Thursday, May 26, 2011

The BEST alternative to mIRC, XChat, life and everything.

No, screw XChat, screw mIRC. KVIrc is the real deal.

If I say that I dislike XChat, I don't think anyone will seriously wonder why.
Its GTK interface albeit simple, is ugly and it doesn't have nearly as many features as mIRC has.
Sure it supports Python, Perl, TCL and even Lua, but even then, it sucks because there is no way to easily implement something as simple as automatically responding to a text on a channel without having to make a full blown module or whatever.
I use softwares to use them, not to get off toying with them and trying to make them do what I want like Linux geeks do. To put it simply, I'm more of a Apple girl than a Linux girl. I hate losing my time trying to make things work when my goal is to use them.

mIRC is simple, full of features and the most important, has a really simple scripting language... up to some point. The annoyance comes with its editor, its syntax, its weird string support and ITS COMPLETE LACK OF ERROR REPORT. When you script in MSL, you're pretty much all by yourself trying to figure out what doesn't work in what you wrote because mIRC won't tell you anything. Another thing I have a hard time with with MSL is how it sacrifices clarity, readability and meaningfulness for the sake of """simplicity""" (yes, triple double quotes here.) Okay, a timer in MSL is as short as "/timer 0 8 msg $chan Hello". But then, what the hell are 0 and 8? The names for the default variables, functions and commands in MSL can be so damn meaningless and unintuitive. That makes them very difficult to memorize and that makes it very difficult to know how you can do something in MSL and what MSL can do. Because of this it can also be difficult with more advanced scripts to just pick it up, read it and understand it, unless you know exactly what every meaningless variable/function/command does.

Never underestimate the power of meaningful variables and function names. Damn. It better be too clear than not clear enough.


I won't say mIRC sucks because it doesn't. However, there is better. There is...
KVIrc... c... c...

Introducing a wonderful piece of open-source multi-platform software featuring a powerful scripting engine called KVS (short for KVIrc Scripting language).
KVS was inspired from C++, sh, Perl, PHP and mIRC scripting language implementations and features everything you loved in MSL : Aliases, Events (remotes), Popups, plus it is MEANINGFUL and it has badass support for Python and Perl! (Yes! Just put your Python and Pearl stuff between Python.begin/Python.end or Perl.begin/Perl.end. Isn't that AWESOME?)
But that's not all.
It can fetch files from the Internet with HTTP.GET!
It supports object oriented programming. You can make classes, inherit them and all that stuff. Oh shiiiii--! Awesome, I tell you!

You loved the built-in help browser mIRC had? KVIrc has it too and it's even better (you don't get 35545 commands explained in one page and each element it way better explained than in the MSL documentation).

KVIrc features a very east to use theme support (hahaha fu XChat. Derp.) which makes it look great.

Per network Nickserv support

Avatar support

Everything mIRC had, KVIrc has it and more.

Here are some screenshots that should make you feel at home if you have used mIRC before :

(Familiar interface! Featuring toggleable split view for high traffic channels.)

(Everything you need...)

(Sexy syntax is sexy)

(Help browser... but OMG! Look at all those string functions! Gah!)

(Search function in the options! Where else do you ever get that?)

It is simple, I think it's a shame that KVIrc is not more widely known. It should be more like all other IRC clients are an alternative to KVIrc instead of it being the other way around. If you have KVIrc you need nothing else. The thing is simply impressive.

The downsides to KVIrc is that because of its feature rich nature, it uses more RAM than its counterparts. I'm not saying it's a memory hog, not at all. Mine currently uses 67MB of RAM.
It also eats up a bit more bandwidth than its counterparts due to the fact that it keeps sending /who requests to keep the away list up to date. You can, however, disable it quite easily in Configure KVIrc > IRC > Channel > Advanced > Uncheck the checkbox at the bottom.

Go ahead, get it and give it a try. You will not regret it.

This is the theme I use in the screenshots :
Download it and import it from Settings > Manage Themes > Install theme package from disk...


  1. very insightful i may need to look into this myself now lol

  2. Definitely gunna be trying this out later. And if I blog about it (should I be as impressed as I was reading this post), I shall make sure to give you a shout out for it!


  3. Been using mIRC for years now; will give this a try some time ;>

  4. I will try this, though I dont write or use scripts, so it may be of no advantage..

  5. I heard it costs money though... :(

  6. mIRC is not free, KVIrc definitely is. It's open source :)

    1. Open Source doesn't mean free, KVIrc is free like you said though.

  7. I'm a little skeptical to switch over... I'm way too used to mIRC, and I'm not a big fan of change... Maybe one day....

  8. It's not really than big of a change either. I never found myself looking back to mIRC once I fired up KVIrc, which I actually found very very surprising.

  9. and I thought mIRC was bad using 15mB of ram.. lol

    no but seriously, i'll check this out. I've used pretty much all the top irc clients in the past from bitchx to xchat to irssi.. will try kvirc.

  10. I'm gonna leave Hexchat (Xchat) because in the last version they dropped support for Windows XP... I'll try KVIrc for sure !

    KVIrc looks like to have all the features I need : scripting, IPv6, SSL and even ( ) !