Freenode drama and consequences

It effectively has been a hostile takeover over the network, bad times.

Massive channels have already started to migrate onto the new fledgling network the operators of Freenode have created – they are giving channel founders the right to own the channels on the new network.

I made the decision to migrate #vim across networks. Just curious what people think / plan to do in regards to #kakoune.

What do you think about migrating to libera.chat as they suggest?

@danr the new controller of freenode has shown enough ill-will and poor management to make me believe in moving #vim off the network, already coordinating with the OPs to move it.

The new one is a bit shaky, but a lot less shacky than freenode will be once it gets attacked (as it regularly does) with zero experienced operators.

Sadly, no way to do it without losing some people in the change-over. #vim lost some users who depend on tor gateways, as the new network is yet to have tor entry points.

Sad day overall, but I think for purely practical reasons the move must be made for #vim – now this community has more choices, as we also have an active discord.

New network is having explosive growth, and all the problems that go along with that. Registration throttling (just keep retrying and it will send the email) and drops right now.

But I still trust experienced OPs to have this fixed up in short order.

Someone on HN pointed to https://www.oftc.net/ for irc as alternative to libera.chat. Any opinion on that?

Looking at the OFTC FAQ, “Why does OFTC exist? Freenode already provides IRC for this community.”:

OFTC aims to provide many services to the community, including but not limited to mailing lists, project web pages, NNTP, and ultimately CVS. IRC is a logical first step, since resource requirements are very low, and momentum can be gained with which to grow into a more complete project.

I don’t have any direct experience with OFTC, but I note that they’re a member of Software in the Public Interest, Inc. whose other associated projects include Debian, Arch Linux, FFmpeg, LibreOffice, MinGW, OpenWrt, PostgreSQL, systemd and X.Org. If the concern is that Freenode’s loose organisational structure led to their downfall (twice), OFTC definitely has that under control.

#kakoune is the only channel on Freenode I’m in regularly. I don’t mind if it stays there (although it sounds like Freenode is going to fall apart fairly quickly, so that might not be the best idea). Migrating to Ilbera.chat seems like the most straight-forward choice, migrating to OFTC seems like it would be more conservative, migrating to the official Kakoune room on Matrix (which was bridged to the Freenode channel) seems like the most future-proof option.

[ifreund] I think it’s worse than no OPs: Ariadne Conill (@ariadneconill): "freenode has imported a bunch of IRCops from rizon, if you're wondering how that's going" | nitter

invoke terror

While I got intrigued about oftc we already have 23 nicks on irc.libera.chat#kakoune but only 4 nicks on irc.oftc.net#kakoune, so it seems it’s easier to get people to migrate to libera :slight_smile: Based on that I suggest to give the libera irc channel an official community status.

If someone is willing to maintain an IRC<->matrix bridge I think I suggest to also give the matrix room an official community status, with the caveat that I don’t know much about matrix.

Matrix is rushing support for Libera, but I don’t think it is up yet. Also still waiting on a tor gateway. I would love to link IRC / Discord / Matrix to bring the community together a bit more. Once @mawww blesses moving the IRC channel over.

I have been reading a bit around that issue, and I’d like to explain a bit my current position:

From what I have seen so far, I am unconvinced what happened is fairly characterized as a hostile takeover, nor that we should consider Andrew Lee a malicious party. It looks more like incompetence and miscommunication than malice. In that spirit I dont see any strong reason to rush out of freenode right now, at least not due to freenode staff resigning. I did not trust or distrust anybody at freenode before, I still dont, and quite frankly I am surprised of privacy concerns about who runs a centralized, plain text protocol server.

That said, my point is not that we should not move, its merely that I dont feel a rush to make a decision. There is a technical argument to be made in favor of moving: IRCv3 support in libera.chat is much better, so if we were to move I’d favor them over oftc.

I hope that makes sense, as I said, this is based on what I’ve seen so far, I could have missed some information and I am not familiar with all the existing IRC networks and their reputation.

2 Likes

This is a bit worrying


Honestly this convinced me to drop my account on Freenode.

@mawww I absolutely understand your perspective, but sincerely disagree. I admire your fair mindedness, but in this case I believe the actions are egregious.

Sadly due to (1) zero transparency, (2) extremely aggressive channel hijacking and (3) poor day to day admin management (spam is increasing a great deal, becoming far more annoying to be on Freenode) I have closed #vim. After 20 years and generally 1000+ users in it. The good news is – about half of them have already transitioned and a great deal of the rest I suspect were idlers.

I am not one to make rash or fast decisions, I am generally a “let’s wait and see” person. But the actiosn happening recently were simply too much for me to ignore.

Seeing the channel hijacking taking place on freenode I now agree we should move out of it quickly, I will apply for a project channel at http://libera.chat

With this in mind, locking this post, we won’t focus on the drama, we focus on the text editing!