xchat-text is an experimental client included with the XChat source code which was more of an inclusion to show how XChat could be used with different front ends. xchat-text itself is not very functional, if you want a client for day to day use with a CLI, you would be better off using irssi. However xchat-text does work decent enough for purposes of logging and using the xchat plugin interface behind a screen or dtach session.
Issues with xchat-text
As xchat-text is experimental, it isn't very well supported. For one, all output is sent to standard out regardless of channel. This makes it impossible to distinguish where a conversation is taking place, or know which channel text you say will show up on. You can set the primary window using the doat script and typing /doat #channel gui focus which will then allow the context to be #channel when saying something or issuing commands.
xchat-text does not compile on 2.8.6. You can obtain the code from the CVS and compile this after the fact, however you will need to run ./autogen.sh before you will be able to ./configure. See the bug on SourceForge the the specific code needed to compile.
By default, xchat-text will not save /set variables on exit, however you can change this with /set auto_save on. From then on, doing /close will successfully save the xchat.conf file.
Other differences with a normal configuration setup are:
Unfortunately (or fortunately, if copying profiles and you don't want these settings), these settings are forced every time xchat-text starts up. This means that even if you re-enable auto save on exit (for closing with /close or /killall) on next load, this setting is reset. In order to allow for auto saves, or to turn on tab_server (for the purpose of logging), there are the following 5 lines in src/fe-text/fe-text.c:
prefs.autosave = 0; prefs.use_server_tab = 0; prefs.autodialog = 0; prefs.lagometer = 0; prefs.slist_skip = 1;
Delete the lines you do not wish to keep (for me, it was the first two) and re-compile.
There isn't a way to modify the server list, so if you wish to add a network, you will either need to do so from another GUI and copy over servlist_.conf, or if that file already exists, you can edit the file and restart xchat.
xchat-text does not accept command line options like XChat does. Among other things, this means that the -d parameter will not create a new profile. xchat-text will use ~/.xchat2/ as the profile directory regardless. To counter this, you will need to create a new user if you intend to run xchat-text along side a normal xchat, either that or place your normal instance in a separate directory.