What has changed in 2.2?

Getting rid of CP1252 in favour of UTF-8

In versions before 2.2, when using the irc encoding (the default), Cinch would use CP1252 for outgoing messages, only falling back to UTF-8 if a message wouldn’t fit into CP1252. This is a so called hybrid encoding, which is used by X-Chat and the like.

This encoding, however, is based on the state of 10 years ago, where the most popular IRC clients, such as mIRC, weren’t capable of handling UTF-8. Nowadays, there are more clients that support UTF-8 than there are clients that can deal with this hybrid encoding, or CP1252 itself. That’s why, from now on, we will always use UTF-8.

If you depend on outgoing messages being encoded in CP1252, please see encodings on how to change the encoding.

API improvements

New methods

Deprecated methods

In order to reduce the amount of aliases, the following ones have been deprecated and will be removed in a future release:

Additionally, the following method is deprecated and will be removed in the future:

What has changed in 2.1?

  1. Color stripping
  2. Per group hooks
  3. API improvements
    1. New methods
    2. Changed methods
    3. New aliases

Color stripping

The new method Cinch::Utilities::String.strip_colors Cinch::Formatting.unformat allows removal of mIRC color codes from messages.

Additionally, a new match option called strip_colors makes it possible to automatically and temporarily strip color codes before attempting to match a message.

Per group hooks

A new option group for hooks allows registering hooks for specific groups.

API improvements

New methods




Changed methods



New aliases

Due to some unfortunate naming mistakes in Cinch 2.0, Cinch 2.1 adds several aliases. All of the new aliases deprecate the original method names, which will be removed in Cinch 3.0.


What has changed in 2.0?

  1. Added support for SASL
  2. Added support for DCC SEND
  3. Added a fair scheduler for outgoing messages
  4. Added required plugin options
  5. Added support for colors/formatting
  6. Added network discovery
  7. Added match groups
  8. Added match options overwriting plugin options
  9. Added support for actions (/me)
  10. Added support for broken IRC networks
  11. Dynamic timers
  12. Reworked logging facilities
  13. API improvements
    1. Helper changes
    2. Added a Cinch::Target Target class
    3. Cinch::Constants
    4. New methods
    5. Removed/Renamed methods
    6. Handlers
    7. The Plugin class
    8. Channel/Target/User implement Comparable
    9. Renamed *Manager to *List
  14. New events

Added support for SASL

Cinch now supports authenticating to services via SASL. For more information check Cinch::SASL.

Added support for DCC SEND

Support for sending and receiving files via DCC has been added to Cinch. Check Cinch::DCC for more information.

Added a fair scheduler for outgoing messages

Cinch always provided sophisticated throttling to avoid getting kicked due to excess flood. One major flaw, however, was that it used a single FIFO for all messages, thus preferring early message targets and penalizing later ones.

Now Cinch uses a round-robin approach, having one queue per message target (channels and users) and one for generic commands.

Added required plugin options

Plugins can now require specific options to be set. If any of those options are not set, the plugin will automatically refuse being loaded.

This is useful for example for plugins that require API keys to interact with web services.

The new attribute is called required_options.


class MyPlugin
  include Cinch::Plugin

  set :required_options, [:foo, :bar]
  # ...

# ...

bot.configure do |c|
  c.plugins.plugins = [MyPlugin]
  c.plugins.options[MyPlugin] = {:foo => 1}

# The plugin won't load because the option :bar is not set.
# Instead it will print a warning.

Added support for colors/formatting

A new module and helper for adding colors and formatting to messages has been added. See the module’s documentation for more information on usage.

Added support for network discovery

Cinch now tries to detect the network it connects to, including the running IRCd. For most parts this is only interesting internally, but if you’re writing advanced plugins that hook directly into IRC and needs to be aware of available features/quirks, check out Cinch::IRC#network and Cinch::Network.

Reworked logging facilities

The logging API has been drastically improved. Check the logging documentation for more information.

Added match groups

A new option for matchers, :group, allows grouping multiple matchers to a group. What’s special is that in any group, only the first matching handler will be executed.


class Foo
  include Cinch::Plugin

  match /foo (\d+)/, group: :blegh, method: :foo1
  match /foo (.+)/,  group: :blegh, method: :foo2
  match /foo .+/,                   method: :foo3
  def foo1(m, arg)
    m.reply "foo1"

  def foo2(m, arg)
    m.reply "foo2"

  def foo3(m)
    m.reply "foo3"
# 02:05:39       dominikh │ !foo 123
# 02:05:40          cinch │ foo1
# 02:05:40          cinch │ foo3

# 02:05:43       dominikh │ !foo bar
# 02:05:44          cinch │ foo2
# 02:05:44          cinch │ foo3

Added match options overwriting plugin options

Matchers now have their own :prefix, :suffix and :react_on options which overwrite plugin options for single matchers.

Added support for actions (/me)

A new event, <code>:action</code> has been added and can be used for matching actions as follows:

match "kicks the bot", react_on: :action
def execute(m)
  m.reply "Ouch!"

API improvements

Helper changes

The helper methods User() and Channel() have been extracted from Cinch::Bot and moved to their own module which can be reused in various places.

Added a Target class

Since Cinch::Channel and Cinch::User share one common interface for sending messages, it only makes sense to have a common base class. This new class takes care of sending messages and removes this responsibility from Cinch::Channel, Cinch::User and Cinch::Bot


All constants for IRC numeric replies (RPL_* and ERR_*) have been moved from Cinch to Cinch::Constants

New methods




Logging shortcuts






Internally, Cinch uses Handlers for listening to and matching events. In previous versions, this was hidden from the user, but now they’re part of the public API, providing valuable information and the chance to unregister handlers alltogether.

Cinch::Bot#on now returns the created handler and Cinch::Plugin#handlers allows getting a plugin’s registered handlers.

Removed/Renamed methods

The following methods have been removed:

Removed method Replacement
Cinch::Bot#halt next or break (Ruby keywords)
Cinch::Bot#raw Cinch::IRC#send
Cinch::Bot#msg Cinch::Target#msg
Cinch::Bot#notice Cinch::Target#notice
Cinch::Bot#safe_msg Cinch::Target#safe_msg
Cinch::Bot#safe_notice Cinch::Target#safe_notice
Cinch::Bot#action Cinch::Target#action
Cinch::Bot#safe_action Cinch::Target#safe_action
Cinch::Bot#dispatch Cinch::HandlerList#dispatch
Cinch::Bot#register_plugins Cinch::PluginList#register_plugins
Cinch::Bot#register_plugin Cinch::PluginList#register_plugin
Cinch::Bot#logger Cinch::Bot#loggers
Cinch::Bot#debug Cinch::LoggerList#debug
Cinch::IRC#message Cinch::IRC#send
Cinch::Logger::Logger#log_exception Cinch::Logger#exception
Class methods in Plugin to set options A new set method as well as attribute setters

The Plugin class

The Plugin class has been drastically improved to look and behave more like a proper Ruby class instead of being some abstract black box.

All attributes of a plugin (name, help message, matchers, …) are being made available via attribute getters and setters. Furthermore, it is possible to access a Plugin instance’s registered handlers and timers, as well as unregister plugins.

For a complete overview of available attributes and methods, see Cinch::Plugin and Cinch::Plugin::ClassMethods.

Plugin options

The aforementioned changes also affect the way plugin options are being set: Plugin options aren’t set with DSL-like methods anymore but instead are made available via a set method or alternatively plain attribute setters.

See the migration guide for more information.

Channel/Target/User implement Comparable

Cinch::Target and thus Cinch::Channel and Cinch::User now implement the Comparable interface, which makes them sortable by all usual Ruby means.

Renamed *Manager to *List

Cinch::ChannelManager and Cinch::UserManager have been renamed to Cinch::ChannelList and Cinch::UserList respectively.

Added support for broken IRC networks

Special support for the following flawed IRC networks has been added:

  • JustinTV
  • NGameTV
  • IRCnet

Dynamic timers

It is now possible to create new timers from any method/handler. It is also possible to stop existing timers or restart them.

The easiest way of creating new timers is by using the Timer helper method, even though it is also possible, albeit more complex, to create instances of Cinch::Timer directly.


match /remind me in (\d+) seconds/
def execute(m, seconds)
  Timer(seconds.to_i, shots: 1) do
    m.reply "This is your reminder.", true

For more information on timers, see the Timer documentation.

New options

New events

What has changed in 1.1?

  1. New events
  2. New methods
  3. New options
  4. Improved logger x. Deprecated methods

New events

Additionally, plugins are now able to send their own events by using Cinch::Bot#dispatch.

New methods


Stores the last nick of a user. This can for example be used in on :nick to compare a user’s old nick against the new one.

Cinch::User#notice, Cinch::Channel#notice and Cinch::Bot#notice

For sending notices.


Provides a nicer representation of Cinch::Message objects.


Provides an easier way of checking if a given user is in a channel

New options

Improved logger

The formatted logger (which is the default one) now contains timestamps. Furthermore, it won’t emit color codes if not writing to a TTY.

Additionally, it can now log any kind of object, not only strings.

Deprecated methods

Deprecated method Replacement
Cinch::User.find_ensured Cinch::UserManager#find_ensured
Cinch::User.find Cinch::UserManager#find
Cinch::User.all Cinch::UserManager#each
Cinch::Channel.find_ensured Cinch::ChannelManager#find_ensured
Cinch::Channel.find Cinch::ChannelManager#find
Cinch::Channel.all Cinch::ChannelManager#each