xaric won my heart as soon as I read the first paragraph of the home page — where the author describes it as a simple client with pretty colors.
That wouldn’t really do any justice to xaric though. For what I’ve seen of the dozens and dozens of text-based chat clients available, xaric has a few noteworthy points.
For one thing, I notice that xaric allows you to set quite a few environment variables — most notably IRCSERVER, IRCNICK and IRCHOST — as a means of controlling your nickname, default server and so forth. I don’t know why that strikes me as unusual, but I liked it.
And of course you can set some of those as command line flags when you invoke xaric, but it also makes things like randomizing your nickname a little easier.
The home page also insists that xaric is a fork (blend?) of both bitchx and ircii, which might account for its simplicity as well as its colorfulness. I can’t tell you exactly what was inherited from either; I don’t use IRC enough to know what to look for.
But I’m willing to take it on its word. It has pretty colors. It seems fairly simple. And the man page gives just enough information to be helpful, without becoming an obstacle. (Sometimes I think man page writers enjoy reading their own work. 🙄 )
So I can recommend xaric on the same grounds it was referred to me — it’s a simple client, with pretty colors. For some of us, that might be more than enough. 😉