Playing with WeeChat’s configurations

 

Recently I’ve started to use WeeChat to connect to IRC. My earlier client was Hexchat, and is currently a fallback in case I am not able to get familiar with intricacies of weechat.  Here I am listing some settings that I’m using to do a basic makeover.

My fascination with WeeChat started after I read fhackdroid’s blog on WeeChat and tmux.  The client looked amazing.  And then I couldn’t help myself but try it.

For starters I just followed the getting started guide on WeeChat’s official website.  And after using it for some time I wanted it to change how somethings looked.

The first thing that bugged me was the huge size of channel list. Initially I thought if it was possible to do a resize like that in tmux, but I wasn’t able to come accross any such option.  Then I came across a command window. I tried to do resize, split, merge, but I cam across other interesting features than the channel list.

Even if I found out how to change the size, there must be more configurations to be played with. So to figure out how to see, tinker with current settings.  I don’t remember how, but I eventually stumbled upon this great command set, and now it was like weechat screamed to me.  Customize all you can, here I am!  Ah, the painstakingly long list was lovely and at them same time intimidating.

While I was trying combinations of keywords window, weechat, resize et al.  I went to the official documentation a lot.  And in the official documentation, I found my temporary abode.  It too was exhaustive, but I was starting to love it.  I eventually found where to resize the channel list in the screen layout option.  Here the first thing I saw was, it’s not called a channel list here, it’s a buflist!  Now with set and buflist and a shortcut ctrl + r that too I found in the documentation, I was ready to attack the large set of options now, to change the size of channel list buflist!

Then while searching I found the setting:

weechat.bar.buflist.size

I don’t remember the initial value, but as soon as I changed the value to, say 20. Buflist shrunk. And that was my first victory!

From there on started another quest.  To list separate servers separately. That is, channels under different servers should appear differently.

By the way, this was because, while lurking in #dgplug, I came to know about wee-slack, it is a WeeChat alternative, to the infamous, ram gulping, slack.  I tried it out in a local slack group of college friends, and it too turned out to be amazing! (Though I had to remove some unused DMs and channels to make it more clutter free). A big big thanks to sayan and j605 who mentioned it.  I didn’t knew what it was, so I couldn’t thank them then.

So while searching for separate channel list, based on servers, I came across weechat wiki on Github. And there I found this.  Amazing configurations for buflist appearance!

For a starters, I tried out one or two of them, but then I grew more interested in modifying them. As I liked some features of one, some of another.  Initially I was copying whole script by a single user from wiki just to try it out. Later I started to pick up lines from the config to try and see their effect. And a few minutes later, I was editing the one I liked the most 😛 (The first one on the wiki).  I liked how it used a bullet symbol for servers and the color scheme it used, but from another theme I liked the tree like structure. So I copied the selected lines and made a new mix.  It worked. But I wanted a little more. I wanted that, the current channel should be highlighted with a background, not just change in the color of the text.  So I started comparing the different combinations.  Which had this feature and which didn’t.  Later I was able to narrow down to one thing that was responsible for this background.  It was a , Yup, just a comma. Followed by the color of background.

Initial
${color:lightblue}

After change
${color:,lightblue}

More intrigued, I entered a colour name behind the comma.  I had a sense of what it might do, and it did exactly the same! It changed the color of text in the highlight.

Next came the nick list.  I don’t know how, but I remember as if it was there in the beginning, but now it wasn’t.  This was easy fix. I just changed

weechat.bar.nicklist.hidden = off

It said that the default was on, I must’ve confused my mind with the Hexchat nicklist. The nicklist was on!

The naming of the variables in the set command’s menu was just great.  It was easy to relate your thoughts with the settings.  Like, indent in buflist determines how you want to specify the indent. (This was the one I modified to get the branches connecting to channels)

Another setting I changed was:

irc.server_default.away_check

I’ve set it to 1 currently.  Compared with Hexchat, it’s too low.  But since it’s in minutes, I don’t expect it to add any latency (Though I could be wrong as I am not aware of the innards)

Currently I am trying to find how to modify the hotlist variable to only display message count, not low priority count like joins, quits etc.  I’ve found some settings that change the hotlist_low parameter’s colours.

This is the buflist.conf that I am currently using. Don’t copy it to .weechat . As it is mentioned in the file, use /set to change the settings.  Issues are welcome 🙂

This is just the experience of configuring a terminal chat client, by a naive.  So please point out the errors if you find any.  Suggestions are always welcome!

Ping me on irc: storymode7 at freenode.  Let’s see what client I am using when you ping me up!

 

See you next time.  Till then keep customizing 🙂

storymode7

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Really nice description of your experience with WeeChat.
    You spent time, thinking and writing. That shows 🙂

    Your nick is misspelled though.

    Awesomely done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. storymode7 says:

      Thanks Jason 🙂
      Fixed the typo.

      Like

  2. Shiva Saxena says:

    Amazing Post! Now I wanna try WeeChat too 🙂

    Like

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