Saturday, October 26, 2013

[Rant] Why do people think IRCCloud is a web IRC client

Even though I have been absent from this website in days (although I was active in the comments), today I felt that I should create a post talking about one of the newest things I've come to advocate for -- IRCCloud.

For those unfamiliar with what IRCCloud is, basically it is a Internet Relay Chat client and bouncer, that you can connect to via your web browser, or their Android and/or iOS apps. IRCCloud stays connected even when you are not, and is synced to all devices. I use now use IRCCloud exclusively for my IRC needs, with the small exception of using HexChat on my hub server.

IRCCloud works by you connecting to them, and then they connect to the IRC networks. This is why when you connect to a network, your host is from an server. An example of this is uxbridge, one of the IRCCloud servers. When connecting, I would have the following hostname:

  • On IPv4:
  • On IPv6:
The actual relevance of what your host is when connecting to a network is very important. The whole point of the article is how uneducated (or otherwise ignorant or just plain stupid) operators of networks continue to think IRCCloud is a webirc client.

Now, what is a "webirc" client, you say? A web IRC client (or also called CGI:IRC client) is basically an IRC client available from your browser, from a website. The web IRC client's backend connects to the IRC servers for you. To prevent the server's IP being used as your IP address, your IP address is sent to the IRC network in a quick, swift, and easy process.

IRCCloud is different from a CGI:IRC client. IRCCloud is a BNC service, which by definition means that it connects to IRC networks for you, and you connect to it, instead of connecting directly to the network from your computer. It just so happens that IRCCloud is accessible from the browser, which causes a lot of people to mark it as an ordinary IRC client. IRCCloud also has mobile apps for Android and iOS.

The problem lies when session limits are reached. Session limits are basically limits on how many users from the same IP address can connect to the network. When that limit is reached, either additional connections are killed, or every client from that IP is G:Lined. Instead of networks wanting to make additional connection blocks (basically, extra configs based on the connecting IPs/Hosts) for IRCCloud, they want IRCCloud to use WebIRC instead. They fail to realize that IRCCloud does not act that way technologically. It would be impossible to pass an IP to a network because a user can connect from multiple IPs/devices and can change IP addresses at any time. This is why the BNC host is used, which is under the domain.

So, all in all this was small rant I wanted to put up on the site because I am tired of incompetent operators on IRC networks.