IRC Client for Dummies
May 22, 2007 2:34 AM   Subscribe

IRC for dummies - what's the best client to reccomend for serial Internet Explorer users, that supports irc:// links?

I manage a forum for my better half, and we've been looking for a way to include real-time chat functionality. After having found PHP browser-based chat scripts to be slow and clumsy, and some of the new flash-based chat options (like Meebo Rooms) to be unconfigurable, I've decided that good old fashioned IRC might be the best way to do things.

A certain percentage of members on the forum would probably get frustrated by installing and configuring a separate IRC client, particularly if they have to configure the server and room options (clients tend to come packed with dozens of IRC networks built in). For Firefox users, I'm going to send people a link to install Chatzilla, then provide an irc://... URL for them to click on to enter chat, and that works great. My problem is with IE users - I can't find any add-on for Internet Explorer with the equivalent functionality as Chatzilla.

So, my question specifically is:
- Is there an IRC add-on for Internet Explorer available, that works with irc:// URLs?
- If not, what's the simplest free Windows IRC client that reliably supports being opened by irc:// URLs?
- Failing that, any other ideas? I've ruled out a browser-based IRC client, like PJIRC, on the grounds that all the ones I've tried have pretty much sucked - have been slow, and buggy, and haven't worked for a certain proportion of users.
posted by Jimbob to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
mIRC has IE support. Other than that, you may want to look at IE Add-ons, but then you will have problems if your users have IE 6.

If neither of those ideas work out too well, you can look into a java based irc client that can be hosted on your site.
posted by dnthomps at 4:04 AM on May 22, 2007

Have you considered a campfirenow account? There is an unofficial SportsFilter chat on campfirenow run by DrJohnEvans. SportsFilter members use it mostly for gameday chats, and it seems to work very well. The downside is it isn't free. The upside is one can create multiple rooms, users can share images and files (which are archived), and it seems to work on most browsers.
posted by terrapin at 6:21 AM on May 22, 2007

They're going to have to install some client (and all the mess that entails) and most likely have admin rights on their machines to do it the irc:// way. Seconding the java client.
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:43 AM on May 22, 2007

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