freenode and irc.comchristel on 2018-06-22
In light of the two ongoing threads on Hacker News and Reddit concerning LTMH and irc.com, we have had a fair few freenode users contact us with questions as to whether irc.com will replace and/or absorb freenode, and what impact it would have on freenode communities.
I wanted to make sure that I addressed these concerns, and I can assure you that there are no plans on the part of freenode or LTM that involve any changes to freenode, freenode is not on the brink of shutdown — if anything, we are excited to be celebrating our 20th anniversary at this year's freenode #live event, and we hope to see at least another 20 after that.
The freenode project exists to support the development and use of Free and Open Source Software, and to that end it serves a very different purpose to the one that the visionaries behind irc.com have in mind. I fully believe that freenode and irc.com can co-exist, just as we co-exist with the numerous other IRC networks out there, and I would like to hope that irc.com may encourage those of their users who would be a good fit for freenode to come check us out, just as I hope that we may be able to send someone their way should we come across users who have great potential for running a series of training sessions or similar.
And while LTM has provided freenode with some much needed resources following last year's announcement, any potential partnership between the two will be limited to the possibility of freenode being represented in the irc.com foundation. It is my understanding that the foundation will operate on a nonprofit basis and will seek to bring together network operators and ircd/services developers to identify irc-related projects that are in need of funding and support, the irc.com team hopes to establish positive working relationships with operators, developers, ircv3 and end users alike, and the foundation, which will be governed by community consensus, will seek to ensure that irc.com and its efforts benefit all, not only those organisations that LTM supports today.
With regard to irc.com itself, I am curious and excited to see what's in store in terms of utilising IRC as a platform for delivering training sessions and the idea of a virtual incubator using an IRC backend. There has been some incredible developments on the client-side in recent times, with both IRCCloud and KiwiIRC continuing to work on features that will soon introduce video and voice calls, file-sharing and a host of other productivity tools that provide the irc.com team with good foundations for success.
For the sake of full disclosure: I am an Executive Vice President at LTM, and I work closely with all subsidiaries within the Group, irc.com included.