Last modified: 2009-07-14 19:30:06 UTC

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Bug 18791 - CGI:IRC web interface for Freenode's Wikimedia chat rooms
CGI:IRC web interface for Freenode's Wikimedia chat rooms
Product: Wikimedia
Classification: Unclassified
IRC (Other open bugs)
All All
: Normal normal (vote)
: ---
Assigned To: Nobody - You can work on this!
Depends on:
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2009-05-13 23:28 UTC by stevertigo
Modified: 2009-07-14 19:30 UTC (History)
6 users (show)

See Also:
Web browser: ---
Mobile Platform: ---
Assignee Huggle Beta Tester: ---


Description stevertigo 2009-05-13 23:28:11 UTC
Some (any) web interface would be nice, and even useful in many different ways. I'm not personally concerned with anything but #wikipedia, though other Wikimedia sites could deal with it. Someone has set up a personal site for Wikinews already.


* CGI:IRC is open source, and lightweight enough. It seems to work fine for other sites (link via Freenode FAQ):

* Cloaking: Logging in through the interface would mean that people could get cloaked. 
* Account handling: More people could use and thus benefit from IRC, and better integration of 
* Newbies: The interface could also deal better with basic help info that people apparently have to dig for on both Meta and Freenode. (Ie. /msg nickserv register, /join #room, etc.)
* Collaboration: Integration of IRC with article-specific editing. More specific chat rooms can be forums for overseeing content development.

Ostensibly, ideal basic function would require the interface to be hosted on the/a toolserver, and Wikipedia or otherwise would use a simple Special:IRC page that provides an on-site interface. Later I suppose chat fields could be embedded on talk or meta pages via a transclusion tag. 


* Server load?
* Disruption to Freenode?
* Disruption to Wikipedia?
* Browser load issues? Does proposed client use proper caching/fetching techniques? 
* Better client(s)?
* Collisions between WP and FN usernames?
* Preferences?
* Setup/register FN account through WP?

Web 3.0 would come soon after. 

Comment 1 Charles Melbye 2009-05-13 23:45:16 UTC
I believe that CGI:IRC works via a "streaming" method of Comet, and it just leaves the connection to the server open.

Freenode does not have any sort of API currently, so it's not possible to allow registrations through the user's respective Wikimedia site that they're using.

Wikia is using CGI:IRC, and it works pretty nicely. They allow access to any of the channels of the wikis that they host. For an example, see

- charlie
Comment 2 Niklas Laxström 2009-05-14 05:50:45 UTC
FYI: is using
Comment 3 Bawolff (Brian Wolff) 2009-05-14 06:25:41 UTC
I made a little piece of javascript for wikinews a while back that inserts a cgi:irc box into a wiki page (and uses the wikizine sgi:irc server. We used to use a personal server earlier in wikinews history, but the person who maintained that dissapeared, so now we use wikizine's). Perhaps the script would be useful to you - its at [[n:MediaWiki:Irc.js]]. Theres an example at the bottom of [[n:Wikinews:Vandalism]]
Comment 4 stevertigo 2009-05-14 16:37:50 UTC
It occurs to me that WikiMedia could help Freenode by hosting a Freenode server in Asia (they apparenly only have one, and are in need of more), in exchange for which they could help setting up a nice CGI:IRC interface/host for WikiMedia. Having certain access to a node might have login integration benefits too. (Above what we already have with the toolserver Freenode cloak helper, which is mostly functional).

Comment 5 Charles Melbye 2009-05-14 18:07:53 UTC
Hosting a Freenode server does not provide any addition on-network privileges. Basically, you're just donating a server for Freenode staff to setup and manage.
Comment 6 stevertigo 2009-05-15 22:37:58 UTC
#! OT, maybe

This may be a little bit tangential, but the general issue here has to do largely with the integration of IRC and Wikipedia: The purpose of all talk on Wikipedia is encyclopedia related, and IRC should not too different. 

Following from this is the idea that certain aspects of editing on Wikipedia should be augmented by IRC through ways beyond the current detached omniscient usage. 

The reasons for this are that while Wiki talk pages are great for adding to or manipulating document-like discussions, IRC is much more fluid. Using certain protocols we could reap the benefits of using both fluid discussion and permanent text logging integrated with Wiki discussions. One != other, but its important nevertheless to note what each has that the other lacks, and try to find some middle ground, either by: 
* Coding that integrates the two concepts, or
* Protocols that facilitate or emulate such integration

IRC-Wiki coordination has been going on for a while now, albeit a bit tangentially. But using IRC in the spirit of fairness to non-IRC users means also logging discussions that deal with specific article changes to specific article talk pages. 

Where all of this is going is the eventual ability to deal with article discussions and changes directly in IRC and have these be logged in Wiki article talk logs. Topic-specific chatrooms are quite feasible, if not altogether likely. 

One of the aspects of this is the problem that content created on IRC be copyable to Wikipedia. The default policy is that such is generally forbidden, though specific permission appears to provide a certain compromise. Specific permission could be generalized, and simple convention such as adding a tag at the end of IRC comments would help indicate that a person permits the usage of their comments on Wikipedia/Wikimedia, etc. Something as simple as..
 ] User: lorem ipsum dolor sit amet akum. Q 

..would indicate that their comment could be used with attribution on WP. Or a Q mode such as Username_Q could be used to indicate that anything they say on IRC under that mode is quotable with attribution.

Entering into such a specific article discussion might be indicated on IRC via another simple permission convention:
 ] User 1: article name. AQ 
 ] User 2.. n] article name. AQ

After which any comment followed by an AQ would then be quoted by someone to the indicated article talk page:
 ] User: lorem ipsum sit. AQ

To indicate that a comment *should or *must be quoted there, people could use something like a simple exclamation mark (!) indicating emphasis:
 ] User: lorem ipsum sit. AQ!

Naturally, these are not automatic processes and should not be assumed to supercede article discussions. Automation of such a system would require certain integration between WP and Freenode login APIs, and the addition of various parsing commands to Freenode - probably not going to happen, but it helps to get these ideas out anyway. 


Comment 7 Brion Vibber 2009-07-13 19:20:32 UTC
Marking this FIXED as Freenode now provides a web chat interface:

For chat integration with our own editing interface we'd really probably want something quite different from IRC, and that should be treated separately.
Comment 8 stevertigo 2009-07-14 19:30:06 UTC
Can you give us a general breakdown of where that is at and where that is going? I know about liquidthreads, Google Waves, and others, but I not aware of what your thinking is on the general dynamic discussion issue. For example, should it be possible to send an email post directly to a an article talk page? (~ Should it be possible to rank-sort talk page comments? Add other forum-like features? Etc.


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