Default application for IRC

Pasi Lallinaho pasi at
Thu Jun 26 22:45:18 UTC 2014

On 2014-06-25 13:58, Simon Steinbeiß wrote:
> Hey everyone,
> as our next release is not LTS we're reviewing some of our default app choices and considering to move away from XChat, as it hasn't been maintained as actively lately as e.g. its fork hexchat. [1]
> We've discussed this in today's community meeting and the outcome of this first review was a bit mixed. While neither of the present team members really use/d pidgin for IRC, it could still be enough as an easy way for users to get on IRC to get support. Additionally there's the webchat option on

These are strong selling points for not installing anything to replace 
XChat. The additional plus side for this would be that there would be no 
extra overhead on testing, supporting and possibly partly maintaining 
any more software.

> So this is what it comes down to (at least the way I see it):
> 1) Should we replace XChat as our default IRC client?
> 2) Is the IM app we already ship (pidgin) and the webchat option enough to replace XChat?
> 3) Should we use hexchat over 1) or 2)?
> I personally wouldn't mind replacing XChat and trying something new, mostly because it doesn't seem maintained. I still have to take both pidgin and hexchat for a spin though, because I haven't used the latter at all and the other I haven't used for IRC.

I guess most of us heavy IRC users would not consider Pidgin as a 
competitive client. However, I've proposed it to few people who only IRC 
sporadically and they seem fine with it. While these people might or 
might not care about IM networks, I personally think it's a great thing 
to have the IM networks centralized, especially for those who only use 
them sporadically.

> I propose that (at least) members of the Xubuntu team try these apps for real too and we have another – more informed and experience-based – discussion at the next team meeting.

I haven't used XChat or hexchat enough (lately) to give an informed 
opinion at this point and unfortunately my schedule in the near future 
looks like I won't have the time to dig deep enough to them before the 
next meeting either.

> Cheers
> Simon
> [1]

All above being said, I'm not strongly opposed to having a separate IRC 
client in Xubuntu.

However, I'm leaning a bit towards thinking that Pidgin's abilities and 
the webchat option to join the support channel (probably the number one 
reason for a large portion of our users to join IRC) offered on the 
website are enough for most of our users who need IRC occasionally – 
those who do it daily might want to use something else than the default 
anyway, and can install that from the repositories.


Pasi Lallinaho (knome)                      »
Leader of Shimmer Project and Xubuntu       »
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