paritybit.ca

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commit 56b8d62e10b5a6bc9f721d6484931814a7bacc44
parent eb2345f9a6553bf1b72a100070164c787571df75
Author: Jake Bauer <jbauer@paritybit.ca>
Date:   Sun, 30 Aug 2020 02:05:23 -0400

Publish new blog post

Diffstat:
Mpages/blog.md | 1+
Mpages/blog/why-irc-is-still-good.md | 124+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++------------------------
Mpages/home.md | 4++--
Mpublic/feeds/sitewide-feed.xml | 27+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Mpublic/sitemap.xml | 1+
5 files changed, 118 insertions(+), 39 deletions(-)

diff --git a/pages/blog.md b/pages/blog.md @@ -27,6 +27,7 @@ href="https://pleroma.paritybit.ca/jbauer">Pleroma</a>. ### 2020 <ul> + <li>2020-08-30 <a href="blog/why-irc-is-still-good">Why IRC is Still Good in $CURRENT_YEAR</a></li> <li>2020-08-29 <a href="blog/btw-i-use-arch">BTW, I Use Arch</a></li> <li>2020-08-27 <a href="blog/nope-back-to-st">Nope, Back to st</a></li> <li>2020-08-22 <a href="blog/setting-up-weechat-again">Setting Up WeeChat Again with weechat-matrix</a></li> diff --git a/pages/blog/why-irc-is-still-good.md b/pages/blog/why-irc-is-still-good.md @@ -1,6 +1,6 @@ ## Why IRC is Still Good in $CURRENT_YEAR -[//]: # "IRC is often touted as being outdated but it is still a great chat platform. Let me tell you why." +[//]: # "IRC is often disparaged for being outdated but it is still a great and useful chat platform. Let me tell you why." [//]: # "main.min.css" @@ -8,10 +8,18 @@ <div class="byline"> <b>Written By:</b> Jake Bauer | - <b>Posted:</b> [DATE] | - <b>Last Updated:</b> [DATE] + <b>Posted:</b> 2020-08-30 | + <b>Last Updated:</b> 2020-08-30 </div> +<figure> + <a href="https://xkcd.com/1782/"> + <img src="https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/team_chat.png"/></a> + <figcaption>XKCD Comic #1782: Team Chat ([CC-BY-NC + 2.5](https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/))</figcaption> +</figure> + + Similar to how [I think e-mail is still the best discussion platform](https://www.paritybit.ca/blog/why-email-is-the-best-discussion-platform), I think there is still a solid place for IRC in our lives. @@ -20,45 +28,87 @@ IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is a communications protocol [created in 1988](https://daniel.haxx.se/irchistory.html) and, yeah, it shows. IRC is 100% plain text; no images, no videos, no stickers, no emoji reactions, just good ol' plain text. It was also designed to transmit everything in plain text (i.e. -unencrypted) all across the Nets in a time when the use of these computer -networks was limited mostly to universities, governments, and large corporations -and Hollywood-style [1337 -h4x0rs](https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=1337%20h4x0r) were just -kids using their modems to make long distance calls for free. +unencrypted) all across the Internets in a time when the use of these computer +networks was limited mostly to universities, governments, and large +corporations. This was a time when Hollywood-style [1337 +h4x0rs](https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=1337%20h4x0r) were +pretty much just kids using their modems to make long distance calls for free. -Nowadays, IRC is arguably not such a good platform for private personal chats, +Nowadays, IRC is probably not such a good platform for private personal chats, but that doesn't mean it's not good for other things. -### Plain Text is Good - -Arguably the best "feature" of IRC is that it's still all in plain text. [plain -text good] - -### IRC Federates... Sorta - -[explaining IRC federation] - -[different IRC networks still easy to use] - -### Enforcing Encryption +Arguably the best "feature" of IRC is that it's still all in plain text. No +multimedia or fancy features such as emoji reactions, integrations, or stickers +keeps the bandwidth usage down and the focus on the content of what people are +saying, rather than on distracting memes and flashy things. It's the same reason +why people like lean websites, plain text email, plain text notes, and so on: +plain text is easy, portable, lean, and pure. You can even still [send files +using IRC](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Relay_Chat#File_sharing). + +One aspect of computing and software design that many developers nowadays seem +to forget is that [over half of the world's population does not have access to +fast +Internet](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Internet_connection_speeds) +and many people, even in developed countries, are limited by bandwidth caps and +spotty satellite or mobile Internet access. For these people, IRC can be the +much better option compared to other collaboration platforms such as RocketChat, +Mattermost, Slack, or Matrix, even if they have to use an IRC bouncer or a +screen/tmux session on a remote server to not miss things if their connection is +that spotty. + +One of the biggest flaws I see people discuss when talking about IRC is that +chat history is not saved by the server. This means that, if you want a record +of the conversations which happen when you're not connected, you'd have to use +an IRC bouncer or screen/tmux session which will keep you connected when you +have to go offline. I can definitely see this being a limitation for a private +group chat if this is not something you're willing to do, but when it comes to +open source collaboration or support, this makes IRC great for hashing out +ideas, asking quick questions, and having conversations while hacking on things. +In these cases you don't really care what's happening when you're not there +because these are synchronous conversations which is perfect for the ephemeral +nature of IRC. Even though encryption is not mandated by IRC or enabled by default in many -cases, you can enforce encrypted client-server or server-server connections -meaning that all messages in transit are encrypted (usually with TLS) and the -only weakness would be logs on the servers themselves or logs on client -machines. - -[how to have secure chats] - -### What IRC is Good At - -[maybe not so good for interpersonal] - -[good for open collaboration, open source projects] - -### Keep IRC going - -[conclusion, keep it going] +cases, you can still enforce encrypted client-server or server-server +connections on your IRC server. This means that all messages in transit between +clients and your server would be encrypted (usually with TLS) and the only +weakness would be logs on the servers themselves or logs on client machines. If +you and your friends like the plain text medium, it's entirely possible to set +up an IRC server which mandates encryption and doesn't store logs long-term. If +you're in a group of people you can trust to be competent then it's entirely +possible to make IRC work this way and have a reasonable guarantee of privacy +and security. + +I suppose I should also mention the federating aspect of IRC since that's quite +a hot topic in the open source social platform world. IRC does federate in a +way, but it's not quite like the way Pleroma or Mastodon do. In the world of +IRC, IRC networks are made up of one or more IRC servers. If you connect to an +IRC server, you can view and interact with any channels or users on the same +network that server is a part of. The way IRC exists right now is due to several +network splits (netsplits) where many servers decided to split off of a big +network to form their own, separate network several times throughout IRC +history. This is similar to having a group of several Mastodon/Pleroma instances +which have decided to federate with nobody else except those also in the group +and is why we have the Freenode IRC network alongside the Undernet, EFnet, and +so on. + +The reason why this isn't really such a big issue when it comes to IRC though is +that IRC doesn't really have accounts. Sure, you can usually register a nickname +with a network's NickServ bot to reserve it, but that's not mandatory on most +networks. This means you can join however many IRC networks you want with little +hassle; you just have to connect and set your nick. + +So, overall, IRC is still a really useful and good platform especially for +software minimalists and technical users who wish to have a relatively +hassle-free experience. IRC is great for open collaboration and quick support in +free software projects (far better than Slack or Discord) and it can be made to +work for private chats as long as you can trust everyone in the group to be +competent. Yes, IRC is not necessarily great for non-technical users or those +who require extensive guarantees of security; it might even be too much of a +hassle for you, but this doesn't mean it's dead, useless, or outdated. IRC is +not only still useful, but can still be the best tool for the job in the modern +age and there are improvements coming in the form of +[IRCv3](https://ircv3.net/). _This is my ninety-eighth post for the [#100DaysToOffload](https://social.paritybit.ca/tags/100DaysToOffload) diff --git a/pages/home.md b/pages/home.md @@ -18,6 +18,8 @@ This site will soon™️ be available over Gopher and Gemini. <a class="rss-icon" href="/feeds/sitewide-feed.xml"> <img src="/img/feed-icon.png" width="15" height="15" alt="Click for RSS Feed"/> </a> </div> +2020-08-30 <a class="feed-item" href="blog/why-irc-is-still-good">Why IRC is Still Good in $CURRENT_YEAR</a> + 2020-08-29 <a class="feed-item" href="blog/btw-i-use-arch">BTW, I Use Arch</a> 2020-08-27 <a class="feed-item" href="blog/nope-back-to-st">Nope, Back to st</a> @@ -36,8 +38,6 @@ This site will soon™️ be available over Gopher and Gemini. 2020-08-10 <a class="feed-item" href="blog/my-preferred-fediverse-mobile-client">My Preferred Fediverse Mobile Client</a> -2020-08-09 <a class="feed-item" href="blog/posting-statuses-on-pleroma-with-a-shell-script">Posting Statuses on Pleroma with a Shell Script</a> - ### What is a Parity Bit? It is a bit (in the 1's and 0's sense) used in checking for errors in digital diff --git a/public/feeds/sitewide-feed.xml b/public/feeds/sitewide-feed.xml @@ -7,6 +7,33 @@ <description>The feed that covers all notable additions, updates, announcements, and other changes for the entire paritybit.ca website.</description> <item> + <title>Why IRC is Still Good in $CURRENT_YEAR</title> + <link>https://www.paritybit.ca/blog/why-irc-is-still-good</link> + <guid>https://www.paritybit.ca/blog/why-irc-is-still-good</guid> + <pubDate>Sun, 30 Aug 2020 02:04:32 -0400</pubDate> + <description><![CDATA[<h2 id="why-irc-is-still-good-in-current_year">Why IRC is Still Good in $CURRENT_YEAR</h2> +<div class="byline"> +<p><b>Written By:</b> Jake Bauer | <b>Posted:</b> 2020-08-30 | <b>Last Updated:</b> 2020-08-30</p> +</div> +<figure> +<a href="https://xkcd.com/1782/"> <img src="https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/team_chat.png"/></a> +<figcaption> +XKCD Comic #1782: Team Chat (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/">CC-BY-NC 2.5</a>) +</figcaption> +</figure> +<p>Similar to how <a href="https://www.paritybit.ca/blog/why-email-is-the-best-discussion-platform">I think e-mail is still the best discussion platform</a>, I think there is still a solid place for IRC in our lives.</p> +<p>IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is a communications protocol <a href="https://daniel.haxx.se/irchistory.html">created in 1988</a> and, yeah, it shows. IRC is 100% plain text; no images, no videos, no stickers, no emoji reactions, just good ol’ plain text. It was also designed to transmit everything in plain text (i.e. unencrypted) all across the Internets in a time when the use of these computer networks was limited mostly to universities, governments, and large corporations. This was a time when Hollywood-style <a href="https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=1337%20h4x0r">1337 h4x0rs</a> were pretty much just kids using their modems to make long distance calls for free.</p> +<p>Nowadays, IRC is probably not such a good platform for private personal chats, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good for other things.</p> +<p>Arguably the best “feature” of IRC is that it’s still all in plain text. No multimedia or fancy features such as emoji reactions, integrations, or stickers keeps the bandwidth usage down and the focus on the content of what people are saying, rather than on distracting memes and flashy things. It’s the same reason why people like lean websites, plain text email, plain text notes, and so on: plain text is easy, portable, lean, and pure. You can even still <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Relay_Chat#File_sharing">send files using IRC</a>.</p> +<p>One aspect of computing and software design that many developers nowadays seem to forget is that <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Internet_connection_speeds">over half of the world’s population does not have access to fast Internet</a> and many people, even in developed countries, are limited by bandwidth caps and spotty satellite or mobile Internet access. For these people, IRC can be the much better option compared to other collaboration platforms such as RocketChat, Mattermost, Slack, or Matrix, even if they have to use an IRC bouncer or a screen/tmux session on a remote server to not miss things if their connection is that spotty.</p> +<p>One of the biggest flaws I see people discuss when talking about IRC is that chat history is not saved by the server. This means that, if you want a record of the conversations which happen when you’re not connected, you’d have to use an IRC bouncer or screen/tmux session which will keep you connected when you have to go offline. I can definitely see this being a limitation for a private group chat if this is not something you’re willing to do, but when it comes to open source collaboration or support, this makes IRC great for hashing out ideas, asking quick questions, and having conversations while hacking on things. In these cases you don’t really care what’s happening when you’re not there because these are synchronous conversations which is perfect for the ephemeral nature of IRC.</p> +<p>Even though encryption is not mandated by IRC or enabled by default in many cases, you can still enforce encrypted client-server or server-server connections on your IRC server. This means that all messages in transit between clients and your server would be encrypted (usually with TLS) and the only weakness would be logs on the servers themselves or logs on client machines. If you and your friends like the plain text medium, it’s entirely possible to set up an IRC server which mandates encryption and doesn’t store logs long-term. If you’re in a group of people you can trust to be competent then it’s entirely possible to make IRC work this way and have a reasonable guarantee of privacy and security.</p> +<p>I suppose I should also mention the federating aspect of IRC since that’s quite a hot topic in the open source social platform world. IRC does federate in a way, but it’s not quite like the way Pleroma or Mastodon do. In the world of IRC, IRC networks are made up of one or more IRC servers. If you connect to an IRC server, you can view and interact with any channels or users on the same network that server is a part of. The way IRC exists right now is due to several network splits (netsplits) where many servers decided to split off of a big network to form their own, separate network several times throughout IRC history. This is similar to having a group of several Mastodon/Pleroma instances which have decided to federate with nobody else except those also in the group and is why we have the Freenode IRC network alongside the Undernet, EFnet, and so on.</p> +<p>The reason why this isn’t really such a big issue when it comes to IRC though is that IRC doesn’t really have accounts. Sure, you can usually register a nickname with a network’s NickServ bot to reserve it, but that’s not mandatory on most networks. This means you can join however many IRC networks you want with little hassle; you just have to connect and set your nick.</p> +<p>So, overall, IRC is still a really useful and good platform especially for software minimalists and technical users who wish to have a relatively hassle-free experience. IRC is great for open collaboration and quick support in free software projects (far better than Slack or Discord) and it can be made to work for private chats as long as you can trust everyone in the group to be competent. Yes, IRC is not necessarily great for non-technical users or those who require extensive guarantees of security; it might even be too much of a hassle for you, but this doesn’t mean it’s dead, useless, or outdated. IRC is not only still useful, but can still be the best tool for the job in the modern age and there are improvements coming in the form of <a href="https://ircv3.net/">IRCv3</a>.</p> +<p><em>This is my ninety-eighth post for the <a href="https://social.paritybit.ca/tags/100DaysToOffload">#100DaysToOffload</a> challenge. You can learn more about this challenge over at <a href="https://100daystooffload.com">https://100daystooffload.com</a>.</em></p>]]></description> + </item> +<item> <title>BTW, I Use Arch</title> <link>https://www.paritybit.ca/blog/btw-i-use-arch</link> <guid>https://www.paritybit.ca/blog/btw-i-use-arch</guid> diff --git a/public/sitemap.xml b/public/sitemap.xml @@ -3,6 +3,7 @@ <url><loc>https://www.paritybit.ca</loc></url> <url><loc>https://www.paritybit.ca/home</loc></url> <url><loc>https://www.paritybit.ca/blog</loc></url> + <url><loc>https://www.paritybit.ca/blog/why-irc-is-still-good</loc></url> <url><loc>https://www.paritybit.ca/blog/btw-i-use-arch</loc></url> <url><loc>https://www.paritybit.ca/blog/nope-back-to-st</loc></url> <url><loc>https://www.paritybit.ca/blog/setting-up-weechat-again</loc></url>