For many years now I’ve always been using X-Chat whenever I wanted to go on IRC. First under Linux (with some small side-trips to BitchX) and since 2 years now on OSX thanks to the X-Chat Aqua port. Yesterday MacApper ran a story about Linkinus, a relatively new IRC client by Nicolas Lapomarda, that tries to revive the IRC market on Apple’s operating system.
Besides X-Chat there is only Colloquy from the open source community, that doesn’t have any kind of proxy support, which is simply essential to me … besides: I really don’t like its UI ;-) And Limechat is a bit to minimalistic for me. When you look at the commercial front, you have Xirc, which is dead (and remarkably went dead only a year after going commercial, which is exactly what I always fear when I pay for software) among a load of other apps in the < 30 USD price range. macirc has a really great listing in this regard.
The problem is, none of them really convinced me since no one really offered anything new compared to what X-Chat had to offer … except Linkinus. First of all: Linkinus offers a really nice and clean user interface with keyboard navigation for basically everything. But for me the really important thing about it is the split view. Think a light version of what VI has to offer here. You can horizontally split the main window to keep an eye on multiple channels. And all you have to do is how ctrl on the keyboard while selecting the channels from the sidebar. Yes, I know. Quite a few of the terminal based IRC clients have something like that, but this is the first GUI client I’ve seen so far, that let’s you split the main view.
Linkinus is shareware and costs 20 USD (or 15 if you are a student). At least the testing period is with 15 days relatively long, so I still have quite some time to give it more time. There are still some things that bother me (some regarding the keyboard navigation, some regarding the proxy settings), but at least some of them are already in the list for the next release :-)