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Ergo IRC Server (ergo.chat)
75 points by loo 8 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 51 comments

Honestly if I was starting again I’d set up a single Oragono[0] instance and be done with it.

Other software might be excellent (inspircd), but it’s a hard sell to bring a new type of server unless it solves a specific problem.

EDIT: Oragono has been renamed and is now this.

Leaving here because the world should bask in my foolishness

Personally I go with ngircd, it is an apt-get install away every time.

I was thinking of doing this (ircd, in golang, with an integrated bouncer and ircv3 features) myself, so I'm glad someone else has.

The place I was planning to diverge was to make a c2s bouncer api that could be used via http, so that mobile clients could work and stay logged in even when the app was backgrounded. That may still be possible with the bouncer protocol instead of http, but if you do it with http then you can make a js web client too, for a sort of self hosted irccloud.

This is (1) a totally legit idea (2) achievable nearly out of the box with Ergo and Gamja!

Live on our production network: https://ergo.chat/gamja/

Gamja: https://sr.ht/~emersion/gamja/

The one clunky thing is that you have to register your nickname with our NickServ and then become "always-on": `/msg nickserv set always-on true`

Ah! So what we have right now is a websocket API (so clients can speak IRC via websockets), and our default config basically turns the ircd into a 'bouncer' (it automatically stays online all the time, caches message history, plays it to you when you join and all that).

We're looking at some new persistence capabilities and caps to speed up connection, which should (hopefully, eventually) provide something similar to that c2s bouncer api in terms of speed: https://github.com/ergochat/ergo/issues?q=is%3Aopen+is%3Aiss... Always up to take on and look at suggestions though :D

Looks like HN front page for a few days is full of 90s IRC, Torrent, eMule and Usenet related posts.

Wondering what's causing it.

Aren't those all decentralized or federated protocols? Maybe Big Tech's constant censorship has finally pushed people far enough to really start caring about alternatives.

Yesterday was a big "Think back 20 years!" kind of day for a lot of people in the US.

Twenty years ago, we had... well, actually, just about all of the internet features we take for granted today, though video wasn't nearly so nice, and we didn't have all of it in our pockets (though we still had perfectly good cell phones that let us talk to people and lasted multiple days on a charge, plus would generally bounce down a flight of stairs and laugh off the damage). We could talk to people across the planet, share documents (somewhat, Google Docs wasn't a thing yet), view websites, publish and read other people's content in a "social" sort of way (LiveJournal, MySpace, etc), and... it was still something you did in discrete time chunks, as opposed to the aether literally everything was mediated through.

Fast forward twenty years, and we still do the same, but now almost all of it is being intermediated by companies that have a desperate drive to monopolize absolutely as much of your attention as they can claw away from the rest of your life, and they more often than not have access to you, 24/7, no matter where you are, via your cell phone.

LiveJournal didn't pester you to log in because someone you met once at a party had a birthday, don't you want to come scroll? It was nicely chronologically ordered, so you could instantly tell if there was anything new to read (vs the random reorder "slot machine" interface that is the modern version), and you had to click to the next page at the bottom of each page, instead of a bottomless bowl of "feed."

And we did it on a fraction the computing power that phones have, but... it worked. We didn't need 8GB of RAM and 500MB of disk to run a single chat client, we ran Pidgin or Adium or something and connected to all the chat services at once, with a far better interface than the current siloed hell that is text communication on the internet (IRC, of course, remains a turtle and is unchanged from the 90s, ignoring the really weird explosion of Freenode and a new domain that everyone uses instead of Freenode now).

Just because stuff is new doesn't mean it's better, and I think more and more people, and even people deep in the modern tech ecosystems, are realizing that something has gone very, very wrong in the past 20 years of internet development.

Yes, unfathomable amounts of money have been made - but at the cost of literally everyone's attention, and with an awful lot of collateral damage to just about every aspect of life. It's increasingly harder to pretend that it's been a significant improvement in quality of life.

And, now, even those devices that promised connectivity are turning against their users. Win10 is a telemetry platform that also runs apps. Win11 is an advertising delivery platform that, based on recent bugs, breaks core fundamental OS functionality like "the start menu" if certain ads are delivered from a remote server. And of course sends God knows what upstream, won't let you have an offline account at all anymore if you buy the "home" version that's fine for most people, etc. Apple has decided that your device should be responsible for scanning for known-bad content (and, yes, they then decided that they'd back off for a while in the face of bad press, but they've yet to say they're not going to do it, just not quite yet. Cynically, one might observe that they're concerned about the holiday sales season coming up that is traditionally their strong quarter).

I've been opting out of a lot of the modern tech stuff in my personal life, and other than remembering just how painful endless group text chains were on flip phones, it's... mostly fine. I've gone back to a flip phone (that lasts most of a week on a charge), I now check email with actual mail clients that I check a few times a day instead of constantly, and my engagement with the internet has dropped massively. It's been really, really nice.

Also, with centralization came a loss of diversity. It was easier to find video content in my native language (French) on eMule than it is on youtube.

And yes, I feel nowadays I devote a CPU core and a few GB of RAM to just text messaging. I hope that Matrix and its bridges can end that at one point.

The flagship Matrix client, Element, is just as bad as any other Electron app. :( The alternatives (Nheko and such) don't tend to support the full feature set.

Yep, but despite this Matrix is superior in several key aspects: - One client, even like Element, allows you to access several networks. I think that having just Element instead of Slack+Telegram+Signal is already a CPU saver - lightweight and CLI clients exist, and do so LEGALLY with the full support of the protocol maintainers.

Probably no relation at all to https://ergodex.io/ but was just reading today about it for the first time ever and this popped up on HN frontpage with a similar name

Ergo just means "therefore" in Latin.

In greek, the word "ergo" means "work". As a Greek myself, it seems like this etymology is much more common and used.

Similarly, when we say that something is ergonomic, it derives from "ergo" + "nomic" which means distribution of work. Distribution of work typically minimizes fatigue and that's also the meaning when we are talking about ergonomic chairs, keyboards, etc.

Seems to support all the new IRC features. What's the best client to get all of those features? For the terminal and GUI on Linux. Or for Windows.

terminal-wise, irssi and weechat are the traditional ones recommended these days. but there's a couple newer ones like catgirl: https://git.causal.agency/catgirl/about/ and some rust ones out there.

GUI-wise there's HexChat, mIRC, Quassel, lots of interesting options to look at.

May be worth digging through these tables a bit more if you're interested: https://ircv3.net/software/clients

I have used irssi and weechat. Do they support the new features though?

Inspircd is what I've been hacking on lately and I have been pretty satisfied thus far. Easy to extend codebase in c++.

inspircd++ Sadie and everyone who works on insp are great too <3


hey, libera chat staff here. daniel is a top guy, a good friend, and I trust him to the moon and back. as others have said, he was nought but an employee and it didn't involve ora/ergo.

Based on the responses below it looks like what you posted was nothing more than innuendo—actually a smear, given that you singled someone out by name. That counts as a personal attack and that is not allowed on HN. Please don't do this again.


I think you're a bit confused here. Please refer to how danieloaks himself commented, https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28505861

>It's totally fair to make that link, but I very explicitly told everyone over at LTM/H (including PIA and Handshake) that Oragono/Ergo and ircdocs were not work projects in any way. And while I was working on Shells.com, I was very explicit that I wouldn't be touching any IRC stuff for money while there. ... But yeah, it's definitely good to be wary of these kinda links, given what happened to snoo's and fn/libera's team.

I wanted to know what was going on and I didn't want to accuse him of anything since, like it turned out, he was aware of Andrew Lee's behavior and took proactive actions to prevent legal exposure to him. This wasn't some smear campaign. This was me worrying about a dude that worked at 3 different Andrew Lee IRC companies while developing Ergo and prominently displayed them on his website linked from the Ergo page. It's an issue he himself said he was careful about and worth addressing. After he cleared the air I even tried joining the IRC server to check it out.

I know you have to be proactive too to prevent personal attacks but I think in this case you're a bit off the mark.

Just because the targets of your uninformed smear showed up to defend themselves and were super-gracious about it doesn't mean uninformed smears are ok. They don't owe you a 'clearing of the air', you owe them an apology.

Uniformed? Tell me what part of what I said was factually incorrect. The only smear going on right now is from you and dang.

When was the last time either of you used IRC? It seems like you're going off surface level appearances here without understanding any of the context. This was an issue that had to be addressed for anyone from the IRC community to take Ergo seriously.

Oh haha, hey! I was employed by Andrew across a fair few of his companies (I didn't know Shells.com was owned by him while I was working there though). Buuuut this is entirely unrelated to him, same as my other project https://ircdocs.horse/

It's totally fair to make that link, but I very explicitly told everyone over at LTM/H (including PIA and Handshake) that Oragono/Ergo and ircdocs were not work projects in any way. And while I was working on Shells.com, I was very explicit that I wouldn't be touching any IRC stuff for money while there.

But yeah, it's definitely good to be wary of these kinda links, given what happened to snoo's and fn/libera's team. If you wanna ask any more questions about my stuff in particular, feel free to ask here or send me a mail at daniel@danieloaks.net

> It's totally fair to make that link, but I very explicitly told everyone over at LTM/H (including PIA and Handshake) that Oragono/Ergo and ircdocs were not work projects in any way.

and did they agree... in writing?

the ongoing LTM multi-million dollar court cases are almost entirely focused around Lee allegedly not respecting verbal agreements

Yeah we didn't need to agree in writing because I didn't sign anything giving them access, control, ownership, or anything else over my IRC projects. They offered to purchase one of them at one point, but I respectfully declined.

hopefully you didn't sign anything that could conceivably be argued in any way, shape, or form that might even hint at ownership, tangential or otherwise!

because that guy is a total asshat (MY OPINION)

As the co-maintainer of Ergo, since I joined the project in 2017 it has never (to the best of my knowledge) received any funding from Andrew Lee or any company affiliated with him.

In terms of ongoing specification and development work, we take direction primarily from the IRCv3 working group, in which we are both participants: <https://ircv3.net/charter>

Andrew Lee has nothing to do with Ergo. Daniel used to be his employee (before the freenode takeover), but Ergo wasn't part of the job at all.

You’ll have a hard time finding IRC related projects not touched by andrew in some way.

most of the older large IRC networks wanted nothing to do with him

(having seen people like him many times before...)

I've noticed some collaboration between shells.com and Linux Mint. Do you know if Andrew is involved or trying to become involved in Linux Mint? I love that distro and community and don't want to see it damaged by this man.

To be fair there was also collaboration between PIA and Linux Mint while I worked at PIA. That'd probably be a question best answered by the Mint people who're involved

One sure thing is the Linux Mint help channel is not on Freenode (but SpotChat)

What’s the context here? Not familiar with these names.

Freenode takeover stuff.

It’s a long and drawn out drama.

Cool, but is anyone using IRC day to day in 2021? Not trying to be snarky, I'd love to, just don't know where I'd be.

It depends. There's a lot of people on/around IRC who really like it (see libera and all the other networks), and yeah there definitely are people spinning up new smaller networks. Especially with things like https://sr.ht/~emersion/gamja/ and self-hosted https://kiwiirc.com/ , as well as really polished client experiences like irccloud, it's easier to convince people to join in.

Right now I'm working with a dev from libera on a client that aims to replicate a lot of things experience-wise from newer chat services. Hoping that with that, smaller self-contained servers can become more of a norm~ But for now, your best bets for finding activity are probably Libera and a couple of the other larger networks.

Lots of people use IRC still. Libera being probably the biggest.

The overwhelming majority of F/OSS project communities I enjoy are on Libera or OFTC. IRC has real staying power among tool users.

We're listed on ircstats.org (under our old name of Oragono) as having 84 deployments on the public Internet last year: <https://www.ircstats.org/servers/oragono>

From pseudonymous support requests I've received in our IRC channel and on GitHub, I know of more deployments that are either private (requiring authentication to connect) or on the darknet (we have specific support for running as a Tor onion service). So I think that's our niche right now: small communities who want full autonomy in moderation and control of their data. I've taken a lot of inspiration from Darius Kazemi's runyourown.social: <https://runyourown.social/>

Yes, there are dozens of us

I run an IRC server off my Raspberry Pi which has a bunch of different bots giving me news, weather, git updates, etc. You really don’t need heavyweight stuff to keep track of everything.

If I need javascript help, I can join ##javascript on Libera. C? ##c. There are active channels and networks for the majority of topics HN is interested in.

Isn't twitch chat built on IRC? At least it was a couple of years ago. I remember connecting to twitch chat from weechat with no issues whatsoever.

Yup still using because its dead simple to self host.

For shits and giggles, I dug up an old IBM K6-2/300 Mhz motherboard I had in the shed, maxed out the ram (256MB) on the board and used a CDRom to install the latest Debian (Squeeze) I could on the SD Card/IDE Adapter.

Just so I could try to run an IRC server off of it.

Took about 3 hours to compile UnrealIRCD for it, but it worked.

From what i could see of the resource usage, it should have been fine with 128MB Ram.

The biggest issue I encountered was finding a distro old enough for a CPU without CMOV instructions that still had backported packages that were required to build the IRCD.

same, plus being able to telnet your way through is refreshing

https://netsplit.de/ keeps some stats and a channel directory

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