If you want to ask a question on IRC, NEVER DO THIS:
<someguy> wwoods: ping
What’s gonna happen if I’m not there? An hour later when I get back to IRC, all I know is – you wanted something. I have no idea what. So then all I can do is ping you back, and if you’re not around, then we have to keep sending pings back and forth until we’re both online at the same time.
An empty “ping” is the same as saying “Can I ask a question?” You just did. Just ask the question.
<someguy> wwoods: ping - what's that blue thing doing there?
Now when I get back to IRC, I can actually answer your question immediately. And if I’m online you’ll get your answer right then – no need to spend the extra network roundtrip on a useless ping/pong.
Ping with data – ask the question, mention what you wanted to talk about, whatever. Just don’t send empty pings. It’s a waste of time.
This has been an Unwelcome IRC Etiquette™ lesson
© 2009 Surly Fedora QA Guy Enterprises, Inc. All wrongs reversed.