In this project, you will implement a simple Internet Relay Chat (IRC) server called chirc. IRC is one of the earliest network protocols for text messaging and multi-participant chatting. It remains a popular standard and still sees heavy use in certain communities, specially the open source software community.
Your implementation must be compliant enough with the official IRC specification for other IRC clients (not programmed by you) to work with your server. Although we will provide some scaffolding, most tasks will require you to consult the official IRC specification, or to experiment with existing IRC servers. Thus, this project will allow you to develop not just your network programming skills, but also your ability to read and interpret a real network protocol.
This project is divided into three parts. The first part is meant as a relatively short warmup exercise; the second part mostly revolves around supporting multiple clients and messaging between individual users; the third part mostly revolves around implementing IRC “channels” (the IRC’s equivalent of a “chat group” or a “chat room”).
The chirc documentation is divided into the following sections: