BarnOwl – curses-based IM client forked from the ​ktools owl project

BarnOwl is a curses-based instant messenger client.

The software is forked from the ktools owl project.

BarnOwl is released under an open source license.

Features include:

  • Supports Zephyr, Jabber, IRC, and Twitter.
  • Expressive filter language that can be used to describe sets of messages. This language is used both for coloring messages and for selectively viewing subsets of your messages.
  • Easily extensible and customizable through a Perl plugin interface. Available plugins:
    • Alias – change the displayed name of select classes, for example to abbreviate long class names or to hide private class names from shoulder-surfers.
    • ClassFilters – creates filters from files in the ~/.owl/classfilters directory.
    • DevUtils – contains some utilities useful for BarnOwl plugin developers.
    • ZStatus – exposes the zstatus and zbars commands, for sending status bars to Zephyr.
  • ColorUtils – a module for BarnOwl to make managing color filters easy.
  • Experimental support for the Zulip chat system. It supports:
    • Sending and receiving zulip stream and personal messages (including
      with multiple recipients, mostly-functionally).
    • Listing, adding, and removing subscriptions
    • Minimal support for stream creatio.
    • Full filter language support (message attributes are mostly the same
      as zephyr) including support for “punt” and mostly-functional
    • Support for displaying message edits (they show up as new messages
      with the correct stream/topic/sender with the new text and opcode
  • Keyboard shortcuts.

BarnOwl currently requires the following Perl modules available from CPAN: AnyEvent, Class::Accessor, ExtUtils::Depends, Glib, Module::Install, PAR. The IRC module requires AnyEvent::IRC.

Support: GitHub code repository
Developer: Nelson Elhage and Alejandro Sedeno at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Many other people have made contributions
License: 3-clause BSD license


BarnOwl is written in C. Learn C with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

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