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[P]
(Constant) State of Kuro5hin

By rusty in News
Thu Apr 20, 2000 at 08:25:59 PM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)
Kuro5hin.org

With Monday's Slashdotting, there are a lot of new users around, and I'd like to be the one to officially say "Welcome!" Many of you reading this have been around for most of the life of the site (we're nearly four months old now!), but there are also a lot of new eyes out there. Taking a cue from Larry Wall's State of the Onion speeches, I thought I'd take a step back, and write a little about what Kuro5hin is all about, where we've been, and where I think we're going. Hopefully this will serve to both orient new readers as to what it is they're reading, and also provoke some ideas about what it is we're all doing here.


Scoop (the software that runs Kuro5hin) started in late December of 1999, as a way for me to pass some time, and an experiment in writing online discussion software. I was involved in the effort to get the (long overdue) slash code released, and eventually I got tired of asking, and decided that since everyone kept telling me I couldn't complain unless I had written my own, that was what I'd do. Ironically, by the time slash actually did release the 0.9 version, I no longer cared about it, since I had already created Scoop, and put quite a lot of time into it. C'est la vie.

Kuro5hin.org began as a lark, basically, as a site where I could test out first the slash code, then later the Scoop code, and post the random things that occasionally popped into my head. If any of you has been enterprising and dug way back in the archives, every story that was ever posted to K5 is still around here (hint: search for "Christmas"). You'll notice that the early content was all written by me, mainly because there was no way for readers to submit stories yet, and there were also really no readers at that point. It was pretty much just me and Paul Dunne. :-)

The big breakthrough was President's day weekend, in February. I had just gotten story moderation in place, and I went off to New Hampshire to take a break and play in the snow for a few days, leaving the site totally unsupervised. To my amazement, when I got back, there were a dozen new stories, and people were reading and commenting on them! Story moderation had proven itself in my eyes, and the site had run itself for a non-trivial length of time.

Since then, new people just continue to arrive at a pace that I can hardly believe, or explain. But I'm going to take a stab at explaining it anyway, because it's my job to tackle the hard questions around here.

In 1993, Wired magazine was little more than an idea in the creepily implacable Louis Rossetto's head. Anyone who'd like an interesting view of the birth of Wired, from somewhat of an outsider's view, should check out Burn Rate, by Michael Wolff. The gist of it though, was that Wired, in those days, was a postcard from the future, written by people who were already living there. Most of us, at the time, were not, and that's what made Wired so exciting and cool.

While it still has some excellent writing, and still looks uber-hip, Wired has declined in relevance somewhat since then, and my theory is that it's mainly because so many of us now live in the future. Airplane II has a great and apropos line: "We're not living in the past or the present anymore. This is the future." That was hilarious in the early 80's, but now, it's pretty much true. Reading Wired is generally the experience of having people with good writing skills attempt to explain what the newest coolest buzzword is, despite the fact that you've already heard about it. They're still writing postcards from the future, but now we're all there with them. It's kind of like getting a postcard from your next door neighbor that says "Weather is beautiful here in the neighborhood. Wish you were here." when, of course, you are there.

This meandering aside is all by way of introducing what we're about at Kuro5hin. With the recognition that many, if not most, of us now live fully in the "future" introduced by Wired in 1993, K5 is a collective attempt to grok exactly what it means to be where we are. Hence the tagline: "Technology and culture, from the trenches." You, me, most of us are reading this because we are in those trenches, inventing the future, and we probably have something we'd like to say about it. We prefer our technology reports to be about things that are, now, here in the future, not the vapor that we tend to see from those other publications, that are still stuck reporting on an imaginary future that's never going to happen.

But we're not just about technology. One of the things we all share is culture. We may not share the same culture, but it is the nature of humans to participate in some kind of shared experience, even if they don't know it, or want it, or even realize it. Many old-timers here have pointed out that things have gotten a lot more techy and less cultury of late, and that worries me a bit too. This is not "News for Nerds." It's a postcard from the present; a time capsule that we all dig up every day to try to figure out what's going on right now. So please do consider article submissions in that light, and if there's nothing explicitly computer or technology related in a submission, think about what it's actually trying to say about your world, here at the beginning of the next thousand years.

Since I promised to do it, I guess it behooves me to talk about where we're going, as well. I believe that we are making up new rules for how to run a web community. This is not a radical departure from what has come before, but radical departures usually confuse everyone and go nowhere anyway. We're trying to take the next step in what those before us have built. First, the readers were invited to contribute content themselves. That, in itself, was quite a slap in the face of the old new-media model, where an organization merely "allowed" you to discuss content that they provided. Now, K5 has shown that a community where the readers not only contribute, but also select the content that they want to discuss can work, and can, in fact, work better than any number of editorial staffers.

But we still have an awful lot to prove. We need to prove that a web community can remain cohesive and vital, even as it continues to grow, without collapsing under the weight of it's own popularity. We need to prove that different authors with different viewpoints and experiences can collaborate to create content that is better than the sum of what they could do alone. Along the way, I intend to prove that snooping over your shoulders to try to gather information about who you are and what you're interested in is a counterproductive strategy for web advertising, and that by letting the readers tell me what kind of ads they want, and if they even want to see ads at all, we can generally make everyone happier and allow the site to support itself without becoming a propaganda organ for some large consumer goods company.

So when you see that line about "Technology and culture", in your mind, substitute "and/or", and let it expand your view of what kind of site you are qualified to produce. Because you are, in fact, the producers of K5, as well as the consumers. I'm basically just a technician who submits an article now and then, much as Larry Wall, at this point, is a technical writer who submits a patch to perl occasionally. I started this thing, but it's your baby. Don't be afraid to guide it in the directions you want to see it go.

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Display: Sort:
(Constant) State of Kuro5hin | 59 comments (59 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
I'm very glad rusty took the time t... (2.00 / 2) (#2)
by julian on Thu Apr 20, 2000 at 07:06:47 PM EST

julian voted 1 on this story.

I'm very glad rusty took the time to explain everything for all newcomers and give us a peek at what he intends to do.
-- Julian (x-virge)

I actually think that the whole SCO... (3.00 / 3) (#5)
by gnuchris on Thu Apr 20, 2000 at 07:13:51 PM EST

gnuchris voted 1 on this story.

I actually think that the whole SCOOP concept is ingenious and revolutionary... letting the people pick thier own stories... it was long overdue, and I believe it will change the way the world works one day... Imagine if a TV station let you vote on 5 Movies or TV Shows and the one's the community wanted to see, is the one you would get to watch!!! I definately wouldn't use any words short of revolutionary... And welcome to all the new members to the community. :-) Peace
"He had alot to say, He had alot of nothing to say" -TOOL-

Re: I actually think that the whole SCO... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
by bgp4 on Thu Apr 20, 2000 at 09:15:49 PM EST

Just to toss in my $0.02... I agree totally. I think the voting concept is amazing. It really allows a community to form without any predjudice of the site admins/webmasters, etc. Of the people, for the people, etc.

On a different note, I think it is very important for folks to add their own thoughts when they submit a story. Saying "check this out" doesn't lead to as much discussion as "I found this thing I agree/disagree with and here's why". That kickstarts the discussion b/c invariably, someone will disagree with you :-)

keep up the good work rusty. later.
May all your salads be eaten out of black hats
[ Parent ]
Re: I actually think that the whole SCO... (3.00 / 1) (#13)
by Commienst on Thu Apr 20, 2000 at 10:41:38 PM EST

"Imagine if a TV station let you vote on 5 Movies or TV Shows and the one's the community wanted to see, is the one you would get to watch!!!"

That would be a nightmare the same 10 newly released movies over and over again. On some FM radio stations people get to choose what to listen to on a lot of stations, and on the radio, all they seem to play on most FM stations is new releases over and over.

[ Parent ]

Re: I actually think that the whole SCO... (none / 0) (#28)
by rusty on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 01:27:57 AM EST

You're probably right. The analogy kind of breaks down on inspection though, like most analogies. It would be horrible because people would come in halfway through a movie, and vote for it again to see the whole thing. Not a problem here, so much, as you can read any article whenever you want. And secondly, in that analogy, you have people selecting their choice of homogenized Acme Co. media product. Here you control both sides of the equation-- production and distribution. So, there ya go. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Kuro5hin Community Read this (none / 0) (#20)
by gnuchris on Thu Apr 20, 2000 at 11:54:51 PM EST

It's crazy that just as we all start to grow as a community and rusty was good enough to post the STATE OF Kuro5hin... we all of a sudden have the same babies from Slashdot... people posting, "this site sucks", "rusty stinks"... is there anyway to keep the kiddies out of our community?????? Maybe when we rate a REPLY, we will actually be rating the author, and we keep authors who are rated low... lower in the discussion thread???
"He had alot to say, He had alot of nothing to say" -TOOL-
[ Parent ]
Re: Kuro5hin Community Read this (none / 0) (#27)
by rusty on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 01:19:19 AM EST

One important issue: The "Rusty Stinks" comment was a joke, written by the very first person who ever submitted a story here. I was personally shocked to see him back, after all this time, but welcome back Jemaleddin! (notice the uid: 8 I think he and Paul Dunne are the only two to have accounts from when this was a slash site still).

The other ones, well... kids will be kids. I deleted the dumb AOL-bie who was trying to break my html again. And the other one was just a troll. It was a simple statement, that the poster didn't like the site. So be it, I guess. Not really worth attention, but I did try to point him in a direction he might be more comfortable. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: Kuro5hin Community Read this (none / 0) (#43)
by gnuchris on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 08:32:16 AM EST

A) That is great that the first ever poster came back... B) I definately overeacted about the stupid comments... I just love Kuro5hin, and just don't want it go the way the other did.. but I there are many measures in place to prevent this, right now... we just have to keep our eyes open and evolve quickly when the time calls
"He had alot to say, He had alot of nothing to say" -TOOL-
[ Parent ]
I definitely notice that new people... (4.00 / 2) (#4)
by Anonymous Coward on Thu Apr 20, 2000 at 07:22:44 PM EST

Anonymous Coward voted 1 on this story.

I definitely notice that new people are picking up. Anyone look at the vote counts on some of the recent stories? They've been up in the 80s and 90s! And I remember just a month ago or so rusty was calling a story that had 39 votes a "big one."

Re: I definitely notice that new people... (none / 0) (#7)
by FlinkDelDinky on Thu Apr 20, 2000 at 09:05:37 PM EST

When psicE posted his personality test story - that was the first story I saw were I felt a big user base comming on, bigger than I was aware of anyway.

I think K5's going big time. I've been trying to figure out when I "joined" K5. It's not listed in prefrences or user info so I'm going back through the old articles. I'm at feb, I recognize some of the titles, then it's all Rusty and I don't recognize any of those articles.

Does that make me an Old Timer? I really, really, really want to be an Old Timer. When Rusty becomes a billionare (don't laugh) and K5 is known all over the world (and runs on a beowolf cluster of Crays), I want to say I was there in the begginning. I want to say I'm an Original Old Timer.

PS. That story I link to seems to cause difficulties for my Linux Debian Netscape Communicator 4.72 (any big story actually). It loads but displays a blank screen, view source shows everything is there though. The Lizard handles things much better though. Any ideas as to why this happens?

[ Parent ]

Netscape in Linux Sucks. (none / 0) (#60)
by edibiase on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 12:20:35 AM EST

PS. That story I link to seems to cause difficulties for my Linux Debian Netscape Communicator 4.72 (any big story actually). It loads but displays a blank screen, view source shows everything is there though. The Lizard handles things much better though. Any ideas as to why this happens?

I don't know why this happens, but I do know that it has happened with almost every Netscape 4.x release I've tried on any distribution of Linux. What you have to do is kill -9 any running Netscape process, because closing the windows won't actually close the Netscape process like it normally does. Don't even try to save the Netscape session -- it's just going to get worse. Usually it refuses to render other pages (even in other open Netscape windows) as well.

Like you, I'm becoming more fond of The Lizard as time goes on. I'm just waiting for M19 to come out, hopefully with SSL support through PSM that works without needing write access to the Mozilla directory. Then I dump Netscape, 'cause I won't need it to feed my growing Amazon.com book and music habit :-)

[ Parent ]

It's funny, I must have first heard... (4.20 / 4) (#3)
by analog on Thu Apr 20, 2000 at 07:42:04 PM EST

analog voted 1 on this story.

It's funny, I must have first heard about K5 not long after it got started, but I ignored it. Then I found out Rusty was running it, and because I have a good opinion of his abilities (due to some previous experiences with him), I came over and checked it out. I should have come earlier. It has a lot of the same feel that Slashdot did in the early days (there was a lot more interaction with and input from Rob then), including the generally high quality of comments. We all know what happened there, though; how to keep it from happening here?

I think Rusty has already made two big steps in the right direction. One is the moderated submission queue. I think there are some wrinkles yet to be worked out, but there's no question that the concept works. It will be interesting to see how well it scales as K5 gets more popular, but so far I'd have to rate it as an outstanding success.

The second thing I think that may save us from drowning in *insert favorite nasty substance here* is that Rusty is willing to say no; he deletes spam. Hopefully if more stringent measures are required, he will take those as well. Since his bent seems to be community involvement, hopefully he (we) can come up with reasonable ways to keep things in control should it be necessary.

As I'm writing this as an excuse to avoid doing some yard work ;), let me add a little more. There has been some discussion in various stories and threads about 'link propagation', and whether it's okay or not. While I don't have anything against the idea, there are plenty of sites that do it. There aren't many sites where you can submit a link, and write some commentary to go with it explaining why you think it's important for people to see. Take advantage of the opportunity! The most well received stories I've seen on K5 are the ones where the person submitting them took the time to write more than "check this out!". The K5 audience wants to hear from you. Also keep in mind that there doesn't have to be a link associated with a submission. If you have something to say, it fits the tech/culture theme, and you would like to discuss it, write it up and submit it! If you find it worthy of discussion, chances are someone here will too.

As always, if you would like to have a little editorial help with an article before submitting it, send it to editors@kuro5hin.organd we'll hook you up.

K5 is great, scoop is great, and mo... (2.00 / 1) (#1)
by FlinkDelDinky on Thu Apr 20, 2000 at 08:25:59 PM EST

FlinkDelDinky voted 1 on this story.

K5 is great, scoop is great, and most important it engages the only fair way to manage social groups. And that'd be democracy.

K5 is a self defining, self modifing meme via scoop's inovative story que moderation system.

It's part newspaper, part magazine, part pub. Best of all, It's all cool!!!

Re: K5 is great, scoop is great, and mo... (1.00 / 1) (#11)
by Anonymous Hero on Thu Apr 20, 2000 at 09:56:21 PM EST

I disagree. I don't like this site at all. Don't be a fascist and delete this. Thank you.

[ Parent ]
Re: K5 is great, scoop is great, and mo... (none / 0) (#15)
by rusty on Thu Apr 20, 2000 at 10:49:10 PM EST

Well, you're always welcome at that other site. No fascists there.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: K5 is great, scoop is great, and mo... (none / 0) (#18)
by fluffy grue on Thu Apr 20, 2000 at 11:27:05 PM EST

Yeah, they never delete, instead they just set the post's score to -2 making it impossible to read, while still keeping a nice, inflated comment count...
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: K5 is great, scoop is great, and mo... (none / 0) (#38)
by magney on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 05:30:33 AM EST

Well, nearly impossible. You can manually edit the URL to threshold=-2 or -10000. That is, of course, a pain.

I've seen it claimed that -2 posts are the result of a moderator race condition, where two moderators attempt to mark it down at the same time. Is that plausible, I wonder?

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

Re: K5 is great, scoop is great, and mo... (none / 0) (#46)
by fluffy grue on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 01:38:25 PM EST

I had several troll posts get moderated down to -2 which no amount of editing the URL would make visible. I think after they realized people were on to them, they disabled sub-(-1) browsing. As far as race conditions go, no, it's not very plausible to me, unless Rob did a *really* stupid job of coding moderation. Typically, a moderation down means that it'd get the database entry, subtract 1, and then if it's still >= -1, write it out into the database. A race condition means that it would be read from the database twice at 0, then written out twice at -1. The only way that a race condition would be a plausible excuse is if they were to decrement the value within SQL itself. Also, it happens WAY too often to be a race condition.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: K5 is great, scoop is great, and mo... (none / 0) (#17)
by Inoshiro on Thu Apr 20, 2000 at 11:24:19 PM EST

If you don't like the site, leave.

--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Re: K5 is great, scoop is great, and mo... (3.00 / 1) (#24)
by mattm on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 12:45:03 AM EST

I don't like this site at all. Don't be a fascist and delete this.

Instead, be an admin who doesn't take shit from cowards, and delete it.



[ Parent ]
Re: (Constant) State of Kuro5hin (3.00 / 1) (#6)
by The Cheese on Thu Apr 20, 2000 at 08:41:57 PM EST

I first started reading K5 as a direct result of all of the trolling and whatnot on /. There is a definite sense of "something big is happening" (at least for me) on K5, and I hope that we (collectively) can keep sight of the foundations of K5. Thanks, Rusty! I really enjoy the news and culture info that K5 gives me. -Cheese

Re: (Constant) State of Kuro5hin (2.33 / 3) (#9)
by Jemaleddin on Thu Apr 20, 2000 at 09:51:31 PM EST



Rusty stinks.

Testing flame bait mode. Haven't been here since Christmas.

Jemal




Oh, wait - DON'T spam me. Whoops!
Re: (Constant) State of Kuro5hin (none / 0) (#14)
by rusty on Thu Apr 20, 2000 at 10:47:58 PM EST

Hey! :-) I thought you'd never come back...

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
K5's abilties :-) (4.00 / 2) (#12)
by Inoshiro on Thu Apr 20, 2000 at 09:57:20 PM EST

I was one of those people who found slashdot "late" by most people's definitions. I'd heard about it, and created an account I never actually used (in the 50K range). Then I the one I did (and sometimes do) use (in the 70k range). The problem was that newbies were flooding us, people didn't seem to care anymore, spamming and immature people were on the increase, and the 5 or so people posting stories were bottlenecking the system

Finally, when Rob actively started being annoyed at everyone (it's understandable, but he could have handled himself better).. I thought it was getting really bad. Then I saw a link to this site, and came by. That was just before Rusty's big "new hampshire" trip. I was by just to grab a copy of fscktv for reading (I find most obscure code decryption systems like it interesting). Within a few days, I was back with an account (uid 84 :))..

I posted a story on the 27th of February taking apart their "Syn-scan attack on Microsoft.com" PR on ZDnet (cleverly disguised as a true story).. After some chatter (15 comments, it was a big story ;-)), I discussed writing some security articles. Rusty replied, "I'd love to see security articles.... And so I did :-)

I started with twice weekly postings.. We got noticed by Linux Today and Linuxlock.org.. Linux Today also picked up other stories.. Then Rusty went and submitted one of my articles to Slashdot (the first encyrption matters). It was stuck in one of their sub sections (YRO, IIRC)..

But the "biggest" was when dlc submitted the second one to /.. This time we had front page coverage, leading to the latest group of people to join us.. We're at 1,000+ accounts now -- an amazing number. And we couldn't have done it without you wonderful readers who get to vote us down, as well as up, at any time :-)



--
[ イノシロ ]
Re: K5's abilties :-) (none / 0) (#19)
by fluffy grue on Thu Apr 20, 2000 at 11:49:23 PM EST

I found /. when it was relatively early-middle-aged. My UID was in the mid-4000s. I got sick of it one (now infamous, if forgotten) night, and after a night of reckless abandon and scorched earth (look at the hall of fame - the two top-commented stories did NOT get there on their own ;) I rediscovered K5 because of a post Rusty made to sid=moderation.

I say 'rediscovered' because I first heard about K5 due to the fact Rusty is a fellow Brunching Shuttlecocks reader; I went there briefly to see the BS messageboard Rusty had set up, and immediately thought, "Wow, another lamer with the Slash code, big whoop," and relegated it to the ever-growing pile of lame uber-1337 sites in my mind. Little did I know that I'd eventually replace Slashdot with K5 in my day. :)

It was also neat to discover that one of Rusty's early stories was on one of my webpages. I didn't like the treatment he gave of it (as I commented, the image alone doesn't do any good, since it doesn't give the context or instructions needed to make the image useful), but I have a feeling that it's at least partially-responsible for the fact that the stegonagraphy page in question is the most-visited section of my academic homepage. I'm sure he originally found out about it because of a few random AC posts I made to its effect on /., but it's still neat nonetheless.

Oh, and I've been trying to find the story on /.'s imminent demise (the title was something like "Slashdot sucks - film at eleven" but I can't find it with the search engine with any sort of permutation) so that I could reread a fun flamewar where someone was telling me to get lost and preferrably die because of the (still IMO harmless) prank I did to Slashdot before I discovered K5. (I think that the 'film at 11' moniker is pretty funny in what it's used for on here, btw... one about /.'s imminent demise, one about pseudospam stories...) If someone can find it, let me know, so that all you (hopefully ex-)/.ers know who I am. Apparently my comments made an impact, for better or for worse, on Slashdot, since towards the end of my /. readership, whenever I made a comment after a few weeks of saying nothing, I'd get a bunch of comments like "Wow, I thought you died" or "Where have you been?" Then again, everyone recognized me by my signature anyway, which I carried over to here.

Hugs to everyone.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: K5's abilties :-) (none / 0) (#21)
by Inoshiro on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 12:01:55 AM EST

I think you mean this story entitled "Criticism of /. -- Film at Eleven. " posted by our friend, Paul Dunne :-)

That story was one of the old "big ones" with an amazing 73 comments! If Rusty would setup some "hall of shame" thing like on /., I'd be able to give you concrete numbers on how it relates to everything else :-)

And I've needed a hug today, so thanks for it.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Re: K5's abilties :-) (none / 0) (#23)
by fluffy grue on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 12:31:34 AM EST

Thanks. For some reason, searches on 'film' and 'film at eleven' and 'eleven' and '/.' didn't find it. Very annoying.

As far as the hugs go, no problem. I don't bite, unless you're a yummy adventurer. ;)
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: K5's abilties :-) (none / 0) (#25)
by rusty on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 01:02:47 AM EST

Heh. the search algorithm here is amazingly simplistic and faulty. That's one of those things that I'm hoping someone else works on when I get the new code out. Basically, if you search for stories with the string "film", it (should) find you all stories where the title, intro, or bodytext matches the expression "*film*". That's all. It's a dumb search, but it usually works. :-) I recommend using shorter and shorter text strings if you aren't finding what you want. And multiple words do you no good unless they're in the story as an exact phrase. That is, a search for "film at" will find you "Demise of /., film at 11" but *won't* find "Film stars party at the Hard Rock". It was the result of about an hour's worth of work, so don't expect too much from it yet. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: K5's abilties :-) (none / 0) (#35)
by fluffy grue on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 02:53:18 AM EST

Dude, PERL comes with all the functionality you need to tokenize a string, and then SQL makes it easy to do a boolean search. Jeeze. :)

BTW, on the story in question, only the first little chunk of the HTML gets loaded into my browser, so unless I view page source I only get the K5 page header, and even then I onlyns ee the first 5 comments or so.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Slashdot's HOF (none / 0) (#22)
by Notromda on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 12:09:48 AM EST

Wow, I had never seen that page before. The first two were obviously non-deserving, but I was suprised by the first "real" story - it even passed the voices from the hellmouth story, and had a very high signal to noise ratio. If only all the discussions could keep that ratio... :P Here's hoping that K5 does better... :)

[ Parent ]
Re: K5's abilties :-) (3.00 / 1) (#37)
by Anonymous Hero on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 05:02:01 AM EST

Basically, I agree with your comments concerning /.

I've been hanging out there for about a year and a half. For the last couple of months, there have been so many deliberate trolls running around the place that I'm lucky to get more than about a third of the way down a page before I start to loose my temper. Ignorance is something that I can deal with - deliberate provocation is another matter.

Personally, I think that /. will pull itself up of the ground before too much time goes by. That however, doesn't mean that people shouldn't try other alternatives such as this site. I really like the idea of people being able to vote for the stories that they want to read.

To me, the main failure with /. is that policies have never been *explicely* stated.

If a site owner wishes to define the terms and conditions under which postings will be deleted from the system, then they are perfectly free to do so - on the proviso that it's spelt out.

Will excessive use of profanity be a problem? What's this sites policy on defamatory/libelous statements? I've checked the site FAQ - it's reasonably clear, but I think that there are still a few matters in this regard that do need to be addressed ( hint! hint! ;).

I like this site and I don't want it to degenerate into a screaming match forum. After all, if I want that, I know where to find /.

You might be strangling my chicken, but you don't want to know what I'm doing to your hampster.



[ Parent ]

No more first post syndrome (4.50 / 2) (#16)
by Notromda on Thu Apr 20, 2000 at 11:19:07 PM EST

I just realized - Since you can't see how many votes are on a submission before voting, and the votes are comments, there's no "first post", unless the original author calls it. (and I bet it will get voted down fast) There's a very nice fix for that problem from "the other site". :)

Bulging Biceps of Immense Bulginess (none / 0) (#26)
by Alorelith on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 01:16:53 AM EST

   One of my main concerns is that as Kuro5hin grows it will become slower and
slower, like Slashdot has become (I'm quite tired of not being able to read
stories during my lunch break because the site is congested like a grandma on
bran flakes).  What has/will K5 done to prevent this measure as much as
possible?  


----
Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies. -- Nietzsche

Re: Bulging Biceps of Immense Bulginess (3.00 / 1) (#29)
by rusty on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 01:35:46 AM EST

Our tactics to not be slow:
  • Write code that works pretty fast. :-)
  • Run the site on an underpowered machine, on a smallish pipe.
No, wait, the second one is things we've done to *not* make the site fast.

Seriously, though-- performance is a concern of mine. It seems to be holding up ok so far, but there will come a time, as we all know. We're soon getting a better pipe where this server is (dual-homed T1s-- it's on a 768K SDSL line right now). If it comes to it, I'll get a beefy machine and make it the mySQL box, and split off perl from database processing. I've already moved images to their own server process (same machine, but apache compiled with no bells and whistles, so the heavy mod_perl processes do as little as possible).

After that, it's a matter of bandwidth and server power racing each other, mostly. I'll continue to improve and refine the code as much as possible. Do you (or any of you) have specific suggestions for what should be done?

Perhaps ultimately we'll come up with a load balancing solution to share across multiple servers. There's also the use of caching, probably at the story/comment/block of stuff level, which could speed things up a lot. I don't want to go with the "dump pages to static html" solution, as I don't think that ultimately that can beat just improving your dynamic code. And it is a bear to implement, basically. *Huge* pain, programming wise.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: Bulging Biceps of Immense Bulginess (none / 0) (#32)
by Alorelith on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 02:06:20 AM EST

If I knew anything about programming, I would enjoy helping in some form, but alas, I do not (or at least very much). I'm more of an idea man and a book nut.

Do you think setting up some sort of forum or comment box for idea/improvement submittal is a good thing? I know a simple email to headhoncho@here.org is easy enough, but perhaps one where other people could comment on and rate according to what is 1) do-able, 2) worthwhile, 3) or other. It could be similar to the moderation on submitted stories. Otherwise I think the site is great, and considering I got an account a month or so ago and have only recently started posting comments, that's a good thing.

BTW, I just noticed something interesting. I just added a new signature and apparently all the comments I already had submitted were updated with the new signature...That's cool, or something is wrong with this Mozilla browser.



----
Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies. -- Nietzsche

[ Parent ]
Re: Bulging Biceps of Immense Bulginess (none / 0) (#34)
by rusty on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 02:31:39 AM EST

There is a thread for suggestions, but it's getting a little top-heavy at this point. You're right, there needs to be an ongoing suggestion-box kind of thing.

About the sig-- it's added to your comments from your user info when each page is built. So if you change it, the new one will appear on *all* of your comments, no matter when you posted them. I.e., it's attached to you the poster, not the text of the comment.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: Bulging Biceps of Immense Bulginess (none / 0) (#36)
by fake on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 03:59:16 AM EST

If ya need any help, I have a pretty beefy server on an even beefier connection :] Just drop me an email

[ Parent ]
Re: Bulging Biceps of Immense Bulginess (none / 0) (#40)
by henrik on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 06:42:40 AM EST

A cool thing to do, even if it's a pain to implement would be to make scoop have built in mirror capabilities. You could link the weblogs on different sites to distribute comments and stories across the net and then split the user load on mirrors all over the world. It also elimitates the single point of failure that Rustys house is - so even if his servers melt we should still get our daily dose of k5. I'd be happy to (try to) implement this...

BTW Rusty, What do I have to do to get access to the latest scoop sources? :)

-henrik

Akademiska Intresseklubben antecknar!
[ Parent ]

Re: Bulging Biceps of Immense Bulginess (none / 0) (#48)
by rusty on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 06:12:56 PM EST

BTW Rusty, What do I have to do to get access to the latest scoop sources? :)

You have to wait about 24 more hours. :-) The sourceforge project is created and pending, the code is almost squeaky clean, and I genuinely seriously and for-real expect to make the announcement tomorrow.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: Bulging Biceps of Immense Bulginess (none / 0) (#49)
by rusty on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 07:18:42 PM EST

Wow. I just realized that you asked for the code, and I told you it would be another 24 hrs. The irony is so thick, you can squeeze it onto your hot dog.

Anyway, what I meant was, it really will be released in approx. 24 hrs. Not that you'd have to wait another 24 every time. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: Bulging Biceps of Immense Bulginess (none / 0) (#47)
by negative64 on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 01:53:37 PM EST

If you write code to send correct headers, see the mod_perl guide http://perl.apache.org/guide/correct_headers.html, you can use squid, mod_proxy or another httpd accelerator to boost performance. And it will boost performance if you can get them right.

I'd love to hear more about mirroring a site like this.. how do you keep the mirrors in sync?

We've had good success with caching database queries as well. Using HTML::Mason or writing your own caching mechanism can pay off pretty well. Cache in the front.. cache in the back.

ahhh ... optimizations.. makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

[ Parent ]
Re: (Constant) State of Kuro5hin (none / 0) (#30)
by Pinball Wizard on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 01:42:45 AM EST

Rusty, the other day I was lamenting the fact that I had been a lurker on slashdot for so long before I finally got a user account. I was just thinking that those of us here now would be the exalted early adopters once your site gets big.

But you don't seem to have user numbers, unless I'm missing something here. Any way to show when you signed up on kuro5hin?



Re: (Constant) State of Kuro5hin (4.00 / 2) (#31)
by analog on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 02:02:44 AM EST

You, sir, are user #810.

Float the mouse over the 'User Info' link in the title bar of a comment you've submitted, and read the browser's status bar.

[ Parent ]

Re: (Constant) State of Kuro5hin (none / 0) (#33)
by Pinball Wizard on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 02:30:00 AM EST

thanks, I hadn't noticed that. I didn't see that in the FAQ, either. But I must say, its pretty cool to have a user ID in the top 1,000.

[ Parent ]
Re: (Constant) State of Kuro5hin (none / 0) (#42)
by HomeySmurf on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 07:39:28 AM EST

However, there doesn't seem to be any other way to find out your user number than to submit a comment. It is too bad there isn't any blurbs about it User Info.


"Politics is for the moment, an equation lasts eternity." -A. Einstein
[ Parent ]
Re: (Constant) State of Kuro5hin (none / 0) (#45)
by Notromda on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 10:40:11 AM EST

Of course, the whole point of getting a user account is to comment.... :)

[ Parent ]
Re: (Constant) State of Kuro5hin (none / 0) (#59)
by ravenskana on Fri May 12, 2000 at 11:34:49 AM EST

It is?

[ Parent ]
Re: (Constant) State of Kuro5hin (none / 0) (#39)
by heinjan on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 06:20:41 AM EST

I guess I got sick of the trolling on slashdot also... I hope this trolling will not come here to kuro5hin!

Re: (Constant) State of Kuro5hin (none / 0) (#44)
by knick on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 08:32:28 AM EST

Amen, that, in my opinion, has become one of the biggest flows of slashdot in the past year. That, and the overwhelming anti-microsoft, pro-linux attitude. Users there are beyond the ability to look reasonably at solutions or software anymore. --knick
-- sig's are for sissies --
[ Parent ]
Are you sure trollers at /. are the problem? (none / 0) (#51)
by Anonymous Hero on Sat Apr 22, 2000 at 01:37:14 AM EST

Are you sure trollers at /. are the problem?

I ask this question in all sincerity.  Slashdot has made a series of mistakes:

1) calling anoymous posters "cowards" - there are plenty of extremely good
reasons to be anonymous and calling people cowards is not way to start a
friendly discussion
2) implemented a flowed moderation system
3) heavily biasing moderation in favor of registered users and the blowhards
(via kharma) (I'd be happy if /. let me readjust all posts to start at 1 as an
optional search method - an AC post that got moderated by 2 is almost always
superior to those that started that way via kharma)

K5 may have the same problem eventually.  Deleting posts manually is not likely
to engender good manners and it wastes a lot of time.  You'd be wise to develop
a fair, non-anonymous moderation system (all registered users can moderate). 
Let the "trolls" sink to the bottom.


[ Parent ]
Re: Are you sure trollers at /. are the problem? (3.00 / 1) (#53)
by rusty on Sat Apr 22, 2000 at 01:42:36 AM EST

I actually think the trolls at slashdot are a symptom of deeper problems within the organization. People who feel they're not being listened to have little motivation to keep on being nice, and once Rob & Co went multi-platinum, (and, not coincidentally, disappeared from the life of the site) I think a lot of folks got rather irked.

We can indeed fall prey to that. It it on my mind all the time, and I hope that through some combination of good editorial guidance and good software, we can avoid the same traps.

And no, I don't intend to keep on deleting posts forever. Like all things, it should be a community effort, and comment moderation *will* be non-anonymous.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: Are you sure trollers at /. are the problem? (none / 0) (#54)
by Anonymous Hero on Sat Apr 22, 2000 at 06:58:38 PM EST

Thanks for the reply - I've put k5 on my IE4 links bar (not using Linux much recently - shrug - it about what you can do not what you do it with). If /. doesn't fix itself, it will only be visted when it gets k50'D!

[ Parent ]
Re: (Constant) State of Kuro5hin (5.00 / 2) (#41)
by Anonymous Hero on Fri Apr 21, 2000 at 06:56:51 AM EST

One oddity is that imo the site has taken a step backward from slashdot in that it insists on a specific default font at a specific size (whereas slashdot happily uses the default font stuff in netscape). Because I'm lucky to have quite a large monitor I like to have easy to read large type. Kuro5hin isn't the only offender, lots of sites like ars technica insist on a forcing their font size on me, but it's just weird that in evolving the code rusty must presumably have taken a decision to hardcode the font explicitly. (I'm aware that there's an argument for doing customization via info stored on the server for each individual webpage, but to me it's wrong to use only that and set a specific default: it goes counter to my basic philosophy that where possible computers should adapt themselves to me rather than the other way around, so if a global default in netscape produces reasonable results why should I have to essentially duplicate those settings by hand in the look-setup sections of each site i visit regularly? Only if I want something really nice should I need to delve into this stuff.) Other than that, truly excellent work Rusty!

Re: (Constant) State of Kuro5hin (none / 0) (#50)
by joeyo on Sat Apr 22, 2000 at 01:13:19 AM EST

First of all, congrats to Rusty and to Mr. UID==1000!

I originally came here because of the story moderation, but it's been the community which has kept me coming. About all I need to convince me to make it my home page is some nice customizable "KBoxes" on the right hand side...

K5 is growing up (...its voice is changing and there is fur where there was no fur before...) and I can't think of it as my own personal UN-Slashdot anymore. And that makes me a bit bleary eyed. <sniff> :)

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

Re: (Constant) State of Kuro5hin (none / 0) (#52)
by rusty on Sat Apr 22, 2000 at 01:38:02 AM EST

Indeed. I think we may be entering the first blush of adolescence. At least that means we should be getting laid soon. :-)

On a totally different note-- do you have any idea how weird it is to see something you wrote show up in a .sig? It's Freud's "unheimlich" to a T-- it's like when you open a door, and there's a mirror there, and you didn't expect it, and you think it's someone else, but then you realize it's you, and some aspect of this whole process makes you nearly jump out of your shoes and wet yourself and you can't sleep for a day and a half.

And if any of you put that in a .sig, I'll hunt you down and kill you twice. ;-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: And if any of you put that in a .sig (none / 0) (#55)
by Mrs Edna Graustein on Tue May 02, 2000 at 01:36:30 PM EST

What? You'll delete both my accounts? Is that what you mean about killing someone twice?- or will you buy a 'plane ticket and do it in person :-)
--
And if any of you put that in a .sig, I'll hunt you down and kill you twice. ;-)
Rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: And if any of you put that in a .sig (none / 0) (#56)
by rusty on Tue May 02, 2000 at 04:03:05 PM EST

The that in the sentence was actually referring to: "...it's like when you open a door, and there's a mirror there, and you didn't expect it, and you think it's someone else, but then you realize it's you, and some aspect of this whole process makes you nearly jump out of your shoes and wet yourself and you can't sleep for a day and a half."

And "kill you twice" is just a figure of speech. As far as you know. >:-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: And if any of you put that in a .sig (none / 0) (#57)
by Mrs Edna Graustein on Tue May 02, 2000 at 09:33:01 PM EST

I knew which part you meant- I just considered that to quote the part I did was more amusing. I could change it if you like :-)
--
And if any of you put that in a .sig, I'll hunt you down and kill you twice. ;-)
Rusty
[ Parent ]
As a matter of fact, I do. (none / 0) (#58)
by error 404 on Wed May 03, 2000 at 05:29:06 PM EST

I ran a search on my own name on Deja a while back. Came back with two interesting hits: 1) Someone quoting me in a sig. I didn't remember writing the text in question, but I did remember thinking the thought, and it was an odd one about intellgence being a prerequisite for stupidity, so I must have written it somewhere, sometime. The post was in German, and I couldn't understand it. 2) Someone white supremacist accusing someone else of being "...either Hitler or Mike Huber." A bit odd, considering this particular Mike Huber's politics. Both felt very weird.
..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]
(Constant) State of Kuro5hin | 59 comments (59 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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