How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The IRC

Early last month, OMG.LOL added a Discord bridge to their IRC setup, leading to two changes in how IRC looked and felt that became an immediate a problem for me.

  • Channels suddenly got much noisier, in part because Discord culture can be busier than IRC culture tends to be.

  • “Local” IRC users and “remote” Discord users were displayed differently, because the remote users had the Discord bot’s handle prepended to everything they said.

That second issue was a big one for me, because it generated not-insignificant OCD woes. Since the Discord bridge was added, I’ve reluctantly not been using IRC.

(One exception is that someone recently mentioned that you can connect to Twitch chats via IRC, and whenever there’s an OMG.LOL coding stream now I can watch on the Apple TV but chat from the laptop.)

Finding when I joined that OMG.LOL even had an IRC server was a welcome bit surprise because I’d spent years on IRC when I first got online in the late 90s. I’d reconnected with that particular IRC community early in the pandemic only to discover that it was somewhat tolerant of intolerable things. The last time I mentioned this, in a previous iteration of this blog, someone from there showed up on my Instagram to bully me, so, you know: good riddance.

At any rate, on a lark this week I wondered if anyone had ever made an Irssi script to address my issues with the Discord bridge. Wondrously, given that I often find my needs to be something of an unsupported use case, someone had and it works like a charm. Simply put: it removes the Discord bot’s handle from the display. Now local and remote users look exactly the same to me.

Script installed, I’ve tried rejoining IRC and to my relief the pace seems to have quieted down somewhat since the initial burst of Discord enthusiasm. Lots of people are using the bridge, but things seem calmer again.

With my drawdown from social media (which itself has a couple, small exceptions carved out), I’d been feeling increasingly disconnected from the OMG.LOL community. Hopefully my ability to return to IRC will help address some of that.

Addenda

  1. Not long after posting this, I logged into IRC to find my first bug: overly-long messages coming through the Discord bridge get broken up into segments on IRC, and everything after the first segment reverts to coming through the Discord bot’s handle. I’m not sure yet how problematic this will be for me.