This document is still WIP, and should be treated as such. I'll do my best to keep it updated and accurate.
The following bibles shouldn't be ignored:
RFC1459 by Jarkko Oikarinen and Darren Reed was the first about the Internet Relay Chat Protocol. It can be found at http://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc1459.txt.
RFC2810 by Christophe Kalt updates RFC1459 and describes the Architecture of the Internet Relay Chat. It can be found at http://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc2810.txt.
RFC2811 by Christophe Kalt updates RFC1459 and describes the Channel Management of the Internet Relay Chat. It can be found at http://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc2811.txt.
RFC2812 by Christophe Kalt updates RFC1459 and describes the Client Protocol of the Internet Relay Chat. It can be found at http://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc2812.txt.
RFC2813 by Christophe Kalt updates RFC1459 and describes the Server Protocol of the Internet Relay Chat. It can be found at http://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc2813.txt.
Also be sure to check the following links:
Among others, the objectives of this mini-HOWTO are:
Link important resources about IRC;
Avoid common misuses of IRC by writing an IRC Etiquette;
List popular clients, servers, bots, and bouncers, along with their maintainers, #channel, small description, download location, home page, and hints;
List IRC tools available in the latest release of all major distributions.
The latest version of this document is available at http://www.pervalidus.net/documentation/IRC-mini-HOWTO/.
A WIP of the next draft may be available at http://www.pervalidus.net/documentation/IRC-mini-HOWTO/WIP/.
All drafts are archived at http://www.pervalidus.net/documentation/IRC-mini-HOWTO/old/.
Everything is mirrored at http://pervalidus.port5.com/documentation/IRC-mini-HOWTO/.
You can e-mail me (in English, French, or Portuguese) with suggestions about the mini-HOWTO. I know this is far from finished, but hope you find it useful. Just don't ask me to add your application or site. Most likely I won't. Also don't ask for technical support. I have no time to help everyone.
BTW, someone to work on the protocol and server sides would be very welcome.
Frédéric L. W. Meunier (<linuxdoc @ pervalidus.net>)