Quassel IRC is a modern, cross-platform, distributed IRC client, meaning that one or more clients can attach to and detach from a central core, much like the popular combination of screen and a text-based IRC client, but graphical. In addition to this unique feature, it aims to be a comfortable chatting program.
Smuxi is an irssi-inspired, flexible, user-friendly, and cross-platform IRC client for sophisticated users. Smuxi is based on the client-server model: The core application (engine) can be placed onto a server which is connected to the Internet around-the-clock; one or more frontends then connect to the core. This allows the connection to IRC to be kept up even when all frontends have been closed. The combination of screen and irssi served as the example for this architecture. Smuxi also supports the regular single application mode. This behaves like a typical IRC client; it doesn't need separate core management and utilizes a local engine that is used by the local frontend client.