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posted by NCommander on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:18AM   Printer-friendly
from the holy-fucking-shit dept.

So, as I write this, day one has officially come to an end. I'm still somewhat in shock over it. Last night when I was editing the database to change over hostnames and such, I was thinking, man, it would be great if we got 100 regular users by tomorrow. Turns out I was wrong. By a factor of ten. Holy cow, people. I'm still in a state of disbelief, partially due to the epic turnout, but also because our very modest server hardware hasn't soiled itself from the influx (the numbers are, well, "impressive" is a way to put it). Anyway, I wanted to do a bit of a writeup of where we stand now, what works, and what doesn't. Check it out (and some raw numbers) after the break! Warning, it is a bit lengthy.

As some of you may have noticed, we've had a couple of hiccups today, but all and all, it was a huge smashing success for day one, and you, the community, made it possible. Here's our version of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good!

Articles, Commenting, and User Profiles: As the basic life blood of any website, these features need to work 100%, be usable for both staff and for the community. As many are aware, we had an issue with story submission; the problem here was that Slashcode has a "Human Confirmation" module which basically went nuts after we launched. That's been fixed, and submissions should work from any user, and from ACs. As for user registration, this is working, but we've had issues with emails either getting placed into the spam bin, or dropping into the nether regions. We're still looking into this, and hope to have it addressed soon. As for user features (referred to as the Zoo in code), things like Friends/Foes/etc. are all working as expected.

Moderation: Of all the bits of Slashcode that needed tweaking, this is the only one that required a rewrite. As it's difficult to test any code that depends on a huge group of users, we went live knowing that this was going to need ongoing massaging. I won't go into the nitty-gritty here, but suffice to say we're keeping a very close eye on it. Basically, modpoints are issued if you're logged in and actively browsing on the site, and expire four hours after being issued. The UI doesn't accurately reflect this, as this change was made a couple hours ago, and the templates don't provide enough granularity to show hours vs. days. For those who are curious, I did a write up the original slash system (and why it had to go) here, and a second one going into details behind the current implementation, and the thought process that went into it here. Comments welcome.

Site Responsiveness: Appears to be good all around, despite the very modest hardware we're running on. Slash does plenty of caching with memcache, and varnish is helping loads. I don't expect any short term issues with us getting overloaded based on our current capacity and the resources we're utilizing. If there's one thing slash excels at, it is at being an incredibly scalable chunk of perl.

Development Portal: Up and running on our local FusionForge installation. Like the main site, this one also having some email issues, but we're manually approving accounts as they come in. The current latest code can be found there, as well as our bug trackers. The SSL issue is known, and we've got a proper certificate waiting to be installed. The git repository for the site is there (as well as mirrored on github) if you want to dive in. Feel free to drop in at ##altslashdot on irc.freenode.net if you have questions.

Statistics: Slash's internal stats engine is mostly working, but is slightly skewed due to Varnish. We can get realistic numbers by combining slash's numbers with those from the host itself. Needless to say, I was impressed.

The So-So!

Journals: On a technical level, these are working as best as we could expect. The problem is there's a lot of missing functionality, either in stuff that you expect to be there, and isn't, or stuff the other site has that we don't. The biggest glaring omission is the missing "Submit for Submission" button. I'm not sure if it's just not existent, or the HTML for it fell off the templates. It would not be the first feature we had to reconnect to the rest of slash. (Next/Prev article was another one). To be honest, overhauling this entire section is on my wish list, and I have some thoughts on this that I will eventually write down, discuss, and perhaps even implement.

Topics: Oh boy ... for a simple feature, this proved incredibly irritating to get to work, resulting in us hosing the site horribly for several hours. In the end, it required implementing the topics one by one in the database by hand then trying to get backslash to cooperate. This feature is somewhat over-engineered due to the fact that every article requires at least one "Topic" and a "Nexus", which is a section of the site which can exist as a subdomain. For the most part, these are implemented, but are all sharing the same icon (the art wasn't quite available by go-live). Expect to see icons sometime soon. The topics.pl page however is glitching out, for reasons I can't completely understand. For the most part, it's functional.

UTF-8: Believe it or not, we do support it (and it was pretty simple to get working, but it's not 100% bug free. This seems to be mostly related to the internal HTML validator slash uses on incoming comments, but the results are mixed based on your operating system, your browser, and the phases of the moon. If you want to see the UTF-8 in actual for yourself, check out here and here.

The Bad!

Search: Mostly hosed. The backend requires Sphinx, and possibly patching MySQL. It seems to be broken on the other site, as well, when I tested it, so at least we're not alone in this department. It does work for searching based on authors/comments by user, thus it was left in place. Just don't expect it to work for general queries right now.

The Skin: We've had ongoing CSS and theming issues since slash was installed. Considering what we had when we started, it's somewhat impressive that it's usable at all. PrestonL and many, many others on IRC contributed CSS fixes, and a proper fix for the user's page went live late today. I need to go through the logs and get an exact list of contributors so I can all give them the proper kudos and put them in the AUTHORS file.

Static HTML Pages: Slash comes with a fair number of static pages, like the About and Help pages. Most of these pages are there, but are either horribly out of date (for example, anything related to slashcode), horribly wrong (moderation), or just nonexistent. Basically, if it is documentation related to the site, the odds are that it's either 404ing or just wrong. Fixing this is mostly a matter of writing them and putting them in the correct places.

The Ugly! Welcome to the top (or perhaps bottom) issues currently plaguing the site today, those that have no easy resolution. Help is especially needed for all the below.

D2: As many people no doubt noticed, we launched with the old D1 system. While perfectly functional, it has a *very* 1997 feel to it, and there are users that do prefer the more dynamic D2 system. This wasn't some conspiracy to launch an entirely Web 1.0 website (which happens to mostly work with NCSA Mosaic), but due to the fact that most of it is missing. We have the actual code and backend stuff, but none of the javascript that makes it work. Furthermore, even if we did, it would be the rather ugly version that had the "floating box of doom" (since that code is from that era). The switch in the UI creeped back in after go-live, but functionally it might as well not be there. I'd like to give the D1 system a SLIGHT facelift (similar to the old Greasemonkey script for Slashdot), yet make sure this site always works correctly. Ideas and volunteers welcome.

Firehose: It's essentially the same story as D2, except I'm not even sure that all the backend code is there for it. If we want it, it's basically a burn and rewrite.

Tags: Unlike the other two, we've got most of bits for them. They're just not exposed anywhere on the skin. It's probably possible to bring them back if the community feels that they add value, but it will require someone who knows HTML, javascript, and Template::Toolkit to do it.

Meta-moderation: This is a case where the implementation itself is questionable. We've got all the code for this, but it's broken. When the other site rolled out firehose, they broke this. It appears all the logic is in place, it just needs minor brain surgery. The problem is, the old moderation system was built on a fundamentally wrong premise that got lucky, and I'm honestly not sure many people ever metamodded in anything approaching significant value. This entire feature needs a rethink in light of the moderation rework.

Theming Engine: Slash's theme engine is an example of evolution, not of intelligent design. Basically, if we want multiple themes, it requires multiple Apache instances, running different vhosts for different Nexuses. If I lost you, the take away is its pretty damn ugly. Its not unsalvagable, most of the themed bits live in the database, and it might be possible to make themes user-selectable (it appears some work was done to implement this in slash before being abandoned).

Backslash: Most of you are probably "WTF is backslash." It's slash's version of an admin panel, and it was clearly never designed for mere mortals. We've smacked most of the bugs out of it, but it remains somewhat awkward to use, and for suadmins, it is possible to actually break the site with a misclick (we've already done it and put slashd in an infinite loop). For the most part, the story editors is "relatively" usable, and I finally smote the long standing 500 error. For end users, the biggest thing on this to know is that the two-man system isn't enforced. Articles will be flagged yellow or red (depending on the author) on the master list, but nothing actually prevents those from going live. Furthermore, there's very little in terms of sanity checking, and it's far too easy to accidentally publish something. I just ask the community bears with us as we fight our backend tools.

Mod_perl: And we get to the 600-pound gorilla in the corner. Slash is tied to mod_perl 1.3 and mod_perl is tied to Apache 1.3. If you know Apache, you can guess the problem. If not, it's basically summed up as this: 1.3 is EOL, and has been for some time. There are no "known" CVEs, which helps, but I think everyone wants us to get to supported server software ASAP. This is compounded by the fact that mod_perl development appears to have ceased, and no version exists thats compatible with Apache 2.4. While not an IMMEDIATE problem, it's something we need to figure out for longer term plans for. There's been talk on going to FastCGI or a similar solution, but no definite long term plans have been made. At least one serious effort was historically made to try and update the codebase to 2.0, and MOST of the Apache binder stuff is relatively self-contained. At least we're not alone on this, the few slashcode sites that we're aware of (aside from the other site, which Netcraft reports running Apache 2.2) are still running 1.3.

Final Remarks, and Server Information, and Day 1 Stats

Wooo, still with me? Good. The long and short of it is we're doing pretty well overall, but there's a lot of work that still needs doing. If you want to jump in, grab the code and join us on IRC, all contributions are welcome. After this post goes live, I'm going on a hiatus to try and get my life/work balance back in order. I hope to return in a week or two to help the dev team digging. As always, I'll be available on IRC should something (like the mod script) needs my attention.

A couple^Wsome^Wlot of people have been asking about the server hardware, who is UID #1 (Anonymous Coward), and what the day one counts were. I'm pleased to announce that we are hosted on Linode, specifically, two Linode 2048s running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. Average server load during day 1 was between 10-20% percent, spiking occasionally when we had to flush caches out for config changes.

In the last 24 hours, we used over 7 GiB(!) of bandwidth, served to 3630 distinct IP addresses. As of midnight tonight EST, the daily stats email dropped out of slashd, so I'm going to repost most of it here. Please note the bandwidth stats from slash are skewed as it is behind Varnish. For the most part, only the actual HTML of a given page is uncached for logged in users. Enjoy.

SoylentNews Stats for 2014-02-17

                   UIDs      IPIDs      Pages
        total:        -          -      76164 (2123.8 MB)
 static total:        -          -       5722
gstatic total:        -          -       7827
  grand total:      916       3630      78372 (2140.9 MB)
 secure total:        -          -          0

   total hits:   103059

        posts:      267        333
     comments:      607       1502      17478 (412.1 MB)
        index:      868       1818      14931
     articles:      738       2298      12508 (573.6 MB)
       search:      224        568       1841 (31.4 MB)
     journals:      276        394       1572 (25.2 MB)
        users:      652        812       5390 (105.0 MB)
          rss:       55        172       2208 (17.1 MB)
        other:       43         52       2086 (37.0 MB)


     formkeys:     1732 rows total
     comments:      837 posted yesterday
  submissions:       28 submissions
 sub/comments:     82.1% of the submissions came from comment posters from this day



------------------------
                            Yesterday   | 2 days ago | 3 days ago
    Avg Hits Per Article:          962.2|       168.4|         0.0
Avg Comments Per Article:           58.0|        16.4|         6.2

Pages From RSS By Section
------------------------------------------------
Section		         Pages     UIDS    IPIDS
           Main Page       524       36      169

For Main Page
                  Pages      IPs   Bandwidth    Users
        total:    76164     3600   2123.8 MB      916
        index:    14931     1818    644.1 MB      868
     comments:    17478     1502    412.1 MB      607
     articles:    12508     2298    573.6 MB      738
       search:     1841      568     31.4 MB      224
          rss:     2208      172     17.1 MB       55
        other:     2086       52     37.0 MB      916

-----------------------

Top stories viewed by article.pl:
  1885 14/02/17/0148235 Dopefish   Welcome to the World of Tomorr
   865 14/02/17/1745207 mattie_p   What "News for Nerds" Sites Sh
   725 14/02/17/0745210 Dopefish   Environmentalists Concerned Ab
   613 14/02/16/2220240 NCommander Announcing UTF-8 Support on So
   608 14/02/16/1331209 NCommander Massive Site Progress - Status
   560 14/02/17/145204  LaminatorX Australia spied on US law firm
   531 14/02/17/0818240 Dopefish   MIT Students Subpoenaed Over T
   514 14/02/17/1453216 LaminatorX Find those bugs!
   510 14/02/16/2318242 Dopefish   AIDS Deniers Use Bogus Copyrig
   413 14/02/17/0814201 Dopefish   Wondering Where Microsoft Bing
   393 14/02/16/0731223 mattie_p   Global Warming Finally Debunke
   385 14/02/17/180204  Cactus     Desalination Project in Califo
   292 14/02/17/1734251 mattie_p   Coal Mine Fire Threatens Power
   292 14/02/16/237205  Dopefish   CD Projekt RED Considering The
   277 14/02/12/0715245 NCommander Welcome to SoylentNews!
   268 14/02/16/0327202 Cactus     Kickstarter Hacked
   257 14/02/17/1630228 mattie_p   3D Printers for Kids
   210 14/02/13/0412219 NCommander Reworking Moderation Access
   182 14/02/16/2059230 mattie_p   Amazon Electric Fish Inspire U
   176 14/02/15/189225  mattie_p   Tuna Hearts Damaged by Oil Pol
   175 14/02/16/217209  Dopefish   How Facebook Can Be Addictive
   172 14/02/14/201241  mattie_p   Google Buys Lease On NASA's Fa
   170 14/02/16/2032248 mattie_p   China Plans World's Longest Tu
   167 14/02/16/1115247 Dopefish   PPACA/Obamacare Website Develo
   160 14/02/16/2119211 Dopefish   Germany Beefing Up Spy Defense

-----------------------

Hour        Hits        Hits/sec
  00        1027            0.29    ########
  01        1144            0.32    #########
  02        1282            0.36    ##########
  03        1171            0.33    #########
  04         726            0.20    ######
  05        2891            0.80    ########################
  06        4595            1.28    ######################################
  07        3356            0.93    ############################
  08        3377            0.94    ############################
  09        2940            0.82    ########################
  10        2895            0.80    ########################
  11        2991            0.83    #########################
  12        3622            1.01    ##############################
  13        3992            1.11    #################################
  14        3896            1.08    ################################
  15        3853            1.07    ################################
  16        4019            1.12    #################################
  17        4110            1.14    ##################################
  18        3881            1.08    ################################
  19        4504            1.25    #####################################
  20        4558            1.27    ######################################
  21        4685            1.30    #######################################
  22        4112            1.14    ##################################
  23        4745            1.32    ########################################

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amblivious writes:

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janrinok writes:

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According to a recent announcement, the crowdfunding site Kickstarter has been hacked. Kickstarter states that there was no credit card information stolen and that all unauthorized activity has been limited to only two accounts.

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Further information can be found at the Kickstarter blog.

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[Ed. note] I'm going to post this, because why not argue science that has been settled? Also, we needed to test the algorithm that generated mod points by sparking conversation. This was as good a way as any to get posts quickly. Sorry if you thought SoylentNews really endorsed this. ~Mattie_p

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"The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is providing many interesting news items this week. The BBC reports that the Black Ghost Knifefish has inspired construction of a new robot. The robotic fish would be able to swim in underwater situation where it would be impossible or too dangerous for a human to swim."

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janrinok writes:

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"It occurs more regularly among younger than older users. We have also found that people who are anxious and socially insecure use Facebook more than those with lower scores on those traits, probably because those who are anxious find it easier to communicate via social media than face-to-face. People who are organized and more ambitious tend to be less at risk from Facebook addiction. They will often use social media as an integral part of work and networking. Our research also indicates that women are more at risk of developing Facebook addiction, probably due to the social nature of Facebook," Andreassen says.

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Announcing UTF-8 Support on SoylentNews 56 comments
So, after dealing with a bit of monkeying with the database, I'm pleased to announce that Soylent should (in theory) have support for UTF-8 starting immediately. Now obviously this isn't well tested, so this is your chance to break the site in two, consider the comments below to be "open season" so to speak. I know the comment preview has some issues with UTF-8 (and it only works at all in Plain Text or HTML modes)

For purposes of breakage, anything that breaks the site layout/Reply To/Parent/Moderate buttons, or breaks any comments beyond itself is considered bad. We need to stop those. If you can break it (which shouldn't be hard), you earn a cookie, and I'll get you in the CREDITS file as something awesome.

For comments that are just plain unreadable, moderation will take care of them, and that isn't considered a bug. So go forth and BREAK my minions! ()}:o)↺
AIDS Deniers Use Bogus Copyright Claims to Censor 26 comments
Blackmoore writes: "The producers of "House of Numbers" have used a series of bogus copyright takedown notices to get Youtube to remove videos, in which he uses clips from the documentary as part of his criticism, showing how they mislead viewers and misrepresent the facts and the evidence. It's pure censorship: using the law to force the removal of your opponents' views."
CD Projekt RED Considering The Witcher 3 For Linux 16 comments

ticho writes:

"Followers of the Penguin, Marcin Iwiński, one of the founders of CD Projekt RED, has spoken out about why the developer of The Witcher series and Cyberpunk 2077 has not yet shown any support towards Linux.

Marcin says: "You know, one of the reasons we have not released The Witcher on Linux is that we most probably have to address five different versions of Linux and this is always terrible to support the quality of the games afterwards. The patches, the updates, and everything. If Steam will deliver a constant Linux environment, call it SteamOS or anything like that, we would love to have our games there because, you know, the more people play our games, the better for us."

Entire podcast (in MP3 form) here."

Welcome to the World of Tomorrow... Today! 210 comments
Dopefish writes

Greetings Soylentils! And welcome to SoylentNews!

We are here to deliver the best community-sourced news, catered for all manner of nerd! Because this is a grassroots based platform, the content feeds are powered by readers like you. Our main objective is to highlight news stories on the web that are of importance to everyone, but especially nerds. In addition, SoylentNews will strive to go beyond simple news-aggregation, with some core principles:
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  • Allowing the community to comment, without any mandatory registration.
  • Staying mindful of the community's needs and wants while avoiding changes to satisfy an overarching corporate agenda.

We want to make this your source for news about technology, art, science and politics. We are the new kid on the block and are adapting quickly to satisfy our community's needs, as we look forward to exceeding your expectations and pushing boundaries like never before. Lastly, there will be no changes in format without a general consensus from the community. Thank you for stopping by and enjoy the ride!

~Dopefish

Environmentalists Concerned About Solar Plant 87 comments

mattie_p writes that this was originally submitted by cmn32480 via the forums.

"According to Fox News, environmentalists are concerned about the impact of the world's largest solar plant, which is located in the Mojave Desert, on the local bird population. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (a solar thermal plant) covers nearly five square miles, has approximately 350,000 garage door sized computer controlled mirrors, and has temperatures near the boilers reaching 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant owners NRG Energy Inc., Google Inc., and BrightSource Energy say they have found dozens of dead birds in the complex in the last several months, some with burned or scorched feathers. The plant cost $2.2 Billion to construct, and had been held up in regulatory and wildlife relocation fighting for several years. It has officially been open since Thursday, February 13, 2014."

Wondering Where Microsoft Bing's Transparency Report Is 43 comments

AudioGuy writes "A Guardian reporter, Rebecca MacKinnon, has some interesting insights on how Chinese censorship may be inadvertently leaking into Micosoft's Bing Search engine.

"After conducting my own research, running my own tests, and drawing upon nearly a decade of experience studying Chinese Internet censorship, I have concluded that what several activists and journalists have described as censorship on Bing is actually what one might call "second hand censorship". Basically, Microsoft failed to consider the consequences of blindly applying apolitical mathematical algorithms to politically manipulated and censored web content. The algorithm deployed by Bing may be mathematically sound, but it fails to protect online freedom of expression. Bing failed to take into account the political reality of Chinese government censorship and its broader impact on the shape of the Chinese Internet. Without adjustments to how simplified Chinese websites based outside of mainland China are "weighted," exiled and dissident online voices inevitably lose out. Put it another way: an apolitical mathematical formula automatically amplifies Chinese government censorship to all people searching for simplified Chinese content anywhere in the world, not just in China."

Apparently Google had the same problem, but has managed to write code to prevent these side effects."

MIT Students Subpoenaed Over Tidbit 51 comments
mattie_p writes "MIT students won a hackathon last November with a non-functioning demo of Tidbit. The concept is to replace web advertising revenue with a tiny amount of Bitcoin mining on the user's browser. Out of the blue, the students were hit by a subpoena from the New Jersey Attorney General demanding that the founders 'turn over sensitive information including source codes, hosting websites, and all of the Bitcoin wallet addresses associated with Tidbit.'

At first MIT council referred the students to legal assistance from the EFF, who quickly came to their defense. Now there is a petition going around requesting the MIT administration support the students directly. Parallels are being drawn to Aaron Swartz, possibly because one of the authors of the recent petition is Prof. Hal Ableson, although details of the two cases have very little in common.

MIT President Reif has now come out strongly in support of the students--and in favor of academic freedom from interference by government."
Australia spied on US law firm for NSA 36 comments

Submitter ticho writes:

"The latest Snowden revelation suggests that Australia's spies are committing economic espionage on Americans, for the benefit of the American government.

The NSA's espionage partners in Australia offered the U.S. intelligence agency surveillance information on an American law firm that was representing the Indonesian government in a trade case against the U.S., according to leaked documents from Edward Snowden's stash.

Read more here."

[Ed. Note] This is another long-denied open secret now documented. One can only wonder what we gve Australia in return. Here is the NY Times article referenced in the above article.

Find those bugs! 93 comments
Welcome to the new site everyone. As penance for my embarrassing triple posting earlier, I have been asked by the admins to post a link to our lovely bug tracker, which can be found at http://sylnt.us/bugs. If you notice any odd behavior around the site, please don't hesitate to submit a notice. Thank you, everyone.
3D Printers for Kids 61 comments

similar_name writes: "The prospect of children printing their own Transformers and My Little Pony toys is a step closer, after toy firm Hasbro revealed a partnership with 3D printing company 3D Systems. The two companies are working together to 'co-develop and commercialize innovative play printers and platforms later this year.'"

[Ed. Note] The first one I would print is Applejack.

Coal Mine Fire Threatens Power 39 comments

Submitted on behalf of user "crutchy" #179, who writes:

"I don't seem to be able to use the 'Submit Story' feature at the moment... I just thought I'd flag a little saga currently unfolding near where I live. An open cut coal mine that supplies coal to a nearby 1600MW power station in Victoria, Australia, has been on fire for over a week. This could threaten electricity generation in the area and might have been deliberately set.

What might be more interesting is the lack of news media attention to it."

[Ed. Note] we're working on fixing article submission, thanks for getting this to us via alternate means.

What "News for Nerds" Sites Should I Use? 144 comments

stderr writes: "I used to visit a certain website quite often, but if Dice Holdings decide to switch the interface to what is currently known as "Beta", I'll have to find another site for my "stuff that matters" fix. So, SoylentNews, what sites can you recommend for a "maybe-ex" /. user?"

Desalination Project in California 47 comments
similar_name writes:

As part of a project developed by San Francisco area start-up WaterFX, a giant solar receiver in Firebaugh, CA, rotates to track the sun and capture its energy. The 377-foot array, however, does not generate electricity, but instead creates heat used to desalinate water. The goal is to tap the abundant, if contaminated, resource in this parched region: the billions of gallons of water that lie just below the surface.

The water is tainted with toxic levels of salt, selenium and other heavy metals that wash down from the nearby Panoche foothills, and is so polluted that it must be constantly drained to keep it from poisoning crops. This, coupled with the record-breaking drought that California is facing means that irrigation costs are going to double or triple as farms are forced to buy water on the spot market.

"Food prices are going to go up, absolutely", said Dennis Falaschi, manager of the Panoche Water District. "This year, farmers in the Panoche district will receive no water. Last year, they received only 20 percent of their allocation", Mr. Falaschi said. In 2012, the allocation was 40 percent. Farmers elsewhere who rely on the State Water Project to irrigate 750,000 acres of farmland will also receive no water in 2014.

State of the Site: 02/23/2014 108 comments
Well, we've survived our first week as a functional website, and have yet to go belly up because of it. The speed and growth of our community is staggering to say the least, and we are working hard to get this site fully operational. I'm pleased to announce that a development VM is now available for public consumption, and if you're interested in site development, one should join us in #dev on irc.dev.soylentnews.org. Beyond that though, I've got a few points to address on and updated statistics to share ...
Quick Notes From Behind The Scenes 89 comments

Hey, just a heads up on our Day 1 status. I've made some tweaks to the moderation script to handle the surge of users we've gotten, so modpoints should start flowing more easily. I'm making a few more tweaks right now that should get this working as expected (I am going to have to purge out the point in system to reset the script though, so if you have modpoints right now, don't be surprised if they suddenly vanish into the ether.

We know there have been some issues with both registration and submitting stories. On the registration front, some of our emails have been marked as spam, so if you're not getting them, check spam filters. In addition, for the last half an hour, we had a problem with a human confirmation check breaking, which just got cleared. We'll keep you apprised of any updates to this. As for story submissions, this looks like an artifact of a human confirmation script that got re-enabled when we went live. It should be working properly now for logged in users, as well as AC, though I'll be keeping an eye on it. I hope to have a more verbose tech write-up of the site sometime tonight.

On John's Departure ... 151 comments

As many of you have already read, John Barrabas resigned as head of SoylentNews, and I've taken over in his place. Many people who are not involved in Staff were likely blindsided on this, and the community itself deserves to have an understanding of the reasons and events leading up to this. This post exists to set the record straight.

I would like to make it clear, especially in hindsight, that the events leading up to this were not pretty, and that no one involved came out smelling like roses. Mistakes were made all around, tempers were lost, and to be frank, at times, I've conducted myself in a way that was not professional.

In the end, the changeover was amicable, and John and I are still on speaking terms with each other. This isn't intended as a bashfest, but rather as explanation to the community (along with those staff who were not directly involved) of why and how this change came about.

NCommander Adds: Staff logs and copies of the email have been posted to my journal. Links included below.

Offsite: Done and
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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Lagg on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:22AM

    by Lagg (105) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:22AM (#1679) Homepage Journal

    our very modest server hardware hasn't soiled itself

    *soyled itself

    But seriously I too am surprised. As I said previously this isn't a gigantic surge if we're speaking strictly in terms of slashdot sized traffic. But for any given website that has just lunched barely 2 days ago, it's pretty damned good. Keep it up.

    --
    http://lagg.me [lagg.me]
    9467 6082 8A35 2E1E 2D6B 76C4 5E9A ED56 076F 9E89
    • (Score: 5, Funny) by pe1rxq on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:38AM

      by pe1rxq (844) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:38AM (#1690)

      Would be nice if 'soyling a site' would replace 'slashdotting'. :)

      I am actually impressed by the number of users and how relativly modest the hardware setup is now.
      Nice job.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by bwintx on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:42AM

        by bwintx (1281) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:42AM (#1694)

        Would be nice if 'soyling a site' would replace 'slashdotting'.

        *Slow clap*

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by buswolley on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:45PM

          by buswolley (848) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:45PM (#1747)

          As one who may have coined the term "Fuck Beta" with a much read "Fuck Beta. Fuck Beta Twice" comment on Slashdot, let me just say that I am glad it was not all for naught.

          --
          subicular junctures
        • (Score: 1) by greenfruitsalad on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:16PM

          by greenfruitsalad (342) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:16PM (#1772)

          unless owners of this website are somehow related to Rob Rhinehart, there may soon be no 'soyling' or 'dev.soylentnews.org'

          • (Score: 2, Informative) by janrinok on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:03PM

            by janrinok (52) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:03PM (#1805) Journal

            Its hardly likely that there is any confusion between a food product and a geek website. I don't really think that this is much of a trademark problem. Maybe I'll be proven wrong - we will have to wait and see.

            --
            It's always my fault...
            • (Score: 1) by frojack on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:49PM

              by frojack (1554) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:49PM (#1950)
              Yeah, as soon as it gets popular enough the lawyers will come out of the woodwork. But I like the moniker, and the "Is People" tie-in. Its parody to an extent, and you may just get away with it.
              --
              Discussion should abhor vacuity, as space does a vacuum.
          • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:24PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:24PM (#1878)

            Unless Rob Rhinehart was involved in the production of the 1973 movie and/or 1966 novel which coined the term, he should mind his own business.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by dereismdave on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:40AM

      by dereismdave (897) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:40AM (#1691)

      Stepping out of the shadows for the first time in 17 years to say Thank You! to all involved.

      --
      "If you aren't gonna say exactly how and what you feel, you might as well not say anything at all." - Johnny Cash
      • (Score: 1) by dogstar13 on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:04PM

        by dogstar13 (1500) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:04PM (#1865)

        As am I, but only 14 years for me. Thank you all for doing this!

        • (Score: 1) by ic80 on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:42PM

          by ic80 (1564) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:42PM (#1946)

          Me too... i'm a /. lurker from way back, but this site has impressed the hell out of me so I decided to register just to say well done!

          Bravo to all involved.

          • (Score: 1) by qwade on Tuesday February 18 2014, @05:01PM

            by qwade (1006) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @05:01PM (#1960)

            Thanks here from another lurker too - great work people :)

            • (Score: 1) by richmond on Tuesday February 18 2014, @10:26PM

              by richmond (104) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @10:26PM (#2121)

              Agreed. Another "Well Done!" from a long time lurker. Keep up the good work!

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:06AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:06AM (#2265)

                Another lurker here. This site is the soyl!

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by buswolley on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:50AM

      by buswolley (848) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:50AM (#1698)

      Interesting articles that are being posted too.
      I feel at home here.

      --
      subicular junctures
      • (Score: 1) by pbnjoe on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:38PM

        by pbnjoe (313) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:38PM (#1889) Journal

        I feel the same. I hope this site gains a wonderful community (it already has one, I just mean a bigger one) and that there won't be any problems with keeping it going from trademark issues or vulnerable code, etc.

        • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Friday February 21 2014, @02:29PM

          by mcgrew (701) on Friday February 21 2014, @02:29PM (#4490) Homepage Journal

          I doubt here will be trademark issues. If anything, they might have copyright problems with using some of the old /. text. But I doubt it, that would run even more slashdotters over here.

          --
          Free Nobots! [mcgrewbooks.com]
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Darth Turbogeek on Tuesday February 18 2014, @05:43PM

        by Darth Turbogeek (1073) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @05:43PM (#1994)

        If I had mod points, I'd hand one to you - that's what I really like so far - every story has been actually good. The discussion has also been very good too. It's a very good start indeed.

    • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:51AM

      by Gaaark (41) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:51AM (#1700) Homepage

      soyled... def.

      "my site soyled itself" :)

      --
      This Sig for sale... beer IS an acceptable currency (bitBeer?).
    • (Score: 1) by edIII on Tuesday February 18 2014, @06:21PM

      by edIII (791) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @06:21PM (#2012)

      This is like comfort food to me.

      All the nice features from D2 were removed, it's a little bit klunky, not all there, but dammit... it just feels right.

      I'm finding myself coming back here as often as I went to Slashdot in the past, so it's a good thing the server hardware is keeping up.

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Buck Feta on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:04PM

      by Buck Feta (958) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:04PM (#2039) Journal

      >> just lunched barely 2 days ago

      It may be people, but apparently is quite filling.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:11PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:11PM (#2042)

        > It may be people, but apparently is quite filling.

        "News for nerds, with some fava beans and a nice Chianti."

    • (Score: 1) by acid andy on Tuesday February 18 2014, @10:03PM

      by acid andy (1683) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @10:03PM (#2113)

      But for any given website that has just lunched barely 2 days ago

      Soylent is hungry. I feed it!

      I wish I could find something more meaningful to say in my first post, but fuck it, at least I'm not posting on slashdot.

    • (Score: 1) by el_oscuro on Tuesday February 18 2014, @10:55PM

      by el_oscuro (1711) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @10:55PM (#2135)

      In Soviet Russia, soylentnews slashdots itself!

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by james_covalent_bond on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:26AM

    by james_covalent_bond (736) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:26AM (#1684)

    congrats, well done etc etc.

    Is it possible to add the summary into the rss feed? Right now it only servers the headlines. Thanks.

    • (Score: 1) by iWantToKeepAnon on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:56PM

      by iWantToKeepAnon (686) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:56PM (#1955) Homepage

      It's on the bug tracker.

      --
      "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." -- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
      • (Score: 1) by james_covalent_bond on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:17PM

        by james_covalent_bond (736) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:17PM (#2045)

        thanks for sharing anon.

      • (Score: 1) by M. Baranczak on Tuesday February 18 2014, @09:44PM

        by M. Baranczak (1673) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @09:44PM (#2102)

        Do you have a link to the bug tracker?

        • (Score: 1) by iWantToKeepAnon on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:09PM

          by iWantToKeepAnon (686) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:09PM (#2685) Homepage

          If you are not logged in, the link is on the right under "Quick Links". If you are logged in the quick links section is not there. :[ I don't know if that's a bug or b/c the logged in template is different.(?)

          https://dev.dev.soylentnews.org/projects/soylentnews /

          --
          "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." -- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Random2 on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:34AM

    by Random2 (669) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:34AM (#1687)

    Hurray for a good start!

    Would someone have kept a brief list of what's been updated and how it works (more than just the moderation system)? That'd help tremendously in getting the documentation updated and might even allow it to be divvied up to the general public.

    Actually, if we could get a list of all the pages where the text is out of date that'd make cleaning it up much more straightforward...

    --
    If only I registered 3 users earlier....
  • (Score: 2) by sl4shd0rk on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:38AM

    by sl4shd0rk (613) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:38AM (#1688)

    You've really done a superb job on getting things up and running. Hate to think you want to endure more brain flogging by getting these extra fiddly bits (Firehose, Search..et al) working. Do you think it's still a good plan to begin re-inventing the Slashcode functionality in another language? How far to duct tape the current slashcode is the question I guess.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by dilbert on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:27PM

      by dilbert (444) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:27PM (#1725)
      First, let me echo the thanks of the tireless and herculean effort you (and others) have made to get SoylentNews off the ground! Enjoy your well-earned break.

      Second, I too question how much we want to keep flogging slashcode if there we're going to need to scrap and rebuild from scratch. From what I've read here, on the wiki, and in the forums it appears that most of the code will be replaced, but I haven't been able to determine if a timeframe has been decided upon. Are we talking about starting the rebuild in weeks, or do we have months before that starts? (I recognize there is a significant difference between starting and using such a project)

      If we're (and by that I mean someone (not me) who actually has web dev experience) weeks away from starting a new backend, then I would recommend not spending (wasting?) time on duct taping slashcode. If we're longer out than that, perhaps we need to start duct taping.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by monster on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:10PM

        by monster (1260) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:10PM (#1769) Journal

        Second, I too question how much we want to keep flogging slashcode if there we're going to need to scrap and rebuild from scratch. From what I've read here, on the wiki, and in the forums it appears that most of the code will be replaced, but I haven't been able to determine if a timeframe has been decided upon. Are we talking about starting the rebuild in weeks, or do we have months before that starts? (I recognize there is a significant difference between starting and using such a project)

        Not trying to piss on anyone's parade, but I think it wouldn't be wise to rebuild from scratch. Reimplementing/improving some troubled subsystems with new code? sure, but complete rewrites almost never pay off: For the most part you are rewriting perfectly working code and introducing new bugs. And meanwhile the old code, which mostly works, never achieves the desired decent state.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Vanderhoth on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:32PM

          by Vanderhoth (61) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:32PM (#1783)

          While I would normally agree writing a system from the ground up is a bad idea. SlashCode is running on an outdated past end of life server, using outdated modules with an outdated version of an outdated language.

          It's only a matter of time before the system breaks or huge limitations are reached and it can't be fixed. In this case I think it'd be a good idea to start writing something that could replace SlashCode and keep it in the wings for if the need does arise. Rather than waiting for something critical to fail and not have something to replace it.

          The best time to buy a new car is while the old one is still working.

          --
          "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
          • (Score: 1) by Thexalon on Tuesday February 18 2014, @06:00PM

            by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @06:00PM (#2005) Homepage

            The key concept here would be incremental changeover rather than one big day where everything flips.

            So, for example, you might create a new version of a user preferences page that runs on a modern Python/Django setup, and you put that in place, iron out any kinks, make sure it includes all the bells and whistles of the old one. And you keep on picking off small pieces, make 'em work, and transition them to the newer better way.

            But this is all much further down the road. In the meantime, I vote for "badly written but working code" over "great new code that doesn't yet exist".

            --
            Every task is easy if somebody else is doing it.
            • (Score: 1) by monster on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:15AM

              by monster (1260) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:15AM (#2230) Journal

              This is exactly what I was trying to explain. I've seen many software migrations go awfully wrong because the new system, apart from being developed, has to be ironed out for some time before it is even near production-ready. It causes a lot of frustration, specially among users, who see they must learn a new, less capable, less stable system (at least for a while). Meanwhile, incremental additions, while less fanciful, are more capable of delivering and so are received with less confrontation and less burnout.

          • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Friday February 21 2014, @02:38PM

            by mcgrew (701) on Friday February 21 2014, @02:38PM (#4493) Homepage Journal

            The best time to buy a new car is while the old one is still working.

            I agree with the metaphor but would not use cars. The best time to buy a new car is never, period. New cars are a waste of money. The last new car I bought was in 1984, and I bought it because my then wife thought it would be more dependable than the Pontiac she'd ruined the clutch on. We'd had it three weeks and it stranded us 80 miles from home. Your best bet is a late model used car. And the time to trade is when repairs approach the price of car payments plus the full coverage insurance your bank will insist you buy.

            A better metaphor for what you're saying is "you don't wait to fix the roof until it's leaking."

            --
            Free Nobots! [mcgrewbooks.com]
            • (Score: 2) by Vanderhoth on Friday February 21 2014, @05:47PM

              by Vanderhoth (61) on Friday February 21 2014, @05:47PM (#4586)

              +1 like the metaphor

              --
              "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
        • (Score: 3, Informative) by r00t on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:41PM

          by r00t (1349) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:41PM (#1788)

          rewriting perfectly working code

          Ah, but this is the rub. Slashcode is far from perfectly working, which includes not just performance metrics, but maintainability and ease of software stack updates. What NCommander has done, in a most exquisite fashion, is apply just the right amount of "fix" in the right places to get things running. Some areas needed none, others needed much more (moderation engine for instance). The mere fact that slashcode is married to mod_perl-1.3 and Apache 1.3 is deeply concerning. These two key pieces of software have moved past their prime and there is no way to maintain them. No security updates. No interoperability with newer APIs, and certainly no current patches from the existing maintainers. It would be a bit silly to put a lot of effort into the current codebase for any other reason than it simply being "just for fun". Even as much so as rewrites involve creating new bugs, it would at least be moving in the direction of keeping the software maintainable.

          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by tanqueray on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:41PM

            by tanqueray (291) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:41PM (#1836)

            I find myself in the camp that rewrites are almost always a bad idea. Isn't there some middle ground between a complete rewrite and burying head in sand with no plans to migrate toward more modern dependencies? Update mod_perl and make the necessary changes (surely a smaller task than total rebuild), or if the current technologies are simply too uncool begin migrating toward new dependencies piecemeal.

            • (Score: 2) by ticho on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:26PM

              by ticho (89) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:26PM (#1930) Homepage

              How about working with pipedot.org guy(s)? Their code shows lot of promise, but needs lots of work for feature parity with current SN.org.

              • (Score: 1) by weilawei on Wednesday February 19 2014, @05:03AM

                by weilawei (109) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @05:03AM (#2298)
                I think this is probably the way to go. They're already contributing back to SN, and the site is really slick. I'd be happy with a cleanroom implementation from them to switch to later down the line.
        • (Score: 1) by codemachine on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:40PM

          by codemachine (1333) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:40PM (#1945)

          Oh, I dunno, where have we ever seen a complete rewrite go wrong?

          Maybe it is time for a modern UI for SoylentNews. This one is already a few days old. Bring on SN BETA.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by TheloniousToady on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:30PM

        by TheloniousToady (820) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:30PM (#1782)

        Thanks from me also! I'm not involved at all (and likely won't be, except as a commentor), but to me, the most important thing in any software development is to get it working and keep it working.

        The Slashcott has created a window of opportunity for a new system like this, which has been heroically seized upon by NCommander et. al. by getting this up and running in record time. However, keeping the basic features running well while a user base is still being established is the most important thing. Although it's going very well, building a new community is a very fragile process. Anything that disrupts that should be avoided. So, FWIW, my intuition is that duct taping Slashcode is the best way to go for the moment. Later, after this really takes hold, they can re-architect it.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:41AM

    by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:41AM (#1693) Homepage

    The level of response you've gotten is an indication of:
    1. You're doing a damned fine job
    2. SoylentNews is succeeding in filling a need

    I'll just remind you to make sure to pace yourself: We have something that works (not perfectly, but functionally enough), enough to build on and make better, and you don't want to be burnt out in 2 weeks.

    --
    Every task is easy if somebody else is doing it.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by mojo chan on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:36PM

      by mojo chan (266) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:36PM (#1734)

      One thing I would say though is don't start "improving" things just yet, aim to get all the current Slashdot functionality working first. For example re-writing the mod system is fine as long as the output is the same. As much as people bitch and moan about it the mod system is pretty much the best available and honed over many years by Taco et. al and the last thing we need is every random commentator sticking their oar in.

      But generally speaking well done, you have accomplished much.

      --
      const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)
    • (Score: 1) by CyberB0B39 on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:54PM

      by CyberB0B39 (492) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:54PM (#2054)

      Thanks for the great start. When are you going to start posting a banner or something we can click so you can start offsetting your costs?

      Also if anyone works for Aecom can you unblock soylentnews.com. It's not suspicious activity

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by jdccdevel on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:50AM

    by jdccdevel (1329) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:50AM (#1697) Journal

    I've been looking forward to this ever since the other site announced beta.

    I wish I had more time to contribute, and it's wonderful to see how much progress has been made.

    Thank you!

  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:55AM

    by Gaaark (41) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:55AM (#1702) Homepage

    Thanx everyone for the job done/done well.

    Great learning experience and fun! :)

    --
    This Sig for sale... beer IS an acceptable currency (bitBeer?).
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:14PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:14PM (#1717)

      Have to say this really has been a good learning experience, especially in the UI department. My hope is to see the slash code updated to handle Apache2, with updates released under an Open license.
      Good luck and thanks for filling the void!

  • (Score: 1) by Jerry Smith on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:58AM

    by Jerry Smith (379) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:58AM (#1703) Journal

    It's good as it is, and better because it's gonna get better.

    --
    All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Doogman on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:06PM

    by Doogman (1299) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:06PM (#1706)

    I was on "the other site" since nearly the beginning and I'm getting a nice feeling of nostalgia here.

    The other site is totally committed to Beta so it's only a matter of time until the total meltdown begins.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by linsane on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:09PM

      by linsane (633) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:09PM (#1767)

      I heartily concur, this is an awful lot more fun than the Other Place. There is more than a hint of pioneering spirit going around.

      Oh that more of the internet would go back to being simpler with less of the pandering to (a) the lowest common denominator and (b) cash over content. No problem with moving things towards a financially sustainable model here whatsoever*, but having a great vision like the busy bees behind the scenes is a great platform.

      Well done again, wooop

      *am definitely enjoying the ad-freeness tho

      • (Score: 1) by acid andy on Tuesday February 18 2014, @10:08PM

        by acid andy (1683) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @10:08PM (#2114)

        Sure, until a decade or two from now this site gets bought out too and Web 4.0ified. Maybe I've become too cynical but if you expect the worst you're often plesantly surprised.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by iWantToKeepAnon on Tuesday February 18 2014, @05:03PM

      by iWantToKeepAnon (686) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @05:03PM (#1963) Homepage

      The other site is totally committed to Beta so it's only a matter of time until the total meltdown begins.

      I respectfully disagree. The other site is just cutting out the nerds, who run ad blockers and such anyway. What they will be left with is a smaller core of sheepeople that will swallow beta hook line and sinker (sorry to mix metaphors so horribly).

      The other site is just transforming into "News without nerds, stuff that doesn't matter."

      --
      "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." -- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
      • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Friday February 21 2014, @02:47PM

        by mcgrew (701) on Friday February 21 2014, @02:47PM (#4499) Homepage Journal

        I agree, some of the stories they're posting over there are worse than their new interface, and I'm seeing way too many folks who seem barely literate. So far, everyone here seems educated and curious, and most are interesting.

        What's worse than a Beta interface? A Beta community.

        --
        Free Nobots! [mcgrewbooks.com]
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by sar on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:08PM

    by sar (507) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:08PM (#1709)

    To be honest, stats were good read. It would be nice to have some special page with automatic stats from SoylentNews...
    Seems nerdy enough for me.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by mattie_p on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:38PM

      by mattie_p (13) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:38PM (#1736) Journal

      We're working out some details on what stats should remain private and what we can release publicly. I think the consensus is that we should publish and make available as much information as we feel is safe to do. Look for details on that at a later date. For right now the staff will have to filter and post that information, and we will try to do so on a regular basis. Thanks for reading! ~mattie_p

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by mhajicek on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:19PM

        by mhajicek (51) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:19PM (#1814)

        I'd love to see a counter for registered users.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by DarkMorph on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:09PM

    by DarkMorph (674) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:09PM (#1711)
    I haven't seen anyone point this out, but one really nice thing is that there is no garbage or third-party entities loaded on the pages. No trackers, beacons, ads, other nonsense outside of the SN domain. None of it. Certainly I'd hope it will stay this way, for SN to remain clean and fast.

    We picked up 1,000 users rather quickly yet somehow I anticipitated even more than that up to this point.

    Some minor questions I have outstanding off the top of my head:
    • Why are there links for "friends" and "amigos"? Aren't they one and the same?
    • I received a few automated messages about achievements. The link to achievements just goes to my profile page even though there's a path in the URL for /achievements

    Hope SSL is set up soon; it's probably the most pressing matter, followed by the relevant backend upgrades before the other features start getting poured in...

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by kc99 on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:48PM

      by kc99 (1039) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:48PM (#1755)

      I also have been pleased with the lack of trackers, etc. Let's keep it that way!

    • (Score: 1) by jones_supa on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:02PM

      by jones_supa (554) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:02PM (#1804)

      Hope SSL is set up soon; it's probably the most pressing matter

      I would also like to see SSL support.

    • (Score: 1) by Open4D on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:03PM

      by Open4D (371) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:03PM (#1806) Journal

      No ads at all? Or just no ads outside of the SN domain?

      I'm not sure whether either of those is viable with regards to generating revenue to pay for hosting, lawyers, etc..

      Personally I'd be willing to become a paid subscriber, and have ads for non-subscribers.

    • (Score: 1) by iWantToKeepAnon on Tuesday February 18 2014, @05:06PM

      by iWantToKeepAnon (686) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @05:06PM (#1968) Homepage

      Now that you mention it, Ghostery is showing "found 0 tackers". Nice!!

      --
      "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." -- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • (Score: 1) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:09PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:09PM (#1712)

    Guys, great job on Soylent! Slashdot is tanking. Soylent is the Slashdot that once was and ought always have remained. I look forward to a reinvigorated community.

    Am excited to jump in to help on IRC, too.

    Great work!

  • (Score: 1) by Skarjak on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:11PM

    by Skarjak (730) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:11PM (#1713)

    I'm glad this site is finally up for everyone. I was starting to have withdrawal symptoms from not getting my tech news.

    I knew this site was a success when I saw a story on the Tesla. :p

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by cesarb on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:12PM

    by cesarb (1224) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:12PM (#1714) Journal

    It's good to see again the "Threshold/Threaded/Oldest First" set of dropdowns. No need to enable JavaScript or log in to adjust how I want to see the comments for a particular story. I used it so much many years ago.

    Now if only it kept me logged in without me having to disable the link load balancing here. It seems to get confused when my IP address changes all the time.

    • (Score: 1) by coredumper on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:47AM

      by coredumper (739) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:47AM (#2194)

      I couldn't agree more, I really prefer those dropdown filters. Please don't get rid of them again!

      • (Score: 1) by Reziac on Thursday March 06 2014, @09:36PM

        by Reziac (2489) on Thursday March 06 2014, @09:36PM (#12417) Homepage

        Geez yes, same here! Keep the dropdown filters!!

        And as to moderation... if it ain't broke, don't fix it. It works well enough for all practical purposes (I've already gotten mod points here a couple times, and gleefully modded up a number of fine comments).

        As to metamoderation... I used to do that, back in the early days, but rather quickly couldn't see the point. I take moderation seriously, but I really question whether metamoderation adds any value to the system.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by JeanCroix on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:14PM

    by JeanCroix (573) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:14PM (#1716)
    Good to know on that four hour time limit. I logged on this morning to 10 points sitting there for me, but they expired before I could use any. Until I read this status, I thought I'd encountered a bug. Any particular reason for the four hours, as opposed to the "standard" three days? Just scaling it to the current numbers of articles, comments, and users, I'd guess..?
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Vanderhoth on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:26PM

      by Vanderhoth (61) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:26PM (#1724)

      I think for a site with "so few users" three days would be a long time to tie up mod points. Based on previous readings something like 30% of active users (?someone who's logged in within the last 24 hours?) get mod points, if all the points ended up in peoples accounts, who decided not to log in for a few days, then they'd be a shortage of mod points to go around.

      I do agree the four hour limit is a little short, maybe 24 hours. Although the advantage of having a short turn around means you'll get mod points more frequently.

      I went two years on /. with no mod points logged in and reading/commenting every day. Then, rather ironically, the week before slashcott I had two days in a row with 15 mod points each day (I thought they only gave out 10 at a time). I have my own suspicion of why that happened *cough* pudge *cough*. We had a discussion in IRC one day and discussed editors having a little less power than it seems they have on /. over managing users to prevent abuse.

      --
      "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by JeanCroix on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:40PM

        by JeanCroix (573) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:40PM (#1739)
        My thought would be to dole them out in smaller chunks, but with longer expiration times. As far as I could tell, my 10 from this morning expired within an hour of logging on, which means the expiration is based on time awarded, not time of first login after the award. Obviously I don't speak for everyone, but if my mod points are awarded in the wee hours of the morning and expire right around the time I'm waking up and first logging in, they will largely tend to go unused.
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by TheloniousToady on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:47PM

        by TheloniousToady (820) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:47PM (#1792)

        My impression is that Soylent currently is a bit flooded with mod points. I say that because the comments seem to be getting higher scores overall than we previously would have seen on /. I don't think that's a bad thing at the moment since it provides some positive feedback to encourage participation, but it looks like the mod points will need to be scaled back a bit in the future.

        Regarding your experience with mod points on /., I got 15 at about the beginning of the year, but only ended up using two of them, and then didn't get any more in the months since until I stopped posting during the Slashcott, when I suddenly got 5 more. Prior to that, I was beginning to wonder if I was being punished for using only 2 out of 15.

        Shortly after, I found an old explanation from CmdrTaco that mod points were more likely to go to people who weren't *too* active. So maybe you and I fell into that category prior to the Slashcott. Or, maybe your suspicion is right.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Vanderhoth on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:09PM

          by Vanderhoth (61) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:09PM (#1808)

          I say that because the comments seem to be getting higher scores overall than we previously would have seen on /.

          I think 1) we haven't had a lot of troll post yet. 2) Most of the post I've read have been pretty civil and mostly on topic. Once we get a much larger crowd and things get much more political I think we'll see some serious degradation in the quality of the comments.

          I found an old explanation from CmdrTaco that mod points were more likely to go to people who weren't *too* active.

          I remember reading that as well. I just know for a couple years I was getting mod points pretty regularly. I had an argument with a certain editor about my health care POV, I'm Canadian and I commented our system wasn't as bad as he was claiming (people dying left and right waiting in line). This was long before the ACA. He proceeded to followed me around and flamed just about everything I commented on for months and I didn't receive mod points again for two years until I sent in an e-mail asking if that was normal, then all the sudden I had mod points out the wazoo again.

          It's a tricky situation, I have no evidence the editor in question was responsible, but it's very suspicious that right around the time I incurred his wrath I stopped getting points.

          I also believe more mod points is better, I always tried to up vote people and would pass over trolls because I didn't want to waste my mod points when there were people with great comments that deserved them. It almost seemed to me trolls would appear specifically because they were more likely to get the negative mod points and prevent someone else from the positive ones.

          --
          "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by jones_supa on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:10PM

          by jones_supa (554) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:10PM (#1809)

          Shortly after, I found an old explanation from CmdrTaco that mod points were more likely to go to people who weren't *too* active. So maybe you and I fell into that category prior to the Slashcott. Or, maybe your suspicion is right.

          There indeed was a period in Slashdot where I clearly saw that if I took a break for a couple of days, I was handed a batch of mod points. I never got mod points otherwise.

          Later on even that trick didn't work anymore and today I haven't got any mod points for months over there.

          Not sure what the point of punishing users which are "too active" is anyway.

          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Vanderhoth on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:47PM

            by Vanderhoth (61) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:47PM (#1842)

            I don't think the intent is to punish users. You can't post and moderate so if you like posting, mod points could be inconvenient. You'd have to read stories you don't want to post in to spend them, which are probably topics you probably don't care about. I believe "too active" only refers to posters, not lurkers. So maybe you spend a lot of time on /. just reading and have no desire to post comments, in that case moderation is perfect for you.

            --
            "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by ticho on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:31PM

              by ticho (89) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:31PM (#1934) Homepage

              I can confirm that. On /., I rarely commented, but used to I read it _a lot_. And sure enough, I would have 15 modpoints almost every week.

            • (Score: 1) by jones_supa on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:55PM

              by jones_supa (554) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:55PM (#1953)
              Yeah, I guess that makes sense.
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by everdred on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:51PM

      by everdred (110) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:51PM (#1757) Homepage Journal

      > four hours, as opposed to the "standard" three days

      My biggest problem with the four hour mod window was that I didn't find enough stories on which to use them. I had already commented (or was planning to comment) on the stories I was either interested in or knew anything about.

      I guess I'll have to exercise some, ahem, moderation next time I get mod points.

      The other minor problem was that yesterday the mod sidebar wasn't clear that there was a four-hour limit (it just mentioned the date on which , but I understand that will be fixed.

      --
      We don't take no shit from a machine.
  • (Score: 1) by Pav on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:15PM

    by Pav (114) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:15PM (#1718)

    ...and... what next? I guess that's up to us as nodes of the Soylent superorganism. :-/ Damnit... responsibility and all that. ;)

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Hartree on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:22PM

    by Hartree (195) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:22PM (#1719)

    How else was I going to get a three digit user id.

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by TrumpetPower! on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:41PM

      by TrumpetPower! (590) <ben@trumpetpower.com> on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:41PM (#1743) Homepage

      You must be new here!

      b&

      --
      All but God can prove this sentence true.
    • (Score: 1) by KritonK on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:45PM

      by KritonK (465) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:45PM (#1839)

      Precisely!

      Ten years from, now, I'll probably be bragging about my three-digit ID---I was there from Day 1!

      • (Score: 1) by dr_terminus on Tuesday February 18 2014, @06:02PM

        by dr_terminus (1593) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @06:02PM (#2006)

        Oh man I'm too late to the party already!

        • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Friday February 21 2014, @02:57PM

          by mcgrew (701) on Friday February 21 2014, @02:57PM (#4505) Homepage Journal

          n00b! ;)

          (Come to think of it, uh, we're all n00bs!)

          --
          Free Nobots! [mcgrewbooks.com]
          • (Score: 1) by Reziac on Thursday March 06 2014, @09:40PM

            by Reziac (2489) on Thursday March 06 2014, @09:40PM (#12421) Homepage

            Geez, here I was so proud of my /. 5-digit uID, and here my 4-digit uID is now totally embarrassing. :D

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:32PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:32PM (#1729)

    Debian has a mod_perl that works with apache 2.4. I've got it running for a test project I am working on.

    I started with the source grabbed from this page.
    https://packages.debian.org/sid/libapache2-mod-per l2 [debian.org]

  • (Score: 1) by J.J. Dane on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:40PM

    by J.J. Dane (402) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:40PM (#1740)

    Well done to everybody involved!

  • (Score: 1) by nukkel on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:43PM

    by nukkel (168) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:43PM (#1745)

    Thank you for the hard, persisting work you are doing here.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by song-of-the-pogo on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:45PM

    by song-of-the-pogo (1315) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:45PM (#1748) Homepage

    I spent most of last week lurking in the fora and IRC, watching things develop, but I must admit I never really quite believed anything would come of this. I've seen a lot of projects start with great fire and enthusiasm, only to fizzle in the early stages as that initial enthusiasm waned and people were inevitably drawn back to their more pressing day-to-day tasks. The SoylentNews project was thus shoved to the back of my mind with a "meh, maybe check in on it next week" note attached. It wasn't until this morning that I remembered at all to visit Soylent to see if anything had progressed, and I was genuinely surprised and pleased to find a functional site with Stuff Going On. Based on my limited lurking I feel I have a (very small) idea of how much work went into this and I just want to say thank you to everyone who was involved in seeing it through. Coming here feels like it felt when I first started visiting /. 14-15 years ago, and I mean that in the best possible way.

    --
    "We have met the enemy and he is us."
    • (Score: 1) by jones_supa on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:13PM

      by jones_supa (554) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:13PM (#1811)
      I couldn't have said it better.
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Zz9zZ on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:48PM

    by Zz9zZ (1348) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @12:48PM (#1752)

    Thanks for making this happen, I didn't expect a functional alternative so quickly!

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by janus on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:27PM

    by janus (1279) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:27PM (#1778)

    The site looks pretty good, and certainly better than beta. Thanks to all involved for trying to create an alternative community over here.

    And with this, post, I am now tied with my postcount on that other site...

    • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Friday February 21 2014, @03:06PM

      by mcgrew (701) on Friday February 21 2014, @03:06PM (#4515) Homepage Journal

      The site looks pretty good, and certainly better than beta.

      Er, that's damning with faint praise. "The site looks pretty good, and certainly better than dogshit!" You could have picked a better example...

      --
      Free Nobots! [mcgrewbooks.com]
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by eravnrekaree on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:37PM

    by eravnrekaree (555) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:37PM (#1787)

    I think it is doubtful that mod_perl is unmaintained. Not at all likely with such a heavily used piece of software that is still quite relevant. It is mature software so perhaps the release cycle does not need to be that frequent. I think the best course is to keep using mod_perl.

    • (Score: 1) by eravnrekaree on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:53PM

      by eravnrekaree (555) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:53PM (#2155)

      Mod_perl 2.0 is backward compatable with mod_perl 1.0 so I dont see what the big deal is with upgrading. It mainly takes a one liner declaration at the top of the files to use the old code.

  • (Score: 1) by furiousoyster on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:47PM

    by furiousoyster (594) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:47PM (#1791)

    I am impressed by how enjoyable the site is to visit, despite its rough edges. Inexperienced designers (like me) are often tempted to over-estimate the importance of polish. This project, and the platform on which it runs, gets many of the fundamentals so right that the remaining problems are quite tolerable. Well done.

  • (Score: 1) by bart9h on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:55PM

    by bart9h (767) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:55PM (#1797)

    Why the four hour limit?

    What's wrong with the 3 days or so that /. had?

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by GeminiDomino on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:56PM

    by GeminiDomino (661) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:56PM (#1798)

    Not sure how the backward compatibility will fare, but development HASN'T ceased.

    A mod_perl status update from 16 Feb [apache.org]

    --
    "We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of our culture"
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by seandiggity on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:56PM

    by seandiggity (639) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @01:56PM (#1800) Homepage
    I posted a few comments on the wiki about this, but now that wiki seems to have gone *poof*. Can we start a discussion about licensing "SoylentCode" under the AGPL? The git repo says:

    Slash is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

    So there's an "upgrade path" of GPLv3 --> AGPL [wikipedia.org] if so desired, and I think there are a lot of good reasons to try to do that. The obvious reason is to ensure that updates to the code will be released. It would be nice to have started Soylent News with code for Slash that's not circa 2009, so that should be a lesson learned.
    --
    Geeks like to think they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won't leave *you* alone. - rms
    • (Score: 2, Informative) by hankwang on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:15PM

      by hankwang (100) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:15PM (#1812) Homepage

      The wiki is here, http://wiki.dev.soylentnews.org/wiki/ [dev.soylentnews.org] .

      Second guessed url did the job.

    • (Score: 1) by pe1rxq on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:28PM

      by pe1rxq (844) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:28PM (#1824)

      Indeed, eventhough I don't think it will happen soon, we should always be prepared for the moment the soylentnews admins sell out and anounce a 'beta'.

    • (Score: 1) by eravnrekaree on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:31PM

      by eravnrekaree (555) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:31PM (#1885)

      The Slash code cannot be relicensed by people other than by the copyright holders. GPL is not really an issue, its an open source license and the code is available to everyone. I do want to see the improvements soylent makes made available on git.

      • (Score: 2) by ticho on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:34PM

        by ticho (89) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:34PM (#1937) Homepage

        One more reason why current site is just a stopgap measure until a completely new codebase can be deployed.

        • (Score: 1) by eravnrekaree on Tuesday February 18 2014, @09:53PM

          by eravnrekaree (555) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @09:53PM (#2108)

          The current licensing is not an issue. I also doubt a new codebase is needed, especially since this site has most of the functionality it needs already and the point of this is to be true to classic Slashdot, rather than to become another Beta.

          • (Score: 2) by ticho on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:46AM

            by ticho (89) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:46AM (#2193) Homepage

            If you listen to anyone who actually worked with slashcode, and tried to fix various things in it, they will tell you that it's a nightmare to maintain. Therefore, a new codebase is needed. And by looking at pipedot.org, I'd say it doesn't always have to end like /. beta.

            • (Score: 1) by seandiggity on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:30PM

              by seandiggity (639) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:30PM (#2759) Homepage

              I don't think anyone denies Slash is a nightmare to maintain. Whatever the plan is with the code, we need a license with strong copyleft provisions, hopefully AGPL. Pipedot looks great, joining now.

              --
              Geeks like to think they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won't leave *you* alone. - rms
      • (Score: 1) by seandiggity on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:35PM

        by seandiggity (639) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:35PM (#2150) Homepage

        Perhaps I'm wrong, but I think the "or any later version" text makes it GPLv2.0+ which allows for relicensing/mixing with AGPL code as long as credit to the original authors is retained e.g.
        http://blog.gerv.net/2013/02/relicensing-when-do-y ou-have-to-ask/ [gerv.net]

        ...you'd move the codebase to GPLv3.0+ then AGPLv3.0+

        But, I'd love to have this clarified by someone with a stronger licensing/legal background.

        --
        Geeks like to think they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won't leave *you* alone. - rms
      • (Score: 1) by seandiggity on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:52PM

        by seandiggity (639) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:52PM (#2153) Homepage
        The thing I'm worried about is exactly a problem the GPL can't solve, in this case - guaranteeing that the "code is available to everyone" and "the improvements soylent makes [are] made available". The AGPL plugs the so-called ASP loophole [wikipedia.org] and is recommended by the FSF for applications running over a network for that reason [gnu.org].

        With Web-based community sites, it's perhaps even more important (and, in fact, SN should probably go even further and release the contents of the [scrubbed] database to ensure it can be cloned in the future if need be). See previous discussion here [dev.soylentnews.org].
        --
        Geeks like to think they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won't leave *you* alone. - rms
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Thesis on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:05PM

    by Thesis (524) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:05PM (#1807)

    Thanks to all who have donated their time and intellect to get this collective effort up and running! This place is a shining example of what a community can do when backed against a wall by corporate overlords (Dice).

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by bacon on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:21PM

    by bacon (280) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:21PM (#1818)

    A whole day of operation and not a single story speculating about a non existent apple device!

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by quadrox on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:21PM

    by quadrox (315) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:21PM (#1819)

    I have a suggestion for moderation - not sure where else I should post this. On the old site I noticed a tendency for comments to either go all the way to +5, or stay at the initial value. Scores of 2,3, and 4 were not unheard of, but not as common as I would have thought. To provide a better spread and perhaps accuracy in moderation, I would suggest the following moderation change:

    1) Instead of +1/-1, allow me to select the desired final value (-1 to 5) and average with other moderations and display with decimals.
    2) To prevent instant +5 mods, comment scores can never be higher than the number of total moderations.

    I believe the above will be close enough to the old system, while allowing for more accuracy in moderations.

    • (Score: 1) by zigbigadoorlue on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:08PM

      by zigbigadoorlue (1092) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:08PM (#1917)

      I think this is a really good idea. I've never been terribly motivated to read posts marked 2 and 3 but I think this system would change that.

  • (Score: 1) by hybristic on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:22PM

    by hybristic (10) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:22PM (#1820)

    Congrats to the dev team on a successful launch. NCommander, take some time off!! You've done so much, it will not be forgotten.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by kingduct on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:35PM

    by kingduct (670) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:35PM (#1831)

    I can tell that making things pretty and not "look like 1997" is a low priority. Please, keep it as a low priority. While I'm sure improvements can be made, remember that changing the looks was the straw that broke the camel's back with old Slashdot.

    In other words, focus on building community, solid story editing, fixing up little things like the static pages, and making sure the website doesn't crash. We don't want eye candy to become a distraction.

    • (Score: 1) by eravnrekaree on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:26PM

      by eravnrekaree (555) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:26PM (#1879)

      I absolutely agree. The site is just fine for me exactly how it is right now. The color scheme and so on and the look is all great and I think it should be left as is. We came here because we were tired of them changing Slashdot and messing it up, so its a little unsettling to me to hear some of the admins of this site starting to talk about the same thing.

    • (Score: 1) by zigbigadoorlue on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:12PM

      by zigbigadoorlue (1092) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:12PM (#1920)

      In fact, for me, it was an enormous relief to start using soylent. I didn't realize until now that it was always a minor strain to use the modern pre-beta site (major strain for beta). Even with all the bugs soylent feels so much better and ever so slightly like home.

      • (Score: 1) by carguy on Tuesday February 18 2014, @10:36PM

        by carguy (568) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @10:36PM (#2125)

        Third-ed or Fourth-ed. Plenty of things to fix behind the scenes, the current appearance is fine.

    • (Score: 1) by Reziac on Thursday March 06 2014, @09:42PM

      by Reziac (2489) on Thursday March 06 2014, @09:42PM (#12425) Homepage

      I *like* it looking "like 1997". Seriously. It's such a relief to have plain, functional web pages that just do their job and don't busy-screen me to death.

  • (Score: 1) by jones_supa on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:38PM

    by jones_supa (554) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:38PM (#1833)
    Can we get something better than the crusty Arial as the font? :) For example AnandTech uses something called Arimo as the article body font, which looks really nice [anandtech.com].
    • (Score: 2) by ticho on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:37PM

      by ticho (89) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:37PM (#1940) Homepage

      +1 here. Make sure to open a bug ticket about it on dev.dev.soylentnews.org. :)

  • (Score: 1) by Blackmoore on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:47PM

    by Blackmoore (57) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:47PM (#1841) Journal

    Well congrats - perhaps you should put up a patreon page so we can get you some booze money!

  • (Score: 1) by FuckBeta on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:03PM

    by FuckBeta (1504) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:03PM (#1861) Homepage

    We're here to stay.

    Because Fuck Beta!

    --
    Quit Slashdot...because Fuck Beta!
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by WanderCat on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:28PM

    by WanderCat (1270) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:28PM (#1881)

    Until today, I had thought to go back to the old site to see what, if any, effect the Slashcott had.

    Today, as I sit, reflecting on this site, my only thought is, "Why would I do that?"

    Many, many thanks to all who contributed to bringing Soylent News into the world. You are keeping something important and relevant alive in a world full of forces that would kill it.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by gottabeme on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:48PM

    by gottabeme (1531) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:48PM (#1899)

    Please. :)

    Also...uh...

    SoylentNews requires you to wait between each successful posting of a comment to allow everyone a fair chance at posting a comment.

    It's been 1 minute since you last successfully posted a comment

    Might need adjusting.

    • (Score: 1) by gottabeme on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:58PM

      by gottabeme (1531) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:58PM (#1904)

      The quote tag doesn't work, only blockquote.

  • (Score: 1) by takyon on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:19PM

    by takyon (881) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:19PM (#1924)

    That's one long list of related stories.

  • (Score: 1) by MikeVDS on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:34PM

    by MikeVDS (1142) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @04:34PM (#1938)

    I have been reading that other page since the late 90's and I am so happy to see a community made variation (especially with no beta). I mostly just lurk every few days but occasionally comment if I have something relevant to say. I am very happy with what you have done and I have no urge to go back to that other page. I just wanted to say thank you for all your hard to to everyone who has been contributing.

  • (Score: 1) by nitehawk214 on Tuesday February 18 2014, @05:13PM

    by nitehawk214 (1304) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @05:13PM (#1972)

    At first I was uneasy about not having the dynamic threading of D2, but there is something about this that tickles my nostalgia bone.

    What really trips it is the fact that this site works phenomanally better on Android/Chrome without all the javascript. I don't think the issue was performance since my Nexus 5 is more powerful than the PC I had when the dynamic site rolled out. I think the javascript implementation was/is just buggy as crap.

    That reminds me, I need to update my sig.

    --
    "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
    • (Score: 1) by Non Sequor on Tuesday February 18 2014, @10:37PM

      by Non Sequor (1005) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @10:37PM (#2126)

      I will second this. On iOS, clicking any link loads and renders in about a quarter second.

      But I do miss some of the D2 features with no page loads. I can't help but wonder if a leaner implementation of these features is possible.

      • (Score: 1) by nitehawk214 on Wednesday February 19 2014, @05:24PM

        by nitehawk214 (1304) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @05:24PM (#2918)

        Yeah, I like to click on the parents of highly upmodded replies to get context. When the comments page gets very long, tabbing back and forth gets annoying. I suppose I can open the parent in a new tab, but that seems less efficient than the ajaxy popup.

        Currently the soy traffic isnt that high so I can just browse at 0 or -1.

        --
        "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
  • (Score: 1) by weenski on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:00PM

    by weenski (1127) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:00PM (#2035)

    I've been browsing about a day now and haven't hit anything that has slowed me down... The site even works great on my mobile phone (wp7). Keep it up! Already starting to feel like home...

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:20PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 18 2014, @07:20PM (#2047)

    ...and saying Thank You for everyone involved!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 18 2014, @08:51PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 18 2014, @08:51PM (#2075)

    Perhaps comments critiquing our editors (i.e. staleness of a news story etc) should have their own moderation category such that they can be highlighted by moderators for editors, but regular users can filter them out if they don't wish to see them (maybe with a checkbox?)

    This way, could keep track of how timely we are being.. while I don't mind old stories I have seen else where, sometimes I'd rather not see all the comments bitching about it as a user..

    It maybe also would also be nice for moderators to be able to help flag duplicates?

    Editors could then maybe get a filtered view of these type of comments only for consideration/edits etc.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by johnlenin1 on Tuesday February 18 2014, @09:47PM

    by johnlenin1 (707) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @09:47PM (#2104)

    Firstly, I'm continuing to be impressed with how much has been done in such a short aunt of time. This place really does feel like home, like the other site used to years ago.

    But aside from using the site and filing bug reports, what's the best way to support the site and the continued development? How is the site currently being funded and what are the plans for future funding? I'm willing to contribute financially, like a subscription or periodic donation. I'd bet others are, as well.

    • (Score: 1) by Non Sequor on Tuesday February 18 2014, @10:39PM

      by Non Sequor (1005) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @10:39PM (#2128)

      The PBS/wikipedia/Kickstarter donation drive model might work for a place like this.

      • (Score: 1) by johnlenin1 on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:58AM

        by johnlenin1 (707) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:58AM (#2603)

        Right, that's one of the proposed options on the wiki (http://wiki.dev.soylentnews.org/wiki/index.php?title= Finances), but nothing definitive.

  • (Score: 1) by hash14 on Tuesday February 18 2014, @10:29PM

    by hash14 (1102) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @10:29PM (#2122)

    Fantastic job with the site, to everyone who put in so much time and effort into getting it standing. Don't kill yourselves trying to get everything working! I think everybody who's coming by understands that this site is in complete infancy, and that things will get much better as the weeks go by, especially given how passionately people have been working on getting things standing.

    Once again, incredible work and a great, sincere thank you.

  • (Score: 1) by boris on Tuesday February 18 2014, @10:51PM

    by boris (1706) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @10:51PM (#2133)

    A usually silent slashdotter, but want to gush about you guys on this site.
    Unbelievable that you guys could get a stable site in so little time. Feels like a healthy community is already burgeoning. The only feedback I have is it would be nice to see the expanding of comments without page reloads. Other than that truly amazing and I feel like I'm walking in a pleasant bizarro world.

  • (Score: 1) by seandiggity on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:05PM

    by seandiggity (639) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @11:05PM (#2142) Homepage

    I'm sure a /. historian will correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't UTF-8 disabled for spamming reasons (something about cyrillic characters)? I know this sounds like a joke, but I believe lack of UTF-8 support was a *feature* not a *bug*. I'm sure there are much more elegant ways to deal with the problem though.

    --
    Geeks like to think they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won't leave *you* alone. - rms
    • (Score: 1) by melikamp on Wednesday February 19 2014, @05:27PM

      by melikamp (1886) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @05:27PM (#2922)

      I always hear this explanation on /., but no one was ever able to tell me why anyone considered this a good solution to spamming. It may have to do with some Cyrillic characters looking exactly or almost like Latin characters, so one could write English-looking words that would look like gibberish to the filter. But then again, the robot can't filter out GNAA, which is way worse: that's what moderation system is for!

      Also, I can't seem to post anything in Cyrillic, not in plain text, not in HTML. Или могу? ПоÑмотрим...

      • (Score: 1) by seandiggity on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:32PM

        by seandiggity (639) on Thursday February 20 2014, @03:32PM (#3679) Homepage

        I really wish I could track down the comment thread on /. but I read a good explanation from *someone* that even linked to the old offending examples, and also a wikipedia article on the type of circumvention unicode allowed spammers to use. At any rate, there must be modern ways to deal with this; the problem was circa 2001-2002 IIRC.

        --
        Geeks like to think they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won't leave *you* alone. - rms
  • (Score: 1) by amigasource on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:16AM

    by amigasource (1738) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:16AM (#2166) Homepage

    At first I didn't know if I could go a week without going to /. 20+ times a day but I did it! Reguardless on how big this site becomes, or doesn't, it's nice to be a part of something born out a desire to do something good for our little community. My only wish is when this site really takes off there is some kind of acknowledgement from them stating 'Whoops... We really didn't think this one through.' Unfortunately that will never happen and beta will be the new defaut.. Anywhoo... Congrats to everyone involved!!!!

  • (Score: 1) by technopoptart on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:30AM

    by technopoptart (1746) <reversethis-{oc. ... ht} {ta} {semaj}> on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:30AM (#2185)

    I really like this, i miss the pre-Dice Slashdot.

    I would like to get the old icons back, the ones on the right side of the article indexes,

    https://web.archive.org/web/20061011230359/http:// slashdot.org/ [archive.org]

      and maybe even the old page header "hot topic" icons of the really old days.

    https://web.archive.org/web/19991110223955/http:// slashdot.org/ [archive.org]

  • (Score: 1) by Luke on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:34AM

    by Luke (175) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:34AM (#2190)

    If things keep going this well it will require an entry here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_(disambiguati on) [wikipedia.org]

    But what are we to use as a nick for the site? "sn" just doesn't cut it like "/."...

    btw it's no me coming up with an idea 'cos I'm outside of my prime: http://dev.soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=14/02/18/141 5203 [dev.soylentnews.org]

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:44AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:44AM (#2431)

    With /. going down the crapper I wish you (and your hardware) the best of luck. Here's hoping this becomes our new 'news for nerds' site.

    Keep up the excellent work!!