Ask HN: Do You Miss IRC?

101 points | by irc_nostalgia 51 days ago


  • brozaman 51 days ago

    I was born in the 90s so I never used IRC outside work. I used it for work on a daily basis until a couple weeks ago, and I hate it with passion. The vpn drops and you miss messages. You are offline you miss messages, don't want to miss messages? set up a relay (seriously?!).

    Now I'm on a team which uses slack, and I miss how lightweight hexchat is, but in terms of being able to use it my phone and having something that just works without any additional effort it only has advantages.

    • 1337shadow 51 days ago

      It's funny for me to see some people are still advocating Slack's "convenience". I mean I get it, Internet Chat because accessible without actually learning what a client or server is. And I'm myself in at least 3 slack groups professionally out of a total of 20...

      But I just know nobody, from a variety of OSes, who doesn't experience the "bug where slack completely looses where you are in time" and then you have to scroll for a while because the "Jump to new messages" doesn't work well. I came to the point where I wonder if anybody here doesn't have that bug at all ...

      A bug that kills UX like that and that we can do nothing about, not even contribute a fix, and still it seems Slack is the best product people can find, meh, I run Mattermost in my company and we're all very happy with it and don't experience as much problems as we do with Slack.

      Never really been anywhere but in tech channels on IRC, I had a few years without going back but I'm back and I love it.

      • Carpetsmoker 50 days ago

        I'm not a big fan of Slack for a long list of reasons, but at least I don't have to muck about with finicky undocumented (or semi-documented at best) software just to get a basic usable connection which won't drop any messages.

        I think just that goes a long way.

        Mattermost might be good (never used it), but being self-hosted means it's a lot harder to set up than just subscribing to Slack. I talked about this before on HN[1]: I think providing a simple hosted SaaS should be a key part of the strategy to displace shitty closed-source products like Slack.


      • atomi 50 days ago

        Took me all of 10 minutes to set up irssi on a free google cloud vps many years ago. It's still chugging along.

            ~ uptime
             23:22:27 up 787 days, 15:10,  1 user,  load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00
        It's not that hard.
        • comex 50 days ago

          Not that hard, if you don't care about two things:

          - Typing latency

          - Access from mobile devices

          Many people don't care about those things; good for them. Unfortunately for me, I do.

          I can (and do) use a bouncer, which theoretically solves both problems: text entry is handled by my local IRC client rather than every keystroke going through a server, and I can run an IRC client on my phone. Unfortunately, bouncers are a rather poor approximation of true cross-device history/state synchronization; e.g. they don't sync unread messages. And they're generally slow and fiddly for various silly reasons. For example, most bouncers require you to make a separate connection for each IRC network, which is slower, and requires configuring each client device for each network, annoying if you have a lot of networks. Also, long backlogs can overload slow IRC clients, but typically the alternative to long backlogs is losing history, since there's no standard mechanism for clients to request history on demand.

          There are also some IRC clients that do "true" state synchronization, like Quassel or Weechat's relay mode, but none with a tolerable iPhone version, last I checked.

          • hprotagonist 50 days ago

            mosh solves my latency and mobile access issues handily.

            tmux, irssi, and mosh on a VPS and i’ve had that setup for IRC for ... pushing a decade?

            • atomi 49 days ago

              Check out Termux on Android. As mentioned you can use Mosh and you can use it with Termux.

              • Wingy 50 days ago

                I use The Lounge for IRC because I use iOS, Windows, and Linux.

                • comex 50 days ago

                  I haven’t used The Lounge; it looks well-designed, but I try to avoid web-based clients as they have a lot of overhead. It also doesn’t seem like The Lounge has any solution for push notifications on iOS.

                  (Alas, most ‘native’ IRC clients for macOS have web views inside anyway, so avoiding web-based stuff may be a lost cause. But then I’m in no position to complain about Slack or Discord using Electron…)

              • Carpetsmoker 50 days ago

                This is a lot of work (especially if you're not already familiar with these tools) compared to pretty much any other chat solution out there.

                • mijndert 49 days ago

                  So you don't ever install kernel patches? That's nothing to brag about.

                  • atomi 48 days ago

                    I wouldn't call it bragging. I just have a lot of trust that my current kernel is robust enough for this particular application. If there were a serious exploit I obviously would update.

                  • op00to 50 days ago

                    It is if your work IRC server is inside of the VPN and you travel.

                  • chapium 51 days ago

                    Many people use gnu screen to connect to a session and never log out.

                    • skywhopper 50 days ago

                      This assumes so many things which are the reason lots of us have happily moved on.

                      • procinct 51 days ago

                        Until you turn your computer off I suppose. Could always set up a server running screen or tmux and ssh into it each time I suppose.

                        • bjoli 50 days ago

                          I have a Raspberry pi 2 with an immutable SD card running weechat in a tmux session. Logging is done to a USB stick. On any occasional power failure it restarts everything and logs me back in.

                          It has been running since whenever the rpi2 came out, and total downtime since has been under an hour.

                      • ibotty 51 days ago

                        You can use slack via weechat. It works pretty reliable. Better not use slack though but an open protocol.

                        • tbrock 50 days ago

                          It’s pretty bad, I tried but it was awful.

                          • ibotty 45 days ago

                            I use it and it's ok.

                        • bangboombang 50 days ago

                          You still need a VPS or server of some kind, but if the "screen with irssi/weechat" concept sounds too much like 80s UNIX, there is quassel[1].

                          It's like a relay/proxy/bouncer but actually uses its own protocol between the GUI and core, so you get infinite backscroll, proper sync when running multiple GUI instances at the same time etc. Oh and there is a decent Android client called quasseldroid.


                          • claudiawerner 51 days ago

                            >You are offline you miss messages, don't want to miss messages? set up a relay (seriously?!).

                            ...Yeah. From installing znc from your favourite package manager to having it set up and running in your client is all of ten minutes, with SSL, auto-joins, channel history and all. Is it a barrier? Yeah. Is it so much of a barrier that it would push someone concerned about centralized services and proprietary software to just give up and use Slack? I don't think so.

                            • askafriend 49 days ago

                              I don't know what any of this "znc", "package manager", "SSL", "auto-join" mumbo jumbo is.

                              I'm just going to use Slack and move on with my life.

                              Actually I lied, I do know what all that mumbo jumbo is, but I hope you get my point.

                              • icebraining 50 days ago

                                Not all of us have a server in the closet running 24/7, and having to use someone else's computer feels like half the way to using a service like Slack.

                            • kevstev 51 days ago

                              Not really. Aside from the warez and books and a few tech channels, I found it really really difficult to make any meaningful connections or even have social conversations there. You go into one of the larger channels and its a hundred people spewing into the channel and its very difficult to even understand what threads are occurring or if they are just talking past each other, let alone actually get a conversation going.

                              Then you go the smaller channels, and everyone is idling/afk.

                              Then there were the very specific channels, and any talk of anything other than Pokeman in #pokeman will get you kicked.

                              The tech channels were reasonably good, but it was mostly business there too.

                              Occasionally you find a decent room with people talking and looking to just kind of shoot the shit, but I found more often than not, it was someone entirely across the globe- and while that is interesting in its own way, my jaw was on the floor when I first chatted with someone from Singapore in the 90s (long distance was dollars a minute then), I quickly realized that we really had almost no shared cultural context and after "so what is life like in $yourcountry" we didn't have much to talk about.

                              I was op on a few tech channels on efnet back in the day, and learned some interesting things and gave (and received) a lot of good help, but as far as using it to just chat about the weather and meet people, I found it not very useful- especially compared to AOL chatrooms.

                              • bdd 51 days ago

                                I miss the kind strangers who genuinely cared about helping others without being abrasive jerks. I learned a lot on IRC; made many new friends. This was back in 1994–98 when I was growing up in Turkey. The scene was rather small yet still full of kind enthusiasts. Sure there was some passingly “oh you’re a n00b” messing but it wasn’t toxic. EFNet and DalNet were a bit more different. Maybe less kind but still full of helpful people. If you weren’t grossly stepping out of boundaries of netiquette, you’d get treated with reciprocal dignity.

                                • pmoriarty 50 days ago

                                  Honestly, I used to see a lot more abrasive jerks on the IRC of old.

                                  Lots of RTFM and refusing to answer direct technical questions because "why would you want to do that?"

                                  Some channels, like #politics on efnet were true cesspools.

                                  In contrast, my later experience with FreeNode has been consistently helpful on virtually every channel I've been to, except for #paludis, which really was full of jerks. I've seen trolls maybe once every year or two on FreeNode and they've been swiftly dealt with, rarely to be seen again.

                                  I guess your mileage will vary depending on which channels and networks you visit, though.

                                  • bjoli 50 days ago

                                    You should check out chicken scheme's IRC channel. They taught me scheme and answered all my inane questions with patience. I even found a bug once! Hanging out there has made me a more humble person, really.

                                    • tehlike 50 days ago

                                      Once something goes from niche to mainstream, the quality of the community drops, almost by definition.

                                      Internet was a fun place when enthusiasts had their own websites written in cgi/perl/asp back in the day, and sharing was caring.

                                      I think this is why people praise ham radio community because it never went mainstream. Pick any sport that is niche, it is similar.

                                    • sidek 51 days ago

                                      I miss IRC deeply. We had an internet with an amazing, people-run, free, chat network.

                                      And we replaced it with corporate things like facebook messenger/discord where you're the product.

                                      • qplex 51 days ago

                                        I find the modern (free) alternatives are more reliable.

                                        No more netsplits. I can't remember the last time I couldn't send a message because of a technical reason.

                                        But I do miss the culture of the old net and IRC. These days only small islands of it remain.

                                        • Seirdy 51 days ago

                                          If you're looking for rooms with high activity, I put together a list of the top 30 busiest IRC channels I'm in by sorting my logs by size (descending) [0].

                                          The command that generated the list:

                                            grep -v -c '(\-\->.*has joined|<--.*has left).*#' $WEECHAT_HOME/logs/irc.*.[#]*.weechatlog \
                                             | tr ':' ' ' \
                                             | sort -n -k 2 -r \
                                             | sed -e 's#.*irc\.##' -e 's#\.weechatlog##' \
                                             | grep -v "#channel-i'd-rather-not-show" \
                                             | sed 30q \
                                             | curl -F 'clbin=<-'

                                          Archived paste: and

                                          • Seirdy 50 days ago

                                            Addendum: kichimi on rizon.\#rice has just reached out in response to this comment:

                                              2020-02-15 06:55:32 kichimi that post
                                              2020-02-15 06:55:35 kichimi was made by you
                                              2020-02-15 06:55:40 kichimi and i wanted to say hi
                                              2020-02-15 06:55:45 Seirdy hai
                                              2020-02-15 06:55:51 kichimi because i love seeing rizon repped
                                              2020-02-15 06:56:00 kichimi but you didnt put a disclaimer in your post saying rizon was the most toxic network on the internet
                                            • TheReverend403 50 days ago

                                              > but you didnt put a disclaimer in your post saying rizon was the most toxic network on the internet

                                              We're not all assholes. Just most of us.

                                        • taway555 51 days ago

                                          I do, but more so the era in which I heavily used it. I started a local IRC channel for my high school. Word spread and eventually we had 100-200 people on it every single night, which was a non trivial % population of the entire school. Not just nerds... everyone from all groups was on it. People are school were asking the more tech friendly folks: "How do I get mIRC on my computer??"

                                          There were so many people on it that there was a legit problem identifying who was who (i.e. nicknames != real names). I eventually made a page linking IRC nicknames to profiles.

                                          Looking back on it now, if I had had more vision, in a parallel universe, I would have replicated this experience to other areas schools in the region.. then state, then country then....?

                                          Oh well :)

                                          • INTPenis 51 days ago

                                            I've been on IRC daily for over 22 years.

                                            I know exactly what you mean. I've gone from one tight knit community to another. In the between time I've either taken short breaks or been hanging out on freenode.

                                            Right now I'm lucky enough to be in a tight clique of people with a private server.

                                            Some of them have been on IRC for as long as it has existed. Most of us also meet IRL regularly.

                                            If you find like minded people IRL you can start up IRC again.

                                            Edit: Speaking of freenode. Just a few years ago I remember having a lot of fun in the wolf game channels with random strangers. It felt like the 90s again.

                                            • eric234223 50 days ago

                                              This is what exactly i am looking for. To chat with passionate people who can not be approached easily. The entry bar is a bit high(setting up IRC to run it 24/7). Can you post the irc channels you are in.

                                            • hlandau 51 days ago

                                              This experience still exists, but you have to find smaller channels where people come to know one another as regulars. The smaller networks and channels still exist and they have a good community vibe.

                                              Of course, it's hard to find out about these channels. IME it takes time to find the small channels (or the small networks, there are many networks tiny enough for nobody to know about unless they've been invited). Try starting with a large channel and eventually you'll find out about smaller and smaller channels. Some larger projects on Freenode are also big enough to have -offtopic channels, which can easily become their own communities.

                                              Keep in mind that a 24/7 connection is basically essential, get a bouncer or use something like IRCCloud.

                                              • rimunroe 51 days ago

                                                I met my partner in one such channel about five years ago. We’re getting married this October. A lot of the guest list for our wedding is made of folks we met on IRC.

                                                • paraiuspau 50 days ago

                                                  Congrats! I lost my virginity to a woman I met on IRC. Sounds less romantic than your story, but I loved her very much. I mourn those days, 1998-2000 on dalnet.

                                                  • taborj 51 days ago

                                                    Now this takes me back. Stories like this were relatively common back in the 90s.


                                                • Kim_Bruning 51 days ago


                                                  I'm still using it for my day to day. ;-)

                                                  Though I'm no longer on the traditional large help channels on freenode (or dalnet before it ) to be fair.

                                                  • dankememe 51 days ago

                                                    I don't, because I'm still using it! Me and a few internet friends have a cozy little community, and usually hang out there daily. IRC isn't really dead at all as far as I'm concerned, just not as popular anymore. It's the same as with people who complain that there's no good music anymore, it's there, they just haven't found it.

                                                    Anyways, check us out if you want, more people is always a plus:

                                                    • HoppyHaus 51 days ago

                                                      Hey, that's my server! Weird seeing it mentioned by someone that isn't me

                                                      • dankememe 51 days ago

                                                        you should definitely check out the server if you haven't

                                                    • cjbprime 51 days ago

                                                      I don't miss IRC much -- I actually miss the paragraphs-level chat systems with lightweight categories, like MIT Zephyr and Gale. They really encouraged deeper thought, in the way that an HN comment is often deeper than an IRC one, just by virtue of having more time to collect your thoughts and then getting to attach them to the right place. It's surprising that nothing like those systems lasted.

                                                      I also miss ytalk, which shared each character you typed as you typed it. I used ytalk with my spouse a lot while we were dating.

                                                    • WnZ39p0Dgydaz1 50 days ago

                                                      You can find very similar communities on Discord today. You may argue that Discord is a totally different vibe, full of kids, spam, memes, and rude people. And you would right, but that's pretty much what most IRC channels, especially those related to gaming, were in the early days as well. You have to go around and look hard to find channels that are different, but they exist.

                                                      So, maybe the reason that you don't feel it's the same vibe is not only because technology has changed, but also because you have changed. I also have fond memories of my IRC time in the 90s, but I believe I'm looking at them with rose-colored glasses and not everything was as amazing as I remember it to be.

                                                      • VonChair 51 days ago

                                                        I miss the feeling you had using it and the fun bots people made in some channels. I do not miss the difficulty of getting less technical users onto it and it's lack of portability with out some work. New tools these days make the portability aspect easy and barrier to entry low for less technical users which expands the user base of a lot of platforms today.

                                                        • blablabla123 50 days ago

                                                          On the other hand, even if the barrier is a bit higher, nice things will eventually be used by everyone even if it evolves some research and learning - or seeking help from others. The most difficult thing about IRC is probably picking a unique user name or even registering one. But yeah, especially non-tech channels had a fun vibe, something I completely miss from Slack or Facebook.

                                                        • vardump 51 days ago

                                                          IRC in 1991, until maybe 1999... I don't think anything like that will ever come back. There were some vandals with their scripts, but mostly it was way more civilized than you ever see these days. Had a lot of enjoyable conversations, lots of fun.

                                                          Haven't used IRC for almost 20 years now.

                                                          • fartcannon 51 days ago

                                                            It's still there. You can start again.

                                                            • tbe 45 days ago

                                                              An elegant protocol for a more civilized age.

                                                              (I'm sorry, just had to do that.)

                                                            • LinuxBender 51 days ago

                                                              I miss the culture that came with small distributed IRC networks. I miss the technical people that chose to use the networks. Those people moved to where they could reach more of their friends and family members.

                                                              I do not miss patching the IRC servers and upgrading / rewriting configurations (Unreal IRCD 2.x 3.x 4.x and now 5.x) and Anope services. Certainly not when we went from thousands, to hundreds, to dozens of users. Too much work for too few people making use of it.

                                                              • philipov 51 days ago

                                                       uses the IRC protocol for its chat system, and I find a lot of the same community feeling in those channels where I hang out regularly.

                                                              • magicalhippo 51 days ago

                                                                I still use it daily after nearly 30 years, though the main channel I'm on has dwindled from hundreds active during its prime to just a handful.

                                                                While I miss the people that has moved on over time, I must say Discord feels like a fine replacement for me in terms of functionality. I use Discord for a few technically oriented things and those places give me the same vibe IRC did back in the day.

                                                                • EnderMB 47 days ago

                                                                  I miss some channels, but not necessarily IRC as a whole.

                                                                  I still believe that #csharp on freenode is the main reason why I pursued .NET as a career choice. As far as channels go, they were by far the most helpful when starting out, and they never made me feel like an idiot for not knowing something. Most importantly, the channel was alive. There are so many channels out there with hundreds of users online and zero conversation.

                                                                  The other day I tried to join a Rails IRC channel to ask about Action Mailbox, and when I saw the quiet channel I decided to ask a question and lurk. In 24 hours, the only messages sent were from people looking for help, and then leaving.

                                                                  What I miss above anything else is helpful people. It's what drew me to IRC, it's what initially drew me to Stack Overflow, and I'd wager that it's what drew many people to HN. IMO, the medium itself isn't anywhere near as important as the people.

                                                                  • MockObject 51 days ago

                                                                    It's just not the same feeling, patiently waiting around on my work Slack for a network split, so I can grab ops on a channel.

                                                                    • br_hue 50 days ago

                                                                      I miss the anonymity, the freedom you had to join a random channel and talk to whoever without being afraid of that being linked to your real persona. In today's internet I tend to watch everything I comment or do, because it can later come back to hunt me.

                                                                      • neilalexander 51 days ago

                                                                        I can't say I miss IRC particularly. It does have a nice simplicity to it but the fact that connections are stateful and fragile is a real downer - I don't love that closing my laptop and wandering off somewhere onto a new network causes me to disappear from the network entirely.

                                                                        Bouncers like ZNC rely on having somewhere reliable to host one and are additional maintenance overheads. Leaving irssi or weechat open in a screen/tmux session on a remote host leads to a terrible mobile experience.

                                                                        I now just find it easier to interact with IRC users using Matrix bridges that other people maintain instead.

                                                                        • blablabla123 50 days ago

                                                                          But why do you need a bouncer? You can just register the user name and then go online again?

                                                                          • neilalexander 50 days ago

                                                                            Of course, but in that time I've missed what is happening in the channels I was joined to.

                                                                        • h2odragon 51 days ago

                                                                          twitter took that "vibe" and Eternal September-ed the idea for many people. IRC was already suffering from "if you're not from the right network you're nobody" and fragmentation of user experience with services etc; which didn't help either.

                                                                          When I reminisce about IRC im usually thinking about the few channels I actually used, which were in my case smaller groups of geek tangentially spawned from a larger channel (everybody met on #slashdot but had other channels for real discussion). That kind of small group text chat is doable on discord now.

                                                                          • TheOperator 51 days ago

                                                                            The community? Sure.

                                                                            The chat standard? Not in the least.

                                                                            • znpy 51 days ago

                                                                              I still use it. I self host thelounge, a cool web based client with bouncer features.

                                                                              Quite honestly, I don't chat everyday, but there's a cool subscene that keeps it alive.

                                                                              • _sbrk 51 days ago

                                                                                I still use it, every single day. Works well and now has SSL encryption to the server, which cuts down on snooping. However, true end-to-end requires client support.

                                                                                • koala_man 51 days ago

                                                                                  >I don't feel like it is the same ~vibe~ as when I used to use it growing up in the 90s

                                                                                  What does have the same vibe now as when you used it growing up in the 90s?

                                                                                  • stevehawk 51 days ago

                                                                                    I don't miss IRC, since I still use it, but I miss certain channels. I swear every linux related channel I go into is full of a bunch of a-holes. 20 years ago I got a lot of help (and I hope provided a lot of assistance myself) in #linux and others, but now it feels like I'm offending a channel when asking for help.

                                                                                    • ionwake 51 days ago

                                                                                      yeah I joined the bitcoin channel and asked something and I started getting really hostile treatment, I received the explanation that alot of new bad characters had joined recently and were causing trouble. i dont know but yes the positive vibe has gone a bit.

                                                                                    • zzo38computer 51 days ago

                                                                                      I still use IRC (and NNTP, which I actually only started using it recently). Unfortunately, many people don't use it, but some people do. Please continue to use IRC and NNTP and plain text and so on, which are better than Discord.

                                                                                      • calvinmorrison 51 days ago

                                                                                        I miss having it as a resource though I use it every day. You used to be able to find kernel devs and contributors on #kernelnewbies, now I ask an actual question that isn't a simple Google and I get flatline response.

                                                                                        I do still use it for some communities, our LUG, a few Foss projects and the catv people

                                                                                        Netsplits still suck, nickserv constantly forgets me, but overall it works.

                                                                                        And yes, irssi is still the worst and only irc client I use

                                                                                        Most bounce problems can be fixed with a screen session on your VPS you already use to host stuff.

                                                                                        Upsides include great logging, idle chitchat and a chance to real time communicate ideas and hash ideas out when a ML doesn't work

                                                                                        • betamaxthetape 51 days ago

                                                                                          I was born at the tail-end of the 90s, so never experienced the original 90s IRC "vibe".

                                                                                          However, I'm part of ArchiveTeam, and we use IRC pretty much exclusively for all our projects. Sure, we have a wiki for permanent notes, but all of the discussion, decisions, etc.. happen over on IRC.

                                                                                          Right now quite a few of the channels used by ArchiveTeam are migrating away from EFNet to hackint, due to connection issues with EFNet. Although migration to a different communication platform was brought up, it was almost immediately discounted.

                                                                                          • jasoneckert 51 days ago

                                                                                            Like USENET, I miss the coolness factor I remember surrounding IRC back in the 1990s and early 2000s. But as a communications tool, I don't miss it given the alternatives today.

                                                                                            • pogitalonx 51 days ago

                                                                                              I miss when I typed /list and my computer would crash. ;)

                                                                                              • Fizzadar 49 days ago

                                                                                                Hugely. Years back we used it at work before switching to Slack. Wish we could switch back I am sick of stupid GIFs, pointless reactions and the rest of Slacks bullshit (terrible client, buggy "editor", etc).

                                                                                                One good thing? I've discovered Ripcord [1], which is an alternative slack client that has great IRC like vibes :)


                                                                                                • RyJones 51 days ago

                                                                                                  So much so, I was prompted to recreate[0] the #distributed meetmap and add a new link[1].



                                                                                                  • jchw 51 days ago

                                                                                                    Yes, totally. Nowadays IRC is mostly a thing I use very passively to stay in various open source project channels. Back in the day it was a place where other folks who were internet savvy would convene to discuss just about anything. I was in lots of tightly knit small channels and met plenty of friends I still have.

                                                                                                    I didn’t use IRC until the mid 2000s, but in my opinion until around ~2012 it was still quite active for many communities.

                                                                                                    • skywhopper 50 days ago

                                                                                                      No. I was the right age and I’m totally of the right mindset but IRC never clicked with me. I went through phases of using it but it has always been more hassle than it’s worth.

                                                                                                      I do think Slack and Discord are overengineered for most teams’ needs. They are attempting to justify their existence and solve all the problems. I’d be happy with a simple text chat I could use from my terminal. But IRC is nothing like “simple”.

                                                                                                      • eswat 50 days ago

                                                                                                        A bit. A gaming channel that I've been hanging around in since 2003 made the bittersweet move of migrating to Discord as more and more people stopped using IRC.

                                                                                                        Given that a lot of InfoSec teams I'm in also use Discord I didn't mind the shift. But my paranoia makes me think that maybe our new home may have a higher chance of imploding due to factors out of our control than when we just stuck on GameSurge.

                                                                                                        • superkuh 51 days ago

                                                                                                          How can I miss it? I'm still on IRC all day every day. There are amazing little communities out there. You can use to find some of them. And of course there are the larger communities that sort of exist like all the people on Freenode that crossover on many channels.

                                                                                                          IRC is very much alive and well. It's just that it didn't grow as fast as all the commercial web.

                                                                                                          • NickBusey 51 days ago

                                                                                                            For everyone saying it's hard to set up a relay, if you use something like The Lounge, deployed by something like HomelabOS, it's pretty much a one-liner to deploy it, then you have a fantastic mobile and web interface accessible from anywhere. I've been using this setup for a while and it's been great.

                                                                                                            • daneel_w 51 days ago

                                                                                                              It's certainly not the same as it was in 1999 when I begun using IRC, but I don't entirely miss anything. I realize that most of the "feeling" is just me being nostalgic. I'm happy with what IRC is and offers today, and I use still use it daily, ever since 1999.

                                                                                                              • drivingmenuts 51 days ago

                                                                                                                Not particularly, but I’m also not enamored of Slack, either. IRC had easy discoverability that was free for the joining, whereas Slack has a better look and feel and no entire afternoons of channel greetings with nothing accomplished.

                                                                                                                Neither one is a strong improvement over the other.

                                                                                                                • neom 51 days ago

                                                                                                                  Shout out to 90s/early 2000s Quakenet and the nights of odd but entertaining wallops.

                                                                                                                  • muzani 50 days ago

                                                                                                                    We still have IRC channels with 300 people on a slow hour and over a thousand when busy. I don't think it's gone. As much as I hate discord, it still does it better, but IRC is by far the best place to meet strangers.

                                                                                                                    • iSnow 51 days ago

                                                                                                                      Sure do. Back then, there weren't a ton of networks, so it was easy to find great channels. I gained my social net via IRC.

                                                                                                                      Today, it seems most of the user interaction has migrated to a ton of commercial social networks.

                                                                                                                      • inthreedee 51 days ago

                                                                                                                        If you miss the vibe of a small community of mostly intelligent, supportive beings, you might find some of that in the tildeverse.

                                                                                                                        It's a "loose association of like-minded tilde communities", which exist on shared *nix systems, usually glued together with an IRC network. As an example, is "a shared system that provides an inclusive, non-commercial space for teaching, learning, practicing and enjoying the social medium of unix."

                                                                                                                        Some tildes have specific focuses like gopher or writing science fiction. I've found the community to be mostly positive and accepting and it definitely has some of that ~Olde Internet~ vibe for me. I sometimes worry about the community growing too large and losing some of that, so maybe I should be keeping my mouth shut? Then again, share the love right? It is that certain day, after all. <3

                                                                                                                        Here's a list of the member tildes:

                                                                                                                        • mosmi 50 days ago

                                                                                                                          IRC was super important for me - I started using it in 1999, and it was a way for me to talk to other queer folks. I'm still friends with a lot of the people I spoke to back then to this day!

                                                                                                                          • cameronfraser 51 days ago

                                                                                                                            Yeah I do. I feel like the communities were a lot more engaging than most discord communities I come across. All the places I used to go are ghost towns now.

                                                                                                                            • hprotagonist 51 days ago

                                                                                                                              no; i’m logged in right now!

                                                                                                                            • yazboo 51 days ago

                                                                                                                              The things I miss about that time have more to do with growing up (versus being grown) than anything to do with internet relay chat.

                                                                                                                              • Xelbair 51 days ago

                                                                                                                                I still use IRC, it has the same vibe for me because i use it for niche communities.

                                                                                                                                • dana321 48 days ago

                                                                                                                                  I don't miss going into a channel and the bot immediately bans you !

                                                                                                                                  • antisthenes 51 days ago

                                                                                                                                    No, but I miss the community of people that I used IRC to chat with.

                                                                                                                                    • megavolcano 51 days ago

                                                                                                                                      IRC is still the greatest to ever exist and is still around.

                                                                                                                                      • liveoneggs 51 days ago

                                                                                                                                        there are 36 people in #hackernews on freenode right now

                                                                                                                                        • natas 51 days ago

                                                                                                                                          been using it for 25 years, next question?

                                                                                                                                          • rntksi 50 days ago

                                                                                                                                            Yes, I do miss IRC - generally speaking.

                                                                                                                                            • RickJWagner 51 days ago

                                                                                                                                              Not at all. I use it daily, at work.

                                                                                                                                              • p0d 50 days ago

                                                                                                                                                I think it's called Slack now.

                                                                                                                                                • TylerE 51 days ago

                                                                                                                                                  Not at all. It’s a dinosaur protocol that requires layers of hacks to provide an even halfway-useable experience.

                                                                                                                                                  • yowlingcat 50 days ago

                                                                                                                                                    100%. I really miss it.

                                                                                                                                                    • fsajkdnjk 50 days ago

                                                                                                                                                      miss? no, not really. but slack ain't it either.

                                                                                                                                                      • zeendo 51 days ago


                                                                                                                                                        • thrwaway69 51 days ago

                                                                                                                                                          I avoid those public groups now. Completely biased view, other than the tech channels - I found a lot of pedos on IRC. Same for open source alternatives to IRC like matrix where you had literal channel for sharing CP, a trans community with minors dating adults and sharing ehh questionable pics.

                                                                                                                                                          That was a quick delete. I am not motivated to try another FOSS chat for a while, at least the public instance.

                                                                                                                                                          For IRC, add a limiting interface, no feedback, bots, hassle with setting up your client because most default web ones suck and bouncer. It's not really worth it for me.

                                                                                                                                                          I forgot another thing, weird religious people, lot of people talking in the dark without anyone replying for hours and cryptonites...