I'm an IRC newbie even though I've been using email for 15+ years. IRC seems great for those issues that benefit from the experience of many but aren't large or important enough to warrant hitting the mailboxes of 100 people. It also seems useful for determining the magnitude of an issue. Anyway, now that I'm using IRC, I wanted to make my client of choice, XChat, less annoying to use:
- XChat highlights a channel when any new messages show up, including join/quit. So, as long as join/quit messages are displayed, the channel highlight wasn't very informative. I learned that it's easy to disable join/quit messages. Note that in in XChat 2.8.6, the "hide" option is under "Settings".
- By default, XChat starts with no server connection and no channels. You can get it automatically connect and open channels via the "XChat"/"Network List..." menu. "Edit..." your server, check "Auto connect to this server at startup" and click the button next to "Favorite channels" to provide a list of auto-connect channels.