Log in

No account? Create an account

Sat, Jan. 30th, 2010, 12:04 am
Freenode sucks

I logged into freenode, which I haven't logged into in a while, to help stop some trolling on #bittorrent. I couldn't identify as my nick any more, so I went to ask for help...

<mquin> when did you register it?
 <bramm> uh, circa 2000
 <mquin> the current registration is a little over 6 months old - if you did register it in 2000 it must have expired since
 <bramm> so someone just stole my nick?
 <bramm> since when does this thing expire registrations?
 <bramm> I'm pretty sure I've logged in within the last year
 <bramm> given that I've always had this nick, and that there are only two people named Bram which are recognizable names in open source, and that my name is one of the most well known in open source, I'd like my nick back :-P
 <mquin> nicks are considered expired after 60 days of inactivity, after which they can be dropped either on request or when we ocassionally clean up the services database
 <bramm> also, there's a problem that I'm an op on a channel, and need to give access in it to other people
 <bramm> that policy is completely retarded
 <bramm> the #bittorrent channel is having a problem with trolls, and we need to get rid of them, and thanks to that lamebrained policy there's currently noone with sufficient ops privileges in the channel to do anything about it
 <mquin> I'm sorry you feel that way, it's not really reasonable for us to keep nickname registrations perpetually when they are not being used
 <bramm> get real. I've logged in within the last year, getting rid of them after six months is nuts
 <bramm> if nobody does anything about this I'm going to go public about it, freenode does NOT want the publicity of me being pissed off
 <bramm> er, after 60 days I meant, I've never heard of nick expiration on such a short time scale, from any site
 <bramm> I can easily prove who I am. I'm the well-known author of an important project and need my nick back to stop trolling in the project channel, is there anything which can be done about this or do I have to make a stink?
 <mquin> handing the nick back to you, even if I were able to do that, would not restore any channel access you had when you held the registration
 <mquin> channel access flags are dropped along with the account
 <bramm> well how can we get someone to have ops on the channel?
 <mquin> if you are an offical representative of the bittorrent project you can assert that by filing a group registration, which would allow you to reclaim #bittorrent
 <bramm> and how can I do that?
 <mquin> http://freenode.net/group_registration.shtml
 <mquin> you may also wish to talk to the current channel registrant - he can add additional users to the access list at this point
 <mquin> oh, my mistake, it's been held
 <bramm> what do you mean held?
 <bramm> maybe you missed that part about me being the channel registrant
 <bramm> and my nick being stolen
 <mquin> yes, I misread something I was looking at - my mistake
 <mquin> to avoid primary namespace (single-#) channels being lost in sitations such as this we transfer them to staff control in the event of the founder's nick being dropped
 <mquin> it makes it fairly straightforward to reassign them when there is a group registration rather than having them appear to be available for re-registration by anyone
 <bramm> I have never, in my entire life, heard of a registration expiration process which was this aggresive, or this cavalier about damaging existing relationships
 <mquin> the 60 days figure is just a minimum - we normally allow more grace (typically 1 week per year) for long standing registraions when processing drops by hand
 <bramm> you say that as if adding a few weeks to the end would make the time frame reasonable
 <mquin> we don't feel it is reasonable to hold nickname registrations perpetually if they are not being used
 <bramm> I'm not asking for perpetually
 <bramm> just something vaguely reasonable
 <bramm> and I hope you realize that you just completely pissed off one of the most well known and respected people in the whole open source community
 <mquin> I'm sorry you are upset
 <bramm> I'm just going to pretend you're a robot and not blow my stack at you
 <bramm> but it's requiring effort
 <mquin> What do you expect me to do? I can't very well return a nick to you that has been in use by someone else for well over 6 months.
 <bramm> well maybe the policies could have kept that person from taking over the nick, seeing as how I was using it for NINE YEARS prior to that
 <mquin> Had we known at the time that you were planning to be away from the network for an extended period of time we could have arranged for it to be held for you
 <mquin> I know it's unfortunate to lose a long-standing registration, but we do have to have some limit on what we consider a reasonable activity level
 <bramm> I was never informed of there being any such policy. I was never informed via email than my nick was about to expire. Any minimal checking of expirations being done by hand, which you say it is, would have indicated that my nick should absolutely not have been expired
 <mquin> unfortuantely it's difficult to verify which steps were or were not taken this long after the event

[Update] Well now that I've managed to get called an asshole (hi, HackerNews commenters who registered five minutes ago!) Here are my calmer thoughts

The reason I posted the log verbatim, me being pissed off and all, is that I wanted to make very clear that I was accurately representing official freenode policy, and that requesting help through support leads nowhere. My gripe is with freenode policy, which is asinine, not with the particular person I spoke to, who was merely being useless and patronizing.

The reason I got pissed wasn't because of the nick loss, which I find mildly annoying, but because channel ops got blown away, causing me to have to deal with this bullshit instead of just giving ops to someone else.

Yes I can be blunt. If you value the superficial affectation of politeness over the essential point of what someone is saying, you can shove it. I don't appreciate people saying that I'm this way because of asperger's, it just causes other people to whine that they're being oppressed because they can't criticize me. The whole line of argument is stupid. People are free to criticize me for not being polite, and I'm free to respond that they're being petty and superficial.

The whole 'it's free so you can't complain' argument is bullshit. There are plenty of free things which are of negative value to society because they suck up or distract resources which could be working on a much better alternative. I've provided lots of support for free stuff myself, both via employees and directly, and never have I claimed that a problem won't be fixed because the person airing a legitimate gripe hasn't gone through arbitrary bureaucratic processes, or that the person complaining should implement it themselves because they're a programmer, or refused to acknowledge that some pain a user experienced through no fault of their own really was unfortunate. And I always prioritize up users who matter and problems which need immediate fixing. That's the way you run things if you actually care about providing a valuable service.

As far as whether my ops problem might get resolved, whether I'd utterly cursed out the guy from support or had the humility of a saint, it probably wouldn't get handled regardless.

[Update 2] Some commenters don't seem to understand that Freenode policy, in fact Freenode's whole foundation for legitimacy, is that project leaders are entitled to control their channels. I am in fact a project leader with a long established channel, and in the time that site op spent pedantically repeating rules and procedures he could have verified who I was and fixed the situation, which, say what you will about lilo, is something he actually would do. I was not making any claim to importance which I don't unambiguously have, and my message to other programmers considering using public servers is that OFTC is down the hall and to the left.

Sat, Jan. 30th, 2010 08:10 am (UTC)
3ricj: dude.

While I agree that it's a braindead policy, tossing out the "i'm important and special" as an argument to policy is really rather pointless. It's an irc nick. Give me a break, there are larger problems in the world.

(who's legal name isn't support on freenode at all, because it starts with a number )

Sat, Jan. 30th, 2010 08:36 am (UTC)
ciphergoth: Re: dude.

Maybe so, but obviously there's a bigger problem for known names - people are more likely to want to steal them.

Sat, Jan. 30th, 2010 11:46 am (UTC)
dennyd: Re: dude.

s/known/common/; s/steal/use/;

Sat, Jan. 30th, 2010 11:49 am (UTC)
ciphergoth: Re: dude.

Ah, for some reason I thought the disputed nick was "bramcohen" rather than "bram".

Sat, Jan. 30th, 2010 09:03 am (UTC)
bramcohen: Re: dude.

Oh, well obviously no exceptions can ever be made to a 'policy' because the police might have to get involved, and it's pointless to complain about a 'policy' because everybody knows that policies can't be changed and are completely immutable.

If the nick weren't associated with actual permissions I wouldn't have gotten pissed, but as I made clear before getting pissy, there's an actual problem I'm trying to deal with. If it weren't for their idiotic policy, I'd have spent all of two minutes logging in, giving someone ops, and logging back out, but instead I have to deal with this bullshit.

And in case you haven't noticed, I really do run an important project.

Sat, Jan. 30th, 2010 09:44 am (UTC)
3ricj: Re: dude.

While I understand that IRC is a common support method for open source projects, and that some % of people use bittorrent for something other than piracy... and that most folks who run in those spaces have heard of you...

It's still just a damn IRC nick. register a new one and ask an channel op to give you rights to the channel. Problem solved. Don't abuse volunteer support people due to inflated self-importance. It's tacky.

I could argue that the work I'm doing related to global heath and infectious diseases is an "important project", however, trolling ranks fantastically low on the radar of issues I'm going to bother with.

Of course, maybe I am feeding a troll right now. :)

Sat, Jan. 30th, 2010 09:50 am (UTC)
bramcohen: Re: dude.

If you'd spent the two minutes necessary to read the conversation you'd know there is no fucking channel op, because I was the only one. Stop being an ass.

Sat, Jan. 30th, 2010 09:55 am (UTC)
3ricj: Re: dude.

typo: s/channel op/freenode op/

Sat, Jan. 30th, 2010 11:43 am (UTC)
dennyd: Re: dude.

With all due respect, that's poor channel management. You left the channel for a hugely popular open source project with no channel ops while you wandered off for a few months?

Sat, Jan. 30th, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC)
bramcohen: Re: dude.

I've been readily available the entire time, and people have had sufficient levels of access to deal with any problems which show up until now. I'd have spent all of five minutes dealing with the current problem had it not been for your boneheaded policies, but instead I've had to spend time dealing with this bullshit.

I also don't always register with nickserv when I log in, because I just don't care, and had no idea that any such expiration policy was in effect. My usage of freenode predates such things by several years, back to when you could reasonably expect to get a human on the other end of the line who gave a shit when a problem turned up.

Sat, Jan. 30th, 2010 03:07 pm (UTC)
dennyd: Re: dude.

We're all volunteers, we wouldn't be doing this if we didn't care about our users, our network, and about open source software and the communities around it.

There are a lot of people on freenode who've been there since it was Linpeople or OPN. There are a lot of people on freenode who've written really cool software. Stop acting like a rock star and start acting like one of those people.

Sat, Jan. 30th, 2010 03:36 pm (UTC)
bramcohen: Re: dude.

How about if, rather than spending time telling me that I'm not important, you go approve the project application I put, which would actually be, you know, productive?

Sat, Jan. 30th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
dennyd: Re: dude.

I'm not important enough to do that, sorry. :)

(The group registration team is very small, and I'm not part of it.)

Sat, Jan. 30th, 2010 04:03 pm (UTC)
dennyd: Re: dude.

I've jiggled elbows for you.

Sat, Jan. 30th, 2010 04:35 pm (UTC)
reddragdiva: Re: dude.

I'm sure Denny's now thinking there's nothing quite like volunteering to deal with the whining of people getting something for free.