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IRC Forum: No holy wars, no MSN, and enough about Slashdot already

By rusty in Meta
Sun Sep 24, 2000 at 09:32:59 PM EST
Tags: Interviews (all tags)

Yesterday afternoon, Inoshiro and I participated in a Slashnet forum, which means that we all went on IRC, and folks submited questions to a Question-bot. They were then selected and asked by a forum moderator. For those who missed it, you can read the complete transcript, and also see what the peanut gallery in #kuro5hin was saying at the same time. I'll try to hit the highlights below, in which we decline to participate in a number of different *nix-community Holy Wars, expound upon Slashdot, and explain why VA does not officially own our souls.

The Slashdot Connection?

The question that was on everyone's mind seemed to be: "What about Slashdot?"

sugarush asks: Do you think kuro5hin.org competes with slashdot?

rusty: I don't think "competes" is the right term, really, so, the short answer is no. The longer answer is, we share a lot of the same audience, and a lot of the same topic interests, but there's also quite a bit of divergence, in both subject and "feel." We tend to have a lot more non-tech content, and of course there's the differences in story moderation, and comment rating.

Inoshiro: Slashdot is news oriented. You load it to get a quick fix, and maybe a few interesting comments. Kuro5hin is discussion oriented. You load it to see the same discussions of the past few days, and continue your exchange of words in them. So we are as much in direct competition as UNIX Fire extinguishers and UNIX computers. Yes, they can both be used in the same area, but the overlap tends to be less :)

cesarb asks: What do you think of slashdot?

rusty: We dig slashdot. I give the /. gang a lot of credit for all the work it takes to run a site like that, and for really being the first to do it at the scale they do.

Inoshiro: Yeah. A lot of people don't appreciate the kind of work it takes to get hairy perl on bad hardware doing useful things. And Slash is as hairy as you get...

We also had the obligatory:
AArthur asks: Kuro5hin vs. Slashdot. Which is better? Why?

rusty: K5 is better :-) Next.

Well, what did you expect me to say?

Went Down to the Crossroads, and Met Chris DiBona at Midnight...

Some people were curious about what it would take for us to "sell our souls," and if we've in fact already done so.

qslack asks: Say VA/Andover proposed to buy K5. What would your reaction be?

rusty: I'm not afraid of the idea of selling K5 because i don't think it matters who "owns" it, as long as they keep hands off.

After which I immediately contradict myself:
Psychosis asks: Say MSN proposed to buy K5. What would your reaction be?

rusty: Ha! No. Some things you just can't live with. :-)

* Inoshiro has standards.

We also had roblimo assume the mantle of "Slashdot conspiracy theorist" to ask:
roblimo asks: How does it feel to have sold out and have those "sponsor" tags on the site? Does this mean you are corporate scum now?

rusty: Actually, it's great, cause we don't have to run banners anymore. We wanted hardware and bandwidth, and we got those things, and i like the nice little sponsor box a lot better than the ugly banners. And to answer the point of the question-- we don't share the general fear and loathing of companies that seems common in those who've never worked for a company, i.e. the yourger kids on /., who are usually the corporate conspiracy theorists.

Inoshiro: I've never understood the Bowie Poag school of thought on companies.

rusty: heh. But we won't go there.

Octalppc asks: were you forced to sell your soul for the VA hardware?

Inoshiro: LOL

rusty: lol. Not at all. Chris Dibona contacted me after the black screen of death went up, and asked if we needed anything. I said we'd love some hardware, and they sent us some. It was explicitly a donation, not a trade of any sort.

Inoshiro: But it wasn't signed in blood, so it doesn't count.

Makes me wonder if Inoshiro had some "meetings" that I wasn't invited to...

Holy Wars

We were baited several times, but refused to participate in any of the current *nix Holy Wars...

cesarb asks: What do you think about Python?

rusty: I love monty python. some of the funniest comedy ever on tv. John Cleese is a genius. Fawlty Towers was great too.

Inoshiro: OTOH, Python can be neat for things like OO stuff. I mean, look at the Quest for the Holy Grail: A giant wooden object was thrown by french objects at english objects. That's so object oriented.

rusty: I think the answer here is: "We do not engage in language wars in public." :-)

AArthur asks: KDE or GNOME or ?

rusty: GNOME. KDE is cool though. More stable, less pretty. Again, desktop

Inoshiro: Yeah, but people treat you differently if you run it. "Dude, you run KDE!? Not that there's anything wrong with that." <-- It's like being gay (to quote rusty)

rusty: Again, desktop wars... what's the point? They're both cool.

And the obligatory attempt to get us to plug BeOS:
GandalfGreyhame asks: Inoshiro and Rusty : If you couldn't touch a linux or *BSD, what OS would you use for everyday use? :)

rusty: I'd probably go back to making furniture. I've never tried Be though, Gandalf, since i know that's what you really want us to say. :-)

To Sum Up

There's a lot more, so read the transcript. But I think this one makes for a good closing statement:

Silaron asks: do you see kuro5hin as being around for a while? if not in its current incarnation, then as a list, or as a channel on some random irc network, or otherwise?

rusty: Kuro5hin is here to stay, as far as I'm concerned. I think it'll remain a website for as long as that's the best we've got to work with. Basically, I'll support it as long as the readers are interested, so it's up to you.

Additional by Inoshiro: Don't forget about the real victims of this all, Kurodot (run by Rustytaco and Hemoshiro)


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IRC Forum: No holy wars, no MSN, and enough about Slashdot already | 19 comments (18 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Holy wars and web alternatives (2.72 / 11) (#1)
by eric.t.f.bat on Sun Sep 24, 2000 at 08:14:02 PM EST

I don't see how anyone can support Python. The Goons are clearly superior! Luser! Hot grits! First post!

uh... sorry... forgot where I was for a second...

That last comment got me thinking: I enjoy fora like k5, /. and assorted others; I'm even involved very-very-part-time in administration for an SCA-related. The web interface, however, annoys the socks off me. This is the first time I've seen someone mention, even obliquely, the possibility that we could progress past the current way into something a little less aggravating.

I envision standalone programs a bit like ICQ (<troll>open sourced, of course, so that ghettoised minorities like Linux users can use them too</troll>) that make it much much easier to read, browse, comment and generally get involved. Rusty, Roblimo and the rest would have to add extra cruft to their backends (oo-er!) to support them, but the benefits would be there.

If anyone feels inspired to hunt links and post an article expanding on this passing thought, go for it. Me, I have to get back to work.

: Fruitbat :

Uninformed trolling is the worst.. ;-P (4.80 / 5) (#2)
by Inoshiro on Sun Sep 24, 2000 at 08:51:54 PM EST

Perhaps you've not heard of rusty actively supporting Forumzilla, or my ideas on how to make Scoop also have an NNTP interface for the Usenet grubbies among us.

[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Re: Uninformed trolling is the worst.. ;-P (3.33 / 3) (#6)
by Xenophon Fenderson, the Carbon(d)ated on Sun Sep 24, 2000 at 10:17:33 PM EST

A Usenet interface would go a long way. I miss Gnus' adaptive scoring. Some of the story selection (ala "which slashboxes do you want to see") and filtering and whatnot is just better handled by some of the more advanced news readers. IMHO, of course.

Rev. Dr. Xenophon Fenderson, the Carbon(d)ated, KSC, mhm21x16, and the Patron Saint of All Things Plastic fnord
I'm proud of my Northern Tibetian heritage!
[ Parent ]
Re: Uninformed trolling is the worst.. ;-P (3.75 / 4) (#12)
by robin on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 04:04:19 AM EST

Amen to missing Gnus' adaptive scoring. If you haven't heard of Gnus or adaptive scoring, check out X?Emacs some time, and read this excerpt from the Gnus manual....

Gnus is a seriously great piece of newsreading software -- I use it for all of my email too, and it makes handling high-volume mailing lists a dream (killfiles, adaptive scoring, variety of back end storage methods...).

Oh, and GroupLens seems to me to fit the Kuro5hin ethos perfectly.

Um, I'll stop there. Do check it out though, even if you don't like Emacs there's a good chance you might like this.

W.A.S.T.E. (do not antagonise the Horn)
[ Parent ]
Re: Uninformed trolling is the worst.. ;-P (4.00 / 1) (#18)
by zapman on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 03:05:56 PM EST

Heck. I don't like emacs, yet I love gnus. Solution? Viper mode. "VI for emacs rebels."

in ~/.viper:
(setq viper-inhibit-startup-meassage 't
viper-expert-level '5
viper-no-multiple-ESC nil)

In ~/.emacs
(setq viper-mode t)
(require 'viper)
-- The request of a friend in need, is done by a friend in deed.
[ Parent ]
Very cool! (3.00 / 3) (#7)
by Dacta on Sun Sep 24, 2000 at 10:29:53 PM EST

Forumzilla looks very nice. Now those comments rusty made ages ago about wanting to turn K5 into a XUL app begin to make sense.

How about a "proper" (XML-RPC or something) interface the story queue so news sites can automatically submit their stories. I know there would be lots of problems (boring stoies being submitted all the time, etc), but it would let "K5 be the discussion site for stuff you read on /. and NewsForge".

[ Parent ]

The thing about trolling these days (4.00 / 5) (#10)
by pwhysall on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 03:03:41 AM EST

is that most people who attempt it are lamentably bad at it.

A good troll isn't even recognised as such until one of the people who has spent many hours composing detailed and lucid rebuttals and arguments pauses, thinks and their head hits the keyboard in self-disgust.

Nathalie Portman Naked And Petrified, Hot Grits, A Beowulf Cluster Of These, Penis Bird Man and his ilk aren't trolls. They're line noise.
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 ]

Re: ForumZilla (3.00 / 2) (#13)
by Notromda on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 10:53:09 AM EST

so.... is the code there? or is it just in the dream stage? I went and installed it, but there's not a whole lot of places to use it yet....

[ Parent ]
Re: ForumZilla (4.66 / 3) (#14)
by twjordan on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 11:18:07 AM EST


Just so you know, I am one of the ForumZilla guys. Currently there are only two forums supporting ForumZilla (ours and MozillaZine). We are working on changing this very soon. We plan to submit a patch to scoop to kuro5hin as early as next week, we are talking woith slashdot about support, and there are several smaller sites working on it.

LiveJournal.com has also expressed interest.

So, to answer your question, just wait a few weeks and there should be much more to read with ForumZilla.


[ Parent ]

Re: ForumZilla (3.00 / 2) (#15)
by bmetzler on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 11:51:58 AM EST

We plan to submit a patch to scoop to kuro5hin as early as next week

Whoa! This is good news.

www.bmetzler.org - it's not just a personal weblog, it's so much more.
[ Parent ]
Re: ForumZilla (3.00 / 1) (#19)
by Notromda on Wed Sep 27, 2000 at 07:59:48 PM EST

cool... I didn't download mozilla for nothing... :P

Actually, I went to run it to test out forumzilla, and discovered I had somehow inadvertently deleted my mozilla directory. oops!

Looking forward to the scoop patches!

[ Parent ]

Hm, what should I say? (2.25 / 4) (#4)
by cesarb on Sun Sep 24, 2000 at 09:51:54 PM EST

The python question was based in a discussion that was happening in the channel one hour before the forum began. I also had lots of questions of mine in the beggining (which made everybody complain =) ).

If you didn't read the logs, I urge you to do so. They're funny, and even more if you read both at the same time (since people would make fun of the answers in real time at #kuro5hin).

I tried to send mine (which have all pvts I sent too) to Inoshiro so he could put them up somewhere, but they seem to have gotten lost in a black hole. I'm trying to put them up at the university's server, but the server's connection is so awful I couldn't manage to finish even after an hour of trying. After I manage to put them there, I'll ask Inoshiro to copy them to a faster and more reliable server so people can see them too.

Re: Hm, what should I say? (5.00 / 2) (#17)
by cesarb on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 02:13:10 PM EST

I put my logs up at http://www.dcc.ufrj.br/~cesarb/logs.tar.bz2.

[ Parent ]
Voting system open to abuse (3.50 / 8) (#5)
by skim123 on Sun Sep 24, 2000 at 10:01:08 PM EST

In the chat, the moderator asked:

Gullie: Isn't this kind of moderation extra vulnerable for abuse?

To which Rusty reponded:

rusty: ... the score can be a percentage of registered users so, you can create accounts to vote with till the cows come home, but the score needed will keep increasing too.

It seems that this protects against people using multiple accounts to get a story accepted, but what if someone wanted to get a story rejected? By creating multiple accounts (and not even voting "Dump It") the bugger would make stories difficult to be approved.

Just out of curiosity, is the method used now a fixed number or a percentage of users or a percentage of active users or what?


Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum

Re: Voting system open to abuse (3.33 / 6) (#8)
by nebby on Sun Sep 24, 2000 at 10:41:42 PM EST

Another issue I was pondering was the fact that nowhere near the number of registered users vote. Maybe I'm not quite understanding the math that's going on, but a users vote has to be powerful enough in the voting party to make a difference, so multiple user accounts actually should make a difference. Shouldn't the power be proportional to the number of votes? The trick is to make it hard for people to have many user accounts, I thought.

Half-Empty: A global community of thoughts ideas and knowledge.
[ Parent ]
Re: Voting system open to abuse (4.25 / 4) (#11)
by skim123 on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 03:55:37 AM EST

As far as I see, k5 can do one of two things: focus on making it hard to get stuff approved (i.e., not letting many accounts by one person lead to ballot-stuffing) or focus on making it hard to keep things from being approved (i.e., not let ballot-stuffing keep a post rejected). I don't see how they can do both. Of course, if they attempt to keep ballot stuffers from accomplishing either task, they diminish the power of ligit users.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum

[ Parent ]
Sweet! (3.20 / 5) (#9)
by TheLocust on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 12:22:50 AM EST

"Additional by Inoshiro: Don't forget about the real victims of this all, Kurodot (run by Rustytaco and Hemoshiro)"

Heh! I got a mention! I'm a little veclempt!
.......o- thelocust -o.........
ignorant people speak of people
average people speak of events
great people speak of ideas

Is there a mirror of the #kuro5hin log? (2.33 / 3) (#16)
by mattm on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 11:59:09 AM EST

acb.static.cx is down as of 9:02 AM PDT, 25 September 2000. Is there a mirror of the #kuro5hin log somewhere?

IRC Forum: No holy wars, no MSN, and enough about Slashdot already | 19 comments (18 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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