Make IRC great again?

Make IRC great again?

Postby Julius » 13 Aug 2019, 21:14

Kind of split of from here: https://forum.freegamedev.net/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=7781

Ok, so our Mattermost on https://chat.freegamedev.net is running quite nicely and has a few regular users. The actual uptake from FOSS game projects has been close to 0 though (as in requests to host a team server for them). Maybe we didn't advertise it enough... but I doubt it. But I think the separate chat bridge from IRC and Discord has been quite successful so far.

However, I am a bit annoyed by the artificial limitations and with the company behind Mattermost recently gotten a huge venture capital funding, it will probably get worse sooner or later when the investors want some profit.

Thus maybe back to plan A to have a nice IRC/XMPP hybrid. So far, I wasn't a fan of running the complex legacy setup of an IRC daemon and a bouncer etc. to have a semi usable setup. In addition, user accounts that work with most clients are another complex topic... but low and behold I wasn't aware of the seemingly awesome Oragono IRC server that wraps all this together in a nice Golang program: https://github.com/oragono/oragono
See also: https://ircv3.net/

Edit: https://www.irchelp.org/

So this is a bit of a brainstorm topic on how we could put some nice stuff together as a modern take on IRC chat. Suggestions are welcome.
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Re: Make IRC great again?

Postby Julius » 13 Aug 2019, 21:18

As the web-client of choice I would suggest and option is to use The Lounge again (we had it running previously):
https://thelounge.chat/
Together with Oragono it doesn't need to be run in private mode to have multi-client and history support, so that simplifies the setup greatly.
But of course everyone will be free to use their own IRC client of choice.

Alternatives would be:
https://github.com/Nordaaker/convos
https://github.com/kiwiirc/kiwiirc (https://webchat.freenode.net/ to test)
https://github.com/Fauntleroy/relay.js/
Edit: https://github.com/khlieng/dispatch (seems really nice)
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Re: Make IRC great again?

Postby Julius » 13 Aug 2019, 21:27

Integrations:
https://biboumi.louiz.org/ (great XMPP bridge)
https://www.bitlbee.org/ (nice personal bridge, but if we run it it will be without the ram hungry lib-purple parts)
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Re: Make IRC great again?

Postby Julius » 13 Aug 2019, 21:27

General list of cool IRC stuff:
https://github.com/davisonio/awesome-irc
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Re: Make IRC great again?

Postby charlie » 14 Aug 2019, 13:46

Good research as usual, Julius.

I'm actually a tiny bit confused by the combination of Mattermost/Discord/IRC at times. Sometimes I yearn for the simplicity of going back to IRC... if there could be a best of both worlds eh :) retaining chat history, multi-client login (as in, logging in on your phone, home PC, work PC to the same account) but simple like IRC... oh, and open source. Something tells me that is, for now, a bit of a pipe dream.
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Re: Make IRC great again?

Postby charlie » 14 Aug 2019, 13:53

Hrm, maybe read more of the forum before posting :) like this snippet:

Julius {l Wrote}:I also like that with Oragono IRC we can make accounts optional and run The Lounge IRC web-client in public mode easily.


XD
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Re: Make IRC great again?

Postby Julius » 14 Aug 2019, 17:39

charlie {l Wrote}:retaining chat history, multi-client login (as in, logging in on your phone, home PC, work PC to the same account) but simple like IRC... oh, and open source. Something tells me that is, for now, a bit of a pipe dream.


That is possible with IRC, but with the normal legacy IRC daemon/bouncer setup hugely complicated on the server side. That is why I didn't really consider it so far.

The Lounge IRC also has that build in, but only in "private mode" which means (besides that it really only works through that javascript webclient) that I had to run and maintain two instances of it and also had to manually write each user account into a text-file (or alternatively setup up a complex LDAP system, which I equally dreaded). That is the main reason why I started with Mattermost (and the MatterIRCd IRC client bridge).

But it now looks like this new Oragono IRC server has all that build in while maintaining IRC's simplicity both client and server side... So that is quite exiting :D However, if it really works remains to be seen... but the guy who made me aware of it was saying it works really nicely with The Lounge in public mode :cool:
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Re: Make IRC great again?

Postby fluffrabbit » 14 Aug 2019, 18:14

The Free Game Lounge... I like the sound of that.
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Re: Make IRC great again?

Postby Julius » 14 Aug 2019, 18:25

fluffrabbit {l Wrote}:The Free Game Lounge... I like the sound of that.


Yeah with fancy Javascript sofas :p
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Re: Make IRC great again?

Postby Julius » 15 Aug 2019, 22:34

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Re: Make IRC great again?

Postby charlie » 16 Aug 2019, 11:47

Heh. Maybe in 1995. :)

I think a better way to go would be to have a voice-to-text and text-to-voice.
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Re: Make IRC great again?

Postby Julius » 16 Aug 2019, 20:22

baby steps:
https://freegamer.blogspot.com/p/irc.html
(now with the newest open source KiwiIRC web-client offered by Freenode)
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Re: Make IRC great again?

Postby Julius » 17 Aug 2019, 14:58

Next topic: Channel logging and curation :shock:

There is the general problem of opaqueness of chat channels compared to for example forums which can be searched. Similar to email list archives this can be improved on IRC with public channel loggers. Note that is is different from channel history in your client (which can also be done in IRC).

Somewhat related, I also don't like how there is no convenient system for IRC (or XMPP) to curate channels and tie them together into a theme based set (like it can be done on Mattermost or Discord). This also makes discoverability and onboarding of new users quite bad to be honest.

I quite like the idea behind IndieWeb's IRC channel logger:
https://chat.indieweb.org/
https://github.com/indieweb/chat.indieweb.org
Note how it does logging, curation and even onboarding quite nicely? But it seems to be not straitforward to self-host with some rather obscure dependency on a special nginx feature :(

Other reasonably nice options for channel loggers with build in websites would be these:
https://freenode.irclog.whitequark.org/
https://github.com/whitequark/irclogger

https://freenode.logbot.info/
https://github.com/globau/logbot/

Edit: https://github.com/McInkay/McLog
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Re: Make IRC great again?

Postby Julius » 19 Aug 2019, 22:23

It has started :o
https://irc.freegamedev.net/
(was a bit frustrated with the broken Mattermost upgrade :cry: ).
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Re: Make IRC great again?

Postby fluffrabbit » 20 Aug 2019, 08:14

Wow, that's probably the smoothest chatroom software I've ever used. No client lag, very responsive with the network, nice colors. But it still just looks like IRC. Hopefully memes are coming.
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Re: Make IRC great again?

Postby Julius » 20 Aug 2019, 18:51

Glad that you like it. Needs the Oragono IRC backend (or a bouncer like ZNC) or be switched to private mode for chanel history etc though.

Oh and this IRC channel search is quite cool: https://netsplit.de/channels/
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Re: Make IRC great again?

Postby Julius » 20 Aug 2019, 19:11

Found two IRC meme bots, but both are pretty much abandoned:
https://github.com/Tug/irc-meme-bot
https://github.com/hexgnu/meme-bot

The this general purpose bot seems to have some funny functionality as well:
https://snoonet.org/gonzobot/
https://github.com/snoonetIRC/CloudBot

But probably best to look again for some up to date plugin for a more general purpose bot as I am trying to keep the "moveable parts" to a minimum.
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Re: Make IRC great again?

Postby Julius » 20 Aug 2019, 20:26

fluffrabbit {l Wrote}:Wow, that's probably the smoothest chatroom software I've ever used. No client lag, very responsive with the network, nice colors. But it still just looks like IRC. Hopefully memes are coming.


Getting really annoyed with it on my shitty connection though... I get constant connection interruptions. This reminds me why I actually prefer to connect to IRC through an XMPP bridge :shock:
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Re: Make IRC great again?

Postby fluffrabbit » 20 Aug 2019, 20:44

Your connection can't be worse than mine, and Lounge can't be worse than cgiirc.
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Re: Make IRC great again?

Postby Julius » 22 Aug 2019, 18:27

Julius {l Wrote}:But probably best to look again for some up to date plugin for a more general purpose bot as I am trying to keep the "moveable parts" to a minimum.


Looks like Hubot would work, It has an IRC (and XMPP/Mattermost) plugin:
https://github.com/nandub/hubot-irc

and this looks reasonably recent to work:
https://github.com/waynegraham/hubot-memes
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Re: Make IRC great again?

Postby fluffrabbit » 22 Aug 2019, 18:45

Will memes work cross-protocol, or is the meme infrastructure specific to IRC? I ask because Mattermost has its own meme plugin, you're showing a separate plugin for IRC, and there is also XMPP. It's important that humanity's primary mode of communication be maximally compatible.
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Re: Make IRC great again?

Postby Julius » 22 Aug 2019, 19:28

Yeah, this hubot bot just seems to post an url (up to the client to show in line or not) so it should work cross the matterbridge. Much better than the current Mattermost bot that only works there.
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Re: Make IRC great again?

Postby Julius » 22 Aug 2019, 22:09

Oragono IRC daemon is running great, but still a lot of configuration necessary. Nice how resource efficient IRC is, with only 5-10mb ram used in idle.
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