New freenode webchat (and why to use it)

As of today we have disabled access to the freenode irc network via mibbit.  While there are numerous reasons for this, it ultimately comes down to the ability to prevent abuse via this client.  We allow connections from many types of web gateways, and such connections require a certain amount of trust and communication between the server operators and the gateway operators.  While we have tried to maintain a good working relationship with anyone who wishes to provide access to freenode and are lucky that most of our users and projects are very friendly and communicative, we have found it difficult to maintain open communications with mibbit.  This has resulted in a large amount of staff time being spent on managing abuse coming from mibbit, disrupting service for other mibbit users and reducing the quality of the network.  Sadly, we feel that this is ultimately not beneficial to mibbit users or the network as a whole.

We apologize to those who used mibbit for the inconvenience this has caused, and for the need to find a new client or method to connect to freenode.

In response to this, we have implemented our own web gateway at http://webchat.freenode.net.  The webchat runs qwebirc package which was developed for and extensively used by quakenet. We’d like to extend our thanks to Chris “slug” Porter and the rest of the team for making it available.

Some of the features of qwebirc can be found here.

Our new webchat facility also makes it easy to add to your own site.  To do this, just click on the menu icon on the top left corner where you will find an “add webchat to your site” option.  You will be taken through an easy wizard to get this going and get the webchat on your very own site!

124 thoughts on “New freenode webchat (and why to use it)

  1. Pingback: Maykel Moya (maykelmoya) 's status on Thursday, 29-Oct-09 22:30:04 UTC - Identi.ca

  2. I agree with this ban, we have a large channel of around 100 users and we had to end up blanket banning Mibbit because of the number of idiots connecting from there and causing trouble.

    Really it just acts like an open proxy for abuse. If you need to get around a firewall or something, just setup a BNC instead.

    Kudos to Freenode for having some backbone and cutting off Mibbit!

  3. Since yesterday morning , I can’t use freenode’webchat anymore.
    I see a page with :
    [12:43] qwebirc v0.85
    [12:43] Copyright (C) 2008-2009 Chris Porter and the qwebirc project.
    [12:43] http://www.qwebirc.org
    [12:43] Licensed under the GNU General Public License, Version 2.

    Then A popup say “An error occured: Invalid session, this most likely means the server has restarted; close this dialog and then try refreshing the page”.

    FireFox 3.5.7, useragent: iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_0 like Mac OS X; en-us AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7A341 Safari/528.16.
    Javaplugin 1.6.0_16.

    I have cleanup my cache, cookies, etc.
    What’s wrong?
    Wen.

  4. Thanks for this webchat now every idiot can get around bans.

  5. I’m still upset about mibbit not working anymore…

  6. Hi, I went to http://webchat.freenode.net to use the cakephp irc and many users are there \. But when posting I always get an “Cannot send to channel” error … trying to find out why after 1 hour of research lead to nowhere … is there a way to properly use http://webchat.freenode.net without an “Cannot send to channel” error ?

    Thx,
    Frank

  7. I’d like to see mibbit allowed back as well, surely channels are as likely to be spammed from there are any other IRC client, except mibbit works behing corporate proxies, allows one tab in FF to be connected to multiple IRC servers with different channels.
    I see very little technical differences between mibbit and the webchat…

  8. There are no technical issues. There are a lot of philosophical ones, though. Mibbit has shown time and time again that they have no regard for their users (silently injecting referrals into amazon links, etc) and no regard for other networks (demanding that we trust them completely, allowing them to set any hostname they please on any and all connections coming through them).

    Also, back when he had to remove their access, they showed a severe lack of understanding or willingness to listen and understand, repeating the same demands and insults again and again.

    You will find most of this documented around the Internet if you google a bit.

    Long story short, at this time, we will not allow mibbit to access freenode. This might change in the future but looks extremely unlikely.

  9. What is the mibbit issue? Is it that you can’t ban specific people because mibbit acts as a proxy/gateway?

    If you look closely, the person’s real name is set to their actual hostname. Not good enough? How about their username:

    8 hex characters, 4 pairs.

    4 octets in an IP address, do the hex -> dec conversion on each pair and it matches up.

    /ban *!2A86*@*

    ^—- should ban someone using the 42.134.x.x range

    I see no issue except maybe laziness.

  10. Any and all of your questions have been answered, already. This is part of what made this issue so tiring ;)

  11. It’s good having a web version for a IRC server. It’s quite useful. But this has some serious bugs in iPhone Mobile Safari, which renders this unusable.

    On adding this by removing support for other web-chat clients like mibbit is just lame.
    That’s shame, being this is an Open Source effort!

  12. Hmm, assuming mibbit case is fair, I think you should put more effort to make this available in mobile platforms, iPhone and Android are the ones comes to my mind at first.
    When viewed via iPhone, after some time using for some reason, I lose the ability to scroll, it’s impossible to read new chats and add new comments!

  13. I am not sure why you would need a web client on Android or iOS. AndroIRC is a very decent client for Android and I am sure there are nice ones for iOS, as well.

  14. I guess i will not be accessing this server ever again on campus. I have my pick of servers that work perfectly allowing mibbit. Most schools ban irc ports and I’m only able to connect either via ssl or mibbit. And to be frank some of the servers I connect to don’t have ssl, so i use mibbit. And quite frankly on a netbook, I do not want to run 2 clients at the same time. So freenode has lost another irc user

  15. @RichiH probably for the same reason people use web clients to begin with. They would like to use your client in a browser rather than one of many that already exists.

  16. As a beginner to IRC I am sad to see you have banned Mibbit. Hope you would re-consider.

  17. Or you could just use irc2go- this may sound like advertising, and it totally is, but it works. Hell, cloaks even work on it. Y’all should try it.

  18. It does, but not if irc is blocked or otherwise unavailable on your network as the java client is still connecting from your local address. This is one of (but not the only) reasons some folks use a non-java webchat. In some instances, irc2go might work fine.

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