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All about Internet Relay Chat

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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KDE IRC Client Konversation 1.3-beta1 released, adds DCC Whiteboard [Update]

The KDE IRC client Konversation released version 1.3-beta1 this weekend which brings many changes to the table compared to the last release, version 1.2.3.

With this new version, Konversation now depends on KDE 4.3 and Qt 4.5 and also has gotten a few “interface tweaks, new keyboard shortcuts and many bugfixes [to] round things out” according to the announcement on their homepage.

The most exciting new feature Konversation 1.3 brings to the table is called “DCC Whiteboard” which brings “collaborative drawing – think two-player Kolourpaint – to IRC”.

To get an idea how this is implemented and how it looks like, see the screenshot below:

Konversation DCC Whiteboard

Konversation DCC Whiteboard

But that’s not all – Konversation 1.3 brings back “KDE’s SSL certificate store the KDE 3 version enjoyed” and also expands the support for “auto-away to the Windows and Mac OS X platforms thanks to both recent advances in the KDE 4 platform and new code in Konversation”.

There’s also a roadmap of features to be added/completed until the 1.3 final release which amongst other things also cites “World domination” as one of their goals – i for one welcome my new drawing IRC overlords.

Konversation 1.3-beta1 is currently only available as sourcecode for download here.

[Update]: Konversation 1.3 final was released on 8th June. Changes from -beta1 to the final version include fixes to the build process with KDE 4.3 and a few others.

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AndChat Android IRC client 1.2.9 is available

A new version of the Android IRC client AndChat went live just yesterday, so lets have a look:

AndChat Channelview

AndChat Channelview

Version 1.2.9 brings a few feature additions, a fix for a crash bug on “selecting [a] name in user list screen” and various other small improvements.

Unspecified issues with orientation changes have been fixed and the code regarding the scrollback buffer has been worked on to prevent accidental loss of it on pressing the D-Pad. To indicate new messages that currently are not in view, AndChat now displays blue arrows and the scrollbars have been hidden to save some screen estate and only show up when the text-area is pressed longer.

The app now has a setting for the number of reconnect-attempts it should make and switching between servers is now possible by pressing the volume keys.

The complete changelog for version 1.2.9 can be viewed here and the download is available from here.

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Quassel IRC client updated to 0.6.1

Developer Sputnick of the Quassel project just posted an announcement for version 0.6.1 of their IRC client.

Quassel IRC client Logo

Quassel IRC client Logo

In case you wonder where the announcement of 0.6.0 went, he writes that they skipped it because “shortly after tagging, we’ve discovered two serious bugs in that version. One could make the monolithic client try to select the PostgreSQL backend rather than SQlite; the other would lead to a crash on startup in some setups”.

In the announcement, he cites the following as the most notable new features:

  • Completely reworked client/core connection featuring the long-awaited reconnection and Solid support as well as a streamlined UI
  • Support for the new DBus-based system tray of KDE and, in some distros, Gnome (StatusNotifier spec)
  • Improved notification handling
  • Support for inputting formatted (colored/bold/…) text
  • SASL auth support (replaces NickServ e.g. in Freenode)
  • Several new languages and improved translations for already existing ones
  • Build system improvements

Version 0.7.x is already in development but he says that they will “maintain the 0.6.x branch in feature and string freeze at least until 0.7.0 is released” which means they’ll backport bugfixes where it makes sense but won’t introduce new features in the 0.6.x branch to “make packagers of freeze-loving distros happy”.

The complete changelog can be found here and the download can be obtained from here.

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KVIrc 4.0 RC3 is available for testing

HelLViS69 of the KVIrc project just announced that release candidate 3 of their IRC client in the 4.0 branch is available for testing.

The changelog sounds pretty interesting and the client seems to have gotten lots of new features and more than 200 bugs have been fixed since RC1.

In the announcement, developer HelLViS69 lists the new features in this build, such as an “automagical wizard to create theme packages, the new class editor (no more classes in aliases!), the smart nick coloring which permits to select your favourite fore/background color”.

But how about something revolutionary? Developer CtrlAltCa has something in store for us:

DCC Video Chat – yes, you read that right and no, this is no April Fools joke ;) But a picture says more than 1000 words:

KVIRC DCC Video Chat

KVIRC DCC Video Chat

The picture shown is from an early implementation of DCC Video and only uses SJPEG so the video quality should be much better with the current Ogg Theora codec. Sadly, this feature is currently only available for Linux users of KVIrc since it uses the V4L/V4Lv2 backends.

Developer CtrlAltCa however says that there will be a cross-platform implementation using Phonon as its backend, so multi-platform DCC Video Chat will be just a matter of time.

The complete changelog for KVIrc 4.0 RC3 can be found here and the download can found here.

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