If you, like me, hang out once in a while on IRC to chat with fellow programmers (or with fellow practitioner of your favorite hobby), you may find that some individuals are just not worth your full attention. One easy, and rather definitive way to deal with the problem is to use the /ignore command that allows your IRC client to filter incoming messages from those people, and you just never see them again… quite literally.
However, just /ignoring someone is rude, and may prevent you from keeping a eye on them. You know, the “keep your friends close, your enemies closer” kind of thing.
A long time ago, with a friend, I wrote a mIRC script that shaded the “ignored” people’s text so that it was hard to read (like dark gray on blue), but the text was still available. To view the text, you could either squint or select the text. This week, I present a python version of that script, for XChat, based on the work of Albert W. Hopkins, a.k.a. Marduk, released under the GPL.