|2023-11-07||README.md: Rephrase motivation and status section||Sören Tempel|
|2023-07-22||Sort nicknames in usr FIFO descending by last activity||Sören Tempel|
|2023-06-10||Make use of IRCv3.2 echo-message capability||Sören Tempel|
|2023-06-11||README.md: Fix typo||Sören Tempel|
|2023-06-03||README.md: Ease `go install`-based installation instructions||Sören Tempel|
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A file-based IRC client inspired by ii(1).
I originally only intended to write a frontend for ii instead of completely rewriting it from scratch. However, while working on the frontend I noticed that I couldn’t implement certain features in the frontend without changes to the backend (ii). I briefly considered patching ii but ultimately decided for a rewrite. During the rewrite, various features have been implemented that are not supported by ii (e.g. various IRCv3 features, builtin TLS and IPv6 support, et cetera).
I currently consider hii feature complete and use it myself daily in combination with insomnia and a per-server runit user service for automatically starting and supervising hii processes.
New features (compared to ii):
- Memory safety
- A proper IRC protocol implementation through girc
- Support for automatically joining channels on startup
- Support for IRCv3.2 monitoring
- Support for a per-channel nick list using a UNIX domain socket
- Support for recording messages mentioning the users
- Support for authentication using TLS client certificates (CertFP)
- Built-in TLS support
- Built-in IPv6 support
Features intentionally not implemented:
- Automatic authorization using the PASS command is
not implemented (ii
- Shortcut commands, e.g.
/j. If you need them write yourself a shell script for mapping shortcut commands to real commands.
While hii has more features than ii it is still supposed to have a limit feature set and shouldn’t “expand until it can read mail”.
Compatibility with ii
Backwards compatibility with ii wasn’t a goal. While the directory structure is mostly backwards compatible everything else is pretty much different. This is the case because proper backwards compatibility would have been a lot of work and I personally didn’t need it.
The program can be installed either using
go install or
To install to the program using
go install run the following command:
$ go install github.com/nmeum/hii@latest
Note that this will not install additional documentation files, e.g. man pages.
To install to the program using
make run the following commands:
$ git clone https://github.com/nmeum/hii.git $ cd hii $ make && make install
This will also install documentation files to the correct location and may thus be preferable when packaging this software for a distribution.
Q: Sockets cannot be used with standard utilities such as
Why are nick names served using a unix domain socket anyhow?
A: Several ways of implementing a nick list have been considered. Using a regular file has various obvious disadvantages. For instance, the file would need to be truncated every time the nick list changes, which causes a lot of file system operation. Using a FUSE for serving the nick list was also briefly considered, however, while this would allow interaction with standard utilities it would require linking against FUSE and would complicate things quite a bit. Serving nicks using a unix domain socket seemed to be a reasonable compromise.
Q: Why are mentions recorded in a separate file? Can’t this be implemented using inotify, kqueue, … in the frontend?
A: While this might certainly be possible it would complicate the frontend code quite a bit. Implementing this in the backend was fairly easy and only required a few changes. Additionally, neither kqueue nor inotify are mandated by POSIX.
Q: Can feature X/Y/Z be added to hii?
This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.