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Announcing Customizable Slashdot 156

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the look-what-I-can-do dept.
The arrival of the new server last week brought spare clock cycles to burn. It was time to make Slashdot customizable. Last thursday I announced the ability to filter the story display, but now, we have full customization of the grey boxes on the right side of the homepage. Currently, things like The Poll and Freshmeat dominate, but now we have a couple dozen interesting boxes to choose from, ranging from the User Friendly to the JenniCam to various search forms and headlines to a few of our favorite sites. Or you can just turn them all off. If you are Logged In and you Edit your Preferences. I'm open to suggestions about new boxes, and in the future we'll be allowing users to make and share their own custom boxes. Course by then hopefully we'll have a few more servers to distribute the load over.
Update: 03/15 11:21 by CT :

You can reorder the boxes with the arrows.

Some new sql index entries and some optimizations have got the server performing near where it was.

Several people have pointed out several bizarre bugs that I'm working on- things relating to turning off selected boxes and stuff. Also note that there is a limit to the number of boxes you can select (the length of the id's can't exceed 255). I'll mess with that later- but it basically limits you to perhaps 15-20 boxes. Probably better to leave it that way just to save bandwidth *grin*

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Announcing Customizable Slashdot

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  • Slashdot is crawling along from here. It's usually a hell of a lot faster. ...Anyone else noticing this?

    Connect: Host slashdot.org contacted. Waiting for reply............................................. .............
    ----------------- ------------ ---- --- - - - -
  • /. just became my homepage! Good Work Rob!
  • worked for me! Custom /. is a GREAT feature. I hope it makes it into the Slash code, because it really makes it all come together and gives people a reason to login
  • I like the User Space box. I can put my own links and all, but how about making it easier to add/change it via some scripts and lynx? I attempted to, and it erased all my other settings, because I didn't explicitly specify them in the URL. I was looking to place my IP in that area when my PPP link dies/reconnects.

    I may have even crashed slashdot, it was giving server errors for like 10 minutes after I did that. But's it looks fixed now. I just had to go back in and re-add all my info. But it's still a hassle. A script would have to read in all the current settings, and re-save them, just to change the user space bit.

    But still, good work, looks great.
  • You might want to let people pick the order in which the boxes will be displayed when they pick which ones they want to see. Moving them up and down one space at a time is probably generating a lot of your load, and is just a pain in the ass.

    Way cool new feature, though. Looks like I don't need my geek list anymore.

  • I chose my options, and went to save user and it complained that my browser (netscape 4.5) didn't save a cookie properly or I was behind a firewall. It can, and I'm not (:

    I'd also like to second the idea of boxes on the left side or below the stories so the page isn't unneccessarily long...

    Also, is there a checkbox for userfriendly? I didn't see one...
  • Don't be one of those people who browse with a browser window wider than 800-900 pixels. No designers develop pages for that sort of width yet. Browsing "wide" doesn't just mean that the pages look bad, although they do. More importantly, it forces your eyes to do a lot of traveling to read text, and that causes eye strain, which can be very bad.
  • I get a page with the usual /. headers and columns but with no content when cookies are turned off.

    I then turned on cookies and went to log back in. I was told that I was "Snowdog", when, in fact, that's not my /. username. Perhaps the hashing mechanism for cookies is broken?

    Just a guess.

    Cheers,

    Mark Coletti

  • That RSS stuff is pretty neat - thanks for pointing it out. Pity Netcenter's RSS validator is broken at the moment (even their sample mozilla.org code isn't working).

    Their support newsgroup doesn't seem to exist either. Hmph.

    I'll have to see if their support email address is working.

    [sob]

    ...j
  • I'm actually using it to _diminish_ my page download quota :) less sidebars, flat by default since I almost always load pages _twice_ to see the flat mode, etc. This is _very_ sweet, even with only the internal Slashdot info involved. :)
  • Clicked on "Edit your Preferences" and got a screen with a lot of white space in the middle, and usual banners at the top and bottom. Not a lot to edit there.


    ...phil
  • Well, it said I was logged in but apparently I wasn't logged in. When I logged in again, it all magically appeared.


    ...phil
  • It's weekly only, and political in nature, but at least he picks on everyone.

    http://www.salon1999.com/comics/comics 1.html [salon1999.com]
  • Just a thought.. When does slashdot stop being a .ORG and become a .COM? Hey, I love /. but it seems to be getting more and more COMMERCIAL by the day.
  • Don't get me wrong - I'm not bitchin' at anyone.

    I'm actually wondering for my own interest what happens when a non-profit org becomes commercial. Should you be allowed keep the .org domain? What's the point of .org if you're allowed to setup commericial organizations on it?

    But, I guess its kinda like a university that starts selling products from its .edu domain. As long as the organization's primary function is educational, it's okay. Hmm.

    My question is where do you draw the .org line?

  • Spell P O R T A L?
  • eh, being a portal makes slashdot commercial because it SELLS ADS based on page views. same way yahoo makes money!
  • Posted by mcr:

    This shouldn't really be a server-side job. I think this is a job for XML/XSL. Then we could select in our browsers the view(s) we want, and all the server would do is deliver the static content, which we know can be done very nicely by the current Slashdot hardware.

    Alas, we don't yet have any decent&stable browsers with XML query support. Maybe next year...

    Meanwhile, we can filte the content at the client end using tools like Perl. It may not be as neat as XML, but it'll still be kind to Slashdot.

    Bloody hell, this is slow.

  • Posted by bckslash:

    I myself check Voodoo Extreme and Everquest Stratics quite often (http://www.voodooextreme.com and http://eqss.stratics.com/). Also, stock quotes would be great.
  • Drudge? Ewww. Why not include NationalEnquirer.com, too? Drudge is a self-aggrandizing cheap-shot artist who mistakes bogus rumors for news. Shun him, or at least wait until he takes Journalism 101. Better yet, give equal time to the Drudge Retort [drudge.com]. It even has a handy /. link.

    Disclaimer: IANAFOB.

    --

  • Name one story Drudge got wrong.

    How do you prove a negative? Look at the giant headline right now - Fox News has been circulating this story ("Hillary Exploded!") for days, without much corroboration; who are these "insiders" who feed Drudge the dirt? Do they really exist? How am I supposed to find out? Fox News and WABC and MSNBC give airtime to people like Drudge whose pronouncements are taken as givens, even though they often have no basis in fact, or conveniently fail to mention relevant details. The WSJ news department, one of the best in the English-speaking world, refused to run the Broaddrick rape-charges story; it took the politically-motivated editorial-page department to get the thing into print - the news people held their noses. Drudge didn't necessarily get the story (completely) wrong, but dirt != journalism. Recycling and perpetuating rumors is not journalism. Take his "exclusives" with a really big grain of salt. It's cheap thrills, well packaged. But don't mistake it for news.

    Bill Clinton's black love child in Little Rock is laughing at you. Learn to think for yourself; don't take anybody's bull, even if you agree with them politically.

    OK?

    --

  • Name one story Drudge got wrong.

    William Jefferson Clinton did not father a child with a prostitute in Little Rock, Arkansas. Drudge was wrong, and the fact that so many people chow down on the shit he feeds people is yet another sign of the dumbing-down of America. You would do well to spend a few weeks investigating the links between Rupert Murdoch (rich right-wing megalomaniac and Clinton-despiser, owner of the New York Post and Fox News Channel), Lucianne Goldberg ("publicist" and former GOP dirty-trickster), Drudge (who, I would imagine, is God at Fox News, and was given a show at WABC-AM - 50,000 watts, reaching 38 states and eastern Canada - despite a lack of broadcasting know-how or talent), Roger Ailes (boss at Fox News, the man who created "Ronald Reagan"), Rudy Giuliani (mayor of the Big Apple, occasional host at WABC-AM, husband of a Murdoch employee at WNYW-TV - and Hillary Clinton's likely opponent in the New York senate race), and Phil What's-His-Name, the PD at WABC-AM in New York. It's a far more edifying (and real) story than anything Drudge can come up with.

    I've put up. Now you, Brian, shut up.

    --

  • How exactly is this "wrong", aside from opinions as to whether he should have reported it?

    Why don't you start by giving me stories ("exclusives", not wire-service or second-hand reports) that he's gotten right? If I'm grasping at straws, it's because his gig seems to be mainly of propagating unsubstantiated rumors - seemingly more of a mudslinging act, however careful his wording is. Give me stories; I'll do some looking into them and gladly report back to you. Meanwhile, have you looked into my list? I might add the name of Sean ("The Drivetime King") Hannity to the list, and the correction that Ailes did an amazing job in transitioning Bush's image in 1987-88 - I'm not entirely sure about the Reagan reference.

    What about the "Angry Hillary" story then? Can you prove it's true? Why is this, and Fox News' glee at reporting this, not a case of mudslinging as well? Note the Murdoch/Giuliani connection. One can name any number of good, well-researched, well-reported stories from reporters from NBC, CNN, etc. If they've had a rare fuck-up, so be it. They've also issued very public apologies. Has Drudge apologized (as WABC's Curtis Sliwa and others have asked for him to do) for propagating the love child story?

    Drudge is still cheap thrills, a "shock jock" for alleged news, a hatchet man, until you can show me otherwise.

    I submit that if this had been a "Henry Hyde lovechild", the Big Four plus the major newspapers would have been all over it. I assure you that had it been Clarence Thomas, they would have been all over it for certain (please note that Anita Hill had as much evidence as this "lovechild" woman does/did).

    And as much as Jane Doe #5.

    I trust that if you disapprove of the one, you would likewise disapprove of the other.

    My disgust at Thomas dates back to his involvement with the Lincoln Review, but I had no interest in Professor Hill's charges, true or not. Nor did I have any interest in the dueling hatchet-jobs that both experienced. (One might add Justice Thomas' wife Ginny to the list of people with an axe to grind against the Clintons). As for Hyde, he's gotten a pretty free ride, considering his affair(s) and his role in one of the failed S&Ls - I used to like and respect the guy a lot; now I'm not so sure. Same deal with Lott and Barr's connections with the CCC (a modern-day White Citizens Council), inadequately explained away. If the media's so "liberal", why aren't those two guys in the spotlight?

    I suppose I couldn't get you to spare a dollar or two for Julie Hiatt Steele's Defense Fund [juliehiattsteele.com]. If you haven't heard of her, that's because you've been paying too much attention to the shock jock.

    --

  • Matt Drudge never once claimed that Clinton fathered the child; the charge was alleged, and Drudge used this language. The New York Post (admittedly hardly the bastion of journalistic integrity) ran with this. Drudge was careful as always to use precise language.

    Again, the Murdoch connection. Of course The Post and Drudge ran with it. The point is/was to kill Clinton by a thousand cuts. It's still wrong, both factually (because I have doubts about him using 100% precise CYA language, either in his print or mass-media explanations of the "case") and ethically. The time to report the story is after the DNA test anyway, if at all. No matter what CYA language Drudge used - and he takes full responsibility for what he reports - it's wrong, factually and ethically. He probably knew it as well, even though he blabbed his "scoop" on his WABC show, making it a talking point for several talk shows the next day. It adds to the exciting FUD, and distracts us from the boring details of day-to-day politics. Mission accomplished, truth be dammed.

    Nyah.

    Nyah backatcha. Wake me when Matt's 15 minutes are up.

    --

  • doubt that you'll accept this, but Monica Lewinsky sure comes to my mind real easily.

    That's fine, but so what. Real journalists have had the decency to not report on the sex lives of presidents; the only exception I can think of is a handful of idiots outed Bush's mistress while he was in office.

    Another: King Hussein of Jordan's ill health (Drudge reported that the king was nearing death a full two weeks before the story crept into any other outlet that I know of).

    I don't have a timeline, so I'll take your word.

    I don't accept your definition of terms anyway, if by "second-hand reports" you are attempting to omit stories that Drudge learns others are about to publish (or spike, as in the Lewinsky matter and the Juanita Broaddrick rape case).

    No, those are stories. But they are gossip-column items (Broaddrick's story is just as much "he said / she said" as is Anita Hill's); why don't you add the case of Kathleen Willey? Did Drudge report on her attempt to get Julie Hiatt Steele to vouch for her? I doubt it.

    Secondly, what makes you think that I believe everything Drudge writes? I certainly don't believe everything I see on TV, hear on the radio or read in the NYTimes or Washington Post. I accord Drudge the same respect.

    Fair enough. It's just that I don't see many people praise him unless it's unconditional praise; I assumed you were another one of those.

    Drudge was wrong about Sidney Blumenthal's marital problems. He went to press with a story he had not checked at all, and was wrong. He published a retraction upon learning of the error (of course, this wasn't good enough for Sidney the Hatchet Man).

    Drudge has made quite a buck from his Murdoch connections (yes I'll drag his name into it again), so I would be glad if Sidney managed to wring some $ out of him - it may teach Drudge to be a bit more careful.

    Personally, I could not care less about your preposterous "list". As if conservatives couldn't fabricate something exactly similar for Bill & Co.

    The best they've done is the old canard about the "liberal media". This media circus about impeachment has been driven by conservatives, and there are connections - I've only given you a handful. The Lewinsky matter was forced out into the open by Ken Starr, with help from Linda Tripp and her friend Lucianne Goldberg; I still fail to see what it has to do with Whitewater. Maybe we'll find out more if and when Starr's actions are investigated, though I suspect the major media outlets will be mum on the case, since some of their experts and guests could be implicated.

    And it really has nothing whatever to do with the issue.

    It does.

    You were asked to present a single case where Drudge was wrong on a story. The instance you presented -- the love child -- was inadequate, because Drudge acknowledged the truth on his site.

    Being a sporadic reader of his site (at best), I must have missed that; I'm more familiar with his radio work (and of those radio people who say "did you hear what Drudge said?"). I've already said elsewhere in these threads that he could have waited until after the DNA test, and that I still don't think his motives are pure.

    You are still in the position of having failed in the one challenge you were given. A "rumor" that is not substantiated enough to suit you is not necessarily false (and yes, it's not necessarily true either).

    From the Brill's article:

    DRUDGE WORLD EXCLUSIVE: SECRET WHITE HOUSE VIDEO SHOWS CLINTON WITH OTHER INTERN!

    But a few hours later he backtracked, changing the headline to:

    SECRET WHITE HOUSE VIDEO SHOWS CLINTON WITH MYSTERY WOMAN!

    I don't know if it's his reportage, but I'd like to know more about this "video". Was this one right or wrong? Were his reports on Willey, if there were any, right or wrong? I still say his report on the love child was reckless and wrong.

    Drudge acknowledges that he is something of a gossip columnist. I don't think that anyone would question that. Nevertheless, he actually has broken some stories that others refused to cover. Whether you like it or not is another matter.

    I'd like him to carry himself better than Hard Copy level, and I think in time he will - his anti-journalist lines are a cop-out, IMO.

    Note, too, that Drudge also covered the news that Hyde and other Republicans had a less-than-pristine background themselves.

    Every time I visit his site, it's Clinton stuff. I'll start looking more often for GOP needles in his haystack :) Again, I find it rotten (and suspicious) that there's this whole list of worthy Republicans to sling mud at, but it never generates critical mass. This isn't Drudge's fault, though. Or is he not slightly responsible at least?

    I'm done with this thread; it really has nothing to do with customizing Slashdot! :-)

    OK. I'm sick of the polluted waters of Yank media and politics; I had to vent :)

    --

  • Fine except:

    I believe the stories about Bush's affair, but it was in poor taste to try to make it into a campaign issue, since FDR, JFK, and Eisenhower (his affair took place before he was in office) were let off the hook until well after the affairs occurred - in fact, they were all dead before their sex lives became public knowledge.

    And what about all these allegations of the Chinese stealing our technology? And these allegations that the Clinton Administration did nothing for over two years upon learning of it???? Coincidence???? I don't think so.

    The guy was a Reagan-era hire, wasn't he? And hadn't he already done enough by the time Bubba came to town to warrant arrest? The fault may lie with the various FBI directors, rather than any president.

    See? I told you I could do better than just the liberal media (though they *are* liberal).! :-)

    That's nothing compared to the various Murdoch connections, the Starr/Olson connections, the Starr/Goldberg connections, the Dwayne Andreas Bal Harbour mafia... There's a big vacuum in Big Media where liberal or left-wing views should be (e.g. the moderates who populate "the left" on Crossfire are a mush-mouthed nonentity). I think the liberalness left when Dan Schorr went to NPR; apparently nobody bothered to turn out the lights :) The vast majority of journalists frame a story from a conservative point of view. If you want to see the (often vast) difference between mainstream media and left-of-center views, check out FAIR [fair.org] and their ERR [fair.org], or even the unfortunately-named World Socialist Web Site [wsws.org], which, despite its name, covers some of the nooks and crannies overlooked by the Big Boys. And then go wash their lefty ick off of you :)

    --

  • Excellent work, it's good to see that at least some internet things live up to their hype. =)
    Now I don't even have to visit both slashdot and linuxtoday.
  • It would be nice to make a gray-box pointing to linux-counter. For instance with the picture of the "number of registred users versus time"-graph, or just with something like: Linux counter, DATE XXX registred users YY % yearly growth KK yr doubling time It would be nice if this would be in a "default" section, so that new users see it. Contact me if you want a perl script which prepares the box. Denis
  • Uups, I forgot to format the text... Here it is again:

    It would be nice to make a gray-box pointing to linux-counter. For instance with the picture of the "number of registred users versus time"-graph,
    or just with something like:

    Linux counter, DATE

    XXX registred users
    YY % yearly growth
    KK yr doubling time



    It would be nice if this would be in a "default" section, so that new users see it.

    Contact me if you want a perl script which prepares the box.

    Denis
  • Name one story Drudge got wrong.
  • How about making it so you can order the things on the right? As it is now, they're just in a random order.

    You can. Click on the up or down arrow on the upper right of the box, and it will move up or down one slot. If you reload the page it will repeat the last command, moving the box one more slot up or down. It is somewhat tedious when you have nineteen sidebar boxes activated, though.

    Maybe another way to handle this in the configuration screen would be to have, instead of the checkboxes, a series of pull down menus that each corrispond to a position on the side. That way the user could directly select the order. Another plus to this approach would be that you could have all Dust Puppies on the side :-)
  • The "CmdrTaco's Links" box doesn't show up on the side when activated.
  • www.transmeta.com

    so we can see the status of their page at a glance.

  • First. Thanx Rob. This is really cool! You just became my homepage. (As in the browser's first page, not "my" home page. :-))

    1) Changing the order of the boxes.

    2) Possibly putting some under the stories when the side links make it go down to far. That is, that the stories have a lot of white space under it, because the boxes are the side are still going.

    3) Now, if we're gonna be real stupid and put user/pass in the URL, is there at least a way to hide it from the "Location" bar in Netscape?

    4) You have the links to the funnies, but how about the possibility of going all the way and being able to put the cartoons themselves here.

  • I tried to add one more to a customized right hand display, and then it went south. Only thing that works now is the default. NT+NS4.01. Worked before, though.

  • Rob, this is very nice. Thanks! Now, if Jenni would,uh, well........Good work!

  • or has /. really not been updated since yesterday? I notice comments from the 16th - today, but no new articles and Linux Today still says March 15th. Help! I'm in a time wharp!
  • After all, she's a nerd like the rest of us.

    If she wasn't, we'd be less interested.

    Don Negro
  • slashdot.com is taken by someone else, and they won't give it up. Bitch at interNIC, not Rob.
  • This was really what slashdot has been needing; if anything, now more people might have reason for logging in.

    That said, how about adding that redhat/google search engine that redhat just put in (on their 'port-hole' which now faces serious competition from slashdot)? Personally, that combined "search linux sites" engine has been invaluable on a couple different occasions. Anyone know of any other linux-topic-only search engines (other than "+linux +help +subject")?

    ---

  • They don't want to make the right hand bar customizable. That, and when you go back to preferences, it forgets what you put in the side.

  • The Up and Down buttons don't. Well, not always. If you "Down" the top one and "Up" the bottom one, they change places. Doesn't seem to work otherwise.

    Plus I switched on "Slashdot Stats" straight away, and saw load of 1.09 and 90 procs. It's now at 15.6 and 120 - way to /. /. ;O)

  • Can we set the ordering. All my fave ones are down at the bottom, and the boring ones at the top :-(

  • This would be better done using stylesheets or browser-side changes. You can, of course, specify what font you want your browser to use besides the normal Times New Roman.

    With newer browsers, you should be able to define your own stylesheet and apply it to the pages you want, so there shouldn't be any reason why you can't do this on your own.

    Likewise, with HTML4, Rob can theoretically define one or more stylesheets for the site, and users should be able to pick and choose what stylesheet they want applied to the raw HTML to get the look and feel they want. To the best of my knowledge, though, there aren't any browsers out there yet that are fully compliant in this regard (except perhaps ngLayout). You can even define different stylesheets for on-screen viewing and print viewing, so it'd be trivial to make a "printer friendly" version of the site simply by allowing the browser access to the "printer friendly" stylesheet. If only web browser makers and authors were aware of these nifty standards...
  • How in the world does this make them more commercial? I mean I could see where the people were coming from when the same "commercialization" thing was brought up with the introduction of the banner ads, but Rob is simply implementing what people have been suggesting for several months -- a user configurable Slashdot.

    I don't see how this makes them more "commercial"...?
  • 1. There are literally dozens of comments preceeding yours that states the same thing, along with dozens of replies that basically state items 2 and 3 below.

    2. There are little arrows and X's on each side bar panel that let you move each panel up or down or remove it from your view. Perhaps you missed them or were unclear as to their function.

    3. Rob added an update a while ago to the article that basically stated item 2 above for those that couldn't figure it out.

    Please read existing comments and any updates to the article before you make yourself look foolish.
  • Slashdot has been selling ads for months, before all these changes. There's a difference between putting up banner ads to make money and putting up banner ads to pay for the site. Rob isn't making much (any?) money off of slashdot.

    So again, how do these most recent changes suddenly make the site "commercial" in nature?
  • Yes also got internal server error when clicking on either of the two links in the article.
    Man, your errorlog must be big as an elefaphant :-)
  • I'm on 95 with ie4.01 and I have just a white space where I should have the poll, freshmeat, olderstuff, and jenni :)
  • Yes, I like the new features on the site (the filters, the customizable front page..maybe now, I'll remember my password! =) ) but yes, I'm beginning to see a commercial element slowly creep in; is slashdot slowly becoming "_The_ Gateway For Nerds...the only thing that matters"? But it's not about money..right? =|

  • mee too!!! first post!!!

    rh5.2, netscape 4.08

    looks busted.
  • Mac OS 7.6.1
    Nav 4.0.8 (standalone)

    I have about six or seven selected and all I get is a big black box on the right side.
  • Thanks, Cmdr. Taco. I might just start using /. as my homepage.
  • How about a search box for the Open Directory Project like the ones you already have for Yahoo, etc? Open Directory Project [mozilla.org]
  • How about multiple topics for a story? Like I filter out news about the US, but if it's still funny, maybe I'd like to read it? It would probably be hard to implement but it was just something I thought (at 8:30 in the morning).
  • by Jaeger (2722)
    I'm here in a computer lab and therefore I don't have my cookie. The point being that it says "over 100 comments: printing index only" even when there are only a few comments.
  • in the prefs page you assign a number to the order . I reckon the on-screen icons are grouse but it took me 15 minutres to juggle 4 blocks to get slash-stats to the top...gotta admit this is one very cool customization..virtual bears for rob ..cheers!
  • by acb (2797)
    Would it be possible to show statistics on the relative popularity of the boxes?
  • Will it be possible to place slashdot on MyNetscape?

    It's already possible: http://my.netscape.com /addpreview.tmpl?services=newsfornerds [netscape.com]


    --
    bye, Frank!
  • How will this affect /.'s performance when everybody will use such features (I'de like to say I like the Idea it rocks .....)
  • Excellent work. Any chance on being able to squash individual users? I know this was requested last time you upgraded this stuff a few days ago. Preferably of course, followups to said users would get eaten too. (Might need some database changes to make this efficient)
  • Some more suggestions:
    SGML and XML News [oasis-open.org]
    Python News [python.org]
    Most of the Unofficial Netscape channels [netscape.com] would be good ideas, too.
  • go /. !!!!!!!

    although it'd be cool to have a better UI for "box" dominance [it took like 30 refreshes to get all of my boxen to be placed where I want them]

    truely a beautiful thing! Is the code for this part available yet?
  • Isn't Jenicam that sleazy site where a bunch of perverts and recluses can fulfill their petty and depraved desires by watching some excentric exhibitionist get dressed in the morning and occasionally have sex? Come on, isn't slashdot a little bit better than that? Between this and some of the recent articles (the on on sexbots comes to mind), and some of the vulgar/racist/sexist AC posts, Slashdot is fastly becoming part of the red light district of the net. Can't we be a little bit better than this?

    I probably should post this anonymously, I but think it's time that someone was willing to stand up and say something about this disturbing trend (and I'm too lazy to log out). If this keeps up, I may have to find a different site on the net where I can commune with my fellow geeks.

    -Eric
  • ...but the ubiquitousness of this sort of sleaze just gets to me sometimes. Sometimes it seems to me like human dignity went out with sideburns and black and white TV's.

    -Eric (a disgruntled moralist)
  • I'm using Netscape 4.5 and I'm getting a long black box where everything should be too. I selected about 6-7 items. No arrows, no nuttin.

    I saved the HTML to http://badcheese.com/~steve/slashdot.html

    - Steve
    --
    Steven Webb
    System Administrator II - Juneau and TECOM projects
    NCAR - Research Applications Program
  • Making it so you can order the things on the right? As it is now, they're just in a random order.
  • well done guys.

    guess you are a portal now.

    when's your IPO and where do I apply for pre IPO shares? :-)
  • Any chance of letting us put some boxes on the left side of the page? Then people who like to have all of that crap, er useful info, showing won't have a page 8 miles long.
  • Uhh, yeah ok, Dad. Will do. =P

    If anything, having the boxes on both sides of the page would force the text in the middle to be not as wide as only having boxes down the one side of the page, given a window of the same dimensions.. and the text on my monitor would still be at the same level of comfort for me to read, since I would make the window wider to accomodate the left-hand boxes. (Oh wow, surprise, yeah that's right, I have already figured out the best window size for me.. 1280x1024 is my desktop resolution, did I say anything about it being the browser size?) Having it all on the screen is better than having to scroll.
  • Yeah I noticed it, I've been using this customizable stuff since Saturday and it never draged this much, I guess everyone is using it now.
  • Thank you Rob et. al. for all the hard work! Slashdot has just become my main portal.

    Cheers!
    -matt
    ---
    Wha? TV & Movie Theme Songs? Oh yeah....
  • Here here! Count me in...
    ---
    Wha? TV & Movie Theme Songs? Oh yeah....
  • How about a form to perform a lookup on FOLDOC [ic.ac.uk] (the Free OnLine Dictionary of Computing)
  • One suggested addition to the prefs page: How about a "YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS" date format, à la MySQL?
  • Umm, this site works so well, I'm actually not fully aware of who all the people are that make it happen; it's totally transparent to me, the user.

    But to all of you who maintain Slashdot.org, this is truly awesome! All the other dorky portals that have customizable web pages, just cannot compare to the choice of content on Slashdot. My thanks and Kudos go out to you. I'll just throw out all my bookmarks, cuz now Slashdot does it all.

    And anyone who complains about anything on this site, should go blow his nose elsewhere. What do you want for nothing? Rrrrrrrrubber biscuit?
  • A couple more web sites i'd love to see as a grey box.

    www.aint-it-cool-news.com
    best movie news site on the web.

    www.firingsquad.com
    interesting mix of hardware and gaming news.

    and of course blue's news.

  • Thanks a lot Rob, this is really great. Looking at this, and at the many more boxes I would like to be able to add, I was just thinking:

    Why not allowing to put one or more boxes whose content is fetched at some URL. That way, if anyone creates a new great slashdot side box, he would just have to publicize the URL, and anyone who wants can just add it to their configurations.

    Another application is if someone (actually, me) wants to put his own bookmarks in a sidebox, rather than Rob's, he could just put his own bookmarks in a file on the web, and configure his slashdot config to display it.

    Slashdot is already the greatest site out here. This would make it completely unbeatable. All (well, I know, might not be that easy) you (Rob) have to do for this, is add that special box type that fetches its contents at some prescribed URL. Actually, all your boxescould already be written like that.

    btw, are you going to release the code for the new and improved version of slash?
  • I would like to be able to order what greyboxes I see. Alphabetical order is not the best for me.
  • Drudge reported this story, and he reported the efforts to verify it via DNA, and he reported that the DNA tests disproved it.

    How exactly is this "wrong", aside from opinions as to whether he should have reported it? I submit that if this had been a "Henry Hyde lovechild", the Big Four plus the major newspapers would have been all over it. I assure you that had it been Clarence Thomas, they would have been all over it for certain (please note that Anita Hill had as much evidence as this "lovechild" woman does/did). I trust that if you disapprove of the one, you would likewise disapprove of the other.

    So: we're still waiting, as far as I'm concerned, for your "evidence" of a story Drudge got wrong.

    By the way, do we really need to throw around "credentials"? The "credentialled" journalists at CNN royally screwed up a story about Viet Nam recently, didn't they? Hmmm, have they ever taken a journalism class?

    Or what about...NBC being forced to settle over faked video for a report on GM trucks?

    The list goes on. Credentials are positively no guarantee of good journalism. You'll have to do better than this, I'm afraid.

  • Why don't you start by giving me stories ("exclusives", not wire-service or second-hand reports) that he's gotten right?

    I doubt that you'll accept this, but Monica Lewinsky sure comes to my mind real easily. Another: King Hussein of Jordan's ill health (Drudge reported that the king was nearing death a full two weeks before the story crept into any other outlet that I know of).

    I don't accept your definition of terms anyway, if by "second-hand reports" you are attempting to omit stories that Drudge learns others are about to publish (or spike, as in the Lewinsky matter and the Juanita Broaddrick rape case).

    Secondly, what makes you think that I believe everything Drudge writes? I certainly don't believe everything I see on TV, hear on the radio or read in the NYTimes or Washington Post. I accord Drudge the same respect.

    I'm grasping at straws

    I'll help you: Drudge was wrong about Sidney Blumenthal's marital problems. He went to press with a story he had not checked at all, and was wrong. He published a retraction upon learning of the error (of course, this wasn't good enough for Sidney the Hatchet Man).

    Personally, I could not care less about your preposterous "list". As if conservatives couldn't fabricate something exactly similar for Bill & Co. And it really has nothing whatever to do with the issue. You were asked to present a single case where Drudge was wrong on a story. The instance you presented -- the love child -- was inadequate, because Drudge acknowledged the truth on his site. You are still in the position of having failed in the one challenge you were given. A "rumor" that is not substantiated enough to suit you is not necessarily false (and yes, it's not necessarily true either).

    Drudge acknowledges that he is something of a gossip columnist. I don't think that anyone would question that. Nevertheless, he actually has broken some stories that others refused to cover. Whether you like it or not is another matter.

    Note, too, that Drudge also covered the news that Hyde and other Republicans had a less-than-pristine background themselves.

    I'm done with this thread; it really has nothing to do with customizing Slashdot! :-)

  • ...mostly harmless.

    Here's the juicy "facts" about Drudge's "50% error rate":

    Brill's Content reviewed the 51 stories Drudge labeled "Exclusive" between January and September 1998, it found that of the 31 stories that actually were exclusive, ten (32 percent) were untrue and/or never happened, 11 (36 percent) were true, and the accuracy of the remaining ten (32 percent) is debatable or still unknown.

    That's it, folks. No actual data: just "statistics" without any reference to actual data substantiating the claims the numbers represent.

    Meanwhile, in the rest of the rather lengthy article we are presented case after case after case where Drudge actually got it right. There were, I think, one or two cases where Drudge corrected headlines that were erroneous; but again, he corrected himself.

    Get over it folks. You have yet to prove Drudge a liar; you have yet to substantiate your claim that he presents errors that he leaves uncorrected. You don't have to like him. But you're so far doing a poor job of discrediting him, it seems to me.

  • I know I said I was done with this, but I can't help myself. I'm just a glutton for punishment, I suppose.

    Again, the Murdoch connection.

    Again, the "vast right-wing conspiracy" nonsense. You're not helping your case with this. Let's make an agreement: I won't babble insanely about vast left-wing conspiracies, and you don't babble about vast right-wing ones.

    Yes, the whole love child thing proved to be bogus, as Drudge acknowledged when it was all over. Big Whoop. And he reported the results in the exact same space where he reported the allegations in the first place, which is far more than you'd typically get from the New York Times, that bastion of "responsible journalism" where corrections are relegated to a corner on an inside page if they get reported at all.

    Whether it was ethical to publish or not as the matter unfolded is another question. I suppose I'd probably agree with you that it's better not to report it at first. Nevertheless, your "responsible journalists" are frequently no better. I have been involved in cases where TV reporters broadcast a lie. When presented with documentary evidence that they were wrong, they responded with "Well, I couldn't be expected to read that!" And no retraction ever broadcast either. So much for ethics. And how many times do "responsible journalists" publish stories of some woman or other claiming that she was raped by an athlete? Later, if anyone's listening, the charges are discredited. Sometimes the woman gets thrown in jail for perjury (imagine! Jail for a lie about SEX!!!). But does that fact get published with the same reckless abandon that the allegations did? No it does not.

    Spare me the condemnations of Drudge over this. He's no worse than his mainstream counterparts. I'd feel better if you condemned them for the same thing.

  • a handful of idiots outed Bush's mistress while he was in office.

    I recall this, and as it turned out later reports confirmed that there was actually no evidence to establish that he had a mistress. This, of course, has nothing whatever to do with whether he actually did: but it was never proven. The same cannot be said about Boy Clinton.

    But they are gossip-column items And like I said: Drudge wouldn't really deny that. Whether they're tabloid fare from time to time has nothing to do with whether they're true (note: I am not here approving of everything I read on Drudge's site).

    I still don't think his motives are pure. I won't presume to judge, and I don't think that matters all that much so long as he a) prints the truth; and b) acknowledges when he makes a mistake. Isn't that all we expect from any journalist? I assure you, I can easily think of some mainstream reporters who have demonstrated less than pristine motivations from time to time. But what's the point?

    Concerning his revising of headlines: Either he is correcting a mistake or the first one is a "hook". If it's a hook, then I condemn it. I think he's done this more than once, and I don't think it's a good idea. If he's correcting a mistake, fine. As to the video you mention: The video existed; I saw clips of it somewhere on the Net (following links from Drudge's site, if I recall; but it's been awhile). Drudge possibly insinuated too much about it. But given the salacious behavior of Clinton, there's certainly room for wondering just exactly who the girl was and what they were doing. Still, there's something to be said for giving people the benefit of the doubt, and Drudge may have been showing those "evil motives" you suggest.

    Were his reports on Willey, if there were any, right or wrong?

    I don't know if she was a liar or not. But even 60 Minutes considered her worth a story, so if we condemn Drudge over her, we have to condemn them as well.

    Every time I visit his site, it's Clinton stuff.

    Well, considering that Clinton coverage made him the celebrity he is, I think that's understandable. He doesn't cover GOP scandals as much; I suppose he generally leaves that to the mainstream media -- a la the Bob Packwood mess.

    The best they've done is the old canard about the "liberal media".

    Oh, I can do better than that! Like: The Riadys, who control one of the only major sources of clean-burning coal in the world, give beaucoup $$ to Clinton's campaign. Then, Billy-boy declares the United States' largest reserve of such coal to be a national monument or preserve, effectively preventing anyone from developing that coal. Coincidence? Or: how about all that Chinese money being funnelled into his campaign? And what about all these allegations of the Chinese stealing our technology? And these allegations that the Clinton Administration did nothing for over two years upon learning of it???? Coincidence???? I don't think so. And don't get me started about Mena, Arkansas during Clinton's days as governor.

    See? I told you I could do better than just the liberal media (though they *are* liberal).! :-)

  • Two questions actually:
    • Will it be possible to place slashdot on MyNetscape?
    • Will it be possible for to train the slashdot circus midgets to place MyNetscape channels on the right side of slashdot itself?
    For more information see: NY Times: Netscape Applies Open Source Idea to Custom Page Service [linuxtoday.com]

  • Take a look at the top right hand corner of each box.
  • First off, fabulous job rob. This is amazing. You're the closest thing I'll ever have to a home page.

    Now, the suggestions: The following sites are just begging to be added.

    1. Matt Drudge [drudgereport.com] - The Internet Muckraker's headlines would be great. Find out when the President next rapes someone, right here on Slashdot.
    2. Goats [goats.com] - Funniest comic on the Web. Not sure how to encapsulate it though... a comic strip's a bit big to put on the frontpage.
    3. The NY Times Op-Ed Page [nytimes.com] - The latest articles from the NY Times would be another great addition.

    I look forward to the day when I can take the above sites off 'Evan Vetere's SLashbox'.

  • I know it's completely repulsive to some of you HTML 2.0 diehards, but - what about allowing the site be displayed in fonts of our choosing?

    I'd leave the headline the way it is and select Palatino 10 for the body text, and Arial or Helvetica 10 for the side boxes. But that's just me, and I'm an eclectic. I wouldn't want to force my will on others. No, never.
  • Billy J. Clinton never once claimed that Clinton fathered the child; the charge was alleged, and the New York Post (admittedly hardly the bastion of journalistic integrity) ran with this. Drudge was careful as always to use precise language.

    Nyah.
  • Matt Drudge never once claimed that Clinton fathered the child; the charge was alleged, and Drudge used this language. The New York Post (admittedly hardly the bastion of journalistic integrity) ran with this. Drudge was careful as always to use precise language.

    Nyah.
  • Same problem...

    (Don't you just hate posts like these?)
  • Please Rob, you just gotta have a box for BBC news headlines... (Especially as you often link to them...)

  • This is what portals were MEANT to be!
  • First, I wanted to repeat what everybody else is saying: great job! I've just made Slashdot my "Home"-page.

    However there are some problems with the way article.pl generates links to the previous and the next article:

    1. The links are to static pages, not to dynamic ones
    2. It does not skip topics I do not want to see.
  • I had the black box too and now it suddenly started working. Cool!
  • Following the JenniCam idea, how about the possibility to use our own URLs instead of or in addition to the JenniCam. As an example, I would like to keep an eye on my cat while at work, so I would include the URL for my cat cam in my /. setup. I load /.'s page, and i see if it broke anything (again). As another example, I would like to see Joe's pic of the day. Can it be done?

    M.

  • If history is any guide, the JenniCam's server won't be able to handle Slashdot-style loads.

    I used to run a JenniCam archive, but unfortunately Jen herself asked me (and pretty much all other archivists) to shut it down. Since they are, after all, her pictures, I complied, albiet sadly.

    She was a lot more fun before she got the death threats. Yes, I know that sounds like a stupid joke - unfortunately, it's true. Ever since her site was hacked a year or two back, she's been a lot less brave. Can't say I blame her.

    While I was seriously infatuated with her, it was a lot of fun to watch the cam, especially since I was present at the creation. But I drifted out of it, and now I think it's a dangerous addiction. In the long run, it's a lot healthier to find a girl of your own.

    (Not that I've managed to, of course, but it's a nice idea :-( ).

    D

    ----
  • Sherman's Lagoon -- http://www.slagoon.com/ [slagoon.com]

    Jay (=

  • Isn't Jenicam that sleazy site where a bunch of perverts and recluses can fulfill their petty and depraved desires by watching some excentric exhibitionist get dressed in the morning and occasionally have sex?

    It's not sleazy (or at least intended to be sleazy -- you make of it what you will). She puts a camera up on the net and goes about her life. I've seen maybe one "show" she puts on (that was before she graduated from college) -- I've stopped watching, more or less, but if \. lets me get my News For Nerds and see what she's up to in the meantime, that's okay with me.

    Can't we be a little bit better than this?

    Isn't the whole point of this thread discussing the options we'd like to have for customizing Slashdot?

    If you don't want to see JenniCam (and providing that \. isn't violating the terms of linking to her, as someone else suggested) then don't click the damn checkbox.

    And/or suggest your own options.

    Jay (=

Of course you can't flap your arms and fly to the moon. After a while you'd run out of air to push against.

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