When you press Join Snak will attempt to connect to the IRC server and join
the channel. To do so it uses the information in a connection profile. A profile
contains the chosen servers, the nickname to use when connecting and any optional
actions to take when the connection is successfully opened.
Snak comes with several predefined profiles that can be inspected or edited from
the profile list (Cmd-K). This list also shows the connection status so you can
see when you are online.
When Snak connects to the IRC server it will open channel panels for the selected
channels, and optionally a server message panel where you can see the progress
of the connection. You can only send and receive messages when the connection
is fully open. The connection is fully open when its icon in the profile list
looks like this:
The main window
If the IRC server accepted the connection, and let you join the channel, the
channel panel starts filling up with information. In this picture you are a
member of the macintosh and Beginner channels. Macintosh is the active channel
and there are 298 unread messaged in the Beginner channel.
Congratulations : You are now successfully using IRC and can chat with people
from around the world :-)
Because Snak can be configured in many different ways your windows may look
different from this. In the picture above you see the user list to the right
of the main text area, and the input field below. Under the user list you see
the command buttons with a divider bar. The divider bar can be dragged up or
down to resize the area for the command buttons. The command buttons can be
deleted or edited in the Customize... item under the tools menu. The command
buttons are enabled when there is a selection in the user list.
The picture also show Snak in its shared windows mode, using stacked panels
for the multiple channels, consoles and queries that inhabit the same window.
Above the text area you see three buttons, one for the server message panel
and two for the channels "#macintosh" and "#beginner". To
switch to the server message panel click the button with the profile name, and
click a channel button to go back to one of the channels.
When text comes into an inactive channel, a badge is added to the channel button
with a number that tells the number of unread messages. If you have a highlight
action set up to highlight some text in a particular color, this action will
also change the background color of the badge. That way you can easily see if
something interesting happens in an inactive channel. If you hover the mouse
over the button for a few seconds, a help tag will come up and you can see the
last unread message in the associated channel without having to switch to it.
If you prefer to have everything in a separate window you can drag the panels
out of the shared window by clicking and dragging in the gripper area in the
left side of the topic bar. The gripper area is the dots to the left of the
"pop:64" which indicates how many channel members there are.
The next picture is an example of a window that is not shared. You can turn
off the shared window mode in the window panel in the preferences. That will
make new panels get a window of their own, but you can still manually collect
multiple panels in a window.
The picture also show how you can have the user list showing or not. Cmd-U
toggles the user list on and off.
The main text area is where Snak display the incoming messages and the nickname
of the sender.
It's divided into the nick column, which makes up the left part of the main
text area, and the message area that takes up the rest of the space. The text
is indented under the nicks, and you can adjust width of the nick column by
dragging the divider. The display of the nicks can be changed to other formats
including the old style <nick> format.
Some networks allow very long nicknames, but by default Snak will truncate
the nicks to fit the nick column width. If you want to see the full nick go
to the Messages panel of the preferences window and
uncheck the "Truncate nicks" setting.
Instead of having a user list in each window, you can move the user list out
into its own separate window so that there is only one shared list. It will
then show the contents of the active channel. This is controlled from the Window
preference panel. Likewise, the input field can also be placed in its own
floating window instead of being integrated in each window.
The advantage of having an integrated input field is that the problem of misdirected
messages is much reduced. If you have a floating input window you need to make
sure that you have selected the right channel before you press Enter to send
the message. If the input field is integrated then it belongs to a particular
window and there isnt any doubt where the message is going.
There are two different shared views: the stacked version as shown above,
and tiled view as shown below. The tiled version displays all the channels,
consoles and queries at the same time, but each get less space. This setting
is also controlled from the Windows preference panel.
You should now be able to start chatting and meet people online. Snak has many
useful and helpful features so I'd recommend that you continue reading the rest
of the manual. Enjoy yourself on IRC and thanks for using Snak.