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A New Community

By reklaw in Internet
Tue May 18, 2004 at 06:53:18 AM EST
Tags: Help! (Ask Kuro5hin) (all tags)
Help! (Ask Kuro5hin)

I'm currently working on a new group/community-weblog system -- essentially, a CMS quite similar to Scoop...

... only better, I hope, and that's where my questions come in. If you could change something about kuro5hin, what would you change? If you could add a feature, what would you add?

Note: this project is personal and non-commercial, and instead of using the GPL I will be putting my money where my mouth is and making the source code public domain. It will be written in PHP.

So what's wrong with kuro5hin? My pet peeves with k5/scoop are:

  • the unnecessary complexity of the interface, leading to people posting the wrong kind of comment, messing up formatting, getting upset over sectioning and other problems,

  • the way stories are stale by the way they reach front page or section,

  • the number of stories that are lost to the readers when they get voted down,

    ... and a lot of other things besides (including formatting, which has been getting on my nerves immensely while I've been editing this story). I set out to fix these problems, working from the ground up. The result so far is promising, I believe.

    The front page, by default, has stories under three sections: Today, Yesterday and This Week. Each section also has a "more..." link. The idea is that the five top rated stories from each timeframe appear on the front page in rank order. While a page is in the Today system, it can be voted either up or down, as well as edited by its author.

    At the end of each day, the Today section is frozen and moved to the Yesterday section. This Week offers high-rated stories from the rest of the week, and will not include stories that are currently appearing in the Today or Yesterday sections.

    On the right of the front page is a sidebar in a smaller font, which also contains three things. The first is either a username/password/register widget, or a "logged in as..." display. The second is called "front page display options", and includes a dropdown to let you filter stories by topic. If you choose "politics", for example, you will only see stories from the politics section, but they will still appear five-per-timeframe in rating order.

    Still with me? The other option in "front page display options" allows you to zoom the front page timescales in or out (for want of a better phrase). In this way you can either have a complete view of Today, broken down by the hour, or a This Week/Last Week/This Month view, or even a This Month/Last Month/This Year view. Note that this option is not a dropdown, the options available change depending on context.

    The third part of the sidebar is one that I haven't quite decided upon. It will either be a 'recently-commented-on stories' thing, or a 'watch list' with manually-added stories. I'm erring towards the first.

    At the top of the page, finally, is the toolbar, with three links (so far) represented as icons: "make a post" (or "post a thread", or "post a story" -- you get the idea), "your user page" and "options".

    Post a thread's purpose is obvious. You can choose a topic to put your thread in (the current topics are life [intended to be a diary-type thing], internet, news, media, politics and meta).

    The user page is an account management thing, including options to change your password and registered email address. It also lets you see the threads and comments that you've posted, and write a bio to go on the version of your user page that's viewable by others (when they click your username).

    Options will be for things like font faces and sizes and other display options that will no doubt crop up (letting people upload their own CSS, perhaps? -- everything I've written so far is table-free, style-and-content-seperated XHTML 1.1).

    Other features

    These are suggestions or ideas that I haven't decided on yet.

    - Killfiles.

    Inevitably the first thing everyone says, and a feature that site owners generally want to leave out. I'm not convinced of the need for them yet. It'd go in "options", as well as being available each time you view another user's profile page.

    - "Vote to hide comment"

    Somewhere one-click away from the actual comment (I'm going for a relatively clean interface), there could be an option to vote to hide a comment, with the comment becoming hidden at a certain threshold. This would be accompanied by an option in "options" to view all hidden comments anyway, of course.

    - Links count as votes / comments count as votes

    Inbound links to a thread could give the thread as some small (like 0.01) amount of vote-juice, making it so that it will be represented in the voting if many other sites link to a certain thread. The logic with comments is similar -- if a thread has sparked a large discussion, it should receive a few extra votes for that.

    - Private messaging

    Instead of giving out email addresses, let people send private messages. I'm reluctant to give everyone a special "PM inbox", forum-style, so I'd probably just want to make this a form that you can use to send email to people without having their address disclosed (with some abuse controls, of course).

    - Draconian moderation OR complete lack of moderation

    People seem split on this. Personally I'd like to make the thing self-regulating, giving the users the tools to remove crapflooders and the like without the site owner having to go around using the delete tools and banhammer. I've even considered putting a "vote to suspended" option on user pages, with the user getting suspended for an ever-increasing amount of time each time a threshold is reached.

    - Paginated threads and threaded threads

    Again, an even split. I prefer my comments MetaFilter-style (ie. flat, unthreaded), just because conversation seems to flow better with less repetition. It also solves the absurdly-deeply-nested-comments problem. Adding pagination to this and some kind of mechanism to say which post[s] you were replying to would make it acceptable, I think. Of course, you'll all probably think I'm nuts, but in that case I'd like to hear suggestions for making threaded discussions flow better and look better.

    That's all (for now)... what do you think? Where am I right, where am I wrong and what have I missed?

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    Display: Sort:
    A New Community | 238 comments (214 topical, 24 editorial, 0 hidden)
    -1 What are your ideas? (2.57 / 7) (#1)
    by jadibd on Sat May 15, 2004 at 06:42:05 PM EST

    I assume you have some pet peeves about the way k5 is implemented, so why not share what changes *you* would add to your new system?

    well (none / 0) (#3)
    by reklaw on Sat May 15, 2004 at 06:45:37 PM EST

    I'll write up what I have so far and add it, but it's nothing groundbreaking yet... anyway, I'll get on it now.
    [ Parent ]
    done [nt] (none / 0) (#8)
    by reklaw on Sat May 15, 2004 at 07:26:21 PM EST

    [ Parent ]
    A killfile (2.66 / 6) (#2)
    by khallow on Sat May 15, 2004 at 06:42:17 PM EST

    One of the best things about the USENET.

    Stating the obvious since 1969.

    haha (none / 2) (#4)
    by reklaw on Sat May 15, 2004 at 06:45:54 PM EST

    Everyone says that first.
    [ Parent ]
    First (none / 0) (#86)
    by Xcyther on Mon May 17, 2004 at 01:36:08 AM EST

    What exactly is a killfile?

    "Insydious" -- It's not as bad as you think

    [ Parent ]
    way to filter out users and topics (none / 0) (#106)
    by khallow on Mon May 17, 2004 at 09:08:35 AM EST

    "killfiles" are a common feature of newsreaders (the client programs that read the USENET stream of data). Basically, it is a list of topics and posters to filter out of the news before the user reads anything.

    For example, I read math subjects on a regular basis, and I don't like having to deal with discussion on whether the infinite sequence of 9's (that is, 0.99999...) is equal to 1. Keywords in that subject (I usually cut and paste the entire subject) can be added to the "killfile" so that the entire thread (most of the time, the subject heading doesn't change so one can filter on this criteria) gets eliminated from my viewpoint. It's still there, but I don't have to deal with it.

    Stating the obvious since 1969.
    [ Parent ]

    A gripe of mine: (2.85 / 7) (#9)
    by Kasreyn on Sat May 15, 2004 at 07:49:42 PM EST

    do we REALLY need section AND topic? I mean, for certain A-type personalities I'm sure it's very useful to be able to perfectly cubbyhole their story in a nice mental box. But it seems to add more in terms of confusion than it does in precision.

    If I were making my own CMS, I'd probably have a single "topic" selector.


    "Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
    We never asked to be born in the first place."

    R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
    yep (none / 2) (#13)
    by reklaw on Sat May 15, 2004 at 08:04:50 PM EST

    That's certainly the way I've done it so far: topics only, no sections. Some people seem to want to be able to put things in more than one topic area (eg. "news" and "internet"), but I think that's just silly -- you just end up putting everything under almost every topic.

    Oh yeah, and I've left off anything resembling op-ed in an attempt to stop people thinking that anything expressing an opinion should go in op-ed. Impartiality is impossible, and websites aren't newspapers that need to keep up some kind of pretense, if you ask me.
    [ Parent ]

    Multiple topics (none / 1) (#31)
    by J'raxis on Sun May 16, 2004 at 12:33:42 AM EST

    Actually, multiple topics is a good idea, especially if you have a search-by-topic feature. Slashdot started doing this recently (sometime in the last year or so), which is definitely an improvement—for example, searching for something like Linux would not bring up any of the stories about the SCO lawsuits, if they had only topicked those stories under SCO.

    I think this actually highlights the difference between topics and sections: an article can only be placed under one section, but an article can be about multiple topics—using the same example, a single typical story about the SCO lawsuit could be topicked under SCO, Linux, Microsoft, Novell, IBM, and probably Humor.


    [ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
    [ Parent ]

    hmm (none / 1) (#42)
    by reklaw on Sun May 16, 2004 at 07:42:01 AM EST

    Well maybe you're right, when a place has as many topics as Slashdot. If I decided to put in a section for every company, piece of software, etc. that people ever talk about, then multiple topics would probably be a good idea, but for a general-purpose site it'd probably be better to just lump all that under "internet" or "news" (or, at best, create a special "software" section).
    [ Parent ]
    K5 != Scoop (2.80 / 5) (#50)
    by rusty on Sun May 16, 2004 at 12:02:59 PM EST

    Actually, it's easy in Scoop to use or not use sections and/or topics. K5 happens to use both (though I agree that basically it's stupid and pointless). There are numerous Scoop sites that use only sections and not topics, and some that don't use either (visibly -- behind the scenes, section is required but you don't have to make it a user-choice kind of thing; everything just goes in one section).

    A lot of stuff in Scoop (nearly everything, really) is site policy and configuration, not enforced by the software.

    Not the real rusty
    [ Parent ]

    HE LIVES! (none / 0) (#87)
    by Xcyther on Mon May 17, 2004 at 01:38:56 AM EST

    "Insydious" -- It's not as bad as you think

    [ Parent ]
    "basically it's stupid and pointless" (2.80 / 5) (#89)
    by James A C Joyce on Mon May 17, 2004 at 02:11:11 AM EST

    Then why, for the love of God, is it still here?

    I bought this account on eBay
    [ Parent ]

    Topic and section (none / 1) (#161)
    by driph on Tue May 18, 2004 at 04:38:54 AM EST

    It's basically a slashdot holdover, really. Dunno why both section and topic are still around, although I guess there's never been a reason to remove one of em.

    Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
    [ Parent ]
    Language advice (2.50 / 1) (#10)
    by czth on Sat May 15, 2004 at 07:51:55 PM EST

    Watch your language!

    It will be written in PHP.

    For the love of all that is holy and sacred, elegant and beautiful, and well-designed and non-crapacious, please use a real language and not that disgusting hack of wretchedness known as PHP. It sucks. Hard. Like an industrial vacuum cleaner. Or, if you do, please make it proprietary so nobody else need look at the source and technicolour yawn over their fine carpets and so profit the carpet-cleaning mafia.

    As to what you should use - pick pretty much anything else. Perl. Python. Pike. Or even a language that doesn't start with P. Ruby. Heck, even C++ would be less disgusting, or C with a few good libraries.

    Thank you.


    well (3.00 / 4) (#11)
    by reklaw on Sat May 15, 2004 at 08:01:22 PM EST

    Everything sucks, really. Every OS sucks, and every programming language sucks. My reasons for using PHP are:
    1. I know it.
    2. It's good for this sort of thing -- basically writing to a db, reading from a db and throwing stuff into templates.
    I'd rather poke my eyes out than confront the line-noise that is Perl. I know some Python, but I've always found it overly picky and not really very powerful. Suggesting C/C++ is just absurd.

    You'll probably flip when I reveal that I plan to use MySQL...
    [ Parent ]

    Some things suck less (none / 1) (#18)
    by czth on Sat May 15, 2004 at 09:55:12 PM EST

    The biggest problem with PHP is how badly laid out and repetitious its standard/builtin functions are (all in one namespace, inconsistent naming, etc.; see Juerd's list). E.g. by default to use a database you pick one and use a set of functions with a matching prefix (that vary by database). In Perl, things are much nicer: you use the DBI object and tell it which database to connect to and it provides a consistent interface to various backend (DBD) modules.

    But there are many more issues as outlined on my PHP page and its links. Inheritance sucks. There are no real modules, just include the contents of another file. Hashrays. And on and on; it's the language that helps newbies but doesn't like them to leave that stage nor help them out of it. PHP is personally offensive to me as a programmer, much like Visual BASIC, and I dearly wish programmers with any sort of skill would stay away from it. Or maybe I don't - more chance for me to shine.

    MySQL is mostly fine, of course if you need more complexity pick something else. This is not at all analogous to using PHP over (say) Perl, because things like namespaces and well-designed objects and libraries and succictness are something everyone should use, it's not at some complex higher level. PHP is weak from the beginning; MySQL only shows its limitations when you get to a level of complexity not required for most personal sites (and then it's fairly easy to move over to another database (well, it is if you have a real abstract database layer), much easier than changing languages).

    There is nothing PHP is 'best' at - except maybe starting off newbies (with bad habits), but as I said above it doesn't go any further with them, rather it holds them back. So you know it, so forget about it and shake its dust off your feet. Perl is no more line noise than the IOCCC is representative of C. C and C++ with the right libraries can be just as good; of course they can, what's PHP or any higher level language but a dynamic C macro preprocessor :-).

    (Yeah, I'm aware of PEAR. It's a band-aid. Better to do things right the first time and also not take the speed penalty.)


    [ Parent ]

    well (none / 2) (#20)
    by reklaw on Sat May 15, 2004 at 10:23:53 PM EST

    I'm not really here to get into some kind of programming language flamewar. What works for you, works for you. Personally I'm not even sure what the heck a namespace is -- and, yes, I do write things in Visual Basic occasionally. In my defence, there's another guy working with me on the project who's far more of a C++ type, but he wanted to use PHP as well. Perl is just an absolute nightmare. Seriously. A mess of slashes and brackets of various types. Maybe you find that easy to understand, but I sure as heck don't.

    PHP is just fine for simple things, just as Visual Basic is fine for simple things. If VB was cross-platform (which PHP obviously is) then I wouldn't feel at all guilty about using it most of the time. It might suck for complicated things, but I'm not a programmer -- I'm a web designer. I couldn't care less if PHP uses hashes for arrays or whatever. It's good at what it does and good for what I'll be doing. It's the right tool for the job. Saying I should use Perl just because Perl does better in more complicated situations than I will have to deal with is silly, and snobbish.
    [ Parent ]

    The best thing about perl (none / 2) (#37)
    by grahamsz on Sun May 16, 2004 at 06:59:19 AM EST

    is how insanely concisely you can write relatively complex code.... however that's probably the worst thing about it too.

    It does however feel a lot more creative than some other languages.

    But use whatever works for you. For a big project i'd probably use Java, but perl and php are both capable for *most* things.
    Sell your digital photos - I've made enough to buy a taco today
    [ Parent ]

    php is... (none / 1) (#83)
    by sholden on Sun May 16, 2004 at 11:59:57 PM EST

    PHP - it's "training wheels without the bike". - Randal L. Schwartz

    The world's dullest web page

    [ Parent ]
    Happiness... (none / 1) (#90)
    by James A C Joyce on Mon May 17, 2004 at 02:12:28 AM EST

    ...is a programming language named PHP: the mild language.

    I bought this account on eBay
    [ Parent ]

    "There is nothing PHP is 'best' at" (none / 2) (#67)
    by gazbo on Sun May 16, 2004 at 07:04:54 PM EST

    Web development.

    I looked at your page, and the example you gave of something written in perl that nobody's replicated in PHP.  Well, all you've done is showcase perl's built-in regexp operators.  Seriously, that's all.  You may love perl (or hate php - whatever) but the example you gave, like every example given by perlites, is just saying "look!  Perl does regexps built in!".  Well great - it really helps save keystrokes in text processing apps - but shit: get over it.  PHP has the pcre, and so has all the perl-style regexps, just phrased as a function call rather than an operator.  Is that really what you want to base your thesis on?

    And yeah, pre php-5 OO and namespaces suck, but then a) php 5 fixes that and b) I hate to break it to you, but perl's OO framework sucks too.

    Everyone programs in a different style, and likes different syntax.  As long as the language works for the given task, who are you (or anyone else) to tell someone it's the "wrong" language?

    Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
    Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

    [ Parent ]

    There is nothing PHP is 'best' at (none / 1) (#78)
    by czth on Sun May 16, 2004 at 08:08:44 PM EST

    Web development.

    "For every complex problem, there is an answer that is short, simple and wrong." You went with the "obvious" one, however, you lose; even if it was stipulated that PHP is good for web programming, it's sure not better than all other contenders. mod_perl is usually more efficient and perl solutions to most web problems are more mature and extensible (partly because perl has real modules), and Python has Zope etc. which I don't like personally but some do.

    I'll allow you the difference in keystrokes between s and preg_replace if you'd like to take a stab at a PHP equivalence to the code on my PHP sucks page. The code there shows more than built-in regexps, as much as you'd like to shout to the contrary; it shows dynamic code blocks and much better list handling.

    Perl's OO framework is loose, but it can do everything you need it to - inheritance (even MI if you think you need it), autoload delegation, can call superclasses, and has some nice extras like attributes too. It conforms nicely to Paul Graham's ideas in Succinctness is Power: don't constrain the programmer unnecessarily (think of Kernighan's Why Pascal is not my favourite programming language paper).

    PHP 5 fixes a few things, but not nearly enough (it's like Webster, or Franklin, or whoever's spelling "fixes" e.g. colour to color - good start, you're about 0.000000000000000001% through fixing the spelling of the English language, and there are some fairly darn good reasons why it's not an easy problem but straining at gnats and swallowing camels really doesn't help and just causes a yawning gulf between the standard English spelling of the rest of the world, but perhaps I digress).

    I'm the one to say it's wrong because (a) I want this project to do well which means it would benefit from a language that allows for proper structure and (b) I may have cause to use or contribute to it in future, but will shy away in horror if it's written in a disgustingly obtuse language, and (c) I'm just thinking of the children.


    [ Parent ]

    Nope (none / 1) (#95)
    by gazbo on Mon May 17, 2004 at 06:17:34 AM EST

    The code there shows more than built-in regexps, as much as you'd like to shout to the contrary; it shows dynamic code blocks and much better list handling.

    No, the only difference it highlights is the regexps; specifically, if we're ignoring syntax differences, it illustrates that perl creates $1 etc for matched groups.  That's all.

    The rest all have parallels: for grep use array_filter, and pass it a lambda function (which, as any LISP-head will tell you is much cleaner than passing a block of poor, homeless code that hopes that $_ will be set to something meaningful when it gets run.

    So, what's the only difference?  The only difference is that in PHP you can't do the preg_replace operation and still have the matched group in scope to check against $value.  So, to do a direct analog of your perl code would require up to 2 regexps: a search to find the id, then a replace to strip the ids.  Of course, if preg_replace simply took a parameter $matches like preg_match does then the problem would go away.  In the meantime, how about this, with a little hack to keep it down to 1 regexp:

    $a = array_filter($a,create_function('$el',"preg_match('/(.*?)id=(\d+)$/',\$el,\$m) ? \$m[1] : 1; return \$m[2] != $value;"));

    Apart from the different way the replace is handled, that should be sematically identical to what you wrote - i.e. it not only gives the same result, but does so in the same way.  Discounting the difference between your inline code and my lambda function, of course.

    If preg_replace could return a matches array like preg_match does, then the lambda function's code would even be a short one-liner, like the code you showed.

    Anyway, away from the code, your arguments against PHP as a web language are silly.  Arguing from the point of view of efficiency is pointless; as long as it's "fast enough" then you could program it in whatever the hell you like (is there a mod_basic module?) and it is very, very rare that bottlenecks in websites are anything other than DB queries.  If you really care about efficiency that much, then scrap the DB altogether and get localroger to hand optimise your site using assembly and a flatfile.

    "perl solutions to most web problems are more mature"  What the hell does that mean?  Firstly I take issue with that even being true, but secondly, even pretending it were true...your argument against PHP as a language is that other people haven't written things in PHP that you would class as "mature"?  Now if you were deciding whether to install PHPNuke or Scoop, and decided that Scoop was more mature, then sure go for the perl solution - that's simple pragmatism.  But deciding to write your own CMS in perl, just because you prefer Scoop to PHPNuke is just weird.

    Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
    Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

    [ Parent ]

    Yet Another Cruddy PHP Mess (none / 1) (#220)
    by czth on Wed May 19, 2004 at 03:54:48 PM EST

    The rest all have parallels: for grep use array_filter, and pass it a lambda function (which, as any LISP-head will tell you is much cleaner than passing a block of poor, homeless code that hopes that $_ will be set to something meaningful when it gets run.

    Um. create_function is a really disgusting interface and comparing it to a functional language is a deadly insult to said functional language. Why? Well, to start with, runtime compilation, whereas perl's code block is compiled once when the code is parsed. Second, the parameters - why not pass in an array of names rather than make the engine do more runtime parsing? Ew. What you'll also find interesting is that perl can do closures.

    Lambda function indeed. Perl can of course evaluate code on the fly, but it's powerful enough that that's usually unnecessary.

    The setting of $_ is as good as any other interface, it's just a parameter, and although it's global it can be re-localized in inner blocks if needed. It's convenient for programmers (know any?)

    Arguing from the point of view of efficiency is pointless; as long as it's "fast enough" then you could program it in whatever the hell you like...

    So why not use INTERCAL? or assembler?

    "perl solutions to most web problems are more mature"

    Go take a look at CPAN.

    Euh, I don't care what it's written in, it'll be yet another cruddy PHP mess that nobody will use.


    [ Parent ]

    A reply (none / 0) (#227)
    by gazbo on Thu May 20, 2004 at 03:04:11 AM EST

    It's convenient for programmers (know any?)

    Yes.  That's why I so thoroughly wiped the floor with you and your trite "show me the code" challenge that you've got all angry and resorted to pointless ad hominem.


    Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
    Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

    [ Parent ]

    I'd use Python (none / 2) (#74)
    by gpig on Sun May 16, 2004 at 07:52:27 PM EST

    in fact, I have already chosen it for a new project myself. I'm in a situation where I want any competent programmer to be able to pick up the project and work with the code.

    I looked at Perl, Python and PHP. Both PHP and Perl are ugly, with lots of hidden traps. I've been using Perl for ages and still get caught out occasionally with code which still parses and runs, but does something different to what I expected (There's More Than One Way To Break It).

    The only advantage I can see for Perl is that the regexp syntax is nice, e.g.



    apple_re = re.compile(r'apples')
    s = re.sub('bananas', s)

    but on the whole, I prefer verbose code that explains what it's doing. Since many of those working on the code could be from other programming backgrounds (C, C++, Java, VB), I'd rather use Python.

    [ Parent ]

    That's one thing you have to love about Python (none / 1) (#164)
    by mold on Tue May 18, 2004 at 07:40:07 AM EST

    It's pretty. Seriously, it is.

    That may seem stupid, but code readability is an important thing.

    Of course, being allowed to occasionally make long complicated statements that look like gibberish and do wonderful, magical things is fun, and that's a bit harder to do in Python.

    Beware of peanuts! There's a 0.00001% peanut fatality rate in the USA alone! You could be next!
    [ Parent ]

    eh. (2.83 / 6) (#22)
    by pb on Sat May 15, 2004 at 11:00:34 PM EST

    I do admit that I've run into almost every shortcoming on those lists of PHP shortcomings you link to, and in addition to that the language implementation itself can be somewhat slow.

    All that having been said, PHP is fine for basic web stuff. It is still relatively easy to write, and there is a fair amount of useful software already written in it. If the man knows how to write in PHP, let him; there are already major high-traffic weblogs that use PHP, and they seem to do just fine, thanks.

    In conclusion, as a programming language snob I agree with you, but out there in the real world your concerns are still misplaced.
    "See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
    -- pwhysall
    [ Parent ]

    Ugh. (2.80 / 5) (#25)
    by James A C Joyce on Sat May 15, 2004 at 11:21:08 PM EST

    I'm just gonna jump right to the end of this "discussion" and skip all of the intermediate arguing and flamage:

    Shut up, Perl bigot. Perl is ugly, difficult to learn and doesn't scale. Blah blah blah. You people wave Perl around as the solution to everything like some kind of Swiss Army Penis. Etc. etc. etc.

    I bought this account on eBay
    [ Parent ]

    Perl Scales Fine (none / 2) (#36)
    by grahamsz on Sun May 16, 2004 at 06:56:00 AM EST

    I've written per code that runs on every page request, sometimes dozens of times a second... it's really not slow at all.

    For textual processing - like making webpages - perl isn't really much slower than C. Hell slashdot runs in perl.

    Of course if you use perl cgi then you are screwing yourself from the start....
    Sell your digital photos - I've made enough to buy a taco today
    [ Parent ]

    slashdot (none / 2) (#55)
    by horny smurf on Sun May 16, 2004 at 12:28:44 PM EST

    Most slashdot requests are actually cached (ie static) pages. Take a look at the HTML it spits out sometime. It's like a time machine back to 1999!

    [ Parent ]

    A clarification (none / 2) (#62)
    by QuickFox on Sun May 16, 2004 at 05:09:39 PM EST

    I'm afraid you've misunderstood the meaning of "caching". The pages that they show today are new. They were not created and cached in 1999.

    Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fi
    [ Parent ]
    He means (none / 2) (#81)
    by JayGarner on Sun May 16, 2004 at 11:38:27 PM EST

    The style is reminiscent of 1999, I think that's what he was getting at.

    [ Parent ]
    yeah (none / 1) (#82)
    by reklaw on Sun May 16, 2004 at 11:46:32 PM EST

    The whole thing is a nested-table nightmare. Then again, so is k5...
    [ Parent ]
    You gotta give props to the 'green theme', tho (none / 0) (#146)
    by JayGarner on Mon May 17, 2004 at 09:37:41 PM EST

    It roxors.

    [ Parent ]
    PHP & Perl (none / 1) (#93)
    by FeersumAsura on Mon May 17, 2004 at 05:46:52 AM EST

    Are both flaming bags of shit. A comment pointing out the fact that php would be inadequate does not point to perl. A comment pointing out the crapness of perl and expressing a preference for line noise, beatings and unnecessary pain shows a preference for perl.

    Everyone knows you'd use JSP or ASP.
    It didn't work the first time.
    [ Parent ]

    Hahaha (none / 1) (#44)
    by Psychopath on Sun May 16, 2004 at 10:59:12 AM EST


    scnr ;)
    The only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain. -- Karl Marx
    [ Parent ]
    You are missing a philosophy (3.00 / 8) (#16)
    by StephenThompson on Sat May 15, 2004 at 08:56:51 PM EST

    What is it you bring to the table that is different and better than the existing sites? Why would I go to your new unknown site instead of K5? How are you better than HuSi? One thing I want to see is a site that scales well. Im not talking about the code scaling, although thats a must as well. Im talking about it scaling in the way that K5 doesnt. Would the quality be good if there were a million users and 100k of them were crap flooders and trolls?

    well yes (none / 2) (#17)
    by reklaw on Sat May 15, 2004 at 09:13:44 PM EST

    I'm pretty sure what I have could work on the scale of a Slashdot or a Fark -- the voting system is designed to scale, unlike K5's, which just raised the vote threshold as the site got more popular (leading to many good articles getting dumped).

    Underlying philosophy? What I'm trying to do is bring together what's out there and make it better. I want to provide a space where people can post about things and have a conversation without having to worry as much about the technical limitations of the format. I want things to be simple to use -- not patronising, though, just elegant.

    There is still nowhere on the web where anyone can post anything and have it either voted to the front page or archived for people who might want to see it. K5 tried, but just has too many flaws. What I'm going for will be something like K5's diary section -- everything from personal thoughts to full articles -- put into topic-sections and voted up and down.

    The reason I'm using the term "community weblog" is because I think it'll be the first true community weblog -- a series of journals entwined with each post rated, making an interesting and eclectic place to be. The front page should be a mix of everything from personal stories to science articles to links to neat things on the web, and of course everything will have a conversation about it.

    Of course, all this doesn't really go very far towards articulating what it is I'm trying to do, so all I can say is: trust me. I do know, really.
    [ Parent ]

    One Person - One Vote (none / 0) (#111)
    by duffbeer703 on Mon May 17, 2004 at 11:18:41 AM EST

    Voting is the key disadvantage of K5 and your system. There is no way to stop people from voting with a dozen robot accounts.

    Case in point: the 2000 election. Pre-election, Kuro5hin was flooded with one Nader propaganda story after another. Only on K5 was Nader a political juggernaut.

    Slashdot's moderation is far superior. Moderation points are limited, and most moderation activity is meta-moderated by interested parties. It really easy to filter noise on /., where on K5, noise is the signal.

    [ Parent ]

    interesting (none / 0) (#118)
    by reklaw on Mon May 17, 2004 at 12:05:48 PM EST

    Perhaps this would be controlled by, for example, requiring you to post 5 (or more, even) comments before you get to vote articles up or down.

    Or, I could make votes some kind of finite resource. Make it so that you have a set number to begin with and "spending" them on a story gives them to the story's author. But then, of course, it could all-too-easily turn into another karma points game.

    Or! I could just make it so that each user who comments on a story counts as one vote (no matter how many comments they make) and eliminate any explicit voting. This would have the downside, though, of tending to the longest discussions (read: flamewars) on the front page. Then again, is this a bad thing? Are we trying to promote articles or discussion? I'm not sure.

    Or... lots of things. I'm thinking about it. That was the whole point of this article. What do you think I should do?
    [ Parent ]

    Scarcity is critical (none / 0) (#172)
    by duffbeer703 on Tue May 18, 2004 at 09:30:13 AM EST

    The average comment is within one standard deviation of the average.

    Making moderation a scarce commodity is the only way to stop average comments from getting rated better or worse than they are. Other posters mentioned that the /. moderation system's implementation is retarded. This is true -- but the theory is sound.

    IMHO, we should be trying to produce a reasonably level playing field where open discussion & good stories can occur.

    [ Parent ]

    Slashdot moderation is easier to game than k5 (none / 0) (#126)
    by sllort on Mon May 17, 2004 at 01:28:01 PM EST

    It takes a lot less work.
    Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
    [ Parent ]
    the devil is in the details (none / 2) (#135)
    by pb on Mon May 17, 2004 at 03:53:01 PM EST

    Slashdot's mod point distribution "methods" are moronic--that is, unless you're in favor of a mediocracy. The 'signal' on /. isn't necessarily any better than the 'noise'.

    As for Nader propaganda on K5... well, that wouldn't surprise me; sounds like it would go hand-in-hand with the userbase.
    "See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
    -- pwhysall
    [ Parent ]

    solving this problem (none / 0) (#169)
    by crayz on Tue May 18, 2004 at 08:26:08 AM EST

    Rusty seemed to be going in this direction, but what about integrating K5 with a FOAF system like Orkut? People have friends, other users they trust, and it goes round and round recursively(think Google PageRank). In this way each user can get a trust ranking, built perhaps on a combination of the trust from friends, and the ratings on posts, and the trust of the people who rated the posts.

    You would also have to implement something to try to stop the abuse, similar both on K5 and Google, where one person drastically "bootstraps" his own trust(on K5 through robo-moderation, on Google by controlling tons of sites that all incestuously link to each other).

    Just throwing ideas out here...what about making it much much easier to post stories, but have stories rated in the same way. They'd need a relatively small number of votes to get "approved," but you would only see a story on your own main page if it was above your own user-defined threshold. This wouldn't need to be technical, just a user setting on whether you want to see a ton of possibly crappy stories or a select few really good ones.

    Once a story was posted, rating of it would continue, and the story's rank would change so that if more people kept seeing it and approving of it, it would percolate up through the community. But if it was voted down - for whatever reason - it would fizzle out without being too widely read.

    A user might also be able to select preferences in general categories, so that the system would automatically boost, say, stories about computers, while decreasing the ranking of fiction. This could still be done in such a way that the absolute best fiction was still seen, if the user so chose.

    [ Parent ]

    you keep saying community (none / 0) (#149)
    by speek on Mon May 17, 2004 at 10:25:01 PM EST

    But nothing else you say really has anything at all to do with the concept. You have what looks like a bunch of fairly trivial technical modifications you want to make, but nothing radically new, no new insight into what this "community" thing really is. Tweaking K5's interface is a fine goal, but k5 has failed to build much community, and you haven't addressed that failing significantly.

    al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
    [ Parent ]

    well (none / 0) (#199)
    by reklaw on Tue May 18, 2004 at 06:25:07 PM EST

    K5 has built a community, of sorts. Its biggest flaw to my mind is the amount of stuff that gets voted down (ie. deleted) as well as the difficulty of having a sustained conversation with more than two participants.

    My thinking is that if I fix the technical side of things, a small community will create things worth linking to and discussing, and it turn more people will join. Or people will tell their friends about the new community. Or whatever. Communities seem to just grow -- there's nothing I can really do to attempt to encourage that, apart from building the best system I can.
    [ Parent ]

    sounds good so far... (none / 2) (#19)
    by pb on Sat May 15, 2004 at 10:21:16 PM EST

    I think you have the right attitude about this, at least, and that's the most important thing. If you aren't sure whether or not you want something, making it a user configurable option is a good approach.

    Now, I've advocated this many times, but... instead of killfiles, I'd be in favor of a more flexible approach where you'd be able to rate all the users on the site, and adjust things accordingly. For instance, I could rate you 0.5 (on a scale of 0..2, say, where 1 is average) and then as far as I'm concerned whatever you do would count half as much as what the average user on the site does, be it moderation, voting, or what have you. At the extremes it could be similar to a killfile, but in between it's all based on how much you value that person's opinion.

    And let us know when you actually have some code/ideas up somewhere; I'd be happy to check that out too. There's also no shortage of discussion site software out there, even in PHP, but probably a lot of it isn't public domain. :/
    "See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
    -- pwhysall

    interesting (none / 2) (#21)
    by reklaw on Sat May 15, 2004 at 10:34:58 PM EST

    Your killfile alternative doesn't really provide what the killfile types want, though, which is not to see a certain user's posts. They don't care whether that user's votes affect other things they see -- they just want to ignore the things that user is saying. I'm thinking I might as well give people killfiles as an option, turned off by default, so that people who want to live in a little unoffensive box can be free to do so and we can laugh at them when they lose the thread of a conversation.

    I'd also say that I'm quite against using elaborate numerical widgets for things -- I don't plan to provide a way of rating comments from one to five or anything like that, for example. Rating threads is more-or-less a necessarily evil, but I'm not enthusiastic about rating users, rating comments, rating people's ratings and all the rest of it. Slash and Scoop have both tried to solve social problems with equations, and both pretty much failed. I do have "vote to hide" as an idea up there, but I'm still not altogether convinced of the wisdom of that either.

    I'll certainly post something when I've got a site up -- it doesn't look too far away now, as there's a mostly-working base and an almost-finished design, but I'm reluctant to put something out there that's really half-baked and not quite working right. There certainly is a lot of software out there, but most of it is dire -- and I'm not actually aware of any at all that's in the public domain (hopefully someone will correct me on this at some point...)
    [ Parent ]

    yeah. (none / 1) (#23)
    by pb on Sat May 15, 2004 at 11:05:24 PM EST

    I feel that killfiles can still be a part of my solution, being that it's (a) unimplemented, (b) therefore somewhat half-baked anyhow, and (c) complicated to explain. However, although there are some people that want killfiles, I think more people just want a way to effectively sort the wheat from the chaff, and banning all posts by a given user is often too heavy-handed a solution for this.

    Comment ratings are just like everything else, IMO--another option that you can leave off if you don't want it. However, can help you to sort things out, and that's why they're useful. Pagination would also be useful, as would grouping things together by related topics.

    Obviously put it out whenever you feel you're ready to do so; however, us programmers tend to be more interested when there's actually code to be hacked on somewhere. :)
    "See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
    -- pwhysall
    [ Parent ]

    hmm (none / 1) (#24)
    by reklaw on Sat May 15, 2004 at 11:19:54 PM EST

    Actually, it could be interesting to have a complete comment rating system that's turned off for people who don't want it... not sure if it'd be worth it, though. Comment ratings have never really helped me sort the wheat from the chaff... they just seem to either add irrelevant numbers or break up the conversation when posts get hidden. I'm not sure if there is a better way to do it -- a post is either there or it isn't, there's nothing workable inbetween.

    Pagination is an absolute essential, in my book. Hardly anyone does it -- Slashdot does, I suppose, but in a really bad, hackish sort of way. Forums do it, but the link is usually far too small and a bit hidden, and breaking after 10-20 comments is just as bad as not breaking at all. I'd set it somewhat higher.

    It'd be nice to release some code, maybe... I'm not sure. The open source working model can be a bit of a hindrance, sometimes, just because of the amount of code/design-by-committee that ends up happening. I could only work that way if I looked at all the ideas available and decided exactly what was going to go in -- and then the programmers helped me code it, but most programmers aren't really going to want to work that way. Doing it any other way gives you bad interfaces and feature creep, and you end up getting distracted over all sorts of minor issues.

    That sounded quite rude, I think. I'm just saying, if anyone wants to help, then I'd love that, but don't expect me to let you throw all your pet features at it until it bursts. Hopefully people will take that in the spirit in which it's intended.
    [ Parent ]

    heh (none / 1) (#34)
    by pb on Sun May 16, 2004 at 02:59:49 AM EST

    Hidden posts are another interesting option; on K5, you can turn them on or off, whereas on /. you just adjust the threshold accordingly.

    As for breaking up the discussion, I think it's rather odd to show the child posts of hidden posts, especially in a threaded discussion; I probably would hide them as well, because otherwise it doesn't make much sense.

    When people want all their pet features in and you don't, your project just ends up getting forked. One way to avoid that is to not release the code, I suppose. :)
    "See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
    -- pwhysall
    [ Parent ]

    good point (none / 1) (#40)
    by reklaw on Sun May 16, 2004 at 07:35:23 AM EST

    My threading model is going to be flat-with-replies (which you have to see to understand, really) -- it's basically all posts in date order with ones that are replies linking to the previous post and ones that have replies linking to the reply. It works a lot better than it sounds it might.

    Anyway, the point was -- you're right about hiding child comments. If a comment gets either killfiled or hidden-by-vote then I'd leave a small message there ("this comment by x was hidden/killfiled...") and replace people's replies to it with something similar ("this comment was a reply to #x by x, which is hidden/killfiled..."). Maybe I'd make the word "comment" a link, for the rare case when the person might want to read the comment anyway.

    As for forking... well... I can live with that -- especially if my version is well-designed and cohesive and theirs is a slew of cryptically-named features tied together with some string and parcel tape, like most open source projects.
    [ Parent ]

    ugh. (none / 0) (#68)
    by pb on Sun May 16, 2004 at 07:06:26 PM EST

    Great, a community weblog with all the charm of a brain-dead listserv archive. If you have to have a flat view of things, could you at least allow a nested index to the left, a la Google Groups?

    If you haven't guessed by now, I like my nested mode(s). :)
    "See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
    -- pwhysall
    [ Parent ]

    heh (none / 1) (#69)
    by reklaw on Sun May 16, 2004 at 07:13:25 PM EST

    Well I quite like nested modes for small discussions, but it just doesn't scale. Once you get up to 100+ posts, it becomes cumbersome, especially if two people have got a debate going.

    The nested index is an interesting idea, though. I'll see what I can do (perhaps make it another option with an on/off switch).
    [ Parent ]

    yeah, (none / 1) (#84)
    by pb on Mon May 17, 2004 at 12:03:43 AM EST

    That's just another 'presentation' problem; there's nothing wrong with having a nested mode per se, you just don't want to keep indenting it out forever. :)

    As for debates, it'd be useful to have a way to quote text from other posts (not simple cut-and-paste, but rather something that actually marks/links the original text and optionally displays it in place...)
    "See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
    -- pwhysall
    [ Parent ]

    yeah (none / 0) (#198)
    by reklaw on Tue May 18, 2004 at 06:18:31 PM EST

    Although I can't see any other way of doing a nested mode apart from indenting forever. Marking and displaying quotes instead of cut and paste is another good idea that I don't think is actually implementable. :)
    [ Parent ]
    indenting forever (none / 0) (#202)
    by pb on Tue May 18, 2004 at 06:54:56 PM EST

    in general, I don't think indenting forever helps; it makes more sense to indent, say, n levels on either side, or n levels above where you are now. After a certain point, the nesting info doesn't help you because you aren't reading those posts anyhow. (that is, unless you really want to view them all :)

    As for whether something is 'implementable', well, you never know until you try. Or--often--until long after you try.
    "See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
    -- pwhysall
    [ Parent ]

    Flat w/ threads like Plastic? [nt] (none / 0) (#91)
    by James A C Joyce on Mon May 17, 2004 at 02:24:42 AM EST

    I bought this account on eBay
    [ Parent ]

    sort of (none / 1) (#197)
    by reklaw on Tue May 18, 2004 at 06:16:47 PM EST

    Only in time order, and with links both ways.
    [ Parent ]
    i wrote my own software (none / 2) (#26)
    by omghax on Sat May 15, 2004 at 11:35:19 PM EST

    it was called "Scoop without Rusty." It was voted 50000 times better than the original.

    I put the "LOL" in phiLOLigcal leadership - vote for OMGHAX for CMF president!
    well (none / 1) (#27)
    by reklaw on Sat May 15, 2004 at 11:43:14 PM EST

    I ain't Rusty. I am, in fact, completely unoxidised.
    [ Parent ]
    In that case... (none / 2) (#58)
    by astatine on Sun May 16, 2004 at 03:05:55 PM EST

    you might want to beware of free radicals. :-)

    Society, they say, exists to safeguard the rights of the individual. If this is so, the primary right of a human being is evidently to live unrealistically.Celia Green
    [ Parent ]
    Hard to believe... (none / 0) (#215)
    by kauff on Wed May 19, 2004 at 11:20:41 AM EST

    Unless you're some kind of mighty space potato which doesn't need to breathe, of course.

    [ Parent ]
    Just a thought.. (2.60 / 10) (#28)
    by undermyne on Sun May 16, 2004 at 12:19:21 AM EST

    but perhaps you could consider allowing new users to sign up.

    "You're an asshole. You are the greatest troll on this site." Some nullo

    heh [nt] (none / 0) (#38)
    by reklaw on Sun May 16, 2004 at 07:19:06 AM EST

    [ Parent ]
    Maybe not all the way... (none / 0) (#72)
    by nkyad on Sun May 16, 2004 at 07:34:20 PM EST

    You may consider letting users sign between 1:00 AM and 3:00 AM PST of full moon Fridays, as successfylly demonstrated elsewhere.

    Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run

    [ Parent ]
    The failure of PD and opensource (3.00 / 6) (#33)
    by turtleshadow on Sun May 16, 2004 at 01:41:45 AM EST

    Your mentality is the achilles heal of public domain and opensource.

    Having yet another slew of blog/CMS/fora/bbs code out there doesn't improve the software model.

    Code reuse is important. Are you going to start from scratch and re-invent/integrate the 15-20 years of safe coding & security techniques? Are you going to spend man months coding & tuning yet another user account database schema?

    Why not propose a fork? Why can't you just integrate your ideas/changes to an existing project?

    From one a hard working coder to another be careful with the PD model. If your code makes it "big-time" you've effectively gave away your big chunk of Intellectual Property for anyone to take and re-use anyway, anytime, anywhere they want. GPL at least gives you the opportunity to restrict a big company, university, your worst enemy from ripping your work off or making derivative works without even having to recognize your talent.

    I know, I know (none / 1) (#39)
    by reklaw on Sun May 16, 2004 at 07:27:48 AM EST

    The trouble is... well, have you looked at the existing code? Just about all of the CMS code out there is unnecessarily complex and hard to get to grips with. I've seen a lot over the last few days. I even tried to use Drupal as a starting point but... well... good God. It'll take less time to build from the ground up than to unkludge someone else's years of hacks on top of hacks.

    Code reuse is not important... and since when did it take "man months" to make a user account database schema? It took about half an hour.

    you've effectively gave away your big chunk of Intellectual Property for anyone to take and re-use anyway, anytime, anywhere they want

    Yep. This is the whole point. I dislike the whole idea of intellectual property anyway -- and I couldn't care less if a big company or university starts "ripping my work off". This is what real freedom is about, instead of half-arsed half-measures. I'm not in this to have my "talent" (ha!) recognised... I just want to make some good software.
    [ Parent ]

    Public domain vs. GPL irrelevant to this project (1.50 / 1) (#75)
    by gpig on Sun May 16, 2004 at 07:56:28 PM EST

    The GPL applies to redistribution of software after you have modified it. You can take GPL'd code, modify it, and use it on your own webservers without being obliged to redistribute your modified version.

    [ Parent ]
    not so (none / 0) (#147)
    by speek on Mon May 17, 2004 at 10:21:56 PM EST

    weblogs are still new enough that we haven't come close to exhausting everyone's potential ideas on the subject, or come close to finding the best techniques for it. At this stage, rampant experimentation, re-invention is a necessary side effect of how little we really know about how to Do It Right.

    Give it 10-15 years, and then bring this complaint again. Right now, there's a world of difference between blog software and user account databases.

    al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
    [ Parent ]

    what I don't understand about K5 (none / 1) (#35)
    by Timo Laine on Sun May 16, 2004 at 05:22:36 AM EST

    Could someone please explain to me the thinking behind K5's section/topic system? In other words, what is a "section" and what is a "topic", and what is the difference? Why is there both a section and a topic called "Politics"? If you are going to write a story for a politics section, what else are you going to talk about but politics? What are the "Focus On...", "Round Table" and "You know..." topics?

    I thought I was alone! (nt) (none / 0) (#46)
    by vqp on Sun May 16, 2004 at 11:06:46 AM EST

    happiness = d(Reality - Expectations) / dt

    [ Parent ]
    goodness knows (none / 0) (#53)
    by reklaw on Sun May 16, 2004 at 12:27:46 PM EST

    I've always thought it was redundant too.
    [ Parent ]
    like... (none / 0) (#151)
    by kpaul on Mon May 17, 2004 at 10:29:03 PM EST

    sections are the medium (i.e. tv, book, magazine, etc.) and topics are the content (i.e. the incredible hulk tv show, or comic book, etc.)


    or vice versa?

    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    Show what you have so far (none / 1) (#43)
    by Psychopath on Sun May 16, 2004 at 10:53:41 AM EST

    Just show us what you have so far as we'll tell you what sucks ;)

    I'd certainly go for threaded discussions, not flat. Flat just sucks :) it's much less clear, you can't really be allowed to talk about something which is a little bit off topic, without extensive quoting you never know who replied to what.. - I just don't like it. But this also seems to be a matter of personal taste (though I never understood the people like flat discussion;-).

    Regards and good luck!
    The only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain. -- Karl Marx
    working on it (none / 0) (#45)
    by reklaw on Sun May 16, 2004 at 11:03:26 AM EST

    I'm hoping I'll have something that you can all have a look at in a few days or so.

    It certainly is a matter of personal taste. I'm working on something I caLL "threaded flat" discussions, which is basically a flat discussion with ways of marking something as a reply to something else. I think it's a good compromise.
    [ Parent ]

    The way Scoop does it is nice. (none / 0) (#129)
    by handslikesnakes on Mon May 17, 2004 at 03:24:56 PM EST

    Allow the browser to choose the way comments display.

    [ Parent ]
    perhaps (none / 0) (#196)
    by reklaw on Tue May 18, 2004 at 06:14:29 PM EST

    But not on every page. An option in "options", sure.
    [ Parent ]
    My annoyances with the current version of scoop (2.75 / 4) (#48)
    by vqp on Sun May 16, 2004 at 11:34:19 AM EST

    1 - Enhance thread rating I would use the comment ratings not only to change the way everyone view the story (provided they configured scoop to see the comments ordered by rating), but to help me focus in what I thought it was good. Threads with comments I voted up, and with comments of my own, should be listed first. I think it will give an incentive to be fair when rating and to rate all the important threads

    2 - Show updates A better way to see if a thread I voted up , a thread I comment or a story I submitted on was updated.

    3 - Use background http transfers When voting up stories, comments, and exploding threads, it is annoying to see the whole page reloading.

    4 - In place comments Don't throw another page to post a new comment, new windows are slow to open, some kind of DHTML would help here

    5 - Wide comment windows A wider window (or at least configurable) would be better. It's just me or writing comments in other editor to just paste them in the input box is annoying?.

    6 - Short the blockquote tag to something like <bq>

    happiness = d(Reality - Expectations) / dt

    hi there (none / 1) (#51)
    by reklaw on Sun May 16, 2004 at 12:26:38 PM EST

    1 - Enhance thread rating

    An interesting idea, although I'm trying to stay away from rating comments. The idea of listing threads with your comments more prominently is good, though, I think.

    2 - Show updates

    I'm planning to do this.

    3 - Use background http transfers

    Actually, that's similar to one of the first ideas I had for this -- I was going to have things like votes be sent to a 1x1 iframe. In the end I abandoned it because of the difficulty of providing any feedback on whether votes have been received or not, and also because there isn't going to be much voting (except on the stories).

    4 - In place comments

    Absolutely. I'm still trying to find a way to do this that is reasonably cross-browser-compatible, really, but I'm certainly all for having the comment box at the bottom of the page instead of on another page.

    5 - Wide comment windows

    I'm with you on this one, too, and you're right on about making it configurable -- I hadn't actually thought about that, for some reason. Another one for the options section.

    6 - Short the blockquote tag

    Unusual request... I'm still thinking about how formatting will work. I might include the html as <blockquote> but also include a [bq] tag with square brackets, or something similar, as well as having an auto-format-style shortcut to it.
    [ Parent ]

    I like comments rating (none / 2) (#56)
    by vqp on Sun May 16, 2004 at 12:41:24 PM EST

    I think they are underused and underestimated because:
    1 - they are cumbersome: reloading the page takes time, and you are repositioned at the top

    2 - they are worthless : Nothing noticeable changes when you rate a comment, you don't get any compensation for your work. You can change it by reordering (the next time) the comments using a weighted average of others ratings and your own ratings.

    With respect of the background http transfers, I used it extensively in my work and they work flawlessly, if you want you can alert(); a user in the case a background transfer fail. I use oDownload method (only IE 5+), but that is because I work in an intranet environment. But a 1x1 frame with a little javascript should work also.

    Another issue is browser compatibility, did you see the google [german word I will never remember] zietgeist lately? I wouldn't waste my time with old or strange browsers. I know I'll be crucifixed by saying this, but... statistics is the hidden dictator of a democracy.

    happiness = d(Reality - Expectations) / dt

    [ Parent ]
    I use konqueror (none / 0) (#76)
    by whazat on Sun May 16, 2004 at 07:59:17 PM EST

    If it's not compatible, I won't be able to post. Wait if that happens and K5 dies, I might get finally get free of the time sucking void that is the internet.

    [ Parent ]
    Inplace comments (none / 0) (#136)
    by coryking on Mon May 17, 2004 at 03:58:19 PM EST

    I've gotten such a system to work here.  It's busted in safari though, but so is scoop's dynamic threaded.  If your broswer is buggy AND you use a statisticaly insignificant browser... not my problem, sorry...  If dynamic comments didn't work in IE or mozilla though...

    [ Parent ]
    Erm. (none / 0) (#218)
    by Driusan on Wed May 19, 2004 at 01:50:28 PM EST

    I can categorically say that scoop's dynamic threaded mode works perfectly fine in Safari.

    This space for rent.
    [ Parent ]
    Hmm.. (none / 0) (#226)
    by coryking on Thu May 20, 2004 at 02:02:40 AM EST

    Maybe the ones in the computer lab at my school were some older busted version. The issue with dynamic comments I had were that they never "closed" or "retracted" like they did in IE or mozilla.

    [ Parent ]
    confirming this bug in Safari (none / 0) (#235)
    by Mindcrym on Mon May 31, 2004 at 05:14:01 AM EST

    I'm using the latest Safari (1.2.2 (v125.7)), and yes, it is a problem that the comments cannot be closed in the dynamic threaded view.

    [ Parent ]
    On #5 (none / 2) (#57)
    by pwhysall on Sun May 16, 2004 at 02:00:32 PM EST

    I don't know about you, but it's my experience that web browsers of every stripe have a malicious streak a mile wide.

    They especially like to throw away particularly witty, insightful and entertaining yet informative contributions that unsuspecting users like you or I might make to websites such as this one.

    Text editors are altogether more benign creatures and seem far less likely to unceremoniously dispose of your purple prose.
    K5 Editors
    I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
    [ Parent ]

    somehow I knew it (none / 0) (#59)
    by vqp on Sun May 16, 2004 at 03:10:37 PM EST

    smart people don't write comments directly into the web page.
    But I'm too lazy to open metapad to do it

    happiness = d(Reality - Expectations) / dt

    [ Parent ]
    i do. (none / 0) (#66)
    by d s oliver h on Sun May 16, 2004 at 06:58:48 PM EST

    click on "display preferences" and you can configure text boxes.

    [ Parent ]
    plenty of space now (nt) (none / 0) (#80)
    by vqp on Sun May 16, 2004 at 09:34:44 PM EST

    happiness = d(Reality - Expectations) / dt

    [ Parent ]
    hmm (none / 0) (#70)
    by reklaw on Sun May 16, 2004 at 07:14:29 PM EST

    Maybe I'll throw in a 'Save Draft' feature...
    [ Parent ]
    -1, buy an ad /nt (1.33 / 6) (#60)
    by mcgrew on Sun May 16, 2004 at 04:28:31 PM EST

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie

    whatever for (none / 3) (#61)
    by reklaw on Sun May 16, 2004 at 04:30:42 PM EST

    I'm not even linking to anything.
    [ Parent ]
    You're trolling for eyeballs. (none / 1) (#112)
    by mcgrew on Mon May 17, 2004 at 11:29:49 AM EST

    Just do it, and post your thoughts there.

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    but then (none / 1) (#113)
    by reklaw on Mon May 17, 2004 at 11:38:43 AM EST

    I wouldn't have got any feedback on my ideas so far. I've already taken five or six really good ideas from the discussion on this article that will make the final result way better.
    [ Parent ]
    I have some web hosting space available... (1.83 / 6) (#63)
    by rustv on Sun May 16, 2004 at 05:25:20 PM EST

    What I'm trying to say is that I'm planning to steal whatever you make, and then I'll put it up with ads, and I'll make a ton of money off of it. Thanks.

    "Don't tase me, bro." --Andrew Meyer
    heh (3.00 / 4) (#64)
    by reklaw on Sun May 16, 2004 at 06:19:40 PM EST

    Well if people go to your ad-covered version instead of my ad-free one, then yours would obviously be better than mine in some way... so I don't see anything wrong with that.

    Is it still stealing if I want you to take it?
    [ Parent ]

    nice sig (none / 1) (#116)
    by stilch on Mon May 17, 2004 at 12:02:16 PM EST

    kiss kiss

    [ Parent ]
    Wow! (none / 1) (#170)
    by trezor on Tue May 18, 2004 at 08:41:51 AM EST

    I think that moron is me.

    Do I feel honoured that I actually have somebody hating me.

    But uid:3 !?! That can't be right.... Is UID:3 some sort of 1337 trick I haven't caught up with? Or is this just the result of Rusty cleaning up?

    Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

    [ Parent ]
    heh (none / 1) (#195)
    by reklaw on Tue May 18, 2004 at 06:13:26 PM EST

    Adds to list: no UID weirdness
    [ Parent ]
    Sorry to burst your bubble, (none / 0) (#205)
    by metalfan on Tue May 18, 2004 at 08:54:24 PM EST

    but UID:3 just points to the info of the user who clicked it.  So basically, that guy hates everyone equally.

    [ Parent ]
    deedle dee (2.58 / 12) (#65)
    by Hide The Hamster on Sun May 16, 2004 at 06:41:44 PM EST

    If you could change something about kuro5hin, what would you change?
    I would get rid of all confirmed and suspected bloggers.

    If you could add a feature, what would you add?I'd add the feature of allowing new account creation.

    Free spirits are a liability.

    August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

    Just a couple of things: (none / 1) (#79)
    by regeya on Sun May 16, 2004 at 09:09:54 PM EST

    First, I'd just suggest using something like the BSD license instead of just waving your hands and saying, "It's public domain."

    Second, I like the general direction you're taking, but would go further and say that many features of Scoop would need to be excluded. Why? Because many features on Scoop require interactivity. That means more overhead, more things to go wrong, more things to overwork the machine you're running the site on. Don't even think of implementing anything close to what Scoop does, because even the front page needs to be at least a little interactive.

    [ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]

    hmm (none / 0) (#98)
    by reklaw on Mon May 17, 2004 at 06:25:32 AM EST

    1. What does the BSD license offer me? The chance to keep my name on the code? I don't care about that, and I don't see why I should keep software out of the public domain because to satisfy my ego. If you're talking about the disclaimers part, then I plan to include something like that anyway ("this code is public domain, I claim no copyright, I also make no warranties or guarantees..." and so forth).
    2. I am excluding the features of Scoop that I don't find useful, and including the ones I do. I'm also adding a lot of suggested features, and ones from other sites that I like. I'm not especially worried about too much "interactivity" overloading the server -- there are always optimisations, caching systems or better servers if things slow down a lot. I'm build for ease of use first, speed second.

    [ Parent ]
    why bsd? (none / 0) (#105)
    by boxed on Mon May 17, 2004 at 08:56:14 AM EST

    BSD requires a copyright notice is kept in the code for all eternity, and maybe also a clause that you have to publicly say you use it. Public domain is "do whatever you want, for all eternity". I release my stuff under public domain :P

    [ Parent ]
    Wave your hands and declare it public domain, then (none / 0) (#117)
    by regeya on Mon May 17, 2004 at 12:03:32 PM EST

    That doesn't magically make it public domain, but if you say it does, whatever.

    [ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
    [ Parent ]

    um (none / 0) (#124)
    by reklaw on Mon May 17, 2004 at 12:34:58 PM EST

    So what does one do to make something public domain, apart from metaphorically waving one's hands? Is there some secret Public Domain Certification Agency that only you're aware of, or something?
    [ Parent ]
    sorry (none / 0) (#201)
    by regeya on Tue May 18, 2004 at 06:49:51 PM EST

    Didn't see where you were from, so I can't comment, really. Even if we were talking about the U.S., it turns out you're right. I'm sorry, I don't know what I was thinking.

    [ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
    [ Parent ]

    well (none / 0) (#203)
    by reklaw on Tue May 18, 2004 at 08:07:36 PM EST

    I'm in the UK, but I think a declaration is still all that's needed.
    [ Parent ]
    Suggestion: (none / 0) (#141)
    by rpresser on Mon May 17, 2004 at 04:55:29 PM EST

    Add this license to your code:

    If you have a copy of this code that bears this message, you can do anything you want with the code. I don't care.  I don't care if there are copies of the code out there that do not bear this message, either.
    "In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
    [ Parent ]

    In fact (none / 0) (#180)
    by wurp on Tue May 18, 2004 at 02:00:10 PM EST

    you DO just wave your hands and put in a notice that the code can be used for any purpose by anyone.

    WTF are you talking about to say you can't just declare something you write to be public domain?
    Buy my stuff
    [ Parent ]

    A good reply feature (none / 0) (#85)
    by myrspace on Mon May 17, 2004 at 01:18:16 AM EST

    would be to have a flat unthreaded style, while at the same time offering a listbox/option that displays all other replies to the current post.

    yep (none / 0) (#96)
    by reklaw on Mon May 17, 2004 at 06:19:17 AM EST

    That's the way I'm going -- what I call "flat threaded". It looks like this:

    #1, poster1
       blah blah
          posted at time on date - reply
          replies: #2, #3

    #2, poster2 [replying to #1]
       blah blah
          posted at time on date - reply

    #3, poster3 [replying to #1]
       blah blah
          posted at time on date - reply

    You get the idea. The #s after "replies" and "replying to" will, of course, be linked to anchors (<a name=>) for the relevant posts.
    [ Parent ]

    horrible! (none / 0) (#103)
    by boxed on Mon May 17, 2004 at 08:33:21 AM EST

    theserverside.com uses such a system and what you get is a huge spaghetti of crap.

    [ Parent ]
    well, similar (none / 0) (#114)
    by reklaw on Mon May 17, 2004 at 11:42:25 AM EST

    but not quite. Firstly, their message IDs are too long -- I'd start from #1 in each thread. Secondly, their linking is only one-way ("in response to..." only) and they also include an "in response to [article number]" part on posts that are just a reply to the main post, not to another comment.

    I don't think the idea sucks, but their implementation certainly does.
    [ Parent ]

    exactly my point. somewhat. (none / 0) (#155)
    by myrspace on Tue May 18, 2004 at 02:49:50 AM EST

    I was thinking of a listbox instead of simply displaying the number of posts as you might come across since it would look messy when you have 50 replies to the same post.

    also, relinking to the original post (replying to #1) is a big must perhaps displayed in another form.. the term parent is not normal-user friendly enough.

    [ Parent ]

    comment rating (2.50 / 4) (#88)
    by xah on Mon May 17, 2004 at 02:05:38 AM EST

    I would change comment rating. Actually, I would get rid of it. Does it really matter if one comment is rated at 1.83 and another at 2.14? Do we expect readers to base their comparison, their judgment, of those comments on the ratings?

    That is terribly arrogant.

    I would have a binary ratings system. By default, every post is displayed. If abusive posts show up, appropriately privileged users can moderate the post as hidden. They can also rescue comments that were unjustly hidden. After a certain amount of time (weeks, days, whatever) the hidden posts are deleted.

    I've been on the net for a long time (too long), and I can tell you that comment ratings systems don't work. Look at the hell of Slashdot, where mediocre, obvious comments (the same ones for every topic, over and over) get the top scores and the interesting comments are rated low. The result is that people are turned off of the whole site.

    In these politically divisive times, you have to have an open discussion system. Otherwise, one side is going to "win," the other side is going to leave, and soon the site will go stale, just like K5 has.

    Some programmers today do not have an education in the arts and humanities. This is a shame. As a result, we get some CS people running around, small in number but noteworthy for their hard to use programs, furiously writing software that tries to assign every human being a numerical value, with which to measure their "worth," and meanwhile virtual communities rot and die rather than grow and prosper.

    I challenge you to take your own path. Resist conformism. Risk the hissing of your peers. Go boldly.

    absolutely (none / 0) (#94)
    by reklaw on Mon May 17, 2004 at 06:14:32 AM EST

    Thank you for saying that, because it's the way I've been thinking all along. Comment ratings have a high geek factor ("I can come up with neat equations to rank posts!") but are essentially useless. Time ordering on comments is more important. I'm decided on this now -- there will be a "vote to hide" option one click away from the post (eg. available when you click the post number or similar). There will also be a switch in options: "show hidden comments" yes/no.

    If anyone objects to this, now would be the time to make a case.
    [ Parent ]

    binary ratings (none / 0) (#107)
    by xmnemonic on Mon May 17, 2004 at 09:21:07 AM EST

    i'd make the two ratings be 0 and 4, not 0 and 1, just because of perception issues.

    [ Parent ]
    Exactly (none / 0) (#140)
    by coryking on Mon May 17, 2004 at 04:20:18 PM EST

    When you put comment ratings on your site, the only people you will ever attract are nerds. just. like. you. Why? Everybody else gets pissed off at being modded down for using "there" instead of "Their" and leaves. It's a shame really cause I think it's a worthwhile goal to create a website that reaches out and attracts a diverse set of people. Nerds have plenty of hangouts. They really dont need anymore.

    Ratings. Dont go there.

    [ Parent ]

    yep (none / 0) (#194)
    by reklaw on Tue May 18, 2004 at 06:12:14 PM EST

    I do believe you're correct, sir.
    [ Parent ]
    If you don't like it, don't use it. (none / 1) (#145)
    by mcc on Mon May 17, 2004 at 08:19:58 PM EST

    The k5 rating system is incredibly easy to simply neglect the existence of. If you aren't interested in using it, just tell the system not to reflect the ratings in your pageviews.

    However, some persons consider the ratings system a useful tool. I personally find the "sort by ratings, unrated first" mechanism incredibly convenient, and the ratings to generally be an ideology-agnostic judge of who has done a good job of formulating their comments. If we remove this tool outright just because you personally do not wish to use it, who has benefited in any way?

    Aside from that, the absurd meta-wankery of k5er-quoting sigs probably takes the cake. Especially when the quote itself is about k5. -- tsubame
    [ Parent ]

    thanks (none / 0) (#153)
    by xah on Tue May 18, 2004 at 01:21:07 AM EST

    Please stay away from web sites I frequent, and tell like-minded people to do the same.

    [ Parent ]
    agree and disagree re: slashdot (none / 0) (#181)
    by bloodnose on Tue May 18, 2004 at 02:05:28 PM EST

    i don't have time to read slashdot comments at <5.<br>
    yeah, it's broken, but it's close enough for government work. now if i could just filter out all the 5, "funny" comments.

    [ Parent ]
    where do you get a community from? (none / 1) (#99)
    by dimaq on Mon May 17, 2004 at 07:54:24 AM EST

    ''build it, and they will come'' [nt] (none / 0) (#100)
    by reklaw on Mon May 17, 2004 at 08:01:39 AM EST

    [ Parent ]
    Does it actually work? (none / 0) (#102)
    by l3nz on Mon May 17, 2004 at 08:11:57 AM EST

    I think building the software is the simplest thing in creating a community...... what matters is people, not the code running it. In fact there are a number of half-empty techology wonders, and a number of thriving forums built with the worst furum-in-a-box software....

    Popk ToDo lists - yet another web-based ToDo list manager. 100% AJAX free :-)
    [ Parent ]

    how naive :) (none / 0) (#175)
    by dimaq on Tue May 18, 2004 at 10:03:21 AM EST

    I suspect the author could convince some of his/her acquantances to join in, but that would not create a forum - only a small group with similar opinions.

    Then even if the author gets some users to start with a successful site would still need a good human moderator in addition to all the technological means.

    When in doubt compare to any IRC channel - similar level of tech means - ops and bots and most of the new channels die within a week.

    [ Parent ]

    Extensive RSS 2.0 interface (none / 0) (#101)
    by l3nz on Mon May 17, 2004 at 08:06:28 AM EST

    Where with "extensive" I mean you can decide what to see according to some query parameters, or a number of pre-cooked RSS 2.0 feeds, with full text syndicated.

    Since I added an RSS 2.0 feed to a kind of wiki I'm writing, I discovered there are a number of entities out there who love RSS and import it happily.

    We'd really love to see your code running, even if it's not finished yet.

    Popk ToDo lists - yet another web-based ToDo list manager. 100% AJAX free :-)

    hmm (none / 1) (#122)
    by reklaw on Mon May 17, 2004 at 12:26:41 PM EST

    I had a little play with RSS the other day. It looks neat, and shouldn't be too hard to do... well, probably. I've long though of having an RSS feed for the front page as well as one for each user's "my threads" page, which will basically end up being a weblog of their own (full entries, date order, with comments linked to).

    As for code running: it's just so unfinished that it'd be silly to show it. Registering and logging in work. Posting threads and comments works (although they don't display the way I want yet). The design is done. The topics system works. That's about all so far. I'm planning to work on this for a week or two and then throw it on a public website and post a diary or followup story or something with a link.

    In fact, I think I'd do better at this if I set a date. I'm going to set one right now. 1st June. There, I've done it. If you hear nothing from me by then, feel free to send me hundreds of emails until I release the code.
    [ Parent ]

    RSS is very easy (none / 0) (#131)
    by l3nz on Mon May 17, 2004 at 03:39:33 PM EST

    just take an existing feed and fill it in with your own code. just remember to quote all characters in the text to XML entities or it will break. There are a number of validation services available out there... and if I can help, just ask.

    This is a valid RSS 2.0 feed, and here is a collection of links. Hope it helps.

    Popk ToDo lists - yet another web-based ToDo list manager. 100% AJAX free :-)
    [ Parent ]

    thanks [nt] (none / 0) (#193)
    by reklaw on Tue May 18, 2004 at 06:10:34 PM EST

    [ Parent ]
    Allow each comment to have a CSS style sheet (none / 1) (#104)
    by Ta bu shi da yu on Mon May 17, 2004 at 08:55:24 AM EST

    I have no idea if this is even possible, but it would be pretty cool. And do what HuSi does - allow the inserting of images - except make the images rateable.

    AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
    hmm (none / 2) (#123)
    by reklaw on Mon May 17, 2004 at 12:33:55 PM EST

    Allowing each comment to have its own style sheet seems like a bit of a nightmare from a code standpoint (they'd all have to be in iframes or something...). And I don't think it'd look very good either.

    Also: no images. For the love of all that is holy. Maybe I'll offer image hosting if people want to link to images, but I'm not having them inline. It just looks lame, not to mention the goatse man potential.
    [ Parent ]

    Personally (none / 2) (#139)
    by coryking on Mon May 17, 2004 at 04:13:18 PM EST

    I think the goatse.cx potential is overrated. I've allowed public posting of images for YEARS and have only had it abused like maybe once. I've got 5 editors across the globe and it was nuked in about an hour.

    The only time I think goatse is an issue is if you are hosting a teen chatroom, or you are a furry board that gets linked to by SA or something. The the former case, not my problem in the later case - it's probably for the best...

    [ Parent ]

    Images!!!! (none / 0) (#162)
    by trezor on Tue May 18, 2004 at 07:30:45 AM EST

    Dood. Seriously. Images.

    As far as crapflooding goes, yes. There will probably be a need for editors of some sort, but hey...

    Think about fark.com! All those wonderfull almost-off-topic-images making the comments part so insanely much better than the actual story.

    Images rocks. You'll need good PhotoShopers for the community though.

    Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

    [ Parent ]
    well (none / 0) (#165)
    by reklaw on Tue May 18, 2004 at 07:54:07 AM EST

    I'm all in favour of having people post links to images. Maybe I'll stick in a "show linked images inline" option for all you image-lovers out there.
    [ Parent ]
    Hulver's site (none / 1) (#167)
    by gazbo on Tue May 18, 2004 at 08:16:13 AM EST

    Have you seen how inline images are handled there?  Firstly, you can't just arbitrarily link an image; you have to upload it to your restricted space on the HuSi server, and link it from there.  If nothing else, that prevents linking to images that will take forever to download, as you can restrict filesize.  Also prevents stealing another site's bandwidth.

    More interestingly is the options for whether to display images.  You can have them inline, or (like I do) you can have them replaced by a very small, unobtrusive icon.  The icon is an HREF to the image, or if you have javascript enabled you can click the icon to have it replaced inline with the real image.  Don't like what you see, click it again and it will toggle back to the icon.

    Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
    Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

    [ Parent ]

    hey, you're back? (none / 0) (#148)
    by kpaul on Mon May 17, 2004 at 10:24:27 PM EST

    or were we just not passing in the hallowed halls of k5?

    good to read ya again... ;)

    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    Only just came back :-) (none / 0) (#158)
    by Ta bu shi da yu on Tue May 18, 2004 at 03:54:52 AM EST

    A little less spikey, a little more mature, but back nonetheless!

    I'm glad to see that you're still here too, kpaul.

    AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
    [ Parent ]

    P.S. (none / 0) (#159)
    by Ta bu shi da yu on Tue May 18, 2004 at 03:55:32 AM EST

    I want to see an article on the Holy Trinity... you did one on Eschatology, why not give this one a shot?

    AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
    [ Parent ]
    thanks for the idea... (none / 0) (#178)
    by kpaul on Tue May 18, 2004 at 12:26:41 PM EST

    i'll pray about it...

    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    :-) good idea (none / 0) (#200)
    by Ta bu shi da yu on Tue May 18, 2004 at 06:26:32 PM EST

    Incidently, if you do consider posting the story... try not explain the mechanics of the Trinity. Just explain the concepts. If you explain the mechanics of it all then you may get it wrong and get flamed - big time!

    AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
    [ Parent ]
    Hello (none / 1) (#108)
    by Dr Phil on Mon May 17, 2004 at 09:22:47 AM EST

    Can you advise me as to your position on trolls (especially of the Dr Phil variety)?

    *** ATTENTION *** Rusty has disabled my account for anti-Jewish views. What a fucking hypocrite.
    Also... (none / 0) (#109)
    by Dr Phil on Mon May 17, 2004 at 09:23:46 AM EST

    reklawina.jpg -- Do you have a plan?

    *** ATTENTION *** Rusty has disabled my account for anti-Jewish views. What a fucking hypocrite.
    [ Parent ]
    haha (none / 1) (#120)
    by reklaw on Mon May 17, 2004 at 12:14:57 PM EST

    To answer both your questions: I don't care.

    Firstly, I'm not some kind of anti-troll warrior. Trolls are funny, as long as they're not pagewidening or crapflooding (in the "posting huge chunks of nonsense text" way). A troll who provokes discussion is completely welcome, as far as I'm concerned, even if he's slagging off people's dead relatives or similar "beyond the pale" un-HuSi-friendly activities.

    Secondly, reklawina.jpg is deeply unlikely to happen because -- as far as I know -- there are no pictures of my girlfriend (or even me!) on the web, and I don't plan to post any. Even if it did somehow happen, though, I'd just ignore it. I certainly wouldn't go apeshit and start turning off new users and banning people. That applies to anyone who causes me similar personal offence, too.
    [ Parent ]

    Then I for one (none / 1) (#171)
    by Dr Phil on Tue May 18, 2004 at 09:04:19 AM EST

    Greatly look forward to your site.

    *** ATTENTION *** Rusty has disabled my account for anti-Jewish views. What a fucking hypocrite.
    [ Parent ]
    Approval voting (2.83 / 6) (#110)
    by sllort on Mon May 17, 2004 at 09:57:25 AM EST

    Allow for only one type of vote on a story or comment: "I approve". No moderation label, score, etc. Sort stories and comments into percentiles by the amount of approval they receive. No voting against anything. Allow users to select what they view by percentile, i.e. "show me only the 20th percentile and up" or "show me everything but the bottom five percentile". Don't make moderation "scores" visible in any way.

    It's so simple it hurts.
    Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.

    mayeb instead just a comment section (none / 0) (#115)
    by stilch on Mon May 17, 2004 at 11:43:31 AM EST

    I have never liked the voting down thing, like the story states, too many stories get lost. Dont like it, dont read it.

    [ Parent ]
    well (none / 1) (#121)
    by reklaw on Mon May 17, 2004 at 12:15:43 PM EST

    I hate that too. No stories will ever be lost in my system. Promise.
    [ Parent ]
    hmm (none / 1) (#119)
    by reklaw on Mon May 17, 2004 at 12:08:30 PM EST

    Now this is an interesting angle. I'm not so sure "I approve" (needs a better sentence there) would work for comments -- it'd involve way too much clicking -- but it'd certainly work for stories.

    I like this idea a lot. Would you approve of something like stories having only a "vote for this" button and comments having only a "vote to hide" button, with all other voting widgets removed? I think that could work.
    [ Parent ]

    No vote to hide. (none / 0) (#125)
    by sllort on Mon May 17, 2004 at 01:24:34 PM EST

    The system only works if there is no feedback system for anger. In the approval-only system, the only way to oppose a story or comment you don't like is to ignore it and write something better.
    Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
    [ Parent ]
    How will the system know? (none / 0) (#160)
    by grahamsz on Tue May 18, 2004 at 03:57:43 AM EST

    I often look at a story in the submission queue but get sidetracked by real work.

    That doesn't mean that I dislike the story in any way - only that i didn't have time to vote on it.

    With any sort of negative (either explicit or implicit) stories could sit in the queue forever (or at least up to a time limit) which makes it very easy to spam the submit queue and have it sit out there for a day or two.
    Sell your digital photos - I've made enough to buy a taco today
    [ Parent ]

    Time limits on approval percentiles (none / 0) (#173)
    by sllort on Tue May 18, 2004 at 09:38:35 AM EST

    Which are dynamically set by the number of cookie-bearing logged-in visitors. You don't make your percentile/time quota, your story dissapears.
    Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
    [ Parent ]
    hmm (none / 0) (#192)
    by reklaw on Tue May 18, 2004 at 06:08:39 PM EST

    I think you're right. Approval voting on stories, no voting on comments. People who want to hide comments can use their killfiles. Anyone who gets put on a heck of a lot of killfiles puts themselves up for a banhammerin'.

    Works for me. Any objections?
    [ Parent ]

    Dont call it "I approve" (none / 0) (#138)
    by coryking on Mon May 17, 2004 at 04:10:34 PM EST

    Look at most "big" sites like amazon or what have you. They word it "This post was useful" or "Was this post helpful to you? Y/N" or something like that. It takes a lot of ambeguity out of the whole rating thing.

    [ Parent ]
    This is a clever idea. [nt] (none / 0) (#177)
    by glor on Tue May 18, 2004 at 10:45:34 AM EST

    Disclaimer: I am not the most intelligent kuron.
    [ Parent ]

    what I would change... (1.75 / 8) (#127)
    by keelerbeez on Mon May 17, 2004 at 01:44:54 PM EST

    1. accounts: Don't you hate it when you forget your password, and the email address you used to create it was that third-rate ISP you were working for one summer that went out of business but still insists on holding onto their domain name so no one else can have it? I'd like to do away with accounts altogether, just have a "name" block on the post comment page, and let you put in whatever you want. Or maybe the honor system.
    2. front page: there shouldn't be a front page, just links to sections and maybe latest posts, or sorted alphabetically or something (keyword of the day?)
    3. votes: voting just makes things complicated, just assume everything is great.
    4. crappy posts: nothing says slashdot like another "OH MY GOD, BILL GATES FARTED, WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!" post. there should be a way to make these peoples computers blow up.
    5. moderation: no.
    6. sections: there should be four sections; "Crap," "Not-so-Crap," "Shitty," and "Pictures-of-Hot-Naked-Asian-Girls." Yea.
    7. threads: I hate threads, it should just be one long list of posts, and if anyone wants more specific info, they can write their own webpage!
    8. trolls: this is intolerable. I mean, the way trolls are treated around here, you'd think they were mocking the whole institution or something. not funny. expunge. ish. ly. er.
    9. html: can't stand it, the whole thing should be in text documents, and force people to use cut and paste.
    10. keyboard layout: we should kick all the people who use qwerty keyboard layout, dvorak only!
    11. computers: the site should be inaccessible to any computer produced in the past 10 years; let's face it, folks, weren't you alot happier when nobody knew what you were talking about when you spoke of the internet? the good old days shall return!
    12. southpaws: the site should be off-limits to left-handed people (the word sinister means left-handed; gauche, too).
    13. elves: no elves! nor anyone who knows any elves, or played an elf in everquest. or anyone who knows anyone who played an elf in everquest.
    14. women: shouldn't even know how to read. barefoot and pregnant, but not on k5!
    15. turks: they're OK.

    GAT d? s++:+ a- C++++$ UBS*++++$ P--- L+>++ E--- W- !N !o !K w+++(---)$ M+ PS+++ PE(--) Y+ PGP t++@ 5++ X+ R* tv(+) b+++ DI++ !G !e h* r*% y++++**
    ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
    dude! how can you say that! (none / 1) (#132)
    by codejack on Mon May 17, 2004 at 03:40:15 PM EST

    I know lots of elves!

    Please read before posting.

    [ Parent ]
    Multi-threading. (none / 1) (#128)
    by alby on Mon May 17, 2004 at 02:30:03 PM EST

    For every article you have two sets of comments: one for intelligent discussion and one for trolls. The troll comments are a constantly updated mirror of the discussion comments but new comments to the troll "side" remain on that side, regardless of whether they are trolls or not. Moderators or users can then move trolling comments from the intelligent discussion side to the trolls' side with some sort of voting system. That way, if a troll comment is thought by a minority (or by everyone other than the moderators) to be important, then they are free to continue discussion.

    This is a bit of a "rough-draft" comment, sorry if it's confusing!


    uh (none / 1) (#191)
    by reklaw on Tue May 18, 2004 at 06:04:59 PM EST


    I can't think of any other response, to be honest. Just no. What a nightmare that would be. The War on Trolls (tm) will not be present at my site.
    [ Parent ]

    Sweet (none / 1) (#133)
    by coryking on Mon May 17, 2004 at 03:41:59 PM EST

    I too am working on some kind of newish scoopish CMS system.  Here are my design goals (which I guess is also feedback for you):
    • Admins like scoop because they can completly customize the look & feel of the site.  WHatever gets made will have to have a way to edit the look and feel of the site in a manner much like scoop (blocks/boxes though I want to call them templates / scripts).  In a survey I took, most everybody said this was one of the main reasons they choose scoop.
    • LESS OPTIONS!!!  IMHO one of the biggest mistakes made in scoop was the ease of adding new site vars, blocks, etc.  The site vars pages on a scoop site is a horrid mess of crap full of randomly categorized varabiles that probably get changed by three people in the whole world.  Whatever the new site is, it needs to have a simple, non-flexible preferences page with as few options as possible.  Never fall into the "i can't decide what my software should do, so I'll just make it another option" trap.
    • LESS OPTIONS!!!  Whatever the new site is, it will not allow users to customize the sort order or comments.  All users will view all comments and all stories the same way, using the same view (i.e. dynamic threaded or what have you).
    • Some kind of plugin system.
    • Make the comment system and story system a plugin of sorts.  That way a site admin can choose the threading model (flat or threaded, flat + ratings, etc), and the story model (intro & body, or just one block of text, story queues, whatever...).
    • Keep the presentation layer (the HTML) out of the code.  Tons of people bitched about how crazy it was they needed to edit the perl code to change the look/verbage of something.
    • Some kind of theme support that is set on an admin level, not a user level (that is, users cannot change the theme)
    • More focus on the user, less on the archetecure of the system.  I've read diaries of people thinking about rewriting scoop just to improve the scalability.  Rewrite scoop to improve the interface first - desiging a system around the CPU & memory of a system is not a good idea...  If people can't use what you've done your project has failed.  You can have the most effecient comment sort algorithm in the world but that doesn't mean dick if people cant sign up and post to your site.
    • BSD or proprietary only.  GPL sucks.  This is my opinion and is the largest reason I will probably do my own thing.  I dont like the GPL and dont like the freedom it takes away from my code.
    • Ratings?  I think ratings are a geeky failure.  If I was forced into implementing ratings though, I'd do it as a binary system only.  Many people in  my survey responded that they liked that they didn't have to babysit their sites because the site policed itself.
    • Also, in the survey most everybody felt they were not happy with the amount of comments each story got.  I think this issue is absolutly critical for a redesign.  Comment posting must be easy for everybody.  My solution is this model which is flat and has the comments drop down below the story, which keeps the story, the comments and the ability to post all in the same window, unlike scoop which is 3 clicks from a section page.  When I switched from the scoop model to mine the number of posts per story doubled (probably has tripled by now..).  If I did it threaded, I'd make the reply/post "fold" down below the comment you are replying to rather then go into a seperate window.  PS:  I could care less about people who whine about "OMG IT USES EV!L JAVA1111111!!!!".  The only issue I see is search engines.
    Speaking of... if you live in seattle and you use scoop - drop me a line, I need people to help evaluate my designs.

    Oh yea and (none / 0) (#134)
    by coryking on Mon May 17, 2004 at 03:49:03 PM EST

    See. you need a way to edit your comments too...  I hate forgetting to post something and having to reply to my own comments.... BS I tells ya... BS..
    Anway: I've considered making the front page layout of whatever I do look a bit like news.google.com or other news sites (cnn, etc).  In other words:

    | header                       |
    | nav    | top stories         |
    | /w     |                     |
    | topics |                     |
    | &      |                     |
    | user   |                     |
    | stuff  |                     |
    |   section      |             |
    |   stories      |             |
    |   in           |             |
    |   two          |             |
    |   columns      |             |

    Sorry about the shitty ascii art, I've got too much to do to properly format it...

    The "top stories" would be ranked not by a story queue (though stories would get voted on) but by # of comments or something auto-ranking system like that.  The section stories would be ones that didn't make the grade (and they would fall off onto some other page as time went on).

    [ Parent ]

    editing your own comments (none / 0) (#234)
    by Mindcrym on Sun May 30, 2004 at 11:05:58 PM EST

    See. you need a way to edit your comments too...  I hate forgetting to post something and having to reply to my own comments...

    I've thought it would be nice to edit my own comments at times to correct spelling or grammar errors, but then there's the problem of someone going back to their comment after its generated 20 replies to say, "Soilent Green is People!" and nothing more.  This would really spoil the discussion for people arriving later.
      Clearly there needs to be something to prevent people from abusing the ability to edit their own comments.  One would be to put a time limit on it, say a few minutes.  Another would be to allow the post to be edited until that comment had a reply posted to it.  The reply acting as a lock to prevent the original poster from recanting what they had said.
      Another idea would be to allow anyone to append to their own comment at any time.  This would be done in a way that makes it obvious which part of the comment was original and which had been appended.
      If I were to implement this I think I would use a mix of the ideas above: anyone would be free to append to their own message up until someone else had replied to it.

    [ Parent ]

    er, one thing (none / 1) (#142)
    by Captain_Tenille on Mon May 17, 2004 at 06:03:54 PM EST

    Point 1 and points 2 and 3 seem to be incompatible. On one hand, you talk about how great it is to be able to customize everything, but on the other hand, bitch about how there's too many options.

    /* You are not expected to understand this. */

    Man Vs. Nature: The Road to Victory!
    [ Parent ]

    I know (none / 0) (#143)
    by coryking on Mon May 17, 2004 at 06:18:46 PM EST

    I know. Dont ask me how to fix this obvious flaw though :-)

    [ Parent ]
    options (none / 0) (#166)
    by MzB on Tue May 18, 2004 at 08:10:50 AM EST

    Have all the options available, but let the administrator decide which ones s/he wants to make available to users.

    There is no winning solution, so let the administrator decide. Some communities will fail, others will do well.

    [ Parent ]

    interesting (none / 1) (#190)
    by reklaw on Tue May 18, 2004 at 06:03:08 PM EST

    I'm not as fond of Scoop's "boxes" system (and similar systems in other CMSes) as you seem to be, though. I'd prefer to just have one template where you can put in whatever HTML you want with some kind of tag for each feature -- if I provided tags that only put in actual functions instead of text or layout, then that could be a seriously powerful system. It'd need good defaults too, though, of course.

    Never fall into the "i can't decide what my software should do, so I'll just make it another option" trap.

    I disagree. Options keep people happy, and let your software have more potential uses. The problem is doing it haphazardly -- it should be absolutely clear what each option is for, what it does, and why it is there.

    Whatever the new site is, it will not allow users to customize the sort order or comments.

    Bad idea, again. There's no need to have the choice on every damn page, but it'd be nice to have it somewhere on a seperate user options page. The responses to this story have shown me that some people just can't live without their nested views.

    Make the comment system and story system a plugin of sorts.

    Dear Lord no. That way madness (aka Drupal) lies.

    Keep the presentation layer (the HTML) out of the code.

    I agree. A templating system would achieve this quite well.

    Some kind of theme support that is set on an admin level, not a user level (that is, users cannot change the theme)

    Whyever not?

    I've read diaries of people thinking about rewriting scoop just to improve the scalability.  Rewrite scoop to improve the interface first - desiging a system around the CPU & memory of a system is not a good idea...

    Yep. Scalability of interface is important -- scalability of database/code, not so much. There are many ways around such issues (Slashdot is a living example). Who was it who said that premature optimisation is the root of all evil? Someone definitely said that.

    BSD or proprietary only.  GPL sucks.  This is my opinion and is the largest reason I will probably do my own thing.  I dont like the GPL and dont like the freedom it takes away from my code.

    Well, I don't like the GPL either, but proprietary? Pssh. Oh, and BSD is largely pointless unless you're just vain and want to force people to put your name somewhere when they use your code. I'm not so hung up about this, myself.

    Ratings?  I think ratings are a geeky failure.


    most everybody felt they were not happy with the amount of comments each story got

    Huh? How many do they want, exactly?

    My solution is this model which is flat and has the comments drop down below the story, which keeps the story, the comments and the ability to post all in the same window, unlike scoop which is 3 clicks from a section page.  When I switched from the scoop model to mine the number of posts per story doubled (probably has tripled by now..).

    Bad. Awful. Sucks. Also, I still had to click to show the comments. Displaying comments inline just seems to me to be a bad idea -- imagine how it'd look with a hundred comments. Very long web pages = bad.

    Also, I don't know if making it easier to post without reading the other comments or thinking things through is a good idea. If anything, Scoop already encourages this too much. 50 comments that discuss things and offer some new insight are better than 200 comments that mainly repeat the same point.

    I could care less about people who whine about "OMG IT USES EV!L JAVA1111111!!!!".

    Well, I care. If it doesn't work in Lynx, it's broken, as far as I'm concerned. You might as well do the whole thing in Flash because you want neato page transitions.
    [ Parent ]

    Comments (none / 0) (#225)
    by coryking on Thu May 20, 2004 at 02:00:06 AM EST

    I agree somewhat with your thoughts on how I handle comments. There is no way that would work on a site that generated 100+ comments. It does however work quite well for sites with <20 comments. On larger sites, I was thinking of having a second-level page for comments and keeping the post-to-this-thread at the end of the page. I really like how sites like something aweful do their comments - 25 comments a time and paged. The more I look around, the best sites (diverse audiance & good comments) I see all use flat comment systems. This is my opinion though, i know a lot of people disagree. <P>As far as themes: I dont like the user level themes idea because I think keeping the look of a site the same for everybody important.

    As far as non-java: Java serves a purpose. For comments ala scoop & my design I think it does that purpose well. I'm not using java to do anything garrish, but I'm using as a tool to significantly increase the usability of a website. For that use, I think it's quite allright.

    [ Parent ]

    Java != Javascript (none / 1) (#233)
    by zrail on Sun May 30, 2004 at 09:10:54 PM EST

    I know this has been done to death, but it might be wise to discriminate between Java (serverside), Java (client side/applets), and Javascript(client side, interpreted, embedded language).

    Say JS or something, just not generic Java.

    [ Parent ]

    user sponsorship (none / 0) (#144)
    by gr1sw41d on Mon May 17, 2004 at 07:14:36 PM EST

    Make sure that a new user to your webpage has to have an existing user "sponsor" them. This is the best way to prevent problem users. You know you're gonna get them.

    as bonus: limit your site's popularity, too (none / 0) (#156)
    by egeland on Tue May 18, 2004 at 02:52:07 AM EST

    Make it hard to join, and people won't join.
    On the Net, "too hard" == "move along"...

    Some interesting quotes
    [ Parent ]
    My God (none / 0) (#176)
    by insom on Tue May 18, 2004 at 10:16:18 AM EST

    That would be terrible! Though, maybe, just maybe, a small site with a core of users able to pass the "don't act like an asshat" test would be interesting after all ...

    [ Parent ]
    Already in place (none / 0) (#230)
    by egeland on Sun May 23, 2004 at 08:24:46 PM EST

    This is called Yahoo Groups, with restricted memberships.
    Invite people you want to hear from, deny applications from people you don't want.

    Some interesting quotes
    [ Parent ]
    well (none / 0) (#189)
    by reklaw on Tue May 18, 2004 at 05:42:35 PM EST

    I'm not defending sponsorship systems (horrendous idea), but that's not really true. How many people want MeFi accounts? How many want Gmail accounts? Would they want them as much if they weren't so artificially scarce?
    [ Parent ]
    Meh.. (none / 0) (#231)
    by egeland on Sun May 23, 2004 at 08:27:45 PM EST

    Never heard of MeFi, so I'm obviously missing out on the next big thing there.
    Gmail... well, I might sign up when it is out of beta, at which time it will have exactly the same levels of availability as any other free email service.
    I give it a big yawn, and "Meh!" as my general comment.. ;)

    Some interesting quotes
    [ Parent ]
    what have you missed? (none / 0) (#150)
    by kpaul on Mon May 17, 2004 at 10:25:12 PM EST

    the name of the software?

    2014 Halloween Costumes

    I'm thinking... (none / 0) (#188)
    by reklaw on Tue May 18, 2004 at 05:41:11 PM EST

    I might just end up using one of these five-letter domains I have lying around from an unrelated project, unless someone has a name that's just too good not to use.
    [ Parent ]
    knot5?? (none / 0) (#207)
    by kpaul on Tue May 18, 2004 at 09:59:21 PM EST

    as in knots or not k5?

    remember too how scoop got its name...

    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    um (none / 0) (#208)
    by reklaw on Tue May 18, 2004 at 10:04:26 PM EST

    How did Scoop get its name?
    [ Parent ]
    from what i've gathered... (none / 0) (#209)
    by kpaul on Tue May 18, 2004 at 10:10:11 PM EST

    rusty said he 'scooped' out most of the slash code it was based on, hence the name. someone please correct me if i'm wrong.

    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    stories lost to the readers when voted down (none / 0) (#152)
    by Morosoph on Mon May 17, 2004 at 10:35:30 PM EST

    I second this one. I was looking forward to reading that French Poetry recently posted when I had a little more leisure, and send a reference to it to my Mum, but it was lost :-(

    Shame really. Also the principle should apply that free speech implies that the majority should not censor, even though it can de-emphasise.

    So I'd suggest a "not on front page" vote (== section only + vote against) to weaken the anti vote, plus a "rejects" section the topics of which aren't shown on the front page, but needs to be indexed directly. Make it policy to remove nasty stuff, though, although you might be able to detect that through the voting (five trolls vote for; fifty vote outright against means it's bad).

    Quite possibly keep the voting perpetually on. Maybe people consume their last of votes (propotional to sqrt(posts), or something) when they cast a new vote, so that items not revoted for drop off the front page.

    Have a "heaven" (FP), "purgatory" (Section), "limbo" (where posts start), and "hell" (only visible if sought). Or have the user define what make FP for them, somehow.

    But you want it simple. Use defaults. Have an advanced and expert settings section if need be.

    hmm (none / 0) (#187)
    by reklaw on Tue May 18, 2004 at 05:40:18 PM EST

    Also the principle should apply that free speech implies that the majority should not censor, even though it can de-emphasise.

    I agree with this.

    So I'd suggest a "not on front page" vote (== section only + vote against) to weaken the anti vote, plus a "rejects" section the topics of which aren't shown on the front page, but needs to be indexed directly.

    No way am I having the voting be FP/section/against/not FP. That's just confusing and unnecessary. I see no reason why the best things can't just always go to section, with the highest-rated from each section going on the front page.

    Make it policy to remove nasty stuff, though.

    It can be voted down to the bottom, but I'm not removing it. Sorry, but I'm just not budging on this: nothing gets removed, neither stories nor comments. I don't mind how "offensive" or whatever things get -- if you scroll down that far, you should be prepared for such things anyway.

    Quite possibly keep the voting perpetually on. Maybe people consume their last of votes (propotional to sqrt(posts), or something) when they cast a new vote, so that items not revoted for drop off the front page.

    That's actually a very interesting idea. My problem with it, though, is that I'd prefer not to make votes scarce in any way -- and also that popular threads might stick around for months as they get re-voted for.

    Have a "heaven" (FP), "purgatory" (Section), "limbo" (where posts start), and "hell" (only visible if sought). Or have the user define what make FP for them, somehow.

    Hmm.. the whole heaven/hell/purgatory/limbo bit is a bit odd, really. I'd prefer to just have everything highest-to-lowest in a big list. That said, I'm quite fond of the "limbo" idea, as a problem my system currently has is where new posts start -- a seperate view for the newest posts before they have many votes seems like a good idea.
    [ Parent ]

    Re: not removing anything: (none / 0) (#237)
    by finality on Thu Aug 05, 2004 at 02:08:31 AM EST

    Does this apply for crapfloods? If you attracted the ire of Night in White Satin or the GNAA would you endeavour to keep their "contributions"?
    This account has been anonymised. If you can give a good reason why, email rusty@kuro5hin.org, as he is obviously lacking one.
    [ Parent ]
    Excuse me sir, (none / 0) (#154)
    by mycospunk on Tue May 18, 2004 at 01:53:24 AM EST

    Didn't you hear rusty has abandoned this site?

    Things scoop needs (none / 0) (#157)
    by enterfornone on Tue May 18, 2004 at 03:30:49 AM EST

    1. An easy way to install it without the need to be a perl god. I've never actually managed to install scoop to completion and most of my attempts have resulted in the need to reinstall my OS as the install process completely fucks with any system that uses a package manager (I believe K5 runs on Slackware for this reason).

    2. Ability to install on a virtual host by a non root user. From what I've seen this s much more easily achived by using PHP instead of Perl.

    3. From what I've seen of scoops theme (or whatever you want to cal it) system, it seems pretty complex. User selected themes would be nice too.

    4. Most important - an ability to port your database from other systems (eg scoop, slash, nuke). I think earlier versions of scoop could port the slash database, not sure if this is still the case. Ability to use add ons from other systems would be nice too (especially nuke, since it has shitloads of add ons and is written in PHP).

    Personally I'd use the GPL rather than Public Domain. With PD you run the risk of some big company taking your code, adding a few nice features and then relicencing it under more restrictive terms. (Tho this is perhaps still a risk with the GPL since the GPL isn't clear when it comes to interpreted languages like PHP).

    efn 26/m/syd
    Will sponsor new accounts for porn.

    gpl is useless for server code (none / 0) (#179)
    by bloodnose on Tue May 18, 2004 at 01:55:02 PM EST

    and i've asked Gnu myself.

    they said it is due to copyright law limitation. in my words copyright law doesn't come into play unless you make a copy. and i presume EULAs are beneath their consideration (and who knows if they're enforcible)

    [ Parent ]
    hiya (none / 0) (#186)
    by reklaw on Tue May 18, 2004 at 05:28:22 PM EST

    #1, 2 - Absolutely. I've only been able to install Scoop on my local machine, as most webhosts just don't give you the privileges required. What I have written so far in PHP, though, requires nothing more than a few PHP scripts and a MySQL database. Setup should be as simple as running a setup.php script, once the thing is finished.

    #3 - Themes are a good idea, although I'm not entirely sure how to do them. At the moment I'm thinking of a Movable Type/Blogger-style system, like this:

    [your snazzy HTML code here]
    [more HTML]
    [HTML for each post]<$Post$>
    by <$User$> on <$Date$> at <$Time$>
    [more HTML]
    [bottom-of-page HTML]

    You get the idea, hopefully. It'd be better designed than that though.

    #4 - Wow, I hadn't even thought of that. The ability to port posts from other databases would be a neat feature (although I'm not sure how many people would realistically use it). Add-ons from other systems I'm not so sure about. Oh, and I hate PHP-nuke -- it's shite.

    Re: the public domain. I'm not backing down on this. I don't think the GPL achieves what it sets out to do (freedom), and I think the public domain is a better solution. Hopefully my experiences with this software will go some way to providing some evidence either for me or against me. If some big company wants to take it and relicense it, good luck to them -- my original version will still be free to all.
    [ Parent ]

    scoop (none / 0) (#219)
    by janra on Wed May 19, 2004 at 03:20:16 PM EST

    #1 - what on earth did you do that required an OS reinstall? I've helped a lot of people get Scoop running and I've never seen that...

    And re: package managers - you can install most of the parts scoop needs with whatever package manager you want, including the perl modules. The Scoop install script lets you skip the perl module/CPAN step if you've already handled it (and frankly, CPAN is the hardest part of the install). Apache sometimes needs to be compiled by hand because the distro doesn't include all the options needed for Scoop to run successfully, but there are apparently a few distro-standard apache packages that work just fine. You don't have to be a perl god to install Scoop, you just need to know how to install programs on linux and how to read instructions.

    #2 - mod_perl configuration requires the ability to stop and start the apache process, so the perl code gets compiled. I mean, you could have the files compiled with every request (CGI), but you'd lose a ton of performance.

    #3 - Scoop's theme system is fairly simple; the admin interface sucks. And allowing users to select from themes the admin created is already available in Scoop. User created themes on the other hand aren't. I'm not sure which one you're thinking of here.

    #4 - I haven't seen all that many people actually requesting this, but if somebody wants to do it I'd be happy to give them whatever information they need about the Scoop database schema.

    And re: the GPL - somebody could take a GPL program like scoop, customize it, and use it for their website without releasing the changes - but they couldn't distribute their customized version without releasing the changes.
    Discuss the art and craft of writing
    That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
    [ Parent ]

    Comments count as votes? (none / 0) (#163)
    by gidds on Tue May 18, 2004 at 07:34:52 AM EST

    comments count as votes... if a thread has sparked a large discussion, it should receive a few extra votes for that.

    Do the words 'Troll Paradise' mean anything to you?


    So? (none / 1) (#168)
    by gazbo on Tue May 18, 2004 at 08:20:49 AM EST

    If it's sparked a large discussion (differentiating from a crapflood is left as an excercise for the reader) then who cares if it was instigated by a troll?  People love biting trolls as much as trolls love being bitten.  Starting with the a priori assumption that any comment posted for the purpose of causing controversy is bad is pretty silly.  That precludes people playing devil's advocate amongst other things.

    The fact is, if 20 people feel a comment is worth replying to, then more or less by definition lots of people would like to see it.  Just because there's a troll sat somewhere laughing his ass off doesn't alter that fact.

    Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
    Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

    [ Parent ]

    well (none / 0) (#185)
    by reklaw on Tue May 18, 2004 at 05:16:12 PM EST

    I agree. If people want to discuss something then they will discuss it and trolls will discuss it too. If they don't want to discuss it, then the comments area will be more-or-less empty. There are few cases when the discussion generated on an article is solely down to "trolls" (whatever that word is supposed to mean).

    I'd like to add, though, that I think adding votes for the sheer number of comments would be bad, just because one person could be generating half of all the comments. It might be better to only count the first comment by each unique user towards the voting.
    [ Parent ]

    Open API (none / 0) (#174)
    by Serge on Tue May 18, 2004 at 09:44:28 AM EST

    One of the features I wish more systems had were an open API in the spirit of LiveJournal, allowing "clients" to be written, including the ability to post stories and even post comments as well as other nifty things outside of the web browser.

    Yes, a Public Domain system will have an available API, but whatever you do- keep documents on it consistant and maybe create a sample client.

    hmm (none / 0) (#184)
    by reklaw on Tue May 18, 2004 at 05:12:25 PM EST

    An API is a neat idea, and one that I hadn't thought of yet. I would want to leave it until the software was relatively stable, though, and do it properly. I've encountered one too many APIs that change weekly.
    [ Parent ]
    A simple suggestion (none / 1) (#182)
    by curunir on Tue May 18, 2004 at 02:07:24 PM EST

    I won't go into everything I think is wrong with K5, but there's one simple thing that could be done that would make it a lot easier to rate comments. A netflix-like rating system that uses javascript and image requests to transmit the comment rating would make it a lot easier to rate comments. This would also cut down on bandwidth since the entire page wouldn't need to be reloaded everytime a rating was submitted.

    Use the Dynamic Minimal display [n|t] (none / 1) (#183)
    by flimflam on Tue May 18, 2004 at 02:31:21 PM EST

    -- I am always optimistic, but frankly there is no hope. --Hosni Mubarek
    [ Parent ]
    some random posting (none / 0) (#204)
    by melia on Tue May 18, 2004 at 08:47:59 PM EST

    Scoop isn't great, but it works OK. The K5 "community" is not bad also - certainly, I enjoy this place more than metafilter etc. I think Rusty generally gets treated a little harshly. Although his withdrawal is maybe understandable, it's probably not wise, and it certainly doesn't benefit K5.

    To get back to the point, I think the main problem with K5 is a lack of good documentation. In particular, there have been a number of complaints against Scoop (in the replies to this article) that could be resolved if people checked their preferences. In my mind, it's a case of shitty documentation, bad interface in terms of setting options, and bad default settings.

    I am willing to visit this new site, but I don't think it'll generate some sort of revised interest in "good story posting" - let's be honest, HuSi is pretty much a "K5 community fork", and that isn't exactly a mine of good articles - just a load of random (mostly shit) blogs mixed into one. When I read Slashdot, it just looks like a load of MLP. (the front page reads like one of my literature reviews - a list of other websites) So if you can do better than that...

    Like I say, i'm willing to visit your new site, but to be fair, K5 is still the most interesting, diverse "community" site i've read. If yours is going to be a better alternative, well, I don't particularly care about your software - let me see a link
    Disclaimer: All of the above is probably wrong

    member voting... (none / 2) (#210)
    by kpaul on Tue May 18, 2004 at 10:12:50 PM EST

    imho, put k5 (scoop) light years ahead of the software on 'that other site'... seriously - /. is old media based even if it is on the internet... scoop took a good few steps forward.

    it can still be refined, of course, but there's not much else out there like it that i've come across...

    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    Bayesian filtering of comments? (none / 0) (#206)
    by merkri on Tue May 18, 2004 at 09:36:43 PM EST

    I was just thinking--wouldn't it be possible to set up something like a Bayesian filtering system for comments?

    Each user could go through and read a bunch of comments, and rate each comment on some scale--say, 1 to 5. You could set up each user account so when that user was logged in, it would rank the comments according to that filtering system.

    I guess it wouldn't exactly be a filtering system, but some sort of natural language processing ranking system.

    It would take a bit of programming, but would be really interesting and potentially helpful if actually implemented. It would be sort of a ranking system individualized for each user's preferences, whatever those might be.

    It might have the secondary effect of encouraging individuals to remain members, because it could theoretically improve over time as individuals rated comments.

    I'm not sure if that's a great idea. (none / 2) (#214)
    by WhiteBandit on Wed May 19, 2004 at 04:14:51 AM EST

    While I understand what you are trying to get at, you would just start getting comments with the following:

    "Me too!

    Doh, need to get through that filter...
    print river need where because wool order plow industry against moon owner memory river education flame good walk wide family boiling warm cry jewel line religion finger lip rod bucket offer glass do brown fixed first monkey flight grain war sheep this weight relation advertisement price across sneeze ornament hope blood boy shut room weather discussion horn regular root breath soup ring thin baby distance crush smoke shut war chest cake riceriver learning medical sponge through chin distance recordreg cloth price sister earth sticky loud death bed"

    (Those taken from an actual spam I received)

    [ Parent ]

    individual accountability (none / 0) (#211)
    by cgenman on Wed May 19, 2004 at 02:20:04 AM EST

    Moderation, actually is what would be at the core of differentiating yourself from other sites, and serious time should be invested in thinking about the design.  Slashdot uses a combination of Super Users and moderation, which allows for quick responses and moderate democracy with a higher burden on moderators.  Kuro5hin has (had) a high level of democracy, but a slow pick-up.  Joystick101 is currently crushing itself under the weight of that slow pick-up.

    I like the Slashdot-style friends / foes list, and wish that was more integrated into postings.  If a lot of reputable people consider you a friend, your reputation should go up as well.  if a lot of reputable people consider you an enemy, your reputation (and posts) should go down.  clevernickname would probably post at 3, for example... not through the strength of his posts individually but because people recognize and want to hear more from him.

    What is needed is some form of individual accountability over a given area... If you can find a way to keep one person to four accounts painlessly, then you will have solved one of the greatest problems with all of the public BBS systems.  

    Perhaps the first signup on a given IP address (per year) could be free, with each additional signup requiring some form of Kuro5hin-like sponsorship system?  

    Under "pie in the sky" options, it would be good if the system could notify posters still on the site that someone has responded to a post of theirs as it happens.  There are just too many threads where someone will say one thing, someone else will respond, someone else will respond to them, someone else will respond to them, and the argument of the first two people is totally lost in a game of telephone.  If there was, say, a pop up box (boo), or a floating-layer notification (boo), or something dynamic involving Java (boo), the poster could be notified immediately while still reading the thread.  

    - This Sig is a mnemonic device designed to allow you to recognize this author in the future. This is only a device.

    RSS Feeds (none / 0) (#213)
    by cgenman on Wed May 19, 2004 at 03:03:00 AM EST

    Not to reply to my own suggestion, but it struck me that combining custom RSS feeds with a comment moderation system would be quite powerful, and really a next-step for these types of sites.

    People would have the ability to sign up for one of several RSS feeds, including ones generated by the users of the site in the traditional fashion (Front Page, Internet, Games, etc)  But users could also sign up for custom RSS feeds completely unaffiliated (and previously unknown to) the site, so that, say, a group of friends could read and comment upon eachother's blogs on the site, and nobody else has to see it.  If the discussion draws in enough people, it could rise up enough to make it on the front page.  If, for example, a discussion on an RSS feed from BBC News is hot enough, people will see the BBC News feed on the front page.  Feeds could also be moderated like users, so that people who don't explicitly subscribe to a feed would still have a chance to see new things.  There could be a "random feed" box, and people could look through a directory of some sort of all available feeds sorted by category and popularity.  

    In short, it would be a community of news aggregators, free from any particular direction to the conversation, and it could work very well.
    - This Sig is a mnemonic device designed to allow you to recognize this author in the future. This is only a device.
    [ Parent ]

    Make moderation matter (none / 0) (#212)
    by manekineko on Wed May 19, 2004 at 02:36:12 AM EST

    K5's comment moderation system is completely pointless. The only mod that actually makes a difference is 0. Other than that 1 is the same as 3.

    I'm a busy person, I enjoy /.'s discussions because I can set it to only show comments rated 3 or higher, and to collapse comments rated 1 and 2, and to hide comments rated 0. Likewise, I would like to be able to collapse comments (and threads) rated less than 2 on K5, I don't have so much time to waste that I want to read every troll.

    Additionally, I would love to have a kill file like you said. K5's community is burgeoning with well-known trolls, trolls who troll frequently. It's pretty obvious who they are, and again I don't have enough time in the day to waste with known trolls. Combining this with my first point, and K5's discussions are basically useless to me, a fact that I find very sad since I used to be quite fond of this site.

    Killfiles should be (none / 0) (#222)
    by HardwareLust on Wed May 19, 2004 at 05:43:01 PM EST

    a mandatory feature.  PM's are also very useful and welcome.  

    Just make sure that you have the ability to block PM's from peeps in your killfile as well.

    BBR incorporates both of these features in their forums, and they seem to work very well.

    If you disagree, POST, don't moderate!

    2 things (none / 0) (#223)
    by 0x29a on Wed May 19, 2004 at 06:50:26 PM EST

    1. The stories dumped should be able to be found on the author's page.  Comments need not be attached, but it would be helpful if they were.
    2. A limited edit on comments. Maybe they can be edited within 10-15 mins of original post time. Then after that they can be read-only.

    jabber. (none / 3) (#224)
    by rmg on Wed May 19, 2004 at 09:26:37 PM EST

    consider an integrated instant messaging system, for example jabber. use it for private messaging, reply notification, maybe even posting.

    you just caught a glimpse of the future of web based communities. savor it.


    i ♥ legitimate users.

    dave dean

    Great Idea! (none / 0) (#228)
    by k31 on Thu May 20, 2004 at 01:17:25 PM EST

    Its about time we start integrating more rather than just making more wheels.

    What would be cool also: allow acessing of data in the weblog through a more data-base ish interface, say, ODBC or whatever. This bcould be subscribers-only, but useful for making your own search engines/front ends.

    Also, being able to access online forums about persistant games (e.g. a sims fan site from within the sims online world) would be awesome.

    Your dollar is you only Word, the wrath of it your only fear. He who has an EAR to hear....
    [ Parent ]

    Advanced collaborative filtering algorithm (none / 0) (#229)
    by Baldrson on Thu May 20, 2004 at 07:35:41 PM EST

    See John Canny's paper, "Collaborative Filtering With Privacy" for an advanced collaborative filtering algorithm that supports user control of their market data as well as rapid calculation of imputed content ratings.

    -------- Empty the Cities --------

    This may sound heavy-handed (none / 0) (#232)
    by Dasher42 on Tue May 25, 2004 at 05:57:43 AM EST

    But I sincerely believe that the only way to have an island of decent content, a good signal-to-noise ratio is to be careful whom you admit into the moderation process.

    For voting rights, require an email address outside of any free provider, or a sponsorship from such. Give users with a record of highly rated stories a weighted vote. Choose a circle of people representing a spectrum of views who are capable of respectful, in-depth dialogue and give them the final say on submissions.

    This may sound elitist, but the primary idea behind there being any moderation is that a certain level of quality is expected, right?

    Why start from scratch? (none / 0) (#236)
    by UnConeD on Tue Jun 01, 2004 at 02:18:29 PM EST

    Why not use one of the existing systems out there and customize it to your liking?

    Try <a href="http://www.drupal.org/">Drupal</a> for example, which was modified for DeanSpace (now CivicSpace) to be more campaign oriented. The code is quite clean and modular.

    Trust me, having a good base to start from saves you a bunch of headaches on boring stuff, unless your idea of fun is fighting PHP to make sure your UTF-8 encoded mail headers are RFC 2047 compliant and don't mess up some obscure version of Eudora on Mac.

    Consider the implementations of other sites (none / 0) (#238)
    by Snuffkin on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 11:27:24 AM EST

    Hm. Yes, moderation is something that needs to be thought about. I'll go through the structure of other popular community-oriented sites, because each of them have different moderation methods to think about.
    An obvious one. Not a 'story' site so to speak, but the concept is interesting. Moderation is in the form of "notice it, correct it". I don't think it has too much concept that would apply well to Everything2, I'm just putting it here to keep the picture complete.
    The site structure is that of 'nodes'. Nodes can be things like 'paper' or things like 'Why I hate Golf'. Anyone can then write a writeup into this node. For every writeup someone has, they automatically have one experience point. If a writeup is deleted, they lose this point. People can vote for and against writeups which affects the author's experience. People can also 'cool' a node to promote it to the frontpage. People get a limited number of 'cool' points a day, limiting the number of writeups they can cool. The site is not specifically news oriented, more like Wikipedia, but with articles written with an element of opinion, which, IMO, makes them easier to read and relate to.

    Writeups can link to other nodes (which display all writeups in the node). If a user moves from one node to another, it automatically creates a 'soft link' from the previous node to the next. This creates a sort of 'thought pattern'.
    This is more (kuro5hin|slashdot) style PHP-powered community system. It seems to work similarly to Kuro5hin from first glance.

    A New Community | 238 comments (214 topical, 24 editorial, 0 hidden)
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