Database prune

Every couple of years, freenode likes to get out the shears and prune the services database. Recently we broke the 80,000 usercount barrier, but the services stats are way ahead:

Sat 13:35:46 -OperServ(OperServ@services.)- Registered accounts: 446777
Sat 13:35:46 -OperServ(OperServ@services.)- Registered nicknames: 557497
Sat 13:35:47 -OperServ(OperServ@services.)- Registered channels: 141373

We’ve noticed that nearly half of the accounts shown there haven’t been used in the past 6 months! More importantly, over the past few months many people have noticed significant waits when issuing certain services commands – and we’d like to fix that.

Hopefully, the services upgrade should help with this, but we’re going to coincide this with a database prune.

As of the services upgrade date, any nicks unused for > 150 days are at risk of being dropped. This includes grouped nicks. The easy way to avoid this happening is to use each of your grouped nicks (while identified to the appropriate account) within the next few weeks – and to drop those that you don’t need anymore!

The testnet (testnet.freenode.net, port 9002. 9003 for SSL) is running a database snapshot from mid-March and will be periodically updated from the production network. This database instance is being regularly pruned – so check there to see how your account will be affected (use /msg nickserv info on both the production and test networks to see the differences).

Remember that testnet isn’t running a real-time duplicate of the production network, so when you use nicks which would be expired on the production network, they will still appear expired on testnet until the next database snapshot is migrated. Don’t worry though – the actual pruning will only occur on the current database at the time of upgrade.

On which note.. an upgrade date hasn’t been formally fixed but we’re aiming for mid-May.

Thanks, and don’t forget to test the testnet!

Help us test our services upgrade!

Very soon we will be upgrading your favourite network helpers… (no not erry…): NickServ, ChanServ, Alis etc. They’re currently connected to our testnet and we need your help with testing, looking for any issues which may affect the production network.

You can connect to our testnet at testnet.freenode.net port 9002 (or 9003 for SSL)

The full changelog is rather long and not all of the features offered by atheme are loaded on freenode. So to help you out, we’ve pulled out the highlights which we think deserve attention:

  • NickServ’s certfp module. (see /msg nickserv help cert and this link.)
  • NickServ will now notify you in real time of failed logins.
  • NickServ’s previous limit on password lengths has been increased.
  • ChanServ will still hand over single-# channels to freenode-staff on expiration of the channel founders, but the method has changed.
  • NickServ & ChanServ’s ‘set’ commands have had a general reorganisation behind the scenes. Nothing should be visibly different but it won’t hurt to check them!

Please note that the services database on the testnet is probably more than a few days old. Don’t be surprised if recent changes you have made on the production network aren’t replicated there.

We’re all in in #freenode on the testnet so please come find us there if you have any questions or bugs.

Finally, look out for a followup blogpost (hopefully quite soon) with some important information on the upgrade itself and our planned database cleanup!

Thanks for using freenode!

P.s. a full list of changes from atheme ~5.1 to ~6 can be found here

80k…

As of today, freenode had 81443 concurrent connections. Last Friday, the count lingered around 79987, presumably to make things more interesting for those of us keeping close track.

We passed this milestone one working day later than I predicted in January 2011, more than a year ago. Scary precision, I know. Extrapolation based on graphs and nothing else is a big no-no in the scientific circles, yet we really do grow at an exceptionally steady and predictable pace.

Still remembering the excitement when irc.openprojects.net surpassed 2,000 users, I have always had a knack for those numbers. Meaningless in and as of themselves, they do prove that we are able to provide a valuable service to our users and that more and more people apparently agree. freenode is not without growing pains, but I like to think that we are on a good path.

Once again, all of us would like to thank all our users and all our volunteers. It’s a fun ride for us and, hopefully, for you, too!

To make tracking our old posts regarding this easier, here goes:

http://blog.freenode.net/2007/08/freenode-has-reached-40-000-users/

http://blog.freenode.net/2008/09/50000-active-users/

http://blog.freenode.net/2009/12/happy-new-year-2010/

http://blog.freenode.net/2011/01/freenode-70k/

See you around July 2013 when we expect to hit 90k.. :)

Network wide policy privacy change

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UPDATE : Yes, this was an April Fools Joke.  Some of you fell for it, some didn’t.  There’s still time to complete the quiz and get an April Fool cloak, if you can figure out where to go…

At dawn, we ride for FOSDEM Castle

As usual, some of us will be around at FOSDEM.

A possibly incomplete list of us includes Fuchs*, kloeri, Md*, mquin, RichiH, and spaceinvader; asterisks indicating first timers. We may or may not update this list as attendance changes. As a first, we will have a somewhat stable base for people wanting to meat us. I (RichiH) will help man the beer token sale for the Beer Event this year, it’s not unlikely that other staff will stick around as well. The first one to tell me where the quote is from (in person) will get a beer token.

Also, staff pets ahf and sejo will lurk the shadows of FOSDEM, ready to fulfill our every wish and dream. If you see them, toss them food.

Defocus’s visit to the opticians: new guidelines

A couple of months ago, mrmist posted about the #defocus-focus channel, which was looking to improve the atmosphere in #defocus.

One of the areas that has been concentrated on is improving the ruleset for the channel.  A number of people including Fuchs, dax, Ttech and others have involved in this improvement process.

As a result of the efforts of all the fantastic people involved in that channel, we now have a new set of guidelines for #defocus. You can read them on our website.

Hopefully these changes bring the guidelines up to date with the general expectations and aims of the channel. As always, comments are welcome!

Martinp23

On SOPA/PIPA

Today, January 18th 2012, a number of websites, organisations and institutions along with countless individuals have chosen to take a stance to protest the proposed SOPA and PIPA legislations.

We believe that these acts could have a significant impact on the way in which we currently use the internet, and we strongly encourage and support raising awareness about the legislative proposals in order for people to make an informed decision about their stance on the issue.

Whilst we will not be partaking in any blackout to mark the occasion, we very much welcome frank and open discussion about SOPA/PIPA in ##sopa on the freenode network. The channel is not run by freenode staff, but was created by some people with a passion about the topics covered by the proposed legislations. If you feel passionate about SOPA/PIPA or you want to find out what all this is about, why not come along and join in the discussion?

As the USA is a power house in so far that they directly or indirectly control most of the internet’s infrastructure, and the proposed legislation has been written in a manner in which they specifically take into account “foreign rogue sites”, the legislation will, should it pass, have an impact upon the world as a whole.

For more information about SOPA/PIPA, please see:

 

Focus on #defocus

We’ve been working on improving the environment in #defocus for a while now.  We think we’re on the right track with opening up channel moderation to more than @freenode/staff/ but we need your help to get to where we want to be.

So this is a call out to those who think that they might be able to work with us to improve #defocus further.  If you think you have what it takes to be a #defocus channel operator, or simply have some ideas that you want to share as to how the existing or new team can improve things, please /join #defocus-focus where you can state your desire to be considered for the team, or share your ideas, or both!

(Don’t worry if you’re the first one there, either, someone has to be!)

Hope to see you there.

mrmist.