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If you don't want to install an IRC client, Freenode does offer webchat:

Registering your nickname

It's generally best if you register your nickname. Some IRC features require this.

In order to register your nickname on the IRC channel, use this command:

/msg nickserv register [PASSWORD] [EMAIL]

You will receive an email shortly with instructions. (Do not include the square brackets in the command.)

You can then identify yourself to the IRC server with this command:

/msg nickserv identify [PASSWORD]

(Do not actually use the brackets, just put in your password or email.)

Using your nickname

If for some reason you can't identify to the server in time, or otherwise need to change your nickname, these commands will work:

/msg nickserv identify USERNAME PASSWORD
/msg nickserv release USERNAME



Open access. General Dreamwidth chatter, including owners, developers, support, and cheerleaders. Occasionally NSFW.

For the bosses' sanity, discussion of politics and religion is to be kept to other channels.


Access restricted. For the anti-spam team. If you are a member of the team and need access to the channel (all current team members may request access), say something in [info]dw_antispam and/or ping an op (asking in the comm may be slow; the op may be afk, and a ping could get lost in a client crash). Ops are Azz and skrshawk. SpamBot is the resident bot, owned by [info]exor674.

SpamBot announces new spam and when the queue has been cleared. The command SpamBot: spam makes SpamBot list the current contents of the queue.

When in channel, the best practice is to announce that you'll take care of the spam that you're headed for, to avoid collision as much as possible.


Open access. This channel combines #dw_bitch, #dw_nsfw, and #dw_tmi, and has collected most of #dreamwidth-hell as well. What it says on the can. For the extensive complaints, NSFW discussions, medical TMI, and general TMI that sometimes pops up in #dreamwidth; possibly even politics, too.


Open access, intended for developers, other people actively working, and people quietly watching the work. A development/training/support/testing-focused channel without side-chatter.

This channel contains developers working on Dreamwidth's code. They can often give assistance and advice to other devs working on Dreamwidth, and can sometimes also offer assistance to people who are setting up their own installation of the Dreamwidth code.


Open access, intended for documentation team. For discussing documentation. This may be obsolete and from the old server.


Open access. Officially unofficial, for funtimes including Zilch and Acrophobia.


Access restricted. Mark, Denise, and Nagios Alertsy the Annoying Wonder Bot.


Open access, intended for current, past, future, and questioning Support team. Intended as a resource for volunteers interested in helping with technical support of Dreamwidth users: to hang out, ask questions, and learn. Run by the Triumvirate of Domtheknight (Dom), Chemicallace (Chemla), and MissKat (Kat)

People needing help with their own installation of the Dreamwidth code should try #dreamwidth-dev.


There are sometimes impromptu channels created for specific discussions that do not fit regular channels. (Freenode's policies seem to state that these should be in the ##dreamwidth- namespace? Or is it just ##?)


IRC bots are programs people can interact with in the IRC channel. They have their own usernames and different uses.

Infobot has been fed the wiki links for most of the bots on the server. Infobot, help <bot> will usually result in a quick link to that bot's documentation.


A Nagios bot that pages Mark/ops when the site is down. Or up. An archive of its messages can be found at @dw_alerts on Twitter.

Not to be mistaken for historical mentions of _nagios_, who is usually D being Very Silly at Mark's expense.


Bugsy is a bot that notifies the channel when bugs are opened, closed, or receive patches (although the attachment-upload function of Bugsy broke with a recent Bugzilla upgrade and the bot hasn't been patched yet). It will also bring up more information about any bug that you link to or mention in channel.

bug <x> said in channel, anywhere in the sentence, will result in Bugsy linking the bug in question. If Bugsy isn't in the channel, Figment will normally ask him for you, as long as Figment is also in the channel.
when starting a line with this, it does something, mostly Bugsy telling you that it wasn't a valid command (if you say "@denise that was awesome", for example).


Fig-Bit has several different features, and will answer to "Figment" or "Fig" interchangeably, as well as "Infobot" or "info" and "Bit". The bot names are not case-sensitive.

Fig-Bit is present in #dreamwidth, #dreamwidth-bitch, and #dreamwidth-support.


There is a DW-specific infobot in the channel named Fig-Bit. Address all infobot commands to "infobot", rather than to Fig-Bit. You can use "info," instead of "infobot," for any of these commands if you wish.

Public Infobot Commands

Some commands can be used in all public channels that Fig-Bit is in.

infobot, <x>
This asks Fig-Bit to recall a factoid that was previously remembered. You can use this in channel or in PM.
Many useful factoids are stored in the infobot. If there's something that IRC should know, it may have been stored in the infobot.
infobot, ?<x>
This asks Fig-Bit to search for factoid names containing <x>.
infobot, ??<x>
This asks Fig-Bit to search for factoid names and values containing <x>. If you're doing a general search, this is probably what you want to use.
Private Infobot Commands

Some infobot commands can only be used in private message with the infobot, as programming the infobot can become spammy to the channel you are in. To reduce the potential for spammers messing with the infobot, your nickname must be registered and you must be authenticated to it in order to send private messages to Fig-Bit.

infobot, <x> is <y>
This is how you ask Fig-Bit to remember a factoid <x>. For example, you might say:
infobot, wiki is
which would ask him to remember that the factoid "wiki" was the URL to Dreamwidth's development wiki. This command works only in PM. You can ask him to recall a factoid with the command below.
infobot, no, <x> is <y>
If Fig-Bit already knows a factoid when you try to ask him to remember one, he'll tell you that he already knows it and he won't remember the new definition. This command tells him to change the factoid to the new definition anyway. This command works only in PM.
infobot, forget <x>
This asks Fig-Bit to forget the factoid <x>. This command works only in PM.
Notable Infobot factoids
Infobot as help feature

Infobot has been fed links to the wiki entries on most bots. Saying Infobot, help <bot> will generally result in a link to the wiki entry on how to use that bot.

Other useful Infobot items

qdb jargon


Bit is the decision-bot part of Fig-Bit. Ask Bit a yes or no question, or ask Bit to pick between comma-separated options. Bit will choose! (If you're not sure what pronouns to use when referring to Bit, just ask Bit, and Bit will tell you. Bit may be gender-fluid, as the answers do sometimes change.) Bit sometimes accepts botsnacks, depending on whim (and perhaps hunger, but nobody really knows), but does not share them with Fig.

Bit, tally will make Bit give a tally of the yes and no answers since the last time Bit was rebooted.

As Bit has not been specifically programmed to favor working on bugs, support, or code reviews over other (more frivolous) pursuits, it is clear that Bit just naturally favors these things, being a bot.

A video clip of the 'Bit' from Tron.


Fig-Bit is also a Support-bot, and will link to any support request mentioned in channel, and can be used to show a report on the current status of the support board. For those who are familiar with the support-bot Anna, Fig-Bit functions like her.

Support-bot commands can be addressed to Figment or Fig.

Figment, green
This asks Fig-Bit to retrieve the stats on the support requests without approved answers.
The "green" report is of the format:
<Total> green (<number> unanswered, <number> SNH) :: (<priority>) <category total> in <category> (<unanswered>+<still needs help>)
All public support categories are listed in this report.
"Unanswered" is new requests that have not yet received an approved answer.
SNH is "Still Needs Help": requests that are in need of an answer, but have already had at least one approved answer.
Asterisks before a category name indicate that the category needs attention, based on the number of open requests. (Senior support and the botmistress decide on the thresholds of how many open requests in a category at one time is typical; this can be reset as things change.)
request <x> or req <x> said in channel, anywhere in the sentence, will result in Fig-Bit linking the support request in question and giving a basic summary of the request. In #dreamwidth-support only, typing #<x> (that is, the support request number preceded by a hash) will do the same thing, which may be quicker to type.
Pasting a link to a Support request is like the above, but will only give the basic summary, with no link.
Figment, tags
This asks Fig-Bit to retrieve the bracketed tags in the subjects of support requests.
Figment, stars
This asks Fig-Bit to retrieve a list of categories that have reached their defined thresholds.
Figment, be Goat
Fig-Bit will give the green count in Goat style.
Figment, points <x>
Fig-Bit will give the number of support points for the given user or category, or (if not user or category is given) the total number of points available on the board if one were to leave an approved answer for all the open questions right now.
Figment, stale
Fig-Bit will give stats on the requests that have been open longest.
Figment, recent
Gives a detailed report of open support requests in multiple categories.
Figment, recenttags
Lists tags of current green requests.
Figment, kittens
Fig-Bit will give a list of the categories that are under their defined thresholds. (Categories = cats = small cats = kittens)
Figment, random
Fig-Bit will give a random support request, optionally within a given category.
Figment, search
Searches the summaries of green support requests for whatever you give it. This does not search the body of the request for performance reasons. Up to 5 results will be given in PM.
Figment, stats
Like the search command, but only displays a summary of the number of results found, without linking to the requests. Unlike search, the output for this command is not restricted to PM, and is allowed to appear in channel.


This function is only available in PM and #dreamwidth-bitch.


  • Remind me in
  • Remind me at <time> <zone> <thing>


  • Remind me in 12 minutes DING COOKIES ARE DONE

This command does not need to be addressed directly to the bot.

The reminderbot uses time formats as seen in


These may be addressed to "Fig" as well.

Figment, countdown <time> <timezone>
Gives the time remaining until the specified time. fig, countdown 9pm EDT
Figment, gmt
Displays the current Greenwich Meridian Time.
Figment, is DW up?
Asks Figment to check if DW is up. "up" can be replaced with "down" synonymously. Figment also remembers how to check LJ.
Figment, math
A basic calculator.
Figment, latest <x>
Reports the last entry posted by a Dreamwidth user. There is no default for this command; a username must be given.
Figment, twitter <x>
Reports the last tweet posted by a Twitter user. Defaults to @dreamwidth if no username is given. (The twitter account for Alertsy is @dw_alerts.)
Figment, botsnack
Not really its own command, but a nice way to reward our very useful bot.

RWhEll bot

You can feed items to Random Word hEll. When an item is fed to hell, hell will most likely spew out random items it has consumed. RWHell is present in #dreamwidth, #dreamwidth-bitch, and its dedicated channel, #dreamwidth-hell.

feed <x> to hell
/me feeds <x> to hell
This feeds an item to Hell. Hell will probably at this point in time spew out one or two items it has been holding. It may also burp and not expel anything new.
(Hell recognises a number of synonyms for "feed". The current list is "feed", "send", "damn", "punt", "toss", "smite", "condemn", "hurl", "throw", "kick", "cast", and "banish". These can also be used in their equivalent form as part of a /me - for example, "/me damns <x> to hell".) For all of those verbs, the suffix "into hell" is understood as much as "to hell" is. "Darn <x> to heck" also works.
hell, tally
This tells you how many items hell is currently holding.

RWHell does not have a search function, so the only way to know what is in hell at any given time is to have kept track (or ask hell's minder).

There is a separate level of hell for every channel that RWhell is in, so objects that are fed to it in its testing channel will not re-emerge in #dreamwidth, and vice versa.

Hell is rate limited in #dreamwidth, to avoid abuse. Hell is not rate limited in #dreamwidth-hell or #dreamwidth-bitch.

The rumor that hell is sentient is just that: a rumor. Really. We swear. ...We hope.

More on its history in Common Jargon and Random Word Hell.


The owners ([info]mark/@xb95 and [info]denise/@rahaeli) are the final arbiters of any IRC policy, issue, or debate.


Hazards of hanging out in #dreamwidth include:

  • becoming hungry from all the talk of delicious food
  • starting to volunteer
  • putting more time in developing, providing answers in support, doing a code tour, etc.
  • becoming a project lead
  • buying more yarn or other fiber arts supplies
  • getting sucked into TVTropes, Wikipedia, and similar timesinks
  • getting earwormed (see also [info]earwormhole)
  • pun wars
  • conversations that started out perfectly rational and innocent degenerating (sometimes rapidly)
  • losing the game


Official Rules coming eventually. In general:

  • For the owners' sanity, no politics or religion in #dreamwidth.
  • Don't be a jerk.
  • Mind what the ops say. (Anyone with an '@dreamwidth/delegate/' hostmask is an op, whether or not they are wearing their ops power at the time.)
  • Some general guidelines are included below, although this is not intended to be a complete list, and ops will use their best judgment regarding specific situations.
  • [info]afuna, [info]denise (rahaeli), and [info]mark (xb95) have the final say.

Consider the Diversity Statement and the Guiding Principles and try to embody them.

Specific things that come up from time to time:

  • Some things are generally best in side channels:
    • Anything explicitly banned in #dreamwidth (politics, religion)
    • Extended off-topic chatter, although 'topic' is sometimes hazy
    • Blatantly sexual content
    • Things that seem to be bothering other people
    • Any topic that an op has asked to be moved
  • The definition of "Not Safe For Work" varies from person to person, but if you think any given link is NSFW, it is worth advising at the time you link.
  • Spoilers, particularly for currently-airing or recently released media, should be avoided in main channel, particularly given differing release dates in different countries.
  • When using short-URL services (tinyurl,, and the like) that obscure the original URL being linked to, description of what you're linking to is appropriate, particularly if it's to something of questionable appropriateness or a known timesink such as TVTropes.
  • Misogyny, ableism, racism, nationalist insults, and the like are not appreciated, even in jest.