[Development] Changes to Freenode's IRC

Shawn Rutledge Shawn.Rutledge at qt.io
Wed May 19 20:18:15 CEST 2021

> On 2021 May 19, at 18:21, Jason H <jhihn at gmx.com> wrote:
>> Hi!
>> On Wed, 19 May 2021 at 12:30, Jason H <jhihn at gmx.com> wrote:
>>> Aren't all the kids these days moving to Discord?
>> Discord is not free software, so it does not align well with a free
>> software project.
> QtCentre is not free software
> forum.qt.io is not free software

That’s unfortunate.  But what we are talking about now is specifically for the open source community.  Qt already uses Microsoft Teams internally (unfortunately) which is why you don’t see us much on IRC anymore.  It’s unavoidable because we use it for video meetings, because of the usual M$ vendor lock-in (the meetings are scheduled via O365 and nobody knows better), and because for the first time the whole company is on one platform.  (We never had many non-developers on IRC.)  It’s just the way it tends to turn out in hierarchical corporations.  Personally I’m still on IRC just in case, have my quassel client still running, but often ignore it for even longer periods than I did before, since so little happens there now.

But this is a community thing.  Limiting ourselves to free software with no commercial interest on either the client or server side helps narrow down the long list usefully.  It should be federated or distributed, not centralized. Ideally it should have gateways to other systems (like IRC), so you have a chance of getting by with one client for more than one purpose, rather than a single-purpose greedy perma-tab in your browser alongside many others.  It should be something that runs standalone, not requiring the browser (or electron, our competition) as the only solution.  IMO we should be dogfooding… so a Qt client should be available.  That still leaves several to choose from, but matrix has some advantages: it’s used by KDE, and there are phone apps (including on the Librem 5, which I’ve had on order for years and it still hasn’t shipped.  Any week now hopefully.)

Or just keep using IRC, and matrix users can gateway to it.

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