Freenode and

Jeremy Stanley fungi at
Wed May 26 21:19:09 UTC 2021

On 2021-05-26 16:29:12 -0400 (-0400), Zane Bitter wrote:
> Here's the problem: IRC authentication is a disaster.
> Matrix authentication is decent by all accounts.
> If you bridge a system with decent authentication to a system
> where authentication is a disaster, you get a disaster (see also:
> Schopenhauer's Law of Entropy).

Yep, I get that. Or more precisely, the IRC protocol was not
designed for authentication so everyone's rolled their own competing
solutions. If you're primarily relying on IRC for things where
authentication is irrelevant then it's no big deal, but there are
certainly times when you do want to trust that someone on IRC is who
they claim to be, and that's when things get harder.

> IRC works fine for me and you because we made it fine by doing
> stuff that has the effect of excluding casual users and new
> contributors.

I think you sell newcomers short by assuming they're mentally
incompetent to the point they're incapable of rational thought.

> Although I think OFTC was always a better choice than Freenode
> ever was, the reality is that by moving there we will continue to
> exclude new people in this way, plus we'll lose a few of the old
> people along the way (and maybe even manage to completely fragment
> the community, judging by some of the comments in this subthread).
> IMHO by refusing to consider Matrix we are missing an opportunity
> to make the community more open while only paying the cost of
> moving once. Instead it appears we are going to pay the
> (community) cost without getting any of the benefits.

So, here's the thing. What we have (from OpenDev's perspective) is
some IRC bots connected to Freenode. We can leave them there, point
them to a different IRC network, or turn them off. If someone comes
along with replacement code which talks native Matrix protocol we
can look at running that too, but it's not something we have now nor
something we'll reasonably be able to come up with in the short span
of time people feel evacuating Freenode warrants.

Also feel free to talk about OpenStack topics on Matrix-only
channels; people already talk about OpenStack in lots of places
which aren't IRC. If enough people prefer to do that, then it's
probably not that hard to get others to join there. Once all the
interesting discussions are happening on those channels then I
expect IRC to fall into disuse on its own anyway. The IRC client I
use already has a Matrix plug-in, so I can connect to Matrix-only
channels with it just as if they were on yet another IRC network,
and am personally happy to do so if and when the need arises.
Jeremy Stanley
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