Wednesday, May 22, 2024

HexChat open-source IRC client is forking dead


In a surprising turn of events, the popular IRC client HexChat has announced its final release, 2.16.2, marking the end of an era for the open-source project. The release, which was made public on February 9, 2024, includes a handful of minor fixes and features that have been in the works over the past two years.

The decision to cease development comes from the project’s lead, who revealed that HexChat has been largely unmaintained for several years. Despite the lack of active maintenance, the client continued to be a favorite among many in the IRC community. However, with no one stepping up to take over the reins, the time has come to say goodbye.

The lead developer expressed gratitude to all contributors, users, and chatters who have been part of the HexChat journey. For many, including the lead, HexChat was more than just a piece of software; it was a formative project that provided valuable learning experiences, introduced them to wonderful people, and paved the way for greater opportunities in their lives. Letting go is bittersweet, but the developer feels that the time is right to move on.

In an effort to preserve the legacy of HexChat, all documentation, installers, and dependencies will be hosted on GitHub for the foreseeable future, ensuring that the project remains accessible until “the end of Microsoft.”

The announcement also opens the door for forks of the project, with the lead developer encouraging others to continue the legacy of HexChat. The code may no longer be actively maintained by its original creator, but the spirit of open-source development ensures that it can live on in new forms.

As we bid farewell to HexChat, we can all reflect on the impact it has had on the IRC community and the open-source world. It’s a reminder of the transient nature of software projects and the importance of community support and involvement in keeping them alive. Farewell, HexChat, and thank you for the memories and connections you’ve facilitated over the years.

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