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‘Polari’ – An Awesome New IRC App for GNOME

You have to hand it to the GNOME designers and developers: their work in creating a coherent, integrated set of apps for the desktop is showing true promise. 

The latest build of Polari in action.

The latest build of Polari in action.

In fact, they’ve barely sat still over the last couple of years, creating app after app.

There are now dedicated apps for Music, Video and Photos; a virtual machine manager in the shape of Boxes; the Maps, Weather & Notes tools are all looking fantastic. And the new GNOME Software Store? Design wise it knocks Ubuntu’s aged offering out of the park!

But it seems that the GNOME app gurus aren’t done yet. Work has recently begun on a new GNOME 3 IRC app called ‘Polari’.

(As an aside, it’s a testament to the focus within the GNOME development community on putting users first that the one tool they likely use most often to communicate is one of the last to get the GNOME app treatment.)

Polari – Planned Features

It’s not fixed in a dusty coding tome that all IRC clients have to resemble something from an 80s sci-fi movie, or be intimidating to the general user. Even in today’s world of instant communications via social networks, IRC remains a great way for people to chat.

To this end, if Polari (expect a name change further down the line) had a slogan it would be “An IRC client for dummies.”

On the features n’ functionality front Polari aims to offer:

  • Easy connection to IRC servers & rooms
  • Clearly see mentions & notifications
  • Support GNOME 3 notifications
  • Integration with Contacts, the GNOME contacts app
  • History & transcript features
  • Link previews
  • File transfers

Developer-orientated features have also been mooted, including integrated support for Pastebin & Bugzilla.

So when can you try it? Not quite yet. Development of Polari is still in its early stages, but, if you’re willing to build it from Git (requires GNOME 3.10) you’ll find that it’s already capable of handling the basics, including  delivering notifications for mentions.

For code-compiling-phobes Polari is expected to feature (most likely as an app preview) in GNOME 3.12, due next year.

More about Polari