07.30.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Freenode Shrinks by Another Quarter and Gemini Continues to Grow (For Techrights at Least)

Posted in News Roundup at 7:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IRC is still around, but Freenode/IRC.com won’t be an important part of that

Gemini Turntable
Gemini Turntable

Summary: Freenode continues to perish faster than we’ve imagined; it’s a good thing that we’ve had contingencies set up; regarding the monopolised and increasingly centralised Web, we’re still making baby steps towards weaning ourselves off it

THIS is a “bad news, good news” type of post.

Techrights at irc.techrights.orgFreenode commits to yet another self-harming move, maybe committing suicide by imposing registration on people who wish to enter Freenode (SSO/SASL). Moving people over to our self-hosted IRC network has therefore been a priority.

As someone said in our IRC channel some minutrs ago, “chat.freenode.net sum of channel populations declined from 86k to 64k after the sasl requirement.”

Compare to Libera.Chat:

$ <$z.sorted awk '{a+=$2;} END {print a;}'
173198

“No need for a Web browser (or HTML) to follow Techrights.”To quote the explation: “I just ran it on libera, libera sum of channel populations is now 173k (sum the output of /list -YES)”

The -YES is essential for bypassing warnings.

Sum of Channel Populations
/list -YES -> awk add up

date            freenode irc.fn libera.chat 
2020-03-29      311686
2021-05-19                      27890
2021-05-20      279551          26736
2021-05-21      269785          36115
2021-05-21                      48433
2021-05-23      247790          62421
2021-05-26      221557          25474
2021-06-01      154266          66038
2021-06-06      147001          76833
2021-06-12      128716          74654
2021-06-14      119065          77381
2021-06-15      57192   50806   80256
2021-07-15      87484
2021-07-18              86244   167157
2021-07-30      63968   63648   173198

Things aren’t even fully settled yet.

We are not in Libera.Chat because we try to self-host everything, even Git. It’s the way to go and people everywhere should advocate it. The Internet was originally created to distribute things around, not centralise everything the way Facebook, AWS, ClownFlare, GitHub etc. increasingly do.

When it comes to Gemini, which is self-hosted from home, we’ve convinced a number of people to rely less on the World Wide Web and use gemini:// when possible. Page requests in the past 30 days show growth:

Page requests (gemini://) Date
2358 2021/07/01
2960 2021/07/02
1641 2021/07/03
1755 2021/07/04
2187 2021/07/05
2194 2021/07/06
2122 2021/07/07
8128 2021/07/08
11197 2021/07/09
2243 2021/07/10
2333 2021/07/11
3344 2021/07/12
3808 2021/07/13
3870 2021/07/14
4503 2021/07/15
5183 2021/07/16
3586 2021/07/17
3489 2021/07/18
11802 2021/07/19
14019 2021/07/20
5274 2021/07/21
5463 2021/07/22
3288 2021/07/23
3971 2021/07/24
3897 2021/07/25
3614 2021/07/26
5746 2021/07/27
6072 2021/07/28
3081 2021/07/29
12146 2021/07/30

Total 145,554 (the above combined) with another day to go (2021/07/31). Over time more people adopt and at least partly embrace Gemini space as an alternative to the Web (over 1,500 unique IP addresses above). It sure gives us hope. It’s a drop in the ocean compared to the Web (5 hits/second on average), but any progress counts. More importantly, the option (or alternative) does exist and it is viable. No need for a Web browser (or HTML) to follow Techrights.

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