Well, yesterday's IRC thing went off without me, though had I been there, my questions would have been dumped anyway, so no big deal. It's a pretty long log, so I took the liberty of snipping the good parts and adding some translations for those who don't speak Slash. Hope you enjoy, and I apologize in advance for any inaccuracies.
<Questions> w00t asks: Will /. users ever be able to change the "look and feel" of Slashdot? Such as the colors, and general layout?
<CmdrTaco> Maybe a little, but not much. 20:04
It's computationally expensive.
<hemos> The new machines will be 2x P3 1.4 Ghz, with 2 gigs of RAM.
<CmdrTaco> It's programatically tricky.
Even removing images will increase our computational workload. We'll never change this, but patches are always welcome.
Patches are always welcome tho ;)
<Questions> reefer asks: Is there any system in place or a plan on developing some system to prevent duplicate posts?
<CmdrTaco> Whatever. 20:06
<hemos> Reefer: There is one.
We have a pretty good system that we copied from fark, but Rob still sneaks a couple through.
<Questions> jew asks: At LWCE 2000 NYC, you stated that you were considering developing alternate systems of accessing the site's content than HTTP/HTML. You mentioned NNTP. Have you considered or implemented any alternate means of accessing the site, such as RRS? If not, why?
<CmdrTaco> We don't have time to implement much in the way of other protocols.
<hemos> CmdrTaco: We did try the chat thing with whatever program that was.
Er, not chat. 20:07
<CmdrTaco> Yeah, we had an IRC bot.
That gated stories & discussions.
That was fun.
Worked really well.
Nobody used it :)
The trolls had a very popular IRC bot called Slashbot that gated stories, and we murdered comments.pl and banned about a hundred IPs to shut it down, but we shut down our version because no one used it.
<CmdrTaco>Karma isn't worth anything. Why would we change that? 20:09
Except for: how many posts you can make a day, your initial comment score, your ability to moderate or metamoderate, and almost any other interaction with the site, that is. We'll never change karma's fictitious worthlessness like we did before.
<Questions> OcelotLM asks: Have you considered changing the Games colour scheme to something less garish?
<hemos> You should have seen the first round of it.
Ok, ya, it sucks. Get over it. Remember Slashdot succeeded because our HTML is the best.
<CmdrTaco> (I'm just skipping trolls btw ;)
I'm not going to tell you why moderation is anonymous and why we IP banned www.w3c.org from our site. This is because the answers are not for those among us who do not drink the gin with the tonic.
<Questions> limerickey asks: What happened to John Katz?
<CmdrTaco> We had to let him go during a round of layoffs last summer.
We miss him, and were sad to see him go. 20:15
He added a lot to Slashdot, and it was really unfortunate.
<hemos> the acerbic nature of some of the people also turned him off.
Realized that if he continued to pander his career for Matrix fans, he'd never work as a journalist again. Also the trolls.
<Questions> sebi asks: Did you ever consider adjusting the amount of moderator points based on Metamoderation results (like add a point for every 100 fair metamods, subtract one for every 5 unfair ones ore something like that)
<CmdrTaco>what you are asking is does M2 affect getting M1 points.
And yes, it does.
If you meta modearte, you will get more mod points. 20:17
It isn't 1 point for 100 fairs or anything.
But it's a lot.
If you moderate good, and meta moderate whenever it is offered to you, you can get mod points fairly quickly.
See, we created a discussion site, which by its very existence proves that people disagree, otherwise there'd be no need for discussion, and then we've implemented a moderation system based on the idea that disagreement over what "to moderate good" means is impossible. There exists, in this world, "absolute good" and "absolute bad", and we have written a system to detect it in Perl. Thank you. Thank you very much.
<Questions> TrollBridge asks: Despite the junk that trolls (as I myself once was) have posted in the past, is it a fair statement to say they have indirectly contributed to the polishing of the Slashcode?
<CmdrTaco> I'm sure there is no web discussion system that is harder to crapflood than Slashdot.
So thanks for making us have to waste our time writing that code.
We COULD have had RSS for subscribers or NNTP interfaces or something.
<hemos> I can say personally that the trolls have taken time away from my kids birthda's.
So, I hope you feel very proud of that.
<hemos> What I would say is the trolls have made it so that we haven't made features
<hemos> but instead have had to think of ways to stop people from accessing the site.
It sucks having to program stuff to prevent a crapflood when we COULD be adding cool fun new shit for folks.
We're not going to address what the trolls have done, but the crapflooders have really fucked with us. We blur the distinction; you should too. P.S. even though no one could crapflood Fark.com to save their life, we're even tougher. The routine, unchecked scripted crapflooding of sid=20721 is proof.
<Questions> mmh asks: Will there ever be a section dedicated to site issues and discussions? Stuff like Slashcode updates, hardware issues, suggestions, etc. Whenever things come up in regular stories, people posting about it are off topic. It would be nice to have a place for this (and a place that you guys read to get the suggestions).
<CmdrTaco> www.slashcode.com has some of that.
<CmdrTaco> My journal has some more of that.
<hemos> The problem with one section for discussing is that then no works gets done.
<CmdrTaco> I don't foresee a Slashdot section dedicated to Slashdot.
There are only so many hours in the day,
I can't spend all of them talking about what I do,
<hemos> Because it's navel gazing at its finest.
<CmdrTaco> and then still have time left to DO anything.
We're not 50 people here.
And I don't want to read a website about Slashdot.
I hate reading websites where half hte content is discussion about the website.
CNN isn't about CNN.
many community driven content sites are OBSESSED with themselves.
I'd rather not be.
A couple forums a year. A journal entry a week. A few hudnred emails a day.
Isn't that enough :)
If we'd had a META section, or listened to our users, we could have ripped off the early-story subscriber plum years earlier - same thing with CAPTCHA. And I don't think we were ready for that then. So, no, sounds like a bad idea.
<Questions> pwrlnkid asks: Have you given any thought to allowing subscribers to see the story queue and "moderate it". Seems to be an easy way on your parts to get rid of dupes or old news.
Mention K5 again and I'll kill you.
<CmdrTaco> Mmm. Scotch.
<hemos> Man, I'm getting a G&T.
We watch anime. We lease our BMW's. We drink gin & tonics. We solved the drivel problem. Excuse us.
<hemos> Yeah, the patch situation is a fun one.
Because the reality is that hardly anyone submits pathces.
<hemos> So, yeah, the code is open...but really that just means people donwload it and install it.
<CmdrTaco> We don't get many patches. Which is really unfortunate. 20:44
<hemos> Yeah, essentially we have all the costs of being OSS
without any of the benefits.
<CmdrTaco> We spend a lot of time making the system (relatively) easy to install for others, but we're not actively getting a lot of benefit back.
We do it more out of a labor of love than for business reasons.
We really WANT this thing to be open source. We think its cool. 20:45
<hemos> Because we end up supporting people using it, but get nothing back.
Frankly, if I were deciding it strictly on business merits, it's current status as open source is a lot of work without much back.
<CmdrTaco> There is no other open source CMS that will work on the scale of slash.
But most people just want a dinky little site.
They can use one of the *nuke clones.
They don't need a steak, they're cool with hamburger ;)
We don't know why people don't feel motivated to contribute. It annoys us how at K5 there's all these cool features added by users like those awesome Dynamic Comments, and we're stuck back here in the Stone Age with Nested Mode (I mean STEAK MODE). Oh well - pass the alcohol .
<Questions> erigol asks: Have you considered setting up a slashdot Wiki, since Wiki's are, like, the rage, and stuff.
<CmdrTaco> Wiki is silly. Not scalalble.
<hemos> Wiki's make me want to guage my eyes out.
WE MAKE THE STEAK. THE STEAK IS THE BEST. KEEP YOUR MUTTON AWAY.
<CmdrTaco> Users in .d bitching that we post Microsoft Ads ;)
<CmdrTaco> I can't understand why that offends people. I find it hilarious.
<hemos> The irony of that is amazing.
<CmdrTaco> SCO shoudl advertise with us.
How can something be bad ironic when it pays for our single malt? That's good ironic. Bad ironic is when we IP-ban the W3C, because that doesn't pay for STEAK, BMW leases, or gin. Puh-lease.
<Questions> Cephalien asks: Out of curiosity: Do you think that the ever-growing popularity of Slashdot, and the occasionally negative publicity offered there towards certain companies (Microsoft comes to mind), do you think that those companies might intentionally seed people to post comments? If so, how often, and how much do you think that effects the overall 'feel' of the comments about a story?
<CmdrTaco> I'm sure it happens to some degree.
<Aaton> CmdrTaco: no problem
<CmdrTaco> But astrotrufing by a major corporation will never outnumber Slashdot's population.
Unless they get ahold of that script that routinely floods sid=20721... but we don't talk about that.
<CmdrTaco> Web petitions are stupid. I delete them all.
My IQ is not zero, and I can prove it.
<CmdrTaco> I don't want to say something will "Never" appear on Slashdot.
If someone could convince me, I'd do anything.
Moderation with names attached?
Open Submissions Queue?
But few people understand the scope of such changes.
These two features have been implemented at K5 already, dumbfuck. Do you really think we'd copy someone else's feature? We're the STEAK, they're navel-gazing hamburger. Sister puh-leaze.
<CmdrTaco>What's sad is that anonymous posting serves a very important purpose.
It exists so that you can say thigns that might be held against you.
Remember how earlier we said Carnivore was watching so anonymous posting wasn't really anonymous? Keep thinking about that while I fix another drink..