-- 20:03, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
The Community Wishlist Survey
You get this message because you’ve previously participated in the Community Wishlist Survey. I just wanted to let you know that this year’s survey is now open for proposals. You can suggest technical changes until 11 November: Community Wishlist Survey 2019.
You can vote from November 16 to November 30. To keep the number of messages at a reasonable level, I won’t send out a separate reminder to you about that. /Johan (WMF) 11:24, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
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|Hello, SashiRolls. Check your email—you've got mail!|
OK, now that I have a cloak on Libera, I'll bite.
IRC has been a point of disagreement on en.wikipedia, at least, for many years, maybe from the start. But having chat available is useful both for private purposes (it's a fast and low-publicity way to request revision deletion and oversighting, particularly for users who don't have e-mail enabled for privacy reasons; plus either real-time chat or intermittent private chat can be invaluable in collaborating in researching something complicated, saves reams of user talk messages and much waiting) and for mass or interwoven consultations (when Wikipedia goes down, the error message used to contain a button to join the main #wikipedia channel, which was the fastest way to learn when it was up again in order to retry the edit; and Articles for Creation and some templates used to similarly link people to a main help channel for advice on their drafts, where at most times of the day, several users would be being simultaneously helped, much more efficiently than on a talk page). Issues have been raised about such discussions, especially the collaborative ones, and not everyone likes chat; for one thing, it can be hard to operate fast enough in a foreign language, for another, a busy channel can be intimidating and confusing. (I was experienced on IRC before I tried Wikipedia channels, but it took me a while to get used to bots appearing in-chan; the help channel uses bots to regurgitate the links to standard help and policy pages and to deliver reports on backlogs, and I wasn't used to typing an exclamation point summoning a bot.) I can't tell you about the cabal-type discussions because I never bothered to request access to the admin channel when I was an admin, so I don't know what goes on behind the green baize door :-)
As to why IRC, a technically competent person could tell you more, but it's basic to the internet and therefore quite robust and requires next to no resources. Things like Discord have requirements that people with only basic internet access can't necessarily meet; they also require registering with their corporate owners, and it's trivial to have multiple identities on IRC (especially on different networks), and intentionally hard on corporate platforms. The movement is worldwide and open to all kinds of people, and concealing their identity, or maintaining separate identities, may be a matter of life and death for some users. That's a concern the WMF does not take seriously enough, but the provision of cloaks (concealing the IP from which the nick is connected) makes me feel secure enough.
It is basic; things like lags and channel splits happen, and there are no emojis, only ASCII smileys (and IRC may be the original home of ASCII art, tho I don't recall seeing any in a WP channel); but on a decently run IRC network (I'm on another that's threadbare), it's virtually unheard-of to be unable to join a channel because of some technical problem, and in my experience that happens all the time on, say, Skype. On 9-11 I was on IRC in Manhattan until my dial-up failed because the phone switching building had been damaged. IRC often comes right back after an internet outage, faster than a browser. And now I have so dated myself ...
Anyway, as to how, you need to get an IRC client. I still use MIRC, but I'm old. Libera has a website that tries to make things as simple as possible: https://libera.chat/guides/connect. (In terms of MIRC at least, for "pointing your IRC client at" read "typing under 'Select Server' and hitting 'Add' to add to the preloaded list of networks from the late Stone Age". There's also advice there on getting more security than a cloak, if that's a concern.
If you want to talk more, ping me or PM Rihan on IRC; I haven't been in the channels for a while. I wound up getting my cloak directly from Libera so it doesn't have a Wikipedia identifier or my username, but that's me :-D. I should perhaps warn you that I frequently don't understand your posts on that unnameable site of which I am not a member; too allusive, I'm afraid. Yngvadottir (talk) 08:27, 1 June 2021 (UTC)
- Thank you for posting this in reply to my question about the how & why of IRC. I think I understand it a bit better, but am not sure about investing time in figuring it out tonight... after all these years you'd think I'd just get it learnt already! In addition to recognizing my !ir-competence, I also apologize for my indefablitude. Looking back I'm sometimes confused too. §~/ SashiRolls (talk) 19:54, 1 June 2021 (UTC)