mIRC scripting language

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mIRC Scripting Language
Usual file extensions .mrc, .ini
Paradigm Event-driven programming, Functional Programming
Appeared in 1995 (1995)
Designed by Khaled Mardam-Bey
Developer Khaled Mardam-Bey
Typing discipline Dynamic typing
Major implementations mIRC
OS Microsoft Windows
License Proprietary software
Website http://mirc.com
File:MIRC scripts editor.png
mIRC scripts editor (built-in)

The mIRC scripting language, abbreviated as MSL, is the scripting language embedded in mIRC, a popular IRC client for Windows.


Primary uses

  • Channel and personal protection against any types of attacks (flooding, spamming, CTCP floods, etc)
  • Dialog windows can be created in mIRC to better serve user-compatibility.
    • Popular mIRC dialog extensions include MDX (Mirc Dialog Extension) and DCX (Dialog Control Extension) There are also a few versions of mdx.dll and dcx.dll modded by irc hackers.
  • Bots that provide automated IRC channel management, trivia or other games, and other desired functions for chatters
  • Commands that save typing or otherwise simplify life on IRC (such as automatically identifying as the owner of a nickname)

Script storage

Scripts are stored as either plain text files, usually with a .mrc file extension, or as INI files. They however can be stored with any extension. It can be: .exe, .script, etc. Multiple script files can be loaded at one time, although in some cases, one script will conflict with another and cause one or both of them to no longer work properly.

Language features

mIRC scripting involves a peculiar nomenclature that is not entirely consistent with most of the rest of the programming world. (Most notably, the term identifier—which in most languages refers to the name of a variable or function (whether it returns a value or not)—in mIRC refers specifically to a value returning function.)

  • Built-in functions are termed commands or, if they return a value, identifiers.
  • Custom scripted functions are called aliases. Aliases that return a value are known as custom identifiers. Both are called from the command line or other parts of a script in the same ways as built-in commands and identifiers (and can even supersede them).
  • Popups are scripted context menu items. Popups are called when they are selected by the user. The term originally referred to the menus—which pop up upon a right click. It is still used this way in the manual. But the user community (who tend not to read scripting manuals) took to calling the individual items popups—perhaps thinking of the colourful novelty actions that are popular with many users as pages of a popup book.
  • Remotes are event-handling scripts. Remotes are called when the event they handle occurs. (Rule #1 for remotes are, if the 1st script in your remotes does not work, then none of the ones after that will either, so delete it if it doesn't work)
  • All variables are dynamically typed.
  • mIRC scripts make use of sigils. Identifiers (whether custom or built-in) are preceded by $, binary variables are preceded by &, and other variables (whether local or global) are preceded by %. Commands and aliases are not preceded by any particular character (although when entered from a window's command line they must be preceded by the command prefix, usually /).

File handling

  • Scripts can read from and write to files [$read(file,[args]) | /write ]

The above is intended for singular access to the file. Because each time you issue $read or /write you open and close the file for access. Multiple accesses, during a loop for instance, is best handled through /fopen, /fwrite and /fclose. Since this opens the file only once. In some cases /filter and /savebuf is an even more efficient (non scripted loop) method.

  • Scripts can also copy and delete files. [/copy | /remove]

Binary variables

  • Contain unlimited (8192 bytes prior to mIRC 6.1) raw data
  • Globally accessible via commands and identifiers
  • Automatically unset when script returns control to mIRC (and not to another part of a script)
  • Prefixed with & (eg. &Variable)
  • Cannot be accessed other than by /bread and /bwrite, so these variables cannot be passed onto other parts of the script

Hash tables

  • May contain unlimited binary data or up to 4,150 (950 prior to mIRC 6.32) bytes of plain text. This limit is imposed by mIRC's scripting parser's own line length limitation (unless assigning a binary variable)
  • Globally accessible via commands and identifiers
  • Automatically unset when exiting mIRC as they are only stored in memory
  • Can be saved for later use
  • Not prefixed
  • Faster than accessing from a file, as hash tables are stored in memory rather than the hard disk
  • Size limited only by the computer's memory limits.
  • Allows any bucket size to be used

Global variables

  • May contain up to 4,150 (950 prior to mIRC 6.32) bytes of data including its name (however due to line-length limitations in mIRC's scripting parser, a maximum of 4,146 bytes can be assigned explicitly using /set or /var — this number decreasing as the variable's name grows longer)
  • Cannot store NUL (ASCII 0) or trailing spaces
  • Globally accessible
  • Do not automatically unset unless a switch is used (stored automatically in a mIRC initialization file)
  • Prefixed with % (eg. %Variable)
  • Created using the set command or var -g or %Variable = value notation

Local variables

  • May contain up to 4,150 (950 prior to mIRC 6.32) bytes of data including the variable name (however due to line-length limitations in mIRC's scripting parser, a maximum of 4,146 bytes can be assigned explicitly using the /set or /var commands — this number decreasing as the variable's name grows longer)
  • Can store NUL (ASCII 0) or trailing spaces
  • Are destroyed when the triggered alias or event ends
  • Prefixed with % (eg. %Variable)
  • Created using the var command. var is merely an internal alias for set -l but var poses the means to declare multiple local variables on a single line (e.g. var %a = 1, %b, %c = 2)


  • mIRC's scripting parser only supports a maximum of 4,150 (950 prior to mIRC 6.32) characters per line (not including newlines or indentation).
  • Strings are not syntactically enclosed, creating ambiguities in code where characters meant as literal strings are treated as part of the language's syntax.
  • Each line of code is broken down into a set of space-delimited tokens. As mIRC's parser does not support null tokens and the language doesn't provide a syntax to clearly differentiate literal strings from code; Prior to mIRC version 6.2 it was impossible to pass multiple consecutive spaces to any command or alias. However, this was fixed with the introduction of the returnex command which allows the preservation of spaces.

Code examples

The code below is in the remote scripts format. If placed into an alias file, the command names should not be preceded by the word "alias". Test Comments include the common /* comment */ and ;comment.

Here is an example of a Hello World alias:

;Defines the alias 'hello' in the remote script
;Note: if this is placed in an alias script, the 'alias' part must be removed (result: hello {)
;Usage: /hello
alias hello {
  ;Displays(/echo) 'Hello World!' into the active window(-a)
  echo -a Hello World!

Counting to 10:

alias ten {
  ;'%i' is locally set as 1
  var %i = 1
  ;The while loop continues until '%i' is greater than 10, then stops.
  while (%i <= 10) {
    ;Displays(/echo) '[value of %i]' into the active window(-a)
    ;'[value of %i]' will be 1 at the beginning of the execution.
    echo -a %i
    ;To continue the while loop, '%i' must be increased, or you'll
    ;have yourself an infinite loop (can be broken with Ctrl+Pause/Break)
    inc %i
    ;Don't forget to close the while loop scope.

A remote script event handler:

;Placed in a remote script.
;Literally: when any user joins #IRCHelp, message to the channel: Hello [nickname that joined]
on *:JOIN:#IRChelp: { msg $chan Hello $nick }
;To do this for any channel, the code would be:
on *:JOIN:#: { msg $chan Hello $nick }

A remote script to automatically respond to certain text

;Placed in a remote script
;When a user types Hello! in a channel, you answer back: Hello, [nickname]!
on *:TEXT:Hello!:#:{ msg $chan Hello, $nick $+ ! }
;When a user types Hello! in a private message, you answer back: Hello, [nickname]!
on *:TEXT:Hello!:?: { msg $nick Hello, $nick $+ ! }

Here is an example of picture windows:

alias cir {
;Create a picture (-p) window (@cir)
window -pek @cir
;Draw a circle (on window @cir) with color 4 (red), size of 50 at coordinates (200,200)
drawdot @cir 4 50 200 200

See also

External links

Template:IRC footerda:MIRC Scripting ko:MIRC 스크립트 it:MIRC scripting pt:MIRC script sv:Mirc#MSL (mIRC Scripting Language)

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