I use Pidgin for some IRC channels but there is a problem with some channels with special chars in their channel topic text. There seem to be some special chars that are used for colors and similar, but pidgin does not handle them correctly in the xml files like blist.xml (buddylist).
More about that bug in this tickets:
My fix for the bug: Creating a start script for pidgin, that converts the badly escaped stuff in the xml files:
if [ -f ~/.purple/blist.xml ]
mv ~/.purple/blist.xml ~/.purple/blist.xml.tmp
cat ~/.purple/blist.xml.tmp | sed 's/\&#x/\&#x/g' > ~/.purple/blist.xml