build up more structured decision methods.

As a number of the IRC Foundation contributors are themselves involved in existing IRC projects, there’s some additional considerations to be aware of when writing up strict, structured decision methods. For now, we’re simply going to do our best to focus on the merits of submitted projects on the technical side, and in the impact they have on the IRC community and ecosystem.

How do I submit my project for sponsorship?

Right now, we’re accepting project submissions here.