From Academic Kids

A screenshot of Irssi.
A screenshot of Irssi.

Irssi is an IRC client program with a text-mode user interface. Written in the C programming language for Unix-like operating systems, it is licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License. Irssi also runs under Microsoft Windows with the aid of Cygwin, and may acquire a graphical front-end sometime in the future. Additionally, irssi is available on Mac OS X with Fink or natively with MacIrssi or the Cocoa-client Colloquy.

Irssi was written from scratch, unlike many similar clients based on the older ircII. This frees the developers from having to deal with the constraints of an existing codebase, allowing them to maintain tighter control over issues like security and customization. The latter is exemplified by the numerous modules and Perl scripts available for the program; Irssi's scripting facilities are considered by many of its devoted users to be the most powerful around. Although the program's interface usually precludes the need to manually edit configuration files, one may easily do so using a straightforward syntax resembling Perl data structures.

Customization is irssi's chief advantage over BitchX and other text-based IRC clients. irssi's documentation makes irssi somewhat easier for the novice to use than BitchX or ircii.

Some purists prefer Irssi simply because they consider its overall "feel" to be "cleaner" than other clients, many of which implement features like file serving, auto-rejoining channels after being kicked, and automatically kicking and banning users, oftentimes enabling these by default. This argument has also been used by those who prefer the more spartan ircII.

During the late 90s and early 21st century, irssi assumed a cult-like following on several IRC networks, especially QuakeNet. At this time, using irssi was seen as a display of competence above those who used mIRC. Many windows users purchased remotely accessible Unix shells in order to run irssi.

Many users switch from BitchX to Irssi in order to fine-tune their client better, or because Irssi's support for features like connecting to multiple servers and via IPv6 is more mature, or because it supports scripting in Perl. Others merely want to avoid BitchX's use of profanity in its kick and quit messages, and in the name itself.

In May 2002 irssi's autoconf "configure" script was found to have been backdoored for at least two months. This was extremely embarassing for many irssi users who cited security as the main reason they chose irssi above windows clients such as mIRC. However, the binary was never backdoored - only the script, and the problem was immediately fixed.

External links

fi:Irssi fr:Irssi no:Irssi


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