I really like IRC and I'm really sorry to see it go, and I still have an irssi running full time on a handful of servers. Freenode is basically the only server that manages to maintain its user base, but even for them it's not really growing anymore. I used Mozilla's IRC server pretty heavily when I was learning Rust and it was great (the community is really helpful and well moderated), but AFAIK they plan to get rid of it in the near future. Can Freenode single-handedly keep IRC afloat? For how long?
Clearly these days it seems that people want something a little more advanced than the pure text chat of IRC, and the federated architecture is not seen as a killer feature anymore.
From my point of view the centralization of the web seems to be unstoppable at this point. You can argue all you want on HN but people will still ditch IRC in favor of Discord or WhatsApp. I was talking with a bunch of geeky people in their early 20's the other week and for some reason I mentioned IRC and about half of them didn't even know what it was. All of them used Discord and WhatsApp however.
FWIW this is exactly my experience with pretty much every single IRC server and channel i've been the last 15 years or so. It used to be more... chatty before that, but over time people just join and idle.
I wonder if the ability to have IRCs running all the time actually harmed IRC since at the past (90s mainly and perhaps very early 2000s) if someone was in a channel, they'd be up for chatting too whereas now channels are full of "zombies".
Or it might just be a coincidence.
> I wonder if the ability to have IRCs running all the time actually harmed IRC since at the past (90s mainly and perhaps very early 2000s) if someone was in a channel, they'd be up for chatting too whereas now channels are full of "zombies".
Untrue; bots existed in past. Take a look at Eggdrop's age, for example. Whether it is much more common nowadays I don't know, but BNCs are nothing new either. If anything, it is because running a computer 24/7 is much more cheaper nowadays (although back then you could get a shell for e.g. 5-10 USD / month).
The non-work Discord you describe now resembles how actual social interactions and friendship often work these days: mostly irrelevant interactions by volume, with a low incidence of significant conversation surrounded mostly by a lot of brief flashes of emotion shared haphazardly without much weight behind them.
The work Slack-ish you describe now resembles a professional environment, focused more effectively on doing work and less on watercooler chat.
I think that the chat platforms selected in each case are exaggerating how we behave in each situation, and that’s not necessarily a positive or negative.
IRC is wildly unproductive without extraordinarily high levels of effort invested in keeping it under control. Slack-ish work chats are wildly productive without a conscious effort to drag some degree of personal interaction into the workplace to replace what’s drained away when leaving IRC.
Is IRC truly the only way to return a bit of social coexistence to a workplace, or has culture changed in a more significant way that just happens to be reflected through the lens of chat systems?
Perl was one of the early languages that was able to achieve a lot in terms of systems administration and web. (and other activities of course)
However years have passed, now there are tons of new languages.
Nowadays, java-script, java, c#, php, etc, many other languages can do the same as perl. So there are a lot of choices today.
One fact is, among the perl developers, a lot of them are extremely good with development and nix systems. Others can probably share experiences with other languages ? For example, in a lot of XYZ-java language* teams, there are a lot of incompetent coders ?
Another fact i notice is perl projects need smaller teams compared to that other language. Specially those other languages that hire according to how many certificates the candidate have. In the macrosoft world this is very common, each employee certificate accounts for a total. And this total will determine if the company is "Gold Partner", "Platinum Partner", "Incompetent partner".
In the end, when the client is about to sign the contract to close a project development for a company, the client will search for this piece of text: "Our company is a 'Ultra platinum macrosoft partner'. We have 40 devs and 200 certificates. So you can rest assured that the project will be in the right hands."
Not that I think that you're wrong for wanting a more modern experience, it's clearly one of the main reasons IRC is losing traction. Some things can be solved client-side by, for instance, auto-fetching some URLs to display image links inline (although it could cause privacy concerns) but you also have limitations caused by the IRC protocol itself.
For instance IRC has no notion of "replies", if you want to quote somebody you generally copy/paste their comment and put your reply at the end. That's clearly primitive and makes it hard to find the original context.
Maybe. I am positive I miss 99% of replies (in "threads") in Slack. I always felt like the feature is designed for the case where you've already decided something, but people want to show up and bikeshed it, so they get a little area that nobody can see where they do that. Maybe that's not what it's meant for. But when I want to reply to someone, I say "@whoever, regarding foo that you were talking about earlier..." I think this is the IRC way of handling that and it seems correct to me. The reality is, sometimes you've missed your window to contribute to a conversation. No tool is going to change that.
The setup is not non-tech-person approachable, but its generally been untouched aside from updates in this setup since 2013.
For non-tech people https://www.irccloud.com/ seems one of the best on offer.
There's also an Android client, making it a pretty unified system. You can seamlessly switch between laptop and phone.
Thanks for all the work, sungo!
we all benefit from work like yours, even if only indirectly. it is people like you that make the FOSS community what it is.
thank you, and all the best on your further endeavors.
I've got some experience in IRC administration (Myself being in a similar position as sungo in a similar sized network).
The centralisation of IRC to places like OFTC and Freenode leads people to think that all IRC networks are similar to those, I'd rather help keep it more spread if possible.
That said, I'm sad to see another IRC operator burn out (since, it really sounds from his words that he's burned out with comments like "who cares, let it rot"), I wonder how we can support people better who are in "solo" positions like this in general.. :\
if they are FOSS community then they should be all the same. of course, different channels, and different people, but all with the same shared ideals...
moreover, those differences won't split along irc network lines. you choose the irc network based on where the project hangs out. for debian that would be oftc, which ironically was created because a number of people didn't like how freenode was run at the time. but anyone who was involved with debian had to move, regardless of where they stood on that issue or on their FOSS ideals in general.
if you work on multiple projects, you may be forced to be on multiple servers. no choice in the matter and different ideals have no influence here.
> I put myself out there, worked with people I'm not really fond of, and all I got for it was to be the target of everyone's rage and bullshit. No one was willing to contribute towards change in a constructive positive fashion. There was no reason to continue putting myself out there, to continue putting effort into services that no one else was willing to improve.
Why not join freenode instead?
(ps. I'm a regular of the channel since the late 2000s, and can confidently state that its environment is today unhealthy and degraded)
You haven't said anything constructive at all. What are people doing that you find unfriendly and unwelcoming? What would you suggest they do differently? If you were one of the regulars, what would you do differently?
though there is still the option of creating a new channel with a different name, and inviting people over...
It has been down for some months now.