We tried not to do this, we really did. But with a gap in trust between IRC channels and IRC staff, it was bound to happen.
So what did happen?
Well, we’ve been trying to refer people to the channel blog (this site!) regularly so they could keep up with what was going on, on a
fairly regular basis. We had already moved the bot to the Libera.chat
network, because of the gap in trust, but we tried to not violate the
intent on Freenode to directly advertise a “competing network.” But these notices were fairly rare, maybe five a day.
But around the time of one of the notices, a user pointed out the migration fairly explicitly, in support of another user’s question. This was entirely innocent of ill will, mind: one user on the channel supporting another.
A few hours later, one of the IRC staff changed the channel topic and removed access for the entire set of ops, claiming the channel was abandoned and had no controls in place. The ops who were in the channel (and watching, I might add) immediately protested, because this was an entirely unwarranted action almost literally out of nowhere.
To the staff’s “credit,” they offered to restore access once the ops protested the incursion. But… remember that gap in trust?
That gap in trust was because the ops were concerned that an arbitrary decision might be made concerning the channel, and that’s exactly what happened. The staff even used the innocent user supporting another user, as part of an active conversation, as justification. “This is spam!,” was the claim, “and the ops aren’t asserting control!” — and neither claim was true.
We now have access back for ##java on Freenode. However, we’ve set the channel to be moderated (i.e.,
+m), to prevent possible spam; if you want to be able to talk in ##java on Freenode, you’ll need to message an op to get it.
But the channel has moved to Libera.chat (again, see ##java), along with the most invested and active of its users, as well as the bot. If you want what Freenode ##java used to be, you should migrate.
(And if you really want to, you can still join ##java – it’ll redirect to #java.)