10.13.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

No, JWZ, Discord is Not “IRC With Pictures”

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 7:36 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission from the original

Jamie Zawinski made a comment about Discord basically being “IRC with pictures” somewhere along the way, but it’s actually not.

What Discord does is way worse. It pretends to be IRC plus all of these neat features, so that it can rope people in and centralize their communications, and log everything they do.

They have this thing that they call “running a Discord Server”, which is bogus, because you don’t run the server. They do.

This means that anything anyone ever does on Discord is subject to failure if the company goes out of business or has downtime.

According to Wikipedia, once Discord got enough people used to the free version, they started imposing artificial limits on what you could do, and then selling you subscriptions to get the things you were doing before. This is pretty typical of proprietary software, especially “web apps” like Microsoft 365.

When users got together as a community to make robot programs (like you could always do on IRC) to play Youtube music, ad-free, Google sent DMCA attacks and Discord removed the bots.

When people who had various political beliefs that were not popular among the fascist woke “left” started gathering on Discord, Discord promised to Cancel them.

(Did they, eventually do that? I don’t know, but the fact is that they can.)

We may disagree with other people’s opinions, but having opinions isn’t illegal in a civilized society. Woke trolls use Big Tech to silence their opposition and then again to whine and destroy them professionally.

Discord stepped in and disrupted Wall Street Bets, for making rich people look stupid and causing them to lose some money.

This is just a small list of things they can do.

With IRC, we’ll still have it in 20 years and know how it works. Governments won’t be able to tell the “IRC company” (there isn’t one) to ban end-to-end encryption, which government officials themselves use to prevent leaks, or to shut down servers that they don’t like. If they tried it, it could be hosted somewhere else. If you get banned on one server, you can go somewhere else. If your ISP or government tries to blockade it, you can use an obfuscated VPN or Tor tunnel and use it anyway.

Most tech companies just end up doing whatever the government tells them to in order to not have any of their own business activities suspended. In some cases, this includes being unmasked in order to be executed.

The first step in avoiding a trap, is knowing of its existence.

Discord is not “IRC with pictures”. It’s a trap.

Zawinski seems to be more of a hipster who made good on the dotcom hysteria and then went on to rest on his laurels, occasionally amusing himself by buying a bar, and some Macs, which he swears up and down work fine even though they lock him out of his computer.

(In a recent post, it wouldn’t even let him program software and compile it because Apple didn’t sign those make and python binaries.)

The Macs are (still) more buggy than any GNU/Linux distro I’ve ever seen, according to Zawinski himself. (Who goes on to quote problems in GNU/Linux that were solved 13 _years_ ago as reasons for hating GNU/Linux.)

I think he shouldn’t be listened to for advice about software and using it.

IRC can do all of the important things you need it to do, and it hasn’t gotten much fatter than it was in the 1990s, despite having a new version on the way.

How many things on your computer can you say that about? Remember how slow Windows 98 was on the internet, on dial up? Remember progress bars taking forever, and pulling down menus being painfully slow?

Why is it, today, that your laptop is thousands of times faster than your desktop PC was then, and yet it feels like we’ve made no progress at all?

Windows has gotten morbidly obese to the point even a new computer feels slow right out of the box, which is alarming, and something they use to drive hardware sales, even though they’re like a shittier Apple now. Your PC is three years old! Throw it away! Windows 11!

They throw parties for themselves. They pull a string and OMG MSFT! Joey, Michael Larabel, and SJVN dance for them. It’s sad.

But a few things certainly don’t need to get much fatter and more horrible as time goes on because they’re controlled by a community process (like some GNU/Linux operating systems), and IRC is definitely one of those things. Leave IRC alone! 😉

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 03/02/2023: Proton 7.0-6 Released, ScummVM 2.7 Testing

    Links for the day



  2. Links 03/02/2023: OpenSSH 9.2 and OBS Studio 29.0.1

    Links for the day



  3. Links 03/02/2023: GNU C Library 2.37

    Links for the day



  4. Sirius Finished

    Yesterday I was sent a letter approving my resignation from Sirius ‘Open Source’, two months after I had already announced that I was resigning with immediate effect; they sent an identical letter to my wife (this time, unlike before, they remembered to also change the names!!)



  5. The Collapse of Sirius in a Nutshell: How to Identify the Symptoms and Decide When to Leave

    Sirius is finished, but it's important to share the lessons learned with other people; there might be other "pretenders" out there and they need to be abandoned



  6. Links 03/02/2023: WINE 8.1 and RapidDisk 9.0.0

    Links for the day



  7. Links 02/02/2023: KDE Gear 22.12.2 and LibreOffice 7.5

    Links for the day



  8. Linux News or Marketing Platform?

    Ads everywhere: Phoronix puts them at the top, bottom, navigation bar, left, and right just to read some Microsoft junk (puff pieces about something that nobody other than Microsoft even uses); in addition there are pop-ups asking for consent to send visitors’ data to hundreds of data brokers



  9. Daily Links at Techrights Turn 15, Time to Give Them an Upgrade

    This year we have several 15-year anniversaries; one of them is Daily Links (it turned 15 earlier this week) and we've been working to improve these batches of links, making them a lot more extensive and somewhat better structured/clustered



  10. Back to Focusing on Unified Patent Court (UPC) Crimes and Illegal Patent Agenda, Including the EPO's

    The EPO's (European Patent Office, Europe's second-largest institution) violations of constitutions, laws and so on merit more coverage, seeing that what's left of the "media" not only fails to cover scandalous things but is actively cheering for criminals (in exchange for money)



  11. European Patent Office Staff Votes in Favour of Freedom of Association (97% of Voters in Support)

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) at the EPO makes a strong case for António Campinos to stop breaking and law and actually start obeying court orders (he’s no better than Benoît Battistelli and he uses worse language already)



  12. Links 02/02/2023: Glibc 2.37 and Go 1.20

    Links for the day



  13. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 01, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 01, 2023



  14. Links 01/02/2023: Security Problems, Unrest, and More

    Links for the day



  15. Links 01/02/2023: Stables Kernels and Upcoming COSMIC From System76

    Links for the day



  16. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 31, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 31, 2023



  17. Links 31/01/2023: Catchup Again, Wayland in Xfce 4.20

    Links for the day



  18. Links 31/01/2023: elementary OS 7

    Links for the day



  19. Intimidation Against Nitrux Development Team Upsets the Community and Makes the Media Less Trustworthy

    Nitrux is being criticised for being “very unappealing”; but a look behind the scenes reveals an angry reviewer (habitual mouthpiece of the Linux Foundation and Linux foes) trying to intimidate Nitrux developers, who are unpaid volunteers rather than “corporate” developers



  20. Links 31/01/2023: GNOME 44 Wallpapers and Alpha

    Links for the day



  21. Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) and KU Leuven Boosting Americans and Cancellers of the Father of Free Software

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and its founder, Richard M. Stallman (RMS), along with the SFLC one might add, have been under a siege by the trademark-abusing FSFE and SFC; Belgium helps legitimise the ‘fakes’



  22. Techrights in the Next 5 or 10 Years

    Now that I’m free from the shackles of a company (it deteriorated a lot after grabbing Gates Foundation money under an NDA) the site Techrights can flourish and become more active



  23. 60 Days of Articles About Sirius 'Open Source' and the Long Road Ahead

    The Sirius ‘Open Source’ series ended after 60 days (parts published every day except the day my SSD died completely and very suddenly); the video above explains what’s to come and what lessons can be learned from the 21-year collective experience (my wife and I; work periods combined) in a company that still claims, in vain, to be “Open Source”



  24. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 30, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, January 30, 2023



  25. Taking Techrights to the Next Level in 2023

    I've reached a state of "closure" when it comes to my employer (almost 12 years for me, 9+ years for my wife); expect Techrights to become more active than ever before and belatedly publish important articles, based on longstanding investigations that take a lot of effort



  26. The ISO Delusion: When the Employer Doesn’t Realise That Outsourcing Clients' Passwords to LassPass After Security Breaches Is a Terrible Idea

    The mentality or the general mindset at Sirius ‘Open Source’ was not compatible with that of security conscientiousness and it seemed abundantly clear that paper mills (e.g. ISO certification) cannot compensate for that



  27. Links 30/01/2023: Plasma Mobile 23.01 and GNU Taler 0.9.1

    Links for the day



  28. EPO Management Isn't Listening to Staff, It's Just Trying to Divide and Demoralise the Staff Instead

    “On 18 January 2023,” the staff representatives tell European Patent Office (EPO) colleagues, “the staff representation met with the administration in a Working Group on the project “Bringing Teams Together”. It was the first meeting since the departure of PD General Administration and the radical changes made to the project. We voiced the major concerns of staff, the organization chaos and unrest caused by the project among teams and made concrete proposals.”



  29. Links 30/01/2023: Coreboot 4.19 and Budgie 10.7

    Links for the day



  30. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 29, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 29, 2023


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts