Forum:Time for an upgrade!

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Forums: Yew Grove > Time for an upgrade!
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This thread was archived on 15 February 2009 by Clv309.

I have great news. With a little bit of effort, I was able to convince my company to donate a server to the RuneScape Wiki for an IRC network.

I'm sure most of you have either been on our IRC channel or at least seen it listed on the menu as "IRC chat". IRC is a versatile chat protocol and has the potential to aid the growth of our fabulous community. For some time now, we've been using a single channel on Freenode, a non-profit IRC network used by most smaller wikis. It has served us well, and thanks to ChristineV (Clv309), it has remained a peaceful location for chatting for quite some time now.

However, seeing as we are being given the opportunity, it would probably be beneficial for us to move up to the next level: our own network. Unfortunately, I can't go into all of the details of what a network is and how much more useful it can be than a single channel, but I'll do my best to point out the major differences and advantages.

First off, a network isn't run by somebody else. Freenode has the power to intervene with our channel at any point without reason. While Freenode in general might be respectful, there risk of abuse is always present.

We can run our network as we run our wiki: without ranks or pointless bans. I've spent quite a few days working with Soldier 1033 to design and program an IRC network that is capable of "running itself". The network will automatically check all incoming connections against known "blacklisted" IP's to prevent large botnets. If a user spams individually or starts flaming, the network will automatically warn the user first by kicking him/her, then eventually issuing a channel ban. Bans that are unnecessary are not made.

Of course, all computerised systems are fallible. Therefore, it will be necessary to elect several IRCops (the term for an IRC administrator/moderator). These IRCops will be capable of disconnecting users from the network and issuing server-wide bans. Such action will rarely be necessary, however, and all such activity will be logged. After action is taken, the IRCop must file a report on a CVU dedicated to IRC so that the community may review the ban on the Yew Grove if necessary. The goal in this is to provide a system of checks and balances similar to that of the wiki itself. While IRCops will have the power to ban, the community ultimately decides which consequences are necessary and which are not.

Every network is divided up into multiple channels. Our network will have a main lobby channel, #wikia-runescape, where most users will stay. However, should a user want to start his/her own channel, (s)he is welcome to do so without any approval—just as a wiki contributor is free to start any article. Users will be permitted to run their own channels as they please; think of them as user pages. By default, flood protection and censoring will be enabled on all new channels. IRCops will have the ability to step in if a channel gets out of control or a channel's owner is abusing his/her ability to create channels at will, but just like on the wiki, all actions will be logged and visible to the community. If the community decides that an IRCop is being abusive, that IRCop's power can easily be revoked or limited.

Remember, these are just the basic details of how the network will function. In reality, there are many, many more advantages. Also, the network is completely customisable: the community can change how it work however and whenever it pleases. We don't have this sort of Wiki-ness on Freenode.

Now, I have received some criticism regarding this idea that has been, to say the least, unhelpful. Downright no's are a little confusing, as they don't offer explanations as to what must be improved. My goal here is to give the wiki room to expand. There are no real disadvantages to having our own network, other than the fact that it is time consuming and difficult to set up—a task that has already been completed. I'd also like to address some common questions that I've received:

  • Won't we lose some of our IRC users that come here from other wikis? - Fortunately, we won't. The new network is no less accessible than Freenode, and it will/does have web clients that allow direct access. Most clients allow connections to multiple networks, so Freenode/Swift users will be able to join our network without any difficulty.
  • What about our current channel ops—isn't it unfair to take away their power? - Don't worry, the goal is not to "derank" anybody. Just as anyone can be nominated for adminiship, anyone can be nominated to become an IRCop. Our current IRC channel has some very loyal, trustworthy members: ChristineV (Clv309) and Otter-man (Stinkowing), to name just a few. If the community agrees that they should be IRCops, then they will not only retain the access they have now, but they will gain even more. However, there's no guarantee that a request will pass. That's up to you, the community.
  • Do we really need a whole network? Our channel is sufficient. - No, we don't need a network, and yes, our channel is sufficient. And if the prospect of a network seems too overwhelming, don't worry—you'll still be able to sit in a common channel and chat away. However, being confined to a channel on Freenode does limit our options. We are a very successful community, and there is no reason that we should limit ourselves in such a manner. Having our own network opens up countless opportunities for both contributors and those who use our wiki as a resource for RuneScape, and is even likely to attract more contributors. While individually channels on large networks rarely receive much attention, even the smallest networks often have people that sort of just "wander in".
  • What about all of the services that Freenode offers? - Freenode's services are minimal. I've already installed quite a few more services than Freenode has to offer, so we're more than set in that area.
  • Freenode maintains our privacy. How do we know you will, too? - Freenode doesn't maintain anyone's privacy; it's behind the eight-ball in that area, actually. Everyone can see the IP addresses of others, a feature that doesn't line up with Wikia standards. Our own network is already set up to encrypt all IP's many times over with MD5, so users who do not want to share their IP's aren't forced to do so. Of course, all connections are logged for legal reasons, but just like on Wikia, the information will only be released in a court of law or if absolutely necessary (at the discretion of the community).
  • Freenode is secure. Won't the new network be less secure, as it has less staff members? - Just a few days ago, Freenode went down due to a (D)DoS attack. As I've already mentioned, our network is as protected as it can be against botnets, so if anything, the dedicated network is more secure.

So, what do you think?


  • 21:24, 30 January 2009 (UTC) - Clarification: The new network will have support for CGI:IRC. In fact, it will directly support CGI:IRC's webirc protocol, whereas Freenode does not.
  • 22:52, 30 January 2009 (UTC) - Well, seeing as the change has received a good deal of support, I've decided to go ahead and open up a trial run. CGI:IRC can be accessed at [1] and pjIRC at [2]. I understand that there is still opposition, but much of it is based on false assumptions. As such, I figured letting everybody test it out would cure any false rumors once and for all. ;)


  • Support - as the contributor. Supertech1 TCE 02:11, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Support since I have already looked over this before. --Rollback crown.svg Spencer (Talk | Edits | Contribs) 02:12, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - already discussed this and think it would be very beneficial to us all. Andrew talk 02:15, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Support Cool Idea -- 02:17, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - There are many beneficial aspects to switching and from the majority of what I've seen the major argument against this seems to be based on sentimental feelings, which only limits future potential.-- 02:37, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong Support. That's all I'll say, since my computer is lagging, due to the size of the Yew Grove. 7kyt1iT.gif --WINE OF GOOD HEALTH (Actually Stinko)
  • Support - Sounds amazing. 02:53, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - OMG, you came up with this? You deserve some kind of trophy. I will donate any money to construct a wikia trophy and mail to you, lol. Very well done, an excellent contribution to our wikia. And congratulations to you. It appears very well done and flawless. Thanks. 03:14, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - As little as my opinion counts, having experience with moving a channel to a new server before and someone who's owned her own network in the past, I can say that this would be a major pain for all parties. Sure, it may seem like a simple matter of pointing java/CGI:IRC to the new server, but there will ALWAYS be people out of the loop or who simply will resist change. It's just a very difficult thing in general, and Freenode is a very nice, STABLE network, and the other wikias seem to be there. Freenode's famous amongst IRCers; why move? I don't even see that many people IN IRC a lot of the time, and moving to a new server would certainly not improve the number. Moving will not stimulate or complement growth; if anything, it will merely impede it. Also, I believe that only active IRC users should be commenting on this issue. If it doesn't affect you strongly...well, yeah. :/ --KittyKis, too lazy to login.
  • Oppose - the "concerns" addressed here can all be argued.
  • Won't we lose some of our IRC users that come here from other wikis? - Absolutely we will. The process of connecting to another server is not as simple as Supertech tries to make it. It's a pain in real clients, but just a bit of extra work connecting with a command is not all that we need to think about. We have MANY, MANY users who can only access certain sites because of school or parental controls. There is absolutely no way that I will support any decision the restricts certain users from entering our channel.
  • What about our current channel ops—isn't it unfair to take away their power? - The answer given to this question did not even answer it. It still stated that the current ops could have their power taken away, or never instated, by the community. The community who barely even goes in the channel anyways - the place is always dead except for a few veterans.
  • Do we really need a whole network? Our channel is sufficient. - If this server is going to be a wiki server, then we are responsible for all that happens on the network. If people are allowed to create their own channels, this will be impossible, and the administrators will be responsible. If something should happen on the freenode network outside of the #wikia-runescape channel, then we will not be held responsible. It is not possible for us to know what is going on in all of the channels all of the time.
  • What about all of the services that Freenode offers? - Freenode has plenty of services. You also make no mention of what additional ones there will be.
  • Freenode maintains our privacy. How do we know you will, too? - It is extremely easy to get a cloak and have your IP hidden on freenode. Frankly, I do not trust any server that is not well-established. Hence, this one.
  • Freenode is secure. Won't the new network be less secure, as it has less staff members? - The DDoS attack did not harm anyone in any way, nor did it compromise anyone's security. The worst that happened was that everyone was disconnected for a few minutes, and netsplits happen on ALL servers. Do not try to make this seem like freenode's fault.
There is absolutely no reason for this switch. We have already changed channels once, on the same network, and that in itself was a pain in the ass. I don't understand why a certain two users feel that they are allowed to make such a radical change. I have zero doubt in my mind that the majority of users who will support this move have not been on IRC, and I have a sneaking suspicion that some only want to ensure they have some sort of power on the new server. Besides this being pointless, the biggest reason that I see for STAYING is that we are established where we are. Not all of our users come from the RuneScape Wiki. Not all of them play RuneScape. Those who never check the wiki are going to wonder what the hell happened to our channel, because we have many users who just pop in every few weeks from other channels such as #halopedia and #wikia. Those who cannot access anything other than the CGI wikia gateway to the freenode server will not be able to join the new server. And there are multiple users who are in this situation.
As a freaking amazing coincidence, Endasil happened to stop into the chat tonight, and I pointed him to this discussion. He did not want to post and become active for just one matter, he said, but allowed me to reiterate his comments here. First off, the benefit of freenode is that it is, surprise, free. There are hired staffers to do all of the work and upkeep for us. There is not begging required here to get a server. In addition, we won't all be left in the dust should the network provider decide to bail out once they stop wanting to carry our network. Another benefit of freenode is that there are many servers. If one should happen to go down, users are just redirected to another server. On a single server, we don't have this added feature.
Back to something else I oppose about this – the automated kicks and bans. Bots are not humans, bots are not all that intelligent. Bots will not assume good faith, and if a bot bans or kicks a user without an adequate reason, how are we to know what is right?
Also, have you lot read the RS:NOT policy? The wikia is NOT OFFSITE. What happens in IRC channels does not affect a user's status on the wiki, therefore the need to LOG every ban is not only too much work, but also going against our established and voted-upon policies.
My final reason for not moving does link back to wikia. When there are issues with the wiki, IRC is an INSTANT way to chat with staff members who can help us. In addition, it is not uncommon at all for uberfuzzy to come into the channel looking for an admin or a 'crat to try something out, or explain some problem on the wiki to him. If we change servers, we are going to be completely removed from the Wikia community. And then it's just not a community anymore. Christine 03:34, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose I'd definitely stop coming on. Switching is a pain in the ass to do and just wouldn't be worth it. There's also a reason Runescape wiki is on a network that supports wikis. Besides, is a whole network for this really, really necessary? Justin[[w:c:halofanon:User:ChurchReborn|<span style="color: black;">e</span>]] 03:48, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment - Christine and KittyKis, very good arguments. Nearly every problem you mentioned was in the back of my mind when I designed the network setup, though, so we shouldn't have much in the way of migration problems. I'm on a mobile device, so I'm afraid I'll have to keep it short and elaborate later.
KittyKis, I've worked in the UnrealIRCd/Anope support channel for quite some time now, so I'm well aware of how difficult running a network can be. I've set up quite a few networks and know the Unreal source like the back of my hand, so we shouldn't have any trouble there.
Christine, your post was a bit of a read, but I'll do my best to respond with this tiny keyboard. First off, I'd like to point out that RS:NOT doesn't apply in the sense that you used it. This network will be owned and run by the wiki. As for the firewall, most school firewalls run one of several major firewall systems, all of which block this wiki entirely. (By the way, I love how you say MANY MANY only to go on to claim that the channel has few users, which is true.) I have already set up replacements for the IRC clients online designed to automate everything. A new or inactive user won't even notice the switch, as it will be seamless.
No, we should not just accept feedback from IRC users. Part of the goal is to make IRC a more usable feature. If what you're looking for is a channel with just your five or so regular users, then by all means, keep the Freenode channel for that purpose.
No, I can't promise you will retain your position of power, as it's not my decision to make. I am not searching for power myself, but rather, I am moving the power of decision making from your hands to those of the community. If you have done your job well and the community supports you, I have no doubt you will become an IRCop.
The number of users we receive from other wikis is, as you correctly described it, minimal. Once every few weeks someone might wander in. The second we start a network, however, we open up our community to groups that have more relation to us, such as clans. That means even more valuable contributors.
If I missed anything, I'll address it tomorrow. Kitty and Christine, thank you very much for your input. Insight is valuable, so I'm sure the entire community appreciates the time you spent together on IRC brainstorming a list of anything that could possibly go wrong. It's this sort of discussion that has earned this wiki its success. Thanks again. Supertech1 TCE 04:35, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
P.S. That's too bad, Church; it won't be a different process to connect. I don't see how a "background" change would stop you, but that is your choice, and I won't argue against it. You're the halopedia user that drops in every few weeks, right? Supertech1 TCE 04:35, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
........Do you even pay any attention when you are in the channel? First off, Justine is in the channel daily, more often than our RSwikia users. And she has consistently been in the channel everyday for well over a year. How can you comment that she only comes in every few weeks when you yourself have only been here for maybe 2 weeks? James is another user in the channel daily. Emosworld cannot access anything other than CGI. Nor can pantomimehorse. Nor Dtm or Stinko, nor a bunch of other users who are not able to use "real" clients.
In addition, way to say "oh don't worry, you'll still have op" to me in the channel, then completely change your stance when it comes to the wiki. I have NEVER had sole control over who gets power, nor am I the one to decide who gets it. All sysops, and only sysops get op. THAT was the community decision, THAT is how things function. We get new users to wander in daily, whether they remain is a different story, but also out of our control and NOT about to suddenly change if we change servers. Christine 05:11, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
Don't worry, CGI:IRC will still be available for access to the new network. Again, there will be no differences visible to the average user, at least at first. And by the way, Stinko was able to use pjIRC earlier today. And no, not all sysops have power; I checked the access list. Even those that do have varying amounts based on what you decide. My stance remains the same. As for the halo users, you are welcome to hang out on Freenode and chat with them. Just like Azaz said, tradition should not prevent us from moving forward. Other wikis use Freenode because it's easy to configure. We have the resources to do better. The community here is amazing and deserves the best; that is my only reason for this proposal. Christine, if your fear is of loss of community, I can assure you, our interests are identical: this can only help the wiki grow. If power is your concern, well... I suppose you'd be right to keep the Freenode channel. Whatever your motives, I assure you, success of this community will be the result of a dedicated network. And no matter what happens, I wish you and your IRC community the best of luck. Supertech1 TCE 05:33, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
Stop assuming that all I care about is the power! I gave you a one and a half page word document on why we should stay. This change is absolutely unnecessary. As for the access list - you do realize that you can't give access to a damn name that isn't registered, right? Not all of our sysops use IRC, therefore they do not all have access. There is only one active IRC user who is NOT on that list, and I've already spoken with him as to why. In addition, *I* did not set the current access list! When freenode changed their services over the summer to flags as opposed to access levels, all of the conversions were left up to Skill and Endasil. So again, don't fucking accuse me if they aren't all the same. I am NOT the only one who can change the access list so I am NOT the only one responsible. The fact that I am listed as the founder - and I am NOT the original founder, either - does not mean that everything you find wrong in the channel is my fault. You come in here and after three weeks want to change everything? This is insanely suspicious considering we have no need to change servers. Christine 05:48, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
Suspicious, indeed. Why, we should ban me immediately! ;)
Christine, I don't know why you take my rebuttals so personally, as this was meant to be a constructive discussion. I apologise if you feel insulted, but I think it's time that we upgrade. You've done a great job as founder, I'm sure; you've made some very loyal friends. But now it's times we put our emotions behind us and work towards bettering our community. I do not blame you for the problems with the channel. But, as you did point out, there are problems. Supertech1 TCE 06:31, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
I'll forget about the edit conflict so this will still sound uber and dramatic >:D Ahem: I've been on wikia nearly two years, just as long on IRC everyday unless I'm away for the day. This is just something that's not mandatory that'd cause a pain in the ass. The channel already moved once which was a pain itself, but having to add a new network and have all this extra stuff open, seems like a complete disconnection from the wiki, wiki's community and the channel itself. This really isn't as simple as you're trying to make it seem, the move will still lose alot of regulars and cause a pain. Justin[[w:c:halofanon:User:ChurchReborn|<span style="color: black;">e</span>]] 05:41, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, Justine; I must not have been on while you were active! I still fail to see how this will be a pain. CG:IRC and pjIRC will be nearly identical. If there were problems in the past they were caused by a disorganised or improper move. At first, the switch will barely be noticeable. For non-RS contributors, yeah, you will have to use our web client to connect or

get an executable. However, the number of users that we will gain from this renders any "fly-by" user losses insignificant. Our actual community will still remain intact, including the non-RS portion. Supertech1 TCE 06:08, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Comment - hate to change the subject but there is something I'm curious about. Super, would you mind explaining how we will still be able to use CGI for the "technically challenged" folks like me? Andrew talk 05:55, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

No problem, Soldier. CGI:IRC is not controlled by freenode or wikia; it is a separate project. Anyone can set it up to connect to any network, so all I have to do is get it installed on the network's webserver, just as Freenode hosts pjirc on theirs. Supertech1 TCE 06:08, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
CommentI too am wary of a newer wikian coming in and right away wanting to make a drastic change. I am not on IRC that frequently, but I have never had an issue. Why change something that is not broken?‎Cooked chicken.pngAtlandy 15:47, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
Atlandy, you're caution is quite understandable. However, I can assure you, this change will be controlled by the community—not me. I know that doesn't mean much coming from me, so I'd also like to mention that I've been working closely with Soldier 1033 to develop this change. It is not just my idea: contributions have come from all over. I simply got to be the lucky once to announce it. ;) Supertech1 TCE 16:09, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
And as I have said, just two single users is no better than one. And you continue to refuse to answer my question. WHY? You keep saying it will bring in new users, but this is not true at all! HOW? It's going to be exactly the same situation as before, with a link in the sidebar.
Only NOW, we're going to be on some server that no one has ever heard of! Not only will we lose some of our old regualars, we'll also lose all of the people who just happen to stop in when they see the name of our channel on the wikia gateway page!
And for the THIRD time, there are some users who, due to restrictions on websites they can access, can ONLY use CGI:IRC. No matter what you say, pjirc will not change this! Freenode is NOT broken, there is NO reason to move! Christine 19:14, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
CommentI understand that 2 people have been working on it, but it still does not answer why change? Christine has valid points especially about certain people not being able to access it. To me, it sounds like you want to move it to your server....when we have no issue with what we currently have. Kytti Kat also mentioned the host of issues we will encounter. It makes zero sense to change.‎Cooked chicken.pngAtlandy 21:18, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
Christine, please, if you wish to constructively participate in this discussion, read and comprehend what the other side has to say. I have already stated (multiple times) that the new network will/does support CGI:IRC. In fact, the new network has better support for CGI:IRC than Freenode does.
Our channel is marked as secret: it does not appear in the Freenode channel list. Even if we made it visible, we wouldn't gain that many users. Freenode is huge, and our channel is quite, quite small. Unlike with channels, new networks get bombarded with users from all over (provided they are properly configured). We'll just register on SearchIRC and we're all set.
ChristineV, you're absolutely right: two users don't make the difference. It's the whole community that makes the difference. Our goal is to put IRC, a very versatile resource, into the hands of the community.
And let me reiterate this one more time: the new network will/does support CGI:IRC even better than Freenode. I know CGI:IRC is a major concern for many contributors, so I've ensured not only that the new network will support CGI:IRC, but that it will directly integrate the webirc protocol. Supertech1 TCE 21:23, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
Now what the hell are you on about? I never said that two users don't make the difference, and it's more than two anyways! The issue isn't CGI:IRC in itself, either. It's the URL that is going to be blocked by certain schools and home firewalls. -.- Christine 23:10, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Strong Oppose - >_>... I don't care who does the change, where the change is to, whether or not I still have op powers, or anything like that. I can only use CGI:IRC. Every other method IRC causes either insane lag, a complete freeze (thus making me have to manually turn off my comp, which damages it over time), or an infamous gray box. It's good as it is. The odds of Freenode abusing their powers to see our personal information is as likely as Blagojevich getting any political position in Illinois. Dragon medium helm! Whaddaya know?Chiafriend12Better than rune!I have 12 friends. 21:29, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Please, please, please, before posting, read the updates. CGI:IRC will still be available and will not change. It will still look the same, it will still work the same, but it will connect to a different network. Freenode does not own, run, or even contribute to CGI:IRC; it's run by Blitzed, and the new network already runs several products from them, including the Blitzed Open Proxy Monitor. CGI:IRC will remain the primary method of connection even with the new network. Really, this is meant to be an informed discussion. When everybody's misinformed, it's just a bunch of miscommunicated mumbo jumbo that doesn't get anybody anywhere. Supertech1 TCE 21:53, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Oppose - While I still think Christine put it best, I'll simply put "Don't fix what's not broken." I don't get on the IRC much anymore, but when I do it works fine. While your intentions might be great, we already have a working solution, no need to change everything to another working solution. Karlis (talk) (contribs) 22:57, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Oppose - I've read the too and 'fro here, and on the IRC, and on talk pages, and I remain to be convinced of a pressing need for change, or that any benifits will outweigh the problems. I think the current system is fine as it is I'm afraid. Administrator Hurston (T # C) 23:49, 30 January 2009 (UTC)


ChristineV and I spent some time discussing matters on IRC and finally came to a conclusion. After reviewing the new network, she agreed that it was suitable, but she did not want the link to the original channel to be removed. Rather, the new network's links will be added, and the CGI:IRC will remain for the old channel (it will no longer be the official channel, though). Links to both CGI:IRC and pjIRC will be added for the new network.

As some contributors are (rightfully) concerned about my intentions as I'm still rather new, we also agreed that ChristineV should be in charge of the new network. Any current admins that feel they would be able to contribute to the new network are welcome to receive IRCop permissions. From here on, though, IRCops must be chosen by the community.

Note: IRCops are different than channel operators. IRCops monitor all channels on the network, while channel operators only manage a single channel. All sysops will remain channel operators in #wikia-runescape on the new network.

Support - as contributor Supertech1 TCE 00:43, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Support - per nom. --Rollback crown.svg Spencer (Talk | Edits | Contribs) 02:07, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Support - per Spence. Andrew talk 02:11, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Support - It's good to see the arguing end.

InstantWinstonDragon 2h sword old.pngold edits | new edits

02:25, 31 January 2009 (UTC) Support - Per Instant

Bonziiznob Talk

13:51, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Support - Per Bonzii TehKittyCatTalk Wikian-Book 05:34, 8 February 2009 (UTC)


Well, there has only been support for the agreement. When do we call this concluded, and since the consensus seems to be for the new network, how should we go about making appropriate changes to the wiki? Supertech1 TCE 00:57, 2 February 2009 (UTC)