[wp-docs] IRC users list

Ryan Duff ryan at ryanduff.net
Mon Jun 27 10:49:36 GMT 2005

Michael Renzmann wrote:
> Hi.
> Ryan Duff wrote:
>>Ask the users, have users add their names, that way its their choice.
>>Delegate somebody who's in irc all the time to keep the page clean of
>>users who aren't often helping in irc or other such mediums. Instead of
>>editing a irc users page, how about creating a support page with a list
>>of people who can be trusted.
> One question, one proposal.
> Question: Isn't it enough to have wpbot knowing about people? If one is
> unsure, ask wpbot about the "definition" of the nickname in question. It
> would be easy to extend the definition with realnames, if people wish so.
> If not, we come to my proposal. Lorelle asked about "responsibilities",
> you (Ryan) mentioned trustworthyness, both in context with such a "IRC
> users list". So I'd like to suggest to make use of a mechanism provided
> by Freenode: groups.
> The Freenode IRC network knows so called "groups", which are officially
> represented in Freenode with one or more channels. This could be a
> company, a user group, a "software project", ...
> One of the goodies provided to such groups is a "project cloak". A cloak
> is a virtual hostname which appears instead of the real hostname in a
> user's session. Such a cloak provides protection against attacks from
> script kiddies (who would need to know the IP address of a user, which
> can be retrieved by knowing the real hostname of this user), and it
> allows to represent an affiliation between a user and a project.
> Example: I'm usually online in Freenode and OFTC. If you run whois on my
> nickname (otaku42) in OFTC, you'll see something like:
> === cut ===
> --- [otaku42] (~otaku at dsl-084-058-132-217.arcor-ip.net) : Michael Renzmann
> --- [otaku42] #kernelnewbies @#linuximq #lartc
> --- [otaku42] xenon.oftc.net :Waltham, MA, USA
> --- [otaku42] idle 00:37:38, signon: Mon Jun 27 07:46:49
> --- [otaku42] End of WHOIS list.
> === cut ===
> The first line contains my real hostname, which can easily be resolved
> to the corresponding IP address. It's easy for someone to launch attacks
> to this IP - which fortunately doesn't happen often, neither in OFTC nor
> in Freenode.
> In Freenode you'll see something else:
> === cut ===
> --- [otaku42] (otaku at otaku42.developer.madwifi) : Michael Renzmann
> --- [otaku42] #wordpress #madwifi-devel #madwifi #freenode #asterisk-dfn
> --- [otaku42] sterling.freenode.net :Hoofddorp, NL, EU
> --- [otaku42] is an identified user
> --- [otaku42] idle 01:01:27, signon: Mon Jun 27 07:46:48
> --- [otaku42] End of WHOIS list.
> === cut ===
> Here the first line doesn't contain my real hostname, but shows a
> project cloak. Trying to resolve that cloak to an IP will fail, since
> the TLD madwifi does not exist. In addition a user can determine my
> affiliation with the project "Madwifi": it seems I'm working as
> developer there.
> The "TLD" is fix ("madwifi" in the above example), everything else is
> the choice of the project. For madwifi, we have:
> * "xyz.user.madwifi" for people who use our software and are regular
> visitors in #madwifi
> * "xyz.support.madwifi" for people who offer their help in supporting
> other users with their problems
> * "xyz.developer.madwifi" for core developers
> WordPress might could also have "xyz.docs.madwifi" for members of the
> documentation team, or "xyz.wiki.wordpress" for the Wiki wizards, and so
> on. Again, that's completely the choice of the project.
> Another goodie is that Freenode reserves channel names for the project.
> When the group registers with Freenode, it also specifies the name of
> their channel. In case of WordPress this would surely be #wordpress.
> This automatically reserves all #wordpress-* channels (#wordpress-docs
> and #wordpress-meetup would be automatically protected), so they can't
> be blocked by a third party.
> Now you might ask what has to be done, and what obligations follow out
> of registering as a group.
> Group registration establishes an relationship between the group and
> Freenode, by indicating that the group has an official presence on
> Freenode. Groups have to name a contact (one or more persons), which
> acts as connection to Freenode. For example, in case of problems with
> one of the group's channels these person(s) will be contacted by
> Freenode staff to clean the problems.
> Apart from the above there are no obligations. No need to sponsor
> anything, no need to pay fees, no need to maintain the relationship for
> a given time.
> Bottom line: registering as group with Freenode and maintaining the
> "affiliation" by handing out project cloaks for people might be a good
> way to let users know who is officially affiliated with WordPress. Given
> that cloaks are not handed out to everyone who pops into the channel
> once or twice, owners of a wordpress-cloak could be regarded as being
> trustworthy. A list of currently online group members can easily be
> retrieved (for example: "/who *.madwifi") - this would be a list as
> desired, being maintained on and delivered by IRC instead by a non-IRC
> media.
> More information regarding "groups" can be found on the Freenode website:
> http://freenode.net/group_registration.shtml
> http://freenode.net/primary_groups.shtml
> http://freenode.net/about_groups.shtml
> I think "primary group" might be the right model for WordPress.
> Comments?
> Bye, Mike

Relle and I had discussed this some more and put it on the Meeting notes 
for Wednesday's meetup. Firstly to find out if Matt has registered 
#wordpress on freenode or not, currently it sounds like not. Secondly 
about cloaks, and thirdly about giving voice to users who have been 
around a long while and are very familiar with wordpress. This would be 
an even more visual sign to users that "hey, +Skippy must be 
knowledgable, he's at the top of the list with a few other users. We 
would have to nominate x amount of peopole for this and then ask them if 
they would like the responsibility. It'd be nice to have a list of ~10 
all the time. I know matt has been against ops/voice for a while, but I 
think it would help the project in terms of people being able to get 

Another suggestion for the forums (when BBPress gets there) is to tag 
certain users as administrator or moderator either with or instead of 
"janitor prime" and "support maven" because new users don't know who can 
be trusted and thats not clear to somebody that podz is a moderator and 
ryan boren is a dev. We'll bring it up on Wednesday. Any other 
suggestions can be brought up here or left in the notes for the meetup.

Ryan Duff
AIM: ryancduff
irc.freenode.net #wordpress

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