[TEAM] Drop XChat for 14.10

Simon Steinbeiß simon at xfce.org
Thu Jul 31 07:44:42 UTC 2014

On Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:14:12 +0300
Pasi Lallinaho <pasi at shimmerproject.org> wrote:

> On 2014-07-31 06:33, Micah Gersten wrote:
> > On 07/29/2014 07:10 AM, Simon Steinbeiß wrote:
> >> Hey Xubuntu team members,
> >>
> >> we started voting on a proposal for the default IRC client in
> >> today's meeting[0].
> >>
> >> In short, what we're voting on is whether to drop XChat for Xubuntu
> >> 14.10.
> >>
> >> == Rationale ==
> >>
> >> Those who need IRC can still use pidgin and this is a consistent
> >> move in terms of streamlining our default applications (remember
> >> the dropping of GThumb in 14.04).
> >> This decision would be revisited for 15.04, so if we'd see the
> >> need, we could re-add XChat (or hexchat).
> >>
> >> == Voting ==
> >>
> >> Just reply with +1, 0 or -1 to this thread – you can obviously also
> >> explain why you voted one or the other way. So far, we have 4 votes
> >> from team members for the proposal to drop XChat and 0 against
> >> (and 0 abstained).
> >>
> >> Please note that ONLY XUBUNTU TEAM MEMBERS CAN VOTE. Other votes
> >> are ignored, so please don't send a vote and waste bandwidth
> >> unless you are an active member of the Xubuntu team [1].
> >>
> >> == End of vote ==
> >>
> >> This vote will expire in one week (June 6th, 10:00 UTC), so please
> >> send in your votes in a timely manner.
> >>
> >> Cheers
> >> Simon
> >> Xubuntu Project Lead
> >>
> >> [0]
> >> http://ubottu.com/meetingology/logs/xubuntu-devel/2014/xubuntu-devel.2014-07-29-10.30.log.txt
> >> [1] https://launchpad.net/~xubuntu-team/+members#active
> >>
> > -1  I used to use Pidgin's IRC support when I used the other chat
> > protocols supported in Pidgin.  When XChat was to be added, IIRC, I
> > originally pushed that we could just use Pidgin for IRC.  However, I
> > eventually switched to XChat as Pidgin's support for 20+ channels
> > per server was lacking.  I've been using XChat for a while now and
> > it seems a very simple to use tool to access freenode amongst other
> > servers.  I agree with others that have stated in this thread that
> > since IRC is such an integral part of the Ubuntu community, we'd be
> > best served to keep an easy to use client like XChat.  If there is
> > a simpler client that can be integrated, I'd be open to that.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Micah
> >
> Is this argument based on solely on your own needs and wants or the 
> target audience of Xubuntu?
> I'd argue that most of our target audience users do not wish to join
> 20+ channels (per server) at a time. On the other hand, those who do
> know how to install their favorite IRC client from the repositories.
> They might even prefer other options, like running screen and irssi
> on a server. In both of these cases the default pick for an IRC
> client is mostly irrelevant for them.
> On another note for this discussion, some of the arguments against
> have been in the spirit of "if we drop Xchat, it's too hard for new
> people to join the IRC for a support question". How is running Xchat
> and finding your way to #xubuntu easier than navigating to
> http://xubuntu.org/irc/ (which is available in our installation
> slideshow) and clicking connect?
> Cheers,
> Pasi

I completely agree with Pasi on this one.
Even if IRC is an integral part of the Ubuntu community, we currently
provide three avenues to get there (Webchat, XChat, Pidgin) and the
argument that Pidgin isn't good enough for advanced IRC usage misses
the point of this proposal.
(But I guess the right way to take that is that maybe the proposal was
flawed or written up to hastily, assuming that since those present at
the meeting agreed, all others would too, hence not presenting all the

Fun fact: I don't know anyone in person who has installed X/Ubuntu and
then used IRC to get support. Those folks just used
This is NOT meant as anecdotal evidence to support my argument, but it
illustrates that everyone has to accept the premise that IRC is the
"golden path" for people to get support. (Just because the community
and the contributors use IRC doesn't mean users will.)

Be that as it may...
Why I wanted to go ahead with this proposal is because I think that
14.10 is the perfect time to experiment a bit and get some feedback on
things. If people complain about the lack of XChat – if there's a
shitstorm about it even – I wouldn't take that as a failure of our
decision but as a great reason to install it again by default, knowing
for sure that it makes sense for many users.


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