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ERC 5.2 released

From: Michael Olson
Subject: ERC 5.2 released
Date: Sun, 1 Apr 2007 00:50:54 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.110006 (No Gnus v0.6) Emacs/22.0.96 (gnu/linux)

I am pleased to announce the release[1] of ERC 5.2.  The release is
available from your favorite GNU FTP mirror.  The URLs for this
release on the primary GNU FTP mirror are as follows.

Tarball ::

Zipfile ::

This release features the following enhancements[2]:

 - New module: erc-stomp.el.  Supplements ERC's existing ban support.
   When a troll appears on your channel, type "/stomp
   <nick-of-troll>", and ERC will run through the list of known
   IRC-exploitable OS and router vulnerabilities until it knocks the
   offending troll off-line.  This method is thought to keep the troll
   off the channel far longer than a simple ban would.  It also has
   the benefit that the instigator of the "stomp" is not obligated to
   have operator status on the channel in question.

 - New module: erc-avian.el.  Provides an graphical interface for
   sending and receiving IRC packets via avian carrier.  This is
   considered to be a workaround for unfriendly ISPs that ban traffic
   for ports that can potentially be used for some sort of bad
   behavior.  See for low-level
   details on the implementation of this protocol.  The ERC developers
   disclaim responsibility for negative side-effects that may result
   from the use of this module, such as ruined furnishings and
   eviction from living quarters.

 - New module: erc-proact.el.  Loading this module makes your ERC
   instance self-aware.  Other IRC clients release patches, but ERC
   fixes itself.  At some point, the current maintainer plans to pass
   on ERC maintenance to a long-running instance of said module, which
   ought to result in more frequent releases.

The other (read: real) NEWS items for this release follow the

[1] Not an April_Fools' Day (
    joke ...

[2] ... but these are indeed April Fools' fibs.

ERC NEWS                                                       -*- outline -*-

* Changes in ERC 5.2

** M-x erc RET now starts ERC.
`erc-select' has been changed to `erc'.  `erc-select' still remains as
an alias of `erc'. Likewise, `erc-select-ssl' has been renamed to
`erc-ssl' with `erc-select-ssl' as its alias.  The function that was
known as `erc' is now `erc-open'.

** Open query buffers by default when private messages are received.
The default value of `erc-auto-query' has been changed to 'bury.

** New command: /RECONNECT
This command tries to reconnect to the current IRC server exactly
once.  It does not work in server buffers (throws an error before the
command is run), but works in query and channel buffers.

** In MS-DOS environments, look for _ercrc.el rather than .ercrc.el.

** Fix buggy interaction with multi-tty Emacs.

** After running /QUIT, make sure that the IRC process is killed within
4 seconds.  Freenode, in particular, needs this at times.

** If the IRC process has not responded to our PINGs within a certain
time, kill it and restart the connection.  See
`erc-server-auto-reconnect', `erc-server-reconnect-attempts',
`erc-server-reconnect-timeout', `erc-server-send-ping-interval', and
`erc-server-send-ping-timeout' to fine-tune ERC's behavior.

** Avoid getting into an infinite connection loop.
Previously, this could happen if your nick was banned, you were using
Tor, incorrect information was entered, or the connection was bad.

** Make ban messages less confusing.

** Restore the point correctly when reconnecting to an IRC server.

** Make /IGNORE and /UNIGNORE prompt to determine whether their
argument is a user or a regexp.  This results in less-confusing
behavior when trying to ignore someone who has a bracket in their

** Make the default port "6667" rather than "ircd", because some
operating systems don't know what port "ircd" maps to.

** Fix several bugs in erc-iswitchb (C-c C-b).

** Clean up internal documentation.
Special thanks go to Juanma Barranquero for the thorough vetting of
ERC's internal documentation.

** Display a more informative message when a module is not found.

** Fix a bug where paths were being colored like IRC commands.

** In the customize interface for `erc-modules', add the name of the module.
This makes it easier to find modules by name.

** erc-server-send-ping-interval: Change to use a default of 30 seconds.

** Some files which are included with the release of ERC 5.2 will not
appear in the version of ERC that is bundled with Emacs 22.  These
extras files may be found at:

 o, or

** Renamed files

Several files were renamed so as to make them distinct to users of the
MS-DOS operating system.

 o erc-autojoin.el -> erc-join.el
 o erc-complete.el -> erc-hecomplete.el
 o erc-nickserv.el -> erc-services.el
 o ChangeLog.NNNN -> ChangeLog.NN

** Header line changes

*** Remove "[IRC]" from the header line.

*** Add the %l format character to `erc-header-line-format',

*** Document how to remove the header line.
Namely: (setq erc-header-line-format nil).

** New options

*** erc-server-reconnect-attempts: Determines the number of
reconnection attempts that ERC will make per server.

*** erc-server-reconnect-timeout: Determines the amount of time,
in seconds, that ERC will wait between successive reconnect attempts.

*** erc-server-send-ping-timeout: Determines when to consider a connection
stalled and restart it.  The default is after 120 seconds.

*** erc-system-name: Determines the system name to use when logging in.
The default is to figure this out by calling `system-name'.

** New face: `erc-my-nick-face'
This helps make it easier to distinguish messages sent by yourself
from messages sent by other users when the value of the variable
`erc-show-my-nick' is non-nil.

** Namespace changes

*** New macro: `erc-with-server-buffer'
Switches to the current ERC server buffer and runs some code.  If no
server buffer is available, return nil.  This is a useful way to
access variables in the server buffer.

*** New function: `erc-open-server-buffer-p'
Returns non-nil if the given buffer is an ERC server buffer that has
an open IRC process.

*** New function: `erc-format-lag-time'
Returns the estimated lag time to server, `erc-server-lag'.

*** Renamed items

 o `erc-server-setup-periodical-server-ping' is now

 o `erc-away-p' is now `erc-away-time'

** Changes to the ERC manual

*** New section: Sample Session.
Describes a sample ERC session for connecting to the #emacs channel on
Freenode.  Also mention the #erc channel.

*** New section: Special Features.
Describes some of the special features of ERC.

*** Getting Started: Mention ~/.emacs.d/.ercrc.el and the Customize

*** Development: Mention ErcDevelopment page on

*** Tips and Tricks: Remove empty section for now.

*** Options: Mention how to see available ERC options.

*** Sample Configuration: Add an example of how to configure ERC.

** New modules

*** Autoaway (erc-autoaway.el)

**** Make this much more reliable.

**** Avoid duplicate messages when coming back from being away.

**** Fix bug where autoaway was enabled just by loading the file.

*** BBDB (erc-bbdb.el)

**** Display information on how to cancel merging of info or how to
create a new John Doe record.

**** Make it so that information from /whois continues to come in, even
while prompting for a record to merge.

**** Make hitting C-g correctly abort merging the record.

*** Capab identify (erc-capab.el)
Mark users who haven't identified to NickServ on servers supporting

** Changes and additions to modules

*** Button (erc-button.el)

**** Make <backtab> go to the previous button.

*** Channel tracking (erc-track.el)

**** Use mouse-face and help-echo for channel names in the mode-line.
This helps people using a mouse know that they are buttons and can be
clicked on.

**** Fix issue where C-c C-SPC could conflict with user-defined keybindings.
This is accomplished by moving these bindings to their own global
minor mode.  Now the default is to check whether the user has bound
something to C-c C-SPC or C-c address@hidden  If they have, prompt them about
whether to really override that binding.  This also has the effect of
preventing ERC from clobbering rcirc's keybinding, unless this is
desired.  See `erc-track-enable-keybindings' for more details.

**** New option: erc-track-enable-keybindings.
Determine whether or not to enable the C-c C-SPC and C-c C-@
keybindings.  The default is to ask whether to do this if a binding to
these keys already exists.  It can also be set to t or nil to always
bind or never bind, respectively.

**** Remove `track-when-inactive' module.
See `erc-track-when-inactive' for further details.

**** New option: erc-track-when-inactive.
This option replaces the track-when-inactive module.  Set it to
non-nil to track activity even in visible buffers when inactive.  The
default is nil.

**** Remove the `track-modified-channels' alias for the `track' module.

*** DCC support (erc-dcc.el)

**** Add Usage section to Commentary.

**** Fix a bug in the server message output.

*** Filling (erc-fill.el)

**** Fix bug involving messages that start with one or more blank lines.

*** Identd (erc-identd.el)

**** New option `erc-identd-port'
Specifies the port to use if none is given as an argument to
`erc-identd-start'.  This is placed in the new customization group

**** New function: `erc-identd-quickstart'
Ignores any arguments and calls `erc-identd-start'.

*** Channel lists (erc-list.el)

**** Enable by default, except in the version of ERC bundled with Emacs 22.

*** Logging (erc-log.el)

**** Make sure filenames are safe to use before writing to them.

**** Save all log buffers when exiting Emacs.

**** erc-generate-log-file-name-function: Add option for
`erc-generate-log-file-name-network', which is a new function that
uses the network name rather than the server name when possible.

*** Menu (erc-menu.el)

**** Name the menu "ERC" instead of "IRC" to avoid confusion with rcirc
and other clients.

**** Make this into a proper module and load it by default.

**** Add "Current channel" submenu.

*** Networks (erc-networks.el)

**** Add support for Ars OpenIRC, LinuxChix, and OFTC networks.

**** Escape periods in Konfido.Net and Kewl.Org.

*** Internet services / Nickserv (erc-nickserv.el)

**** Add new 'both method for the `erc-nickserv-identify-mode' option
and make it the default.  This tries to do the right thing both when a
known nickserv message exists for an IRC network, and when it does

**** Support nickserv authentication on OFTC, Azzurra, Ars, and QuakeNet.

**** Support authentication on BitlBee.

**** Make source code easier to understand by using accessor functions.

*** Sound support (erc-sound.el)

**** Make this work with both Emacs 21 and Emacs 22.

*** Timestamps (erc-stamp.el)

**** Exclude the newline from the erc-timestamp field.

**** New function: `erc-toggle-timestamps'.
Toggles display of timestamps.

Michael Olson -- FSF Associate Member #652 --
Interests: Lisp, text markup, protocols -- Jabber:
  /` |\ | | | Projects: Emacs, Muse, ERC, EMMS, Planner, ErBot, DVC
 |_] | \| |_| Reclaim your digital rights by eliminating DRM.
      See for details.

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