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Freenode Policy Changes Forces Channels to Move/Rename

New policies concerning channel ownership is causing some stir amongst channel managers on this network which is primary in use as a base of realtime communication for open source projects. In short, the name in use of the channel must be “contingent on your group’s ownership of that name, legally or informally” as the policy explains. If you have no rights over the channel name, you must begin the channel name with an extra #, for example ##foo instead of #foo.

The channel manager of #photography explains on his blog: “Yesterday, it was made known to me that channels had to be re-registered. I went to fill out the form (of which the URI was pasted to me in a /msg), and put all the pertinent info into the necessary fields (which seemed like most every field; there was no red star or bolding or anything else which would show priority).”

Within a half hour Lilo (admin on Freenode) messaged #photography’s manager that #photography had to be moved to #foo (where foo is a domain under the TLD .com, .net or .org which the manager owns) or has to be moved to ##photography.

Lilo explains on the blog: “The problems occur when an external project comes to the network for the first time, and discovers that it has no control over the channels bearing its name. We want projects to be able to own their channels. We also want it to be easy to distinguish between official channels of some project or group, or unofficial channels which are run by somebody else.”

The policies which were introduced a few months ago are now slowly being put into effect. Like the official channels #gentoo and #fedora, and ##slackware which is not an official channel. The channel #photography has since then been moved to #photogeeks.

Lilo ends, “I’m sorry for the irritation factor involved; we did try to post the link to the policy document in a prominent place on the website, but sometimes it just doesn’t occur to people that freenode is anything but the usual sort of IRC network. Apologies for the difficulties.”

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