#IRC bouncers like #znc are useful for the tiny niche of people who want their IRC presence to be separate from their client connections and to use different native irc clients without persistent backends. I use #irssi, #Irken, and #Holoirc on various devices with znc, and it works really well.
People who like clients such as thelounge.chat and weechat relays are already using bouncers, they're just integrated into the system.
I am a long time #IRC aficionado, but I've been reading the #Matrix protocol, and... I don't hate it. It fixes a lot of the problems with #IRC without introducing many new ones. I'm not super excited about http-all-the-things and json protocols, but it seems solid otherwise.
I don't think I'll really know how I feel about it unless I write a client for it.
I dropped my #IRC client onto github today! It's 1000sloc of #Tcl/Tk for the core, plus a bunch of plugins. I've been using it as my primary #IRC client for the past couple of years, so it's well-used.
It's not for everyone, but I'd say it's one of the most hackable #IRC clients out there.
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