What prompted OFTC’s creation?

Quite simply, the group which started OFTC was unhappy with the communications options available to Free Software and Open Source projects. We felt that a new project was required, which would devote itself to providing services to the Free Software and Open Source communities.

Isn’t OFTC’s structure awfully bureaucratic?

OFTC’s staff have the power to make decisions that need to be made immediately. Any decisions on policy - which include the addition of staff and servers - are made by a central administrative body known as the Network Operations Committee, with aid from users and staff.

What services does OFTC provide?

Currently, OFTC provides an IRC network for use. We expect to expand quickly into mailing lists, followed more slowly by web services and an NNTP server. Ultimately, we wish to also provide some form of source repository management, such as CVS.

Does this FAQ get updated?

Yes. As more services are added, sections for each of those services will be added to this FAQ, and it may also be updated to reflect policy changes or simple corrections.

Why does OFTC exist? freenode already provides IRC for this community.

OFTC aims to provide many services to the community, including but not limited to mailing lists, project web pages, NNTP, and ultimately CVS. IRC is a logical first step, since resource requirements are very low, and momentum can be gained with which to grow into a more complete project.

Is OFTC a democracy?

Not quite. Due to the difficulty in creating an on-line voting mechanism resistant to abuse, the only voters on OFTC are those who directly contribute to OFTC itself. We are exploring options to allow regular users of OFTC’s services to vote as well, but at present, only OFTC staff run during elections, and only OFTC staff vote.

Whose idea was this project?

A number of members of the Open Source and Free Software communities came together and decided that there was a need for this type of project. That need had not been fulfilled, and they felt they would be able to create and administer such a project.

I have a question, request, or comment. Who do I go to?

All active staff members can be found on the the Staff page. You may contact them directly on our IRC servers, or you may wish to contact us through email at support.

Is there a mailing list on which users can discuss the network?

OFTC provides a mailing list open to all members at oftc-user@lists.oftc.net. To subscribe, email oftc-user-request@lists.oftc.net with the subject “subscribe oftc-user”.

I wish to complain about a staff member or the network. Who do I talk to?

The Ombudsman is in charge of dealing with all complaints against staff members or the Network as a whole. Contact the Ombudsman here. If you wish to complain about the Ombudsman, contact the network’s Chair here.

The constitution mentions a Policy Document. Where can I find it?

The policy document is a summary of all decisions made by the Network Operations Committee, and will be released as soon as is possible. It involves going through well over ten thousand lines of conversation, and producing a readable document. It has not yet been completed.

How is OFTC’s constitution enforced?

Software in the Public Interest holds our domain name in trust and with it has the necessary power and authority to enforce our constitution.

How can I use OFTC’s various services?

The only service ready for use is IRC. To use it, use your favourite IRC client to log on to irc.oftc.net. As more services become available, information will be provided about them on our project web site.

What happened to Mibbit’s access to OFTC?

Please refer to the Mibbit document that we have prepared that outlines why access via Mibbit is no longer possible.