> Vincent Torri wrote:
> > On Tue, 8 Jan 2008, Bob Rossi wrote:
> > > Also, why is the freenode #mingw channel invite only now? It
> > > didn't start that way.
> > it's quite strange for an open source project. Not really open.
> > Vincent Torri
> I might be able to explain that
> The channel moved to ##mingw since it isnt official and a
> forwarding #mingw->##mingw was setup before. It seems
> to have been removed and apparently resulting in the channel
> being invite-only. If you want to know why it's invite-only, I
> guess you should ask the staff on freenode.
> Fredric Johansson
For completeness when future readers are browsing, at least, please let
me add the following about #mingw@freenode:
Due to Freenode (http://freenode.net) policy, only someone who has
official status as a representative of a recognized F/L-OSS project may
authorize the creation of a single-octothorpe ("#", "hash") -named
channel on Freenode. http://freenode.net/group_registration.shtml. And
since of the current volunteer participants who are in ##mingw (the
"other" kind of Freenode channel, completely unofficial), none have
such status with the MinGW Project, the #mingw channel will remain
locked, like an office space or warehouse that has been abandoned.
Earnie Boyd has, I am told, been sent email about this some weeks ago
from other channel participants than myself. If he's not received it or
chosen to ignore it for whatever (I'm sure perfectly good) reason, then
the situation with people looking to use IRC to discuss* mingw will
remain the same. Someone who fits the above criteria as an authorized
representative of mingw has to contact Freenode staff. When they do,
they can specify that "mingw" (the official F/L-OSS Project) wishes for
an autoforwarding of joins #mingw -> ##mingw to be reinstated
permanently, or they can choose some other status for the channel.
As a result of the situation (locked room) remaining the same, it's
reasonable to predict that questions of this sort will continue to
be received on the mingw-users ML from time to time.
Those of us who "support" ##mingw@freenode cannot do anything about it
ourselves. For the record, I am an alternate (co-) contact person for
the new-ish (at the writing) UNofficial channel ##mingw. I am not on
Freenode network staff.
*a personal opinion on using IRC to support technical projects:
It's my personal viewpoint that IRC is mostly unproductive and
wasteful, even detrimental, as a medium on which to cooperate in
co-development of F/L-OSS projects, or on which to support users of
"Wasteful" of developer's scarce free time, which will be spent on
attempting to reply to redundant FAQs put forward by barely-coherent
individuals in a spoken language that only remotely resembles
English; such queries will much of the time be shown, after multiple
attempts have been made to get clarification on the asker's intended
meaning, to have been asked after minimal or no "homework" has been
done by that person, to familiarize themselves with the fundamentals
and known procedures.
"Unproductive" as well because of the emphemeral (temporary) nature
of IRC; unless channel logs are pubilcy kept in a known location,
any discussions that take place are gone later, never to be usable
again by persons needing to get similar information (unlike a
"Detrimental" due to several interpenetrating factors: the absence
of emotional maturity, professionalism and objectivity which is
demonstrably problematic on most text media online is probably worse
on IRC than on any "persistent" medium (speculatively, because many
users regard it as more of a playground and venting outlet than as a
serious venue for respectful intellectual exchanges?).
Due also to the rampant set of antisocial negativities which often
go unchallenged (and thus grow more frequent: "Silence betokens
consent") on IRC channels: sexism/homophobia/racism (the
perpetrators almost never admit to harboring such intent or
attitudes). This is detrimental to individual projects but even more
so to Free Software as a social movement and struggle to assert
humanistic and benevolent values against the default social values
of short-sighted greed and erroneous self-interest. It is so because
it hinders the expansion of diversity within the community of
F/L-OSS users and developers (anyone noticed how White and Male we
are lately?). The kinds of thoughtless or malicious statements I've
seen on the Freenode IRC network tech channels are the same kinds of
things for which several public figures have been losing their
livelihoods and reputations in the past 24 months (at least in the
US). No one who is paying any attention here in my country can claim
that the kind of irresponsible, juvenile or malicious speech of
which I am speaking is harmless or has no potential impact.
So that this Off-Topic matter can be cleanly closed, I'll answer the
inevitable question in advance:
"If IRC is so bad and so unsuitable, why are YOU involved in it,
Because of a couple of factors. One is the small number of
productive and interesting exchanges that do take place amidst the
general waste. From time to time I get to know very worthy people
on IRC in a way that would take much longer on other media.
Another is the neurological dependency (please avoid annoying me
with whining complaints about "psycho-babble", thanks) that I have
on the unique immediacy of IRC. Me and those like me find that it
gets our neurotransmitters humming happily to be engaging in the
occasional exchange on IRC. This isn't a recommendation. I don't
wish the reader to get hooked on crank, either.
Another is the belief that there may be a small benefit to the
public perception of the health of the mingw project if the ##mingw
channel does produce at least timely (< 12 hours wait) responses to
requests for help or advice. People do not share my observations
about IRC. They have what I view as deluded or ignorant expectations
about IRC, so they come to a channel like #mingw/##mingw expecting
that if they get helped, it reflects on the vitality, the viability
or the good health of the project with which the channel is
Many times my response to a request for help is to refer the asker
to the official MinGW venues for support (Wiki, MLs, archives of MLs).
Thanks for your attention, everyone.
Soren Andersen (somian)
All unaccompanied children will be given espresso and a free kitten.