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Smuxi 0.7.2.1 is out, extends CTCP support & adds ignore filters

Smuxi, the “Smart MUltipleXed” IRC client was updated to version 0.7.2.1 on Friday.

The new version contains 13 new features, fixes 29 bugs and is now available in 4 new languages – Portuguese, Danish, Finnish and Catalan, of which the latter two are currently only partially translated. Six already existing translations have been updated and project lead meebey asks interested parties to contribute and further improve them.

Interesting new features include the freshly added linemarker which inserts a red line where you last looked into the channel, a private message window or the Twitter tab – see the below screenshot:

Smuxi 0.7.2 Main Window on Linux

Smuxi 0.7.2 Main Window on Linux

Even more interesting is the new filter capability this release introduces: You now can ignore events and messages using both regular expressions as well as wildcards, giving you quite a bit of flexibility on which events you’d like to dismiss.

Smuxi 0.7.2 Filter Preferences on Linux

Smuxi 0.7.2 Filter Preferences on Linux

The titlebar of the client has gotten some work too and now shows activewindowname @ network – programname which is useful if you want to see at a glance where the text you’re typing is going to – who didn’t post or paste something into the totally wrong window at the most inappropiate time yet?

CTCP support has been expanded too and the client now replies to CTCP TIME, CTCP FINGER and CTCP USERINFO. Probably of more practical use is the new logging function – currently Smuxi can log to file and uses a logformat that is almost similar to the one of irssi – besides the timestamp which prepended to entries in full.

For the future, more logging backends are planned and may include “SQLite, MySQL, PostgreSQL and such” says developer meebey. Also on the roadmap for a 0.8 release is a plugin architecture but it “remains to be seen” which features this will support.

The complete list of changes, additions and fixes can be found in the 0.7.2 roadmap and if you got curious you can grab the download for Windows and Linux from here.

Thanks for the tip and the pictures go to meebey himself! ;)

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IRC Statistics Software Comparison

Today we shall have a look at the various possibilities available for statistics of activity on IRC, should you decide you want to have some pretty graphs detailing the happenings in a channel or on a whole network.

Most programs presented in this article parse logfiles generated by a variety of IRC clients, with the exception of phpDenora/Denora which needs to be run as a network service to gather its stats. However, both solutions can supplement one another as one may gather and display information that the other does or even can not.

All screenshots show results generated from the same logfile so you can directly compare the output of each software – only the output of phpDenora is taken from a live network and does not represent the numbers shown in the other screenshots. Also, it should be noted that all programs have been tested in their default configuration and most provide a host of options that may output even more detailed and fancier statistics so YMMV.

mIRCStats

Language: Pascal
License: Shareware (Full Version starting from 12$/€)
Type: Log-parser
Logformats: irssi, mIRC, Trillian, Eggdrop, irssi, HydraIRC, ircle, BNC, miau, Winbot, XChat
Output: HTML
Support: Forum

mIRCStats IRC Statistics

mIRCStats IRC Statistics

mIRCStats IRC Statistics

mIRCStats IRC Statistics

mIRCStats IRC Statistics

mIRCStats IRC Statistics

mIRCStats IRC Statistics

mIRCStats IRC Statistics

mIRCStats is one of the older and more well-known packages out there but also the only one in this comparison that is licensed as shareware. However, with paying you get access to even more advanced output and graphing options and put food on the developers table :)

The statistics it outputs leave nothing to be desired, not even in the shareware version. mIRCStats supports a wide variety of IRC clients it can parse logs from and adding new parsers is trivial – just edit a textfile that defines how certain events “look” in the log. There even is an option to automatically upload the generated files via FTP to a server of your choice so the statistics will always be up-to-date.

One downside of mIRCStats is that it is a Windows-only program which means you’ll need an always-on Windows machine that will parse the log and generate the stats if you plan on periodic updates of your stats.

pisg (Perl IRC Statistics Generator)

Language: Perl
License: GPL
Type: Log-parser
Logformats: XChat, mIRC, Eggdrop, BitchX, irssi, virc98, dancer, Trillian, Grufti, mbot, Winbot, zcbot, muh, Energymech, ircII, psyBNC, ircle, infobot, axur, bobot++, oer, perlbot, Vision, pircbot, KVIrc, HydraIRC, sirc, moobot, supybot, blootbot, dircproxy, Konversation
Output: HTML
Support: #pisg

pisg IRC Statistics

pisg IRC Statistics

pisg IRC Statistics

pisg IRC Statistics

pisg IRC Statistics

pisg IRC Statistics

pisg also is a logfile parser and, as the acronym suggests, is written in Perl which makes it multiplatform / multiOS.

The statistics it generates in its default configuration are detailed but beyond that pisg is very extendable and provides many options to further customize the output and statistics parsed and graphed by it – the documentation explains most if not all possible settings in detail. If you are using a client whose logformat is not in its extensive list of supported and supplied parsers you can create your own provided you have some knowledge of regular expressions.

With pisg, the parsing of logfiles can be automated by adding the command to cron or Task Scheduler and if you want to generate statistics for multiple channels you can easily do so by configuring it via its config-file instead of passing commandline arguments to the executable.

risg (Ruby IRC Statistics Generator)

Language: Ruby
License: MIT
Type: Log-parser
Logformats: irssi
Output: HTML, XML, Console
Support: #risg

risg IRC Statistics

risg IRC Statistics

risg IRC Statistics

risg IRC Statistics

risg IRC Statistics

risg IRC Statistics

risg, short for “Ruby IRC Statistics Generator”, also is a multiplatform / multiOS logfile parsing statistics generator programmed in Ruby.

Currently it only parses logfiles that are in irssis’ default format however parser-support is modular and one could create his own parser based on the supplied one for irssi.

Statistics graphed by risg are a bit plain and not as detailed as they could be, but given the low version number and the fact that the software still is considered to be in an “experimental stage of development” things might as well change in the future. The lack of documentation besides a basic setup and usage guide is probably also attributable to the early stage the software is in but all in all risg has potential.

Being a commandline-driven program, risgs’ statistics generation can be automated and its output can be modified, used and mangled limited only by its users imagination.

superseriousstats

Language: PHP
License: BSD
Type: Log-parser
Logformats: Eggdrop, irssi, mIRC
Output: HTML, MySQL
Support: #sss-support

SuperSeriousStats IRC Statistics

SuperSeriousStats IRC Statistics

SuperSeriousStats IRC Statistics

SuperSeriousStats IRC Statistics

SuperSeriousStats IRC Statistics

SuperSeriousStats IRC Statistics

SuperSeriousStats IRC Statistics

SuperSeriousStats IRC Statistics

SuperSeriousStats IRC Statistics

SuperSeriousStats IRC Statistics

superseriousstats is of the “logfile parsing” variety too but, to add another programming language to the mix, is written entirely in PHP. It uses a MySQL database for data storage which opens up quite a few possibilities on how and where you can use it besides the full statistics website.

The graphs and statistics sss generates aren’t overly fancy (did you expect anything else from software that calls itself “serious”?) but some customization options are provided so you can still tweak and fiddle with them. As with the previous packages, superseriousstats is to be used from the commandline and can be executed with any scheduling daemon  – provided you have a recent version of PHP installed on the platform of your choice.

Extending the number of logformats / clients supported is just a matter of creating an appropiate parser for which you’d need to have at least a basic understanding of regular expressions.

Denora / phpDenora

Language: C / PHP
License: GPL
Type: Network Service
Logformats: -
Output: HTML, XML, MySQL
Support: #denora

phpDenora IRC Statistics

phpDenora IRC Statistics

phpDenora IRC Statistics

phpDenora IRC Statistics

phpDenora IRC Statistics

phpDenora IRC Statistics

phpDenora IRC Statistics

phpDenora IRC Statistics

phpDenora IRC Statistics

phpDenora IRC Statistics

phpDenora IRC Statistics

phpDenora IRC Statistics

The combination of Denora and phpDenora is unique in that it is the only package in this comparison that must be run as a network service to gather its statistics.

The upside of this is that it can gather statistics and details the other packages can’t provide but on the flipside also means that you will need to have access to the IRC networks configuration or convince one of the admins to install it for you – otherwise you’re out of luck.

The statistics and graphs phpDenora displays are multifaceted & good-looking and due it being a network service it displays statistics for the whole network, not just one or a few channels. Denora introduces StatServ, a pseudoclient like NickServ, to the network that is able to display a selection of statistics in channel messages or notices to you.

Data parsed by Denora is available in a MySQL database or XML which makes it an ideal candidate for modeling the output your way. It should be noted that the successor for phpDenora, called MagIRC, is already in the works but is not anywhere near production-ready and therefore not suitable for most IRC nets.

Verdict:

All solutions generate useful and appealing results – one maybe a bit more than the other but in the end it’s all a matter of taste and largely depends on what you want to achieve.

If you’re looking to customize the output or scope of the graphs you should definately pick the solution that is written in the language you’re already familiar with or comfortable to learn.

What do you use to provide statistics on your network or channel?

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Konversation Bugfix Release 1.3.1

The KDE IRC client Konversation pushed out a bugfix release shortly after its 1.3 milestone which brought support for DCC Whiteboard, a collaborative drawing extension.

According to their announcement, this minor release brings quite a few bugfixes and also reverts a regression that causes “data corruption or even loss of Watched Nicknames Online lists on application quit”.

Another thing to take note of is the improvement of RFC 1459 PING/PONG handling which might have caused users of bouncers to flood the IRCd when they attach to the same connection multiple times, possibly resulting in them getting kicked off of the network.

Konversation also moved their VCS repository again – to a self-hosted solution which is the second move after migrating to Gitorious.org. Setting up their own platform was necessary after it became clear that they couldn’t reach an agreement with Gitorious’ company Shortcut AS.

For the full announcement including all changes and bugfixes in Konversation 1.3.1 click here.

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KVIrc 4.0.0 "Insomnia" is available for download

The KVIrc project just announced the final version in the new stable branch of their IRC client, KVIrc 4.0.0 “Insomnia”.

2 months after the latest release candidate and more than 500 bugfixes from the bugtracker alone this new version now depends on Qt4 of which the developers say is “a great framework to base KVIrc on, far better than Qt3″.

Noteable changes from the last stable, KVIrc 3.4.2, are added support for server extensions such as CAPs, SASL, STARTTLS and services packages. DCC support has been enhanced with UPnP which automatically opens ports in routers so you don’t need to worry about proper port-forwarding anymore.

Compatability with various operating systems such as Mac OS X, Windows 7 and KDE4 has been improved and the “totally rewritten” MDI subsystem allows for a clean integration with your OS, adapting to the look and feel you’re used to.

Scripters will find a plethora of changes and additions and a visual class editor has been added to ease the development of custom scripts. KVIrcs support for user avatars has been improved too – now you can have animated avatars and getting the avatar from one person doesn’t require to CTCP the whole channel anymore.

An interesting addition in 4.0.0 is the ability to have a video chat over DCC – but other nice-to-have improvements made it into this release too: A graphical addon-manager, an improved and rewritten bandwidth monitor and direct media playback using the Phonon library – just to name a few.

If you got curious and would like to try out the new KVIrc 4.0.0 stable, you can find the download (currently sourcecode only) here and to read the full announcement click here.

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XChat 2.8.8 is available for download

Peter “zed” Železný, the author of the popular GPL’d XChat IRC client announced that a new version of it is available for download.

XChat 2.8.8 adds a whole host of bugfixes and stability improvements to the already pretty stable IRC client. Users of the freenode IRC network may find a particular bugfix that works around a problem with auto-joining keyed channels on ircd-seven interesting.

The default server list has been expanded with the addition of 4 new networks and the tray icon notifying of new messages, highlights and such has seen a refresh. Growl-style notifications can now be set to be shown for a certain length using the /set input_balloon_time option.

XChat 2.8.8 New icon & Growl-style notification

XChat 2.8.8 New icon & Growl-style notification

Writers of Perl scripts that use the client will find a large number of improvements and the changelog also cites “various text event changes” such as the addition of “Private Action”, “Private Action to Dialog” and “SSL Message” - for a complete list of all changes in this release take a look at zeds announcement on the XChat forums.

The full changelog, consisting of all commits, can be found here. The download as sourcecode can be obtained from here and there also are official .rpms for Fedora 13.

The official Windows build has not been updated yet – however the unofficial XChat-WDK already has a 2.8.8 binary release ready [Update: The official Windows builds are using an other code-base than this, see clarification from viktor below - thanks!].

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