It's an enclave untouched by much of the current toxicity of social media. It requires you to make friends with others based on your words and not content filtering algorithms. You are exposed to other people with other ideas since it isn't filtered. All with a reasonably high lowest level since the lack of bells and whistles turn a lot of people away from it.
The only response I can conjure up for this is “wat”
IRC in my experience is the most toxic and mean-spirited place on earth. 4chan is easier to take because I can justify their meanness to lulz. People on IRC seem to be out to kill people’s spirit.
There are some exceptions like python on free node which is heavily moderated, but by and large (in my nearly 15 years of heavy IRCing) it is not for the faint hearted.
There are still plenty of educational/social IRC communities that welcome curious people of all skill levels.
I can vouch for https://hashbang.sh (irc.hashbang.sh/6697) which has piles of industry leaders as regulars that prefer investing in open federated standards for internet communication over the endless array of hip walled garden flavor of the week chat systems.
We give out free bouncers/shells to anyone too :)
That said, IRC is made by the communities using it. The only, but a significant technological advantage it has over other chat mediums is its minimalism. Barebones chat is much more conducive to technical discussions, than the bloated alternatives, and I think the same applies for other kinds of discussions as well.
My personal experience suggests that IRC communities are just like other communities, that is, with a right amount of moderation and a right set of users they will survive, otherwise they will fail.
I like #emacs. It's like a gathering of friends who happen to use Emacs.
but i also use it only for very specific technical topics.
People are people I guess.
Telling exact channel names would out me pretty fast though I reckon.
I strongly doubt it we would have met, in this day and age. The mainstream online socialising of today is superficial and desperate.
Today, a remote worker, I communicate with my colleagues over IRC. It's rare that I'd speak to a stranger on it.
You say that but it's a sweeping generalization; a filtering down to more close-knit and direct interaction still happens all over the place. You're just not 'in' that kinda thing at the moment.
You can pretty reasonably use IRC just by writing to a socket - by hand. It's all human readable and understandable. It's incredible. It's what an open protocol should be.
Writing a simple IRC client is a breeze!
I'm not sure you need any of these for communicating via telnet or writing a small bot that will answer back.
To have a modern irc client, it is far from a clean protocol. If you just want the basics, it will still connect and send messages.
There have been widely implemented improvements (eg RPL_ISUPPORT / 005) which succeeded by discussion and consensus rather than trying to lay down a new standard by fiat.
Hardly anyone uses the DCC file transfer stuff anymore, so other than encryption, all you really need to handle is channel messages and private messages, plus the management commands (ops, voice, mute etc).
Now everything you touch has dozens of layers of junk on it -- and it's all mostly http.
It was a lot more fun when you were free to do your own thing without having to carry around 40 tons of tooling.
I have found Matrix to be easier to interact with. You need a HTTP client instead of netcat but it's super simple to send JSON from a program or terminal.
> It's what an open protocol should be.
I'm not sure how I feel about this. I agree, but I also want to welcome things like gRPC/Protobuffs over HTTP/2 which introduce really fast comms between clients and servers, sacrificing the visibility of the stream's contents.
Protobufs and similar serialization protocols are great for complex data. It is worth pointing out that we've had ASN.1 for a while and it's pretty fast too, at least for limited subsets of OIDs/types, in certain encodings, though XER or JER would probably not compete with BER.
HTTP/2 is a complex protocol designed to fix problems with the way people build websites today. A lot of its features does not make sense/is not needed for simple message passing.
e.g., some HTTP/2 implementations will probably see HPACK DoS bugs/vulns because HPACK is stateful, whereas if HTTP/2 wouldn't have HPACK that problem would not have existed, but the reason why HTTP/2 has HPACK is because people bloat headers with tons of stuff.
IRC works and works well for its use case. Apart from newline-delimited strings - netstrings and TLV are other examples of formats that can build great, simple and introspectable/open formats.
I'd venture a guess and say that an RFC1459 PRIVMSG message parses faster than a protobuf message carrying the same information - due to parsing an RFC1459 PRIVMSG message is so simple. Of course, if you want arbitrarily sized messages, or messages with an arbitrary number of nested messages inside it you need more complexity.
Look at "modern" chat protocols (like XMPP...): it's a nightmare in comparison!
It's downright dangerous to use it,but then again people still use email.
There are ways to fix this, I think. And I make no claims that common chat systems have fixed this. Just pointing out that having your own IRCd server is not at all solving it.
I am a fan of simplicity,but it needs to be safe to use and friendly to users.
No, IRC is not going to die. FreeNode is alive and well. And while you busy slamming and wishing death of IRC, just check the memory usage of your Slack client.
matrix.org/riot.im seems like a more sensible alternative to IRC - but their systems are overloaded and slow - multi second latency is the norm.
Yes, sure, good for a PoC, but there are reasons ejabberd exists.
One hour later, a lot of stuff was still being sent back and forth. I still could not join the channel, and there was still no user-friendly feedback on the failure.
These are fundamental flaws in usability and design that really need to be addressed before the system can gain more widespread acceptance. Have they since been corrected, or have improvements been made to mitigate them?
I'm also on IRC, Discord, and Telegram.
This isn't a zero-sum game.
In prior years those communities would've chosen IRC. But nowdays everything has to be pretty hand hold your hand for you (ie, host your images, assume you know nothing of how to participate on the 'net by yourself).
It is a zero-sum game. And Slack has done the embrace, they done the extend, and they've started the extinguish (by cutting off IRC bridges).
Why not? Organizations can host their own IRC server(s). Won't that be better than relying on a third-party's services?
And if needed, they can write their own bots, clients, or even their own specific extensions to the protocol.
> And no, we're not locked into anything.
Kind of like HN. When someone is commenting on HN I automatically have more interest than eg Facebook vs. Twitter as the primitive experience of HN (Which I personally love) filters out a lot of "noise".
There's great communities out there on IRC.
Just head to #postgres on freenode and see how helpful they are over there.
kiwiirc is an opensource webUI IRC client (demo at https://kiwiirc.com/). To my untrained eye it looks slack-ish, but not being a slack-native I'm not really sure what Slack's draw is and whether its something webUI clients for IRC can't do.
- with search
- simple bots
- automatic content fetching (wiki/youtube Links, pics and gifs)
- file transfers that just work
- image pasting
- message editing
And probably others. Yes, those features exist in one way or another in IRC. The point is not whether you can or not; the point is how much time and energy do I want to spend to install and maintain those. I may have had the patience to do it a few years back, but I value other things now.
Both failed to modernize or keep up with progress. The only places where this stuff is at all still used/tolerated is places where the average age is well above forty and where the audience is engineers only. Most millennials that I work with don't even know what this stuff is because they simply never encountered anything where this is still in use. The ones that do tend to be male and heavily involved with OSS. It's a somewhat elitist thing at this point.
People seem to like to hate slack and similar solutions. The OSS way to deal with stuff like this is to build something better and not get too nostalgic about decades old stuff that did not keep up with a changing world.
Here are the design goals for a modern team chat solution:
- It must be stupidly easy to create a private team. Think minutes. This is not something you put an engineer on either. That would be a waste of time/resources.
- There must be zero admin overhead. This is the first thing you do in a new project. SAAS is the way to go here for most places; sign up, click, click done. There's absolutely no excuse to waste any time setting up software, servers, and committing to managing that for the vast majority of teams.
- It has to be inclusive. Anywone should be able to jump in. Especially non technical people. Like your manager, designers, users, etc.
- It has to have mobile apps that are usable and fully featured.
(Note: there is IRCv3 and irc cloud both of which bring quite a lot of Slack features into IRC)
I really can't wrap my head around how communities, especially for programming languages use Slack where all the information gets fed into some silo and is not publicly available. Especially if they don't pay for it, which most open source projects don't do for money reasons and the history gets wiped after a while. If I were to decide what to use in a company I'd probably go for https://www.irccloud.com/ - it's an open protocol but still has the convenience of not having to set up a bouncer and run your own IRC server.
It’s not filled to the brim with thousands and thousands of users. It’s not monetizable.
But instead we have a nice, small community where we can hang out, be ourselves and do whatever we like without having to adhere some other company’s “community standards”.
It’s how I like the internet to be, and I don’t care one bit if it’s old-fashioned.
On slack and Gitter they are often focused on work, on getting things done, so they really don't care about users or new developers and their problems which are unrelated to the project. And this is good, because everyone needs a channel where they can focus on getting things done.
Was great, though very addictive. The internet wasn't very well known, and not many people were online, and it was very common to make friends all around the world. I travelled and met a lot of people all over the world through IRC. I remember quite a number of people starting relationships and having babies ( many of which would be late 20s now... crazy).
I remember in 93 when tanks were rolling into moscow getting live updates from people who were there. Was a glimpse of the future yet to come around major world events.
Slowly more and more people started turning up on IRC, new IRC networks appeared, people started to perfer networking with people in their local country or local state.... then later mostly people in their local city.
Then it started to die off with the rise of the web and alternative chat software.
That's news to me and the ~eight IRC networks I'm on.
telnet is fringe because it's totally plaintext and has obviously been replaced by ssh2 everywhere.
whereas irc daemons can easily be linked together by TLS1.2 and irc clients can also talk to servers over TLS.
Don't conflate protocols that are terrible with protocols that aren't 'hip'. ftp and telnet have been replaced (thankfully) and should die in a fire. Usenet is still cool though.
1 Spam and noise -> No proper authentication and moderating system for channels. It's hard to keep bad agents out of channels.
2 Competition -> Forums had more features (including a solution for point 1, also https) and didn't require a special client. If you could easily send cat gifs in chats IRC would have been great.
Or you can set channel so only voiced nicks can speak and de-voice a nick to moderate.
Or even make an access list so only specific authed nicks can join. None of this is ideal though I agree.
It brought me the joys of learning how to program while trying to write some tcl scripts for eggdrop bots and goofing around in a shell setting up said bot.
Every time I think of IRC I get this nostalgic feeling of the good old times when communities were vibrant. It was so much easier to just hop on gamesurge or quakenet and find people to game with, organize pugs, find random channels where you can discuss things that interest you, and of course your favorite local's city mingle spot.
I made some good friends from my local city's IRC channel in the early 2000s that I still talk to this day.
I feel as though communities aren't as strong as they used to be as IRC has been slowly losing its population. It just had this quick and fluid way of hopping channels and finding people with similar interests. Listing all of the channels with their user count, and seeing what's popular, or even creating your own channel and community was so empowering.
I wonder if anyone ever paid for a mirc license in those days.
Personally, a couple years ago I found the latest nagging screen guilt-trippy enough that I paid for a license even though I rarely use it.
Most IRC clients are slowly developed or almost dead these days; the modus operandi of the IRCv3 developers is that they write patches for those IRC clients to support IRCv3 features and then push hard for the maintainers of those clients to merge them ("this is what the future of irc looks like! it's what the other clients are implementing! do you wanna be the only one not implementing it???")
They argue the development of their "standards" is open, but the truth is that nobody cares about it (most people are OK with IRC as it is now) so very few people contribute; they pretend that nobody complaining is a tacit agreement that everybody is OK with their changes, when that's far from the truth.
Actually, I still think most IRC clients stale as f* even with IRCv3, for example embedding images and videos in chats should be trivial but I've yet to see a Linux desktop client do it (without sacrificing other features). IRCv3 doesn't also fix client certificate updating, though neither does any client handle client certs nicely so it's a sweet dream of mine to see auto-updated client certs.
Happy birth day IRC!
Nowadays, most of the communication has migrated to Telegram from IRC.
If one was to start using IRC, I guess there isn't a channel or a server where most or some of the people using also Hacker News go?
EDIT: Note that channel discovery on IRC is largely a word-of-mouth thing so don't be shy to ask people for channel recommendations on irc. Most programming language have a dedicated channel, e.g. #D or #python or whatnot.
(A big channel for everyone to join is ##programming, by the way.)
The company is big on Jabber though...
It was heavily used by all staff, which was fairly unique compared to the other banks at the time.
Over time the bank developed their own dedicated client for it, and added extensions to the servers for audit logging and username/realname enforcement, and then eventually spun the department developing the tech off into it's own startup company that then sold the product to other banks and companies. That spin off company is still around selling online collaboration software.
For clients, I use Hexchat, which ill fight for as the best graphical client. The only thing mIRC has going for it is its legacy of scripts and people that still use it.
For command line clients, ircii and weechat are good, especially coupled with tmux. I don't use them, but the people that do love them.
Also, if you want a bouncer, ZNC is great. Would highly recommend if you have a free server with a stable connection.
EDIT: Since this seems to be unclear: I was referring to the second question regarding IRC clients.
(Heck, it's what I use on Linux too)
I'm on #dailyprog at irc.rizon.net (https://dailyprog.org/). It's an irc-based programming community. We also share a server with ssh access.
We do small programming projects together. At the moment the idea is to make an exhausive list of all existing IRC servers with massscan and nmap (the output of the running massscan instance: https://dailyprog.org/~mabynogy/irc-servers.txt).
It was a rush building "bot/server" combos like Nickserv... felt like superpowers and you could do all kinds of things through spoofing names and whatnot.
(I mean it was pointless since the only servers I could pair with were other empty ones with one or two people... but still - it was fun!)
I guess at some point my trajectory just.. changed - moving from that world to less heady stuff like Flash and so on... but the nostalgia is strong and I feel very lucky to have gotten my start in tech that way.
Apparently poker pro chris ferguson first started playing poker on IRC.
I definitely missed a huge opportunity to monetize it.
IRC these days is a bit of a mess with custom authentication protocols that make it too hard to use. Slack is extremely easy to setup for an organization and just works.
And IRC communities are less active these days.
Where are the chatters going to now?
All popular and large Slack communities (the same is true for IRC channels) I used to be a member of are very much alike – hundreds of people just sit there busy with their lives just in case somebody would post something interesting, and just occasionally there're small bursts of activity to educate another newbie who did @here in the channel. And even when (oh, miracle) there does occur some conversation you realise you have no time to follow it as it happens and later you're just to lazy to find it and try to make some sense out of it. So, first you turn off notification distractions. And second, after a while, you realise you haven't poked there for weeks and finally just remove it with no regret.
I only see a join/part if it happens within x minutes of someone speaking, and there's a shortcut to switch to unfiltered view when I want it.
Never really been one for being involved in online communities but being a one man team at work has got me looking for people of similar interests.
I've noticed a #reddit-sysadmin , likely there's a ##sysadmin too and probably others. The double # indicates a topic https://freenode.net/kb/answer/namespaces
There are several programming-themed servers with thousands of concurrent users, and many more high population servers for other interest groups.
- You can idle in the channels without doing hundreds of part/join when your phone loses the connection
- You get the full backlog of what was said while your phone was offline
And you can host just one biboumi instance for all your users. You can even configure it to connect to just one IRC server. The users just have to join channels like #firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks louiz! You do good work!
It basically acts like any other chat client (e.g. works on multiple devices at the same time)
Searching logs is currently being worked on, you can see an MVP here - https://github.com/thelounge/thelounge/pull/2627
It’s not free, but I think it was around the $2 mark and definitely worth the money.
Is there any chanel of hackernewsers with the same spirit as HN?
Still pop in every now and then.