I don't typically communicate via IRC and therefore don't keep a client installed. To keep from having to download a client I'd like to use a web based IRC service. What web based IRC clients exist and what is your favorite?
Mibbit has a clean UI, doesn't require any plugins and has an embed feature.
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 :)
- CGI:IRC is written in Perl; qwebirc is written in Python
- CGI:IRC requires a webserver (and runs as a CGI); qwebirc contains its own webserver (based on Twisted), running on its dedicated TCP port
- CGI:IRC uses one process per connection (may consume too much memory); qwebirc runs in a single process, no matter how many connections there are (so it uses much less memory)
- the latency per message (both incoming and outgoing) is very low for both CGI:IRC and qwebirc
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.