Specification Name

This specification is a work-in-progress and may have major incompatible changes without warning.

This specification may change at any time and we do not recommend implementing it in a production environment.

Copyright © Year Range (e.g. 2010-2016) Your Name <you@yourdomain.com>

Unlimited redistribution and modification of this document is allowed provided that the above copyright notice and this permission notice remains intact.

This is an example specification, which is intended to help you while writing a new proposal!

Feel free to use this as a rough guideline while writing up your specification. However, keep in mind that the sections here are not set in stone.

Also take a look at other specifications and the CONTRIBUTING.md file for further suggestions and information to keep in mind while writing a proposal.

Some notes:

Notes for implementing work-in-progress version

This is a work-in-progress specification.

Software implementing this work-in-progress specification MUST NOT use the unprefixed example-spec capability name. Instead, implementations SHOULD use the draft/example-spec capability name to be interoperable with other software implementing a compatible work-in-progress version.

The final version of the specification will use an unprefixed capability name.


This feature is intended to solve problem A, or provide a new feature B.

We’ve written this specification because of C.

In other words, this section contains a rough overview of why the spec exists, the new features you’re trying to provide and/or the issues you’re trying to solve. In other words, why other people should be motivated to implement it, and why you have been motivated to write it.

If this spec is intended for a certain audience (say, mostly bouncers or private servers, rather than normal public networks), feel free to mention it here. This gives spec readers an opportunity to think about whether this feature is right for their software and networks.


This specification introduces various capabilities, messages, numerics and tokens as necessary. This section (and subsections) describe exactly how those work, and define those new or extended caps/messages/numerics/tokens.

The following sections may be useful to present, as necessary:


New capabilities that this spec defines are listed here. If there are none, this section can be omitted.


New tags that this spec defines are listed here. If there are none, this section can be omitted.


New IRC messages (i.e. PRIVMSG/PING/CHGHOST) that this spec defines are listed here. If there are none, this section can be omitted.


New numerics that this spec defines are listed here. For example:

No. Label Format
001 RPL_WELCOME <client> :Welcome to the Internet Relay Network <nick>!<user>@<host>
002 RPL_YOURHOST <client> :Your host is <servername>, running version <version>

If there are no new numerics, this section can be omitted.


RPL_ISUPPORT tokens that this spec defines are listed here. If there are none, this section can be omitted.


Examples of this spec in action, for software authors to compare their implementation to.

For example:

S: 300 dan asdf :Box created

If there are multiple clients, you may find it useful to give a short description of what the example represents and use the following format instead:

C1 - C: @draft/label=abc PRIVMSG nick :Hello
C1 - S: @draft/label=abc;draft/msgid=9tohry :dan!d@ PRIVMSG nick :Hello

C2 - S: @draft/msgid=9tohry :dan!d@ PRIVMSG nick :Hello

Where C1 - refers to the client/server-sent messages on C1’s connection, and C2 - refers to the same thing on C2’s connection.

Implementation Considerations

This section notes specific things software authors will need to look out for and/or check while implementing your specification. The following introduction may be useful here:

This section notes considerations software authors will need to take into account while implementing this specification. This section is non-normative.

Note: Non-normative means that implementations aren’t bound to follow the words in this section. As well, where the words in this section and normative sections conflict, implementations should follow the normative section. Unless you say otherwise, all text in your specification is considered normative.

Where there aren’t any implementation considerations, this section can be omitted.

Security Considerations

New features may have security-specific considerations that authors should take note of while implementing your specification. This section lists those considerations in one place, so implementors can look over them.

You must think about whether there are any security considerations for your spec. If no security considerations exist, this section can be omitted.


Sometimes, specifications have alternate solutions already out there and being used, or there are alternate proposals which cover roughly the same features and fixes. This section can be used to list those alternate proposals and features, note why they have not been used instead, and why this spec is better than them.

In a large number of cases, this section can be omitted.