When comparing WeeChat vs Polari, the Slant community recommends WeeChat for most people. In the question“What are the best IRC clients for Linux?” WeeChat is ranked 2nd while Polari is ranked 10th. The most important reason people chose WeeChat is:
An many dotfiles are publicly available.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Highly customizable and configurable
An many dotfiles are publicly available.
Pro Built-in script manager
WeeChat has a built-in tool for searching, downloading, installing and updating scripts and plugins.
WeeChat has a command line interface.
Pro Fully keyboard driven
Weechat can be fully driven by keyboard shortcuts. Navigating between buffers, switching between windows and changing text styling can all be achieved with keyboard shortcuts.
Pro Extensible via plugins and scripts
Pro Smart filtering
Smart filtering lets set a series of rules for IRC channels. For example, it allows instructing the client to show /quit and /join messages only if the user was speaking in the last 20 minutes.
Pro Free and open source
WeeChat is a free program licensed under GPL with source code available on GitHub.
Pro Can act as a relay for mobile client
It's possible to leave WeeChat running at home/on a server, then connect to it with a smartphone client. This way a choppy mobile internet connection won't disconnect from IRC, and still allow using a touch screen optimized UI.
Pro Actively developed
Pro Offers a choice of remote interfaces
Pro Mouse support
Mouse click and gestures are supported on a local terminal as well as remote terminal accessed via ssh regardless of screen/tmux. To enable mouse support use
/mouse enable command or press
Pro Flexible window splitting
Weechat allows very flexible window splitting behavior to show multiple IRC channels at once. Windows can be split vertically and horizontally.
Pro Intuitive, detail-oriented interface
By default WeeChat has a chat area surrounded by a nicklist on the right, title bar on top, and status and input bars at the bottom. The layout, though, can be completely customized and split vertically or horizontally. It supports 256 colors as long as the terminal supports 256 colors as well as bolded, italicized and underlined text. Even includes little touches as differently colored nicknames for people /away.
Pro Accessible to less expert users out of the box
WeeChat has an easy to use interface and sane defaults, making it a great client for beginner users.
Pro Incremental text search
Text is searched through in real time as search terms are being written.
Pro Huge library of scripts
WeeChat scripts repository has hundreds of scripts including url shorteners, music player integrations and bandwidth monitors.
Pro Active and helpful community support
Weechat community can be found on #weechat @ Freenode. The community, including devs, is helpful in answering any WeeChat related questions.
Pro Great UI
The CSD-based UI is great to look at. No screen space goes entirely wasted and is presented neatly.
Pro Easy to use
Polari is very straight forward to use.
Polari integrates nice with GNOME, on a visual and technical level. It uses GNOME online accounts and runs empathy in the background.
Con No official GUI option
While there are some unofficial remote graphical interfaces available for WeeChat, it is intended to be used as a terminal client. As such it might be challenging to use to those accustomed to graphical interfaces.
Con Scripting API allows poorly written scripts to be used as attack vectors
Plugin documentation includes the following warning:
In many functions, for speed reasons, WeeChat does not check if your pointer is correct or not. It’s your job to check you’re giving a valid pointer, otherwise you may see a nice crash report ;)
Con Some advanced features are lacking
Polari's users will find some advanced features lacking, such as Direct Client-to-Client (DCC).
Con May seem too simple
Unlike Hexchat or other alternatives, it does not expose much of its functionality though some of it might really be present.