This is a feature request!
The idea is to have a java-chat which automatically is opened if a wikipedian logs in (should be changeable in the preferences).
Thus you see fast which wikipedians are actually online and you can communicate with them trough the chat. This is easier for many, since you dont need an irc-client and it works automatically.
Furthermore I could imagine some features of the chat like printing informations of changed and new articles and thus you do not need to update the "recent changes"-page so often.
The aim is to improve comunication between wikipedians and keep free discussions from temporal communication.
- http://cgiirc.sourceforge.net/ - this one works without Java!
- CGIIRC seems to be unmaintained now and in it`s current state it has a very heavy serverload (3-4MB of memory per user!)