Hot answers tagged irc
Mibbit has a clean UI, doesn't require any plugins and has an embed feature.
Install a Jabber server such as ejabberd or Openfire.
I have used the 3 preceding solutions, however I found that http://webchat.freenode.net/ seems to have the slickest (read:minimalist) interface and best feature set.
I have used CGI::IRC installed on my own server to access IRC. It's not perfect, but it works and is free :)
I spotted this off my twitter stream: IRC Cloud. The service is still in Beta, and I'm still waiting for my invite, so I cannot say how good the service is, or whether or not it will support freenode. You can keep track of it via their twitter stream.
There's IRClog, which keeps logs of popular servers where the subject is computers, but the logs end a few years ago, so it looks like they did not keep it going for long.
Menu (top left corner) > Options > Hide Joins/Parts/Quits. You can also try some desktop IRC client.
Kiwi IRC dev here—the network tabs not closing when you issue a /quit is a known bug right now and should be fixed soon. It will most likely in the next release in the upcoming week, which includes closing networks via the UI also.
The biggest index of public IRC logs is over at http://www.irseek.com/ and honestly it's not that great (the only other contender I can think of, IRClog, has already been mentioned I see). If you are looking for some recommendations for parsing your own IRC channel logs, let me know and I can help you with that.
Commands usually have a slash in front and channels a hash in front. If you are connected to IRC, then to join a channel you would type: /join #super-fancy-channel
Not exactly what you are looking for, but you might want to check Lumberjack It's not hosted, but once it's installed it allows you to log IRC activity into a database and search for keywords.
Not sure if you are still looking, but I actually headed development on LogSmurf for this exact purpose. Feel free to search & submit IRC logs there, and if you notice any bugs it would be much appreciated to send some feedback.
You could use the official web client http://webchat.freenode.net/
A newer tool I've run into is called Alice, which has a really nice and simple UI. If you don't want to run your own they're working on a hosted version.
Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible