@sir IRC is kind of broken as designed; the server pretty much expects to be talking directly to the user, so there are fundamental things missing, like knowing which past request an error message is a response to, or knowing whether a message you see or sent has been truncated because it was too long (or even what the length limit is)
@lain presumably someone has done load testing? I'd like to have some kind of vague order of magnitude idea of when things start to break: on a 1000MIPS machine with 1GiB, is it when statuses are flowing in at 1 Hz, 10 Hz, 100 Hz, 1 kHz, 10 kHz, 100 kHz, 1 MHz? Is it when there are 10 clients, 100 clients, 1000 clients, 10k clients, 100k clients? Does it matter how many other servers you're directly federating with, and where does that break, roughly?
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