Ignoring Bots in IRC Channels using Colloquy

I’ve recently started using IRC again. Unfortunately, one of the channels that I use is somewhat infested with bots. This is a pity because when there’s signal in the channel it’s very useful stuff to be aware of. So, instead of whining like a little girl I decided to “man up” and do something about removing the bots and related noise from my view.

My first attempt to do this didn’t turn out so well. I use Colloquy as my IRC client on the Mac, so tried the obvious thing of right clicking on the username of the bot I wanted to ignore and selecting, you guessed it, “Ignore”. At first this seemed to work, but unfortunately the next time I loaded up Colloquy the bot started spewing out its nonsense again. Something had to be done.

Rooting around the application, I found the place that controls how people and messages get ignored. How do you get there? Well…

  1. Open the “Window” menu and select “Connections”
  2. Select the server that you’d like to set up ignore rules for, and click on the “Info” icon.
  3. Select the “Ignores” tab.
  4. Now you can set up your ignore rules!

Phew - it’s almost like I was back in Windows World. It shouldn’t be that hard to get to be able to set up a few Ignores Rules, should it?

From the Ignores tab you can pretty much set up any rules you like, just remember to make them permanent. For each of the bots I wanted to ignore I set up a simple “If the sender’s name is xxx, ignore it” rule. As well as that, I set up associated rules for bot control messages that I didn’t want to see as well. So, for example, for a karma bot that was controlled by lines such as “item++” and “item—” I set up rules in the format “Ignore messages if message contains \+\+$”. You see, Colloquy allows to you use lovely regular expressions in your ignore rules, so with a bit of ingenuity you too will be able to banish all that horrible bot noise back where it belongs. Fantastic.

The only thing I wish I could do now is be able to selectively press a button to allow me to see the text that I’ve been ignoring. This would be useful to make sure that I’ve not inadvertently been a bit too liberal with my regular expressions. After all, Colloquy must be receiving the messages that I’m ignoring, so it should be fairly trivial to allow me to take a peek at what I’m ignoring. Right?

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Neil Crosby now blogs at The Code Train and also runs NeilCrosby.com, The Ten Word Review and Everything is Rubbish.