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Moving past the heated conjecture, the more accurate statement from a freenode staffer:

  njan: Xenos, for what it delivered, mibbit i) 
  disrupted a large number of our network users, and ii)
  used a disproportionate amount of staff time.

  njan: Xenos, we chose a solution that fixed those two
  problems - using staff time and disrupting our 50k users
  - whilst giving the mibbit users an alternative.



My nose hurts from time to time. Maybe I should cut it off.


Freenode doesn't need -- or have any responsibility to support -- Mibbit. Moreover, we've banned mibbit entirely from our channels without receiving any complaints or noticing any significant drop in channel traffic.


without receiving any complaints

That's a ridiculous statement. I was in the #freenode channel for a few hours, I saw many people (other than the people coming from #startups) who were logging in to ask why Mibbit wasn't working.


without receiving any complaints

This is what you would call spin....

I too saw the same complaints.


Not too mention, a large proportion of those who would complain now have no means to do so.


Other than the vast quantity of available desktop clients, as well as the now-available freenode web IRC chat?


May people who use Mibbit do so because they are sitting behind firewalls that do not allow IRC.

The Freenode client is freenode-specific, and only works with freenode. It also lacks a lot of Mibbit's features, from the sound of it.


Quite a few of my development peers sit behind such firewalls and yet can and do still connect using their desktop clients. It's not something we discuss, so I don't know what method they're using, but as a member of the community in question it's fairly readily assumed that you'd know how to handle such a situation. We're under absolutely no responsibility to provide "IRC accessibility" to all comers.


To rephrase things another way, would you ban mIRC if you determined that 100% of disruptive users used it as their client? Even though there are plenty of legitimate users of mIRC?

It seems more likely to me that there is some sort of objection to 'web clients' because desktop clients are the 'one true way' to access IRC. Note that I say this as someone that prefers to IRC from console clients like BitchX and irssi through a screen session.

I known plenty of people that have used IRC that don't 'know' what IRC really is other than how to use the graphical elements of their client to access things for the 'chat room'.

And in this case you are not 'providing' IRC accessibility. Mibbit is providing that. The only thing that you're doing is restricting accessibility by banning Mibbit. Now if Mibbit were banned by default on your IRCd and you had to 'grant access' to them you could argue the other case.


If mIRC, by it's nature, resulted in a disproportionate maintenance cost as compared to other clients, then yes, I would seriously consider banning it. Mibbit requires additional support from Freenode: trust of its declared client IP addresses, and additional abuse support from the Freenode staff.

I wouldn't demand AOL expend any effort whatsoever to support my 3rd party AIM service without remuneration, and regardless of remuneration offered, it would remain their perogative to say "no".

Why is Freenode, as an independent market actor, not allowed the same prerogative? Is it because Freenode operates as a non-profit, while Mibbit is a small startup?


Why is Freenode, as an independent market actor, not allowed the same prerogative? Is it because Freenode operates as a non-profit, while Mibbit is a small startup?

I'd suggest that freenode's arguments seem to be fairly hollow given that freenode as a network is populated by tech savvy users and if they want to cause strife on the network, then the client they use wont make much different, they will find a way.

I personally find it incredibly convenient that axod writes a post about mibbit's revenue that is posted to HN and then the next day, mibbit is banned from freenode but that's ok, freenode has implemented their own webchat client that you can use. Great timing no?

Given we've established that people trolling freenode will find a way to do so regardless, that could be construed as a little fishy, no? Especially since it's just a default installation of an open source client - it wouldn't surprise me if ads pop up on the freenode webchat client in the next few months.

I also find it interesting that even though axod was in channel asking the #freenode ops what he can do to fix the issues and the general response was "sorry, it's done now" - stonewalling him only lends weight to my argument.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for freenode trying to make money to support their servers, but at least be transparent about it.


I'd suggest that freenode's arguments seem to be fairly hollow given ...

The point is, isn't this entirely their perfectly reasonable prerogative as free actors? Given that my own minimal channel 'work-load' has increased due to Mibbit, I'm inclined to take their position at face value.

However, if I were to entertain the notion of a secret plot for IRC monetization, I still wouldn't begrudge them that choice.

... freenode as a network is populated by tech savvy users and if they want to cause strife on the network, then the client they use wont make much different, they will find a way.

Mibbit's user base is relatively self-selecting. I don't believe it's inconceivable that the Mibbit user base is much more inclined to cause strife.

Whenever I go hiking in a relatively populated area, I always am bemused at how litter and graffiti disappears just a mile or so down from the trail head -- it seems that anyone willing to leave behind beer cans and spraypaint trees is also generally unwilling to walk more than a couple miles to do it.


> However, if I were to entertain the notion of a secret plot for IRC monetization, I still wouldn't begrudge them that choice.

I think people are taking issue with them being secretive about it. "We're banning Mibbit users because they abuse our network" vs "We're banning Mibbit users because we want them to use our client instead so that we can make money" are a little different from each other. If the latter is true, then they should at least be open about it.


Openness is preferable, but there is absolutely no direct evidence to support the conclusion that they wish to monetize Freenode via web chat -- the timing is only circumstantial.


Our channels, not #freenode.


"Your honour, I thought he might object to being shot, but after I did it, he never ever raised the question! If that's not silent agreement, I don't know what is!"


If a project developer, active user, or someone else with genuine stake in the project community complained, we'd pay attention ... but nobody has, despite the numerous venues available to them to do so. Your honour.

It's not our responsibility to account for, be accountable to, or be concerned for outliers.


I'm a project developer (Django + other things), IRC has been blocked at my last two places of work and I've often used mibbit, which I found to be an excellent client - better than many desktop clients in fact. Please consider this a complaint.


Then if the Django IRC channel has banned Mibbit, I suggest you speak with them -- assuming Freenode decides that expending volunteer services to support a commercial service is a worthwhile venture.

Otherwise, there's the freenode web IRC interface.


You just said you would pay attention if someone "with a genuine stake in the project community complained". And then someone did, and you brushed him off.


"Our channels". As I've said before, we've been forced to regularly ban Mibbit on our channels (as in, software projects with which I am involved). I simply don't represent freenode, or django, or web developers in general.

[edit]

I see Mibbit fans are downvoting any negative comments en masse, not to mention the vitriolic dialog with freenode staffers on IRC. Yeesh.





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