Common complaint: "I can't read the backlog in IRC"
Discussions over the water cooler aren't logged either but no one seems to be asking to install a microphone in the breakroom
If you feel the need to catch up on discussions you missed (which people haven't explicitly called your attention to), your team is using real time messaging wrong. IRC is ephemeral by design, summarize discussions in email, docs, etc if they need to live longer
That being said from user perspective it's simple - if I can have a tool with which can do everything I need it for, or I can have a "tool" that does one thing, and even that not particularly well... (IRC on unstable network is also unusable, and since most networks tend to be unstable at times, you will never know when writing a message if it actually reached your target - neither if you have read all messages targeted for you to read. You can have really awkward conversation, where someone just didn't see one of the messages and no way to even detect said situation.
Backlog isn't a tool you use only to see what happened two weeks ago. Backlog can be useful literally at time of the conversation)
Even if I forget for a moment that IRC is bad even at things it's specifically designed for. We don't live in ideal world where everybody has chat tools for specific needs.
People simply have accounts and communicate with other people who use same network. If two people have accounts with same tools, they simply choose preferred way of communication and use it.
People who use only IRC are just unavailable, and hard to talk to.
Honestly I find glorifying IRC ephemeral messaging a bit insincere in a world where everybody either uses a bouncer, or at least their client saves logs anyways.
Beyond that - if you're a server administrator, and have resources and knowledge, then those are things you can use. But if you were to put yourself in new user shoes, then requiring such a setup is a mortal wound to tool's usability.
I'm already exerting that person's patience, how the heck am I supposed to teach them about all this stuff like irssi in screen or logging bots?
@sir we use IRC since 1999 and I still have the logs. No, it's not ephemeral at all. All clients I know do better logging than all that slack sh.... Let alone the possibility to have bots. IRC bots are smarter than AI :)
@sir yes, we should treat chat as ephemeral, but the lack of backlog makes it hard to switch machines and keep up with a chat. Or deal with reboots. Or put my laptop to sleep. All these are use patterns people expect to work that backlogs help with.
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