Improving the default IRC Client

Registered by Jussi Schultink on 2010-10-25

How can we improve the default (currently empathy) irc client to give an excellent experience, geared towards support.

Blueprint information

Not started
Jorge Castro
Jussi Schultink
Needs approval
Ubuntu IRC Council
Series goal:
Milestone target:

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Empathy is really not recommended by anyone (even freenode) as an IRC client. A much better alternative that is also available to everyone is This is an IRC client that runs in a standard browser, and it can be used to connect to the Ubuntu IRC channels and run most standard IRC commands. A very easy alternative to patching empathy and/or shipping an additional IRC application would be to simply patch the default web browser to simply include a bookmark pointing to We could also modify the link to cause them to automatically join #ubuntu (for support). This patch could also be applied to Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and any other versions of Ubuntu (as they all ship web browsers). -- Nathan Handler 2010-10-25 20:15 UTC

Note that qwebirc, the software uses, has no internationalization support, whereas Empathy and e.g. Xchat-GNOME do. IIRC qwebirc is a Java application, so it's not as trivial to add i18n support as in gtk or qt application, but it would be certainly doable, so it would be awesome if someone would look into that -- David Planella (dpm) 2010-10-27 13:08 UTC
  It uses AJAX and Javascript, not Java. And besides the menu that prompts people to enter their name and the channels to join, there really are not that many strings in the application itself as there are in other desktop IRC clients. -- Nathan Handler 2010-10-27 20:29 UTC

Note also, Empathy, XChat, XChat-Gnome and Smuxi do not behave well with orca, out of the four I could only get smuxi to read text by clicking in a line of text, Empathy and both XChat & XChat gnome would read nothing, Empathy just says 'HTML Content' while the other two remain silent. when in the focused tab of firefox and pidgin will both read all text as it appears in the window -- Will Bickerstaff (Thingymebob) 2010-10-27 18.43 UTC

Smuxi has good I18N support, has received extensive ayatana support by implementing notification daemon and messaging menu support by following the specifications and guidelines closely, automatically connects to freenode and joins #ubuntu on start as an easy quickstart. I was trying to make sure Smuxi has good accessibility support but couldn't find Orca users for getting feedback on it. The Vinux project has nonetheless a positive report on Smuxi and even ships as their IRC client by default. -- Mirco Bauer (meebey) 2010-10-27 19:24 UTC


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