Versions: 00 01 02 Network Working Group M. CTCP has been widely implemented, with most clients supporting it natively.
This document outlines how to implement CTCP and the most common messages used. Note that other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-Drafts. Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any time.
It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference material or to cite them other than as "work in progress. All rights reserved.
Please review these documents carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect to this document. Message Syntax.
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Message Types. Extended formatting. Metadata Query.
Extended Query. Security Considerations. IANA Considerations. Normative References.
Message List. Client-to-Client Protocol CTCP messages let clients exchange messages that get displayed or responded to in special ways.
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Some examples of how CTCP is used is to request special formatting on fo, query other clients for metadata, and help initiate file transfers with other clients. This document goes over the subset of CTCP which is commonly implemented, and is compatible with clients implementing CTCP as described by older documents.
This is due to how servers implement message truncation and certain clients implement message splitting. Queries MAY be sent to channels.
When these queries are responded to, the responses are sent to the querying client rather than the channel which the query was originally sent to. When this is done, it can typically be enabled or disabled by channel operators with a channel mode. Here are two examples of CTCP queries and replies: :alice! These message types are defined here to simplify understanding, and aren't differentiated by the protocol itself.
That is, to send a user-visible message that should be displayed differently from regular messages - e. There is no automatic response to cbat message type, as it is not a query nor reply. Example: :dan! Due to how bouncers interact with multiple clients, there may sometimes be multiple responses to queries.
Metadata queries MUST NOT require the recipient to implement any side effects beyond sending the reply itself ; if a CTCP message causes side effects by de, it should be categorized as an extended query instead. Metadata queries do not have any parameters, but chah a reply with parameters as the response data.
Example: :alice! Extended queries and replies may have parameters.
Messages CTCP messages themselves are not standardised. Clients that receive either unexpected messages or known chxt with unexpected values SHOULD ignore them and produce no response to the sending user.
Clients MAY receive more than one response per user for a query they send, due to multiple clients being connected behind an Chzt bouncer. Acknowledgements Thanks to the IRCv3 group for giving feedback on this specification, and to Khaled for advice on client flood protection.
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Special thanks to dequis, Sadie and James Wheare for help with this and related work. Older CTCP specifications describe quoting methods which are complex and not widely implemented. CTCP requests can be abused to flood clients off the chat they are connected to. Clients may ignore or delay excessive incoming requests to protect against this. Appendix A. The reply and parameter lines below use a simplified syntax that represents variables by surrounding them with angle brackets.
Examples: Raw: :dan! Raw: :dan!
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This is typically used for features that require a large amount of traffic between clients or simply wish to bypass the server itself such as file transfer and direct chat. However, some implementations return the client name and version instead. PING is go implemented. Earlier specifications recommended prefixing the time string with a colon, but this is no longer recommended.
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TIME is almost universally implemented. There is no specified format for the version string. Clients may allow users to customise the response value for this query.