These are the specifications which make up modern IRC, and the extensions that the IRCv3 WG have defined.
The IRCv3 Working Group is chartered to prototype, develop and test changes to the IRC client protocol.
These are questions about IRC and the IRCv3 Working Group that we get asked regularly, and our answers.
If you’re just getting started with IRC development, the first thing to look at would be the IRC core specifications
RFC2812. One of our members has also been writing a new core protocol document here, which you may find useful to consult. After that, our specifications page contains the extensions the IRCv3 Working Group has developed.
All of the IRCv3 extensions are backwards-compatible with older IRC clients, and older IRC servers. Our roadmap details the specifications we have in the pipeline, and our GitHub repository is where most of our specification work is done.
For any other questions, feel free to consult our FAQ page which contains all sorts of info about us and what we do.
If you’re interested in talking with us, our discussion channel is #ircv3 on Freenode [webchat].
- Standardised account login using SASL to speed up registration and authentication. [3.1] [3.2]
- Providing the account information of other clients for the development of more advanced client features.   
- Optional metadata able to be attached to each message for easier, standardised extension development. [link]
- Instant away notifications, to let users know when other users go away or come back more quickly. [link]
- Showing the actual time a message was received, improving history playback from IRC bouncers. [link]
- Grouping related messages to simplify collapsing and display of those messages to users. [link]
What We’re Working On
- Standardised account registration and verification, allowing clients to provide better interfaces for end users. [link]
- Giving clients a standardised way to recognise, access and view chat history (provided by bouncers or servers). [link]
- Providing a mechanism to allow clients to automatically detect, move to, and keep using secure connections. [link]
- Allowing Unicode nicknames and channel names, improving the chat experience for international users. [link]
- Client avatars for display in graphical clients.