Channel Administration on Freenode

This guide will be targeted toward LUG officers who haven't done channel administration on Freenode before, but contains information that's relevant if you want to start your own channel as well.

First, go read all the freenode guidelines, but especially the channel guidelines and faq. These will explain why you should not wear your "hat" indoors, and other essential pieces of etiquette.

Getting help

Rather than Googling around, the best way to get help with nick, channel, and channel listing on Freenode is:

/msg nickserv help
/msg chanserv help
/msg alis help
/msg chanserv help flags
/msg chanserv help register
etc.

Note that services (such as nickserv, chanserv, and alis) are bots and their replies to you will appear in a separate buffer and not highlight you the way a private message from a human would.

Creating a channel

To create a new channel, simply /join #channelname. If the channel is a FOSS project, use a single #. Otherwise, use two or more of them, such as ###mysupersecretbackchannel. If you're diverting people into a backchannel for a conversation that might offend delicate sensibilities, do not use LUG or OSU in the channel name.

When you join an empty channel, such as when creating a new channel, you will be automatically opped (an @ will appear before your name). If someone else joins, then you leave and rejoin, nobody will have ops and the only way to get them back is to empty the room and come back in, since the first person back will get auto-opped.

Since clearing a room is between annoying and impossible, and you need ops for cool stuff like setting channel topics and banning spammers, you need to register your channel. You have to be identified to a registered nickname to register channels, so /msg nickserv help register and follow NickServ's instructions if you haven't registered your nick yet.

Flags

***** ChanServ Help *****
Help for FLAGS:

The FLAGS command allows for the granting/removal of channel
privileges on a more specific, non-generalized level. It
supports nicknames, groups and hostmasks as targets.

When only the channel argument is given, a listing of
permissions granted to users will be displayed.

Syntax: FLAGS <#channel>

Otherwise, an access entry is modified. A modification may be
specified by a template name (changes the access to the
template) or a flags change (starts with + or -). See the
TEMPLATE help entry for more information about templates.

If you are not a founder, you may only manipulate flags you
have yourself, and may not edit users that have flags you
don't have. For this purpose, +v grants +V, +o grants +O
and +r grants +b.



If you do not have +f you may still remove your own access
with -*.

Syntax: FLAGS <#channel> [nickname|hostmask|group template]
Syntax: FLAGS <#channel> [nickname|hostmask|group flag_changes]

Permissions:
    +v - Enables use of the voice/devoice commands.
    +V - Enables automatic voice.
    +o - Enables use of the op/deop commands.
    +O - Enables automatic op.
    +s - Enables use of the set command.
    +i - Enables use of the invite and getkey commands.
    +r - Enables use of the unban command.
    +R - Enables use of the recover and clear commands.
    +f - Enables modification of channel access lists.
    +t - Enables use of the topic and topicappend commands.
    +A - Enables viewing of channel access lists.
    +S - Marks the user as a successor.
    +F - Grants full founder access.
    +b - Enables automatic kickban.

The special permission +* adds all permissions except +b, +S, and +F.
The special permission -* removes all permissions including +b and +F.

Examples:
    /msg ChanServ FLAGS #foo
    /msg ChanServ FLAGS #foo foo!*@bar.com VOP
    /msg ChanServ FLAGS #foo foo!*@bar.com -V+oO
    /msg ChanServ FLAGS #foo foo!*@bar.com -*
    /msg ChanServ FLAGS #foo foo +oOtsi
    /msg ChanServ FLAGS #foo TroubleUser!*@*.troubleisp.net +b
    /msg ChanServ FLAGS #foo !baz +*
***** End of Help *****

Note that setting +b on someone bans them from your channel.

Topic

***** ChanServ Help *****
Help for TOPIC:

The TOPIC command allows for the changing of a topic on a channel.

Syntax: TOPIC <#channel> <topic>

Examples:
    /msg ChanServ TOPIC #foo bar
***** End of Help *****

Setting the topic through Chanserv means you don't have to op up in channel. This is good because a bunch of LUG alumni still have flags in the channel and quietly lurk there, enforcing Freenode's guidelines including the rules that say you shouldn't be opped up in channel (displaying the @ by your name) unless it's necessary for some reason. If you're wearing your hat (another synonym for displaying the @ sign) unnecessarily and ChanServ takes it off for you, that's because somebody messaged ChanServ and told it to.

Channel Founder Flags

Of all the flags, +F is special. The Founder can modify everyone else's flags, so for instance if one op decides to be a terrible person and takes away flags from the other ops, the Founder can step in to resolve the dispute. This level of power makes the Founder the person who has to step in and fix it if a novice channel operator makes an innocent but highly problematic mistake, as well.

For this reason, the #osu-lug founder flag is traditionally not handed off at election time in the way that the +* flags are granted to new officers. Instead, it's reassigned to the LUG president once its former owner believes that the new president is sufficiently experienced with channel administration that they won't need assistance any more.