I am using Finch, the text-based version of Pidgin. It uses a library called GNTRC to create a windowing interface in text. Personally, I find it a bit complicated. Is there a simpler text interface?
You can enable IRSSI mode to achieve a simpler text interface.
Fortunately, it is possible to switch that model out for one which resembles irssi with the contact list down the left hand side of the interface, the chat windows taking up the entire remaining space, and using alt+number to switch between windows. It’s not perfect, but it’s way more usable than the default model.
To enable this, add this to your ~/.gntrc (create it if it doesn’t exist):
[Finch] wm = /usr/lib/gnt/irssi.so
I also add mouse = 1 to enable the experimental mouse support.