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.
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.
This is what you would call spin....
I too saw the same complaints.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
It's not our responsibility to account for, be accountable to, or be concerned for outliers.
Otherwise, there's the freenode web IRC interface.
I see Mibbit fans are downvoting any negative comments en masse, not to mention the vitriolic dialog with freenode staffers on IRC. Yeesh.