Getting the Freenode Channel List

This should have been a simple task, but it took longer than I expected. Perhaps somebody can show me a quicker, better way to do this.

I've been connecting to the #pkg5 IRC channel on freenode.net for the last few days, and today I went to see what other channels were there. I'm using pidgin 2.5.1 on OpenSolaris 2008.11 (build 101a).

I knew enough about IRC to type /list in the input area at the bottom of my conversation(s) window. When I do that, up comes a popup dialog with a room list. I can click on the column headers to sort it in various ways. Neat. How to I save the information, so I can process it? Darned if I know. I furtled around in various menus and preference dialogs, couldn't find anything useful and gave up.

I then installed XChat 2.8.6. Under the Server menu, there is a List of Channels... menu item which brings up another popup dialog of the Channels List. Again, you can sort in various ways, but there is also a Save List... button. Yay!

I now have a text file containing a full channel list, sorted by the number of users, and from this I can extract useful URL's provided as part of the various channel descriptions.

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