Category: Community Blog

News & Events for the IRC-Source! community

Happy Birthday to IRC-Source

The first ever recorded line of history in the IRC-Source database is 2014-05-27 23:57:48 UTC-6. We consider this date to be the birthday of IRC-Source. In recognition of IRC-Source turning 3, here is a brief history of IRC-Source, and some of our goals.

In 2016 2 new members were added to the IRC-Source team, James Lu and Ken Spencer.

Continue reading “Happy Birthday to IRC-Source”

New Content Policies

Unfortunately due to restrictions by our ads provider,the only funding this website currently has, new policies had to be put into place to avoid losing that funding.
Without ads this site can’t stay alive, and to be quite honest it doesn’t even make enough to pay the $120/mo server bills. So to ensure the survival of IRC-Source new content policies had to be put into place and can be found here.

To be fully transparent here, we don’t really want to do this but we have to. So here is how we have/are going to handle this issue:

  • Our new content policies only align with Google’s content policies for Adsense. We have not added anything extra.
  • Channels that violate the content policies will be hidden from our website, but we will keep networks out of it.
  • If a network is absolutely dedicated to something that violates our content policies, such as networks dedicated to content of adult nature (sex, porn, etc.) then the network may become suspended as a last resort measure.
    • We will do everything we possibly can to keep an entire network from being hidden from the site but in some cases it may be unavoidable.
  • We will continue to work with Google to take down pages that violate their content policies.
  • We will continue to try to raise funding for IRC-Source through Patreon, where Patrons receive benefits such as an ad-free experience and special user rank on the forums/profile.
    • Once $150/mo is earned through Patreon we will disable ads for every visitor site-wide. IRC-Source is non-profit, we are just interested in paying the server bills.
  • A new report button will be put into place to help let us know where there might be content in violation of the new policies.

Once again, we hate to do this but we do not have a choice. It’s either this or we lose funding for the website. Alternatively we could find an ad provider that doesn’t require us to censor our content, but unfortunately those advertisers tend to have low quality advertisements that are not suitable for IRC-Source.

♥ IRC-Source Staff

Complaints from our Ad Provider

A complaint was received 3 days ago from our ad provider, Google Adsense. Fortunately we caught the issue on the last day we had to fix it, and were able to get it fixed in the short amount of time that we had. We have taken measures to block channels and networks that are in violation from these policies until we can work out better funding and remove advertisements all together.
We’re not a fan of all of the new policies put in place, but unfortunately to stay afloat we must comply with all guidelines outlined by our provider.

To be fully transparent here is the full complaint from Google:

Action is required to bring your AdSense account into compliance with our AdSense program policies. Please make changes to the above site within three working days. We may spot-check the site again after this time. Once you’ve made the changes, hit the “Mark resolved” button below and complete the short form. Please be aware that if you do not make changes to bring your site into compliance, ad serving may be disabled to the website listed above. Learn more

Example URL: https://irc-source.com/channel/Rizon/%23far-public

Google ads may not be displayed on adult or mature content. This includes displaying ads on pages that provide links for or drive traffic to adult or mature sites.
For more information about keeping your content family-safe, you can: review our program guidelines. watch our animated video. watch the recording of previous adult content hangout. review these tips from the policy team.

New forums & new support staff

As everyone should know by now, IRC-Source has gotten an entire revamp. This meant revamping the forums too.
Right now the forums are still in a testing phase, and some features are missing or don’t work at all, but it’s coming along very nicely.
New forums meant that we needed new & active staff members to help manage them.

I would like to welcome iota & Glolol to the team! I’m happy to say that I can trust these two people as Admins, and think they will make great additions to the team. They are available to help you on IRC and the Support forum if you need it, and are active when sometimes I cannot be. They should be able to help you with most basic operations, and if not can get ahold of me to do so.

How can I become staff??
First don’t ask for it because that’s the #1 way NOT to get it. Second, be an active and respectable member of the community. Post on the forums and be respectful. If one of the current staff recommends you for a moderator position, then I or another admin will take it into consideration and approach you. DO NOT APPROACH STAFF FOR A MODERATOR RANK!

That being said, we are trying to grow our forum and IRC communities, so please stop by even if it’s just to say hi or to introduce your network.

EFnet RBL Issue

On January 8th the crawler was unable to connect to some networks because it was blacklisted by EFnet RBL. This also may have lead to being unable to connect to some, primarily InspIRCd based, networks for several days after. Upon discovery of these facts I contacted the EFnet RBL team about the issue, asking why we were blacklisted and how it could be prevented going forward, even though the IP had already appeared to be removed from the blacklist. As it would have it, we weren’t actually blacklisted at all, here’s what Gavin at EFnetRBL had to say:

Unfortunately, the domain expired for a day or so, and godaddy’s wildcard dns caused some servers to incorrectly ban users.

There’s a couple ways to protect against this
1) bopm config has a “ban_unknown” option. a proper config should have this set to “no”, and specify which responses should be banned (ie – 127.0.0.*). only servers that had ban_unknown=yes would have banned based on the wildcard.
2) whichever servers you connect to, request kline/dline exempt for your ip. this way even if your bot gets banned for whatever reason, it can still connect.

Please let this incident serve as a reminder to exempt our crawler hostname in your IRCd configurations.

Welcome in the new Website

IRC-Source recently got a rewrite from the ground up. That rewrite was migrated to be the main website as of the beginning of 2017.
Since then I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on the new website, and in general you guys seem to like it. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Faster, more responsive, page load times.
  • A completely new design
  • Featured networks
  • Network ranking instead of scoring
  • Improved network search
  • Channel search
  • Channel pages with 7 day users count graph
  • New user profile pages
  • Forums are gone but in the process of being rewritten. This will take a while considering the complexity of the task and limited time that I have to develop now days.
  • An admin dashboard is in the process of being built (up until now I’ve done most database operations manually) so we may be accepting more staff to fill various roles in the future.
  • New network settings, such as the ability to label a network janus/pylink, set a redirect to a different network, or even suspend/unsuspend indexing.
  • A new About Us page laying out who our staff is and a brief history of IRC-Source.
  • A new API only available to beta testers at the moment, this may change in the near future as it comes to completion.

We are still accepting feedback for new features/changes, so don’t hesitate to shoot any email off to [email protected] if you have some ideas you would like to share.

Change Log Q2/2016

Forum updates

  • The forum is now the first thing you see when coming into the website.
  • The forum has received a much needed visual update, and should be easier on the eyes as suggested by loser.
  • New forums have been added, such as Network Introductions, Feedback, and Off Topic. As long as people use these forums I will keep them up there.
  • New posts are announced on the IRC-Source IRC channel.

Crawler Updates

  • iCrawl v2 is ready to go, and will be fully placed into production this week sometime after a server migration.
  • iCrawl v2 fixes a bug where networks randomly stop being indexed.

Website Updates

  • Fixed a bug where sidebar suggested min/max users, but max users were not capped.
  • Moved global statistics to network directory page, may move to it’s own page if things get too cluttered.
  • Home page redirects to forum.

 

New ticket system is online!

In an effort to improve IRC-Source’s end-user experience, a new ticket system is now online and the support forum is cleaned out. The support forum has been changed to the Community forum, where you may ask the community for IRC related help, and post requests for links, merges, etc.

Maintainer access requests should now be made through the Help Center and will be handled in the order that they are received. This will allow request to be handled properly in a timely manner. I’m truly sorry for any inconvenience the old system has caused, and we look forward to offering better, timely support moving forward.

IRC-Source will breath new life!

When I started this project, I had a vision for what an IRC search engine should be. That vision has not yet been met. Through my adult life I have been struggling with bipolar disorder (extreme mood swings, depression and manic). My disorder has caused me to neglect this, and many other projects that I’ve started throughout my adult life. I have started getting treatment for my disorder, and I feel better than ever before! I feel like my vision can finally be realized.

The future of IRC-Source

I am rebuilding much of the code from the ground up, starting with the crawler bot. I won’t bother wasting your time with the could-be’s and the dreams I hope to achieve. Instead I will tell you about the realistic goals that I have in mind for the upcoming weeks. Last night, only 3 days into my treatment, I started working on the new crawler bot. The current production version of the crawler is an ugly mess written in a combination of PHP, PERL and Bash scripting. The new crawler that I have begun working on is a pure PERL implementation which I hope will be faster, and much more effective. Due to unforeseen circumstances, many of the requests to maintain network information have gone unanswered. A friend of mine tried to help out, but failed to reach out to many of the people who have requested this access. The new crawler, upon doing it’s normal crawls, will reach out to people who have made these requests, as well as future requests during it’s normal crawl operations. In other words, I hope to have this system automated in the very near future.

A new scoring system will be implemented, and it will take into account the following factors when scoring a network:

  • User count
  • Count of indexed channels (channels that have more than 2 people in them)
  • IRC Operator count, as well as the balance between IRC Operators and users.
  • IRCv3 Compliance
  • A small fraction of the score will be based on whether or not certain information about the network is available, which in most cases will require someone to maintain its information.

I would like to avoid giving specific details on exactly how networks are scored, as that would make it easier for people to manipulate the scoring system in their favor. Scores will be based on statistical information collected over the previous 1 week period, and re-calculated after each crawl. I believe this will give a more accurate depiction of each network.

I have recently modified the behavior of the graphs for each network, and instead of showing average counts they now show the max counts for each period. The yearly graphs now show each network’s stats by week instead of the month.

Once the crawler is completed, which should be by the end of 2015, featured networks will be added to the home page. IRC-Source will feature a network for each month, week, day and hour.
If all goes as intended, I plan an update to record statistics for channels meeting a certain criteria. Channels will need to have at least 20 users in them, and visible in the /list at the time of crawl, to be tracked. At this time there are no plans to add maintainers for channels, but this could change in the future. From the list of tracked channels, I hope to add featured channels just as planned for featured networks.

A new ticket system will be put into place to help better assist you when you need help from IRC-Source staff. I have some experience with the system I plan on putting into place. I believe it should be sufficient for making sure that help requests are handled properly, and within a timely manner (unlike in the past). This also means that the forums will be removed from IRC-Source (nobody uses them outside of the help forum anyway).

I know I have not kept up on many of my plans previously, but I feel like I can finally concentrate on this project again. I know that my goals are realistic, and I feel like my vision will be realized and I hope that you will all really enjoy it. Here’s to a better year ahead of us, and thank you to those who have seen this through and stuck by my side throughout my time on this project.

Cheers mates! ~ xnite