Jesse Luehrs

hacker school, day 1

So I’m finally starting Hacker School. Today was partly an orientation day, and I spent a while meeting people and stuff, but eventually settled down to work.

For my first project, I decided to work on an IRC bouncer in Rust. I’ve wanted a decent IRC bouncer for a while - I’m currently using ZNC, which is the only really usable one I’ve found, but it doesn’t really handle disconnection well. I’d like to be able to just close my laptop and go, and actually get all of the messages I missed when I open it back up. The problem is that if you don’t explicitly disconnect the IRC client, the bouncer has no way of knowing when you stopped receiving messages, so messages in that timeout window tend to just get dropped, which makes it quite difficult to keep up with conversations.

The solution I’m going to try is to split the bouncer into two parts, a client and a server. The server still runs as usual, but you run a bouncer client locally, and that is what you connect to with your IRC client. The bouncer client then talks to the bouncer server using a different protocol which allows you to sync unread messages reliably.

The first problem that I ran into is that there doesn’t appear to be a fully-featured IRC library for Rust yet (in particular, one that can handle being a server as well as a client), so… the first step is obviously to write one! I’ve done this before in Lua, so I don’t think this should be an insurmountable obstacle. We’ll see how accurate that assessment is this week, I suppose.