The (optionally translucent) ticker scroller showing unicode support.


aquatik is a tickertape style headline news and chat/messaging application for Mac OS X. It can receive Elvin notifications from a variety sources including CVS, various news feeds (usenet and RSS) and also from other tickertape clients. It relies on the Elvin C SDK.

Several mailing lists are available and you can also browse the mailing list archives:

Questions should be sent to

Visit the screenshots archive for a visual history lesson.


Noteworthy features of aquatik are:

  • native Mac OS X using Objective C and Cocoa,
  • optional scrolling text window,
  • support for the presence protocol,
  • Text-to-Speech,
  • Growl support,
  • unicode support,
  • threaded and non-threaded history displays,
  • optional pinning of the scroller to the bottom of the screen,
  • cmd-option drag to move the scroller,
  • and the ability to change the scroller background color and translucency.

Features planned for future releases:

  • killing of message threads,
  • transient conversation-based group subscription,
  • improved use of keys to secure and authenticate messages and channels,
  • applescript support,
  • per-group colors,
  • per-group timeouts, and
  • per-group text-to-speech.
  • Feel free to request others via bugzilla.

Note, I highly recommend moving the Dock to the right-hand side (I also pin it to the bottom of the screen) so that you can put aquatik across the bottom of your screen where the dock normally lives.

new features

  • Growl support: aquatik will optionally install Growl and emit growl notifications for further display options. Growl display options for each Chat and News channel are individually configurable via the SystemPreferences>>Growl.
  • You can directly subscribe to an RSS feed to receive notifications when new articles appear.
  • The scrolling text window can now be closed and the send/chat window made non-floating allowing for a potentially less intrusive interface.
  • A message is displayed whenever a new presence identity is detected (except just after startup).
  • Presence display is much less promiscuous :-) Only people belonging to your Presence Groups are displayed.
  • When moving the scroller, it will now snap to the sides and top of screen as well as the bottom.
  • The scroller adjusts its size when the screen resolution is changed.
  • Universal binary since version 1.6.


Latest Release

The latest release of aquatik is aquatik-1.7.1, the school release, and is available as a binary, tarred .app and as a disk image.

All Releases
1.7.1(dmg)tgz school February 18 2009
1.6(dmg)tgz prokofiev February 18 2007
1.5.1(dmg)tgz escape November 27 2005
1.4(dmg)tgz stone October 27 2005
1.4rc1(dmg)tgz twenty May 27 2003
1.3(dmg)tgz rolling-stone Sep 22 2002
1.2.1(dmg)tgz fcough+ Jun 17 2002
1.2(dmg)tgz fcough Jun 17 2002
1.1(dmg)tgz foxtail Apr 30 2002
1.0(dmg)tgz kendo Apr 10 2002

user comments

MacPeople: image/text
"Introducing a recommended piece of new software!"

MacPeople is a Japanese magazine and the article is, naturally, in Japanese. However, I have been kindly supplied with a translation which will show up in tooltips over the image. The text link gives the whole translation.

"Good documentation included. An unusual kind of chat, probably the most compressed form you'll find out there. Makes use of an Elvin server (obviously), quite customizable using the prefs and indicated key-combos. Intuitive interface once you get the hang of it."