[Evergreen-general] Time to move to a different IRC network?

Galen Charlton gmc at equinoxoli.org
Wed May 26 11:21:40 EDT 2021


The #evergreen IRC channel has been hosted on the Freenode network for
years. However, recently 14 staff members at Freenode have quit in response
to a dispute over ownership of the network [1], [2].

A number of open source and other communities, including Code4Lib, have
migrated to other IRC networks such as Libera.Chat (which was founded by
the departed Freenode staff members) and OFTC (which has been around for
years and hosts, among other groups, #koha). However, Freenode has
apparently started locking channels that mentioned a move away to Libera in
their channel topics. [3]

I believe that the current proprietors of Freenode are actively undermining
Freenode as a place for open source communities to discuss their work
without interference, though it is not clear to me why they find commercial
or other value in doing so. Consequently, I suggest that we consider a move
to either Libera.Chat or OFTC. #evergreen channels currently do exist on
both networks.

Here are some pros and cons I see:

Pro: Run by the same people who have kept Freenode running smoothly for
over a decade. Has a policy against discrimination based on faith,
ethnicity, sexual orientation, sex or gender expression, disability, or
age. [4]
Con: Doesn't offer a built-in web client, although it can be used with
other web IRC services.

Pro: Has been successfully used by the Koha community for years. Comes with
a built-in web chat client.
Con: Their policy does not appear to have active anti-discrimination
clauses. [5]

I don't believe that this is a super-urgent issue - please enjoy the
Evergreen Conference this week! - but I would like to solicit opinions on
whether to leave Freenode and, if so, whether to move to OFTC or
Libera.Chat. Discussion about the IRC network is taking place on the
Freenode #evergreen IRC channel as well.

I want to acknowledge that a discussion of alternatives to IRC would be
valid, but I suggest that if anybody wants to take that up, that it be done
in parallel to the more limited question about moving #evergreen.

[2] https://lwn.net/Articles/856543/
[3] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=27287750
[4] https://libera.chat/policies
[5] https://www.oftc.net/Network_Policy/


Galen Charlton
Implementation and IT Manager
Equinox Open Library Initiative
gmc at equinoxOLI.org
phone: 877-OPEN-ILS (673-6457)
direct: 770-709-5581
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