Internet Relay Chat has a history of over 25 years and it is still a widely used text-based protocol for chatting. In the Linux world, each distribution and major project has a chatting room, usually on Freenode, and here you can get online help, participate in collaborative projects, or just have a look at the latest discussions regarding the development of some project or application.
There are plenty of IRC clients out there for Linux, including console-based ones like the powerful Irssi, graphical ones like XChat, HexChat or the ones embedded in instant messaging clients. There are also web-based ones or clients available as add-ons for browsers, for example the ChatZilla add-on for Firefox.
In the following article I will briefly discuss about three clients for the KDE environment, leaving the others for a future article. All three of them come with features such as tabs, DCC, multiple networks or SSL.