Alice is an acronym for "Altogether Lovely Internet Chatting Experience" which is an IRC client that is viewed in the web browser. Alice runs in the background maintaining connections and collecting messages. When a browser connects, it will display the 100 most recent messages for each channel, and update with any new messages as they arrive.
Alice also logs messages to an SQLite database. These logs are searchable through the web interface.
For desktop notifications install libdesktop-notify-perl.