It seems like every time I scrounge the Internet looking for console applications, I trip over two or three chat clients or an instant messenger or two. They breed like rabbits.
Which makes sense and has for a long time, since chatting and messenging are just transferring text — nothing new there. Every now and again one or two of them does something fancy, but after that, there’s not much that’s innovative these days about chattering away via the keyboard.
So in continuation of a previous note — from almost a year ago — here’s another six-in-one screenshot, again with a variety of chat-and-or-messenger applications. These are all running under Debian testing, on the Pentium.
Clockwise from the top left are freetalk, epic5 (there’s an epic4 too), TinyIRC, ysm, ircII and ekg. This is a mix-and-match mugshot, and to be honest, my own personal preferences lie elsewhere. I’ll admit that without working user names for some of these I couldn’t get very far into them, so if my comments are cursory, there is the reason.
Of the ones there, I can vouch for TinyIRC as, in fact, a tiny IRC program; it’s running profile was probably the smallest of all the IRC clients I’ve seen so far. After that, if you have an account you can use in conjunction with ysm I salute you; if you have a preference for Jabber then freetalk is probably your speed; and if you prefer Polish (or at least I think it’s Polish), ekg is probably an option (I’m a little fuzzy on the difference between ekg and ekg2; you figure it out and explain it to me).
And since all of these and the four I mentioned last time — mcabber, naim, finch and weechat — all have different styles and approaches, your best bet is to dump them all into your machine, fire them up all at once (because if I can, you most definitely can), and see which one fits you best. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to try rhapsody and climm, if you can find them for your distro.
But knowing there are alternatives is the point of this exercise and the similar ones in the past. Don’t let anyone tell you there isn’t any usable software written for the console, because that is patently false. If anything, there is too much … and that’s saying something. 😀
K. Mandla – great blog, I read it on regular basis to get some ideas about cli apps & ideas.
“I’m a little fuzzy on the difference between ekg and ekg2”
AFAIK ekg is gg-only clinet (gg: gadu-gadu, very popular Polish IM protocol). ekg2, thanks to jabber support and a plugin system can be used with wider range of protocols like gg, jabber, gtalk, irc, etc. With UTF support (experimental but working for me, you need to compile it from source to get this) it even handles Polish (among others) characters correctly, unlike ekg on Your screenshot :þ. Setting it can be quite tricky but it`s worth it. And yes it`s Polish, but it has full-fledged English documentation somewhere on the net, I think (ekg2 at least).
it’s the second time i notice this:
https://kmandla.wordpress.com/software#terminal – doesn’t work for me
https://kmandla.wordpress.com/software#Terminal – works ok!
i was happy using freetalk a while back, even with cyrillics worked perfectly. also tried finch, but it’s windowing system just scared me then.
I think I got it. Thanks. I write these things by hand, and sometimes I can’t remember what the tag was. Thanks. 😉
Ah, thanks. That helps a lot. Cheers! 🙂
are there other console im apps that can manage msn and gtalk (jabber) apart from the overbloated finch that you know about?
wonderful site as usual, stuffed with real gems for console nerds like me
Try taking a look at bitlbee, it will allow pretty much any irc client to be used for XMPP/Jabber (including Google Talk), MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, AIM and ICQ.
ekg2 http://www.ekg2.org/ can manage gtalk quite well (I used it for a while) but it needs some setting up, take a look at wiki: http://ekg2.wafel.com/
The folks at suckless.org also have a simple, small chat client:
… and if sic is too simple for you, try ii:
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