Server Buffer Names in Circe

Circe is an IRC client for Emacs. If you are dying to try out Emacs for your IRC-ing needs, it already comes with two other clients, ERC and rcirc. Both work just fine. Personally, I’ve found circe to be a great mix of helpful features alongside simple configuration.

One thing that was always bugging me was that the server buffers names. I use an IRC bouncer that keeps me connected to the different IRC networks I use. At work, I connect to each network using a different username using a port forwarded by ssh. The result being I get 3 buffers with extremely descriptive names such as localhost:6668<2>. I’d love to have names like *irc-freenode* instead, so here is what I came up with.

First off, I wrote a small function to connect to each network that looks like this:

(defun my-start-ircs ()
  ;; Tell circe not to show mode changes as they are pretty noisey
  (circe-set-display-handler "MODE" (lambda (&rest ignored) nil)))

Then for each IRC server I call the normal circe call. The circe call returns the server buffer. In order to rename the buffer, I can do the following:

(defun start-freenode-irc ()
  (with-current-buffer (circe "locahost"
                              :port 6689
                              :nick "elarson"
                              :user "eric_on_freenode"
                              :password (my-irc-pw))
    (rename-buffer "*irc-freenode*"))

Bingo! I get a nice server buffer name. I suspect this could work with ERC and rcirc, but I haven’t tried it. Hope it helps someone else out!