(Sorry for the interruption. Comments like this will go away when we turn off pagination. Yes, you're right and we know.)
There is also the following thread from the other side, which I've unflagged, but not merged:
Freenode Exists for FOSS - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=27283964 - May 2021 (20 comments)
Needless to say, Freenode kindly decided for us whether or not we should move to Libera for good.
The would-be empire is tightening its grip, and more & more channels are slipping through their fingers.
Alleged crown prince of the Joseon Empire. Which hasn't existed for ~110 years, and is based on an ennoblement by one of several contenders for the current head of the former imperial family, so it's an even weaker claim than most pretenders of former monarchies have.
You can buy hardware, trademarks, and DNS, and stuff.
YOU CANNOT BUY COMMUNITY.
YOU CANNOT BUY GOODWILL.
How much did they try paying people? I haven't received any offers, but I will happily idle in some freenode channels for a monthly fee.
I'll tell you where to put your money.
First off, I am not affiliated with freenode or libera. I am just an unrelated guy who happens to use IRC. I am not offering any money to anyone for any IRC related things.
Secondly, you claimed that it is not possible to buy communities or goodwill. This does not match what I have witnessed in life. Communities get bought all the time, e.g. Facebook buying Instagram. Goodwill also gets bought all the time, often by making a giant donation and then running a giant PR campaign to let everyone know about the good deed. Distributed organic communities like freenode aren't immune to this, as I showed by pointing out that I, a long time freenode user, would be willing to accept payment.
This is false. Communities get sold successfully all the time (thing of tech giants buying up unicorns or whatever). But doing that with a (predominantly) FOSS community was definitely doomed from the start.
We see fewer of those developed now precisely because it forces providers (free or paid) to behave well or else be easily abandoned. Facebook, Twitter, Google, et c., do not want that, for obvious reasons.
In this whole thing, one thing in particular is interesting to me since freenode was not just an IRC network, but an IRC network with a focus on FOSS projects: Freenode / rasengan seems to insinuate by his actions that a project does not have the right to choose an official realtime communication forum for itself; that it is freenode which brings the users to the project channel instead of the other way around.
HN should remove the downvote button, but the hivemind might lose its cohesion then
Hijack means removing those privileges from someone else and assigning them to yourself.
In Reddit terms, imagine the Reddit administrators coming to your subreddit, deleting the moderators and then installing their own.
Administrators always had this power. Sometimes, this power was used out of necessity. But given how much this power was used in FreeNode in the past week, a lot of the community has lost faith in the administrators.
But yeah, if you control the server (the nature of being an administrator), you can do these things rather easily.
To be slightly more exact, the admins suing those powers properly for the past couple decades have been pushed out by the new guy, and said new guy has already abused those powers so much in a single week that nobody will ever have any faith in him
But that's probably an anachronism, given the age of IRC.
Now you've moved to another place but have no way to leave a signpost or redirect. And anyone who doesn't get that memo through some other means, will land in a confusingly-named place that looks official but is precisely the opposite.
I'll not go into more detail as existing threads here cover it far better than I could.
So, instead, the various community groups are being forced to stay on freenode?
And the post-structural turn was like 50 years ago.. they have jumped (off) the clue train.
And the channel I was in wasn't +m until freenodecom decided to hijack it and make it +m.
The irony is that we were planning on a progressive transition to Libera via bridging to make sure everything went smoothly for everyone and that we didn't split the community. Now, well, there's nothing to do but just move cold turkey.
Great job, Andrew Lee.
This scorched earth policy is only going to make them look petty and childish, and cost them in the long run.
This is certainly an historical situation.
Edit: I see that I have not expressed my point clearly. Freenode knows that it is dying already. Allowing a smooth transition wouldn't stop that or heal that. A downwards trajectory. Like a dictator usurping the throne, the new management wants to gulag everyone who even slightly disagrees to not leave any dissenting voices on the network. This way those who stay might stay for good, instead of only for the smooth transition.
Because that transition window (which was planned for O(weeks)) could've been enough time to win back our trust and make us decide to stay on Freenode. I was honestly starting to think maybe we had too much of a knee-jerk reaction with the decision move and was willing to reconsider, but now, well.
Then last week (or the week before) volunteer staff resigned en masse saying that the new owners were planning on taking control of the project’s direction. A number of projects using freenode for chat started looking at alternative just in case.
As GP notes, this looking around was done in the heat of all the resignation, but was not necessarily a done deal for all projects, after all nothing has changed yet.
Today, freenode highjacked / locked hundreds of channels mentioning libera (the alternative network set up by some of the resigning staff) out of nowhere, proving that the network most definitely could not be trusted anymore.
8 hours ago, around 700+ single-hash channels were assigned to a placeholder account, redirected to double-hash "offtopic" channels, and their topics locked. Ops were removed too. The trigger for this seems to have been the string "libera" in their topics.
The actions here are of an abuser seeing their partner is considering leaving, beating them harder as a result, locking them out of the house, then using their victim's devices to contact the victim's friends and tell them that everything is actually alright and the victim has decided to stay.
Consider the argument, "I fail to see why a domestic abuser would prefer that their victim leave smoothly?"
In terms of effectiveness, this is perhaps more analogous to the boss screaming, "You can't quit, because I just fired you!" It doesn't keep anyone from leaving, but it does create unnecessary drama and make them look bad.
On the other hand, if Freenode had done nothing, it wouldn't have stopped some communities from leaving, but the flow might have abated all by itself. Like my mom used to say, "It won't heal if you don't stop picking at it."
Retaining any user at all on the network?
I haven't used Freenode in a long time, but I would absolutely under no circumstances establish a channel there now. Not for some grand principled moral standpoint, but simply for not knowing if I'd get to keep it.
People forget that IRC works like any other product: at the end of the day, someone "owns" the customer (in the sense of having the strongest relationship with them).
In this case, it's pretty clear it isn't freenode.
The actual relationship is owned by the OSS projects and their teams. If they kill the freenode link as an official channel, people shrug and use the new link.
The entire calculus on freenode's side seems to be stuck in the 1990s.
I'd say their calculus feels stuck in the 2010/2020s, while IRC is (fortunately, it seems) "stuck" in the 1990s.
This is a highly charitable reading of the situation, and in fact, Lee has put out a post claiming (more or less) that he's trying to do all this for the FOSS community.
From where I sit, it's abundantly clear that Lee thought he'd be able to come in and "own" the IRC network that hosts the plurality of FOSS projects' chat communities, and when they all started leaving, he lashed out and tried to stop them in the classic way an ego-driven control freak does: by imposing draconian restrictions, punishing those who dare to defy him.
Then we lost control of our IRC channels on Freenode, because someone from Freenode took it from us. No-one member of the hackerspace has control over it anymore. That's a hijacking.
 - https://archive.is/LGsY2
I myself did a hard move of my project's channels to OFTC (#asahi and friends) - I didn't kick everyone out but I did leave the channels +m and with an explanatory topic, as I figured going cold turkey would be the best option, especially given the relative youth of my project (it started in JJanuary). We were spared the takeovers because we moved to OFTC, so our topic didn't include the "Libera" trigger word.
In retrospect, this hard move was evidently the right choice, given subsequent actions by freenode admins, and after this latest action I decided that even the moderated state was too unstable, and did what #rsync did (kick everyone out), except I changed the topic to something that doesn't mention any moves and locked it with +l 1. I hope perhaps this will allow the channels to fly under the radar of freenode staff, so they don't take them over - especially since they've been redirecting project channels to identically-named topic channels with no regard to who owns them, and ##asahi is some older channel owned by an unrelated person.
It is ridiculous for freenode to claim authority to override project owners' choice to migrate to another network. The entire point of (old) freenode, and what set it apart from other networks, is that its official namespace was verified. That means it is officially controlled by a given project's leaders. For example, our project owns #asahi and the #asahi-* namespace on freenode. That also means that we project leaders should be free to choose not to use freenode for our project, and direct users elsewhere.
We didn't. We still got hijacked. Many others did, too.
Just a thought.
The main issue with FreeNode users is that they're "elites" so to speak. They're the old guard, the ancients. Pissing off 1000-children is different from pissing off 1000-grandparents: the grandparents have connections and powerful friends so to speak.
Given the "age" of these FreeNode communities and users, I bet that the typical FreeNode user has more internet-influence than the typical Twitter user.
On the one hand, I'm being facetious but on the other hand I'm telling the truth and I prefer there is no record of it. I helped boot strap fake internet money when there was no market, too many projects to name, too many technologies from IRC DCC bots, to running an ebook ftp personal fileserver ad for years...
IRC is the protocol I love most and how I talk to _my_ friends, they live around the world. This is not the first time and makes my 5th IRC move DALnet-EFnet-Chatchannel-Freenode-Libera
I don't use twitter I think it's stupid. I've said this before and been downvoted into oblivion.
IDK ya'll HN is weird like it forgot how the internet really works. It's disappointing really.
Discord/Facebook/Twitter users are discussing gaming and pop culture. IRC users were discussing how to build OSS software and communities.
Obviously its not as absolute as that, and Slack and Discord are both making inroads into what was once IRCs territory of coordinating small groups of remote thought-leaders, but looking at the raw numbers doesn't tell the whole picture of IRC's influence and importantce.
One of the biggest channels on freenode/open projects back in the earlier lilo days was #bay-oh, which, while populated with a bunch of proto-devops people, was almost wholly social.
Even purely social interaction is productive and valuable, the career success of many people after the first dot com crash relied on being friends with everyone they knew from Ironport or whatever.
It's hilarious that rasengan is complaining about Libera "fracturing the FOSS community".
For example, #newsboat members decided to move by June 5th, and we've been deciding between OFTC and Libera. Then this happened:
20:05 --> freenodecom [freenode-placehol] (www.freenode.net) (~com@freenode/staff) has joined #newsboat
20:05 -- freenodecom has changed topic for #newsboat from "We intend to migrate off Freenode. What do you prefer: OFTC or Libera.chat? Details here: https://github.com/newsboat/newsboat/issues/1643" to "This channel has moved to ##newsboat. The topic is in violation of freenode policy: https://freenode.net/policies"
20:05 <@freenodecom> This channel has been reopened with respect to the communities and new users. The topic is in violation of freenode policy: https://freenode.net/policies
20:05 -- Mode #newsboat [+o freenodecom] by OperServ
20:05 -- Mode #newsboat [+impsf ##newsboat] by ChanServ
20:05 <@freenodecom> The new channel is ##newsboat
20:05 <-- freenodecom (~com@freenode/staff) has left #newsboat
To everyone with a freenode channel: whatever you do, do not mention "libera" in your channel topic. That's the trigger for this action.
Anyone wanting to move their community/project can read how to do so here: https://libera.chat/chanreg#how-to-register-as-a-project
Some background to the story: https://kline.sh/
> Libera Chat is a Swedish nonprofit organisation, feel free to read our bylaws. The organisation is run entirely by volunteer staff who are the members of, and have equal voting power in, the organisation. Libera Chat’s purpose is to provide services such as a community platform for free open-source software and peer directed projects on a volunteer basis.
You can see the bylaws here: https://libera.chat/bylaws
So, as a common FOSS organization, Libera is governed by a non-profit instead of owned by a corporation. That step feels like a pretty good stopgap from enabling the same thing to happen again.
1. unclear ownership
2. the only official structure being a for-profit, with over 50% owned by a single person
3. lack of transparency
The first two are solved by being a non-profit with equal stakes from all staffers. The latter is a work in progress: https://github.com/Libera-Chat/libera-chat.github.io/issues/...
And perhaps this is just an argument for a truly federated system, like Matrix. Rather than submitting to an operator, run your own infrastructure and federate with everyone else.
Do that to prevent a hostile party from doing it before you.
(I mean, it's an IRC channel, the servers might diverge in features and reliability but there's usually not much difference)
You'd be surprised. This actually strengthens the point you're making elsewhere: people can, and will, debate such choices endlessly. It's because they care about the community, about making things better for themselves and for everyone. This is textbook bikeshedding - there's no ill intent, just scope insensitivity. Debating important issues and debating trivialities takes the same amount of effort, and expands to fill available time of participants.
I'm not sure what the best solution is, but the one I know works is to put a time limit on such issues, to prevent them from consuming more attention and resources than they deserve. That is, if consensus can't be reached in a short time, a preset choice must be made by default. If you reach that point and get strong pushback, you take the other option.
Some degree of "do-ocracy" may be necessary - when you can't get the people to decide, sometimes the best option is just to announce a choice and see if people follow you. If they put up resistance, you can revert the choice and pick the other option. But it usually turns out that the ones most eager to continue debating are the ones who actually care the least, and will accept whatever decision was made.
Bike shedding is real.
We'd like to get some of the old logging bots moved over, etc.
We have some number of users who connect from tor, from matrix, or from webchat that simply can't move right now. These are things being looked at from the libera.chat side, but that work isn't done.
I very much value those users being able to continue to ask and get their questions answered.
That said, we used to have like 3-4 server ops lurking in the channel, and 15-16 channel ops that were active on the server. We just don't any more. This makes me rather concerned from a spam perspective.
On the other hand, there are < 80 people in the channel now, so perhaps spam is less of an issue now that we're a much smaller target.
But now #newsboat has a pointer to ##newsboat, can you talk there?
It's over for Freenode. The biggest channels have already moved to Libera. The Arch Wiki for example doesn't even mention Freenode anymore. Hopefully it won't take long for everyone else to move as well.
Has the person who came up with this idea ever met people? This kind of thing regularly blows up private platforms, on an open protocol like IRC this was guaranteed to trigger a swift mass migration.
Fast-forward today. All those channels are moving now, none left! Yesterday this could be considered a 55/45% split and had new FreeNode staff taken a win-trust-dont-rock-boat approach, I'm sure the network would've been fine.
Yesterday I was staying on FreeNode, because I don't really know the thinking behind all parties involved and could see the possible reasoning on both sides. Today I'm disconnected from FreeNode and on OFTC + Libera.
No, he’s not. South Korea is a democratic republic, not a monarchy (not even a Constitutional one.)
Lee is the adopted “heir” to a fictional and aspirational crown invented by a Korean monarchist who claims it for himself and wants to Korea to be a monarchy based on his (disputed; he is not the person recognized in that role by the association that has been the main custodian of the ex-royal house; he was one of two alternate claimants at the time the former head of the house passed, the other of which has since died without, AFAIK, any successor making a claim to inherit from her) claim to be the legitimate heir to the last emporer deposed in 1910.
The Bourbon pretender is hilarious though, because he inherited his ancestor’s complete inability to read the room.
The designated heir to the pretender, etc. And not even the most accepted pretender among those who think the lineage of that throne means something, but he is the only one actively seeking restoration after 110 years of the throne being defunct.
My favorite tit-bit from 19th century French history is that the Count of Chambord had a legit shot at becoming Henry V of France but blew it because he insisted (among other things) that the white flag of Bourbon France replace the tricolor.
Which is kind of hilarious when you compare it to this spectacle :b
The Empire of Korea has be defunct for 110 years (which is, sure, over 60, but it is weird to describe it that way.)
> My understanding is at this point they're basically a fashion brand.
The Royal Family Association seems to be something somewhat more substantial than that (but not an actual monarchy, nor does it seek restoration), but its worth noting that the person who named Lee heir and crown prince is not the person recognized as the current head by that association, but a competing claimant, who is also a monarchist seeking restoration.
I figured it was extra defunct after Korea was liberated in 1945 and Korea's first president made sure the monarchy wasn't going to come back by seizing their assets. Before then I figure there was a vague possibility that things would bounce back in their direction, although I'm probably wrong about that since my knowledge comes mostly from interpretive signs and Wikipedia :)
meanwhile the sycophants on his payroll are no doubt telling him he's doing a grand job
He was also declared crown prince of Korea by a member of royalty (no, Korea doesn't have Emperors anymore, it's meaningless for practical purposes).
This could be a good starting point for further reading: https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=pastMonth&page=0&prefix=tr...
From "The Freenode Resignation FAQ" at https://gist.github.com/joepie91/df80d8d36cd9d1bde46ba018af4...
> [The new Freenode owner] Andrew was repeatedly asked in the "policy discussion channel" whether slurs, racism and transphobia are now permitted on Freenode. No answer has been forthcoming.
The new owner either will not answer, or will not take a side, in the Culture War. In response, a number of users have taken his non-answers as an answer, and are leaving.
This is about ownership and control. Andrew is trying to seize legal control over an organization run by volunteers. The volunteers (and everyone else) aren't happy with the way this was handled or the way Andrew is using his power to silence dissent.
For sure he has absolutely no idea about what people uses IRC regularly. I can picture him thinking about "users" in a general way, like "Facebook/Instagram/Whatsapp ad-clicking users", so he's now struggling to keep them tied to the platform at any cost.
Well, no. Thanks to his ignorance that is second only to his greed he's now going to rapidly lose everything. I'd bet a pizza that he'll likely sell at a loss in less than one year.
If you run FreeNode into the ground and cause all the users to flee, there's nothing left, just a name with negative brand value (like Enron).
Seeing the situation from the outside, it's obvious that what they're doing is self-defeating, but I suppose that they saw that they were hemorrhaging channels and users and saw the writing on the wall and decided to enact desperate measures in order to save the network.
Given the health of IRC in general there's probably not enough room for both Freenode and Libera to strive. One of them was bound to become irrelevant, and the momentum favored Libra even before this desperate move.
I'm afraid that we're just witnessing the death throes of freenode.
I agree that one will end up on top, and also that Freenode will likely die completely - but even when it comes to large FOSS-related networks, there were two active ones before this: Freenode and OFTC.
1) kick all users out and destroy reputation
then probably yes.
> Contract or no contract, staff and developers of Freenode maintain that it wasn't actually possible to sell the network—the staff is all volunteers, and the infrastructure itself wasn't owned by Dahlskjaer in the first place.
So who did own the infrastructure, and where did they stand on all of this?
> Freenode has been the world's largest IRC network since 2013, with roughly three times as many users as its closest competitor, IRCnet.
> A week after Lee's effectively public announcement of ownership and de facto dictatorial operation of Freenode, the staffers who resigned from Freenode created Libera.chat as a replacement.
Is there something wrong with IRCnet? Usually when the largest X does something that gets a lot of users to leave they go to X's largest competitors since those are already up and running and experienced. In this case, though, it seems like the brand new Libera.chat is where most are going.
All hardware was owned by various organizations acting as "sponsors". But at this point most of it might have been replaced by servers owned by Lee.
One of the sponsors, whose server hosted freenode's email server, pulled out shortly after the volunteers left.
I'd say they're just trying to rebuild their old house. Once all the dust settles in a few months, I expect Libera Chat will be pretty much the same as FreeNode was, with all the same channels being run by the same people, with the exception that I'll have to register a new account with NickServ.
I guess that gets into a semantic (or even existential) question: if it's in a different place, and the original house is still there (if damaged and usurped), even if it is built identically, is it the old house, or a new one?
But yes, that's also a perfectly reasonable way of analogizing Libera.chat, as I understand the situation.
A better analogy would be: Let's say you've been going to the same book club for 15 years now, but the cafe you've been meeting at has closed. So the group picks a new cafe and the book club continues. Not much has really changed; it's still the same people, meeting up regularly for the same person.
So just to continue extending the analogy chain, it's closer to there being a café where lots of book clubs hang out, with a hands-off owner or some kind of employee cooperative actually owning the business itself, but through legal shenanigans, someone else gains control of the café business, and wants to drastically change how it's run. The staff all walk out and work on starting a new café down the street, and several of the book clubs follow because they like the atmosphere.
> Network staff quit in response and started Libera.
Edit: that said, I was unaware of the statements from Lee that are linked to by an arstechnica article linked elsewhere in the comments. Honestly really not sure who to believe. For all I know (which is nothing first hand) this could be another group sabotaging things to boost their own new network over personal disagreement. Which I'm not suggesting is the case, but as someone not personally involved, all I see is conflicting hearsay.
That's when people on all sides pack up shop and leave.
like removing a subreddit's creator/moderators and taking over it.
Communities consist of people, and you aren't allowed to own people, so you cannot own a community.
This would be like if you found out the local little league basball had been sold. It's a community resource that only exists through the continued donation of time by the members. It's not something that should ever be "owned".
If he didn't change anything for the users (kids and parents across the US), but cleaned house in head office and installed his own management team, the local teams would continue running as they always had. The owner really would benefit from the goodwill of the community and really would "own" it in a meaningful way. Some grumbling idealists would start a new "really truly non-profit" competitor, but for most people the friction of switching would be too great. But if he interfered too much and made the players' experience worse, people and teams would find it attractive to move to the new competitor.
cheapie has coined the name "Leenode" for this abomination. Let's start using it!
I was consistently gaslit by freenode staff. The current story that this sale is all a surprise is a direct lie. At the time I got nothing but platitudes about how PIA just had freenode's best interest at heart, etc.
I'm sure not every staff member was in on it but the claim that it was Christel is just not true. I don't see how anyone regards freenode staff as trustworthy at this point.
The time for long time freenoders to defend freenode was in 2017.
I can't believe someone would use money to take over a productive communication forum to manipulate the information there for their own gain. What kind of awful dishonest person would participate in something like that?
<rasengan> I apologize for the poor communication and few erroneous channels that were caught up, freenode. This was my mistake alone.
He admits fault for the targeted dissolution of 700+ channels that, coincidentally, contained "libera" in the topic.
So we now have the "so called freenode". Freenode in name only.
However, actions like this show that it doesn't really matter who was at fault in the original drama. By his actions, Andrew has proven his new staff team are not suitable stewards of an irc network. Regardless of the ownership conflict being largely based on misunderstanding and feeling Christel may have been the person to do the most wrong, it's clear that libera.chat or unrelated parties like OFTC or Matrix are the more trustworthy choices going forward.
But the actions he's been doing on it after that ? It speaks by himself, and he's the only one responsible.
I had a boss that used to get really angry at people when they wished him happy birthday. Same feeling.
I hate puzzles like this, they get stuck in my head.
I'll be thinking about this for weeks.
-christel sells something that wasn't really hers to sell, which she technically had some degree of ownership over, due to a former non profit being dissolved to save costs.
-the guy now thinks he owns it, everyone else thinks he just sponsored some conferences in exchange for a logo placement
-years later, the guy asks for a logo to be swapped out for another
-this causes confusion and christel just resigns and disappears, the situation now no longer able to be kept under wraps by her (I'm ascribing motivations here)
-the new leadership takes over with christel being gone, and doesn't understand why the guy who ran a few conferences has control over the freenode domain, so seeks to remove him from it (without hostile intent, just as part of regular governance)
-the guy thinks he's being usurped, potentially unaware that no one really knows that he bought this domain and "freenode" from christel (freenode servers etc were not supplied by him but rather donated by other third parties)
-he seeks to reinforce his ownership of freenode
#go-nuts had libera.chat mentioned in the topic... saying that they were on libera.chat as well "if freenode dies". Suddenly every user was forwarded to ##go-nuts, the topic empty, #go-nuts invite only ; that certainly is a classy way. This was the official golang support channel, no warning, nothing. Can you understand what kind of breach of trust that is? How can you host a support channel on Freenode for any kind of official project, if that's what they're doing?
I was k-lined on Freenode for repeatedly pointing out in one of the hijacked channels what had happened. This is _not_ something I ever considered doing, but it was so unfair. People being forwarded to an unofficial support channel not realizing what had happened.
Freenode staff are very aggressive about taking over channels in order to limit exposure to this whole fiasco. And they go way overboard. From the beginning my impression was "this is ops fighting, and who knows what's true, hopefully things will calm down", but the way Lee handles this? Like a privileged, rich, socially inapt teenager. Every new ounce of information released on freenode.net reads like what I would have written with 16. https://freenode.net/news/for-foss is this the person you would entrust your official support channel for an OSS project with?
I still don't know what's true and what's not. And I can see both sides of this. Libera will first have to prove itself, and so I hope channels will also consider switching to OFTC (which promises far less trouble, and more stability at this point), but Freenode definitely is not trustworthy anymore. It's pretty much as simple as that.
If they did nothing for some times, probably a lot of persons and projects would not even have noticed and liberachat could have been slow to gain the critical mass of users.
But now, it is like if all the users and projects have a big incentive to move and completely exit freenode as fast as possible.
I understand that many of these channels are intentionally private, but IRC is still unencrypted in transit, so everything is exposed and users have no anonymity.
In short there are other new technologies, but most of them are corporate walled gardens, or small open source projects that only have one server/client implementation, and few servers under control of single entity.
The Matrix ecosystem is the only thing I can think of, that could eventually replace IRC. (There might be others, I am just not familiar with them)
End even if they are somehow similar, discussions on Discord and Slack and other similar platforms are different than on IRC, at least in my experience.
One defining future of IRC at least channels I frequent and Discords/Slacks/Matrix is less memes and animated things grabbing your attention.
Another big thing is, that new stuff like Discord/Slack/Matrix are combination of messenger and discussion forum, while IRC is discussion only.
I almost never bother reading chat history in IRC, but in Slacks/... you are expected to keep up with @mentions and on "important channels" etc.
IRC is more of a tavern room, you come in have discussion with people currently in, some people come some people go during that and then you leave and that is that.
While on newer apps you are expected to keep up. I don't know how to describe it better, but fore me that's the biggest difference.
This seems like it should have been the logical conclusion. While IRC is a free protocol, this whole controversy has shown that you aren't ultimately in control of your channels. With Matrix/<other-federated>, it simply wouldn't be possible for a hostile actor to claim ownership of their channels (unless Gentoo itself were somehow the victim of a hostile takeover).
Libera certainly has a good few decades of trustworthy service, as Freenode once did, but the protocol is itself built on vulnerable assumptions. There's no way to guarantee that Libera won't have a dramawave of its own 15 years down the line.
> While on newer apps you are expected to keep up.
I completely agree with this. I've been auto-kicked from Matrix channels for inactivity/lurking, which is ridiculous. This could be solved with more client and server diversity - it wouldn't be hard to create an IRC-like experience on Matrix at all.
Can't matrix.org staff hijack rooms hosted on the matrix.org homeserver?
You may be suggesting that matrix.org could, for example, block access to the gentoo.org server (or a subset of its rooms). In that scenario users could choose a new homeserver (and not necessarily the same one) in order to regain access, instead of the entire channel having to migrate.
In the incredibly unlikely event where every homeserver on the internet is blocking gentoo.org, gentoo.org could simply allow user registration.
With IRC you are forced to trust the network operator with both your account and channel. Matrix gives you the option to trust someone else with both, neither, or either.
Isn't that more of a feature of the kinds of environments that run Slack vs IRC?
If my office used IRC for communication, I'd still be expected to keep up on all important channels and pings.
Dendrite is another homeserver that is good enough to run as a daily driver, and there's a community developed Rust one, Conduit, that's making steady progress.
There are plenty of alternative clients - FluffyChat, NeoChat, Fractal, etc. Making a basic client is pretty easy (I've written several), and my friends and I have been making a more fully-featured one in our spare time.
Federation is not fake, I was there on my own homeserver when matrix.org went down and had fun happily continuing to chat through the biggest test of matrix's federation resiliency.
Every time I've seen Arathorn interact in threads, he has been very professional and patient, even when others spread FUD (cough, cough). He certainly doesn't spread lies or FUD about anyone else.
Modern XMPP is not better in every way - Matrix is an eventually-consistent distributed event graph, which makes it better at handling big federation testing events like the matrix.org downtime.
Can you elaborate on this, or link to some relevant resources?
Matrix's federation is no worse than any other popular federated system I've used (eg. email and xmpp). I'm not saying it shouldn't be better (I dislike the matrix.org centralization, too), but that's not something inherent to Matrix, and I think it's not honest to bring it up as 'fake federation' in this context.
Additionally, Matrix is significantly better at this in one way than the alternatives: even if matrix.org goes down, all rooms can continue working, even ones with a :matrix.org label. The same can't be said about XMPP MUC, IIUC.
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_Scuttlebutt
I do think that federated systems tend to become centralized, because the federating links tend to be unreliable. I think people confuse federation and decentralization, when they're very different things.
> Google has found IRC to be a huge boon in incident response. IRC is very reliable and can be used as a log of communications about this event, and such a record is invaluable in keeping detailed state changes in mind. We’ve also written bots that log incident-related traffic (which is helpful for postmortem analysis), and other bots that log events such as alerts to the channel. IRC is also a convenient medium over which geographically distributed teams can coordinate.
Also, irc can still be up when Chat, Hangouts or other tools are down. It's simple tech that is easy to interact with.
iChat internally at a site was not a replacement.
IRC isn't really unencrypted in transit though, you can connect via SSL (most people do so, probably) and there are channel modes on some networks that prevent people from joining if they aren't using SSL to connect.
You can also encrypt messages yourself and then send those on top of the IRC protocol.
As for anonymity, most IRC networks allow you to use a cloak to hide your IP (requires user registration, which would require one email interaction), some IRC networks hide your IP (or parts of the reverse DNS) and some IRC networks allow you to join using Tor.
Servers and channels can have passwords. Channels can also be invite-only.
If whatsapp, or apple, or google, or facebook does anything like this then all you can do is shrug and accept it.
But if you have $5 a month then you can run an IRC network with a VM.
> IRC is still unencrypted in transit
Sometimes. But there's also a lot of TLS, and it's trending upwards.
> users have no anonymity
Less anonyminity against each other, but more against the central powerful provider.
And while you may have my IP on IRC (depends on the network), what are you as a private individual supposed to do with that information?
Whereas when centralized it becomes monetizable.
Plus, there are some controls for users and channel admins to make sure they are talking over TLS only, such as +S channel mode, which only lets in TLS-using client connections to join.
An old essay "A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy" explains this idea in an enlightening way:
> Some pieces of social software, like IRC channels and mailing lists,are self-moderating with scale, because as the signal-to-noise ratio gets worse, people start to drop off, until it gets better, so people join, and so it gets worse. You get these sorts of oscillating patterns, but the overall system is self-correcting
Newer protocols are more feature rich and don't have some of the legacy drawbacks of IRC, of course.
I got used.to discord but it's not the same
Remember also that subpoenas rarely permit “fishing expeditions”, so if they want your iMessages, can convince the judiciary you have potentially committed a crime, your key not being stored and the E2EE nature doesn’t always mean a judge is going to let LE go after Bob, Joe, Bill and everyone you have messaged with and demand Apple hand over all their iMessages (if they have backups enabled).
TLS is an option, not ideal but better than no TLS at all.
That said I keep having the good old plain data link