[CSC] [ANN] New web IRC client for CSC members

Computer Science Club csc-general at csclub.uwaterloo.ca
Mon Jul 27 16:06:48 EDT 2020

Greetings programs,

On behalf of the CSC Systems Committee I am pleased to announce the
availability of the CSC's very own installation of The Lounge web IRC
client, available to our members at <https://chat.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>.

This is the first of several steps we at the CSC Systems Committee are
taking to bring modern user freedom- and privacy-respecting
communication tools to our members.  This is now more crucial than ever,
as we have all grown our dependence on remote communication tools due to
the ongoing global crisis.

Starting today, CSC members can use their CSC account credentials to log
into <https://chat.csclub.uwaterloo.ca> to access the CSC-hosted version
of The Lounge web IRC client [0].  The Lounge is free software [1],
under the Expat License (also referred to as the MIT License) [2] and
self-hostable by anyone.

[0]: <https://thelounge.chat>
[1]: <https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html>
[2]: <https://github.com/thelounge/thelounge>

On your first login to the web IRC client, it will automatically create
an account for you, saving and keeping your settings even when you close
your browser.  The Lounge acts similarly to an IRC bouncer, keeping you
connected and logged into the IRC networks you connect to and the
channels you join in, even when you close your browser or turn off your
computer.  This helps avoid missing chat history due to your computer
not being always connected to the IRC server(s) directly.

The new web IRC client's default suggested connection uses a secure
encrypted connection method (over TLS) for connecting to IRC servers.
However, even if you don't use the web client, and e.g. run a TUI client
on one of our servers (e.g. neotame), please be sure to update your
client connection configuration and always use TLS to avoid sending your
IRC account password and other data to the IRC network(s) in cleartext.

We are excited to share more news about IRC-based communication tools
for our members in the coming weeks.  Be sure to keep an eye on your
inbox and/or the csc-general list [3] for our upcoming announcements.
Further, we will be updating the "How to IRC" page [4] of the CSC Wiki
to recommend using the new web IRC client going forward.

[3]: <https://mailman.csclub.uwaterloo.ca/listinfo/csc-general>
[4]: <https://wiki.csclub.uwaterloo.ca/How_to_IRC>

Want to learn more or find more user freedom- and privacy-respecting
remote communication tools?  See [5] for a large list of free software
tools you can use to communicate with your peers and/or loved ones in
privacy and freedom.

[5]: <https://libreplanet.org/wiki/Remote_Communication>

Have a question or suggestion?  Do not hesitate to write to us at the
Systems Committee <syscom at csclub.uwaterloo.ca>; we look forward to
hearing from you!

Amin Bandali
System Administrator, Systems Committee
Computer Science Club, University of Waterloo

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