[whatwg] IRC and WWW integration proposal

Gryllida gryllida at gmail.com
Thu Jan 31 19:56:00 PST 2013


I would like to submit a proposal of integration of websites and webpages with IRC.

== Summary ==
  To have some universal, standard protocol to indicate that a webpage or website has an IRC channel or network associated with it.

== Purpose ==
  For anyone to write scripts which would check whether a website has an irc channel or network for it. 
  Usecase 1: I search for python and see a link to their website in search results, and the search engine looks up both title and IRC info - so I see webpage title, and a link to its irc network or channel. 
  Usecase 2: Browsers implement some interface to display IRC channel link or window when user visits a page. Advantages:
  - The websites will benefit from this and will not have to manually embed qwebirc or Mibbit instances into their webpages anymore[1], leaving the IRC client preference to the user (choose from locally installed clients, or a client provided by the website).
  - User would not have to skim a page of text to locate and click an irc:// link manually, as such links would be a part of browser interface (an IRC icon like RSS feed icon?).

== Short desc ==
  The IRC info should be inside of a page HEAD tag. It should include a link to an IRC network or an IRC channel with a note of whether it's for the entire website, or specific for this webpage. There could be two group of entries too, one for the website, and another one for this page. Related specs:
  -- IRC protocol [2]
  -- irc:// URL specs [3]
  -- meta, head, link tags specs (you really know where they are)

== Basic syntax ==
  There could be different ways to indicate this information in the HEAD tag; we should pick one of them and standartise it.
   Option #1 <link rel="officialirc" scope="site" href="irc://server.tld/#channel"> (scope = site or scope = page) (multiple tags allowed)
   Option #2 <meta name="irc" scope="site" content="irc://server.tld/#channel" /> (multiple tags allowed)
   Option #3
      <irc network="networkname">
          <server ssl=yes port=6697 hostname=foo/>
          <server ssl=no port=6667 hostname=bar>
  I'm more inclined to pick any one of the first two options (probably 1?).
== Browser behaviour ==
  When user clicks a part of browser interface referring to IRC, he's presented with 
   - a list of network(s) and/or channel(s) the page advertises, and 
   - a list of IRC clients to use.
  For this purpose, the metadata should include IRC webchat URL if the website wants to have one (self-hosted, or a service like Mibbit) in addition to the IRC clients user has installed on his machine.

[1] http://wiki.mibbit.com/index.php/Widget
[2] http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1459
[3] http://www.w3.org/Addressing/draft-mirashi-url-irc-01.txt

Welcome any feedback and help shaping a standard if need be.


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