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DOM IRC Channels

There are 2 DOM-related IRC channels:

  • #content: For DOM-related technical discussion, questions, and general discussion by those interested in the DOM. Most Mozilla Corporation DOM team engineers maintain a presence in this channel so that they can answer questions, engage in and be aware of technical discussion, and informally chat. Note: You do not need to a be a MoCo engineer to hang out in this channel; the channel is open to everyone!
  • #content-watercooler: A strictly optional channel created out of recognition that for potential, new, and even experienced contributors, it can be intimidating to ask questions on #content where there are so many people. The expectation is that those reading the channel are doing so because they want to chat and/or would like to help answer questions.
    • Any topic that is okay here is also okay in #content. The intent of this channel is to be less intimidating, not as a place to send off-topic discussion. (It is okay to discuss the movie you just saw in #content!)
    • When discussion in this channel touches on DOM-related technical topics that are of broad interest or involve implementation discussion, participants may say "let's take this to #content" to avoid #content-watercooler becoming a second #content where everyone has to monitor both channels.

If you need info on how to connect to Mozilla's IRC service to access these great channels, please see

Impromptu Office Hours in #content

A problem that no amount of IRC channels can fix is that sometimes people aren't available to answer questions. We're trying out impromptu "office hours" where:

  • A person who feels comfortable answering questions about parts of the DOM code base decides they have some time (~1hr) where they can answer questions on IRC and possibly in a videoconferencing hangout at the same time.
  • The person will update the IRC topic for #content to indicate:
    • Who is answering questions and when.
    • Any specific topics they feel proficient in. (No one knows everything!)
    • Any videoconferencing link to use as a supplement to IRC. (Frequently it's easier to reach a shared understanding over videoconferencing, especially when screen-sharing is available.)
  • When the office hours are over, the person will reset the IRC topic.

Specific Steps

  • Specifying when.
    • The simplest, tersest option is to just say when in your local timezone and leave it up to people to figure out what that means themselves.
    • Alternately, there are a number of services out there that create useful pages via URL that you could link to, possibly passing it through a link shortener in the interest of not overflowing the topic. Here are some you could try:
      • Start with the URL and modify "iso" to be today's date like "20180101" (for january first) with "T<24hour>" appended in the local timezone of the location you're going to use. So for 4pm you'd use "T16" and for 4am you'd use "T4". The "ah" is the duration in hours, the "am" is the duration in minutes. The "p1" is the place code. Common Mozilla time-zones:
        • San Francisco, CA, US (SFO): 224
        • Toronto, ON, CA (YYZ): 250
        • London, UK (LHR): 136
        • Berlin, DE: 37
        • Taipei, TW: 241
        • Tokyo, JA: 248
        • Melbourne, AU: 152
        • Auckland, NZ: 22
      • (Other people add stuff here or replace the above if you've got a better option.)
  • Creating the topic message.
  • Setting the channel topic message.
    • An op or other fancy IRC person needs to set the topic.
      • If you are an established member of the IRC channel and can commit to not abusing IRC powers, you can ask :smaug on #content to make you an op. Note that your IRC login will need to be password-protected.
      • If you aren't quite there yet, you can ask one of the ops in the channel to set the topic for you.
    • The IRC command to set the topic is /topic #content ...
      • So to set the topic to "No, this is not the right topic to use", you'd type: /topic #content No, this is not the right topic to use