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AustNet Moves to InspIRCd

After being based on a modified IRCu for a long period of time, AustNet moves to an InspIRCd based IRCd. IRC-Junkie asks AustNet’s Praetorian about the how, why and what of this change.

“The previous IRCd that was in use, Austhex 7, had served AustNet for quite a long period,” Praetorian explains. “it was modified quite a bit, to accommodate things that were unique to AustNet, such as “helpers”, and virtual world, which when implemented, was quite unique for its time.”

Being so heavily modified it also offered serious challenges in the last days of its use. Sections of its code became so outdated modern compilers had problems compiling the code.

The decision was made for a move to InspIRCd. In the spirit of the old IRCd again changes have been made to the IRCd. However, “the number of changes to the standard codebase is quite small, and this assist us in being able to keep tracking against their SVN/Releases.”

Most of the changes are in the form of modules, some of which are embraced by the InspIRCd people and will be put into the core IRCd in a future release.

The new IRCd (named Austhex 8) is received well by AustNet’s users because of long awaited features. Praetorian explains: “Registered Nick modes, and preventing of being messaged by unregistered users (to prevent spam), Dynamic connection allowances to limit at the IRCd on a network level, the number of clients allows from an IP/Subnet/Mask (many IRCd’s tend to do this at a services level, where all clients end up killed, or even glined for going over. This functionality removes this, and simply denies the connection).”

The change took a bit longer then the network initially expected. One reason of the delay was a changing approach to the change from the network, the other “due to some less-that-mature code that was in the Inspircd releases.”

Part of this was due to syncing the “fork” against an old release of InspIRCd which saw many changes over time. “it was a necessary evil in order to accommodate a number of very important changes.”

The post with the announcement and practical changes for its userbase can be found here.

AustNet Admins Split Off To Form AustIRC

Recently a group of AustNet admins split of from the network to form a new network named AustIRC. IRC-Junkie finds out the reasons these admins decided to split of.

“You may of have recently heard that AustNet.org is shutting down, we can confirm that this is not true.  Unfortunately, various members of our admin team decided that they wanted to seperate from the network and fork off to start their own network”, AustNet admin Ryan announced on the AustNet website. “… we do not approve of was the way in which this was done, and their trickery through FUD to get users to move to their new network.  Therefore, the word on the street that you may of have heard that we were shutting down was simply false.”

IRC-Junkie got into contact with Chris, one of the admins that split of. “Everyone has their side of the story, but I submit that there was _nothing_ going on in terms of trickery.  They obviously have motivation to twist the truth — as the truth makes them look awful bad”, he explained to IRC-Junkie.

Chris explains the network’s development have been nihil over a period of three years, which showed in the decline of its users, from 10,000 simultaneous connections 4-5 years ago to about 3000 these days.

“The domain owner, ryan mills, absented himself for over 6 months without response.  The last time he signed on, however, he mentioned something about revamping the ircd.  So I began to develop an ircd based off of bahamut, ratbox, and a few others.  I imported austnet features.  All told, it probably took me well over 200 hours.  It was intended for the austnet network.  A vote was called to upgrade.  We also asked the services coder, who had been absent for over 3 years, to make some changes to support it.  That did not occur.”

As often happens in IRC networks, irritations grow, and votes are being held to remove admins and implement new services and code.

After the votes were being held and found positive, Chris got online the next day “to find that the servers I administered with another guy had had noopers placed on them (killing the opers when they /oper), and dns entries had been removed to our servers from the pool.  There was no vote authorizing the action.”

The admins affected then decided to move on and form a new network. “We kept the austnet.org name for 12 hours or so, thinking that maybe someone would straighten kevin out and we could potentially relink.  That did not happen, and there was a decision made to create a new network.” And thus, AustIRC was born.

IRC-Junkie did try to contact Ryan from AustNet for a reply, but have been unable too.

Thanks to Keith for the tip.