After you watch this, please, please refrain from picking up a blugeon and heading out to find the people responsible for CSI: Cyber. Their shame will be punishment enough.
As both a service and a communication platform, it's really fantastic. Rich formatting, plugins and integrations, channel history/archiving, easy bots etc.
The recent announcement of Gitlab + Mattermost (http://www.mattermost.org/) is really good news. Communications should never be closed source. I hope it picks up steam.
In concept, these services are IRC. Multi-user real time chat in topic-centered channels or direct messaging.
Now, there are hundreds of different IRC clients out there. Thousands of IRC networks as well. Hundreds of thousands of channels. IRC is free, open source, distributed. If you don't want all the bells and whistles that Slack brings and just want a multi-user, topic-centered communication platform, IRC is perfect - a much better solution than a web-based service.
But why is it so hard? Why don't networks themselves adapt?
Why is it that, in order to do anything interesting with the channel (such as github integration), I have to create bot instead of, for example, scripting the channel?
And I don't even mean very advanced features - something as simple as channel archiving isn't possible without creating your own bot.
Integration/scripting is one thing. But how about security?
Why is it that someone can completely destroy a channel by having hundreds of bots constantly join/leave? Why aren't networks doing any spam filtering? Why aren't projects such as Watchtower (https://github.com/watchtower/reports) sponsored by the IRC networks?
This is the problem with IRC. Just today, a channel with hundreds of users got wiped out and took hours to recover. The culprit? Someone set auto-OP (mod rights) on a nickname instead of an account, years ago. That meant that you could join the channel with the nickname in question and kick everybody.
Why is this possible? Why did the network allow something so blatantly insecure?
I'm speaking about Freenode, by the way. Maybe there are networks that do spam filter, and do allow scripting. I haven't heard of them. Now don't take this wrong - I absolutely love Freenode. But it baffles me that these problems have clear solutions which aren't being applied.
I find it really odd that IRC hasn't really evolved. Compare it to the web, which has constantly changed, gained scripting, styling, better browsers, protocol improvements... It's understandable IRC wouldn't gain all that. But why has it completely stalled? It's not like nobody uses it - there's a lot of really smart, really dedicated people that both use IRC and work on IRC clients and servers.
So why are the basic problems not getting fixed?
I have no idea if this is the case with IRC. But in the OSS world you're basically hoping that some programmer will look at your desired feature/fix as a fun project to take on, and older codebases are in my experience a lot less fun-creative-interesting and a lot more hard-annoying-puzzling. Could that be why nobody improves IRC lately?
I think OSS coders need better motivation. Slack pays their coders money, which is (in-my-humble-anarcho-socialist-opinion) not the best of motivations, but it seems to work. What can the userbase of IRC do to encourage OSS developers to take on this challenge?
OSS projects also tend to have poor usability. I suspect it's because a) nobody can get usability right all by themselves and b) OSS developers only need something to work for them to call it done. In the last decade I've seen a whole host of awesome open technologies replaced by walled-garden alternatives that are just a whole lot easier for 99% of people to use. Facebook is basically a family of such projects. You ask why people use Slack instead of IRC; I'm still trying to get them to use email instead of Facebook Messenger.
Also, IRC & email & various other networking tools are more than the code. You need a network operator, an IT team working on uptime and security, addressing abuse, all that. Maybe a bit of that can be crowdsourced, but for the rest of it ... Freenode is doing the best they can with the resources they have, but perhaps it's not enough. Who's going to be the open-source gardener who fights spambots on the open-source alternative to Slack?
I just blew my mind. Tabs don't have to be 8 spaces wide when using cat etc.
Refreshing to watch tv procedurals not sucking up to the govt.
- CurseDeveloper, 2007 - 2015
- LXQtProject lead / UX designer, 2012 - present
- ZamConsultant, 2006 - 2008
- HearthSimFounder, CTO, 2016 - present
The Humble Indie Bundle #3 (pay what you want for five awesome indie games)
Pay what you want for some awesome games and help support two charities. All of the games are DRM-free and support Mac, Windows, and Linux.
So, um. I think my syslog is threatening me? : linux
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