[thanks to JamesOff for this description]

irssi-proxy is (obviously) an irc proxy, but it's much more than just a bouncer. irssi-proxy is a plugin for irssi (./configure --with-proxy and /load proxy). Once installed, irssi-proxy exposes each of your ircnets (as defined in irssi with /ircnet) on a port as an IRC server.

This means that instead of having to remember to type /quote pass blah when you connect, you can just supply the password as normal in your client. The copy of irssi running the proxy works just as a normal client which you can use, but you can also connect one or more clients to it to share the connection. This is probably best illustrated by an example.

I run a copy of irssi with the proxy module loaded inside a copy of screen on my stable shell. Then, when I'm at home I connect a local copy of irssi to it (four times, one for each network) using /server myPort myPassword. My local irssi is automatically joined to all the channels the proxy is on. Then I go to work, where I start another irssi locally, and connect to my proxy. Now I have two clients connected simultaneously to my proxy. I don't need to disconnect one before connecting the other. If I end up somewhere that I can ssh but not run irssi, then I just ssh to my shell and use the proxy like a normal irssi.

Using irssi as a proxy has the major advantage of irssi's power as an IRC client. I never have to worry about my proxy disconnecting because I can trust irssi to reconnect in an intelligent fashion. I can run scripts on the proxy such as forwarding important messages to me by SMS, keeping my nick, and so on. Even if you don't want to use irssi as a client, I can strongly recommend it as a proxy because you can just connect to it with any client (I know someone who uses irssi-proxy to hold her nick during the day, and then connects to it with mIRC in the evenings).

Finally, using irssi locally instead of ssh-ing to the machine that the proxy is running on means that you will not have lag during typing.

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