Life After IRC – Your Move, Mozilla!

Last year marked the 30th anniversary of the Internet Relay Chat protocol (IRC) and it is hard to imagine that [Jarkko Oikarinen] could have foreseen the impact his invention would one day have on the world as we know it. How it would turn from a simple, decentralized real-time communication system for university-internal use into a global phenomenon, connecting millions of users all over the world, forming its own subculture, eventually reaching mainstream status in some parts of the world — including a Eurodance song about a bot topping European music charts.

Those days of glory, however, have long been gone, and with it the version of an internet where IRC was the ideal choice. What was once a refuge to escape the real world has since become the fundamental centerpiece of that same real world, and our ways of communicating with each other has moved on with it. Nevertheless, despite a shift in mainstream and everyday communication behavior, IRC is still relevant enough today, and going especially strong in the open source community, with freenode, as one of the oldest networks, being the most frequently used one, along some smaller ones like OFTC and Mozilla’s own dedicated network. But that is about to change.

Last month, Mozilla’s envoy [Mike Hoye] announced the decommissioning of within “the next small number of months, and moving all communication to a new, or at least different system. And while this only affects Mozilla’s own, standalone IRC network and projects, and not the entire open source community, it is a rather substantial move, considering Mozilla’s overall reach and impact on the internet itself — past, present, and now even more the future. Let’s face it, IRC has been dying for years, but there is also no genuine alternative available yet that could truly replace it. With Mozilla as driving force, there is an actual chance that they will come up with a worthy replacement that transforms IRC’s spirit into the modern era.

Well, the good news is, we won’t have to bury IRC just yet, and most likely never will, but this still seems like a good moment to pay our respects to a protocol that turned into a lifestyle, and ponder on its future.

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Although I was too young to read or write at the time it was created, and didn’t encounter it until later in my teenage years, IRC has been a major part of my life, and it most certainly defined who I am today. Once it entered my life, IRC took me far beyond the countryside village I was growing up in, and opened up a whole new world for me. It was in fact mIRC’s built-in scripting language that sparked my very first interest in programming, bots and bouncers that made me enter the realms of Linux, and the Wild West times of internet warfare that got me curious about networking and security. By the time IRC reached its peak in the early 2000’s, my entire social life had practically ceased to exist outside of it, and although other factors played a role in it as well, it is not a coincidence that I eventually ended up living in the very same city where IRC was born.

IRC’s Influence On Technology

While those are of course just personal, anecdotal experiences, there’s a far bigger picture to it, and IRC has played an important role in the development of the internet itself. Take IPv6 for example: we’ve heard for decades how the IPv4 address space is soon going to be exhausted, and IPv6 has been around as the promising savior for the majority of that time already. Yet it’s only become relevant to the wider public in the last few years, with ISPs slowly adapting to offer native IPv6 connections. Meanwhile, IRC servers supported IPv6 at the end of the 90’s, providing an actual real-world application for the new protocol, and an incentive for projects like XS26 and SixXS that offered IPv6 access to the general public by tunneling it over IPv4.

For normies, IPv6 is about magic. For IRC users, it’s real.

For anyone interested in anything related to networks or server administration, this was a wonderfully exciting new playground, and with the incomprehensible vast amount of addresses available within the IPv6 space, you could keep yourself busy for days just thinking of ways to put in perspective the number of IP addresses you had at your own, personal disposal now. But while you could have used a unique IP for each and every website request you ever make, it was in the end IRC that provided the best experimental environment for it, especially as it meant a virtually unlimited amount of possible IRC connections. This made it a lot easier to run several clients at once, even offering it as a service to others, and of course increase the presence of botnets, both for good and for evil.

After all, IRC has always been the early internet battle field. Its general structure with interconnected servers, and channels with different privilege levels and authorities easily attracted rivalry and caused power struggles. Taking over channels became a favorite pastime for some people, and entire IRC crews have formed with the sole intention to terrorize and seize power over channels. These were the untamed times of attacking individual network connections to remove the channel operators or protective bots, large-scale DDoS attacks against IRC servers to cause netsplits and gain operator status on an isolated server, compromising other machines to run additional clients or bots for stronger numbers, or to circumvent geographical limitations of servers in other parts of the world. While those attacks weren’t necessarily new, IRC warfare gave somewhat of a wider and seemingly less consequential purpose for them, even if it was just for virtual dominance and the ego. They became common enough to raise awareness of weaknesses and vulnerabilities in networks and operating systems these attacks were exploiting, which over time improved their overall security.

IRC’s Influence On Society

But the technical aspects aside, IRC has always been social. Of course, communicating with strangers on the internet wasn’t new, UseNet and BBSes had been around for years, but connecting people all over the world with each other in real time offered whole new possibilities. Chances are you would find channels dedicated to your city or area, to your hobbies and other interests, and all kinds of general chitter-chatter. You could get in contact with strangers you probably never would have met otherwise, sharing the same interests and discussions, free from most bias and prejudice. You could get in touch with opinions and life circumstances outside your own bubble, and you could get to know a person without ever seeing them. The world felt never bigger yet so intimate at the same time.

IRC formed a life of its own that overlapped with the real world, and sparked new ventures in the online world. Channels formed ecosystems of their own, a unity to identify with. They had their own websites and held semi-regular user meetings where everyone would gather in a pub or a field outside town. Offline relationships started in IRC. The anonymous strangers who you only referred to by their nick suddenly became real persons. Predecessors of social media platforms emerged to follow-up your IRC presence, with Finland’s irc-galleria still alive and kicking to this date.

Altogether, it was a wild and oftentimes surreal experience — no doubt nostalgia plays its role here, too. But the internet has simply changed since. IRC servers were predominantly run by volunteers in universities, research institutes, ISPs, and some smaller, pioneering tech companies. It was a free and open space, a place for exploration, with all the pros and cons that comes along with that. It was a landscape of thousands of individual channels, all doing their own thing, having their own rules and customs, and their own set of people in charge to keep things in control. IRC operators kept an eye on the servers and the network itself, but generally didn’t bother much about channel-internal business if they weren’t actively a part of it, as long as everything else was peaceful. It was everyone for themselves, but still together. Sadly, that doesn’t fit too well in today’s surroundings anymore.

The Future Of IRC

So, is Mozilla’s decisions to abandon IRC going to have a larger impact on the remaining networks? Probably not. IRC’s decline isn’t a recent development, and since is a standalone system for development inside Mozilla itself, in the big picture, it’s really more their personal problem. But as mentioned in the beginning, with the right angle, they might contribute a worthy replacement — and that could be a whole different story for IRC itself then.

Admittedly, IRC does feel archaic today, and clearly stems from a time where data didn’t just magically appear from a cloud and communication details weren’t abstracted away. And it didn’t have to, it was basically a given to familiarize oneself with enough knowledge up front to be able to navigate about, which also helped filtering out the normies from the real world pestering one’s sanctuary. That gatekeeping attitude doesn’t work anymore though. Once again, the internet has changed; the audience, the content, the majority parties running the show behind the curtain, and the way people communicate with each other online have just changed since “back in the day”. Simple text just won’t do it anymore, people need emojis and memes to express themselves nowadays.

While some aspects of this change are of questionable value, others should be appreciated and considered as an achievement. With all the fond memories I have about the golden days of IRC, I very much enjoy the progress we have made since, and the fact how normal and everyday the internet in general has become. Still, none of the modern forms of communication can replace what IRC was, and still is.

Sure, the concept of channels also exists in most modern systems, but the large-scale interconnectivity and openness of IRC doesn’t. It’s everyone for themselves more than ever, with commercial entities competing for users in their own, isolated environments. And it makes perfect sense from a professional point of view — you wouldn’t really want to have company-internal communication in a public IRC network. Setting up a private network is of course an option, but if you go that far, you might as well choose Slack or the likes, with all its conveniences and modern feel. But from an open source point of view, it doesn’t sound like a desirable future where every project has its own communication channels in place, separated from all other projects. Any sense of being a community in the bigger picture would simply be lost this way.

Well, we will see what Mozilla’s next steps are. The good news is that even if they make the “wrong” decision, it’s unlikely that it will have any lasting effects on IRC itself. But it would be a greatly missed opportunity to create an updated version of IRC that would fit in today’s world.

56 thoughts on “Life After IRC – Your Move, Mozilla!

  1. I don´t see IRC as dying, yet. Since I am not involved with mozilla development, I didn´t even knew about their internal irc server. But other servers, and groups, are still with their normal attendance.

    Maybe it is stabilizing in something where people who know what it is and that have clear reasons to use it are there, while those just seeking to waste some time flow to the other “apps-du-jour”

  2. For an alturnitive that ‘may’ work, check out A number of us who got worried about StackExchanges increasingly hostile (and knee jerk) reactions to things caused us to look for somewhere should the SE hosted chatrooms ever go away in a hurry. We concidered IRC (and a number of other solutions) and eventually decided on Matrix, and the client they have. Work on the server software is still very much a work in progress but it’s very usable, with some nice features to boot. it is almost like a IRC for the Gui age.

    1. I use Matrix (through the Riot client) as a replacement for Google Hangouts group chats with friends and we like it a lot. We have some weirdos that hate anything that isn’t a terminal app and so they have their Matrix chats running in some TUI, but for the rest of us, Riot does a nice job keeping things functional and modern. Plus the fact that I can manage my IRC rooms from within Riot via their IRC bridge is a nice bonus too.

    2. Yeah, no.

      I tried to join a chatroom on Matrix once.

      Twelve hours of syncing (during which I was not able to participate in the chat) later, I rm -rf / the entire server. It’s a crap protocol with a worse implementation that is never, ever going to catch on.

      And jesus christ, it’s harder to configure than XMPP!

        1. The problem is with the protocol though.. what happened to the matrix room will eventually happen to all rooms if this protocol really takes off.

          It should just default to retrieving scroll back on demand rather than by default. This is one of the problems I still see with it.

          Nevertheless I think it’s the brightest star of the truly open networks.

  3. Quote from the article: “With Mozilla as driving force, there is an actual chance that they will come up with a worthy replacement that transforms IRC’s spirit into the modern era.”

    Based on his blog post, I’m not sure what makes you think they might roll their own service?

    From the blog post:
    – “We are not rolling our own. Whether we host it ourselves or pay for a service, we’re getting something off the shelf that best meets our needs.”
    – “We are evaluating products, not protocols.”
    – “We aren’t picking an outlier; whatever stack we choose needs to be a modern, proven service that seems to have a solid provenance and a good life ahead of it. We’re not moving from one idiosyncratic outlier stack to another idiosyncratic outlier stack.”

    My money, as much as it pains me to say it, is on Slack. That’s what everyone uses these days, including companies who don’t really need it and think it will miraculously replace email. As far as I can see Slack is just a glorified IRC, and non-open to boot, so it’s unfortunate.

    1. This is, I’m afraid, the right analysis. IRC is so open and so awesome. It really is like the old Internet used to be before it became entirely corporatized.

      It’s user friendly, but it picks its friends carefully. :) Because of the simplicity of the protocol, anyone can get hacking on IRC. You just need to learn a few commands and be able to open a socket. In some ways, it’s almost too easy. If you haven’t written an IRC bot, you could do so in an afternoon, and you’d learn something too.

      But Mozilla doesn’t want something open or hacker-accessible. They want a channel to get feedback from their naive users as well, and IRC just isn’t that. They want something that everyone has on their mobile phones.

      But saying IRC ends b/c of Mozilla leaving is a little like saying that Bank of America is folding b/c I’m closing my account. One less (big, corporate) user.

      But my hackerspace uses IRC a bunch. The RepRap channel is awesome. And of course, there’s ##hackaday on freenode. (Now where did I put my IRC client?)

    2. This is how the internet works sadly
      We reinvent the same stuff over and over, making it more and more closed off and with a growing set of terrible features

      Look at the general demise of forums too
      Content sites abandoning pages and replacing them with scroll down to load more content (waiting for HaD to do this fail move)

      It’s an epic shit show which serves up only what is 30 seconds old
      Where no one really searches as google et al are all now 100% poisoned
      No one reads a FAQ
      And anyone saying “search n00b” is now considered gauche instead of respected for having a clue

        1. It’s both the technology drive to mobiles – forums never worked well on mobiles
          And the newer generations coming in that frankly (as admin on several unrelated topic forums) wanted to be spoon fed info and didn’t want to search for it

          The older generations drifted away as hobbies changed and the new lot not getting spoon fed went to facebook and setup groups
          I still take part in the new “forum” in FB, whilst the old sites still linger on, and almost daily the same questions get asked and answered on the same topics. Its’ frankly boring.
          Because FB has no decent search or archiving. – that’s a technology issue, FB doesn’t want you searching, they want new content always

      1. “And anyone saying “search n00b” is now considered gauche instead of respected for having a clue”

        Anna the tourist: Excuse me, where is a bus station?
        John the gouide: Search t0ur!st.

        Why should Anna respect John for having a clue rather than consider him being rude?
        Does John need any knowledge to reply this way?
        Would John reply this way if he was well mannered?
        Wolud John reply this way to Cristiane Santos?
        Should Anna ask John more often or avoid him?

        1. Well, if Anna can’t be bothered to look around her and see the big neon sign “bust station here” 3m away, and is the 30th person to ask John when the answer requires a 5-second search ; then I guess John is right.

    3. It’s wishful thinking, to be honest. Mozilla may not fully roll their own, but there might be the possibility that they extend an existing solution to add a proper IRC feel to it. Unfortunately, since their own IRC network was anyway isolated from the bigger open source picture, and more a means to an end as it seems, something like Slack/Rocket.Chat/… is indeed likely to end up being a good enough replacement for them.

      Hope dies last, I guess, but I see it as a great chance for Mozilla to change exactly this trend of isolated, bloated, web-based chat systems that have become the new norm for communication, and create something more in the spirit of openness and global community. But we will see what comes.

    4. As someone who has used IRC for years and who also uses Slack and Discord on a nearly daily basis I can say that (other than all the crappy limitations Slack has on free work-spaces like the message limit which wouldn’t apply for Mozilla since they would probably pay the money for a full setup) both Slack and Discord are better than IRC. Easier to read and search what has been said previously (including stuff said while you happen to be offline). Native support for uploading a file for someone else to download (so no need to mess with dcc or whatever IRC uses for that these days). Proper user authentication and accounts (so its much easier to keep spam at bay and stop people pretending to be someone they aren’t). Easy to link to other services like source repositories like Gitlab and Github, issue trackers like Trello and other things.

  4. Wasn’t XMPP supposed to serve this niche?

    Unfortunately it seems webchat like Slack and Discord is eating this space, removing server operator control and entrusting money-bleeding startups in Teh Cluod with that role.

    1. People want the ability to receive messages and message notifications on multiple machines, and receive messages sent when ‘offline’. XMPP is fine if you have a host somewhere to run a proxy, but it doesn’t satisfy the requirements.

      1. I have exactly those features with the XMPP server I run for my friends. Nobody has to run a proxy or bouncer for themselves, and I don’t run any for them. It just works. My phone, laptop, and desktop all show the same chat history, even if they’ve been offline for a while.

      1. Slack and Discord are nice in that you don’t need to install anything to use it. But other than that Slack is IRC-as-a-business. Something that was free for 3 decades now costs money. IRC will go the way of Usenet, it will take a really long time but inevitably the lack of a marketing budget will strip IRC of access to new users.

      1. Don’t leave out the chicks! My wife and I met on IRC in the 90s. Had a ton of people we never seen face to face from the channel show up at the wedding. Many of us still friends today. It was awesome. Long live IRC.

  5. I have been on IRC for something approaching two decades, and while I am its biggest fan, the technical challenges to including people make it sort of a gatekeeper. The basic experience is fine: channels, ops, nicks. But beyond that is a strange mess of user modes, custom authentication schemes, are you connecting via SSL? Why can’t we stop these spam messages from coming through? (etc) that I would rather just call IRC “some stupid chat thing” than actually explain to anyone asking about it, because it frankly stresses me out.

    I think that the core protocol left so much out, being from the age it was, that it ended up making it impossible for a cohesive novice-friendly experience, and its role ended up more like ham radio in that regard. We ended up with what was perceived as a more fun and friendly experience to companies that needed to include people who didn’t already know about IRC when they were hired and had no touchstone for even finding a way to give a shit about it, so Slack and its friends come in, with their terrible bloated clients and browser experiences, while still just basically creating IRC….with gifs. ok.

    I personally would love an entrenched cultural artifact like IRC that was more broadly accessible that supported _some_ of the more visual and audio stuff that Slack and Discord do, without the massive overhead on our computers. It’s the more inclusive move. But the software itself is awful. At worst, an immoral use of our hardware’s resources, just to send what is still mostly text. But the larger problem to me is the continuing reliance on platforms and their company-enforced bloatware instead of what used to be a more democratized internet.

    1. A well configured IRC server with services like nickserv allow for eliminating 99.999% of the spam because you can exclude non-registered users out of your channels. The IRC protocol itself isn’t the issue.

      What is an issue in the modern context is that you need to be connected always – that doesn’t work well with non-wired networks that will time out regularly. The traditional way to work around that was to set up a proxy bot on a machine that is always connected, and then connect to that, but it’s a kludge. This is the reason why IRC is dying – it was designed for desktop machines and has no provision for roaming.

      1. What we’re seeing on the latest batch of spambots on s the IRC network I use the most is that they’ve also figured out how to register an account automatically. Even though they have to have a valid email address.

        They’re talking about adding captchas now but those are easily circumvented too.

    2. “making it impossible for a cohesive novice-friendly experience” I always saw this as a feature. It’s a sort of IQ test or hurdle that only the more determined can get to… this leads to a better quality user base. I miss having an Internet that acutally took effort and thinking to connect to.

  6. IRC dying? I certainly hope not. Anything developed today is guaranteed to be far inferior.

    – Anything developed today will probably have a very bloated protocol that is 9/10 cruft and only 1/10 (or less) message.

    – It will probably be tied to a bloated GUI. Don’t get me wrong, a good GUI is essential for getting any non-technical users to use it. IRC has plenty of those available. But there are also command line clients. All I need is SSH and I can connect to my home computer and run my favorite commandline client from there. People I chat with could be doing the same or they could be totally oblivious, not even knowing they are using IRC because to them it’s just an app running in their web browser. It doesn’t matter. Our messages get through to one another just the same.

    A new protocol will probably preclude this because the kids NEED something that includes emogies or some other fluffy BS like that.

    Anyway, I didn’t see much in the HaD article about why it’s time to move on from IRC other than just “it’s old”. So what? The Mozilla article says more about this.

    They say IRC is a barrier to non-technical users. It Is? I’ve seen plenty of web sites with “chat pages” that even a complete newb can use that were actually just web frontends to IRC. Many clients web or otherwise include buttons for common tasks like join/leave channel, etc so the user does not need to learn IRC commands. If you even want to give them multiple channels for your application. If Mozilla just wants to give users an opportunity to ask them questions they can even hide the existence of channels and just dump everyone that comes to their site in #mozilla. Where is the barrier here?

    They say they have spambot problems. Well, ok. You are only really going to get rid of that with a closed system that verifies who everyone is to one master database. No anonymity allowed. That might be fine for Mozilla’s use but is it what we want for our own community?

    Then they say IRC is blocked by many firewalls. Well, I’ve yet to find a network that blocks it but I am no authority on that. If so then that sucks because that means we will probably get stuck with some sort of web service bases system. I have never seen one of those that wasn’t bloated beyond all hope.

    1. >No anonymity allowed.

      It’s trivial to have a nick registration service that slows the spambots enough that it’s not worth it anymore, and makes it easy to revoke their registration so they have to go through the process again to get in. The registration itself can be anonymous.

  7. So much talk about Slack, and yet Slack is complete and utter garbage – when it comes to the kind of rooms you’d usually have in IRC. Slack is not a suitable IRC replacement. I’m saying it as somebody who maintains a Slack channel for our hackerspace communications (and also keeps a Slack-IRC bridge up and running, and somewhat featureful). Sure, mobile apps and web client are nice for a hackerspace, so is lack of a bouncer for reading old messages, but let me list the main struggles:

    1) Free version only *shows* 10k last messages (it stores the older ones, but you can’t see them until you pay). I have a bot written specifically for logging that stores somewhat parseable history, but when you have a server suitable for that, might as well get a riced out IRC bouncer running, come on.
    2) Slack as a whole is designed for a “a team working on some project” scenario, the “random people coming in for a short while” scenarios are not thought of when designing the Slack (closed-source!) software. A huge amount of IRC rooms do *not* conform to this scenario, whether it’s some newb support forum, a hackerspace-oriented room, a programming chatroom or a real-time support forum. If you switch to Slack from IRC, you will eventually bump into things that show you – you’re not the target audience. Example?
    3) The crowd control features are fucking nonexistent – you can’t mute people, you can’t ignore people (even the damn slackbot), you can’t delete someone’s account (only “deactivate”). People have been tweeting at Slack support for that for years, nothing has been done. Please, consider Matrix – Matrix doesn’t suck and has a fuckton of potential, and the IRC integration is top notch.
    4) Slack is a commercial thing and behaves like a commercial thing, it needs to make money. Before that, however, they had to get people in somehow. Whatever features they used for that, these will be removed. Example? Slack had an “IRC server” feature where you could connect to a Slack workspace using your IRC client. Recently, that was removed. Of course, that was something used to pull people in from IRC. Of course, the only way to get it working now is to host a third-party bridge.
    5) Slack needs to make money. It’s a typical closed-source for-profit thing, these are doomed to fail for us hobbyists – I’m sure anybody that’s reasonably old could list a couple dozen commercial chatroom solutions like this, and by now they’re all dead. It’s not going to outlive IRC, it’s only going to live as long as the company supporting it does, and the hobbyist stuff will fall off when they get old and change their API to the point where they break enough surrounding software. I recently had to fix our IRC-Slack bridge because Slack changed their API in a not-so-subtle way, and broke our bridge. We don’t have any control over that and we can’t do anything when stuff finally breaks in a fundamentally incompatible way, so it’s inevitably going to be Skype all over again.

    Please stop mentioning Slack as a viable alternative to anything. Try Matrix – it integrates with IRC very smoothly, forwards DMs, media and even moderator privileges! Try Gitter if you don’t like Matrix. Hell, IRC ain’t dying anytime soon – if your team is oldschool and wants IRC, get a bouncer up and running. Slack might work well for more commercial teams, kinda like Skype does, but for us enthusiasts, Slack sucks dick and balls and it does not deserve to be mentioned in conversations when we talk about ways in which we can communicate.

    1. While much of this is true, Slack does one thing which Open Source solutions usually don’t: they get the details right. Like easily doable, without learning curve. And that’s why they’re successful.

      Craft an open solution taking care of all these tiny details, get them idiot-proof, maintain them and it’ll be successful as well. Though, open solutions are typically made by hackers for hackers, which rules out the big audience. Destined to be and stay a niche application.

  8. A few months back, Freenode was hit with a vicious spam attack and to fix that, they now require registration. Unfortunately, this immediately ended its usefulness to our live conferences because most do not want to register. Instead of a hundred participants, we now have maybe 5. IRC itself is still useful and a great resource, available as an alternative to all the walled gardens of WhatsApp etc.

    1. Freenode is a cesspool and that spam attack was caused by some angry pedophiles who infected a few IRC networks, not just freenode, but the target was freenode IRCops.

  9. IRC isn’t dying, it’s just returning to its roots as a smaller community of technically-adept desktop-first users. As the mobile-first crowd chases the shiny app du jour, IRC will care not one whit.

    And as points out, all those new shinies will be bridged to IRC one way or another.

  10. ObTrivia:
    Instead of a dinosaur/Godzilla creature for a mascot, Mozilla was a huge gorilla.
    I think the Mozilla team found a large gorilla statue somewhere and figured it was a way to avoid a lawsuit with Gozilla[TM].

  11. I’ve consistently been able to jump into IRC night and day and get most any technical question answered within minutes. If it’s going away I can’t wait to see what it’s replacement will be, because what it is today is more than satisfactory.

  12. IRC changed the world physically. IRC is still used literally as a tool for warfare. Its a key communications tool for deployed operations for western nations. And when I say operations I mean the support of the actual fighting of actual warfare. Requests for air support. Without IRC a good chunk of war wouldn’t happen. So maybe that’s a good thing?

  13. IRC has probably also contributed to internet stability a lot. Uptime on IRC used to be a kind of merit, and also important for channel operators as they could lose control of their channel if disconnected. IRC itself is a protocol that needs visible reconnect if a single TCP connection timeouts. With web browsing you’d never notice or might just click refresh button and carry on.

    Because many people on IRC were network administrators at companies, universities and internet operators, this provided them perfect incentive to do their job better.

  14. I don’t think IRC is dying. Most of its shortcomings are addressed by the latest clients, such as Quassel / QuasselDroid which deliver a really excellent experience with the niceties you would expect these days like infinite scroll back and connection persistence. I find I use it more than before now.

    I wish the IRCv3 development would be a bit more structured though.. it tries to do too much and everything is optional so every software package grabs a different subset of things to implement. This way it’ll be in development forever. That’s why I started to look for clients that add these niceties.

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