Introduction to KVIrc
Introduction to KVIrc
In really simple words KVIrc is a Chat client: you use it to talk to other people over the internet. More specifically KVIrc is an IRC client and if you haven't read it yet please take a look at the irc introduction then come back here. Now that you know what IRC is then you already know that an IRC client acts as a relay for the information that you exchange with your IRC server. KVIrc also acts as a filter and provides an user-friendly interface for the communication protocol that is a bit complex and rude when seen in its original form (by using telnet for example). KVIrc also contains a sophisticated scripting language that allows you to implement automated reactions to the network events. This is something similar to creating a robot that acts spontaneously after you have told him what to do. The scripting language allows you to enhance the KVIrc's interface and to handle special IRC network features that KVIrc itself isn't aware of.
The original meaning of the name KVIrc was, more or less, K Visual IRC Client. The initial K is a common prefix for the applications written for the KDE desktop environment: this was the case of the initial versions of KVIrc. Starting from version 2.0.0 the absolute KDE dependency has been dropped (for several valid reasons) and the support became optional.
Visual was (and is) one of the client goals: having an user-friendly interface to the IRC world. Many extreme UNIX users have misinterpreted the user-friendly interface and have tagged KVIrc as a client for newbies. Well... that is partially true: KVIrc is ALSO a client for newbies: A total IRC novice should be able to chat in few minutes after installing the program, preferably without bothering to read any manual. Yes, I know that it is not in UNIX style. On the other side, KVIrc contains a whole bunch of complex features that can be discovered only by reading the documentation and experimenting. I bet that you can also find a lot of undocumented tricks :)
A bit of philosophy
At the time of writing (Feb 2005) KVIrc approaches release 3.2.6. The small one-man-project has grown to the level of a small community. People from around the world have joined our development efforts and are constantly donating their time, eyes and bandwidth in order to make KVIrc a really good IRC client. Besides of simply giving you a free (as in freedom!) and nice program for chatting, they are giving you the great opportunity to see what's behind the scenes: you have the source code for the whole application. In practical terms this means more or less 300.000 lines of tested, debugged and commented C++ code, several PERL scripts, dozens of makefiles and all the means that you need to produce a working KVIrc executable on all the supported platforms. There is a lot of knowledge (some people call it technology because it sells better) inside, ready to be acquired by an attentive reader. Don't forget that the freedom of building your own executable from the sources gives you the opportunity of verifying the source itself: for example you might be interested in verifying that KVIrc will not run any malware code on your machine nor will collect your private data and sell it to someone while you're happily chatting with a friend. We call it freedom, please respect it.
Have fun :)

Szymon Stefanek and The KVIrc Development Team

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