Slack has gained a lot of popularity in recent times as a tool for inter-team communication and for the right reasons. It offers a lot of features such as 3rd party software integrations, rich content communication, collaboration, bots etc. which when put together help create a rich collaborative user experience for teams to work together, especially when they are not co-located, which is fairly common these days.
If you’re anything like me and have been around long enough to know what irc is and when you look at various elements that slack provides like channels, accounts (servers), private messaging, etc. you know that it draws a lot of parallels and inspiration from that old school communication tool.
However, slacks desktop application, which is build using electron, although is very feature rich, is extremely memory hungry for my liking. I have also experienced extreme slow downs / hang ups at times. For that reason, I have always been on the look out for a way to combine the rich user experience of slack with the simplicity of irc without compromising a lot on the goodness the app provides.
Slack has always offered an IRC gateway which can be enabled by a team admin, and then you can use any regular irc client to connect. However that means that I have to compromise on a lot of features, some very basic such as editing your own messages etc and also since it needs to be enabled explicitly by an admin, its not always available.
Since I had been using weechat already previously as my irc client (still do), this was perfect for me. After using it for a significant amount of time, I can say it is superb. It gives me the best of both worlds without compromise. It uses slack’s APIs and hence does not require an explicit IRC gateway feature to be enabled by an admin, moreover it gives a very text friendly API to leverage slacks features from within weechat. I would highly recommend using it as opposed to using the slack app since it is extremely light weight yet powerful.