30 votes

The Freenode resignation FAQ

Tags: freenode, irc, chat, faq

30 comments

  1. [3]
    cfabbro
    (edited )
    Link
    Wow, what a remarkably scummy thing for Andrew Lee to attempt. However, if the threats of resignation don't dissuade him and things escalate, this situation seems like a perfect case to take...

    Wow, what a remarkably scummy thing for Andrew Lee to attempt. However, if the threats of resignation don't dissuade him and things escalate, this situation seems like a perfect case to take before ICANN for a domain name dispute resolution. Even though it's a bit more complicated than most domain disputes, due to a lack of trademark on the part of the volunteer staff and server owners, this could probably still be considered a case of bad-faith domain registration and cybersquatting, given the rather long history of Freenode, and the fact that all the underlying server infrastructure is outside the current domain holder's control.

    11 votes
    1. [2]
      tomf
      Link Parent
      the whole thing is crazy. Here's Fuchs' resignation. It isn't open yet, but it looks like there will be a push to move to irc.libera.chat.

      the whole thing is crazy. Here's Fuchs' resignation.

      It isn't open yet, but it looks like there will be a push to move to irc.libera.chat.

      3 votes
  2. ras
    Link
    Sounds like it's official. The gist above was just updated.

    Sounds like it's official. The gist above was just updated.

    6 votes
  3. [3]
    mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    I like IRC because the clients are lightweight and I can leave it open on any machine without impacting performance. The lack of "modern" features doesn't bother me in the slightest. In fact, I...

    I like IRC because the clients are lightweight and I can leave it open on any machine without impacting performance. The lack of "modern" features doesn't bother me in the slightest. In fact, I consider many of its "limitations" as pluses.

    When I was younger, IRC was the place to be if you wanted to meet people. We had physical meetings every once in a while -- lots of great stories from that time. In fact, I met my first girlfriend on IRC even though we went to the same school. All that happened on Brazilian servers that don't exist anymore (correction: it looks like Brasirc still exists. Outstanding!).

    Recently I only used it for programming and technical stuff. It was pretty useful, but I haven't done any programming in quite a while so I stopped using it.

    Sadly, these problems with Freenode feel like a nail in the coffin of IRC. How many users will migrate to whatever network they're recommending? A bunch of them will just open Discord and uninstall IRC for good.

    6 votes
    1. lonjil
      Link Parent
      So far my experience has been the opposite. Most channels I'm in moved swiftly to Libera, and even when alternatives were set up, such as Matrix channels, almost no one joined them.

      A bunch of them will just open Discord and uninstall IRC for good.

      So far my experience has been the opposite. Most channels I'm in moved swiftly to Libera, and even when alternatives were set up, such as Matrix channels, almost no one joined them.

      5 votes
    2. Pistos
      Link Parent
      Well, I don't know about that. I would expect a fair number of channels to migrate smoothly, without much traffic loss. A number FLOSS projects that I use or am involved in don't have a non-IRC...

      Sadly, these problems with Freenode feel like a nail in the coffin of IRC. How many users will migrate to whatever network they're recommending? A bunch of them will just open Discord and uninstall IRC for good.

      Well, I don't know about that. I would expect a fair number of channels to migrate smoothly, without much traffic loss. A number FLOSS projects that I use or am involved in don't have a non-IRC presence, as far as I know.

      3 votes
  4. [2]
    ras
    Link
    New details from Andrew Lee.
    5 votes
    1. Deimos
      Link Parent
      Andrew submitted it to Hacker News himself, and has also been replying to a lot of comments there: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=27234542 I wouldn't say it's going particularly well, but...

      Andrew submitted it to Hacker News himself, and has also been replying to a lot of comments there: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=27234542

      I wouldn't say it's going particularly well, but there's a fair amount more going on in the comments there.

      3 votes
  5. [19]
    Adys
    Link
    I am so done with IRC. I've been on Freenode since … 2005. And I mean look at this: Registered : Jul 22 17:55:14 2013 (7y 43w 1d ago) User reg. : Nov 06 18:11:16 2006 (14y 28w 1d ago) I was 14. I...

    I am so done with IRC.

    I've been on Freenode since … 2005. And I mean look at this:

    Registered : Jul 22 17:55:14 2013 (7y 43w 1d ago)
    User reg.  : Nov 06 18:11:16 2006 (14y 28w 1d ago)
    

    I was 14. I grew up with IRC. I learned English, made friends, met my first girlfriend, all through IRC. At some point I was in 4 networks and something like 50 channels. My Freenode account has seen 12 different IRC clients and bouncers.

    Now it's just a vague irccloud tab I keep alive for honestly no good reason. I'm in some archlinux channels, but they have a matrix bridge now so I can just use that. And I'm in one of the archiving channels, but I just idle there.

    Let it die. Please let it die. I feel like I'm watching a beloved relative go through the worst parts of old age, tarnishing my memory of them in the process.

    I let my irccloud subscription run out last month. I think it's time to pull the plug.

    13 votes
    1. tomf
      Link Parent
      I'm just under 11 years on my current account. I love IRC and I'll be there until it absolutely dies. You should definitely pass off the archiving duties, though. Anyone with a bouncer can do it...

      I'm just under 11 years on my current account. I love IRC and I'll be there until it absolutely dies.

      You should definitely pass off the archiving duties, though. Anyone with a bouncer can do it just as well. I used to end up being an op in every channel I joined, but now I only op about two or three. Its nice to just chat and not have a job. :)

      6 votes
    2. [13]
      lonjil
      Link Parent
      Unfortunately all IRC alternatives are really pretty crap. IRC is pretty crap too but it works, and is actually mature. This seems kinda, selfish? I use IRC because it's useful. Whether it...

      Unfortunately all IRC alternatives are really pretty crap. IRC is pretty crap too but it works, and is actually mature.

      Let it die. Please let it die. I feel like I'm watching a beloved relative go through the worst parts of old age, tarnishing my memory of them in the process.

      This seems kinda, selfish? I use IRC because it's useful. Whether it continues to be useful has nothing to do with your nostalgia of it. If it has no use to you, then sure don't use it. I haven't used IRC for nearly as long as you have, but over time I find myself using it more and more, rather than less. A few years ago it was something I had just in case I needed to hop in for tech support for whatever project, now it's a place where I chat with friends and participate in projects.

      6 votes
      1. [12]
        Adys
        Link Parent
        It's not selfish. Matrix has a serious shot at making the world's person-to-person communication protocols open. I can't stress how important it is for that to happen, rather than continue with...

        It's not selfish. Matrix has a serious shot at making the world's person-to-person communication protocols open. I can't stress how important it is for that to happen, rather than continue with the current fragmentation between a thousand different proprietary protocols.

        XMPP missed its shot, but Matrix learned a lot from that and is a fine replacement for both group chats and 1-to-1 chats.

        IMO the selfish ones are those clinging hopelessly to IRC, a protocol with no future, for the sake of nostalgia. Early advocacy is critical and you'd think those people would understand the importance of having an open protocol play this role…

        3 votes
        1. [6]
          Akir
          Link Parent
          IRC is an open standard. More than that, it’s a de facto standard. And just like every other de facto standard, there is basically no way to kill it. Just look at email for another example. And...

          IRC is an open standard. More than that, it’s a de facto standard. And just like every other de facto standard, there is basically no way to kill it. Just look at email for another example.

          And the fact of the matter is that IRC isn’t holding anyone back. People obviously see it as a useful communication tool, or else it wouldn’t be used. And if they needed more advanced communication technology, there are other platforms available.

          To be honest, I think it’s crazy to think that any one communications platform will become the standard. That has literally never been the case for the entirety of human society.

          5 votes
          1. [5]
            Adys
            Link Parent
            Email would like to have a word with you. I've been an IRC user for a decade and a half, I've written IRC libraries, clients, bots. IRC is an awful standard. It's full of warts which are...

            I think it’s crazy to think that any one communications platform will become the standard. That has literally never been the case for the entirety of human society.

            Email would like to have a word with you.

            I've been an IRC user for a decade and a half, I've written IRC libraries, clients, bots. IRC is an awful standard. It's full of warts which are unacceptable today. IRCv3 fixes some, but has little to no adoption and doesn't even do 10% of what's needed to make the standard useful in the near or medium term.

            People use it, sure. People also use Windows XP today. Or IE6. We're 8bn on the planet, people use a lot of shit, and IRC is so small today that you can be under the impression it's popular when really, you're looking at half of its userbase in one single channel.

            IRC users have seen it live so long, and through so many of its competitors, they're unable to actually see when its death is actually there. If you want to get technical, sure, IRC will live on in its specs, and in a couple of basements running servers for small groups of friends or counter-culture communities. That doesn't mean it's still alive. It's a communication protocol; if its adoption is back to virtually zero, and it has no technical advantages over its competition, it's dead.

            This drama has killed the largest remaining IRC network. It's splitting it into three: a new one (Libera), an older existing one (OFTC), and the shell of the original (Freenode). An already highly fragmented, tiny community is being spread even thinner. I'm not the only one killing my last client; lots of people are, including people who were actually shouldering these communities.

            What exactly do you expect to happen? Facebook spins up an IRC server and revives it? Twitch is the biggest single user of IRC and they're dumping it soon as well. I don't particularly care if people still want to hang out on it, but god damn this denial and this idea that "no no trust me, it's still alive, it'll never die, it can't die" is ridiculous.

            3 votes
            1. [2]
              lonjil
              Link Parent
              What denial? I don't think anyone in this thread was saying that IRC is popular, just that the people who use it do so because they like it. And asking for it to die does seem like caring if...

              I don't particularly care if people still want to hang out on it, but god damn this denial and this idea that "no no trust me, it's still alive, it'll never die, it can't die" is ridiculous.

              What denial? I don't think anyone in this thread was saying that IRC is popular, just that the people who use it do so because they like it. And asking for it to die does seem like caring if people use it.

              3 votes
              1. Adys
                Link Parent
                I felt like this was pretty clear as a metaphor: This is the extent that I personally care.

                asking for it to die does seem like caring if people use it

                I felt like this was pretty clear as a metaphor:

                I feel like I'm watching a beloved relative go through the worst parts of old age, tarnishing my memory of them in the process.

                This is the extent that I personally care.

                1 vote
            2. [2]
              Akir
              Link Parent
              You're telling me exactly what I just told you. IRC is like email. You can't kill it. It's going to be around essentially forever. Email mailing lists arguably replaced Usenet, but for some reason...

              You're telling me exactly what I just told you. IRC is like email. You can't kill it. It's going to be around essentially forever. Email mailing lists arguably replaced Usenet, but for some reason Usenet is still around. There is no point in getting upset about it.

              2 votes
              1. lionirdeadman
                Link Parent
                Ehhh, you might not be able to kill it 100% but there'll be a point where most projects will drop it. https://www.ircstats.org/servers According to these stats, IRC servers have halfed in 4years....

                Ehhh, you might not be able to kill it 100% but there'll be a point where most projects will drop it.

                https://www.ircstats.org/servers

                According to these stats, IRC servers have halfed in 4years. Same for services. The amount of users of those services seem less severe only losing around 50k people (-15%).

                With these troubles looming over freenode, I think that this trend downwards will only continue.

                Also, I think it's worth understanding that email is sticking as a de-facto standard because basically all account systems rely on it. This is not true at all for IRC.

                1 vote
        2. [5]
          lonjil
          Link Parent
          I was responding to your appeal to your memories. I've tried to use Matrix many times. But the clients are all crap, and the least crap-seeming ones also have the least features implemented. Also,...

          It's not selfish. Matrix has a

          I was responding to your appeal to your memories.

          Matrix has a serious shot at making the world's person-to-person communication protocols open. I can't stress how important it is for that to happen, rather than continue with the current fragmentation between a thousand different proprietary protocols.

          I've tried to use Matrix many times. But the clients are all crap, and the least crap-seeming ones also have the least features implemented. Also, Matrix suffers from high levels of centralisation. Almost everyone uses matrix.org as their homeserver. Most channels live on matrix.org. And because a large value proposition of Matrix is the global identity and chat logs, this central point is much more important to Matrix as a whole than any IRC network is to IRC.

          IMO the selfish ones are those clinging hopelessly to IRC, a protocol with no future, for the sake of nostalgia.

          I don't know anyone who uses IRC out of nostalgia. Hell, a large chunk of people I know on IRC are people who only seriously started using it recently, as previously stated including myself. We use it because we find it useful.

          3 votes
          1. lionirdeadman
            Link Parent
            I'd like to correct this slightly. The way that federation works in Matrix. The rooms are in all servers connected to that room so you can very easily move servers that you're using or the address...

            Also, Matrix suffers from high levels of centralisation. Almost everyone uses matrix.org as their homeserver. Most channels live on matrix.org.

            I'd like to correct this slightly. The way that federation works in Matrix. The rooms are in all servers connected to that room so you can very easily move servers that you're using or the address of the room. Furthermore, if matrix.org goes down, users which are not using matrix.org can still talk in that room. It's very robust in that regard to my knowledge.

            1 vote
          2. [3]
            Adys
            Link Parent
            It makes sense that matrix.org would be highly used. I don't really see how that's a take on the protocol itself though. I see some current problems with Matrix which I expect to eventually be...

            It makes sense that matrix.org would be highly used. I don't really see how that's a take on the protocol itself though. I see some current problems with Matrix which I expect to eventually be fixed (such as the lack of ability to use custom domain names on hosted servers).

            Centralization to a point makes sense. Git is decentralized, lots of people use github. Email is decentralized, lots of people use gmail. IRC is decentralized, lots of people use Freenode.

            FWIW I'm on Beeper, which is making use of the Matrix tech for its own client, with its own features. This is what I mean by having a shot at becoming a backbone.

            I don't know anyone who uses IRC out of nostalgia

            Individual users might not necessarily be using it out of nostagia. You go where you want to talk, after all. But the people creating and running the communities in question tend to choose IRC out of nostalgia, yes. Creating a (large) community is not usually accidental, and where you decide to host that community is a choice. The remaining IRC channels are either leftovers or holdovers; the newly created ones? That's nostalgia.

            1. [2]
              lonjil
              Link Parent
              Heh, I don't actually know of very many newly created IRC channels. Most of the ones I hang out on are ancient channels that happen to have inflows of new users faster than old ones disappear....

              Heh, I don't actually know of very many newly created IRC channels. Most of the ones I hang out on are ancient channels that happen to have inflows of new users faster than old ones disappear. Won't continue forever, but for now those are the best places for some discussions.

              This is what I mean by having a shot at becoming a backbone.

              Fair enough, but matrix as a protocol in more general use doesn't seem like it'd be affected much by whether a few more people use matrix.org or not.

              I don't really see how that's a take on the protocol itself though.

              It isn't, it's a take on moving to matrix or not for decentralisation related reasons.

              1 vote
              1. Adys
                Link Parent
                I'll give you that "moving to matrix" is not an obvious action item. I certainly don't care about matrix.org (beyond wishing them success). Personally when I say "move to Matrix", I mean move...

                I'll give you that "moving to matrix" is not an obvious action item. I certainly don't care about matrix.org (beyond wishing them success).

                Personally when I say "move to Matrix", I mean move services so they use Matrix instead of IRC. Put support channels on Matrix (and even better, self-host them) -- Mozilla's approach is a good example of it.

                And beyond that, use Matrix as the protocol of choice when implementing chat systems. This … will take time. We need solid open source libraries for this, micro-servers and what not. Matrix should be the HTTP of chat: Lots of implementations for various use cases. Drop-in. Easily-accessible libraries. Prebuilt solutions (eg. for b2c support chat, hosted meetings/chat groups, IM on websites etc).

                1 vote
    3. [2]
      zod000
      Link Parent
      in case you change your mind, everyone I know on freenode is relocating to libera.chat and redirecting any matrix bridges.

      in case you change your mind, everyone I know on freenode is relocating to libera.chat and redirecting any matrix bridges.

      5 votes
      1. Adys
        Link Parent
        I know. I won't change my mind. Arch Linux is likely to be moving to matrix, it seems I'm not the only one holding the above opinion.

        I know. I won't change my mind. Arch Linux is likely to be moving to matrix, it seems I'm not the only one holding the above opinion.

        1 vote
    4. vegai
      Link Parent
      Yeah, I've felt the death of IRC as well, along with many other things that were cool a decade ago. The feeling is similar to Hunter S. Thompson's famous quote about the 60s....

      Yeah, I've felt the death of IRC as well, along with many other things that were cool a decade ago. The feeling is similar to Hunter S. Thompson's famous quote about the 60s. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/313271-it-seems-like-a-lifetime-or-at-least-a-main

      Is it just that everything you do in your teens and twenties feels significant and then everything becomes boring?

      4 votes
    5. mrbig
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Farming did not kill hunting and gathering, handwriting did not kill speech, print did not kill handwriting, radio did not kill print, film did not kill radio, television did not kill film,...

      Farming did not kill hunting and gathering, handwriting did not kill speech, print did not kill handwriting, radio did not kill print, film did not kill radio, television did not kill film, computers did not kill television, smartphones did not kill computers, the internet did not kill the telephone and ham radio, and so on. Those things adapted and shifted, gained new meanings and functions. Their presence in our culture may have been reduced, but they did not die.

      Why this obsession with the death of things?

      2 votes