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Mac IRC Client Comparison

In the world of IRC for Macintoshes, there are few options. Functions for the Macintosh IRC clients have lagged behind Windows clients for years.

The tried and true standard for real time chatting via IRC for the Macintosh has been the client "IRCle", most recently developed by Onno Tijdgat. In the past 2 years IRCle, due to Onno's efforts, has come from a being stable, albeit boring client, to becoming a full featured client; one which can handle multiple connections, loads of ircII commands, DCC connections, wav files from PC's, and supports scripting for automatable items using Applescript.

One especially nice feature of IRCle are the buttons for ircII commands. You can drag and drop them from a master list as you need them. Chatting techno geeks out there have graciously made available their own scripting pacs for us to use and links to these can be found on the IRCle page. Still, applescripting for IRCle is a mystery to most, and you have to load the script and call it up. This takes time and the effect may be lost in busy chat rooms. Plus, you have to know what the script is to call it up; there is no pop-up window that lets you highlight it or double click to execute it, although you can put up to 20 shortcuts into a window that you can pull down. If you are a Chanop or otherwise require lots of the IrcII commands, or just love messing around with techy stuff, IRCle is for you. IRCle can be found at

The less adventurous of you may be happy with a new client, called Snak. Snak has a very familiar mac like interface. You are not deluged with a zillion windows, and all features are called from pull down menus. The client will allow DCC connections, a plus for trading pictures and other snippets of data, but no DCC chat. In addition, mIRC colors are supported, which is good news if you have ever spent time trying to decipher those annoying color codes in chat. One great feature is the ability to option click on a URL to launch a web page. This "wav catcher" feature is standard on the PC clients and is noticeably absent from Ircle. Unfortunately, at this point there is no feature to play wavs, which abound in chat rooms and really add to the fun of chatting. Aliases and scripting are also supported and can be conveniently configured and called from a pull down menu. Although the client supports only minimal ircII commands at this time, the developer is planning to expand this. Snak can be found at


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