Now I'm on a team which uses slack, and I miss how lightweight hexchat is, but in terms of being able to use it my phone and having something that just works without any additional effort it only has advantages.
But I just know nobody, from a variety of OSes, who doesn't experience the "bug where slack completely looses where you are in time" and then you have to scroll for a while because the "Jump to new messages" doesn't work well. I came to the point where I wonder if anybody here doesn't have that bug at all ...
A bug that kills UX like that and that we can do nothing about, not even contribute a fix, and still it seems Slack is the best product people can find, meh, I run Mattermost in my company and we're all very happy with it and don't experience as much problems as we do with Slack.
Never really been anywhere but in tech channels on IRC,
I had a few years without going back but I'm back and I love it.
I think just that goes a long way.
Mattermost might be good (never used it), but being self-hosted means it's a lot harder to set up than just subscribing to Slack. I talked about this before on HN: I think providing a simple hosted SaaS should be a key part of the strategy to displace shitty closed-source products like Slack.
23:22:27 up 787 days, 15:10, 1 user, load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00
- Typing latency
- Access from mobile devices
Many people don't care about those things; good for them. Unfortunately for me, I do.
I can (and do) use a bouncer, which theoretically solves both problems: text entry is handled by my local IRC client rather than every keystroke going through a server, and I can run an IRC client on my phone. Unfortunately, bouncers are a rather poor approximation of true cross-device history/state synchronization; e.g. they don't sync unread messages. And they're generally slow and fiddly for various silly reasons. For example, most bouncers require you to make a separate connection for each IRC network, which is slower, and requires configuring each client device for each network, annoying if you have a lot of networks. Also, long backlogs can overload slow IRC clients, but typically the alternative to long backlogs is losing history, since there's no standard mechanism for clients to request history on demand.
There are also some IRC clients that do "true" state synchronization, like Quassel or Weechat's relay mode, but none with a tolerable iPhone version, last I checked.
tmux, irssi, and mosh on a VPS and i’ve had that setup for IRC for ... pushing a decade?
(Alas, most ‘native’ IRC clients for macOS have web views inside anyway, so avoiding web-based stuff may be a lost cause. But then I’m in no position to complain about Slack or Discord using Electron…)
It has been running since whenever the rpi2 came out, and total downtime since has been under an hour.
It's like a relay/proxy/bouncer but actually uses its own protocol between the GUI and core, so you get infinite backscroll, proper sync when running multiple GUI instances at the same time etc. Oh and there is a decent Android client called quasseldroid.
...Yeah. From installing znc from your favourite package manager to having it set up and running in your client is all of ten minutes, with SSL, auto-joins, channel history and all. Is it a barrier? Yeah. Is it so much of a barrier that it would push someone concerned about centralized services and proprietary software to just give up and use Slack? I don't think so.
I'm just going to use Slack and move on with my life.
Actually I lied, I do know what all that mumbo jumbo is, but I hope you get my point.
Then you go the smaller channels, and everyone is idling/afk.
Then there were the very specific channels, and any talk of anything other than Pokeman in #pokeman will get you kicked.
The tech channels were reasonably good, but it was mostly business there too.
Occasionally you find a decent room with people talking and looking to just kind of shoot the shit, but I found more often than not, it was someone entirely across the globe- and while that is interesting in its own way, my jaw was on the floor when I first chatted with someone from Singapore in the 90s (long distance was dollars a minute then), I quickly realized that we really had almost no shared cultural context and after "so what is life like in $yourcountry" we didn't have much to talk about.
I was op on a few tech channels on efnet back in the day, and learned some interesting things and gave (and received) a lot of good help, but as far as using it to just chat about the weather and meet people, I found it not very useful- especially compared to AOL chatrooms.
Lots of RTFM and refusing to answer direct technical questions because "why would you want to do that?"
Some channels, like #politics on efnet were true cesspools.
In contrast, my later experience with FreeNode has been consistently helpful on virtually every channel I've been to, except for #paludis, which really was full of jerks. I've seen trolls maybe once every year or two on FreeNode and they've been swiftly dealt with, rarely to be seen again.
I guess your mileage will vary depending on which channels and networks you visit, though.
Internet was a fun place when enthusiasts had their own websites written in cgi/perl/asp back in the day, and sharing was caring.
I think this is why people praise ham radio community because it never went mainstream. Pick any sport that is niche, it is similar.
And we replaced it with corporate things like facebook messenger/discord where you're the product.
No more netsplits. I can't remember the last time I couldn't send a message because of a technical reason.
But I do miss the culture of the old net and IRC. These days only small islands of it remain.
The command that generated the list:
grep -v -c '(\-\->.*has joined|<--.*has left).*#' $WEECHAT_HOME/logs/irc.*.[#]*.weechatlog \
| tr ':' ' ' \
| sort -n -k 2 -r \
| sed -e 's#.*irc\.##' -e 's#\.weechatlog##' \
| grep -v "#channel-i'd-rather-not-show" \
| sed 30q \
| curl -F 'clbin=<-' https://clbin.com
Archived paste: https://archive.li/4OMf3 and
2020-02-15 06:55:32 kichimi that post
2020-02-15 06:55:35 kichimi was made by you
2020-02-15 06:55:40 kichimi and i wanted to say hi
2020-02-15 06:55:45 Seirdy hai
2020-02-15 06:55:51 kichimi because i love seeing rizon repped
2020-02-15 06:56:00 kichimi but you didnt put a disclaimer in your post saying rizon was the most toxic network on the internet
We're not all assholes. Just most of us.
There were so many people on it that there was a legit problem identifying who was who (i.e. nicknames != real names). I eventually made a page linking IRC nicknames to profiles.
Looking back on it now, if I had had more vision, in a parallel universe, I would have replicated this experience to other areas schools in the region.. then state, then country then....?
Oh well :)
I know exactly what you mean. I've gone from one tight knit community to another. In the between time I've either taken short breaks or been hanging out on freenode.
Right now I'm lucky enough to be in a tight clique of people with a private server.
Some of them have been on IRC for as long as it has existed. Most of us also meet IRL regularly.
If you find like minded people IRL you can start up IRC again.
Edit: Speaking of freenode. Just a few years ago I remember having a lot of fun in the wolf game channels with random strangers. It felt like the 90s again.
Of course, it's hard to find out about these channels. IME it takes time to find the small channels (or the small networks, there are many networks tiny enough for nobody to know about unless they've been invited). Try starting with a large channel and eventually you'll find out about smaller and smaller channels. Some larger projects on Freenode are also big enough to have -offtopic channels, which can easily become their own communities.
Keep in mind that a 24/7 connection is basically essential, get a bouncer or use something like IRCCloud.
I'm still using it for my day to day. ;-)
Though I'm no longer on the traditional large help channels on freenode (or dalnet before it ) to be fair.
Anyways, check us out if you want, more people is always a plus: https://irc.orderofthetilde.net/
I also miss ytalk, which shared each character you typed as you typed it. I used ytalk with my spouse a lot while we were dating.
MIT Zephyr inspired. Bought by Dropbox then divested.
So, maybe the reason that you don't feel it's the same vibe is not only because technology has changed, but also because you have changed. I also have fond memories of my IRC time in the 90s, but I believe I'm looking at them with rose-colored glasses and not everything was as amazing as I remember it to be.
I still believe that #csharp on freenode is the main reason why I pursued .NET as a career choice. As far as channels go, they were by far the most helpful when starting out, and they never made me feel like an idiot for not knowing something. Most importantly, the channel was alive. There are so many channels out there with hundreds of users online and zero conversation.
The other day I tried to join a Rails IRC channel to ask about Action Mailbox, and when I saw the quiet channel I decided to ask a question and lurk. In 24 hours, the only messages sent were from people looking for help, and then leaving.
What I miss above anything else is helpful people. It's what drew me to IRC, it's what initially drew me to Stack Overflow, and I'd wager that it's what drew many people to HN. IMO, the medium itself isn't anywhere near as important as the people.
I do not miss patching the IRC servers and upgrading / rewriting configurations (Unreal IRCD 2.x 3.x 4.x and now 5.x) and Anope services. Certainly not when we went from thousands, to hundreds, to dozens of users. Too much work for too few people making use of it.
While I miss the people that has moved on over time, I must say Discord feels like a fine replacement for me in terms of functionality. I use Discord for a few technically oriented things and those places give me the same vibe IRC did back in the day.
Haven't used IRC for almost 20 years now.
(I'm sorry, just had to do that.)
The chat standard? Not in the least.
Quite honestly, I don't chat everyday, but there's a cool subscene that keeps it alive.
I do still use it for some communities, our LUG, a few Foss projects and the catv people
Netsplits still suck, nickserv constantly forgets me, but overall it works.
And yes, irssi is still the worst and only irc client I use
Most bounce problems can be fixed with a screen session on your VPS you already use to host stuff.
Upsides include great logging, idle chitchat and a chance to real time communicate ideas and hash ideas out when a ML doesn't work
Bouncers like ZNC rely on having somewhere reliable to host one and are additional maintenance overheads. Leaving irssi or weechat open in a screen/tmux session on a remote host leads to a terrible mobile experience.
I now just find it easier to interact with IRC users using Matrix bridges that other people maintain instead.
When I reminisce about IRC im usually thinking about the few channels I actually used, which were in my case smaller groups of geek tangentially spawned from a larger channel (everybody met on #slashdot but had other channels for real discussion). That kind of small group text chat is doable on discord now.
However, I'm part of ArchiveTeam, and we use IRC pretty much exclusively for all our projects. Sure, we have a wiki for permanent notes, but all of the discussion, decisions, etc.. happen over on IRC.
Right now quite a few of the channels used by ArchiveTeam are migrating away from EFNet to hackint, due to connection issues with EFNet. Although migration to a different communication platform was brought up, it was almost immediately discounted.
One good thing? I've discovered Ripcord , which is an alternative slack client that has great IRC like vibes :)
I do think Slack and Discord are overengineered for most teams’ needs. They are attempting to justify their existence and solve all the problems. I’d be happy with a simple text chat I could use from my terminal. But IRC is nothing like “simple”.
What does have the same vibe now as when you used it growing up in the 90s?
Given that a lot of InfoSec teams I'm in also use Discord I didn't mind the shift. But my paranoia makes me think that maybe our new home may have a higher chance of imploding due to factors out of our control than when we just stuck on GameSurge.
I didn’t use IRC until the mid 2000s, but in my opinion until around ~2012 it was still quite active for many communities.
IRC is very much alive and well. It's just that it didn't grow as fast as all the commercial web.
Neither one is a strong improvement over the other.
It's a "loose association of like-minded tilde communities", which exist on shared *nix systems, usually glued together with an IRC network. As an example, tilde.team is "a shared system that provides an inclusive, non-commercial space for teaching, learning, practicing and enjoying the social medium of unix."
Some tildes have specific focuses like gopher or writing science fiction. I've found the community to be mostly positive and accepting and it definitely has some of that ~Olde Internet~ vibe for me. I sometimes worry about the community growing too large and losing some of that, so maybe I should be keeping my mouth shut? Then again, share the love right? It is that certain day, after all. <3
Here's a list of the member tildes: https://tildeverse.org/members/
Today, it seems most of the user interaction has migrated to a ton of commercial social networks.
That was a quick delete. I am not motivated to try another FOSS chat for a while, at least the public instance.
For IRC, add a limiting interface, no feedback, bots, hassle with setting up your client because most default web ones suck and bouncer. It's not really worth it for me.
I forgot another thing, weird religious people, lot of people talking in the dark without anyone replying for hours and cryptonites...