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#debian & IRC Politics 274

eyez writes "Apparently, the recent decision of OPN(now freenode) to ask for donations has ruffled the feathers of a few debian people. This article on DebianPlanet talks about the current discussion on the debian mailing lists which talks about the possibility of moving #debian (and #debian*) off of OPN altogether."
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#debian & IRC Politics

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  • #slackware (Score:3, Informative)

    by (startx) ( 37027 ) <> on Saturday August 17, 2002 @07:49PM (#4090516) Journal
    #slackware is allready splitting, and it appears #kernelnewbies has allready left too...... lilo' really needs to quit whinning and at least attempt to get a real job.
    • I'm not familiar with this. What's the story behind #slackware splitting?
      • not a huge story, just a few of the #slackware people (mostly the ones who actively help people) when to because of lilo's bitching on
      • Being one of the few who has parted #slackware on OPN, I would like to explain this.

        I used to be an operator on #slackware on OPN (freenode) for about 3 months and before that I was a regular in #slackware for about a year. Recently a lot of the ops and members had a falling out with the channel owner (robrock) due to his eradic behavor. He was banning people for no reason, threating to leave and turn the channel over to lilo and just acting childish. Quite a few of use (including 3 ops) have seen this behavior and decieded to move to a new network where we could start over again. So #slackware on (open and free technology community) was born, and athough it was allredy registered the current owner was very nice and inviting.

        There has been some talk about moving ever since the wallops of lilo begging for money started, the fallout with the owner put it over the top. We now enjoy chatting on without either of these burndens
        Also, i'd like to note that either of the two #slackware's (opn and oftc are NOT official slackware channels as one doesn not exist but we all try hard to help out people as much as we can.
        So now you know the story, and would love to have you all in #slackware on (hope to see your there!)

        • He was banning people for no reason, threating to leave and turn the channel over to lilo and just acting childish. He was banning people for no reason, threating to leave and turn the channel over to lilo and just acting childish.

          Talking about childish behaviour of ops, the jim of #debian started randomly banning people who has an merely slight argument with him. If you don't believe me you can check the log. The worst part is that he wouldn't lift the ban after a reasonable period of time regardless of the reason behind banning. Say is it reasonable to impose perma ban on someone who use funny emote/botemote on his friends?

          I left #debian because of this month ago. I'm not sure that jim and the rest of the ops are still acting that crazy there.
          • Welcome to the Internet, where people who have pathetic real-world lives turn into complete control-freak-shitheads the moment they are given even the slightest semblance of power in some silly virtual domain.

            These people are not to be concerned about. Simply point and laugh at them, then move along.
    • Yes, the #kernelnewbies [] channel was moved over at the end of june already, together with, #dsbl and (I think, not sure) #php.

      Of course, we moved to OFTC [], which is run very well by a number of ex-OPN staffers. As an added bonus, their ircd has some nice protection against flooders and spammers, so the move to OFTC has technical advantages too...

  • If Debian goes with another IRC server, then that's fine. I don't think spamming solicitations for donations (even if they are for a paid salary position) is all that bad. But if you (or Debian) can do better and build a different IRC server, then I'm sure that is where the people will go (or come), for spam-free IRC.
  • The incessant whining and stupid politics is driving many channels away.

    Most are heading to Open and Free Technology Community, that is where kernelnewbies has gone and some others.
  • by eyez ( 119632 ) <> on Saturday August 17, 2002 @07:53PM (#4090530) Homepage
    Debianplanet took that article down about an hour ago. I'm not sure why.
    • from an "inside source" it appears debian planet is staying out of this.
    • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <> on Saturday August 17, 2002 @10:30PM (#4091021) Homepage Journal
      Lilo (Rob Levin) contacted me some time ago looking for support for him to operate OPN full-time. My response was, and still is, that rather than have an organized IRC network operated by Rob, various projects should operate their own IRC servers, not very differently from the way that many projects operate mail and FTP servers.

      I fear (and I could be wrong) that Lilo has mixed up his personal goals with his estimation of the importance of the project to the community.

      If and when I have grant money to hand out, either my own or that of a corporate sponsor, it will go directly to Free Software authors for production of Free Software, and to efforts to preserve our right to code like EFF.



      • I'd just like to throw in my <ME TOO> here.

        I've long wanted Debian to run its own IRC servers, for instance. I really think it's smart :)

        On OFTC we've talked about what we'll do when we have too many IRC users to manage effectively (given the flat namespace and all) ... I suggested, "split" :) As in seperate into two networks, managed seperately (but still abiding by rules and the constitution).

        Despite OFTC being very IRC-centric right now, we do want to offer SourceForge-like services. It's in our .plan, so to speak.

        That's where I see many projects using our IRC services; projects that don't yet run ther own FTP/HTTP/SMTP/DNS/etc servers ... if we're going to offer all that, they may as well use IRC too, if they want. *shrug* :)

        Just my two cents.

        (Disclaimer: my statements are my own, though I am part of OFTC staff.)
      • I disagree with this. Although I have a server that I use to host services for my projects, I would rather use a public IRC network, because it's one less running program/security risk.

        For people who can't even get their own webserver/mail server, there's no way they can even think of running and irc server.
    • As I understand it, the reason it was taken off of DebianPlanet was that never should have gone on there to begin with. From the discussion I saw on irc the only person who has a problem with OPN is one of the DebianPlanet people (Joy) and other staffers on DebianPlanet made him remove the post, this is not nearly the story that /. makes it out to be.
  • by crazney ( 194622 ) on Saturday August 17, 2002 @07:53PM (#4090532) Homepage Journal
    Just incase you haven't been listening. The reason for the plee for donations is to go into the pocket of the IRCops - mainly 1: Lilo.
    (no, not to maintain the servers, bandwidth, etc etc).

    Why? Because he doesnt have a job and is finding it hard to survive.
    The reason he claims is because he spends so much time admining OPN..

    Has he thought of maybe offloading some of the work to someone else? Probably, but then he'd have to get a job.
    • I can't speak on the long-term, but I do know that recently OpenProjects has been aiming for a different goal than the current presence of just another IRC network, and for this lilo must remain at the top, at least until OPN is closer to this goal. This goal is the reason behind the name change to Peer Directed Projects Center/Freenode.

      From what I understand (I spoke with lilo about this maybe a month ago, so things may have changed), OPN/PDPC/Freenode is looking to become, as the name applies, sort of a hub that would encompass all other IRC networks that serve opensource projects. Think of it all as one big ass relay-bot, that would simplify IRC to the point where different networks are somewhat transparent. Freenode would still continue to run it's own IRC servers as part of this larger network, so you could either be on the Freenode IRC network, an independent IRC network (non-Freenode), or the larger "supernetwork".

      Like I said, I only heard of this during the stage when it was being discussed privately.. A little may have changed, or a lot may have changed. My understanding of the concept may now be much different from what is actually being implemented. Anyone with corrections, feel free to chime in. And for the official word on Freenode (which I have not read lately), see [].
      • From what I understand (I spoke with lilo about this maybe a month ago, so things may have changed), OPN/PDPC/Freenode is looking to become, as the name applies, sort of a hub that would encompass all other IRC networks that serve opensource projects. Think of it all as one big ass relay-bot, that would simplify IRC to the point where different networks are somewhat transparent. Freenode would still continue to run it's own IRC servers as part of this larger network, so you could either be on the Freenode IRC network, an independent IRC network (non-Freenode), or the larger "supernetwork".

        So what? We can do that now. We can do that with a staff of volunteers. And, in fact, I still have no idea what this buys us.

        Face it: The fact is Lilo wants to be paid to sit on his ass chatting on IRC all day. I'm sorry, but I would much rather send my money to USEFULL projects such as Debian or KDE . Why should I pay some jackass to sit on irc all day long when community volunteers have been able to keep other IRC networks up and running for over a decade now?

        Give me a break and somebody get him a REAL job.

        • I'm sorry, but I would much rather send my money to USEFULL projects such as Debian or KDE .

          So don't pay him. Ignore the fundraising requests so you don't have to see them again, and be happy. That's been one of the points all along: if you support what lilo's doing, feel that a contribution would help, and can afford it, then contribute. If for _any_ reason you cannot or do not want to contribute, then don't.
    • by suss ( 158993 )
      I think greycat's apt factoid says it all...

      lilo lart is -apt- [GlobalNotice] Hi all. I have a serious drug habit and I need to raise $12000 to pay off my loan shark, or his thugs are going to break my diodes. Please give me money so I can continue to spam you, and thanks.

      I put lilo's nick on ignore but he changed it to FUNDRAISING (yes, all caps). My ignore list is a bit longer now...
    • Damn straight.

      The reason why lilo lost his job is because he would only pay attention to OPN instead of what he got paid for.

      The guy has a wife and kids, if I was his father-in-law, I'd break his kneecaps. He needs to pull his head out of his ass and figure out that this doesn't work. He's been begging for donations for a very long time.

      He's nothing more than a panhandling bum, except he does it from a computer.
    • I've not worked in two years and spend lots of time on irc. (of course)

      I'll take a salary of about $10,000 to start.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 17, 2002 @07:57PM (#4090545)
    Should Debian users avoid visiting sites that use banners just because it's not free? ( Free, as in woohoo, I'm as cheap as it gets ).
    Come on. There's nothing wrong about donations. It's just another way YOU could help software and services get BETTER. You don't have to, but it would be nice if you did.
    Said that, I don't see any reason to donate to OPN.
    • There's nothing wrong about donations. It's just another way YOU could help software and services get BETTER. You don't have to, but it would be nice if you did. Said that, I don't see any reason to donate to OPN.

      The reason to not donate to OPN is that your donation doesn't go towards running the network. Your donation goes into the pockets of the admins. I think it's a widespread misconception that these donations are going towards bandwidth and hardware. They're not. The bandwidth and hardware are still donated. Your donation pays for Lilo's rent.

    • Let's remember here that points to OPN, or freenode, or freeload, or whatever it's called today, so newbie debian users are getting spammed asking for money to support a service that is widely available elsewhere - most IRC networks run just fine and have run just fine without solicited financial donations for years.
      Running an IRC network isn't *that* hard, it's definitely not a fulltime job, so just what is the thousands of dollars (assuming people donate that much) going to buy?
      It wouldn't be so bad if the money was going to be shared out between the people providing servers to offset their costs, but instead it's going to be supporting lilo so he doesn't have to get a job like all the other people who run IRC networks. I really don't understand it.
  • I got a very good deal that I negotiated as something extra special and I get 320Gbit of transfer for USD$200/mo. The reason I went to a colo was that putting up a box at work did not seem ethical or practical (what if I get fired, quit, move, etc).

    Someone has to pay for OPN's bandwidth, machines, whatever. I'm sorry, but the internet isn't free like some people assume it is, even your ISP has to pay for the bits when going to backbones. (It might not be per-bit it might be an uncapped monthly rate, but if you divide out how much you xfer in a month typically and what you're paying you'd find that bits are not cheap).

    People should quit thier crying because everything isn't free like beer.
  • Lilo needs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 17, 2002 @08:01PM (#4090560) get a job.


    He's been pulling this kind of crap repeatedly on OPN, and despite massive backlash in the face of his blatant give-me-money spam, he shows no signs of letting up any time soon.

    I corresponded via dcc chat with him myself, (I am a former disgruntled IRCop from way back on that network) and he has personally told me 90% of the money donated goes toward his mortgage and food purchases. He seems to think of this as a way to support himself without having to resort to a real job but still maintaining the "free" and "open" implication of his irc network.
  • The #slashdot channel (not the official channel, the fun one) has moved to

    Come on over for some fun.
  • I get "The node you are looking for does no longer exist or is not accessible without the proper access rights." when trying to access [].
  • by trelaneopn ( 563678 ) <> on Saturday August 17, 2002 @08:05PM (#4090567) Homepage Journal
    About 2 months ago I was on OPN staff, about two months ago, I cared. I started WOPN, and frankly without me, OPN (or free whatever it is) would still be just an irc network without me. It is my impression you'll shortly see advertisements (or at least friendly plugs (which I have seen other dj's do)). I quit both the semi-official staff position I had (of course lilo gives noone real power) and left the radio station. After an argument with one of the more dense opers on the network, I created my own server and the xiph foundation and I moved to another network. The opn at the end of this name is a relic and this name will NEVER be used again to post.

    At the risk of being accused of having an "anger management issue" or being a "Troll" I say this. Anyone who stays on opn needs to conduct a serious reality check. THIS IS NOT FREEDOM ANYMORE. THIS IS A FORCED OPPRESSION. MOVE!

    Andrew D Kirch
    Trelane (all references on the advogato link below will be shortly stripped of any reference to any work done on opn, but will be kept as a historic reference to prove the above claims.)
    • So you are the one to blame for the fragmenting of OPN? I noticed vorbis split off to its own network, of course I have no intention of opening yet another irc session so Debian's vorbis packages will not be updated quite as fast anymore...
  • by saveth ( 416302 ) <> on Saturday August 17, 2002 @08:10PM (#4090596)
    The majority of the OSDN channels that were on OPN (#sourceforge, etc.) have already moved to SlashNET [] for IRC.

    OPN is in a sad state, currently, with lilo constantly soliciting money and/or services from the IRCers. It just all seems rather childish to me.
  • by eyez ( 119632 ) <> on Saturday August 17, 2002 @08:16PM (#4090609) Homepage
    What really bothers me is WHY they're taking donations for this, and for this much ($25k in 6 months!)... To explain, here's a breakdown of the major costs of IRC networks:

    1) Colocation and bandwidth

    .. Well, that's it really. So how does this affect OPN (I don't think 'freenode' is a fitting name for an irc network that solicits donations)? It doesn't. OPN's servers are donated. When you sponsor a server for OPN, you let them run the ircd on your server and use the bandwidth required. You do NOT get an O:line with that. (For those that don't know, the O:line is Oper privileges; it's how you administer an irc server. OPN is the only network I've ever heard of that doesn't let you have an O: on your own machine.)

    OPN is a relatively small network, with only 7000 or so clients connected at once. The Major IRC networks, such as quakenet, ircnet, undernet, efnet, etc, do NOT solicit or accept donations, and they have 80,000-100,000+ clients at once.

    IRC is also a very low-traffic service. A two-server network on t1+ lines could EASILY handle the entire load of opn users.

    So, why does OPN/freenet need the donations? I don't know. The numbers just don't add up to me. The servers are all donated, so they pay no network/bandwidth costs. And 7000 users isn't that much to admin over. (Talking to a quakenet admin earlier today, he mentioned somewhere around 90k users on in over 9000 channels), And it's certainly not something that should warrant full-time effort.

    There are plenty of alternatives to OPN out there; there's the new oftc, and there's quite a few smaller ones, like, etc. Almost all IRC networks offer free nick/channel registration (certainly all that I can think of), so there's not really that much that OPN does that other networks can't do for your opensource project.

    And I can't think of a SINGLE irc network out there that solicits or accepts donations, besides the one with 'free' in it's new name. Most IRC networks are adminned by volunteers who keep the servers up because they like IRC and are dedicated to helping the network.

    You could argue that having a lot of projects having channels on the same network is helpful, but that seems really moot to me. I can't think of a single modern irc client that doesn't offer multi-server support, and for most clients it's well-documented and trivial to set up.

    I don't like to pass judgement, but It really seems to me like all the flames about lilo only doing this to get out of having to have a real job at least have some SOME truth to them. I just can't think of any other explanation as to why they'd need that much money.

    • Well, just for the sake of argument,

      2 x T1s = ~$3000 - $4000 a month
      That's 18000 - 24000 for 6 months.

      • In what mixed up crazy world are you assuming $1500-2000 for a t1 for a month? Good lord. Try more like $600-1000...

        Also, a huge number of irc servers have their bandwidth and sometimes hardware provided by vendors, universities, ISPs, etc.. consider the following efnet servers, for example:,,,,

        The average number of users per server (as I right this) on efnet is 1783. The server I'm on,, has 6264 users on irc right now. That's nearly all of OPN's user base.

        Gimme a break, I really can't believe that they need that much money.

    • Feenode (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by Rik van Riel ( 4968 )
      (I don't think 'freenode' is a fitting name for an irc network that solicits donations)
      Personally, I prefer the name feenode ;)
  • ... a drama on IRC that gets people so upset they move on. Heh.

    I have a serious question: How come IRC can bring the worst out in people? Is it because of the equality of the internet? I haven't gone to a single IRC channel or forum without having a bad experience of some sort. I've seen people (including myself) get far more infuriated over IRC stuff than real life stuff. It's really hard to imagine blobs of text can do that to anybody, but it does.

    I realize I'm drifting off topic a bit, but it seems like 'moving to a new channel' is going to end that type of thing. It might be more worthwhile to figure out how to get these situations defused. I think one major contributor of this type of stuff is that comments made in text are stripped of tone of voice or body langauge. I could say 'YOU SUCK!!' and some people would read that as sarcastic, some would read it as an indication that I'm 12 years old. It is devoid of any of the typical context you get with 1:1 communication in person. That's the nice thing about having a mediator around. That person isn't emotionally involved and can tell somebody if their tone needs adjustment.
    • you're right, people do take IRC too seriously. Whether it be drama about online relationships (friendship or sexual) or channel happenings, there is always some sort of fighting going on.

      But this brings a whole new development that I have never seen before. The actual person running it has created a LARGE IRC soap-opera for little or no reason.

      If you don't have the time to do something there are two choices. a) give it up, apologize, and make the people move. b) give it up, apologize, delegate the responsibilities to someone who CAN afford to take the time.

      From what I have read about this invdividual, he feels that he is NECESSARY to run this particular IRC server. Thus he is God. He will not delegate any part of the running of the network to anyone else (taht includes giving operator status to those who host the ircd on THEIR machines on THEIR bandwith).

      Drama on the Internet. Nothing like it.
    • I think people get mad because it's all real time.

      Also the fact that many think that irc is hard, so when they figure it out they feel "1337" and act like asses.

      Now throw in the power structure *poof* there goes niceness.

      I, otoh, have always helped people on irc and never abused my power when I was acting as an operator. That, in fact, is what gets you more of that power those "kiddies" crave.

      Go and talk with the IRCops... sometimes they'll hook you up with work. Of course when you join a channel and say "I want OPs" or someother crap expect to be laughed out.

      It just seems like everyone is drunk, yet acting very... ah, I guess the word would be clearly.

  • by Primer ( 25308 ) on Saturday August 17, 2002 @08:25PM (#4090642) Homepage
    Read all about it here: []

    The OPN exodus started well before this fundraising initiative. It's all documented in the above URL.
  • People are leaving in droves...why? Not because of DOS attacks, or poor service...

    Its because of Lilo.

    And he refuses to comprehend this. His spamming is nothing new - hes done it since the network was created and i was a member of several channels. People have been telling him to stop for as long as i can remember, and now, finally, its driving people over the edge and making them leave. And he *still* insists on continuing, since "its his network and he'll do what he wants with it".

    I mean, really. You'd think hed get a hint when an entire network [] is created just to get away from him.

    I hope the network rots away in front of him so he can truly understand the bullheadedness of his actions. OFTC is just as good without the wallops.

    As for #debian... move to OFTC!^_^
  • by jbridges ( 70118 ) on Saturday August 17, 2002 @08:47PM (#4090707)
    From June 13th:
    Trolling for Dollars []

    From July 8th:
    The Big Bully []

    [2221 lilo`(lilo@lilo.staff.opn)] you're saying that my asking for voluntary assistance based on my work on the network is abusive?

    [2222 msg(lilo`)] I'm saying that your using the network to ask for personal donations which will benefit no one but yourself is an abuse of power. It's also arguable that such use of the network is now illegal given the NPO you formed to oversee the network.

  • by Centinel ( 594459 )
    You'd think that the official #debian channel would move to OFTC [], since it's a member project of Software in the Public Interest [] and a sister project to Debian.
  • Asking for donations -- even explicitly -- is fine.

    Spamming is not.

    By spamming, they are forcibly transferring the cost of them asking for donations from them to us.

    This is wrong.

    But, at least their messages are text-based, and not huge graphics eating up your bandwidth.

    I understand that these people need money to run their service. However, that doesn't justify their tactics.

    Similarly, I understand that the people who run charities to help the poor need money to do that...that doesn't justify them phoning me with a taped recording.
  • #vorbis (Score:2, Informative)

    by sheol ( 153979 )
    the ogg/vorbis irc channel has moved away from OPN/freenode to their own private server as well. #vorbis
  • by drdink ( 77 ) <> on Saturday August 17, 2002 @09:28PM (#4090817) Homepage
    might want to be aware of this little feature [] at their disposal. Here on SlashNET [], we frown at such things. I, as the ircd maintainer, refuse to include such things in our ircd and have refused patches such as this in the past. Evil stuff.
  • The status (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
  • A Petition (Score:3, Informative)

    by LightningTH ( 151451 ) on Sunday August 18, 2002 @12:02AM (#4091292)
    A petition I found for stopping lilo's silliness. []
  • by hacker ( 14635 ) <> on Sunday August 18, 2002 @12:18AM (#4091369)

    I caught lilo doing this a couple of years ago (and have full irc logs of the dozens of conversations over the years), and was summarily g-lined from the network (being on that network as long as I have, there are many ways into and out of there, seen and unseen, he knows this as well). He knows who I am, and I have no reason to hide my identity. Now I'm regretting moving the several channels I relocated a few years ago to OPN.

    I've been there when it was truly a free network, linpeople. It was then perverted into OpenProjects, and most-recently freenode. I notice that the motd over the years has changed from "This is a free network" (linpeople) to "This is a private network" (OPN, check your irc logs people, it's in there: "This is a private service, provided for and by private users and organizations. It is not a public forum."), to no mention of free or private (freenode). Was that an intentional omission? I believe so.

    OPN has always been a very locked-down, authoritative (read: non-free) network. It will continue to be such, as long as the "maintainer" of the network refuses to delegate control of it. I've suggested this to him personally over 2 years ago, to which he scoffed. Fine, micromanage it into the ground.

    The success of a project is measured if it survives its first maintainer. OPN will not, no matter how many times you rename it. It does not need "donations" to survive, even if Rob Levin needs money to survive. There are other ways to get money, Rob.. such as getting a paying job. Your ego prohibits you from doing so, as you and I have discussed before.

    I've been out of work for a long time, as have many of my friends and former colleagues, and you don't see me asking for handouts, and I *DO* run an open irc network, Open Source CVS services, project hosting, web development, mailing lists, development on my own Open Source projects, and many other things... all without a cent. Why? Because I believe in it. I pay for my own bandwidth, my own servers, my own time. I ask for nothing in return. My "pay" is knowing I'm doing something good for the community as a whole. If you feel you need something back, don't hand it out for free. That's not what Open Source is about.

    I would love to sit home all day and get paid to work on things I love, but unfortunately in the current economy, that's not reality.

    Regarding those "donations" (i.e. used to pay for your rent, groceries, et al), have you begun paying the developers who help keep your network running? What about those who are maintaining the ircd code that you run on the network (dancer). Have they been compensated? Without the software, you don't have a network. What about server administrators? What about backups? Are you compensating your leaf nodes? Likely not.

    This has been several years coming, and don't say I didn't warn you about it. You know I have see the demise long before now, and I've given you dozens of suggestions to avoid it. You refuse to listen, and you bear the burdon of those choices. I just hope that your head doesn't get so big that you and your ego can't fit outside the front door.

    • Running an irc network is not a full time job, nor should it be. I help run (notice help, nobody runs the entire thing) a smallish IRC network, EsperNET [] and all of the admins have full-time jobs.

      I'm not familiar with OPN, but it seems to me that this Lilo guy is just looking for a way to freeload. I was an oper on Dalnet when it was around 75,000 users, and it wasn't nearly a full-time job. There's simply not that much stuff to do. Admining a server is pretty much a hands-off task, you make sure the software stays up, has the correct conf files, and deal with problem users. After that, well, there's nothing do to.

      Running an IRC server is not that special. There are enough free IRC servers out there that soliciting donations is just stupid. OPN isn't special. There are a number of smaller IRC nets that are very friendly to open source (ours being one of them; all the software we use, including our services, is open-source.) All I can say to this lilo guy is get a fucking job. The rest of us seem to be able to run IRC networks (some MUCH larger than OPN) just fine while holding down a full-time job. Why can't you?
  • by lpontiac ( 173839 ) on Sunday August 18, 2002 @12:35AM (#4091414)

    OPN is trying to establish itself as a pillar of the free software community, but unfortunately it's can't be trusted as a stable organisation. Despite it's "open" moniker, OPN has never made any attempt at democracy. It's an autocracy under Rob Levin (lilo). Even the likes of server owners and all the other IRCops have no final say. My understanding is that Rob even refused to give any IRCops contact information for server owners. He likes control of the network centralised around him.

    Rob's priorities appear to be the following:

    1. Earning his family a crust
    2. Remaining in control of OPN
    3. Expanding the scope and userbase of OPN
    4. Catering to the needs and wants of it's userbase

    (1) is a fair priority for anyone to have, however in the case of OPN the lack of any balancing on Rob's power (eg a committee of IRCops with the power to veto decisions) make it dangerous, as we have seen. (2) is a danger to the network - Rob would rather see it split in half than step down. (3) should not take precedence over (4). I get the feeling that OPN could be an IRC network 100 times larger than it is right now, and it would still neglect what's wanted by the present userbase - not establishing nonprofits with the goal of evolving into some sort of free software monolith, but establishing a sane power structure with proper procedures for users to air grievances.

    • I agree with you wholeheartedly here, speaking as someone who has felt that the current goings-on at OPN/Freenode (actually, the goings-on between the last goings-on and the current goings-on) was enough to justify moving our project off of OPN/Freenode.

      While it's certainly true that Open Source projects benefit from autocratic 'benevolent despots,' the simple fact is that while Robert has preached his 'philosophy' in one hand, but his actions have proven to be quite the other. If you agree with him, you're an asset to the network, but if you don't agree with him, you're told that you have 'anger-management issues' and that you're 'trolling.'

      OPN/Freenode is his network, and his to do what he wishes. One part of the equation that seems to escape the current administration is that without those Open Projects hanging out on that network, that network is useless. Say what you want about projects 'using' OPN/Freenode; When people come to look for our projects online, they often go to OPN. In other words, it's our work, it's our projects, that bring people to OPN/Freenode.

      We work like hell to raise money for our projects, and our code has proven quite useful to a lot of people. I suspect that our code is a lot more valuable to our userbase than the administration of OPN/Freenode. Should OPN/Freenode be free to solicit for money? Absolutely. But should people who come to that network to specifically to find us be subjected to that panhandling? I don't think so, and that's a large part of why we moved. It's hard enough keeping interest and support (two of Open Source's most valuable resources) in a project, and if we can do anything to clear anything that might clutter that, we have a responsibility to do just that.

      As far as going to OFTC or SlashNet; They're both great networks run by really good people, and I would recommend both to anyone looking to find people to work on their Open Source projects. We felt it would be a good opportunity to 'strike out on our own' and try our own thing; If anyone's got a problem with our IRC server, we need look no further than ourselves, and so far, we've had very few problems. It's just one server, we're not out to start a 'network,' we just want to do our own thing, and treat our volunteers with care and respect.

      The torch of 'IRC for Open Source projects' has been firmly passed to SlashNet and OFTC, and I think that's excellent. Best of luck to them in the future, and I'll continue to recommend them to people starting/running Open Source projects. If you're interested in talking about Ogg Vorbis or other Xiph projects, come visit us on! We'd love to hear from you.

      Emmett Plant
      CEO, Foundation []

  • In the spirit of Slashdot, people are giving Lilo a hard time because he dares to ask for money. That in mind, I would like to say that I appreciate all of the effort Lilo has made to make OPN an excellent IRC netowrk. Back in 1996, there was Linpeople (what OPN was called ot the time) and Linuxnet. As anyone knows, Karl Asha's Linuxnet is an extremely snobby IRC network; anyone who goes there to IRC is a bloody fool. Linpeople, on the other hand, has always been a warm and friendly IRC network.

    The work that Lilo does has always been of the most professional calibar (I can not say the same about Karl's IRC network). I do not think it is unreasonable for him to ask for donations. There is a lot more to a good IRC netowrk than servers and bandwidth; an IRC network can quick degenerate to childish kick-and-ban games unless someone of Lilo's caliber maintains the network.

    - Sam

  • by jsse ( 254124 ) on Sunday August 18, 2002 @01:02AM (#4091491) Homepage Journal
    depends on their ops. When ops act childishly and crazily people will leave. The ops in OPN have this tendency.

    The fund rasing is just a trigger for them to leave. I don't disagree lilo to raise fund, honestly, but he should at least spend some time to justify the ops' behavior.

    So I left OPN. It has nothing to do with fund rasing.
  • Several IRC admins had similar problems with Galaxynet when two people who had control over services and the domain name summarily canceled the democratic principles of the original Policy and created a "founders" group with total control and no accountability. Exiled split away, wrote up its own Charter where even the IRCops have a vote and a say in the way the network is run.

    Exiled is free and will remain so. It is strugging at the moment to find users and contributer to the coding of services and ircd. Debian (and any other users) is cordially invited to visit and try us out.

    admin of
  • I'm a channel operator for a decently-sized IRC channel and we moved to our own servers a couple of months ago in response to lilo's increasingly vocal begging. I haven't really looked back, but I can tell you it's a good day to see Bruce Perens agrees with our position.
  • An interesting excerpt from []:

    Since I last made an entry about it here, you helped us pay two months rent, catch up on our car loan and insurance and the phone bills, pay grocery bills and gasoline and so on. Really appreciated.

    If Rob Levin reallly wrote that, I'm out of OPN!

  • Wow, I can't think of many ways to make it harder to get a job as a geek than to get a slashdot story posted where the majority of responses are people talking about how lazy you are and what a big ego you have. I almost feel sorry for the guy.


  • Use SILC (Score:3, Interesting)

    by juraj ( 262352 ) on Sunday August 18, 2002 @06:01AM (#4092012)
    Maybe it's time for moving away from IRC. There's a nice project and protocol called SILC [], which tries to prevent lots of problems of IRC (mainly the lack of enciphering and signing). It has also better network structure (you don't need 10 bots just to guard your channel from takeovers, since this is protected by cryptography).

    So the question should not be, to which IRC network we want to move, but where we want to move.

    Ah, for all you standard weenies, SILC has been submitted to IETF as a next-generation chatting protocol draft. Really check it out, this is the future of chatting (and it's free and open source).

  • The first thing that seems missing from this slashdot submission is lilo's side of the story [].

    And as I read it, this quote stands out:

    And if you don't know or appreciate my work, don't send me money.

    And this is the best thing he said that stands in his favor, since the negation of the above is "If you know and appreciate my work, send me money." (not a logica transformation, I know)

    And we hear this sometimes from free software developers: "If you want to thank a free software developer, either donate it to the FSF or some other organization, or send him or her a thank you card--perhaps with a twenty-dollar bill in it."

    So if you want to contribute funds to the free software community, it seems logical to take the entire community into consideration. If you think that an IRC network has benefitted you immensley, then send money to Freenode. If I had the money (and a credit card number) my money would go to the FSF. In my opinion, IRC just isn't that important. Over on gnu.misc.discuss, people are still keeping alive a useless thread about which is more important, GNU or Linux. So far, I haven't seen entered into the mix.

    Maybe the OS should be called OPN/Linux?

    • Re:My Opinion (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by hacker ( 14635 )
      "And if you don't know or appreciate my work, don't send me money."

      What has Rob Levin, aka "lilo", actually done for OPN?

      1. Has he written one single line of the dancer ircd code? No.
      2. Does he pay for bandwidth? No.
      3. Does he supply servers? No.
      4. Is Rob Levin an Open Source contributor or author? No.
      5. Does he provide anything to the volunteers who donate their equipment, bandwidth, disk space, and time to OPN? No.

      Remind me again what exactly we're paying Rob Levin (not OPN) for.. because I fail to see the value-add here. What "work" has Rob Levin actually contributed to, other than pissing off everyone who started his network 7 years ago, myself included, and kicking off channels that include people who dislike Rob Levin personally, like KainX [].

Logic is a pretty flower that smells bad.