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Colloquy - A polished, easy-to-use IRC client Pick of the Week
Colloquy imageThe macosxhints Rating:
10 of 10
[Score: 10 out of 10]
For those of you somewhat new to the Internet and iChat-type conversations, here's a brief history lesson. Internet Relay Chat (IRC) was one of the first person-to-person chat protocols. It continues in force today, primarily due to its large installed base and its excellent features for managing large group conversations (try to have a 10-person iChat, and you'll see how poorly iChat does at more than one- or two-to-one conversations). I primarily use IRC for two things -- the Geeklog developers channel (#Geeklog on irc.freenode.net), and the macosxhints chat (#macosxhints on irc.krono.net; more info about this is in the Chat link at the top of each page). I've tried a number of modern IRC clients, including xhintschat, ChatX, *censored*x and xchat in X11, etc. All of them worked, but none of them are very Mac-like in any way.

However, yesterday while searching for something completely unrelated, I stumbled on Colloquy (pronounced kä-l&-kwE). Colloquy is a full-blown OS X (Cocoa) application that looks and feels like the best of the Mac world. My IRC needs are light -- I read, I occasionally type, and I'd like to be able to save transcripts for future reference. Colloquy makes it easy to do all of these things, and it looks great in the process. It even comes with about 30 or so "styles" to change the look of the chat interface, and you can apply different themes to different chat rooms, making it easy to tell them apart at a glance. It also seems to support (though I haven't tested) file transfers, and there are numerous nice touches throughout the code -- multiple options for alerts, new window vs. same window for various events, full control over colors and fonts, etc. For all you uber-hackers out there, Colloquy is also AppleScritable, open source, and extensible via plug-ins.

As I mentioned, my IRC needs are basic, so Colloquy may not be right for everyone. But for me, it's the first IRC app I've used that really and truly feels and acts like any other Mac app -- and since it's Cocoa, you have full access to the services menu as well. In short, now that I've found Colloquy, I can't imagine using another IRC client for my basic needs.
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  You rated: 5 / 5 (10 votes cast)
 
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Colloquy - A polished, easy-to-use IRC client | 21 comments | Create New Account
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Colloquy - A polished, easy-to-use IRC client
Authored by: seven5 on Mar 23, '04 01:32:00AM

Great find rob! Definatly get version 2.0 beta if you want the features that rob is talking about.

Its a bit buggy though and not fully optomized, and you can feel it. I think that it deserved an 8 or 9 because of that, instead of a full 10. If it was a 10, it wouldn't still be beta.

Its really nice, but i'd like tabs for my channels rather than having them in the drawer, i don't want to keep that drawer open, and now i'm forced to. It'd be nice to maybe have automatic key commands added to each channel as well, like command-1, command-2, etc.

Overall its really nice, and i dont know how i missed it!



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Colloquy - A polished, easy-to-use IRC client
Authored by: allanmarcus on Mar 23, '04 01:48:58PM

ChatZilla, a part of the free Mozilla client, is alos not bad.

Snak is a fantastic IRC client, but it's not free. It is quite possible the best IRC client out there for Mac. http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/10490



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Colloquy - A polished, easy-to-use IRC client
Authored by: seven5 on Mar 23, '04 01:38:14AM

one last thing.. its eating up my CPU. I know its still beta.. but hopefully the developer will get this down. I see ranges from 17% up to 40%+

3205 Colloquy 44.2% 4:47.96 9 249 0 0K 0K 51.3M+ 163M



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Colloquy - A polished, easy-to-use IRC client
Authored by: robg on Mar 23, '04 08:45:52AM
I haven't noticed the CPU usage, and I do check out most PotW candidates with top to make sure they're not huge hogs. Granted I have a powerful machine, but here's what I'm seeing with two chat windows open, and Colloquy in the foreground:
11096 Colloquy     5.5%  0:06.25   8   233   327  6.68M  25.0M  20.7M+  251M
When actively typing, it jumps to 10% or so, but that's about it...

-rob.

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Colloquy - A polished, easy-to-use IRC client
Authored by: xenon on Mar 23, '04 01:16:20PM

Some of this CPU usage is due to the fact that Colloquy uses WebKit for it's chat rendering. This allows styles to be written in HTML/CSS. Very extensible.

This will be coming down in a few build as I start optimizing.

-Timothy Hatcher



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Colloquy - A polished, easy-to-use IRC client
Authored by: rdm on Mar 23, '04 02:00:19AM

For people who are looking for an IRC client that's very Mac-like, I might also suggest looking at Conversation. You can find out more about it at http://www.conversation.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/index.html . Many of the same comments made about Colloquy can be applied to Conversation as well. In addition, it was designed to be particularly easy to use for IRC beginners, and I've found the developer is extremely responsive to emails.



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Colloquy - A polished, easy-to-use IRC client
Authored by: LoonyPandora on Mar 23, '04 04:39:55PM

I must admit, I've used conversation practically since it came out - previous to that I used IRCle - however, I'm a convert now - this app is so much better for me, I LOVE the fact that it uses WebKit to render the display - so customizable... Colloquy looks great, and does everything I want it to.

Fantastic app overall :D



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Colloquy - A polished, easy-to-use IRC client
Authored by: aranor on Mar 23, '04 05:33:16AM

By far my favourite IRC client is X-Chat Aqua. It's not very mac-like (don't worry, it's not windows-like either), and it's not terribly friendly, but it's really powerful.



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Colloquy - A polished, easy-to-use IRC client
Authored by: robg on Mar 23, '04 08:42:27AM

Agreed with both comments -- XChat Aqua is very powerful, and very not Mac like :). I used it for quite a while, and just couldn't get used to the visual impact and the way menus, etc. behaved.

-rob.



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Colloquy - A polished, easy-to-use IRC client
Authored by: crassworm on Mar 23, '04 10:52:46PM

Agreed.

Xchat aqua completely bowls over all the competition. Its free, powerful, and ultra speedy!

:D



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Colloquy - A polished, easy-to-use IRC client
Authored by: Hodag on Mar 23, '04 09:38:53AM

I haven't used Colloquy yet. I usually use BltchX under X11 or XChatAqua, BltchX is a pretty complex program, but XChatAqua is simple and effective.

---
--
Adam C.



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Colloquy - A polished, easy-to-use IRC client
Authored by: guybrush on Mar 23, '04 01:29:24PM

i use X-Chat 1.8.1 with X11 on my 12" PB, and it works sweet :)

XChat 2.x works too slow on my PB, so i stick with 1.8.1

Ive tested Colloguy, but it chokes on channels with 2000+ users.. :)
But looks nice and original tho.



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Colloquy - A polished, easy-to-use IRC client
Authored by: Crimson Napkin on Mar 23, '04 01:57:28PM

I had been using X-chat aqua but when I discovered Colloquy I was an instant convert. I had my doubts... it looks very un-IRCish... almost TOO aqua but it works like a charm (the tiny hiccup here and there but nothing show stopping) and is fun to use. I love it!

---
macosxhints.com is one reason PC users should switch to a Mac.



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Colloquy - A polished, easy-to-use IRC client
Authored by: cawaker on Mar 23, '04 05:05:40PM

I like this app, but i find the feature in Conversation which changes all the other nicks to various colors and mine stays as red to be very useful. Especially on those drunken nights where one color attached to one nick is visually handy.

Does this option not exist in Colloquy?



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Colloquy - A polished, easy-to-use IRC client
Authored by: liquidgood on Mar 23, '04 05:16:27PM
i'd used xchat and later xchat aqua for quite some time until i found irssi -- the greatest irc app ever! i've never used ircii, but irssi one is very easy to learn and highly configurable. it's even easier than gaim. the cpu usage is next to nothing, too.

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Colloquy - A polished, easy-to-use IRC client
Authored by: aranor on Mar 27, '04 12:39:58PM

Colloquy is in the process of being converted to use irssi as the back-end (instead of Firetalk)



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Colloquy - A polished, easy-to-use IRC client
Authored by: unixhead94 on Mar 23, '04 07:04:11PM
Somewhat tangentially related: you can automatically add IM functionality (AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, Jabber) to any of these IRC clients by running bitlbee, which was reviewed on freshmeat.net (check it out for more information)

Bitlbee is an IRC server that interfaces with most of the popular IM protocols so that you can IM through your IRC client. It compiles fine on Panther (with Xcode installed) using the generic UNIX build instructions, although it's definitely not for the Terminal-phobic.

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Colloquy - A polished, easy-to-use IRC client
Authored by: asan102 on Mar 23, '04 07:15:04PM

I never really got into irc before – the lack of a mac-friendly client just turned me off. But I discovered Colloquy many months ago, and I absolutely fell in love with it. I'm not terribly pleased with some of the new features in 2.0 though.



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Colloquy - A polished, easy-to-use IRC client
Authored by: EricF on Mar 25, '04 02:06:30PM
Doesn't anyone use snak or ircle anymore???

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Colloquy - A polished, easy-to-use IRC client
Authored by: EricF on Mar 25, '04 02:12:03PM
Doesn't anyone use snak or ircle anymore???

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Colloquy - A polished, easy-to-use IRC client
Authored by: EricF on Mar 25, '04 02:31:48PM

Sorry for the repeated posting... I kept getting errors when I posted, so I reposted,and got errors, and...

I'd delete them if I could!

Sorry again!

-Eric



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