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Going open-source #219868 01/04/10 12:19 PM
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Williamvd Offline OP
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Hello,

I've been using mIRC for more then 3 years now, and I always liked and enjoyed it, but there are also some downsides. There are some things we don't like, and should be fixed and/or improved, i.e. error handling among some other things.

Khaled has developed mIRC for a long time on his own, but isn't it time to turn open-source? The community could improve mIRC by much, and mSL will be growing as language.

I think it's nice to discuss here wether mIRC should go opensource or not.

William van Doorn

Re: Going open-source [Re: Williamvd] #219871 01/04/10 05:06 PM
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mIRC isn't likely to become open source unless Khaled gets tired of working on it. And I don't think there's any reason to make it open source. If you want an open source IRC client, I'm sure there are some out there. They just aren't as popular. If you think something needs improved, you can add specific suggestion to the forums here and maybe they will be.

As for error handling, it depends on what exactly you are referring to. In most situations, error handling can be done very easily with the script that needs the error handling.


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Re: Going open-source [Re: Riamus2] #219873 01/04/10 06:29 PM
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Williamvd Offline OP
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I think there are a few reasons to make mIRC open-source:

a] The community can work on it, which will take mIRC and the language mSL to a much higher level.

b] This makes the mIRC parser even more portable and we can write mIRC implemenation in other languages and/or programs.

c] A lot of new features can be added, and be fixed much faster, then with 1 person.

Re: Going open-source [Re: Riamus2] #219875 01/04/10 06:37 PM
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Quote:
And I don't think there's any reason to make it open source
There's people that would like to see some change in mIRC but they know these changes will never happened.
Open source would make this kind of possible for them.
Quote:

As for error handling, it depends on what exactly you are referring to. In most situations, error handling can be done very easily with the script that needs the error handling.
It's not about difficulty, rather about how we use it, having to use :error $error and /reseterror is good for one specific alias, not for a whole script or for handling error in general.
A new event for handling scripting error has been asked in the past, Khaled might think it's a bad idea because it could cause more problem than it could solve, like the recursion..


Looking for a good help channel about mIRC? Check #mircscripting @ irc.swiftirc.net
Re: Going open-source [Re: Williamvd] #219884 01/04/10 11:34 PM
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Realize that this all sounds great, but Khaled makes a living off of maintaining mIRC. This is how he feeds himself. While this fact may not be important to you, it is important for the author of the program to be able to benefit from his work as well.

There are many open source clients that you can contribute to, if you want. You'll find that the bureaucracy of actually contributing to projects like those is generally pretty high, and it's not as idealistic a situation as you make it out to be. Simply open sourcing a product doesn't automatically mean everything you hate will be fixed (or can be). There are many great open source examples of this; they all have problems, they all take a long time to address certain issues. Some of them never fix certain things. Will an open source mIRC mean you will get better error handling? Unless you're willing to implement it yourself (and are offering to commit to maintaining the code you wrote for a while longer), there's really no guarantee.

More importantly, open sourcing a 15 year old product isn't necessarily going to birth any new (interesting) development. You need a community of people willing, but more importantly, able to contribute. I'm sure you want things fixed in mIRC. I'm not sure you would even know where to begin implementing them. I'm sure there are tens of thousands of lines of code in mIRC (if not hundreds of kLOC). It would take a while for people to figure out the entirety of the existing code base before they could start adding new features. It would be a long, messy transition. Eventually, if people still cared, there might be something good that comes out of it.. between that period you probably won't get much in terms of quality. And then you won't be guaranteed that the maintainers would be any more productive than K is now. I'd rather not make such a gamble.


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Re: Going open-source [Re: argv0] #219892 02/04/10 06:24 AM
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Williamvd Offline OP
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Khaled makes a living off maintaining mIRC, but the last new version came out in 2008.

Also, you still don't have to pay to use mIRC, also without a keygen, you can still use it after 30 days, so it's still a option you make yourself.

If you just keep distributing the .exe's I think many people won't even know and care it's open-source and will still pay.

Also I think that our community isn't at it's best, but I for sure know some people who are experienced with several languages, where I guess C/C++ is the most important one.

If mIRC goes open-source it will also be a learning oppertunity for many people, and eventually we could see what things could be improved.

Re: Going open-source [Re: Williamvd] #220135 05/04/10 11:57 PM
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I agree with argv0 that mIRC shouldn't become open source. And I doubt that it ever will because despite how much the current version is showing it's age, he still makes money off of it and the next version (beta) is suppose to be out soon based on Khaled's last posts.

If you're really interested in contributing to open-source, I would turn to HydraIRC and see about improving that great alternative. But in all honesty I think mIRC has very few faults and the next version is going to have a lot of improvements and fixes so there really isn't a lot to worry about. Provide feedback in the forums for what you think needs changing and if it's good, there's a chance it may be implemented in the future. If you have a great idea for IRC, no one's stopping you from pulling together resources and starting your own client. I think just the fact that Kahled does make money off of mIRC is testament to why it has become the most popular and considered the best client that is still developed since it's inception 15 years ago.

Last edited by flowrush; 05/04/10 11:58 PM.
Re: Going open-source [Re: flowrush] #220136 06/04/10 12:42 AM
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I agree, I think some apps just shouldn't be open source. There are enough open source apps out there for you to do whatever you want to do.
The bottom line is probably money anyway, so even if it seemed like a really good idea, Khaled probably wouldn't do it.

Re: Going open-source [Re: Williamvd] #223375 22/07/10 04:55 AM
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I'd like to see it go Open Source mostly because the current developer has pretty well ruled out support for any other platforms. I mean I can completely understand that (quite an undertaking that would be), but it still sucks. However, if there was more than one person helping out, I think we'd see a little more support in that arena. Yeah, mIRC KIND of works in wine...but it's buggy as hell. It'd just be nice to have a native mIRC app for Linux and see the development jump forward a little. I also understand it won't make me coffee and clean my house overnight, but I don't think it'd be worse off. As someone else already mentioned, the last version was in 2008.

Maybe we do need to wait until he's done making money off of it and such. I have no problems with that...he made it. I just hope when development finally goes dead, he does us all a favor and open sources it.

Re: Going open-source [Re: webhead] #223376 22/07/10 05:20 AM
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Considering Khaled has been working on version 7 (currently under public beta testing) for at least the past year, and he has stated that emoticons are likely for the future, though they are not high on his ToDo list, I think it's safe to say that Khaled's development stage for mIRC is far from over.

Re: Going open-source [Re: webhead] #223378 22/07/10 06:02 AM
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I think the case in point to your argument is this:

All of the "buggy" parts of mIRC under wine are known wine bugs (or features that are not yet implemented). Wine is an open-source product, ie., you are completely free to work on fixing these bugs. And yet, the bugs remain, and people (you?) keep complaining about how "buggy" mIRC is under wine. The bugs have all been around for many years now, and nobody's tackled them. Do you see where I'm going with this?

If you're so interested in contributing to making mIRC work under other platforms, contribute to wine. The fact that nobody has done so shows that: a) it's a lot easier to talk than to do, and b) multi-platform support is not easy, no matter how it's done, and most importantly c) "open source" didn't yet solve the problem in the first place.

Wine is what you should be looking at; not only is it already open source, but it's the source of the bugs anyway. Even if mIRC was open sourced, it wouldn't help you w.r.t Wine's issues, because the bugs are on Wine's end. Patching mIRC will cause more problems in the future when (if?) these bugs are fixed in Wine, so Khaled usually refrains from implementing Wine-specific workarounds. An open-sourced mIRC would have the same policy (I'd hope), so OSS isn't the answer for Wine support.

The real problem with mIRC under wine is that everyone gets frustrated with the bugs, goes onto the wrong forums (mIRC's) and complains about how mIRC doesn't work well under wine-- instead of going to the right place (wine's bug tracker), reporting a bug and seeing it through. If people directed their energy towards practical solutions, we'd be in a much better place.

Finally, to put things into perspective, I should point out that I use mIRC under Wine quite a lot. It's not nearly as buggy as people seem to imply. It has its quirks, and some things glitch about, but it's stable and completely usable. So, I don't even think mIRC is in any dire need of better multi-platform support. It could certainly be improved, but it's hardly a reason to go as far as to call for the open sourcing of an IRC client.


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Re: Going open-source [Re: webhead] #223379 22/07/10 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted By: webhead
I'd like to see it go Open Source mostly because the current developer has pretty well ruled out support for any other platforms. I mean I can completely understand that (quite an undertaking that would be), but it still sucks. However, if there was more than one person helping out, I think we'd see a little more support in that arena. Yeah, mIRC KIND of works in wine...but it's buggy as hell. It'd just be nice to have a native mIRC app for Linux and see the development jump forward a little. I also understand it won't make me coffee and clean my house overnight, but I don't think it'd be worse off. As someone else already mentioned, the last version was in 2008.

Maybe we do need to wait until he's done making money off of it and such. I have no problems with that...he made it. I just hope when development finally goes dead, he does us all a favor and open sources it.


Sorry but I do not agree, Wine and mIRC work just fine, and has done for a few years here, there may be issues with the later versions of mIRC that were designed to run on Vista, having a few problems with nix and wine. But I find 6.21+wine+centos/fedora/redhat works just fine. If I wanted more functionality for a chat application I would either switch to windows or use xChat and use tcl/ruby/python et al. mIrc is a windows application and a chat client, and on my systems it does exactly that.


Happy mIRC user on Linux
Re: Going open-source [Re: Williamvd] #223392 22/07/10 09:25 PM
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"Khaled has developed mIRC for a long time on his own, but isn't it time to turn open-source? The community could improve mIRC by much, and mSL will be growing as language."

While additions to mSL might be a good idea, One thing has not been addressed here and should be.

mIRC, while under the development of one individual, has one very strong advantage. By keeping it in Khaled's hands with a dedicated group of testers, there is less room for the addition of malware code than if it were open source.



Help others! It makes the world a better place, Makes you feel good, and makes you Healthy!
Re: Going open-source [Re: webhead] #223414 23/07/10 08:35 PM
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Looks like we have found someone to do all the job for free for all of us then.

I would like to see you live like that for 1 or 2 years.

There are a lot of open source chats that needs hands to work on it, maybe you should ofer yourself for it.

If you like Mirc, lets keep it the way it is, been developed by someone that does the work well, lives from it and keep the project alive.

Regards


Originally Posted By: webhead
I'd like to see it go Open Source mostly because the current developer has pretty well ruled out support for any other platforms. I mean I can completely understand that (quite an undertaking that would be), but it still sucks. However, if there was more than one person helping out, I think we'd see a little more support in that arena. Yeah, mIRC KIND of works in wine...but it's buggy as hell. It'd just be nice to have a native mIRC app for Linux and see the development jump forward a little. I also understand it won't make me coffee and clean my house overnight, but I don't think it'd be worse off. As someone else already mentioned, the last version was in 2008.

Maybe we do need to wait until he's done making money off of it and such. I have no problems with that...he made it. I just hope when development finally goes dead, he does us all a favor and open sources it.

Re: Going open-source [Re: argv0] #223489 26/07/10 05:23 AM
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Not trying to step on anyone's toes here. Not sure why I'm being passive aggressively attacked. :p

At any rate, I am fully aware that wine needs improvement. I never implied that mIRC was at fault running buggy under Wine. I'm not retarded. I know that wine isn't perfect and there is no WAY I would want Khaled to actually patch mIRC to make it better under wine...that would be insane. I have made bug reports on wine, but here's the thing: (1) I don't have the programming experience to work on this stuff (I'm a web developer dude...I know HTML, CSS, PHP...none of these are C++) and (2) I don't particularly have the time. I'm not even trying to attack it, what I'm ACTUALLY trying to say, which all of you replying seem to have completely missed, is that I'd like to see a NATIVE Linux client. Running programs under wine is a hack. Period. So most of your posts are irrelevant because I'm not here complaining about how wine sucks. I was illustrating a point. I get that making a Linux port would be a PITA and I fully appreciate that situation. Furthermore, people like you guys that tell me to fix it myself aren't helping the situation. I've seen that happen to other people on Slashdot and you aren't contributing to the discussion. Me voicing an opinion isn't a place for nerd rage and telling me to just fix it myself. That's not practical. It gives nerds a bad name. "Fuck off do it yourself" is the reason most normal people don't want to use Linux.

So I'm not sure why you're all being so hostile. I wasn't trying to imply that the developer is lazy, milking us, the cause of wine issues, or really...anything that anyone thus far has mentioned. Maybe you're just used to idiots coming here and bitching about things completely at random and posting the same topic in every subforum? I guess I can understand that. I merely wish to see a Native Linux mIRC because no matter how good wine is? It's never going to be as good as a native program.

Also I don't think Khaled has done a bad job at all. There's a reason I'm running mIRC in Wine when I'm on Linux. Kicks all the other's asses. Keep it up, by all means. If I come off as a complainer, I apologize. I like using programs that are multiplatform. I try to run as many OSS programs as possible because I can USUALLY find them under both Windows and Linux and I use both of those a lot. I'm not just here bitching to see my name show up next to the post...I'm making a valid point. On the other hand, I'm probably just beating a dead horse. I will admit my ignorance on any current betas or development. Didn't really see anything in the news section (which doesn't get updated much) and I really only come here to update the app.

So let's all calm down. No needs to get up in a fury here. I'm not attacking anyone here as some of you seem to think. It's cool guys. I love mIRC. Seriously.

Re: Going open-source [Re: webhead] #223490 26/07/10 05:34 AM
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I'm not being hostile. You can read my other 2500 posts to get a sense of my average response. My post might sound more pedantic than normal, but only because Wine issues come up all the time-- so much so that there is a sticky in the feature suggestions thread telling people not to ask about non-Windows ports of this client, since it's basically never happening.

If your point is that mIRC should go open source in order to port it to Linux, consider this: a native client would require an entire ground-up rewrite of the entire codebase. mIRC leverages the functionality of Windows just about anywhere and everywhere. It uses winmm.dll for audio, it uses the GetMessage loop for /timers and various script engine features, it uses SendMessage,DDE and COM for communication, and relies heavily on WinAPI for the UI (incl. dialogs), all the way down to font-rendering and the new multibyte/Unicode data conversion APIs in the 7.x betas. Pretty much everything would need to be redone. The only part that could possibly be reused would be the script parsing code, which, on a relative scale would take very little effort. Therefore as far as a native Linux client goes, open sourcing would not be helpful at all. You're better off starting a completely new project, because that's what would have to be done anyway.


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Re: Going open-source [Re: argv0] #223491 26/07/10 05:44 AM
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Fair enough. Maybe it would be more beneficial to bring mIRC scripting to another client with a similar look and feel in Linux. That would certainly be a welcome change. Some of the clients I've used seem decent, but having to learn more than just a simple scripting language like mIRC's seems like such a pain in the ass.

That would be an interesting OSS project. Linux client with mIRC scripting. I wish I knew C++ or anything other than scripting languages. There just doesn't seem to be another program as easy to work with as mIRC. mIRC is the right blend of versatile and easily modifiable.

Last edited by webhead; 26/07/10 05:45 AM.
Re: Going open-source [Re: webhead] #223492 26/07/10 08:03 AM
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There actually are a handful of OSS projects for IRC clients trying to implement mIRC's scripting engine. I don't recall all of the projects, but I know none of them are complete or widely used, mostly because there doesn't tend to be a lot of interest in cross-platform support and/or programmers who are willing and able to contribute. Pretty much the same issues I raised above. Here are some of the ones I've heard of:

  • a Java project, about 3 years old now, which I assume has since been abandoned. Not sure how far they got, but I can't imagine very far.
  • BoxedIRC - created in 2000, never completed. Never got to any scripting support, though it was planned.
  • jIRC - meant to continue from BoxedIRC in 2005, but never got much further. Not even sure if scripting support was part of the planned functionality this time around.
  • I think there was also a mention of one project in the Developer forums, at some point.


But when it comes down to it, it doesn't really make sense to re-implement mIRC's scripting engine for an open source IRC client when there are so many highly functional, performant, and easily embeddable languages out there like JavaScript, LISP, Lua, Python, Tcl, Perl, etc.. IMO if mIRC were to ever get a redesign, the scripting layer is the first thing that should be thrown out. mIRC has a great scripting engine, but mostly because it's been around long enough to amass a lot of functionality. The engine itself is riddled with flaws, limitations and is extremely slow-- it's not something I'd want to grandfather into a new sleek IRC client. The only real benefit is existing script support. The syntax also lends itself well to IRC, but Tcl is another language that has a very similar syntax to mIRC's and could be used (and is used, in many IRC clients). LISP/Scheme would also be a really close fit-- and LISP has super-efficient interpreters. And if you really wanted to maintain script support, it would take a lot less time to use one of those languages and just write a small component/program to translate mIRC syntax to another language before compiling.


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Re: Going open-source [Re: Williamvd] #224250 07/08/10 12:26 PM
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WilliamVD:-

I've been using mIRC for more then 3 years now, and I always liked and enjoyed it, but there are also some downsides. There are some things we don't like, and should be fixed and/or improved, i.e. error handling among some other things.

Who is "we"? Half the fun in using mIRC is waiting with anticipation for a new release. At times new releases are mainly bug-fixes and others are mainly new features.

Khaled has developed mIRC for a long time on his own, but isn't it time to turn open-source? The community could improve mIRC by much, and mSL will be growing as language.

I suppose Khaled will decide this for himself. I really like it [not] how some people seem to enjoy taking the intellectual property of others and claim they can make it better when all they seem to be interested in doing is taking the hard work of others and using it as a tool for self-gratification. Development of software, for some, is some sort of dicksize competition so if you can do better than mIRC's author then do it on his terms - write your own better programme from the ground up.

I think it's nice to discuss here wether mIRC should go opensource or not.

Yes, occasionally it is. But you have been given the official word right here on this site. Why press the issue?

I think there are a few reasons to make mIRC open-source:

a] The community can work on it, which will take mIRC and the language mSL to a much higher level.

b] This makes the mIRC parser even more portable and we can write mIRC implemenation in other languages and/or programs.

c] A lot of new features can be added, and be fixed much faster, then with 1 person.


A: Define "community". Don't you mean that the mIRC scripting language will end up being broken by several communities wanting to take things in different directions?

B: All it will do is create incompatibility. Why is there a need to write mIRC scripts in other languages?

C: List the features you want added to mIRC in the Feature Suggestions Forum here. You will find that all features listed that can be added in a short space of time have actually been added over the years.

Webhead:-

I'd like to see it go Open Source mostly because the current developer has pretty well ruled out support for any other platforms.

Cross-platform releases were ruled out years ago. This isn't a new policy by any means.

Yeah, mIRC KIND of works in wine...but it's buggy as hell.

mIRC isn't buggy. Wine probably could be. Use Windows programmes on a Windows-powered computer and you won't have problems.