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 Post subject: IRC: Still hanging on after 30+ years? (#osdev on Libera)
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2021 6:25 am 
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IRC has been around for 33 years now. In the beginning, it was one singular network, but as the Internet grew the ability to join new servers to the relay became more of a liability than an asset. Operators of servers who opted to moderate their peering formed EFnet - the "EF" standing for "eris-free", as one particular server running out of Berkeley was still allowing unfiltered connections and the new network specifically sought to keep all who dared speak with Eris out of their web. As with all things, EFnet saw its share of fractures, with new networks like DALnet forming in the mid-90s from the denizens of a Star Trek fanclub. But there was one network, started by a Linux support group originally on EFnet and later on DALnet, that would come to be the king of IRC - at least in terms of active users - as other communication platforms took hold and IRC became relegated to hobbyists and programming nerds. Rob Levin's Freenode, once known as the Open Projects Net before changing to the name it has held for over twenty years, had humble beginnings, with a mere 200 users and a dozen channels. As other networks dwindled throughout the 2000s, Freenode paradoxically climbed. With estimates of a loss of over 60% of its users between 2002 and 2012, the rest of IRC was close to flatlining - but Freenode found success, seeing a 500% increase in user counts and a steady rise in active channels. In February of this year, Freenode still boasted around 90k users, while its closest competition - IRCnet - clocked in at under 30. But not all is sunshine and rainbows for Freenode: In 2017, administrative decisions by its then head-of-staff saw the network facing considerable criticism - both from outside and from within. Freenode's difficulties have recently increased, as the details of an apparent deal between the former head-of-staff and the (supposed) crown prince of the deposed imperial family of Korea have seen the mass resignation of most of the network's staff. Some of those who left have founded a new network, and as details of the situation have emerged many major open-source projects and communities have opted to follow... one of them being #osdev.

#osdev had been with Freenode all the way back to the days when it was still OPN. Since the early 2000s, it has been extensively logged, frequented by the developers of a number of big-ticket hobby OSes, seen a wide range of staff, and been victim to an interesting array of trolls. Contrary to a common misconception, #osdev has had no official relationship with osdev.org, but the latter was founded by a member of the former (many seem to mistakenly believe the reverse), and for the last several years the two have shared a number of moderators (yours truly included). This weekend, #osdev's ops team made the unanimous decision to relocate the channel to irc.libera.chat, mirroring the migrations of the likes of Ubuntu and hoards of other communities, marking the end of over twenty years with Freenode.

With this move comes one additional change: The relationship between #osdev and osdev.org has long been a source of confusion. Recognizing the operational overlap, and in completing the group registration with Libera, an agreement was made among the shared staff to elevate the connection from "coincidental" to "acknowledged". The two remain separate entities, but we're like best buds or a couple - probably even common-law-married at this point...

Anyway, with all of that out of the way, I'd like to invite everyone to dust off their old IRC clients - or write one of your own - and join us in #osdev on irc.libera.chat - at least you stand some chance of being able to do that from your own OS, unlike a certain other popular communication platform. :wink:

To the OSDev Discord server, please don't take this the wrong way - we still like you as a friend!

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 Post subject: Re: IRC: Still hanging on after 30+ years? (#osdev on Libera
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2021 5:48 pm 
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Don't think Libera is a great platform. It's hanging on to a nusance more than anything but if operating systems can be developed than it's great. Discord is probably the better platform.

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 Post subject: Re: IRC: Still hanging on after 30+ years? (#osdev on Libera
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2021 11:20 pm 
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Skyz wrote:
Don't think Libera is a great platform. It's hanging on to a nusance more than anything but if operating systems can be developed than it's great. Discord is probably the better platform.
You can rest assured I will cut of my left arm before I will replace a decentralized communication system with a centralized one.

That said I haven't used IRC in forever and a day, so maybe I ought to follow the invitation.

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 Post subject: Re: IRC: Still hanging on after 30+ years? (#osdev on Libera
PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2021 3:04 am 
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Freenode's end is very sad, but any form of governance goes wrong sooner or later.

I'm a little amused to note that the Plan 9 channels frequented by professionals have all moved to Libera, but the crazy kids have gone to OFTC. I always thought of OFTC as the professionals' network. ;) But this is because the crazy kids moved before Libera existed.

As for Discord, I've held back on joining for years because mainstream software typically assaults my poor old damaged brain. However, mainstream software has got better with 21st-century UI standards, so I might join it one day.

klange wrote:
With this move comes one additional change: The relationship between #osdev and osdev.org has long been a source of confusion. Recognizing the operational overlap, and in completing the group registration with Libera, an agreement was made among the shared staff to elevate the connection from "coincidental" to "acknowledged". The two remain separate entities, but we're like best buds or a couple - probably even common-law-married at this point...

Congratulations! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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