information, social software, opensource

Re-releasing net-silc code: double the fun?

In 2004 (6 years ago, or 2 eons of the internet age), I released some code that was almost useful to me a number of times, in hopes that someone else might pick it up and (if I got lucky) make it actually useful to both of us (or more!) at some point in the future. The code? Just a small perl utility, modeled after the excellent and well used Net::IRC, the basis for one of the most interesting, clean and modular IRC bots out there, mozbot. Except mozbot doesn't work in SILC, my preferred real-time chat protocol for many years.

At some point I realized that it would be feasible (and cool!) to replace the underlying API on which mozbot relied with a functional equivalent that spoke to a SILC server. I got very excited by the prospect of having a programmable utility automaton in my "virtual office" environment, without having to give up the secure and autonomous network community in which that office resided. This dream inspires me even today.

Alas, the "real world" of everyday life/work expectations and responsibilities crept in, and my office has become very much real and present. I spend very little time in any kind of chatroom these days, although I often feel it could still help a lot, even in a shared physical space. At any rate, the code languished here, on my tiny little corner of the web, until someone picked it up.