The way the change in management was conducted, and recent moves by the admin team (e.g. https://www.devever.net/~hl/freenode_abuse and the following change of policy, https://github.com/freenode/web-7.0/pull/513/commits/2037126831a84c57f978268f090fc663cf43ed7a) makes Freenode a poor choice of discussion network going forward.
A lot of large communities have moved away or are in the process of moving away, e.g. Wikimedia, Ubuntu, Gentoo, Django, ... At this point, within a week, 2/3ds of the channels I was joined to have moved away from Freenode, and moving SWH away would remove a good chunk of these remaining channels.
To avoid getting land grabbed, the Software Heritage channels have been registered on OFTC and libera.chat. We've also applied to a Project namespace on libera.chat, which was granted over the weekend.
During the week, we also discussed whether it would be a good idea to move off of IRC as a /native/ discussion environment (e.g. in favor of native Matrix rooms, which would be then plumbed to IRC). I think this may be a good idea, seeing how around half the staffers use matrix natively, and how we put matrix forward in our documentation. This would give us better control over the Matrix side of things than what is offered when using the "portaled" rooms backed by an IRC channel. For instance, it would allow us to keep users who are idle on matrix for more than 30 days.
Unfortunately, going matrix-native with matrix -> IRC plumbing seems to imply:
- managing a matrix homeserver
- creating the rooms on that homeserver
- managing an instance of the appservice-irc
- getting that instance of the appservice-irc connected to an irc network (and get an exemption to connect all our matrix ghosts)
- managing the channels on the irc network
One of the advantages of having our own home server would be allowing authentication to be wired to our keycloak instance, rather than need staff to create their own matrix identity somewhere else. I'm not sure that's a very compelling benefit compared to the cost of hosting all this stuff.
There's also the possibility of using non-native bridging via a bot, which would give us the maximum control on both sides for the least need of own administration, but the resulting experience on both sides is pretty bad.
So, here are the choices in front of us:
- matrix or IRC native
- 1a. Stay IRC-native, use matrix portal rooms; live with users idle on all of matrix for 30 days leaving the channels
- 1b. Go Matrix-native, maintain own homeserver and irc appservice
- 1c. Be native on both sides, maintain irc/matrix bridging bot
- choice of IRC network for the future
- 2a. stay on Freenode
- 2b. move to libera.chat
- 2c. move to OFTC