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10 years of Irssi use and I switched to WeeChat last weekend

I started using Irssi almost 10 years ago when I first started trolling wandering around the world of IRC. My main use is to run it in a screen and stay connected all the time. To chat I’ll just ssh into the server and reconnect to the screen. Generally I leave my terminal open, stretched across the top of my monitor so it’s really wide but only about 8 or 10 lines high. This way I can keep IRC visible all day long and respond quickly to questions.

I’ve customized irssi with custom highlights and commands and all has been well, save one thing: bug 310 – vertical splits. Irssi can’t do vertical window splits and with the trends giving us widescreen monitors, horizontal splits aren’t really useful to me. The bug has been open since 2005 and I’ve all but given up on it.

Then the other day Chris McDonald claimed the unfortunately named WeeChat was superior to Irssi. I was all ready to defend Irssi’s honor but I read through the documentation and WeeChat was pretty compelling – most notably its support for vertical splits!

So, long story short, I switched last week and it’s awesome. I don’t miss Irssi at all and in fact WeeChat offers me things I never even knew I’d want (like per-buffer history when hitting the up-arrow). I’ve customized it so it essentially looks like Irssi (no nickname list, etc.) and I’ve added a lot of aliases to make it easier for me to use (mostly vim keys). If you’re an Irssi user you owe it to yourself to at least read their docs and see what you think.

{ 7 } Comments

  1. zu | April 9, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    weechat’s good.
    but if you dont need the features and you’re used to irssi, no biggy. irssi works well.

    For example i dislike splits. I also dislike heavy coloring. And weird hilights and channel switches.

    I like simple and readable. Irssi delivers that. Weechat delivers it too, but, that means learning new commands for no gain :)

  2. Wil Clouser | April 9, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    I turned off the stuff I didn’t like but it’s true, if I didn’t find splits so useful I wouldn’t have switched. Everything but splits is just icing. :)

  3. Alex Clark | April 10, 2012 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    I’m in the same boat. I want to switch to weechat and I even tried, but I didn’t have the patience to turn off all the noise to make it more irssi-like so I went back to irssi. Maybe I’ll try again.

  4. 00Davo | April 20, 2012 at 3:22 am | Permalink

    For the record, irssi actually has support for per-buffer (well, per-window) message history. It’s enabled with the /set window_history on option.

  5. Thomas | September 23, 2012 at 4:48 am | Permalink

    could you sharer your settings for weechat that makes it behave more like vim?

  6. Wil Clouser | September 23, 2012 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    could you sharer your settings for weechat that makes it behave more like vim?

    weechat is actually pretty unfriendly about sharing settings. I wanted to share my changes in the original post but weechat just mixes your changes in with the defaults across 13 .conf files making it hard to have portable settings. If there were a way to give you the changes I would, but I don’t know how.

  7. newsgr | May 19, 2013 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    could you not just tar it and upĆ³ad / mail the config or ask in weechat irc ;-) ?