To the extent a significant amount of the tool development community uses IRC, we should consider a web-IRC bridge for Toolhub users. Basically the user would authenticate through OAuth and have access to the wikimedia-cloud IRC channel.
Roughly two different implementation techniques:
- We set up IRC bouncers for users, accessible through a web application. The bouncer would handle authentication to IRC services and maintain a chat backlog for users when they are not online.
- We use a different chat service altogether and, on this service, implement a bridge between IRC and this new service. What is important here is that IRC conversation and non-IRC conversation would be considered equal between both platforms.
This is a slightly broader problem than just the tools catalog, but hopefully by trying to solve it in this specific context we narrow the number of problems we need to solve.