Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

HTML-based IM

By japhar81 in Meta
Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 09:50:47 PM EST
Tags: Scoop (all tags)

A recent story that hasn't quite made it to the post stage has made me think that instant messaging might be a good addition to the site.

One of the comments that was made was that K5 isn't as much of a community because you can't stray off topic (I believe the exact phrasing was it's 'frowned upon') and you can't take a conversation elsewhere in private easily. Why not implement an HTML-based messaging system? The best one I've seen by far is at collegeclub.com. It's quick, easy, and, it works on linux. I tend to think that the ability to have private conversation would enable K5 to build a stronger community in general, and for K5 members to become closer (dare I say become friends?). At any rate, just a thought off the top of my buzzed head.


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Should IM be a part of K5?
o Yeah! 8%
o Sure, seems cool, but I wont use it. 13%
o Maybe. 5%
o Depends if it's done right. 18%
o I'd rather it didn't, but I don't care. 18%
o Hell no. 21%
o If it does, I'm going back to that other site. 3%
o Japhar81, you are a crackhead, we keep telling you.... 9%

Votes: 279
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o recent story
o collegeclu b.com
o Also by japhar81

Display: Sort:
HTML-based IM | 56 comments (55 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Surprising ... (3.00 / 6) (#1)
by aphrael on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 01:10:38 PM EST

I haven't found that straying off-topic is frowned upon at all ... it just has to be a gradual evolution that *relates* to what started the conversation in the first place. That is, no individual post is off-topic wrt its parent, but after a while, it may be off-topic wrt the article.

Interesting: is wrt a legitimate preposition? How is it pronounced? :)

WRT and other abbreviations (2.66 / 3) (#4)
by whatnotever on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 01:22:00 PM EST

I knew a kid in school who always wrote "WLOG" - Without Loss of Generality. I enjoyed saying "wuhlog"... "Wuhlog, we can claim that x is increasing faster than ..." Heh.

wrt "wrt," (whee!) I believe the proper pronunciation is "wirt." Of course, I only believe that because I just made it up, but hey.

Some are easy, though. imho = "imm-ho". iirc = "irk". rotflmao = "whatever".


[ Parent ]
arghh (1.50 / 2) (#6)
by titus-g on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 01:34:57 PM EST

you mean all these years I've been mentally expanding all these acronyms into phrases and I should have been reading them as new words???


--"Essentially madness is like charity, it begins at home" --
[ Parent ]

Yeah, I do that too. (1.50 / 2) (#8)
by whatnotever on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 01:41:08 PM EST

I generally expand it out in my head, wasting valuable time...

But yeah, they might as well be words, right? They have meanings, and they can function exactly like any other words, so why not? Hm.

If I've been exposed to it long enough, it eventually becomes more or less a word, and I can just read it without expanding, I guess. But it takes time, and it's never completely self-contained...

[ Parent ]
Expanding... (1.00 / 1) (#14)
by Spendocrat on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 04:42:39 PM EST

I usually get to the point that I can expand things without pausing in my reading, brb, gj, wrt, imho, HTH HAND, etc. Sadly, the same goes for l33t spea|< - to a certain level of obfuscation. The only time it slows me down is when it strikes me that I'm seamlessly expanding the acronyms. I roll that around on my mental tongue for a second or two thinking "neat", then get back to reading.

I like expanding better than using new words, and I prefer spelling stuff out (F-A-Q instead of Fack) - but I suspect I'm not in the majority.

[ Parent ]

Straying off topic. Hrmmm. (3.00 / 3) (#21)
by Louis_Wu on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 11:47:03 PM EST

As aphrael was saying at the begining of the thread:
I haven't found that straying off-topic is frowned upon at all ... it just has to be a gradual evolution that *relates* to what started the conversation in the first place. That is, no individual post is off-topic wrt its parent, but after a while, it may be off-topic wrt the article.
Seems he was right. :)

"The power to tax is the power to destroy."
John Marshal, first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
[ Parent ]
I Quite Dislike Instant Messaging (2.20 / 5) (#2)
by titivillus on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 01:14:01 PM EST

It starts with talk with me. I'd be there, working, when someone starts a talk session. Of course, I'm a nice guy, but between the interactive attempts to spell simple words and the total lack of respect of my limited time got me frustrated. I will never ever ever participate in ICQ, AIM or any of the sort. If you wanna contact me, contact me via email.

umm (2.00 / 2) (#5)
by titus-g on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 01:32:30 PM EST

you can turn talk off... (well except the big bad root can still chat you)

mesg n

admittedly if like me you don't want to just on the offchance that someone might actually care enough to msg you, well then it can interupt work...

--"Essentially madness is like charity, it begins at home" --
[ Parent ]

Yes, I know you can opt out (2.00 / 2) (#11)
by titivillus on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 03:40:58 PM EST

But I was brought up in a world where computing power and networking bandwidth was limited. The computing world was asynchronous and we liked it that way. You sent an email and expected to be able to sleep or go to class or eat dinner before getting a response, and if it happen that way, that's gravy.

You kids with your ADSL and your gigahertz processors and your messaging systems expect to be able to talk to each other in realtime. Bully for you! I, however, don't want to participate like that.

[ Parent ]
Well thanks... (1.00 / 2) (#25)
by titus-g on Sat Nov 25, 2000 at 01:04:06 PM EST

but I don't think I've really qualified as a kid for a long time, just act like one most of the time.

given that the first couple of years of my computing life were spent with a ZX81 I do have a pretty good idea what limited power is like, of course then it didn't feel limited...

ADSL/Ghz - nope.

--"Essentially madness is like charity, it begins at home" --
[ Parent ]

Are we kids? (1.00 / 1) (#35)
by titivillus on Mon Nov 27, 2000 at 10:07:18 AM EST

I was putting on an "old crotchety fogey" voice, waving my cane and remembering the good old days before civilization came.

My first computer was a TRS-80, and I got an 8086 when I went off to college, and the one thing I did with it is install an 300-Baud modem and connected to the school's mainframe.

I have ADSL, but none of the machines at home passes the 550MHz mark.

[ Parent ]
K5 Instant Messenger (4.00 / 13) (#3)
by acestus on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 01:14:56 PM EST

Isn't that what the IRC channel is for? It's fast, it's easy, and it works with linux.

This is not an exit.
Why cant you stray off topic...? (3.66 / 9) (#7)
by Nick Ives on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 01:36:27 PM EST

Over the time I've been reading k5 I've noticed the odd OT thread going on without anyone screaming about its off-topicness. If your having a conversation which just gradually drifts OT I dont think anyone would mind, I know I wouldnt.

If there really is a strong anti-OT sentiment here that I've just utterly failed to notice (hey, things keep happening without me noticing. The other day I woke up and found out my sister had gone to spain, my parents wernt anywhere to be found and we didnt have any food. I thought they'd moved or something. I was getting all ready to sell the house when the rents returned. Meh), then someone please enlighten me. Or something.

I really shouldnt leave comments for ages and go off and do various other things.....

It's not really needed, use irc! (3.37 / 8) (#9)
by duskcat on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 02:09:28 PM EST

While I'm not really against instant messaging in general, I tend to dislike web based instant messaging much in the same way I dislike web based e-mail. It tends to be klunky and a pain to use, especially on slower connections.

As was suggested earlier, what's wrong with using the IRC channel? While I am relatively new here, and haven't stopped by the irc channel, I have frequented irc in the past. Many, if not all of the ideas in instant messaging came from irc anyways. Oh, and it works great, even on a slow modem connection.

Hmm...that came out as more of a pitch for irc than I intended. I really should stoop here before I ramble more...

"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic."

The first last and worst problem with irc... (2.75 / 4) (#10)
by ewan on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 02:27:56 PM EST

..is that lots of people are not able to access it from work via the firewall. You can use a web-to-irc gateway sure, but almost all of them are slow, clunky, and a pain to use, whatever connection you have.

They also cause serious processor usage on the server, and since irc is a non-kuro5hin specific area, lots of people would use the kuro5hin irc gateway to access other irc channels, which would make it all pretty unfeasible.

HTML based instant messaging is pretty bad too at the moment of course, but at least with it the kuro5hin admins would only have to deal with dozens, maybe hundreds of users using it at once, rather than 1000's, so the hit on the processors should be much less.


[ Parent ]

irc is no use for me (4.00 / 2) (#32)
by gcmillwood on Mon Nov 27, 2000 at 04:24:23 AM EST

I have web access from work, and spend pretty much all day connected. This means that I don't bother with the net much from home, and that I can only access things through the company firewall. Since the firewall in question blocks irc, this simply isn't a solution for me.

[ Parent ]
Chatterbox (3.25 / 4) (#12)
by Eloquence on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 04:06:05 PM EST

A good, even quite addictive implementation is the Everything2 chatterbox. It's like one of those boxes to the right, just with a few lines of chat and a text entry field. You can turn it off in the preferences. A problem with the way it works, of course, is that E2 is a site where you switch pages a lot (and thus refresh the chatterbox), while K5 is one where you read much more on a single page.
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
Re: Chatterbox (3.50 / 2) (#13)
by digger on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 04:13:01 PM EST

You can also open a Java version of the Everything2 chatterbox up in a separate window.

| optimisation precludes evolution |
[ Parent ]
To be honest... (1.00 / 5) (#16)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 07:58:51 PM EST

I wouldnt' use it.

People who think "clown" is an insult have never met any.
HTML, bah... (1.25 / 4) (#17)
by J'raxis on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 08:32:31 PM EST

How about an IRC server?
Or an IRC channel on an existing IRC network?

-- The DALnetting Raxis

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

See top of page (1.33 / 3) (#20)
by joeyo on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 11:26:11 PM EST

Look at the very top of the page... On the blue bar.. it says I... R... C... [grin]

"Give me enough variables to work with, and I can probably do away with the notion of human free will." -- demi
[ Parent ]

IRC channel (1.00 / 2) (#28)
by Devil Ducky on Sun Nov 26, 2000 at 11:45:53 AM EST

You think someone should start an IRC channel for K5? What a wonderful idea...
/me snaps his fingers
Miraculously on the slashnet.org server a new channel appears... #kuro5hin

The magic worked so well it implanted memories into people's heads telling them they have been there before, it even created many fake irc logs...

Devil Ducky

Immune to the Forces of Duct Tape
Day trading at it's Funnest
[ Parent ]
You think CC's IM is GOOD? (3.00 / 6) (#18)
by bradenmcg on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 08:47:54 PM EST


Someone's disillusioned.

Collegeclub.com's IM capabilities are horrible. Seriously. I have an account on there, I've actually met several cool people (in real life) after meeting on CC. However, the IM system is only good for one thing: sending a single message that says, "this is my AIM screenname, IM me with that, for the love of God."

The CC IM system is horribly lagged, doesn't work worth crap on a modem, and is just a horrible kludge, a quarter-assed attempt to get a piece of the "IM action."

I think a better idea would be to add a section to the user info pages that would let one list one's Jabber, ICQ, AIM, etc UID/screenname, possibly even parsing it and adding the appropriate linkage to let you send an IM directly. (AIM on Windows, for instance, will intercept an "InstantMessage:" URL [or something like that].) Much more elegant. Or as everyone else has said, just have an IRC channel.

CC's IM'ing sucks. End of story.

<leonphelps>Yeah, now, uh, "sig," what is that?</leonphelps>

k5 diaries? (2.42 / 7) (#19)
by bse on Fri Nov 24, 2000 at 09:07:28 PM EST

you can just as easily do that wiht the diary section. even stray "off topic" (as on-topic a diary can be ;) if you want.. heh

this comment isn't going anywhere, i really shouldn't join in a long conversation on irc while writing comments.

"Please sir, tell me why, my life's so pitiful, but the future's so bright? When I look ahead, it burns my retinas." -- Pitchshifter - Please Sir

Hmmm.... (3.57 / 7) (#22)
by scriptkiddie on Sat Nov 25, 2000 at 12:24:23 AM EST

I wrote an HTML-based IM system. It was ridiculously simple, but very utilitarian. Messages were temporary files, deleted when the message is viewed. That was before I knew about databases :)

I don't think IM would really help K5 - after all, the neat thing about K5 is that everyone can see what everyone else says. There is no privacy. Besides, K5 is a new form of group communication - I don't think there's a need to steal communication metaphors from the world at large.

I'd prefer some sort of synchronous communication system without any privacy in particular. Maybe each page could have a bar running down the side which people could write "micro-comments" in, and the last 30 or so micro-comments would be displayed to all. That way you could write very short or very directed messages without polluting the general comment area with OT stuff.

<WACKY-IDEA>Rusty could add a new feature to Scoop - people could write new features in Perl, and have them voted in on a "feature queue" (with some facility for being voted out). Each time a page is viewed, it would run each new feature in a restricted environment for security (Python has restricted environments, I'm too new to Perl to know how to do this but I'm sure it's possible). That way, we wouldn't have to keep bugging Rusty to add new features - you could write it yourself, and if people like it, it would be voted in. Maybe this would be a good idea for a new weblog - people can both submit stories and submit code which is run to display stories. Sort of an open-source anarchy. </WACKY-IDEA>

This is like nomic... (none / 0) (#37)
by SIGFPE on Mon Nov 27, 2000 at 06:42:12 PM EST

Nomic is a game a bit like this. I wonder if I could write a self-modifying web site that worked like this without exposing myself to excessive security risks. This would be fun!
[ Parent ]
Well... It might be OK.. (2.66 / 6) (#23)
by BigZaphod on Sat Nov 25, 2000 at 07:37:11 AM EST

But only if it's done right. And by that I mean it should probably be done using some sort of open standard or something. I would suggest investigating Jabber.

"We're all patients, there are no doctors, our meds ran out a long time ago and nobody loves us." - skyknight
kuro5hin jabber server perhaps? (2.50 / 2) (#30)
by mattc on Mon Nov 27, 2000 at 01:55:48 AM EST

They could set up a kuro5hin jabber server and just use the regular jabber client... no need to integrate it with the web page. I've used jabber only briefly, but it seems good.

[ Parent ]
Private conversations? (2.42 / 7) (#24)
by End on Sat Nov 25, 2000 at 10:21:51 AM EST

Isn't that what email is for?


Only if people reveal their email address (3.50 / 2) (#31)
by gcmillwood on Mon Nov 27, 2000 at 04:18:59 AM EST

The header to your comment identifies your email address as 'On the net, no one knows you're a dandelion' which isn't very useful if I want to contact you privately.

[ Parent ]
IM'ing, eh? (2.40 / 5) (#26)
by Captain_Tenille on Sat Nov 25, 2000 at 06:51:16 PM EST

I like the fact that you can't get too offtopic on K5 (which is part of the reason that I've been spending more time here rather than on /. :-/). IM'ing would probably just lead to all the trolls and what-not out there to harass random users rather than just posting their grits in the comments.
/* You are not expected to understand this. */

Man Vs. Nature: The Road to Victory!

We've got it all already (3.66 / 6) (#27)
by sl4ck0ff on Sun Nov 26, 2000 at 11:13:40 AM EST

Not only do we have stories and comments, we have an IRC channel and diaries! Come on people, think about it. HTML instant messaging would probably cause a DoS, besides... We have IRC if we want to talk, and if we want to vent, diaries. If we want to comment, we can post them. If we have ideas, we can post stories. If you want privacy, use AIM/ICQ, or e-mail. The answers are already here. Take advantage of your privledges.
/me has returned to slacking
Try WikiWiki (2.33 / 3) (#29)
by Friendless on Sun Nov 26, 2000 at 08:08:37 PM EST

WikiWiki at
works brilliantly for this.

Three words (3.50 / 4) (#33)
by rednecktek on Mon Nov 27, 2000 at 08:14:40 AM EST

Please God no.

Just remember, if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.
Couldn't this easily be implemented? (3.00 / 2) (#34)
by Defect on Mon Nov 27, 2000 at 09:47:59 AM EST

Just like diaries were, just by adding another section and throwing a few rules in? I haven't looked at the scoop source yet, so i don't have the slightest idea on how rusty implements anything.

Have the section be [Your_Nick],[Mail] and add a cookie verification to the section page so that only the user the mail was meant for could read it.

I think it could be a handy addition, not entirely necessary, and certainly not a priority, but a shiny new toy at the very least.
defect - jso - joseth || a link
I'm not so sure (4.00 / 1) (#38)
by gcmillwood on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 05:58:11 AM EST

I do not think that the web provides a good medium for instant messaging. HTML is a 'pull' system, so I would only know a message was waiting for me if I refresh the page. Since k5 sits open and idle in the background on my computer for hours at a time while I am working, this would remove the 'instant' part of an instant message - the only real advantage IM holds over email.

I contend that IM requires some kind of 'push' system, where I am alerted immediately if a new message arrives for me. (The closest HTML gets to this is using a meta refresh tag, which isn't really the same thing).

[ Parent ]
That's what i was thinking (4.00 / 1) (#39)
by Defect on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 08:35:47 AM EST

The "Instant" part of the proposal wouldn't really be necessary anyway. I was just thinking it could be nice to have some way of responding to certain posts or entries in a more personal way, like email, but solely within K5.

Just some (non-email, because not everyone gives their's out) way to respond to people that can't be seen by anyone else, and can't be rated by anyone.
defect - jso - joseth || a link
[ Parent ]
That could work (4.00 / 1) (#40)
by gcmillwood on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 09:49:22 AM EST

As long as this was advertised as a way to privately respond to someone, rather than as an IM service, it could enhance the site.

However, with any kind of private messaging system there are significant potential problems. A few off the top of my head are:
  • Harassment - suppose a 'bad' user was to start making continual and unwanted sexual propositions to a 'victim' user. How would this be dealt with?
  • Spam - how do you stop a 'bad' user spamming every other users message list with 'MAKE MONEY FAST', etc?
  • Security - is the message sender name faked?
  • Privacy - can anyone else see your messages?

I trust rusty to keep things secure and private. The rest of k5, as well as any other web log, also has these two problems. Spam could also be caught with a technical solution (e.g. don't allow a user to send message to more than 10 users in an hour). Harassment is a more difficult, but not necessarily insurmountable, problem.

The point I am trying to make is that to make a messaging system like this an asset, rather than a liability, could be quite a challenge.

[ Parent ]
Request - Approval (5.00 / 3) (#42)
by Defect on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 10:58:12 AM EST

One way to cut down on spam and flames is to set up a system where you'd have to request the ability to send to a user from the user. Kind of like requesting authorization (a la ICQ) to put a user on your sendTo list until you either remove that user from your "trusted" list or he/she removes you from his/hers.

This could be a one time, two way granted ability until either user revokes the "connection." So it would be icq in that i could only put you on the my list if you wanted me to, but unlike icq in that if you end up realizing i'm a dick /you/ can remove yourself from /my/ list anytime you want, thus preventing me from messaging you.

That way, spammers don't ever be able to get through to you and flamers can be squelched at your discretion, assuming they were at one time "trusted" by you.

An alernative to that would be to have messages from "trusted" users on one page and unsolicited messages on another. This is obviously getting more complicated than i figured it would be when i didn't account for abuse.

So maybe it's better off forgotten for now.
defect - jso - joseth || a link
[ Parent ]
Things are always more complicated than you might (4.00 / 2) (#44)
by gcmillwood on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 12:38:24 PM EST

This is obviously getting more complicated than i figured it would be when i didn't account for abuse.

So maybe it's better off forgotten for now.

As with anything else, once you start looking at the details things can get horribly complicated. Even so, I think this could be an excellent addition to a web-log.

Messaging works best when it is integrated into what you are using at the time. If a user wants to query something that I wrote in an article/comment, they do not want to go off and fire up an email program or irc client to do so. Users are, in general, lazy. If all they have to do is click a link, then it is far more likely to happen, and relationships are far more likely to develop.

Don't forget about the idea though. (I like it so much that if I knew a damn thing about how scoop worked I would try to write it myself :-).

It is worth considering the arguments that some people may have against the idea of integrated messaging.
  • 'messaging could move discussions away from the public articles into private messages'
  • 'people would use messaging and nothing else on the site'
  • 'users will ignore messages completely'

Personally I believe that the potential benefits are too great to ignore - but only if it is done right.

[ Parent ]
Authorization and such (4.00 / 1) (#51)
by nstenz on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 03:12:11 PM EST

I agree with most of your post, except for the last part about forgetting it for now. Why forget it? It's quite possible to do.

  1. User1 wants to talk to User2, requests to do so
  2. User2 accepts request, User1 is added to talk list (ala ICQ auth request)
  3. If User1 is abusive, he/she can be moved to the 'ban' list (ala ICQ ignore list)
  4. Abusive users get kicked off the system, just as trolls are on the regular threads

It's fairly simple... once you're logged in, you get a little slashbox-style thing in the margin with your new messages, a drop-down box for who to send a message to, and a textbox for the message... maybe another for a topic. Allow the same HTML as in posts.

Refreshing the messages would suck a bit, but you could put the recieved messages in an IFRAME... if you didn't like the idea of it refreshing no matter what, maybe use some JavaScript to reset a timer every time you performed an action on one of the form elements - sort of like a screen saver not kicking in while you're moving the mouse.

I'm just brainstorming here, but this could work...

Oh, and make sure there's an option to turn it off. =)

[ Parent ]
Don't bother refreshing (4.00 / 1) (#52)
by gcmillwood on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 05:54:32 PM EST

Why refresh?

I'd prefer to have a 'slashbox' on the right hand side that shows the subject and sender of unread messages. Click on a link to go to your messages (which could work similarly to stories). The slashbox would refresh each time you refreshed the page as a whole, or visited a different page.

[ Parent ]
agreed on refreshing (none / 0) (#53)
by Defect on Thu Nov 30, 2000 at 08:20:39 AM EST

There's no real need to auto-refresh because chances are you'd never be getting enough "mail" to justify refreshing every minute or so, and if you /are/ expecting something, refresh it as you see necessary.

Damnit i wish scoop.kuro5hin.org was up
defect - jso - joseth || a link
[ Parent ]
scoop (none / 0) (#54)
by gcmillwood on Thu Nov 30, 2000 at 09:24:45 AM EST

Do we have any idea when the scoop site might come back on-line?

(messages would be ideal for this kind of comment...)

[ Parent ]
No clue (none / 0) (#55)
by Defect on Thu Nov 30, 2000 at 11:34:22 AM EST

and seeing as how this story is off the front page, no one's going to care about it much anymore.

Maybe one of us should put a proposal in our diaries just so it can be copied and pasted to the scoop site when it comes back online, i don't know.

Another good example of a post better off as a message ;)
defect - jso - joseth || a link
[ Parent ]
Done it (none / 0) (#56)
by gcmillwood on Mon Dec 04, 2000 at 07:21:05 AM EST

Diary entry summarising the good bits is here.

[ Parent ]
No K5 Cabal! (3.00 / 3) (#36)
by codemonkey_uk on Mon Nov 27, 2000 at 11:36:26 AM EST

Many people have already mentioned IRC as an Instant Messaging service. This is both accurate, and relevent.

BUT, I, and I imagine, many others, don't have access to IRC. Nor would I have time to monitor it, if I had access to it. The same applies to any new IM service that might be implemented.

Kuro5hin, at the moment, exists in two forms. There is kuro5hin.org, which exists over http, and #k5, which exists over the IRC network.

Therefore, it could be argued, there is a k5 cabal. That cabal is made up of those that chat on the #k5 IRC channel. If an IM service where introduced, then this would (potentially) create a 3rd form of k5, and encorage further elitism.

One of the attractions of k5 to me is its slow, considered, pace. To encorage discussion we need better tools to track discussions, such as a replys list, or aleart. We do not, in my opinion need a medium for chit chat and idel gossip amongst the "k5 cabal".

"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
augh (4.00 / 1) (#41)
by Cuthalion on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 10:06:53 AM EST

One of the attractions of k5 to me is its slow, considered, pace. To encorage discussion we need better tools to track discussions, such as a replys list, or aleart. We do not, in my opinion need a medium for chit chat and idel gossip amongst the "k5 cabal".

So you use the web site which encourages more thought out discussion. You don't feel a need for chitchat/gossip, so you avoid the places where that is done. Other people DO obviously feel the need for a lower latency form of communication, and they use IRC for it. Or maybe they can use an IM-like thing instead. Either way - what's the problem? People who don't want it don't use it, and people who do, do. This notion of a "k5 cabal" is ridiculous - it implies that it's wrong to try to interact more closely with any other members of this community than the HTTP fascilitates.

Besides. There is no cabal! ;)

[ Parent ]
cabal (3.00 / 1) (#43)
by codemonkey_uk on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 12:34:08 PM EST

cabal n 1: a clique that seeks power usually through intrigue

Okay, so I used a running k5 joke to emphisis my point, but doesn't that show, that to a certan extent that k5 is at risk of becoming cliquee?

I see more and more references to IRC, normally along the lines of "we discussed this or that on #kuro5hin and decided...", and that can lead to elitism (perhaps manifesting as favorable or unfavorable moderation).

Anywho, my point was that adding IM could just magnify this potential problem, and if keeping k5 flat (that is preserving the premis that everyone should be judged purely on their controbution) is a priority, then this is a consideration.

Or, you know, whatever. :)

"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]
for a demo of such an animal... (5.00 / 1) (#45)
by bort13 on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 03:01:20 PM EST

...there is a "chatterbox" on Perl Monks, another online community based on the love of Perl. It's put in a "slashbox" type of slot and is removable for those who don't like it. I think it augments the http site and allows clever banter, as well as quick one-off questions that help new users.

Course, I wouldn't have the skills to implement such a thing, so I'm not making the request. If rusty/inoshiro are game, then I'd be for it. I don't see that it would negatively affect the community to have something like that on K5. I don't think it would detract from #kuro5hin, either -- in fact, people could probably relay salient comments between the two. R

Chatterbox (none / 0) (#46)
by davemabe on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 03:06:22 PM EST

A chatter box makes for a nice feature to foster "community." It's pretty easy to implement, too.


Why on Earth.. (none / 0) (#47)
by Qtmstr on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 10:09:37 PM EST

Why on earth would you desire to do this? We already have *many*, *many* instant mesangers, including ICQ, AIM, Yahoo! instant messanger, and Jabber. Of course, the ever-popular IRC and email (which is delivered pretty damn close to instantly these days) are available as well. Adding an HTML-based instant messanger to the site would just add more to an already over-encompassing website. This is a weblog --- it shouldn't aim to do everything in the known universe *and* the kitchen sink.

Kuro5hin delenda est!
The reason is ... (none / 0) (#49)
by gcmillwood on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 04:59:52 AM EST

...to provide a uniform method to respond privately to any k5 user, that is integrated into the site. As you mention there are about a bazillion different IM clients around. This doesn't help though as different users would use different clients. None of these clients are integrated into k5.

I do not want to start up AIM to talk to [user1], ICQ to talk to [user2] and irc for [user3] (even if I could - damn firewalls). I, like many other users, am lazy. If I can't do it by clicking a link on a web page then I'm likely to give up and go and do something else instead.

Whether the idea has merit is another matter entirely. This is a web-log as you say. I think it is a pretty good one, both technically (I haven't broken it yet) and culturally (the discussions are good and the users are friendly). But why not improve it? If a private messaging system would make k5 better in some way, then lets do it.

[ Parent ]
How interesting (none / 0) (#48)
by Elendale on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 10:16:14 PM EST

A day or two ago i had a part in, as Rusty himself admitted, the Longest Thread On K5. Basically it was just a big IM conversation in the diaries but it would have been interesting to see how many more conversations like that would take place with an IM put into K5. This may be better off in Scoop though...
Perhaps better, IMHO, would be to make a list of the people in the K5 IRC chat that refreshes every 30 seconds or so. Its done on a website for battle reporting online quite effectively.

-Elendale (just my .02USD)

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.

Message could be better than irc (none / 0) (#50)
by gcmillwood on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 08:25:48 AM EST

Ignoring the problems I would have accessing irc in the first place, There is a major advantage of messages over irc. Messages sent to a user whilst they are off-line could be stored, and shown when they next log in. (Obviously, there would need to be limits on this. e.g. store a max 10kb worth of messages per user).

[ Parent ]
HTML-based IM | 56 comments (55 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:


All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!