My reference to it being #1 isn't the number of users. If the other main clients look at mIRC to see what to add, then those clients are proving mIRC's #1... not by number of users, but simply by trying to live up to it. You don't try to be the same as something that's not any good.
If you want to be the #1 client but are not currently, then you will add features that are popular even if you think they are crap. Some mIRC features are popular, but they may not be considered good by authors of other clients that add those features to their own.
I'm unsure of how a text smile isn't good enough to show that same thing. Most people using the internet (other than brand new users) understand at least the basic text smileys. As I said earlier, I do like the idea of being able to replace any text with any image through scripting. That would be useful rather than just aesthetic and could make for some very interesting scripts. It would also allow for emoticons to exist. That is a way to add functionality to the emoticon idea so that it's worth doing for reasons that are not aesthetic.
A text smile isn't good enough because there are only so many smileys that actually make sense.
I fail to see how :S represents confusion, :@ represents anger and :-* represents whispering. Unless you start using text-based smileys like : laugh : and : blush : which make little sense to use outside of a smiley-based environment, there's only so many smileys you can use that aren't nonsensical.
A large number to *use* English because that's the easiest method up until now. Now that we have UTF8, more and more are using that so they can talk in their own languages. Maybe I am wrong at the percent as well, but I still think that we have at least about 50% of users who are not from the United States or England or other countries that have English as a primary language. Of course, I guess that many languages do work with English characters, so that you don't need UTF8, so maybe it is a lower percent that actually use it. Still, I do believe it's a very important feature to a very large number of people.
As far as I know it's also the most international language. That would explain its popularity on the internet as well as speech.
Well, that isn't really an instant communication site... it is closer to a forum/e-mail communication site. Still, I admit that I may be wrong about the number using webcams for actual live video communication. The point I was making is that other similar instant communication software (such as IM) that has the ability to use video/voice don't have a large percentage of people actually using it.
Myspace was a bad example, but many social networking sites have instant chat applets as well as forums/guestbooks/etc.
IRC will get used the same way once everyone turns it into a instant messaging wanna be client. But you do have a point hixxy. I just don't like to see IRC turned into a instant messaging wanna be type thing... I just think theres tons of different features an things in the IRC community that should get worked on before it starts messing around with voice and video crap. I don't really think it makes IRC better nor really worse..
It would still be nothing like an instant messenger due to the fact you don't have to add people to your contact list/address book to speak to them, its main focus would not be one on one conversations, you do not have to login with a username/email address and password, and a myriad of other features available to mostly instant messaging clients. Saying it's going to be an IM wannabe is jumping the gun a little.
IRC was out long before other online instant chat methods. mIRC is meant for IRC, so not having chat wouldn't make sense.
The rest are valid questions, but I don't want to start debating all of those in this thread.
You have a point. That was a bad argument.
Maybe it's the channels I am often in, but most people I meet on IRC are more interested in privacy than in displaying their face for unknown people to see. Displaying your face to friends is one thing... to strangers is less desirable for many people. The whole a/s/l thing was popular for quite awhile once you started seeing AOL and IM stuff going around. It isn't anymore because people don't want to share that information. Privacy is becoming more and more of an issue with people (at least from my experience). That said, I don't frequent the #chat or #cafe channels or similar ones that are meant for trying to meet people. Of course, what percentage of IRC users do? (That's rhetorical as I'm sure no one has that data, but I'm sure it's a low number).
Those that value their privacy wouldn't be forced to use the voice/video features nor would they be forced to share any information they'd rather keep private. The point is these features would be there for those that would
use them, but wouldn't have to be used if people didn't wish to use them.
I don't tend to ask people their ASL or if they want to go on webcam on IRC, so I can't really say whether it seems like the majority value their privacy, but I think that's largely based on an assumption and holds no weight in a debate. For one thing, if a lot of the people on the network(s) you frequent value privacy, then perhaps it's known for those reasons. Maybe it's known as a network where the people tend to be non-intrusive, which would result in more and more people that value their privacy joining.
As it happens, I find that filesharing channels are the most popular, followed by ones that talk about a popular subject such as music/tv, followed by general chat, followed by programming, and finally scripting. Then you get others that aren't really worth a mention. Obviously I've missed ones out in between, but I'm just giving a rough idea of the popularity of general chat vs. other subjects.