Thresher IRC


The Open Source world is littered with half finished and abandoned projects. This is because developers, in their initial enthusiasm, take on large and overly ambitious tasks. What these well-intentioned developers forget is that everything in software is hard. The words 'quick', 'easy', 'simple', and especially 'RAD' have no place in software development. Writing good quality software is hard work filled with many unknowns. So as Open Source developers meet up against this reality their projects fall by the wayside.

There are, of course, many complex Open Source projects that do succeed through good leadership and the efforts of a dedicated team. But it should still be possible for a single developer to create something useful. I believe the best way to do this is to think small, in the spirit as the Perl module library CPAN. The idea is to create lots of small foundation libraries upon which other developers can build and to avoid  duplication of effort as much as possible. What really convinced me of the neccessity of this approach was that while looking for an IRC library in Java I came across numerous Bot kits and GUI clients all of which implemented their own IRC communication library and none of which was really finished.

With this in mind I decided to write a basic IRC communications library that could be used by anyone wishing to write Bots, an end user Client, or even just to add IRC functionality in their own app. It is not a huge library nor terribly complicated but the very fact that its scope is so modest allowed me to put a lot of effort into making it high quality. And I hope that with lots of user testing it will turn out to be a good and useful component.

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