| The use of away nicks is highly discouraged.
The awaynick module has been retired from ZNC version 1.6. Use the simple_away module instead.
The appropriate way to set away status on IRC is to use the
AWAY command with a message.
/AWAY walking the dog * You have been marked as being away
Notice that the simple_away module can automatically set the away status on IRC when you are not connected to ZNC.
Meanwile you are marked as being away, the away message is visible in the
/WHOIS somebody ! somebody is firstname.lastname@example.org (Just somebody) ! somebody is on channels #znc ! somebody is away (walking the dog)
Some IRC clients also visualize the away status, for instance, in the list of channel users.
Depending on the IRC client, the away status can be removed by using the same
AWAY command without a message, or a
/AWAY (or /BACK) * You are no longer marked as being away
The use of away nick names is highly discouraged. It is impolite to pollute channels with constant nick name changes. Not everyone on every channel with you needs to know that you are somewhere away. Those who are interested, can check your away status as illustrated above.
Especially on larger channels, the spam created by nick name changes can become a serious problem that hinders the discussion. In some communities away nicks are considered so harmful that such users would get kicked or even banned from the channel.
In addition to being extremely unpopular and annoying concept, using away nicks has some practical disadvantages. For instance, other users cannot reach you by your normal nick. Unless they are on a channel with you, they cannot know that you have a temporary away nick. Furthermore, your normal nick becomes available to anyone else meanwhile you have a temporary away nick. In case someone took your normal nick name in use, you would not be able to reclaim the nick on networks without NickServ or similar services.
| Disclaimer: You have been warned.
The source code of the former awaynick module: awaynick.cpp