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.Dd March  8, 2020
.Dt HOW-IRC 7
.Os "Causal Agency"
.
.Sh NAME
.Nm How I Relay Chat
.Nd in code
.
.Sh DESCRIPTION
I've been writing a lot of IRC software lately
.Pq Sx SEE ALSO ,
and developed some nice code patterns
that I've been reusing.
Here they are.
.
.Ss Parsing
I use fixed size buffers almost everywhere,
so it's necessary to know IRC's size limits.
A traditional IRC message is a maximum of 512 bytes,
but the IRCv3 message-tags spec adds
(unreasonably, in my opinion)
8191 bytes for tags.
IRC messages also have a maximum of 15 command parameters.
.Bd -literal -offset indent
enum { MessageCap = 8191 + 512 };
enum { ParamCap = 15 };
.Ed
.
.Pp
If I'm using tags,
I'll use X macros
to declare the set I care about.
X macros are a way of maintaining parallel arrays,
or in this case an enum and an array.
.Bd -literal -offset indent
#define ENUM_TAG \e
	X("msgid", TagMsgid) \e
	X("time", TagTime)

enum Tag {
#define X(name, id) id,
	ENUM_TAG
#undef X
	TagCap,
};

static const char *TagNames[TagCap] = {
#define X(name, id) [id] = name,
	ENUM_TAG
#undef X
};
.Ed
.
.Pp
The TagNames array is used by the parsing function
to assign tag values into the message structure,
which looks like this:
.Bd -literal -offset indent
struct Message {
	char *tags[TagCap];
	char *nick;
	char *user;
	char *host;
	char *cmd;
	char *params[ParamCap];
};
.Ed
.
.Pp
I'm a fan of using
.Xr strsep 3
for simple parsing.
Although it modifies its input
(replacing delimiters with NUL terminators),
since the raw message is in a static buffer,
it is ideal for so-called zero-copy parsing.
I'm not going to include the whole parsing function here,
but I will at least include the part that many get wrong,
which is dealing with the colon-prefixed trailing parameter:
.Bd -literal -offset indent
msg.cmd = strsep(&line, " ");
for (int i = 0; line && i < ParamCap; ++i) {
	if (line[0] == ':') {
		msg.params[i] = &line[1];
		break;
	}
	msg.params[i] = strsep(&line, " ");
}
.Ed
.
.Ss Handling
To handle IRC commands and replies
I add handler functions to a big array.
I usually have some form of helper as well
to check the number of expected parameters.
.Bd -literal -offset indent
typedef void HandlerFn(struct Message *msg);

static const struct Handler {
	const char *cmd;
	HandlerFn *fn;
} Handlers[] = {
	{ "001", handleReplyWelcome },
	{ "PING", handlePing },
	{ "PRIVMSG", handlePrivmsg },
};
.Ed
.
.Pp
Since I keep these arrays sorted anyway,
I started using the standard
.Xr bsearch 3
function,
but a basic for loop probably works just as well.
I do wish I could compile-time assert
that the array really is sorted, though.
.Bd -literal -offset indent
static int compar(const void *cmd, const void *_handler) {
	const struct Handler *handler = _handler;
	return strcmp(cmd, handler->cmd);
}

void handle(struct Message msg) {
	if (!msg.cmd) return;
	const struct Handler *handler = bsearch(
		msg.cmd,
		Handlers, ARRAY_LEN(Handlers),
		sizeof(*handler), compar
	);
	if (handler) handler->fn(&msg);
}
.Ed
.
.Ss Capabilities
For IRCv3 capabilties
I use X macros again,
this time with another handy macro
for declaring bit flag enums.
.Bd -literal -offset indent
#define BIT(x) x##Bit, x = 1 << x##Bit, x##Bit_ = x##Bit

#define ENUM_CAP \e
	X("message-tags", CapMessageTags) \e
	X("sasl", CapSASL) \e
	X("server-time", CapServerTime)

enum Cap {
#define X(name, id) BIT(id),
	ENUM_CAP
#undef X
};

static const char *CapNames[] = {
#define X(name, id) [id##Bit] = name,
	ENUM_CAP
#undef X
};
.Ed
.
.Pp
The
.Fn BIT
macro declares, for example,
.Dv CapSASL
as the bit flag and
.Dv CapSASLBit
as the corresponding index.
The
.Vt "enum Cap"
is used as a set,
for example checking if SASL is enabled with
.Ql caps & CapSASL .
.
.Pp
These patterns are serving my IRC software well,
and my IRC projects are serving me well.
It is immensely satisfying
to be (near) constantly using software
that I wrote myself and am happy with,
regardless of how niche it may be.
.
.Sh SEE ALSO
.Bl -item -compact
.It
.Lk https://git.causal.agency/pounce/about "IRC bouncer"
.It
.Lk https://git.causal.agency/litterbox/about "IRC logger"
.It
.Lk https://git.causal.agency/catgirl/about "IRC client"
.El
.
.Sh AUTHORS
.An June Bug Aq Mt june@causal.agency