IRCCloud.com is trying to solve an interesting problem: staying online, all the time, when using the popular chat protocol irc. The problem with IRC is that it was built for a different era, and is a bit dated. For example: your “nick”name in any given channel must be unique - forcing you to have multiple nicks if you enter a channel from multiple computers or locations.
Another popular issue is availability: you MUST be connected at all times to receive any messages. If your offline for a bit, its like you don’t exists. The servers aren’t smart enough to store messages in your absence, to be delivered when you come back online.
IRCCloud attempts to solve these two issues and more, with a simple and intuitive concept: move the irc client to the could. IRCCloud’s cutting edge website, while not going to win any design awards is built on the latest and greatest html5 technologies to bring you the full irc experience from anywhere you have a web browser. It provides you with realtime messaging and generally isn’t much different that a standard irc client.
Where it shines is once you log off. Being that your connected via IRCCloud’s servers - and not via the web browser itself, you are ALWAYS online, always in your channels and always listing to everything that is going on. Even when your browser window is closed. When you come back online, all your “missed” chats are made available to you, as well as any private messages, etc.
IRCCloud is currently in beta and seems to have just two developers working around the clock, trying to make the service even better. While they are extremely open to feature requests, there resources are limited and they cannot accommodate everyone. To that end, my new Irccloud+ chrome extension attempts to fill in some missing features that the developers are too swamped to deal with.
For starters, it currently offers:
- Audible alert for pop-up notification
- Per-channel notification trigger
- One click access to irccloud.com
…and hopefully many more to come (unless the IRCCloud devs beat me to it!).
If you use IRCCloud on Google Chrome, this extension is a must have. Take it for a spin and let me know how it goes!