The IRC Council meetings have public meeting minutes of course, but some of our practical work is never discussed in these public meetings and tends to go unnoticed. Some of this boring behind-the-scenes mundane work has implications to users and operators on our channels, and I decided to write about it here.
So, what has been going on outside the spotlight?
One of the janitorial jobs we’ve done is the reorganization of our IRC related wiki pages. Wikis by nature evolve organically, pages being created by many people over time, and they end up being largely unorganized. So we moved all pages to an old fashioned, boring hierarchy under a common IRC/ name space, and the result is something like this:
You get the idea. All old pages redirect to the new pages, so we can hope we did not break any of your old links and bookmarks. If something is broken, you can report it, or even better, fix it! It is a wiki after all :)
We have updated several core documents, most notably the operator guidelines and the description of the IRC Council itself. We also created a calendar that will nag us periodically to review all wiki pages, one at a time, to make sure they don’t become too out of date.
Operator teams on Launchpad
Ubuntu’s IRC universe has become very, very large and keeps growing, and so has the need for operators. We can’t possibly know all the potentially awesome individuals who would make great operators, so there’s a need to define a better process to nominate operators than simply giving access to friends that we know will do a good job.
Terence did a terrific job at converting the access lists on our channels into Launchpad team memberships. This makes managing them much easier for everyone. It also makes it possible for people to offer help easier: they will be able to apply for team memberships as a way to announce their willingness to serve as an operator. We will soon have this new process in effect, and it is documented on the wiki already.
IRC Council access in channels
The Council should now have access to all core channels for easy maintenance. Additionally, we strongly recommend adding the UbuntuIrcCouncil and the freenode staff cloaks into your LoCo channel’s access list, so that they may intervene in case of serious disruptions on your channel while your operators are asleep or attending a release party. This is documented in the wiki page for channel creation. When creating channels, make extra sure to have a good read of the document, to ensure your channels fit nicely in the #ubuntu-* name space.
How you can help
Is IRC not working well for you? Do you have a great improvement on your mind that will make it work even better? The IRC Team is easy to contact on #ubuntu-irc, and via e-mail. Most importantly, have fun and help to keep our IRC channels friendly and useful! :)