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    Where should irc.debian.org point to?
    Submitted by robster on Saturday, August 17, 2002 – 14:24
    DebianThis weekend’s top flamewar, taking place on the debian-project list is a debate over which network the irc.debian.org host should point to and hence which network is considered “official” for Debian. Currently this is Open Projects, however some people have issues with this. For full details please see this thread.
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    Subject: We can all relax…
    Author: robot101
    Date: Wednesday, 2002/08/21 – 02:48
    -lilo- [Global Notice] As a new nonprofit, PDPC is in need of funding, but with the unhappiness expressed at these fundraising notices, we’ve decided it’s best to retire them in favor of less intrusive fundraising methods.
    -lilo- [Global Notice] On behalf of the board of PDPC and the staff of freenode, we apologize sincerely to anyone who has been offended by the notices, and refer you to our website (http://freenode.info/) if you should wish to contribute. Thanks for your attention and have a good day.

    Robster is a monkey
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    Subject: hahaha
    Author: molo
    Date: Wednesday, 2002/08/21 – 23:56
    and refer you to our website (http://freenode.info/) if you should wish to contribute.

    The notice saying “we will not spam you and ask for money” *IS* a spam that is asking for money!

    Oh, the irony.

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    Subject: Fundraising on Freenode/OPN …
    Author: MysticOne
    Date: Monday, 2002/08/19 – 02:20
    I’ll take a moment to give a bit of insight from the other side, if everyone will allow me to do so.

    If you read the notices, read the web page (freenode.net or freenode.info), etc., you’ll notice that the donations do not go to Freenode. The donations go to PDPC, the Peer-Directed Projects Center. This is a non-profit organization that lilo has founded to manage projects such as Freenode, WOPN Freenode radio, among other things planned for the future. I would give more details on future projects, but they’re still in the works, and I’d rather not reveal them until they’re ready. But essentially, we’re working on a few things that we feel can greatly benefit the community, services that are not already in place or existent.

    The money raised via the donations is not going to go pay people to sit on IRC all day. For those who listened to my speech on WOPN last night (Saturday, August 17th), I explained that the money raised goes to PDPC to fund coordination and projects under the PDPC umbrella. It will more than likely pay for a part-time staff position for lilo to work on coordinating the projects, recruiting volunteers and developers, grant research, legal research, and so on and so forth. While he would be a paid staff person, lilo would not have complete control over the financial aspects of the organization. People, we’re a registered non-profit, we have bylaws, we have a Board of Directors (I am one of the directors), and lilo cannot simply take money and do as he pleases with it. The rest of us have goals too, and we’re going to see those goals fulfilled.

    To my knowledge, Debian has pointed irc.debian.org to our network for many years, and have always had good service with us. We do our best to keep the kiddies out, we do our best to help users whether they’re involved with #Debian or not. We host numerous Debian channels and everyone has seemed to have a productive and enjoyable time on our network. So why move?

    A few people on the debian-project mailing list pointed out that the fundraising notices are fairly obvious that they’re for PDPC and not for Debian. To be honest, I don’t see how anyone who’s gotten Debian installed and gotten it connected to the Internet could confuse notices that say “…Fundraising for PDPC/freenode (formerly OPN) continues…” with a donation that goes to Debian or is endorsed by Debian. People have said themselves that #Debian on irc.debian.org is not an official channel, nor is Freenode the official Debian IRC network, but merely recommended ones. I think that says it all right there.

    Everyone, we *do* have a lot that we’re trying to accomplish. We’re a legitimate organization, we’re working to achieve the goals and ideals that we think will help the community as a whole, perhaps even extend beyond that. Why is that wrong? Nobody is forcing you to support us, nobody is denying you access to the network if you don’t donate. That’s your decision. And if you feel that Freenode is simply an IRC network and that no project that ever attempts to make more out of it or introduce other projects alongside it isn’t worth your money, don’t contribute. That’s it, plain and simple. We offer instructions that should work on most IRC clients on how to ignore the notices. They are in our MOTD, they are on our web page, they are even in the topic of our main administrative channel #Freenode at times. At least in my opinion, this is a lot better than what most non-profit services allow you to do … ever seen a way to ignore fundraising announcements from public radio? public television? You can change the station or the channel, but you have no way to ignore them until they’re ready for you to. At least we’re able to give you that option.

    As lilo has pointed out, you can’t expect to receive donations unless you ask for them in some way, form, or fashion. The MOTD is not effective enough, as most people have their clients block it. Wallops are not effective enough because many clients do not enable them, sometimes disabling them, by default. From opinions of people on our network, most do not want to go read about the project on another web site while they’re on IRC. So, we’re left with the least intrusive, yet effective, option that we can come up with. Notices. Messages that are meant to send information to the client, but not invoke a response, not interfere with what the user is doing, simply display the message where the user directs notices. And the fundraising notices are only *two* times a day. I don’t see how anyone can find that unreasonable.

    Anyway, thanks for your time, everybody. Hopefully you will take a moment and think about what I’ve said. If you know of any other way to help us attain the funding we need, please let us know. Linpeople was an excellent support place, OPN was an excellent support place, and we would like Freenode to continue along this path. Help us make this happen. If you can’t donate, don’t. If you don’t want to donate, don’t. But at least be fair to us about this. We wouldn’t ask for it if we didn’t feel it was necessary. Thanks again.

    Daniel Prather
    Peer-Directed Projects Center
    MysticOne / Freenode

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    Subject: Fine for me if you want to go beyond irc… but not via irc SPAM
    Author: hobbes
    Date: Monday, 2002/08/19 – 21:56
    I do think that OPN (or a parent company) wanting to extend beyond the irc service is a good thing. I also do think that using the notices in every channel on the OPN network is clearly abuse.

    Yes you give instructions as to how I can disable these notices, like a mail spammer gives instructions as to how one can be removed from their mailing-lists (just to get your email, but that’s not the point).

    *Any* opt-out system is unfair. An opt-out bulk email system is also illegal in many countries, including the US and soon Europe. This is not email, but I somehow get the notices without prior consent, on a channel which has *nothing* to do with OPN.I you run an nntp server, try to post a request for donations on every NG on it, and see the reactions.

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    Subject: where the money would go and how official the link is
    Author: Joy
    Date: Monday, 2002/08/19 – 16:40
    lilo has previously asked for donations to pay his bills and car loan, and there’s seemingly no PDPC web page which exactly lists uses for the money (at least I can’t find it, looking at OPN^Wfreenode web pages).

    OPN is considered by Debian to be the official #debian location. Trying to say it’s not seems to be a popular sport these days, but that’s simply not true as far as we are concerned. With irc.debian.org, we’re sending our users to your network and thus implicitely endorse what you do, which as of late includes the fundraising.

    Anyway, this is getting pretty tiring…

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    Subject: We are still working on a for
    Author: MysticOne
    Date: Monday, 2002/08/19 – 17:00
    We are still working on a formal budget. Though, to be honest, it’s difficult to come up with an exact budget when you have no idea how much money you’ll be able to raise. And yes, lilo asked for money for personal assistance a little while back, and information about that is still up on his somegeek.org website as well. Asking for money is one of the hardest things anyone can do, and trying to say that he did it purely because he didn’t want to pay his own bills or get a job is spiteful and untrue. He asked for money to get through some difficult times so that he could continue to work on the network and related projects. Many generous people donated money to him, and what he did with that money is between him and the donors.

    I actually liked the idea on the mailing list about a relay bot of sorts, to let the users decide where they’d like to receive their support for Debian. But hey, if you don’t run your own network, you have to work with the network that you choose. If it isn’t OPN/Freenode, it will be somewhere else, and it may not be fundraising notices, but it could be a variety of other situations. That’s one of the drawbacks to farming something out to someone else. I still don’t see it as pointing irc.debian.org means the Debian organization approves and condones everything that OPN/Freenode and staff members do. We advertise our streaming radio station via wallops and notices as well, does that mean that Debian also must endorse that project? You point users to where you think they’ll get the best support. I’m fairly certain we also host channels for open source, yet non-free projects. Does Debian explicity endorse these as well by merely pointing its irc.debian.org domain to us?

    Anyway. I’d maintain that it’s a political issue, rather than one based on what the users need or user feedback. I could be mistaken on this, not being a Debian insider, but I really don’t think I am. It’s fairly clear in the debian-project list e-mails. As I mentioned before, OPN/Freenode has served as a valuable support network for the Debian distribution, its users, its developers. It still serves in this capacity.

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    Subject: how we endorse you
    Author: Joy
    Date: Tuesday, 2002/08/20 – 12:58
    Sure, I was sympathetic of him being in financial difficulties (though I can’t imagine myself taking such an expensive car and then asking for other to help me pay it off), but right now you’re fundraising for a new organization which would pay lilo a small salary, and some rather vague other purposes. I’m sorry but that looks like an excuse more than anything else.

    I have no reason to explicitely disagree with WOPN because none of the WOPN announcements are so spam-like or try to get our users to donate money for questionable purposes. The other channels are also not an issue because our users don’t even have to know that they are there, and nobody’s bothering them about that.

    The users haven’t complained to us @debian.org about it, but it would be very bad if we had to wait for someone to get so discontent to ask us to do something about it! For months I observed the issue and the amount of people not happy with it on IRC, some of which unhappy enough it made them leave. It was about time we had a discussion about it.

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    Subject: Well you might think of …
    Author: oPless
    Date: Monday, 2002/08/19 – 01:16
    Quakenet (but seeing that comment by Yarn, perhaps not), what about the same server(s) that irc.gnome.org points too ?

    I’d offer to run one, but since irc servers attract more DoSing than any other service, I’ve banned any further ircds on my network.

    Just out of interest, how many people were on irc.debian.org?

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    Subject: Two discussions that should have been seperated
    Author: brother
    Date: Sunday, 2002/08/18 – 12:48
    I think the original mail raised some interesting points. Should we (Debian) encourage our users to use OPN with their present fundraising scheme? It’s almost a simple yes/no question or at least a yes/yes (with some minor changes)/no question. Those minor changes could be to use wallops or the motd instead of GlobalNotices.

    I’m not very active on the debian-related channels but I would go for ‘yes with some minor changes’.

    Another question would be if OPN provided a stable service we (Debian) would encourage our users to use. This is more a technical question about the network, how often it splits and if it can handle the number of users.

    Both questions should be able to be raised without political flames. Unfortunately this thread has evovled into purly flames between different ego’s who just doesn’t seem to be able to co-exists to close in projects.

    Ohhh, and this should probally have been sent to debian-project but I don’t think anyone would care about it.

    BTW: Nice to see this story re-appeared on DebianPlanet. Not that I saw it the first time.

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    Subject: and another one missed the point, sigh
    Author: Joy
    Date: Sunday, 2002/08/18 – 14:52
    The the fact that they address our users to get money to pay employees is the one that is problematic, not if they use globalmessage/wallop/whatever or if they do it once or a thousand times per day. It is a matter of principle, dammit.

    Debian encourages users to join #debian on irc.debian.org. That’s all. We use OPN for this, we thank them and thus implicitely endorse them, but we don’t tell our users “Use OPN”, because that is not something we’re generally involved with. We don’t say “Use hands.com consulting services” because they host ftp.uk.d.o, or “Study at the Tech. Univ. of Dresden” because they host ftp.de.d.o, or anything similar. We simply properly acknowledge each of the donations.

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    Subject: Let me rephrase….
    Author: brother
    Date: Sunday, 2002/08/18 – 15:26
    We encourage our users to use the OPN irc-services by having irc.debian.org pointing at them.

    But yes you’re right—we’re not encouraging our use OPN for anything else but IRC.

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    Subject: i think i’m lost
    Author: markybob
    Date: Saturday, 2002/08/17 – 20:36
    “We hope you’ll keep watching the twice-a-day fundraising notices, but if you strongly want to avoid them, on most clients “/IGNORE-FUNDRAISING-NOTI/index.html” will do the job.”

    Why doesnt that sound unreasonable to me? Since when is the Debian community against donations? Or is it the fact that they’re soliciting for donations (that can be turned of…)? I’m not exactly sure what the opensource community would be like without donations. Are donations from large coporations any different than those from individual people? If so, how? If not, then Debian is in trouble since it has too received large donations (if donating is so bad, that is). Also, should we boycott samba.org since it too is asking for donations? Why doesnt that seem wise or even reasonable? Logic escapes me

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    Subject: donations
    Author: digiwano
    Date: Saturday, 2002/08/17 – 22:08
    The difference is that when debian asks for donations, they go to the debian project (like paying for hosting, I’m sure).OPN’s donations aren’t necessary. It’s /ONLY/ a 7k user network. That barely counts as moderately-sized.

    Yet, they’re the only irc network around that requires donations solely for the administration. I’d understand donations that went towards the hosting and bandwidth required, but I frankly would like to see some numbers on how it could EVEN cost that much to admin a 7k user network, yet when you get up to the size of quakenet, or even ircnet/efnet/undernet, they don’t solicit that kind of money.

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    Subject: actually
    Author: Joy
    Date: Sunday, 2002/08/18 – 14:56
    Debian very rarely ever asks anyone for donations, let alone the entire user base.

    The money people donate is stashed on SPI’s accounts and is usually used for replacing critical hardware when it happens to break.

    All of our bandwidth is donated, and 95% of our work time. Some companies like HP pay people to work on stuff in Debian they need, like the hppa port.

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    Subject: Another reason why OPN/freenode is bad
    Author: digiwano
    Date: Saturday, 2002/08/17 – 20:31
    OPN(now freenode) doesn’t really explain what the $25,000 they hope to get in 6 months is going towards… Here’s a breakdown of what most major irc networks have to deal with for money:

    1) Colocation and bandwidth

    … Well, that’s it. What does this have to do with opn? Well, OPN’s servers are donated; The admin of a server decides to donate his machine for an IRCD, as well as the bandwidth it requires. “So?”, you think? “Doesn’t this $25k go back to the IRC Admins to pay for bandwidth?” No.

    See, if you donate a server to opn (no other major irc network does this), You don’t get what’s known as an O:line; You’re not an admin. You run the server, but they could very well k-line you (a kline means you’re completely banned from the network altogether), and the only thing you could do about it is revoke your donation.

    So, where does the money go? That’s what has me confused. There are /many/ other bigger irc networks than opn. I’m not even going to mention the top three, just to be nice. So, we’ll use quakenet as our example. OPN is a 7000-client network. That MAY sound like a lot, but quakenet holds over 100,000 clients. Quakenet has also /NEVER/ asked for donations. How do they do it?

    Simple; the bandwidth and servers are all put up by volunteers, who also do the adminning.

    “Wait, what’s the difference? I thought you said OPN bandwidth was volunteered!” .. Oh, it is. But this is what you need to realize. The money you donate to OPN/Freenode will /NOT/ go to pay for servers or bandwidth. It will be going into the oper’s pockets. They claim they need it so they can manage adminning it, but the only reason they’re so overworked is because the small handfull of staff is administering /far/ more than they should.

    That’s why you have local admins. When you have admin access on an irc server, it’s only for that one irc server on the network. This means if you run begging.openprojects.net, and you have an O:line, you don’t have O: access on unemployed.openprojects.net unless unemployed’s admin specifically gives you access.

    Please keep this in mind when pulling out your money to donate to OPN. There are a lot of other irc networks out there who know how to run their networks.

    One other note is about global notices; There’s no reason that solicitations for money should go into a global notice. Network-related news/messages traditionally go in what’s called ‘wallops’. These are messages that you receive if your usermode is set +w. If people don’t want to see server messages, they can simply type ‘/umode–w/index.html’, and that’s it. Again, There’s NO GOOD REASON that these messages can’t go into wallops besides the fact that wallops are easier to turn off.

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    Subject: Move to SILC
    Author: juraj
    Date: Saturday, 2002/08/17 – 15:49
    SILC is a next generation internet chatting protocol, featuring cryptography, additional security, network stability. The client commands are similiar to IRC, the protocol is different. Each channel has a founder, the ,,overop” person to take care of the channel. Now there’s no way to let your channel be taken over — this service is provided by network. So there’s no need for 10 bots securing and guarding the channel.
    The protocol has been submitted to IETF and clients for various operating systems exist and are free. This is the place, where most fantastic chatting technology is being built.
    See Silncet.org page.
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    Subject: debian on SILCNet
    Author: trejs
    Date: Sunday, 2002/08/18 – 20:19
    There is a channel named “debian” on SILCNet. Currently only i and the founder, Igramul occupy it.

    It would be nice if some of you would come and join us =)


    (the channel is named “debian“, not “#debian“, very few channels in silc use the ‘#’ charater)

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    Subject: koel
    Author: juraj
    Date: Tuesday, 2002/08/20 – 08:02
    I’m on silcnet very long and never got the idea to try /join debian. Hey people, come! There are also some guy clients, if you don’t like the text one, see silcnet.org’s links pages!
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    Subject: Growing…
    Author: trejs
    Date: Tuesday, 2002/08/20 – 17:14
    Today we are 8 people in the channel… =), come and join us.
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    Subject: There’s always smaller networks
    Author: digiwano
    Date: Saturday, 2002/08/17 – 18:03
    There’s no reason that #debian can’t just move to another irc network. There’s the new irc.oftc.net, and there’s plenty of smaller networks out there, too. Since IRC is such a low-traffic protocol, even a channel such as #debian wouldn’t harm a small network.

    I’m an oper on irc.w30wnzj00.com, and we’d welcome ANY channel moving over from opn (Most of our opers visit opn often and we ALL think that the fundraising is an outrage)… We’re there to be a chat network, and even though we have only two servers right now, we could easily handle most of OPN’s users with just those two.

    The fundraising on opn is a crock; you /really/ don’t need as much money as they’re asking for to run an irc network.

    As for your comment about needing 10 bots securing the channel, that’s all a matter of how well the services are on the network;

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    Subject: Start a standalone server
    Author: Tau
    Date: Saturday, 2002/08/17 – 15:20
    Think about it, you get IRCOp-level control over your channel and you don’t have any of the namespace problems. I guess the downside to this is you need to deal with all the script kiddie turds who are invariably going to come along, and #debian being a rather large and “important” channel there’s going to be a lot of them.

    Still, I and a friend of mine did this and we’ve ended up with a fairly nice, friendly network (average user load is about 120 people online at any given time). It’s probably not the sort of place that you’d want to run #debian on, but in my experience I find that it’s quite a viable option.

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    Subject: Namespace clashes
    Author: Yarn
    Date: Saturday, 2002/08/17 – 14:37
    Be aware that channel names may well be taken when you migrate to a new network. This can raise interesting clashes.

    Back in 1997 most of the european quake scene migrated from IRCnet to QuakeNet, this was an interesting time. As QuakeNet was still fairly new, there were few disputes, but if (for some bizzare reason) you wanted to move to QuakeNet, you’d find #debian already taken (registered late 2000).


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