IRC Server and/or Channel


As a fan of the general IRC protocol, I’d like to see an official IRC channel for the whole range of products that you guys offer so that everything can be discussed in real-time. I think it’d be great.

Funny you should mention that – we were just discussing that very idea while hanging out at the Perl conference earlier this week.

It’s likely we’ll do something like that – and hearing you’d be into that certainly helps the matter :slight_smile:


I’d be there

+1 :slight_smile:

OK, IRC channels now exist (registered and everything) for #virtualmin, #usermin, and #cloudmin on FreeNode. #webmin exists, but is registered by someone I don’t know. I’ll check with Jamie to see if that registration had his blessing (it looks like the user in question has been around for a long time, so I’m sure they’re well-meaning, so whatever the story there, we’ll have ops on #webmin soon, as well).

I’m in the midst of building a bot to run on our channels.

While I’m on the subject, I want to get a few rules of thumb on the record:

IRC will never be our primary method of support. We all like IRC. But it is a one-to-one or one-to-few medium, while forums are a one-to-many medium. We need to reach many people with every question we answer in order to maximize our effectiveness. I’d love to help out every user personally every day, but with millions of users that simply isn’t possible for a three man team (plus a handful of really awesome volunteers). If you need an answer, you need to bring it to the forums (for Open Source projects) or the ticket tracker (for commercial products and bugs in anything). The Webmin mailing list is also an acceptable location for Open Source related questions.

IRC will primarily be used for realtime discussions of a specific problem. e.g., you have an issue under discussion in the forums and Eric or I are responding to you in semi-realtime…we’ll possibly suggest taking it to IRC so interaction is faster.

Friendly chatting, of course, is always welcome. Partnerships, new projects, and new business ideas can spring up quite readily in realtime conversations, so IRC is awesome for making deals with fellow web and IT nerds.

I’m going to launch a bot with a few relevant infopacks, and we’ll try to train it in the subjects folks are most likely to ask about (Linux system administration, Perl, web development, our software, etc.). Hopefully this will provide rapid responses for some questions, despite the fact that Eric and I won’t always be available on IRC (Jamie will never be available on IRC).

I’ll also try to get a reasonable history bot online so it’s not entirely ephemeral. IRC logs are, unfortunately, pretty hard to organize and search…so I don’t want that to be where most support conversations take place.

And, of course, hopefully you guys will help us out! Since you all chimed in, I expect to see you there chatting away, ASAP. :wink: