Mozilla is shutting down their IRC servers and moving to Discord, a proprietary chat service.

Hey Mozilla, aren't we forgetting something here? Our very own "Mozilla Pledge for a Healthy Internet” states:

> Principle 2 The internet is a global public resource that must remain open and accessible.

> Principle 6 The effectiveness of the internet as a public resource depends upon interoperability (protocols, data formats, content), innovation and decentralized participation worldwide.

@nightpool @fribbledom Doesn't Discord frequently make bad decisions when it comes to accessibility though?

@SwooshyCueb @fribbledom I'm talking about "accessible to end users and non technical users" not capital-A Accessibility

@nightpool @fribbledom considering how often people accidentally make brand new accounts by mistake, I'd say it fails there too

@SwooshyCueb much better that then the myriad UX issues that come with trying to find an IRC client or (in the best case) using one of three shitty iframe'd irc web clients

@SwooshyCueb not to mention the inherent problems with the protocol itself—discord provides just a straight-up better way to structure communities at scale then IRC. Channel fragmentation is real

@nightpool I'm not saying IRC is better, just that Discord doesn't seem like a great choice if the move is accessibility-motivated.

Maybe Mattermost is a better choice?

@nightpool @fribbledom

@nightpool @fribbledom

That's a not an excuse for using #discord. There are a lot of open source chats with equal or better accessibility:
* #RocketChat
* #MatterMost
* #Martix
* ...

Also free and open source software is about basic rights and not "purity" as you put it.

Also proprietary software is an accessibility barrier for privacy and security conscious users.

@nightpool @fribbledom

when discord locks you out of your account and forces you to give up your phone number that's an accessibility barrier
when discord recaptchas you every login that's an accessibility barrier
when discord bans your account no questions asked because they catch you using a third party client that's a god damn accessibility barrier

Accessibility is much better in IRC and other text based protocols than webapps.
You do not need to be a blind user to appreciate a protocol that can be used with accessible programs instead of a browser. It starts when IRC clients are much easier to theme with high-contrast colors and easy to read fonts.
The lack of image embedding prevents things like somebody posting a lord of the rings meme without alt-text to communicate something, so blind readers are left behind.


And what seems to be neglected in the discussion is that IRC is a protocol that does not demand authentication. Just join and ask your question. No registration, no waiting on double opt-in e-mails, no need to solve reCaptchas. Just enter the chatroom and start chatting.

And even when you think this is not too much efford, you're still demanding people to use a strong identity, when a anonymous one, i.e., an unregistered pseudonym, would be sufficient.


@fribbledom have they actually said discord? i haven't seen anything that says they've selected a replacement


I'm not trying to bash Mozilla here, really not. Big fan of Mozilla and what they did for keeping the net as open as possible...

We still need to be able to criticize them when they take a wrong turn, though. I hope public discussion can make them at least reconsider said decision.


seriously? I'm on discord, full disclosure, but even a mook like me realizes that their sharp, ad-free interface is most likely funded by the most egregious sales of user data.

mozilla is losing a significant amount of cred with this one. It's not as if there aren't plenty of great alternatives.

@fribbledom Why couldn't they at least move to something like Matrix.

@kyle @fribbledom Discord's web and Electron clients are generally more sensical, better optimized, and less glitchy than Riot on web or Electron

@fribbledom as far as I understand their reasoning, there's just no viable open alternative. Although I don't know why running a Jabber server is not an option. It should at least solve the problem with the lack of authentication in IRC.

@fribbledom wow this is truly disgusting. I audibly gasped when I read this.

@fribbledom Has mozilla confirmed anywhere that Discord is their final choice? Their blog post said they were going to be evaluating options, and hadn't chosen anything yet.

The Rust projects were already using Discord, and they mentioned that they were leaning in that direction for their remaining IRC channels. However, the Rust community doesn't represent Mozilla as a whole.


I guess an official statement is still pending on that subject, but it's what I hear from people on the "inside".

So there's at least a clear tendency, and I think this needs to be brought up right now, not when the final decision has been announced publicly.

@fribbledom absolutely, I agree. Discord is a miserable choice for FOSS communities, so I hope it's not true. I hear the complaints that IRC is tough to moderate, but I do think there's some stuff out there (e.g. Matrix) now that can carry the open-ness torch with easier moderation/administration.

@stephenjahl @fribbledom I *like* Matrix; I run a homeserver, and use it for a bunch of stuff.

But it's certainly not as polished as Discord, *particularly* for the “we would like to run a community of stuff here” case. Communities *exist*, but their current status is “we're gonna tear them out and replace them with something actually useful”, so…

@RAOF Yeah, I'm using it as well, and really like it. FOSS friendly and persistent room history across clients have been fantastic. I agree, the community stuff is definitely a little rough.

I think another point of concern for someone like Mozilla is synapse performance in large rooms... It's a little depressing when joining a room with more than a few hundred people in it brings my server to its knees :(

@stephenjahl Zulip *also* looks really good and might be a better fit for what Mozilla wants, and they already use it for some things (Some Rust teams, at least, use it).

@RAOF I have not used Zulip, have only browsed the features page on their site. I quite like their room/stream "topics" feature. So many busy rooms can be cleaned up by that, and it's much preferable to threads (in my opinion).

@fribbledom wow, Mozilla is the last entity I'd expect to do that, that's disgusting, but given what they've been up to recently, I can't say I'm totally surprised.

@fribbledom Someone's gonna open a triple-service bridge. If it's possible with Discord, that is.

TBH, I don't know what's going on in the Mozilla IRC tho.


I saw the writing on the wall when I read the blog post from @mhoye a couple of days ago


chrome-based mozilla browser when

you know, since we're not letting purity get in the way

@fribbledom I wish instead of selling out to closed systems, Mozilla would double down on a "simpler than IRC" chat system that's still open by default. Discoverability of Discord and Slack instances is terrible.

@secstate @fribbledom IRC but simpler is honestly something I really want
dumber protocol, simpler system, built-in auth, still plain-text

@fribbledom Discord is so hard to use and inaccessible in China. IRC is great but I don't see any one using it in China except for the staffs in Red Hat.

@fribbledom sad that they didn't go for It seems to be gaining traction.

@fribbledom OTOH, a bloody brilliant plot to get people active about chat systems.

@fribbledom this let me appreciate more all the free alternatives coming from firefox, like palemoon and seamonkey

@fribbledom I'm incredibly disappointed by this. This really shouldn't be a problem when there are options like Matrix. There's no need to close down their servers, either. They can have both, if they really deem having Discord necessary.

Really, this just feels like a slap in the face. They're supposed to be representing open standards.

moving the discussion rooms of my open source professional project to the closed source chat for gamers

@fribbledom Mozilla was built by techies so everyone else could use it. Now, they seem to need non-techies to contribute (to Common Voice, for example), which means much more people can contribute.

If the Matrix ecosystem was more mature (which they're already using, btw – it looks like your post lacks some info), they could develop a better cross-platform client than Riot.

If they shut down the IRC servers which are dedicated to community support, external contributors, and so on, in favor of Discord, I don't think they did anything wrong. They could use Rocket.Chat instead but people just don't want to create another account (especially because they don't want to get a massive spam of emails – looking at you, Loomio). They tried a ubiquitous login solution called Mozilla Persona, but neither Facebook nor Google were using it (for obvious reasons).

I think they decided to move to Discord with various statistics your post doesn't mention.
@guillemot @fribbledom I've never used Discord, but the description of it sounds pretty bad. Proprietary, backed by sillycon valley venture capital, known for abuse ("raiding") and the preferred comms system of the alt-right. Makes irc look like an idyllic pasture.

Why Mozilla would downgrade that far is a mystery, but does it really matter what they use for project development? Well, if they want to keep Free Software developers out then maybe it does.

@bob @fribbledom I’d rather use IRC or XMPP than Discord for the simple reason that it doesn’t take me between 5 minutes and half an hour to log in, to the point of developing a PTSD about this crap (and about my webmail, too).

On the other hand, Mastodon uses Discord too. I’m not sure the decision, from Mozilla, to move to Discord is an half-baked decision. Again, if free software developers used Mozilla’s Persona on their self-hosted solutions, it might have been different (with a ubiquitous login solution for all FLOSS projects).

Except that unlike Mozilla, most free software developers started to care about UX about 5 years ago. Discord’s front page says, verbatim: “Say goodbye to Skype and Mumble.”

@bob @fribbledom I hope I don't derail this thread while you're writing a reply, but it's surprising to see that people have excellent search engines but keep asking themselves basic questions such as "is there as much caffeine in a capuccino than in an espresso". It's probably the same with user-friendly IRC clients. They seem to only use search engines to reach websites they already know.

@guillemot @bob @fribbledom

I hope the majority of all people says rather “Goodbye” to Skype than to Mumble.

@bob @guillemot @fribbledom I’ve heard such things. Much i won’t argue, but I’ve seen far more of the Far-Right Hategroups on Mastadon servers than discord. I’m not a fan of discord. Hate groups I’ve never witnessed there.

I stand for everything they do not, so it doesn’t usually take long in a platform to run into these groups, if they are a problem there( as in loud or unpunished)
@maiyannah @fribbledom Those people push exactly a dehumanizing narrative. Also the Cameron-style "we're all in it together" was always disingenuous.

@fribbledom IMHO discord as good as facebook, it is easy to join and find, but in the end it just ends up being where everyone is because no one can get motivated to leave.

You can't even block/mute someone someone properly for crying out loud without being the admin or leaving the "server",

that's not a good start to build a community like most games these days don't even have a good way to run a propelry administrated server without breaking some ToS or etc.

@fribbledom Any project or community based around any level of respect for the users and themselves moving to Discord just cempletely voids all respect for either. Imagine moving Kernel development onto Facebook. It's completely backwards!

@fribbledom #FuckOffDiscord !!!It's the worst messenger ever!I can understand that IRC is pretty outdated and something more modern is needed,but there are really better options.Matrix for example is a bit similar to Discord but open source and federated.Other alternatives which aren't federated but open source and selfhosted are Mattermost or RocketChat.There are very many solutions and they've chosen the worst of all.Good job Mozilla!

@fribbledom I think Mozilla has forgotten about those pages a long time ago.

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