path: root/doc
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authorFlorent Le Coz <>2013-11-27 00:43:37 +0100
committerFlorent Le Coz <>2013-11-28 01:18:26 +0100
commit3c5cdec1d11fc03899f7068279cf5430d274124c (patch)
treec158d2f89bf80b71cd9f94beecd40ca25039f0c3 /doc
parente6f20d3c0fd4ba8696a4410a366741c9b9f3562d (diff)
Add some documentation
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+.TH biboumi 1 2013-11-21
+\fBbiboumi\fR - XMPP gateway to IRC
+\fBbiboumi\fR [\fIconfig_filename\fR]
+Biboumi is an XMPP gateway that connects to IRC servers and translates
+between the two protocols. It can be used to access IRC channels using any
+XMPP client as if these channels were XMPP MUCs.
+Available options:
+Specify the file to read for configuration. See \fBCONFIG\fR section for
+more details on its content.
+The configuration file uses a simple format of the form
+\fB"option=value"\fR. Here is a description of each possible option:
+\fBhostname\fR (mandatory)
+The hostname served by the XMPP gateway. This domain must be configured in
+the XMPP server as an external component. See the manual for your XMPP
+server for more information.
+\fBpassword\fR (mandatory)
+The password used to authenticate the XMPP component to your XMPP server.
+This password must be configured in the XMPP server, associated with the
+external component on \fBhostname\fR.
+When started, biboumi connects, without encryption (see \fBSECURITY\fR), to
+the local XMPP server on the port \fI5347\fR and provides the configured
+password to authenticate. Biboumi then serves the configured
+\fIhostname\fR, this means that all XMPP stanza with a \fIto\fR JID on that
+domain will be sent to biboumi, and biboumi will send only send messages
+coming from this hostname.
+When an user joins an IRC channel on an IRC server (see \fBJoin an IRC
+channel\fR), biboumi connects to the remote IRC server, sets the user’s nick
+as requested, and then tries to join the specified channel. If the same
+user subsequently tries to connect to an other channel on the same server,
+the same IRC connection is used. If, however, an other user wants to join
+an IRC channel on that same IRC server, biboumi opens a new connection to
+that server. Biboumi connects once to each IRC server, for each user on it.
+.SS "Addressing"
+IRC entities are represented by XMPP JIDs. The domain part of the JID is
+the domain served by biboumi, and the local part depends on the concerned
+IRC channels and IRC users JIDs have a localpart formed like this: \fIname\fR,
+the '\fI%\fR' separator and the \fIirc_server\fR.
+For an IRC channel, the name starts with '\fI&\fR', '\fI#\fR', '\fI+\fR'
+or '\fI!\fR'. Some other gateway implementations, as well as some IRC
+clients, do not require them to be started by one of these characters,
+adding an implicit '\fI#\fR' in that case. Biboumi does not do that because
+this gets confusing when trying to understand the difference between
+\fIfoo\fR, \fI#foo\fR, and \fI##foo\fR.
+If the name starts with any other character, this represents an IRC user.
+.SS "Join an IRC channel"
+To join an IRC channel \fI#foo\fR on the IRC server \\fR,
+join the XMPP MUC \\fR.
+.SS "Channel messages"
+On XMPP, unlike on IRC, the displayed order of the messages is the same for
+all participants of a MUC. Biboumi can not however provide this feature, as
+it cannot know whether the IRC server has received and forwarded the
+messages to other users. This means that the order of the messages
+displayed in your XMPP may not be the same than the order on other IRC
+.SS "Nicknames"
+On IRC, nicknames are server-wide. This means that one user only has one
+single nickname at one given time on all the channels of a server. This is
+different from XMPP where an user can have a different nick on each MUC,
+even if these MUCs are on the same server.
+This means that the nick you choose when joining your first IRC channel on a
+given IRC server will be your nickname in all other channels that you join
+on that same IRC server.
+If you explicitely change your nickname on one channel, your nickname will
+be changed on all channels on the same server as well.
+.SS "Private messages"
+Private messages are handled differently on IRC and on XMPP. On IRC, you
+talk directly to one server-user: toto on the channel #foo is the same user
+than toto on the channel #bar (as long as these two channels are on the same
+IRC server). Using biboumi, there is no way to receive a message from a
+room participant (from a jid like \\fBnickname\fR).
+Instead, private messages are received from and sent to the user (using a
+jid like \fBnickname\\fR). For conveniance and
+compatibility with XMPP clients sending private messages to the MUC
+participants, a message sent to
+\\fR will be redirected to
+\\fR, although this is not the
+prefered way to do it.
+.SS "Notices"
+Notices are received exactly like private messages. It is not possible to
+send a notice.
+.SS "Kicks and bans"
+Kicks are transparently translated from one protocol to another. However
+banning an XMPP participant has no effect. To ban an user you need to set a
+mode +b on that user nick or host (see \fBMODES\fR) and then kick it.
+.SS "Encoding"
+On XMPP, the encoding is always \fIUTF-8\fR, whereas on IRC the encoding of
+each message can be anything.
+This means that biboumi has to convert everything coming from IRC into UTF-8
+without knowing the encoding of the received messages. To do so, it checks
+if each message is UTF-8 valid, if not it tries to convert from
+\fIiso_8859-1\fR (because this appears to be the most common case, at least
+on the channels I visit) to \fIUTF-8\fR. If that conversion fails at some
+point, a placeholder character '\f�\fR' is inserted to indicate this
+decoding error.
+Messages are always sent in UTF-8 over IRC, no conversion is done in that
+.SS "IRC modes"
+One feature that doesn’t exist on XMPP but does on IRC is the \fImodes\fR.
+Although some of these modes have a correspondance in the XMPP world (for
+example the \fI+o\fR mode on an user corresponds to the \fImoderator\fR role
+in XMPP), it is impossible to map all these modes to an XMPP feature. To
+circumvent this problem, biboumi provides a raw notification when modes are
+changed, and lets the user change the modes directly.
+To change modes, simply send a message starting with “\fB/mode\fR” followed
+by the modes and the arguments you want to send to the IRC server. For
+example “/mode +aho louiz”. Note that your XMPP client may
+inteprete messages begining with “/” like a command. To actually send a
+message starting with a slash, you may need to start your message with
+“//mode” or “/say /mode”, depending on your client.
+When a mode is changed, the user is notified by a message coming from the
+MUC bare JID, looking like “Mode #foo [+ov] [toto tutu]”. In addition, if
+the mode change can be translated to an XMPP feature, the user will be
+notified of this XMPP event as well. For example if a mode “+o toto” is
+received, then toto’s role will be changed to moderator. The mapping
+between IRC modes and XMPP features is as follow:
+.B +o
+Sets the participant’s role to \fImoderator\fR.
+.B +a
+Sets the participant’s role to \admin\fR.
+.B +v
+Sets the participant’s affiliation to \fImember\fR.
+Biboumi does not provide any encryption mechanism: connection to the XMPP
+server MUST be made on localhost. The XMPP server is not supposed to accept
+non-local connection from components, thus encryption is useless. IRC
+SSL/TLS is also not implemented although this could be useful for some
+users, this is however not a high priority feature.
+Biboumi also does not check if JIDs are properly formatted using nodeprep.
+This must be done by the XMPP server to which biboumi is directly connected.
+Written by Florent Le Coz