Discussion thread for future of Fedora IRC

I’d like to relocate conversation from Issue #371: Freenode hostile takeover and what to do - tickets - Pagure.io to here, as ticketing systems aren’t great for long conversations. Please consider this a continuation of that thread, specifically in regards to how this impacts Fedora. For general discussion of the Freenode situation, Off-Topic Tech - Fedora Discussion is the place. (If somene starts a specific thread there, I’ll edit this post to link to that directly.)

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I think it’s a good time to drop legacy IRC and start switching to the Matrix natively without any bridges.

When Fedora will use its own homeserver, users can join rooms with their FAS accounts. No separate registration needed.

Now we have at least two full-featured native Matrix clients in Fedora repositories: nheko and neochat. If someone don’t want to install clients, they can use hosted Element in any web browser.

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I’m definitely sympathetic to this, but I don’t think we’re ready yet. We have a lot of contributors who are comfortable with IRC and still prefer it. Plus, while many people have been using Matrix informally for many years, we haven’t had it officially, and I think it’s probably best to move cautiously one step at a time. Once we’ve had Matrix up and running for several years we should revisit.

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IRC is going to long outlast any of us. Whether we like it or not, it’s going to stay a persistent thing on the internet, regardless of server(s). Cutting off any bridges will only splinter the community and just cause issues. This was a conversation myself and others had at Rocky Linux too, and I kept my case that having a bridge between our channels and mattermost would keep the community together. And largely, it has for a good amount of our users.

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4 posts were split to a new topic: Matrix/IRC bridge causes annoying join/part spam

I agree to you @mattdm. Although we’re going to have hard discussions going on about the future of Fedora IRC, it’s still important to migrate and move with caution as well as explaining it (our reasons and future thoughts).
At least, we all know that we can’t take all folks to new decisions and progress. But as a Fedora community we can almost ensure that we will talk and discuss it openly.

Therefore, I’d prefer you idea @mattdm first setting up Matrix and running it, so all users or long-term users may be feel “home” and comfortable. Afterwards we may cut IRC.

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I think own homeserver can be very convenient, especially with a login for the already existing FAS account. I hope the Fedora Project can find people who are willing to host it.

Now we have at least two full-featured native Matrix clients in Fedora repositories: nheko and neochat.

This is not completely correct, sadly. According to their own github/gitlab pages:
Neochat:

NeoChat is still missing a few features to become a full-featured Matrix client (most notably encryption support and video chat support).

Nheko:

Note regarding End-to-End encryption
Currently the implementation is at best a proof of concept and it should only be used for testing purposes.

and

Most of the features you would expect from a chat application are missing right now but we are getting close to a more feature complete client.

So neither are full-features according to their own description. I think your suggestion of Element is a much better fit. Ideally hosted by Fedora, but perhaps that requires too many resources.

In general, keeping both technologies is nice, but also brings in many problems. Even though I much prefer IRC, I think the bandaid needs to be ripped off quickly otherwise a temporary solution might not be so temporary. Here are some problems the GNOME team is running into with bridges: Ease interactions between IRC and Matrix users (#10) · Issues · Teams / Engagement / Initiatives / Chat Evaluation · GitLab
Even if you decide for a bridge, this document can be a good reference for problems and potential solutions.

Downside is that clients like Element can only support one home server. At work we use a private home server, adding another one for Fedora or a public one is not yet possible. That makes it a bit troublesome. However, Matrix allows IRC bridges. So both may be used.

You can try NeoChat (sudo dnf install neochat). It supports multiple accounts.

nheko supports E2EE encryption. It works fine. I think they just forgot to update the Readme page.

Try nheko: sudo dnf install nheko. It supports E2EE, message editing and even voice+video calls.

Cool, multiple accounts in neochat.

In element its possible login without default homeserver (aka matrix.org)

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Like some user have already mentioned, maybe this it will be the best time to perform a full migration into matrix. In the last months i’ve been connected to fedora channels with matrix, since is more easier and without the need of using a bnc/znc to be always connected(this is not a selling point), but this kind of functionalities that can help users is a plus and can help increase the join of new users to fedora chat. And with this we can avoid some troublesome bridges between irc/mattermost/discord/etc.

Cheers

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All jokes aside, I think this is a decent take. Even though both IRC and mailing lists are becoming somewhat antiquated, they probably aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, and IRC is especially easy to bridge and slowly move over to matrix when the time comes.

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There’s still no information on who Libera Chat is legally, only some vague mention of some potential incorporated non-profit in Sweden. OFTC is hosted by the friendly folks at SPI Inc, so it might be a more suitable target. Policies around the various IRC bridges used on Fedora channels should be checked, to avoid discovering too late that they might be blocked. There’s also no hurry to do any of this, probably, so it’s possible to wait for the dust to settle.

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I just wanted to chime in and say that IRC is not some antiquated historical artifact. Plenty of channels I’m in get several thousand messages a day, and IRC is the go-to place for many FLOSS projects that have no plans on switching to Matrix.

I for one plan on sticking with IRC whenever possible.

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IRC , e-mail and Usenet will still be there after Zuckerberg & Co. have censored the last posting and banned the last POTUS from their platforms.

No need to be a neophyte on these things !

I mean, even discourse webware gets so much more in the way than a proper IRC ! Quite terrible actually.

just ditch IRC, it’s only the land of the idle, spammed with status messages and no one actually present.

Well, this won’t be done. Many users are using IRC. It’s your personal opinioin that not all of us here will share and agree.

v/r
Andi

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i think it is quite clear for everyone that IRC is not going anywhere any time soon, so it is not really worth to debate it.

What I would love to have though is to get some true Matrix experience without the limitations of the bridging.

I think that for most “work-related” or “official” channels like #fedora-devel we do need to have bridging setup. But for more user-level interactions, like generic chat for socializing and support we can have Matrix channel without its IRC part. Thus I like the idea of a “Lobby” or “Welcome” area as Matthew described here: Matrix server channel setup - #7 by mattdm

I would also consider not bridging #fedora channel from IRC to Matrix as it is a high-traffic communication without shared context and it might benefit from horizontal scaling.

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agree!

Maybe in future and long-term perspective this can be done. But I agree that discussions about ditching IRC is nonsense.

#fedora channel wouldn’t be a good idea to bridge with Matrix. Maybe for such cases only Matrix channel and Telegram should be considered? Just my idea :slight_smile:

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