With many thousands of channels on freenode and more being registered all the time, a good way to search for channels of interest to you is useful.
alis, a network service designed for exactly that purpose.
At the most simple, you can use
/msg alis LIST *searchterm* to find channels
whose name contains the term in question - for instance,
/msg alis LIST
You can also search on the channel's current topic, require a minimum number of
users (to weed out barely-used channels), and use various wildcards to control
your search - for instance,
/msg alis LIST #freenode* -min 10 would find all
channels in the freenode namespace with at least 10 users.
For full details on how to use alis,
/msg alis HELP LIST will send you back
the following help text:
***** alis Help ***** Help for LIST: LIST gives a list of channels matching the pattern, modified by the other options. Syntax: LIST <pattern> [options] Options are: -min <n>: show only channels with at least <n> users -max <n>: show only channels with at most <n> users -skip <n>: skip first <n> matches -show [m][t]: show modes/topicsetter -mode <+|-|=><modes>: modes set/unset/equal -topic <pattern>: topic matches pattern -showsecret: show secret channels (requires chan:auspex) The pattern can contain * and ? wildcards. The pattern has to match the full channel name or a full topic, depending on where it is used; the wildcards are important. The pattern is also automatically surrounded by * wildcards if a channel name pattern does not start with a wildcard or a #, or a topic pattern contains no * wildcards. For example, for channel names, from most to least specific: ?bar - any character followed by "bar" with no other characters #bar* - anything starting with "#bar" ##*bar* - anything starting with ## and containing "bar" *cows*moo* - anything containing "cows", 0 or more characters, and "moo" *bar* - anything containing "bar" (equivalent to "bar") Examples: /msg alis LIST searchterm /msg alis LIST * -topic multiple*ordered*search*terms /msg alis LIST * -min 50 /msg alis LIST #foo* /msg alis LIST #foo* -mode =n /msg alis LIST *freetopic* -mode -t -show mt /msg alis LIST ##nocolors* -mode +c -show t ***** End of Help *****
An alternative method to search is to do so via the web, using netsplit.de.