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