Weechat, Irssi's Little Brother
It may not be fair to call Weechat the little brother of Irssi, but in my short introduction to it, that's what it felt like. If Weechat didn't seem quite as powerful as Irssi to me, I definitely can say that it is better-looking out of the box. So, little brother has one thing going for him!
The other day, I was tweeting with Janne Jokitalo about the sorts of things two nerds tweet about: command-line editors and command-line chat clients. I mentioned Irssi in a screen, and he mentioned Weechat. I'm glad he did! Right out of the box, Weechat does some things I've never been able to get Irssi to do well. First off, it has a list of users docked to the right side of the terminal (Figure 1). I always liked that feature in the GUI client X-Chat, but I couldn't get it to work well in Irssi. I also think the look and feel is far more friendly than that of Irssi. Yes, with the help of Kyle Rankin, I've been able to tweak Irssi into the perfect chatting machine, but Weechat seems to have a more gentle learning curve.
Figure 1. The Linux Journal IRC bot works in Weechat, so I was happy.
It supports IRC and Jabber right now, but the Web site claims more protocols are coming. Weechat is probably already in your distro's repository, so install it, and give it a whirl. You'll get all the geek creed of Irssi with some fancy interface additions! Due to its focus on usability and its roots in hard-core nerd-dom on the command line, Weechat is this month's Editors' Choice selection. Check it out at http://www.weechat.org.
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