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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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XChat 2.8.7e for Windows has been released

Just a little more than 2 weeks after the last update there already is another update for XChat on Windows, now being available as version 2.8.7e.

The changelog is short but includes a couple of crash-fixes, so the upgrade might be worth it.

  • Fixed a rare Auto-Nick-Completion (non-TAB key) crash.
  • Fixed a possible crash if you clicked “Add to favourites” in the main text area, while the server-list window was open in the background.
  • The setting added in the previous version: “/set -or gui_tweaks 64 will now turn OFF user list icons.” will now properly remove the prefix character from the right-click menu.
  • Added -on and -off parameters to the /SET command. This can be used to set bits, for example gui_tweaks.
  • /set -or gui_tweaks 128 will now turn OFF the text attribute button.

In the announcement posting in the forums the author claims The automated crash reporting feature is showing that it’s getting very stable indeed. Many days go by without a single report, yet hundreds or thousands of copies are downloaded each day. I’m tipping this release to be the most solid yet.”

The new version can be obtained here.

XChat 2.8.7a for Windows Released

Version 2.8.7 released the 20th of last month has been superseded with 2.8.7a Zed announced on the XChat homepage.

This new version is mainly a bugfix release, as the changelog shows.

The XChat Windows release is shareware. Freeware versions are still being released from the otherwise still available opensource code. One such release is from Silverex but is an older release, 2.8.4.

XChat for Windows 2.8.7 Released

A new version of the popular XChat client for Windows has been released.

This post on the XChat forum highlights some of the new features, illustrated with screenshots.

Highlights include /WHOIS information in nicklist on right-click, settings like tray icon blinking on a per-channel basis and support for colors in places as channel lists and topic bar.

The Windows built went shareware due to the costs of compiling for this platform. Free builds from the otherwise still open source code are released by third parties including Silverex. These builds are usually released at a later date.

XChat Author Warns for Firefox Exploit

A second more serious security issue has been discovered which is also being fixed by the recently released Firefox 1.0.7.

The exploit, which is classified as ‘extremely critical’, exploits a security hole in the startup script of Firefox. By passing parameters in URL’s from external applications it is possible to perform commands when Firefox is configured to be the default browser.

The exploit can only be used on certain Linux and *nix systems.

“We have a work-around in xchat 2.4.5, but to really fix it you need to upgrade firefox and mozilla” XChat author Zed said to IRC-Junkie in a  reaction.

To state the obvious, this is not an issue with XChat, or any other program passing on URL’s to Firefox, but an issue with Firefox/Mozilla which is using a bash script to startup.