Derpnet is intended to create a free and open source, secure, private method of communication. As communication is our primary goal, we will implement an IRC setup and increase security and privacy from there.
As our goals are different than those of a standard IRC setup, so too will our implementation differ in a few important ways. These include:
encouraging the use of proxies and Tor (with the exception of Freenode, most networks today block such activity); the server will have a .onion address
increased use of SSL and OTR security, in places like private messaging
non-standard NickServ implementation, requiring all users who wish to join channels or message others be registered (as a derivative, we will be establishing an extremely secure mail server as well), as well as reserving “blocks” of nicks rather than a single nick
Other aspects of the traditional IRC will be implemented normally (for example, the channel-oriented setup, etc.). To accompany the IRC setup, Derpnet will also maintain a webpage (full of things like what it is, how to register, etc.) in the OpenNIC space (and possibly also in the normal webspace).
The Derpnet project exists to fill the vacuum of secure, open source group communication. Currently the only such implementation is face-to-face conversation and while the release policy on that source may be debated the point is that it is rather inconvenient. The IRC protocol is an existing framework that allows for a variety of clients already implemented to be used with no additional modification.
C++ is a compiled language (which allows for fast execution) without being interpreted (I am looking at you right now, Java). In addition, its similarity to C allows it to be approachable by many programmers (unlike the other languages we wanted to use, Haskell and ATS).
Due to our association with BUILDS, we are able to make use of BUILDS hosting. This requires us to use git, which although some view as more difficult to use, is functional and adequate for our current needs. Currently commits are restricted to project members. Our git repository is publicly accessible at https://github.com/BUILDS-/Derpnet for those interested in following along.
Who are we looking for?
programmers who are willing to write code to be released under an open source license (probably GPL or similar)
anyone who makes frequent use of IRC or is willing to do so to test
anyone else who is willing to help in whatever way they can
Who are we?
The leader of this project is currently Robbie Harwood, who can be reached at rharwood at bu dot edu. Additionally, until our own server is operational, we will occupy channel #derpnet on foonetic.