[Development] Changes to Freenode's IRC

Robert Löhning robert.loehning at qt.io
Fri May 21 12:01:56 CEST 2021

Am 20.05.21 um 20:57 schrieb André Pönitz:
> On Thu, May 20, 2021 at 11:59:31AM +0000, Andy Nichols wrote:
>>>> The chat channels are fragmented these days. There’s the Qt discord channels,
>>>> QtMob on Slack, Qt and Advanced C++ on Telegram.
>>> Are any of these channels endorsed by the Qt project?  The IRC channels are, that's
>>> why I'm raising the question here.
>> They probably should be.  We list those in our "Online Communities" wiki.  I'm active
>> on the Qt Discord and its quite lively and interesting.
>>>> Not to mention freenode ones, that no one uses anymore,
>>> This is a falsehood (they're active both in terms of traffic, and importance of the
>>> discussions happening there -- like the release meetings).
>> IRC has been relatively "dead" for a while now compared to how it used to be.  Even
>> now that we are doing everything remotely IRC is pretty useless compared to other
>> chat services for collaboration because everything is so manual (sharing code,
>> sharing images, sharing video, having voice calls, sharing a screen).
> And IRC can't make coffee and doesn't fix your bike either.
> If you have some tool that happens to have some chat functionality does not make other
> functionality of that tool a requirement when looking for a chat service.
>> To get any history you have to run another service, or look at an archive (which I
>> can't even seem to find now for the Qt freenode channels).
> Works as designed. Freenode never endorsed public logging.
> Chat is for ephemeral contents, like normal speech.
> You don't run around with a running voice recorder all day, or require public logging
> of everything you and the people around you ever said in real life, do you?
>> I expect to be able to log Into chat on any of my machines (and my phone or table)
>> and see push notifications when I've been mentioned.
> _I_ expect online chat to work similarly to offline chat: when I am in some room, I can
> hear stuff, when I am not in some room, I don't hear anything, and most of the things
> I hear will be forgotten a few days later. If I hear something important, I might
> take a note, in an explicit, extra step. Under no circumstances I will be able to
> "remember" something someone said in a room I wasn't in a year ago, my only chance
> is to talk to someone who was. And this is a _good_ thing.
>> All of these things we have now with Slack, Discord, Teams, etc.  Those services
>> have set a new standard of what we expect for a chat service.  Dealing with IRC has
>> the same level of experience now that it did when we dialed in with modems.
> Please don't use "we" unless you are sure you voice a consensus opinion.
> I can't say anything about Slack or Discord, as I don't use them, but I do have an
> opinion about Teams which I am requested to use at work.
> For me, Teams has the worst chat-like functionality I've ever used, and that includes
> 'talk' or even telnetting into someone's machine and using 'write' there (so yes,
> it's been a ride...):
> There is no sensible way in Teams to keep up with what people said in various
> discussion in various channels without excessive (and time consuming) mousing around.
> Even individual messages are collapsed if they are "long". There's no way to arrange
> things to be read linearly without interruption. And even if you expand stuff it
> will be collapsed next time you come back. I am quicker browsing "useless" lines
> for interesting information than to click around and then to browse that anyway.
> And thanks to having no public protocol I don't even have a theoretical chance to
> get a client that does what I want. So: Thanks, but no, thanks.
> And that is just the usability aspect. The deep disrespect of anything in the vicinity
> of privacy is another sore spot. Ever tried to control your "own" data there? Like,
> cleaning up your "own" call history?
>> As far as what chat service we *should* use that is harder to say (having previously
>> did battle inside of tQtc over this very topic for our internal chat and getting
>> nowhere).
> [...]
>> I expect that something like Matrix would be the only thing the more outspoken
>> members of our community could handle, and I think that would probably Be a
>> reasonable compromise as it does seem to be quite good.  I personally like Discord
>> but I can understand why people would have hesitations about that.  I did notice that
>> the Godot (open source Game engine) community have recently officially moved there
>> development chat to Discord from Freenode (IRC) and The server is very active and
>> vibrant.
>> I would like to get back to doing more of our development discussions out in the open
>> (like it should be), but right now IRC is not something I want to go back to for
>> that.
> I also think that having development related discussions in internal Teams channels
> is counterproductive not only for the parts of the community that cannot participate.

I claim that having relevant development discussions in any chat is 
wrong. If these discussions are significantly more than a quick 
brainstorming, they belong onto the mailing list or into Gerrit, 
depending on their maturity. These services also meet the demands of 
getting history and looking at an archive.


> Using IRC would already (re-)enable that participation. If there is something better
> than IRC which provides at least IRC's feature that _I_ use, than fine with _me_, I
> do not insist on IRC exactly, let alone on a particular network.
>> I would also like the follow up on one of my previous points.  IRC *is* a barrier to
>> entry when contributing to a project.  It is a pain to setup and use because it is
>> archaic.  One more papercut in the list of challenges to contributing to Qt.  There
>> are students now (born after 2000) who are interested in being more involved in Qt,
>> but have Never used an IRC server.
>> Also there was a point about: "do require no registration".  I find that to be an
>> unreasonable thing to require.
> It's my #1 requirement for things that I do take part in voluntarily. If a thing
> has _optional_ registration - fine. I might even use it. Voluntarily. But as a
> _requirement_ it's an absolute no-go.
>> If anything we should have more verification in our chat.  We run Qt Project as a
>> meritocracy where it is important that someone is who they say they are (like a
>> maintainer).
> I don't think someone's position in the hierarchy should matter in a _chat_. If people
> think if their status matters for personal communication - fine, let them register and
> brag with their titles. But what's wrong when John Doe simply answers your questions
> even if you don't know his CV by heart?
>> If we choose to just move to another IRC service, then it's likely that I'll just
>> continue to ignore it as irrelevant like I do now with Freenode.
> Looks like the both of us won't have much of a chance to chat casually online.
> Andre'
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