This document is still WIP, and should be treated as such. I'll do my best to keep it updated and accurate.
The following bibles shouldn't be ignored:
RFC 1459 by Jarkko Oikarinen and Darren Reed was the first about the Internet Relay Chat Protocol - http://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc1459.txt
RFC 2810 by Christophe Kalt updates RFC 1459 and describes the Architecture of the Internet Relay Chat - http://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc2810.txt
RFC 2811 by Christophe Kalt updates RFC 1459 and describes the Channel Management of the Internet Relay Chat - http://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc2811.txt
RFC 2812 by Christophe Kalt updates RFC 1459 and describes the Client Protocol of the Internet Relay Chat - http://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc2812.txt
RFC 2813 by Christophe Kalt updates RFC 1459 and describes the Server Protocol of the Internet Relay Chat - http://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc2813.txt
Also be sure to check the following links:
Among others, the objectives of this mini-HOWTO are:
Link important resources about IRC;
Avoid common misuses of IRC by writing an IRC Etiquette;
List popular clients, servers, bots, and bouncers, along with their maintainers, #channel, small description, download location, home page, and hints;
List IRC tools available in the latest release of all major distributions.
The latest version of this document is available at http://www.pervalidus.net/documentation/IRC-mini-HOWTO/
A WIP of the next draft may be available at http://www.pervalidus.net/documentation/IRC-mini-HOWTO/WIP/
All drafts are archived at http://www.pervalidus.net/documentation/IRC-mini-HOWTO/old/
Everything may be mirrored at http://www2.pervalidus.net/documentation/IRC-mini-HOWTO/
You can e-mail me (in English, French, or Portuguese) with suggestions about the mini-HOWTO. I know this is far from finished, but hope you find it useful. Just try to avoid asking me to add your application, distribution, or site. Most likely I won't, but you can try to persuade me. Also don't ask for technical support. I have no time to help everyone.
BTW, someone to work on the protocol and server sides would be very welcome.
Frédéric L. W. Meunier - http://www.pervalidus.net/contact.html