GHC and the future of Freenode

Jack Hill jackhill at
Wed May 19 15:38:29 UTC 2021

On Wed, 19 May 2021, Ben Gamari wrote:

> Hi all,
> As you may have heard the Freenode IRC network, long the home of #ghc
> and several other prominent Haskell channels, appears to be in the
> middle of a rather nasty hostile takeover [1,2,3,4]. As a consequence,
> it seems it will be necessary to migrate the #ghc community elsewhere.


> Consequently, I think it would be wise to expand our search space to
> include other FOSS platforms. At the moment, I can see the following
> options:
> 1. Remain on IRC and move to Liberachat, the spiritual successor of
>    Freenode
> 2. Remain on IRC and move to OFTC, another widely used network
> 3. Move to [Matrix]
> 4. Move to [Zulip]
> My sense is that of the non-IRC options Matrix is the truest successor
> to IRC, being a federated protocol with a wide array of (if somewhat
> immature) clients. I know some of our contributors already use it and in
> principle one could configure an IRC-to-Matrix bridge for those existing
> contributors who would rather continue using IRC.
> Zulip, while also being FOSS, is far more centralized than Matrix and
> appears to be more of a chat web application than an open protocol.
> Do you know of any other options? Thoughts?


Thanks for starting this conversation. I don't have much standing here as 
up until now, I've only been an observer, but I did notice one option 
missing from the list, and that's an XMPP [0] MUC (multi-user chat, a 
chatroom). Like Matrix, it is also federated and has many client and 
(unlike Matrix) many server implementations. I also noticed that the 
cheogram folks are offering to host free and open source projects [1].


I can't advocate for one path or another. However, I'm still charting my 
one way, and am interested in seeing this option evaluated.

A closing thought: it might be nice if #haskell and #ghc end up at the 
same place, although that might be difficult if the two groups have 
different needs.


More information about the ghc-devs mailing list