That's just a name I made up for my own customized bundle of programs that together allow one to run ChatZilla IRC client as a 'stand-alone' application. I've created a zip file that has all the requires files, preconfigured, ready-to-use. It expects to be extracted into the C:\Program Files\ folder so if you put it elsewhere it may need a tweak to get the theme to work right (described further down on this page). It is completely non-profit and I only mean to give something back to the open-source community with this. It has been tested and used on Windows 7 x64, and while I'm not sure of this, it should be fine on XP, Vista and 7, both 32-bits and 64-bits as well. I give no guarantees that this software will work for you at all. For all I know, it might eat your cat.

Download NovaChat
(Note: Google Chrome is stupid and claims this file isn't downloaded often and therefore must be evil. It isn't.)

IN SHORT: it allows you to run ChatZilla as stand-alone application with the minimum of fuss and a very sleek look. Here, have a screenshot, as proof of the enormous sleekness of it all:

 

And... what does NovaChat do exactly?

This collection of programs and hacks was put together by me so I could more easily use ChatZilla as a sort of stand-alone program. It doesn't install anything really, it's all a bunch of portable programs that together make the ChatZilla IRC client work. Strangely enough ChatZilla runs as an extension to (portable) Firefox and it can be themed using themes from Firefox or using CSS 'motifs' - although I just call them 'CSS themes'. And I named this bundle NovaChat because I'm vain. Using this stuff is completely at your own risk. I don't guarantee that any of this will even work on your computer. It works on mine, though. It uses a lot of stuff made by other people. It works by combining all of the following programs in such a way that it runs as a sort of separate and stand-alone program.

  • Mozilla Firefox 11.0 by the Mozilla Foundation
  • ChatZilla 0.9.88.2 by the developers of ChatZilla
  • PortableApps FireFox by John T. Haller
  • Resource Hacker by Angus Johnson
  • NASA Night Launch Firefox Theme by mcdavis
  • Motokai CSS ChatZilla motif by Manuel Strehl
  • Combination of Googled background images, mixed and edited
  • The GIMP graphics editor by The GIMP Team

 

I'm feeling experimental today, how do I use this?

Just so you know- this is completely at your own risk and I don't know what it will do to your computer if it goes bad, so no promises. However, it has been working fine for months here, I use it daily, and have had no issues.

  1. Download NovaChat, a ZIP file, and unpack in C:\Program Files\ - this will make a subfolder NovaChat.
  2. Open Windows Explorer and go to C:\Program Files\NovaChat\
  3. Doubleclick Launch (or drag and drop the icon to your task bar/desktop)
  4. Go to the menu item Chatzilla > Preferences and in the Global Settings set stuff up.
  5. To connect to Freenode, type: /server irc.freenode.net
  6. RTFM (of ChatZilla obviously)

Note: if you want you can place this program in any folder you like - with one tiny thing to fix if you do so. Go to Chatzilla > Preferences > Global Settings > Appearance. You see three fields for location of motif file - the CSS theme. Adjust these paths so they point to the correct place. If you install NovaChat in another location than the default one, these paths will be messed up, but it's easy to fix.

 

How exactly was this monstrosity made?

PortableApps.com installation file for Mozilla Firefox 11 was obtained and installed. The preferences were altered a bit to hide some things and to show a blank page when portable Firefox was started. Also, updates were disabled - any update will require the NovaChat thing to restart completely, and this is really annoying on an IRC client.

The Firefox executable therein was altered using Resource Hacker (not included in this bundle) to replace the Firefox logo with the ChatZilla logo, since I want THAT icon to show on my task bar in Windows, and not the Firefox logo. FirefoxPortable.ini was added to suppress the PortableApps splash screen and to allow multiple instances. This allows an already present and installed Firefox to operate normally and separately instead of opening new windows in the instance already running when NovaChat is open.

The Firefox theme NASA Night Launch was installed in Firefox, this already contains a hell of a lot of theming information. It really is quite a nice piece of work. I did alter a very small part of it - I altered the icon for private messages sent while you are not looking to an icon that flashes. The flashing helps grab attention. The ChatZilla extension was installed in Firefox and some preferences were put in. You will definitely want to go to the menu ChatZilla > Preferences to set things like your username and nick and such so it conforms to what you want. The Motokai CSS theme was downloaded and installed into ChatZilla. This adds the last visual touches to the NovaChat program. It was heavily altered by me to use some nice CSS3 effects that I wanted to have in there, and I grabbed some background pictures off Google that I altered and mixed together using The GIMP (not included in this bundle) to create the cool dark background picture that is in use in NovaChat.