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Greetings Halo Nation community,
I recently made a suggestion to Ultra Force about an overhaul regarding the chat. What I'm suggesting is that the chat is moved from the wiki itself onto a proper IRC network. In this case, I'm suggesting that we move it to the channel #Halo-Nation on irc.freenode.net (irc.freenode.net/Halo-Nation - you can already access it if you have an a IRC client).
So, why am I making this recommendation, you ask? I believe that some of you have complained about the chat being "messed up and slow" at times. This is hardly surprising, for two reasons: a) The wiki system is already running the wiki itself, which consumes a lot of resources, so the chat will be slow. And b) The software used by the chat is actually not IRC software (ie. software designed to properly support the chat). In fact, the whole feature is an epic hack (sorry the technical terms, but for those that have some experience in programming, you'll know what I mean). The Freenode IRC network, on the other hand, is fast, reliable, and even supports commands for standard users (by this, I don't just mean banning and kicking for admins, I also mean personal commands that each user can make). That part of the system is admittedly slightly more complicated than the wiki chat, but extremely easy to learn in a short period of time. Want proof? Freenode has over 40,000 different channels and over 70,000 users who are using it. This obviously says that it's quite an easy network to use, otherwise it wouldn't be so large.
Additionally, amongst those channels are the channels of Halopedia and Halo Fanon. What this means, is that by having our chat on the same network as them (which is the Freenode network), that it will make interactions between us and them much easier, but live. Its the same principle as the interaction people here may have with users on Halo Fanonon and vice-versa, because both wikis are hosted by the common provider, Wikia. In the case of IRC, its even better because you can be in more than one channel at once as well.
So, to summarize the benefits of this, why move our chat to Freenode?
- Interactions with Halo Fanon and Halopedia will be made easier. Several other wikis (which you may even be part of) also have their channels on freenode, so the limits of interactions doesn't stop with the Halo-related wikis. This means better cooperation between users from mixed wikis.
- The chat will be faster, and much more reliable.
- On the IRC network, which is completely seperate from the wiki, you can even create your own IRC accounts, seperate from the wiki. I believe that this will also help promote the Wiki=/=Chat policy, am I right? :)
- The Freenode network has its own staff, whom are widely available and willing to step in in the event of an emergency or if no ops are available. At the same time, they do not interfere with local community matters, and the local community can actually control how much access a typical staffer is allowed to have over the channel (from a standard operator to even ownership).
What do you think? If this isn't enough, the admins are welcome to contact me for a demonstration of the IRC network should they need it. If you don't have an IRC client as of now, you can still check and try out the channel via the Freenode webchat (just put in #Halo-Nation in the "Channel" field).