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Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is an application layer protocol that facilitates communication in the form of text. The chat process works on a client/server networking model.
IRC was created by Jarkko Oikarinen in August 1988 to replace a program called MUT (MultiUser Talk) on a BBS called OuluBox at the University of Oulu in Finland, where he was working at the Department of Information Processing Science. Jarkko intended to extend the BBS software he administered, to allow news in the Usenet style, real time discussions and similar BBS features. The first part he implemented was the chat part...
As of April 2011, the top 100 IRC networks served more than half a million users at a time, with hundreds of thousands of channels operating on a total of roughly 1,500 servers out of roughly 3,200 servers worldwide.
Following the Freenode schism last week that saw most of the IRC network's volunteer staff leave to form rival network Libera Chat, Freenode on Tuesday commandeered hundreds of channels used by various open source software projects and fiddled with their permissions.
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