Remi Woler: The 10 rules to get support through IRC
Remi Woler has posted a useful article on getting support via IRC. Zend Framework has the #zftalk irc channel and I strongly recommend going through his points.
I especially liked point 4:
Ask a complete question, directed to anyone willing to answer (that is: don’t direct it to any person or group in particular). If someone knows and has time, they will respond. Why rule out people in advance, without even telling what your question is?
Also, I can only echo the comment about being patient in point 7!
Read the whole thing though and you’ll find that you get your answers from IRC with much less pain.