freenode Network Services Cleanup and Changes.

As announced previously, we have recently (as of Thursday, June 10th) pruned our nickserv and chanserv databases.  We also performed some additional updates and modifications.  While the most obvious change of this will be that any nicks older than 60 days have been dropped, there have been some additional changes implemented as well.  In addition, we have added a new webchat service for users who wish to irc from behind a firewall disallowing a more direct connection.  You can try it out here!

First, we have made a modification to make it easier to identify, as long as your client supports a server password.  Previously, users were able to identify by using a registered nick and sending the password for that registered nick as their server password.   You can also now identify on connect regardless of nick by providing both your account name and password, as follow: “/connect irc.freenode.net 6667 :mquin uwhY8wgzWw22-zXs.M39p.”  This will identify you upon connection.

As a result of this change, we have removed the requirement to group an alternate nick before requesting an unaffiliated cloak.  The requirements for a cloak are outlined here.

Group Contacts are welcome to check in with us within the next 4 weeks to resolve any issues that may have arisen as a result of the pruning.   If you are a group contact, and have any issues as a result of this maintenance, feel free to drop in to #freenode and ask for assistance.

As always, thank you for using freenode, and have a great day!

Geeknics

When most people think of geeks, they think of pasty white people who never leave their basement. Well, we are aiming to change that… by getting you outside and making you a little less pasty white.

To this end, we’re going to be encouraging and promoting a number of “geeknics”all around the globe.  What is a geeknic, you ask? Quite simply, it’s a picnic for geeks! At the moment, there are two scheduled: One in Philadelphia PA, USA, on April 19th 2009, and one in Dublin Ireland, on May 9th 2009.  At both events, there will be food, fun, and geeks!

We very much look forward to seeing you at either of these events, but if either of these places and times don’t work for you we would be happy to help you set up your very own local geeknic, along with possibly getting a local freenode staffer to show up. More information can be found here.  If you would like help in setting up your very own geeknic, email [email protected]

Irssi 0.8.13

Piping hot and straight from the oven! The Irssi core development team has been hard at work, hunched over their computers for many moons, tapping away till their hearts content! Bruised and blistered, they’ve just set off to put their sore fingers around a few bottles of cold beer and have a well deserved rest! Thank you all and keep up the good work!

All this, to make our IRC experience better! Everyone’s favourite IRC client, Irssi, v 0.8.13 has just been released! Head over to http://www.irssi.org to get your copy now!

2008/2009 fundraiser campaign update

[UPDATE]

 We are down to only £241.60 needed after matching!  Thank you for your generosity!

[END UPDATE]

So close, yet so far away…
As you are probably aware, we are coming up on the end of our 2008/2009 fundraising campaign.  First, let us thank all of you who have already donated. We appreciate every one of you!  While we are very close to our goals, we just wanted to take a moment to update everyone on just how close, and what exactly it means.

While the goal of £5,000.00 seems rather arbitrary, the reality is quite different.  Our current target will enable us to keep the charity status we’ve had in the past, which among other things enables our sponsers to realize certain tax benefits.  This helps cover the costs they pay in providing us the servers which are of course vital to freenode.  While the graph on the freenode.net homepage indicates that we have £2300 to go, this does not include the potential £1700 of matched donations from Canonical — which means that the actual amount we need you to help us raise totals only £600!  At present, we have just a few weeks left to raise this but we are so very close, so if you would like to be generous now is the time.

Now, while the number is imposed by the charity requirement, our needs are not.  Quite a few users have made it known they would like to know more about what we will do with any funds not used directly for current pdpc costs.  Among other things, we are looking at hosting live conference events in Europe and the US, as well as some efforts to extend the sort of services we offer to the projects currently using our facilities. In addition to this, we would like to look at ways of improving the reliability of the freenode network by hosting a few of our own hubs and backup services systems.

As a reminder, all donations received at this time (up to £1700) are being matched by Canonical, so every donation you send is doubled!  We are hugely grateful for their help and generosity in our efforts, and would like to thank Mark and Canonical, and the entire Ubuntu community once again.

As always, thanks to each and every one of you for using freenode.

freenode t-shirts

As you are probably aware, the PDPC re-incorporated in the UK and to that end we are trying to meet the threshold for being registered as a charity through the charity commission — a status which would allow us to continue offering tax relief to hardware and bandwith sponsors, in addition to cutting our costs.  To this end, we are in the process of designing several cool t-shirts which will be available on the pdpc’s website for purchase.  The proceeds from these sales will help supplement donations which we already receive from some of our users.

Well, this is where you come in.  We need help!  Freenode is full of people with cool ideas, doing cool things, and we want to embody some of this on these t-shirts. As such, we are looking for some great designs we can take forward and use for these shirts. If you have an idea for a t-shirt design you would like to see us offer, send it on over  to [email protected] for our review.  As we proceed, further details (including a link to view and purchase shirts) will be made available via the blog.

Thanks to each and every one of you for your support, and as always thank you for using freenode!

Who Are freenode Staff? (Part 2 of ?)

It’s been a while since we posted Part 1 of our series on “Who Are freenode Staff?” – which makes it about time to post a bit more.

Gary – Since today is Gary’s birthday, it’s only fitting to discuss his deep-seated desire to be helpful to others! Although he has been on numerous irc networks since he first discovered irc in the late 90s, he found himself on freenode and wrangled into doing what he does (and loves) best – helping others. Luckily, freenode staff had no need to brainwash Gary when he joined up – he was already completely sold on the network and its philosophy. Gary was, however, christel’s biggest proponent in painting the network pink! If he had his choice, Gary would paint all the network trolls pink and then put them on display for others to laugh at them, rather than allowing them to bog things down.

LoRez – LoRez has been on staff nearly as long as Santa Claus has been making rounds. Although he was formerly considered immortal and omnipotent, he had to come to terms with having had “normal” roots – he first came to freenode via openprojects. He’s never lost his edge though; he once wrote perl code and had hippie hair, now he’d rather quit his job and sell gas to everyone for $1!

wimt – Though some may think of wimt as being somewhat pathological, don’t hold it against him – it’s his degree that causes him to be that way. Though he seems to consider himself somewhat uncreative, he considered throwing the contents of his desk across the room when he left his last position. wimt first came to freenode via wikipedia and has stuck around due to the friendliness of people on the network.

Happy 15th!

15 years ago, on January 29th 1994 Rob (lilo) Levin first joined the channel #linuxneo on the EFNet IRC network. This date has since been referred to as the conceptual moment, the foundation, the cornerstone which later led to the network you now know as freenode.

Since that January evening in 1994 — the original channel made some network moves before it became it’s own network; irc.linpeople.org in 1995 — a few name-changes later and we’re freenode. Peaking at just over 52,000 daily users, spread across FOSS and other peer-directed communities.

We (freenode staff volunteers) have the pleasure of working with exciting projects ranging from the Wikimedia Foundation to various Linux distributions (Fedora, Gentoo, Redhat, Suse to name but a few) to the Free Software Foundation to .. the list goes on and on and on.. It’s fantastic to see so many people sharing our passion, all in one place — yet scattered across the globe.

So, to each and every one of you, to each and every project on the network, to Free and Open Source Software, to the exchange of ideas and information, to the memory of lilo — A very happy 15th birthday to freenode!

And to each and every user and to all the volunteers, past and present — thank you for making this possible!

2008/2009 Fundraiser.

We’re slowly climbing towards our target of £5,000.00 in donations by March 2009. However, as the pie-chart shows we’re still quite a way off. If you appreciate what we do and want to see the PDPC provide further services to the communities, why not head over to http://freenode.net/pdpc_donations.shtml and see if you are able to help us reach the target! Any donation, small or large is gratefully received and a massive thanks goes to those who have already dug deep and helped us climb up the ladder in this instance!

Nickserv Access Module Loaded.

We recently added support for NickServ’s ACCESS command to freenode’s services. This allows you to define a list of hostmasks from which nickserv will recognise you before you have identified. Logging in as normal is still required, but matching an entry on this list will prevent NickServ from changing your nick if ENFORCE is enabled.

For more detailed information, see NickServ’s help topic:

/msg NickServ HELP ACCESS

There is one caveat to this feature: if you match an entry on your nickname’s access list, you will not receive notices from NickServ asking you to identify. This, combined with nickname access lists that were migrated from our old theia database and have lain dormant since, may cause some auto-identify scripts to stop functioning.

If you find that this is the case, the simplest workaround is just to remove all entries from your nickname’s access list. Use

/msg NickServ ACCESS LIST

to see all entries, and

/msg NickServ ACCESS DEL <hostmask>

to remove them.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Another year is coming to an end, for freenode and the PDPC it has been a year of change. We’ve made a lot of progress on development, the NFP is branching out and starting to slowly move towards providing more services to the FOSS communities and we’ve grown in size and now peak at a whooping 51,000 users! It feels amazing to see so many FOSS enthusiasts together in one place.

I hope that you all have a fantastic holiday season and that the new year brings you all you wish for! And a massive thanks to each and every user for making it worth our time to provide this service! And of course, thanks also go to all our fantastic volunteers, past and present for the time and effort they put in day after day for free. I look forward to another year with you, and another year working to bring FOSS developers and users together.