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SoylentNews is people

posted by mattie_p on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:00AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the idk-about-you-but-irc-irks-me dept.

Landon writes:

"The (evil?) IRC overlord and crew are wondering what you think about our new IRC network. What can we do better? What do you want to see happen with our new network? Heck, should we even have a new network?

See more in Landon's journal"

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Landon on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:09AM

    by Landon (45) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:09AM (#3218) Journal

    We're looking at ways to tightly integrate IRC into the site (example: register on site and have your account ready to go on IRC), which is the primary driver for the new network, I'm not sure I emphasized that enough in my journal post.

    Would any web gurus out there like to speculate on how we would (in some ideal future version of this site) make this story a reality: Landon clicks on the webchat link on SN and it sets him up on IRC and logs him in with NickServ.

    Right now, the only ready to use external authentication module on our services is for LDAP to do a simple password check.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by SGT CAPSLOCK on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:57AM

      by SGT CAPSLOCK (118) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:57AM (#3238) Journal

      How would names be handled, anyway?

      SGT CAPSLOCK on Soylent becomes... SGT_CAPSLOCK on IRC?
      But then what does SGT_CAPSLOCK on Soylent become?
      And what about SGT*CAPSLOCK?

      • (Score: 1) by biff on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:11AM

        by biff (170) on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:11AM (#3241)

        Oh man. Incorporate the UID in some way for duplicates? So the earliest SGT is just SGT_CAPSLOCK, the next is perhaps 5183_SGT_CAPSLOCK, and so forth? At least the registration interface should warn about such IRC naming collisions.

        Or something delightful like URL encoding for usernames? Perhaps the web interface could translate that sort of thing transparently...

        • (Score: 2) by ticho on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:38AM

          by ticho (89) on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:38AM (#3249) Homepage Journal

          It's simople, really. SGT CAPSLOCK on web will become whatevernick!118@whateverhost, next hypothetical SGT_CAPSLOCK from your post will become someothernick!5183@otherhost. Nicknames are unimportant, unless you're running ircd from 1990.

          • (Score: 2, Informative) by mcgrew on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:01PM

            by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:01PM (#3530) Homepage Journal

            Nicknames are unimportant, unless you're running ircd from 1990

            Or don't have Dissociative identity disorder. I'm mcgrew; that's my last name without capitals. I was mcgrew everywhere on the internet since I got on in 1997 and started my old Quake site. I was mcgrew at /., K5, and now here (I was sm62704 at /. for a while when I'd lost my UID, but was able to retrieve it).

            When you see "mcgrew" you can almost always be sure it's me (unless you're at a moron site like 4chan or reddit). I use that nick as a pseudonym in Nobots and will when I publish The Paxil Diaries.

            SGT CAPSLOCK? Could be anybody. When you see the nick "mcgrew" you can almost always be certain who you're dealing with.

            --
            Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
    • (Score: 1) by crutchy on Saturday February 22 2014, @10:07PM

      by crutchy (179) on Saturday February 22 2014, @10:07PM (#4972) Homepage Journal

      with the few users on there atm it doesn't seem too bad as it is. might be a problem with people pretending to be other people when there are hundreds or thousands on irc, but it looks to work ok atm.
      dev seems quiet but that's ok. devs are probably stuffed from their work so far. thanks btw!

      i'd like to help with dev but even though i can read a bit of perl, some of it doesn't make much sense. i'm a php guy so my iq is probably less than half that of a perl monk.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:11AM

    by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@soylentnews.org> on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:11AM (#3220) Homepage Journal
    I'm fine with it how it is at the moment. Glad to be off freenode; they have some ignorant-assed rules.
    --
    My rights don't end where your fear begins.
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:50AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:50AM (#3327)

      Glad to be off freenode; they have some ignorant-assed rules.

      Such as?

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by xlefay on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:40AM

    by xlefay (65) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:40AM (#3228) Journal

    Hi,

    We've also got cookies and if that's not enough, we've got #idlerpg for your friendly neighbourhood IdleRPG game (modified by FatPhil!) and trivia in .. you guess it, #trivia!

    Besides, each "team/group" has their own channel, for development/bugs/etc there's #dev, for editorial needs #editorial and more.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by SGT CAPSLOCK on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:54AM

    by SGT CAPSLOCK (118) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:54AM (#3236) Journal

    I can't say it's a _terrible_ idea, but I also won't say that it's a great idea.

    My main complaint is that I already use Quakenet and Freenode - adding a third connection seems a bit much to me since it's essentially replacing "a channel" with "a new network" in this case.

    Have you noticed if it's affected the count of users in the channels since you've switched over to a new network? I visited, but I haven't come back since.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by ticho on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:41AM

      by ticho (89) on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:41AM (#3251) Homepage Journal

      I too am under impression that a separate irc network is an overkill. SN.org is simply not important enough to warrant yet another TCP connection from users. I know I won't be joining there anytime soon.
      If you'd rather expend all that effort into fixing the bugs on site itself - there's enough work there for truckload of developers for a good while...

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by frojack on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:27AM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:27AM (#3263) Journal

        The whole concept is overkill.

        Soon the discussion will leave the site, and all the action will find its way to IRC.
        People won't post, because they have said all they have to say long before the story hits the site.
        The site gets stale, people disappear.
        Soon the IRC devolves into a back channel conspiracy of mock and stalk. (like every IRC eventual does) or it becomes dominated by petty tyrants ruling the world from their mom's basement).

        Id say focus on the task at hand, or it will fail.
        Walk before you try to Run.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @12:49AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @12:49AM (#3921)

          Disagree. I think the IRC will always be secondary, however providing a webchat interface without setup problems and username integration will mean it is very easy for someone who has never used IRC before to discover it. Also the ability for live interviews with important personalities on IRC via the webchat would add a useful dimension to the website's functionality.

          People who already use IRC will always be using it. Most other people don't and are in any case too time poor to spend too much time on it. The website is for news and discussion and it is a much more efficient forum for proper debate. I don't think IRC can or ever will replace it, otherwise the whole internet would be full of IRC and no news sites.

          • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday February 21 2014, @01:30AM

            by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 21 2014, @01:30AM (#3953) Journal

            Your "Time Poor" assessment of IRC is pretty spot on.

            Any employed person, or anyone with an actual life really can't be logged on and watching scrolling threads non-stop to avoid missing the debate. And the sheer banality found in logs makes reading those unpalatable as well.

            With a website like SoylentNews, you can attend as you have time. There is no real good way to do that on IRC or any "scrolling media".

            So it ends up being the tool of teenagers, flunking students, and the unemployed.
            (I kid of course, but only partially).

            I've had an IRC client running on my Linux box for months to attend a software project I participate in.

            I'd have to say on average, I can get a better response and better feedback by posing a question on a mailing list. I've been in a room with 250 people, posted a question and not a single response (or any other traffic) for an hour or more.

            People compose email, or even postings here on SN. They revise, the manage the tone, to either not sound like an ass, or intentionally sound like an ass, and most at least run with a spell checker on. On IRC, not so much, what ever bubbles up from the brain flows directly to the keyboard, asshatishness and douchebaggery and all.

            I just don't see the entire concept of a side channel as being all that useful, either web based, or via IRC.

            --
            No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @01:39AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @01:39AM (#3959)

              It is being useful for development teams that negotiate on the fly and are working simultaneously on a project such as code development and testing a live environment. It's also going to be useful for moderated live chat with, say, some kind of developer or someone that SN wants to present as an event. It is also a good place for people to chill and chat. So it's not a complete waste of time.

        • (Score: 1) by Geotti on Friday February 21 2014, @03:33AM

          by Geotti (1146) on Friday February 21 2014, @03:33AM (#4046) Journal

          Id say focus on the task at hand, or it will fail.
          Walk before you try to Run.

          Agreed.
          Why not add a newsgroup server, while you're at it?
          What's wrong with (a) channel(s) on the existing networks? What's wrong with slashnet, for example? It ain't run by Dice.

          This sounds like a procrastination effort to me. It's cool that we've all got the 'leet skillz to set up an IRCd, but should we do that just because we can?
          We're not forking freenet, 'cause they ignored the community, we're forking /..

          Don't spread our momentum too thin, focus on what brought us here instead.

          • (Score: 1) by Geotti on Friday February 21 2014, @03:39AM

            by Geotti (1146) on Friday February 21 2014, @03:39AM (#4047) Journal

            Oh, and about that voice thing: get the bots to give out voice during moderated discussions according to user karma and integrate better with the site.

            We don't need a network for that and might make some friends on the existing networks for driving extra traffic to them.

            Just my couple cents.

      • (Score: 2) by DarkMorph on Thursday February 20 2014, @02:32PM

        by DarkMorph (674) on Thursday February 20 2014, @02:32PM (#3455)
        Can someone please explain to me why exactly is it such a problem to have one more TCP/IP connection established on your system for one more IRC server? You could still be using a 486 with 56K and it shouldn't be that big of a deal, to illustrate the point that it isn't a bandwidth or other resources consumption issue. Many clients like Hexchat or Pidgin in particular help abstract such details and make it almost transparent which protocol, or how many, you are using. Even with classic clients such as irssi, surely it isn't really hampering your usage to connect to another server.

        I'm seeing expressed fears of (D)DoS against the SN IRC server, now that I do understand as being a concern, but it would be equally as valid to express the same concern for the website itself as well.
        • (Score: 1) by Landon on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:20PM

          by Landon (45) on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:20PM (#3490) Journal

          I agree, it's generally just one more line in your configuration to add a new server. Heck, we even have SSL!

        • (Score: 2) by ticho on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:57PM

          by ticho (89) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:57PM (#3634) Homepage Journal

          Same reason Google Plus did not catch on next to Facebook. Why get involved in yet another thing which is the same as the thing I am involved in already? It's one more thing to setup, and to keep in mind, for little or no benefit.

          Different strokes, I guess.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @12:55AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @12:55AM (#3929)

            We are not trying to be another IRC network, but to have an IRC network that we can manage our own way for purposes that are not typical of IRC.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by engblom on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:47AM

      by engblom (556) on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:47AM (#3269)

      I fully agree. Those people liking IRC are already on Freenode or any other big network and are not caring to add another one. I am also reluctant to add one network more.

      Personally, I would not care to join if it is on another network.

    • (Score: 1) by Pav on Thursday February 20 2014, @12:45PM

      by Pav (114) on Thursday February 20 2014, @12:45PM (#3390)

      Not to mention susceptibility to DDOS etc... SoylentNews and its IRC server could go down quite easily to such an attack. The FreeNode guys have experienced many such attacks before - it's somewhat of a regular event, and even if it rattles the network enough to cause major splits at least the community can eventually find its way to a single server. I think creating your own IRC server is a bit NIH, although perhaps it would be nice to join the FreeNode network.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Landon on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:26PM

        by Landon (45) on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:26PM (#3496) Journal

        That is a concern, but the server is here to stay at this point unless it does anything absolutely naughty (posting everyone's SoylentNews/Facebook/Google passwords in plaintext, etc). I should probably get word out there that ##AltSlashdot on freenode is our backup in case of DDoS.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by joshuajon on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:28PM

      by joshuajon (807) on Thursday February 20 2014, @05:28PM (#3581)

      Agreed. Until it's back on an established network I won't be /join ing. No great loss IMHO, but there would definitely be wider participation if you bring it back to where the users are at instead of asking them to come to you.

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by krishnoid on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:14AM

    by krishnoid (1156) on Thursday February 20 2014, @07:14AM (#3242)

    I'd like mine with more girls [nocookie.net], if possible.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by LowID on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:40AM

    by LowID (337) on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:40AM (#3294)

    At least, it's good to know that these overlords are listening. ;-P

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Techwolf on Thursday February 20 2014, @01:39PM

    by Techwolf (87) on Thursday February 20 2014, @01:39PM (#3421)

    Why a separate IRC server that is vauneriable to a DoS instead of still using a established network that is resistant to DoSes?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @02:44PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @02:44PM (#3461)

    IRC already sucked in the 90s IIRC. It is beyond me why anyone would use it today.

    If you really want to go back to the golden age you should really check this website [archive.org].

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:24PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:24PM (#3493)
      That's a fair criticism. Indeed, IRC is incredibly crusty technology and it's questionable to support it anymore. It's clunky to use, full of hacks, and has various legacy limitations. There's gotta be better alternatives. Actually, I think that today there are even AJAX based "webchats" which get it more right.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by mcgrew on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:10PM

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:10PM (#3539) Homepage Journal

      I liked IRC in the '90s, but IMO it's obsolete these days, forums are far better. I haven't been on any IRC in over a decade, and I think soylent's IRC is unnecessary and I hope it doesn't detract from the site itself.

      --
      Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Landon on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:33PM

        by Landon (45) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:33PM (#3556) Journal

        We don't want to detract from the site either!

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by stderr on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:29PM

    by stderr (11) on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:29PM (#3500) Journal

    The (evil?) IRC overlord and crew are wondering what you think about our new IRC network.

    Too be honest, I don't really see the point...

    What can we do better?

    One thing I find really annoying about the whole switch to the other IRC "network" is that it seems like you just decided to switch without asking the community first. I thought the overall plan with SoylentNews was to ask and listen to the community before making any big decisions.

    Has that plan been dropped already? Remember that a lot of us just participated in slashcott, a week-long boycott of a site some of us had been using for years. We haven't even used SoylentNews for a week yet and may not be as loyal as you might think. If we decide to boycott you, based on a Dice'y move like that, we might never come back.

    What do you want to see happen with our new network?

    First of all, stop forwarding between the old and the new channels. It really disrupt the flow when "everything" looks like it's written by the same "user". It breaks tab-completion on nicks (since people ain't really on the same channel as you) and you can't send them a private message either (cause they're not even on the same IRC network as you).

    Because of those two points, you kind of have to join both networks and channels anyway to get tab-completion and private messages working, but if you're in both the old and the new channels, you'll see everything twice. Especially annoying when your IRC client is set to highlight channels where your nick has been mentioned. You hurry over to another channel, just to see that it was the exact same thing, you just read in the channel you came from.

    Furthermore, do we really need two bots telling us all the headlines? One should be enough.

    It might be an idea to make a main channel for general chatting and a channel for each "section" of SoylentNews, e.g. #SoylentNews-software and #SoylentNews-hardware. Then move the headline-bot out of the chat channel and into the "section"-channels. Articles in the "software"-section should then only be announced in the "software"-channel where only the users interested in "software"-articles will be present. Think of it as an IRC-based RSS-feed. If the various section-channels are only used by the headline-bot (moderated channels (+m) with only the bot having voice (+v)) you could even have it write a bit more than just the headlines, maybe even the whole summary.

    If you want to do something like that on your own IRC "network", it might be better to have one bot per section and ask your users to "subscribe" to the bots they're interested in. Headlines (and summaries?) could then be delivered by private messages.

    Heck, should we even have a new network?

    While it might be a fun hack to use the existing user database for the users on IRC, I'm not sure that's enough reason for having your own IRC "network". You need a lot more than idlerpg, idlenerds and whatever trivia you got going on.

    Having channels for the various groups in SoylentNews, could have been done on FreeNode too, e.g. #SoylentNews-dev, so that's not a good reason for switching either.

    I fear that having to take care of an IRC "network" too, might take too much time for too little benefit. Time that could have been used much more efficient on the web server and the code for the site.

    --
    alias sudo="echo make it yourself #" # ... and get off my lawn!
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Landon on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:15PM

      by Landon (45) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:15PM (#3543) Journal

      One thing I find really annoying about the whole switch to the other IRC "network" [...]

      We got a little excited about this admittedly, I honestly did not expect any resistance to the change. The motivation for this post was you bringing up this topic in IRC however, so we are improving!

              First of all, stop forwarding between the old and the new channels. [...]

      I know this sucks and it's annoying, but it would fragment the community. Ideally, the Freenode channel empties out and we can find anyone who stumbles in there by mistake and quickly redirect them with use of the relay. I had the same problem of being in both networks and both channels for a while, excitedly hopping back and forth between these false hilights, but the solution is to really just be on one network or the other.

              Furthermore, do we really need two bots telling us all the headlines? One should be enough.

      Heh, I suppose not! I enjoy seeing BotBot race Bender to the headlines, but it would be easy enough to standardize on one bot.

              It might be an idea to make a main channel for general chatting and a channel for each "section" of SoylentNews [...]

      I'd like to see this done, right now we only have access to the main RSS feed and it'd require a plugin rewrite for Bender Maybe BotBot is better set up for that. As it is now, if we had separate RSS feeds for each topic, I could flip the switch so users can subscribe to arbitrary RSS feeds Bender is subscribed to.

              [...] Having channels for the various groups in SoylentNews, could have been done on FreeNode too, e.g. #SoylentNews-dev, so that's not a good reason for switching either. [...]

      In my opinion, adding 12 characters to every channel we want is worse than having our own network (even if it was down to one character, that's needless repetition).

              I fear that having to take care of an IRC "network" too, might take too much time for too little benefit. Time that could have been used much more efficient on the web server and the code for the site.

      At least for me, this is what I can contribute to the project with my time (xlefay may be a little more ambitious). I promise you, I wouldn't have had a snappy rewrite of /. in the works yet if I wasn't working on IRC :)

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by d on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:22PM

    by d (523) on Thursday February 20 2014, @04:22PM (#3547)

    Some of the discussion, including my posts, can be found here:

    https://soylentnews.org/~Landon/journal/44 [soylentnews.org]

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by morty on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:08PM

    by morty (2453) on Thursday February 20 2014, @06:08PM (#3608)

    How about SN borrow a page from the Unix book? Do one thing, and do it well.

    Just running and maintaining the website is going to be hard enough. Does running your own IRC network substantially help you achieve your goals? If not, don't do it. Concentrate on that one thing.

  • (Score: 1) by Popsikle on Saturday February 22 2014, @07:00AM

    by Popsikle (77) on Saturday February 22 2014, @07:00AM (#4716) Homepage

    Was fine. Please move it back!