XChat for Windows

There’s hardly a more contentious subject among the geek crew than “What IRC client is best?” I suppose “Which Linux distribution is best” may eclipse it, and lets not even talk about ‘What’s the best editor?’. But the IRC client argument certainly ranks up there.
Recently my trusty laptop ‘hunter‘ went in to the local shop for some repairs. My keyboard problems had become too much to ignore, and a new keyboard didn’t fix it. So off to the local IBM Warranty repair office for a new mainboard.
This of course leaves me to work on the red-headed stepchild in Chez Geek, my ShuttleX Windows XP system. Now, normally this box simply runs Seti@Home, or tests out viewing pages in IE, or runs Azureus, but today it needs to belly up to the bar, and actually do -work- for me.
Naturally, the first thing required is a decent IRC client. Priorities, yanno.
I’m a fervent user of X-Chat, the excellent GTK based IRC client by Peter Zelazny. Were I on my Linux box, there’s no question what I’d run. Alas, Pete decided a while back that building under Windows was too much of a hassle (and, to his credit, it is), and changed the licensing agreement on the product so that Windows users had to pay for the official builds of the client (the Linux version was still free). Needless to say this annoyed a lot of folks who are forced to use Windows.
Ah, but the joys of the GPL come to the fore. Since the application is licensed under the GPL, anyone can pull the source and build it and offer it for distribution, and someone has done just that.
The folks over at Silverex.org are providing up to the minute rebuilds of the Xchat client for windows. Latest versions are online and install cleanly without a license or hassle.
I’m happily running Xchat on my windows desktop now. On to pillage…

Dave Shevett


A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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