There are many different IRC clients out there and no matter what your preferences are, you’re almost guaranteed to find one that will suit your needs.
Most clients today provide some sort of graphical user interface or come with an ASCII-based interface. And while the latter, CLI-based clients, are commonly thought to be the most basic variant of an IRC client, i was surprised to find a client that manages to be even more plain: ii or IRC IT.
ii is a “minimalist FIFO and filesystem-based IRC client”, meaning every channel, private message and other server communication is represented by a directory containing an in and an out file.
Even though its sourcecode is just under 500 lines, it supports the most basic commands like joining and parting, changing nickname and setting topics. All other commands currently not understood by ii can be written as per the RFC and will get sent directly to the server then.
Using standard Linux/Unix commandline-tools like echo, cat, tail and grep you can control IRC IT which almost behaves like a normal IRC client then.
Join a channel? Sure, just echo “/j #yourchannelname” > servernamedir/in and you’ll join that channel, creating an out file you can monitor with tail -f.
After a little while, your directory structure will look like this:
Users of the vim editor who always looked envious at the Emacs editor because of its built-in IRC client ERC – fret not: This blog-post details how to configure vim to be used as an IRC client in combination with ii.
So if you feel like trying something new, grab ii from here and after a fast and hassle-free compiler-run you’re up and running – Who knows, maybe you’ve got a favourite new IRC client?