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Protocol for SYnchronous Conferencing

PSYC is a flexible text-based protocol for delivery of data to a flexible amount of recipients or people, by unicast or multicast. It is primarily used for chat conferencing, presence, pubsub and instant messaging, but not limited to that. Existing systems can easily use PSYC, since PSYC hides its complexity from them. For example if an application wants to send data to one person or a group of people, it just needs to drop a few lines of text into a TCP connection or signed UDP packet to a static address. In other words: trivial.

The PSYC network resembles more the Web rather than IRC, which it once was inspired by. Each administrator of a machine on the Internet can install a PSYC server which has equal rights in the worldwide network. No hierarchies and no boundaries. The administrator then has the right to decide which rooms or people to host, without interfering with other PSYC servers. Should an administrator behave incorrectly towards her users, they will simply move on to a different server. Thus, administrators must behave to be a popular PSYC host for their friends and social network.

PSYC theory and protocol was first written down in 1995, version 1.0 of the software implementation will be released in 2004. The software has however been in productive use ever since 1997.

More information about PSYC to be found at http://psyc.pages.de

The reference implementation of PSYC is called PSYC MUVE and also implements the Jabber and IRC protocols for better integration into existing communication infrastructures.