After discovering there was a PAX IRC channel, I wanted to join the conversation, so I went looking for an IRC client that would run on Mac OS X. I had used and enjoyed mIRC on Windows, but quickly discovered that it only ran on Windows. Instead, I stumbled upon Ircle.
I don’t generally swear much, to the extent that people often recoil in shock when I do, but sometimes it is called for. In this case, my response came after just a few minutes of using this utterly worthless client to try and connect to the server on which the PAX channel resides.
Ircle looks like something I might have designed in 1992. Keeping in mind that I was seven years old in 1992, and our computer screen only had two colours at the time (black and green), that gives you an idea of how Ircle looks and functions. It wasn’t just a pain to use, with regular disconnections, errors, and a confusing and poorly labeled/designed interface, it was ugly.
I haven’t yet turned into the sort of person who demands everything be beautiful just because my operating system is, but “in this day and age,” there is little excuse for such poor design. If they’d even just used the most absolute of stock templates for OS X applications, it would have looked better. It’s like the designers of Ircle went out of their way to make this product look like crap.
Really? The most popular? This steaming pile of bantha poodoo? That seems unlikely.
So I set out once again for a good IRC client for Mac. Introducing Colloquy.
Colloquy has a much nicer interface with all of the features we’ve come to know, love, and expect in this day and age. For instance, if I start to type someone’s name, I can hit Tab for it to auto-finish so I can continue with my sentence (something that has been available in mIRC for a decade). It has colours, alerts if your name is typed by someone else, and an easy scripting interface for auto connection and authentication. (Ircle also has this scripting, but it’s a bit more of a pain).
What’s more, Colloquy has a mobile client that I know runs on the iPhone (not sure if it does on other platforms), and I’ll probably happily pay the $2-3 for it from the App Store once I get an iPhone. For running on OS X, it’s free.
If you’re looking for a good IRC client on OS X, look no further: Colloquy comes highly recommended, and everyone I know has settled on it eventually due to its pleasant interface and great user experience. As for Ircle, it should have dawned on me the moment I saw their banner. Anything claiming to be the best probably isn’t. Put up or shut up, as they say.