Open Source Project of the Month: KiwiIRC

I think I’ll start writing about some of my favorite open source projects. If time permits, this’ll be a monthly thing. Not only to get some exposure for great projects, but to have a nice list of great projects I can refer to others easily.


As the very first project of the month, I’d like to recognize KiwiIRC. I’ve gotten back into IRC recently, and I find KiwiIRC indispensable for keeping in communication on the go. If you want a flexible and location-independent IRC client, definitely consider giving KiwiIRC a try.


The best part of the experience so far has been the author’s response to pull requests on GitHub. I found a typo in the sample configuration file, committed a fix, submitted a pull request, and the author responded in less than 5 minutes. They wanted the change in a different branch, so I re-submitted and the change is merged in under 10 minutes! That’s a great testament to the power of open source. Sure, my change was small, but it was so incredibly easy!


(As stated on the KiwiIRC home page.)

  • Works in all major browsers
  • Embed into your website
  • SSL encryption
  • No PhD required
  • Usable on any IRC network
  • User friendly menus
  • Tab autocomplete
  • Powerful aliases
  • Input history
  • Full scripting with javascript


  • Node.js server
  • Reasonably-modern web browser

This IRC client is pretty light on requirements. I’ve only tested on a Gentoo Linux server, but any Node.js platform should work. Once the server is running, point your favorite browser at the web interface and you’re off!

Why It Wins

KiwiIRC wins this round of Project of the Month due to its

  • Extremely straightforward and simple setup process.
  • Beautiful presentation (not always easy in HTML!)
  • Author’s impressive responsiveness to outside source changes.

That’s it for this introductory installment of open source project of the month! Let me know what you think!