Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
The Internet

Self-Adaptive Websites 93

Masem sent in a link to a NYTimes story (free blah blah required. Why is the Times so lame that they don't realize that hundreds of people are registered with my address?) on self adaptive websites. It talks about us, Everything2 (which IMHO is among the best examples of the genre out there, but since I helped create it, I'm biased ;) and of course the recently announced (and Slashcode Based) suck/feed Slashclone, Plastic. I found at least one mistake, but besides that, its not a bad piece, although it probably isn't saying anything that a regular Slashdot reader doesn't know already.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Self-Adaptive Websites

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You also might wanna check out []. It's like slashdot, but a lot of the content is about theology and Christian faith.
  • What a let-down. At first I thought the slashdot title was "Self-Adhesive Websites."

    -Paul Komarek
  • I feel that Everything [] is approaching maturity, and as such the more active editorial presence is perhaps inevitable. There is a lot more quality content now than there was a year ago, but perhaps a corresponding increase in the amount of dross.

    I also feel that the "pruning" is essential: consider what the place would be like if every flamebait, rambling writeup were allowed to stand. If anything, I feel that editorial control is exercised too laxly: most writeups which are deleted are short, inane ones. The real problem in my opinion is the longer inane ones. However, as these superficially seem to contain a lot of much-needed content, they are less likely, it seems to me, to be deleted.

    However, Saige is right to say that it can be intimidating for newbies. More needs to be done to handhold new users and shield them from the righteous anger of more established users.

    "I would love to see someone else do something with the Everything software, it seems like it has a lot of potential uses."

    Everything2 is not the only site using the Everything code: check out The Everything Development Company [] for a list of examples. None of these are at the same stage of maturity as E2, most are pretty experimental.

  • Also why is it that /. won't put this link on the front page?
    I've seen "partners" links stop working fairly swiftly after seeing them.
  • Surely, they've honored the GPL and made their source modifications public. I can't find them, though. Surely Feed Magazine didn't put it up without modifying even a single line. This is possible, I guess.

    - Just say NO to intellectual property!

    Firstly, nothing in the GPL requires them to distribute their source. Secondly, are you aware of the clash in combining that post with that sig?
  • IMHO, the lack of "Bullshit" and "Incoherent" options has made Slashdot the place it is today.
  • Hemos needs a Buttler so he can be Master instead of Mr....
  • I usually get points after I don't post/read for a few days, following a flurry of activity. If I keep posting, I don't get points...

    As for that cap... it's the constant glass ceiling effect. Say you are at 50. Have a few posts modded up for a total of (+4). You are now at 50. Then, one of the posts gets modded down twice with overrated. Back to 48. The day's net gain was +2, with a -2 result. It doesn't ever really matter, but the order of moderation has more effect when you are capped than the moderation itself. Just a funny thing that seems to happen. [/offtopic]


  • If this type of "adaptive" site becomes popular - or if you even hear one or two more of these stories from a major news publication - some idiot at ZD News will post an opinion piece ranting about how you can't trust the opinions of ordinary people, and that you should stop resisting and try to only read content approved by experts, who, after all, know how to tell the good stuff from the bad stuff. But since it will only be a transparent attempt at ./-er baiting to raise readership of the story online, so no one will really care.

    Am I the only one who thinks that MSNBC can be far harder on microsoft than the zd klowns?

    Boss of nothin. Big deal.
    Son, go get daddy's hard plastic eyes.

  • Remember, this is the times. They referred to Elvis as "Mr. Presley" and Snoop Doggy Dogg as "Mr. Dogg"
  • If anything, I feel that editorial control is exercised too laxly: most writeups which are deleted are short, inane ones.

    Ok, MOST of them are... but there are way too many that are being deleted that contain noteworthy content, and are being deleted without warning, and without reason. It is making it difficult for people to know anymore what is being looked for, and what is unwanted.

    This issue has also been brought up multiple times with the people in charge, and they've more or less ignored what's been said. In fact, they even used their little toy "EDB" to silence those of us wanting something done about this.

    Of course, I've also been on the receiving end of being silenced by "borging" quite a few times because of one specific E2 god with a personal dislike of me.

    Everything2 is not the only site using the Everything code: check out The Everything Development Company for a list of examples. None of these are at the same stage of maturity as E2, most are pretty experimental.

    That hardly counts. I meant a REAL site, one with a topic in mind. Not just the web site of the people developing the software. PerlMonks is the only other site I know of using it.
  • Probably one of the first web sites of this type would have been the wikiwikiweb. Anybody remember that? I think there's still an incarnation of it around somewhere [] Granted, it probably isn't as interesting as Slashdot or Everything but I know its been around for a loooong time!
  • 'Look out honey, we're using technology' is a line from a iggy and the stooges song 'search and destroy' I believe. where Iggy pulls it off, in the context of plastic withouth raging guitars in the background it's just plain dorky sounding.
  • (a) Comedians become moderators (funny posts do well)

    The best solution for this would be for +1 `funny' ratings to not change karma.

  • They found a way to make Slash pretty. Congrats.
  • and then being like "gee then why doesn't the pastry chef use it."

    Actually I knew a pastry chef who used a hammer!

    It was in a restaurant that served me a souffle that wasn't that great, so I complained to the pastry chef.

    Boy, that hammer sure hurt!

  • Hi -

    I know posting this here might upset some people and make me look like a newbie, but if anyone out there has any influence at, _please_ make the text wider, like at slashdot. It takes forever to scroll down and read each story. They say is based on slashdot, but slashdot has about twice as much text per line, roughly.

    I know those two guys who started think they were very clever to come up with that narrow column in the middle of the page, but as I recall that was to make it easier for various browsers to display in earlier days of the web. These days, is that really so important?

    TWR, Torrance, CA

  • Cube warriors are assigned karma points based on how funny their spamed e-mail jokes really are. When a cube warrior has a high enough karma they are given moderator points that they can use to rate up and down a management decision.
    Any other CMU CS'ers who remember the zephyr ++ and --?

    Basically, you could agree with someone's broadcast comment with a reply of <userid>[++|--] and that got tracked off to somewhere that accumulated scores over time.


  • How about the irony that CmdrTaco posts a link on adaptive-website Slashdot pointing to non-adaptive NY Times website summarizing the benefits of adaptive web sites? It's all so meta...

  • Then you must be a web crawler XD
  • the logo on the bottom right hand corner of the home page, I don't see it mentioned at all.


  • Just from observation of how often I get points, I would have to agree with you. Seems like the frequency with which I post comments and the number of replies I get affects moderation points more than anything else. I typically spend my lunch hour browsing through comments, not really posting anything most of the time. Occasionally, I will be in a mood to post a few comments all at once and come back to my user page later in the day to see if anyone has replied. Seems like I will get 5 points in the few days immediately after posting like this.

    Funny, because sometimes I don't even log on for days at a stretch and I don't get any points for months. Then, once I become more active with reading and posting, I will get moderator points.

    Guess that's a pretty good way to do it vs just doling out points to whoever has the most karma points (for the record, I had an account prior to this one that I stopped using before the cap was instituted, I've been using this new one for several months and hit the cap only a couple of weeks ago).
  • Since you only linked to the site and not the actual article, I have to ask: is this article [] the one you were referring to?
  • Wikis are huge in the Zope community.


  • 1. Allow articles a range of 0-100. Start at 50. -1 to 5 isn't enough room to differentiate, and it gives a moderator too much power.

    2. Give everyone 10 moderation points per day. Regardless

    3. Give moderatoros infinite points for x hours/days/years.

    4. Allow +- 1 point bumps on any story.

    5. Screw meta moderation. Let the system meta moderate itself. If a person has a history of having their moderations overturned make them less likely to moderate in the future (at infinite level). If a person rarely gets turned over then let them moderate more often.

    Hopefully the result would be that people who activly, intelligently moderated would do so often, and people who used their 10 per day to move up goatsex links would never get a shot at the good moderation style.

  • No he is not aware of it. But the rest of us thank you for pointing it out.
  • One: If you have faith don't post AC
    Two: Lay off the guy, Geeks can be Christians, he's pointing out a resource nothing more.
    Three: Sorry AC looked at your site main article is creationism. You lost me right there.

    Pagan Baby and proud of it since 1963!

  • "The most impressive aspect of the Slashdot system, Mr. Johnson said, is that it not only encourages high quality in submissions to the site..."

    The way people have been complaining about the downward spiral of content lately, I wonder if that still holds true. I don't necessarily feel that way, but I'm probably a lower-echelon, lower brow reader/viewer =P

    E. [] -- All that is NOT fit to link to
  • Simply by posting that comment about the people who become moderators you have jacked up your own karma, thereby proving yourself right....
  • the NYT reports the news, slashdot comments on it...CmdrTaco et. al. are not reporters. The NYT notes that self-adaptive sites are good for establishing a community, collecting people's opinions, and in the Everything2 style amassing information. but to say that this is ironic is like listening to a pastry chef say "wow, a hammer is really useful to a carpenter" and then being like "gee then why doesn't the pastry chef use it."

  • From the : it's-my-let's-ask-question-friday-dept

    In some remote youth, I've been teaching automation course. One of our main topic was the study of feedback loops. The fact is that the /. moderation system with its MII system is a truly a multi-level feedback loop.

    I've already be thinking for a while about whether some theoretical study of such system can be done, or as already been done. There must be some crossover between system and automation theory where that kind of niche might be found.

    We are already trying to simulate peoples within games, why shouldn't we be able to simulate the /. system ?

    From another point of view, the karma is praised on the article, in a misleading parallel to some previous authoring web site. As pointed into /. own FAQ, kharma is not that important (unless you make it so). Because it does NOT make you stand out upon the masses, just merely makes you a bit more visible.

    And despite what they promise in the article, it really doesn't stop the bunch of troll/fp/goats@#! to post, even if they won't be archived in the end.

    So, whether those pesky monster are remaining because of /. sucess, or because the moderation system is bad remains to be seen.

    Another good question : does the /. moderation system remains the same because /code people are lazy, are because it reaches their goal, whatever they are ?

  • Cube warriors are assigned karma points based on how funny their spamed e-mail jokes really are.

    Downside to said workplace:

    "FJ!" (First Jesse Jackson joke forward)

  • is a site that I created, though -- not many
    users yet.

    Its called StockScriptions and its meant to
    facilitate real time data exchange of securities

    What I think is really interesting is the shift
    in thinking of the way the web can work --
    initially, every worked on the model where
    semi-static information from one source (the
    website) was provided to all. The new thinking
    is that the web can facilitate sharing of information
    between the users. Slashdot and Everything2 are
    two clear successes in this area.

    just my $0.02.
  • i'm sorry, i don't get it. all the websites discussed both in the article and in the resonse posts seem to be comunally adaptive, decentralized yes, but not self-centralized.

    i was hoping for an article on a website that used server-side techniques to restructure itself depending on load, user interest or whatever other fcators might be deemed useful, that'd be cool.

    not that community sites aren't cool, but they certainly ain't nothing new.

  • I think my karma's 1, and today I check out slashdot and there are all these funny drop-down boxes next to every post. I click on the boxes and there are the moderation tags. I thought they had changed the moderation system ('cause I read they were beta-testing their new code or whatever, so I figured that might not be beta any more and that they might have changed the moderation system along with that, because how the hell did I get moderation powers?)

    So OlympicSponsor, after having moderated, I guess I can say it's not all that cool--I spend too much time here already, and that's just from reading the +3 and above stuff. Now I have to look at stuff lower than that (and I had NO idea the trolls were that bad) and see if anything's worth anybody else's attention. It's a weird responsibility.


  • See your up to +5 already, and you only posted 10 mins ago... I told you your comment was interesting.....

    The thing is when I read the article I noticed the self same bit of the article, even copied the same paragraphs, but youd got there first. Now this show me several thing:

    1)That there are other sensible (for which you can read similiar to me in there evaluation of thing if you want)people on /.
    2)Im not even jealous of the 4 juicy karma points I could have had [how terribly noble/stoic of me]
    3)There is something odd and, perhaps because of its oddness, fascinating about internet communication in general.
    4)If someone had a site that just took the good stuff off /. it wouldnt make a terribly good news site, but it would include a wonderful expose on the nature of /.
    5)Self reference is popular, which is why links etc are so prominent i suppose.

    Anyway enjoy the karma and they inherent rise in your moderation chances, it you reward
    *eg* [evil grin]
  • People have been using adaptive web-site arrays with tapped FIR adaptive spam nulling processors for years.
  • Neither apache, sendmail, bind or inn are GPL'ed. In fact, no reference implementation of any server implementing a common internet protocol is GPL'ed. The internet is safe.


  • Possibly.

    If the modified program normally reads commands interactively when run, you must cause it, when started running for such interactive use in the most ordinary way, to print or display an announcement including an appropriate copyright notice and a notice that there is no warranty (or else, saying that you provide a warranty) and that users may redistribute the program under these conditions, and telling the user how to view a copy of this License. (Exception: if the Program itself is interactive but does not normally print such an announcement, your work based on the Program is not required to print an announcement.)

    Unfortunately the GPL is designed for traditional software - not Slashcode, and I think that it should be a breach - the copyright message (absent from is intended to demonstrate the copyright to others - so if I distribute a piece of software to my friends, I have to tell them it's GPL; this is similar to that - this is not within the spirit of the GPL, even if it's within the letter of it.

    Someone email Stallman

  • I think it would be even more funny if Hemos had a butler...
  • Hhm.. that's a nice idea. Too bad it most likely wouldn't work on here. You'd have multiple ratings, I suppose: 1) total (includes anonymous), 2) registered users, 3) karma weighted

    I foresee more 'spikes' with method 1 than with the other methods. 2 and 3 should be fairly close IMO.

  • Only the most anal^H^H^H^H organized people seem left to work on Everything, and thanks to the steep learning curve they put into place, only the compulsive dare even trying to make a contribution. I don't want to spend time evaluating whether I should post something at all, when to create a nodeshell, and all this other highly structured nonsense. I just want to make a contribution, but I know that I will get flamed to hell for making some trivial mistake.

    It's a direct contradiction with a flat topology. You see the same problem with Internet directories -- sites like Yahoo! make the easy things easy, but there is no way to extract obscure information without digging into a raw text search, and in most cases, sites like Google make the easy things just as easy, and the hard things *possible*


  • The web is the first global and popular thin-client software.

    Just because it's thin, or just because you're getting descriptions of the interface, doesn't mean it's not software.

    -- Eat your greens or I'll hit you!

  • many of the companies that sent you junk with pre-paid "reply" mail, have already paid for the postage. last time I checked, no matter if you throw the envelope away or whether you send it back it dosn't cost the company any more or less, becuase they have paid in advance for "bulk shipping rates", hense the written notice where the stamp should be "no stamp needed..." If it says pre-paid shipping then the company just pre-paid a set amount at a very discounted rate becuase of the bulk they were going to be sending out. It is unlikey and big waste of time for th epost office to track all those darn lil envelopes and figure out charges on EACH one (esp. considering the amount of those envelopes that are sent on a dailey basis), and then have to invoice the company for them. The most standard way bulk mailers do the no postage envelopes is to apply for a bulk rate, and pre-pay shipping on all of the envelopes based off of the number of mailings they will be sending out.
  • []

    This is the idea that started it all. A group of travellers (net surfers), travelling the cosmos (Internet), adding journal entries making it easy to use.

    oh well have fun
    <shameless company plug> []
    </shameless company plug>

  • First off, "self-adaptive" is a redundant expression - any adaptive system is by definition self-adaptive.

    Secondly, these web sites are not adaptive anyway. They require external agents to change their content.

    If a web site wrote itself, now *that* would be adaptive ;)

  • Hey, this is Michael the CTO at Automatic Media (parent co. of FEED [], Suck [], AltCulture [] and PLASTIC [])!
    We're very proud to be a part of the slash community. We've carefully considered the GPL and believe we're upholding it properly. We're also committed to sharing what we have learned during this project. The slash code lived up to our expectations and we hope that our site is an indication of the power and flexibility of /.
  • Holy shit, this must be the first time I've ever agreed with Saige on any thing. First of all, she (he?) is right about the anal retentive part. Mind you, it's just a few people who have sticks shoved up their asses, most especially bones, but some others I will not bother naming.

    The best part about my so-called "exile" was how bonesy said how "everything is going to be allllright now that the bad bad DMan is gone" or some other ridiculous bullshit like that, and then proceeded to write a pathetic rant inside my old homenode "explaining" his actions. If he could lay off the quaaludes and grass for just a second he might just realize how his entire monologue was basically a big sack of lies.... I mean, seriously, if his idea of a "warning" is saying nothing at all, well, that just shows the kind of distorted reality he is in.

    Apparently I showed "disrespect" for those people that were in power and/or those who cared for me (sic?). Since sensei isn't there anymore, go ahead and ask Jinmyo if I was ever impolite or rude to her. In fact, go ahead and ask anyone I have ever talked to on that goddamn site, and with a few exceptions, you'll get the idea that I'm not that "disrespectful" after all.

    In any case, any time I have ever asked for an explanation for my nuking I received some vaguely worded threats from Fuhrer Bones and had some of my nodes nuked as a "warning".

    You know, if bones really gave a shit about Everything, he wouldn't nuke my useful contributions, but it seemed that he is especially intolerant of my factual nodes.

    Everything isn't moderated by the noders (like the administrapo always likes to claim). It's largely run by a small circle of intolerant elitists. The site would benefit if the "leadership" would loosen their anus a bit, but I don't expect to see that happening any time soon.

  • Here are some samples of self-adaptive sites. The first four are fairly traditional and fall into the "ranking" or "rating" sense. The last three are more unique. Each is a subsites of Dan Zen [].

    Tower of Babel: words never said before are whispered into the wind and carried to the tower of babel. You can play God as you climb the tower and vote favorably for the words that "move" you. They will rise towards the top. Ones that you don't like go towards the bottom and eventually into the ground never to be read again.

    Hip Cats are online people that visitors create with questions and answers so you can talk to them. And among many other things, they can be rated and make the scene if they have more than 5 ratings with greater than 5/10 rate. A Flexible threshold might be beneficial here but makes it less of a game, doesn't it.

    Prediction Train: people leave predictions and if ten people vote to remove the prediction it gets removed. You can read the removed predictions - would you believe the traffic is higher!

    Grim Reaper's Age Guesser asks thirteen questions to guess people's ages. If a question guesses within five years then its relevance factor is increased by one else it is decreased by one. Its been running since '96 and has come up with peculiar results.

    Gorgolon: an underwater civilization where you are requested to give feedback to an artificial intelligence called Origin 5 as to how the society is functioning. There is a game involved where out of all the people playing, you must spot the AI. The leaders of this game are rewarded by being the only ones who can read what people have been writing to Origin 5. The site sets up its own prize.

    Password Paradox: a game where you guess passwords to advance through a security system to gain control of special documents worth a billion dollars. The cool thing is, (although people don't know it) is that the pool of possible passwords are made up of other people's guesses. The pool is reset each time someone makes it through - so it is never the same twice. A self-adapting game.

    Salamander: a spy game where you go into a park after the Salamander, master of disguise and enemy agent. You choose a disguise from six hats, six facial features, and six accessories. You are given tip as to what the Salamander is wearing, for example, "the Salamander is wearing a Chinese hat, a goatee and is flying a kite." You go into Bullseye Park and if you see someone wearing your clue you've caught the Salamander! Of course, you might be wearing someone else's clue and could be the Salamander yourself. Again, the game always changes and is self-modifying depending on input.

    There is something beautiful about a self-adapting system and even more so if it gives the power to the people and creates less work for the Webmaster!

    Dan Zen []

    mad inventor
    meets Internet
    finds peace

  • Well, considering that the article orignally appeared in the dead tree version of the paper...



  • And Busta Rhymes as "Mista Rhymes".
  • How do you know that the Times is not an adaptive
    web site? Perhaps reporters get a performance
    rating on whether the article is clicked,
    and clicked through the last page.
  • They're not redistributing anything GPLed, so what they do doesn't conflict with the terms of the license.

    Furthermore, since they aren't taking advantage of the extra rights that GPL gives them (redistribution), they have no reason to agree to the license contract at all. So even if they were somehow in violation of the terms of that license, it wouldn't matter because the terms wouldn't apply anyway. They could fall back to the uses/restrictions that are granted by copyright law.

    OTOH, I've read somewhere that RMS is working on a new version of GPL that will cover public performances. It should be interesting to see what right(s) he adds to the license (that people would not otherwise have) in order to get people to accept the license.

  • This is the so called ASP Loophole [].

    Hopefully this will in fact be fixed in version 3.0 [] of the GPL.
  • Rob, not to be offensive... could you wathc for mistakes on your own site first...

  • Well, there's the big "Site Based on Slash" gif/link at the bottom of the front page...
  • I think they will contribute the patches once they have the site happily running. See this comment on [].
  • Moderation is the reward on /.. Though I didn't bother to read the whole story to find out what they were referring to, I am sure they didn't mean moderation.

    As ESR stated in his famous little essay (which I'm not going to link [] to out of spite) the majority of the work done in the community is done for Ego-Gratification. What is more ego gratifiing than a bunch of your peers (or moderators, they're better than the rest of us:) telling us that out comment was good/funny/on-topic?

    If it wasn't a reward then there wouldn't be people karma-whoring, and there wouldn't be people who resent that other people get it and protest (trolls?).

    Devil Ducky
  • Everything used to be a heck of a lot better. Less intimidation by the "editors" and "gods" to newbies, more latitude given to what people can post, more help.

    Somewhere, either egos got bigger, or they were pushed to do more "pruning", and now it's a bunch of volunteers being allowed to run rampant over the place, and in fact, encouraged by one of the people running the place (not Nate, he's cool, but one Fuhrer Bones).

    It's not as bad at all as you make it out to be... but it's not nearly as good of a place as it used to be.

    I would love to see someone else do something with the Everything software, it seems like it has a lot of potential uses.
  • Surely, they've honored the GPL and made their source modifications public.

    Have they given you a modified (or unmodified for that matter) slashcode binary but refuse to give you the source?
  • For those who haven't seen Plastic, it's at least worth a visit to see the new moderations []. I think we need more posts with a (Score:0, Bullshit).

    Too bad Plastic requires your date of birth and zip code... :(

  • Yes, that's [] the one I meant. I figured the average /. reader could figure it out :-)

  • Actually, I did speak in terms of dollars. I pointed out that the competing product cost $50,000 per CPU and only added features we didn't need for at least a year. For whatever reason, that wasn't enough. It didn't help that management couldn't decide between me and the VP of Tech who came from NBC and was a Microsoft guy - first thing he wanted to do when he arrived was install Microsoft Exchange and make everyone use Outlook (this was a company of about twenty people at the time - I managed to make some observations on the security risks and put the kibosh on that!)

    I spent three years as a suit at this small media and electronics conglomerate [], so I thought I had an idea of how to talk the talk and walk the walk when it came to the big dinero. I still don't entirely understand it - I managed to explain the cost-benefit analysis to their assistants, but they just wouldn't hear it.

    That was why I made that semi-joke about an OReilly panel on talking to suits - even when you know the lingo, it doesn't always work. I'd hope that a bunch of smart geeks would have enough ware stories to at least tell others the traps....

  • Yeah.. Bullshit would make a perfect addition to the moderation options, for those cases where it's not clear they're trolling but whatever came off their fingertips sure ain't grounded in reality. (See the article on California power outages, and look for any mention of solar power/nuclear power) It wouldn't have to actually subtract a point from the post, only the moderator. Another interesting one would be 'Brilliant/Genious'; Require a moderator spend all his moderator points at once to give the post +3, Genious.
  • Relativistic ratings make the ratings one sees depend on the ratings one provides.

    This eliminates ratings points as "currency" thereby opening up the ratings game to everyone while providing people with a better experience, taylored to their tastes.

    For example, if you like Jon Katz, why should you be tormented by hate messages targeting Jon Katz? You know John Katz has his detractors and you don't need to be reinformed of this continually.

    Likewise, if you hate Jon Katz you may not be part of the Slashdot Kabal who gets vended moderation points, but you still don't want to be subjected to his smarmy prose postures, so, why should you see any reference to the guy on after you would have down rate any message or article making reference to him?

    Advertising revenue should be enough compensation for a business -- unnecessary and destructive are the perks of foisting the tastes of an elite Kabal, even if only through the distribution of moderation poinuts from that Kabal.

  • Plastic is pretty obviously a Slashclone, but I can not find mention of Slashcode anywhere on their site.

    Um, how about the large prominent "site based on SLASH" gif that is in the lower right corner of several pages; check their registration page. Clicking on the gif takes you to

  • As more sites go this way, non tecnical issues and non technical disscusions will move away from slashdot. Posts will move back to topic and the quality of moderators will impove. Cool.
  • "...a NYTimes story (free blah blah required."

    Hmm, interesting word choice. What other ways can it be used?

    As registration:
    Cop: You ran the red. I need to see your license and proof of blah blah.
    Driver: huh?? wtf you talking about?
    Cop: Step out of the car please.

    As money:
    Walter Cronkite: "And today,'s IPO was a record opening, up 200 blah blah's! And that's the way it is...."

    Sorry, this wasn't funny. I'll shut up now.

  • Some of these ideas are inspiring and, in turn, being adapted to, the peer-review system that has driven university work for many decades now. Exciting examples in my field include the Suda On Line [], a collaborative effort to translate a huge Byzantine encyclopedia of antiquity and the De Imperibus Romanis [] website. SOL is fantastically cool: some of the world's greatest Greek historians are chipping away at their corner of the problem, and their contributions are reviewed like everyone else's.


    My favorite self-adaptive site is definitely Ubersite [], but since I created it, I'm also biased ;)


  • After passing an initial test of suitability, administered by a Slashdot editor, a contribution is posted...

    Like what, making sure it has Linux, Microsoft, CueCat and/or MPAA/RIAA in the subject line? I'm curious what the writer imagines this "test of suitability" to be?

  • Oooh! Oooh! I found the mistake in the article:

    From the article: After passing an initial test of suitability, administered by a Slashdot editor ...

    Bah, silly New York Times! There's no suitability test for stories on this site!!!


  • By that logic so is every other site in the world running Linux or Apache or any other bit of code that is under the GPL. But the simple fact of the matte is you are not starting any application when you go to a website get it. By going to a website you do not start Apache, slashcode, or any other bit of code. It is already running and you are using it. By your logic everytime I type a command into a linux box it would have to give me a copyright notice before it ran my command. That is just silly man. This is well within the spirit of the GPL.
  • No this is not the ASP loophole. This is a Perl Script(A *big Perl Script)running on a webserver and kicking out html and taking some input. You are not getting a copy of the code or a binary in any normal defination of the term. You have to really stretch the defination of use to get from this to the ASP loophole. The ASP loophole is based on the very simple idea of using an application in the very normal sense of that word. Launching the app, doing something, closing it down. To try to apply that logic to Perl code that creates html and to claim that the html is a derived product (as opposed to the output it clearly is) is just stupid, IMO.
  • The Vines is an example of an emerging class of what are called self-organizing Web sites.

    The Web in 1996 didn't need to organize itself

    emerging class? /. has been here since '97. and that second quote comes from the cheif editor of too bad a site running your own code doesn't give you credit for getting it right a few years ago.
  • Regarding the topic, though, is this truly the way the web is going to become, with semi-intelligent linking, bringing relevant topics to the forefront and allowing the irrelevant to wither in obscurity?

    I think that it is. The WWW is all about the democracy of information -- anyone can publish anywhere, and be read by anyone. Its size has made it more difficult to find new information, but self-adaptive sites and search engines take it one level further: democratic editing, where other users and web-based publishers vote on and link to the most useful information.

  • I think we're starting to get off topic here... but if the 'ONLY incentive' you have is growing your karma, then AFAIC you're here for the wrong reasons. Intelligent debate on websites has fallen by the wayside now that everyone and their 'ghetto-speaking' cousin has internet access, but at least the drivel is hidden from me while I'm here. This is more valuable to me personally than just about any other feature available on the web. It may not be a perfect system, but its a hell of a lot better than anything else available.
  • Half the problem being that your comment IS interesting, and that the majority opinion seem to be that /. sucks (sux) anyway.

    Yet every so often I actually learn something round here, and every so often I post a comment not in the hope of getting karma but in the hope that some one will come back with an inteligent debate/

    What I think /. really needs is a Hobbsian 'altruistic moderator' who just gets rid of the obviously 'empty' comments. That would do for me.

    They could even have a check box 'see really vacant comments' that the 3ll37 ones could check and have underground fun amoungst themselves...
  • Plastic is pretty obviously a Slashclone, but I can not find mention of Slashcode, GPL, OSDN or any source code modifications anywhere on their site.

    (I love all the 'first new Web site in the Automatic Media network shtick')

    Surely, they've honored the GPL and made their source modifications public. I can't find them, though. Surely Feed Magazine didn't put it up without modifying even a single line. This is possible, I guess.
  • Although I'm not sure why they shouldn't provide the content *they* paid for on *their* terms, you can get in without registering here []
  • What irony? There is room for both types of sites. The world would be an awful place if Slashdot-type sites were the only way you could get news. For one thing, Slashdot would have a lot less stuff to point to. And think of how many "stories" have been posted on Slashdot that turned out to be partially or completely wrong (all the false alarms of Mozilla milestone releases, for example, or confusing a denial of certiorari with a "Supreme Court ruling"). The major news media is (rightly) criticized when their reporting is off, like when they erroneously called the Florida election early. For sites like Slashdot, mistakes like that are par for the course. That doesn't make Slashdot bad, but it proves we need both kinds of sites.
  • by Robotech_Master ( 14247 ) on Friday January 19, 2001 @08:06AM (#496215) Homepage Journal
    The article also mentions Themestream, a site which has earned me a good bit of money (and enabled me to make a couple hundred buck donation to help keep [] going). Too bad it's now only paying two cents per hit...
  • by nellardo ( 68657 ) on Friday January 19, 2001 @07:35AM (#496216) Homepage Journal
    At my last salaried job, a now-dead start-up called Novix Media [], I told them to simply use Slash for the first release of their big twenty-something-site-that-never-was.

    Of course, top management, which included typical old-media folks like Michael Berman (the man who brought us George magazine along with the late John-John), insisted on paying a consulting firm millions of dollars instead.

    So I showed them what it could do. I brought in my old Sony VAIO Superslim laptop, a creaky old machine with all of 32 MB of RAM and a 200MHz Pentium (I'd wiped the drive and installed SuSE after one too many lock-ups by WinDoze). Mind you, the "executive assistants" had better machines. Of course, it ran Slash like a champ.

    That convinced them enough to buy a modest Linux server, but they still went to Vancouver on a boondoggle to talk to a consulting firm (see the scathing article by Will Leitch in Ironminds [] for more on that - thank the goddess Will didn't see fit to mention me by name :-) which they then decided wasn't worth the time. So they staff up, but still don't deploy.... They wanted to look at Oracle and Vignette.... which would have done most of what Slash and a CVS server would do at a hundred times the cost (no, not infinite - I'm counting staff time to install Slash and CVS :-)

    Go figure. Maybe I should propose a panel at the O'Reilly convention on the cluelessness of management, except of course it would be preaching to the choir.....

  • by SquadBoy ( 167263 ) on Friday January 19, 2001 @07:30AM (#496217) Homepage Journal
    I would ever see the day when Hemos would be called Mr. Bates by someone. That was just plain scary. Other than that although wrong in a couple of details (I have seen some things *far* below 0 it was a pretty good introduction. Also why is it that /. won't put this [] link on the front page?
  • In order to soothe my occasional karma-whoring tendancies, a link to the reg free, all pages at once, the way Bob intended version of the article: 18SELF.html?pagewanted=all []

    Regarding the topic, though, is this truly the way the web is going to become, with semi-intelligent linking, bringing relevant topics to the forefront and allowing the irrelevant to wither in obscurity? If so, this is a mixed blessing. It's good, because obviously you can search for something rather quickly, getting what you need and getting outta there. However, it's also bad because those little sidetracks most searching takes you on can lead you to other topics that you've never heard of that are interesting in their own right.

  • by Erasmus Darwin ( 183180 ) on Friday January 19, 2001 @08:10AM (#496219)
    What is more ego gratifiing than a bunch of your peers (or moderators, they're better than the rest of us:) telling us that out comment was good/funny/on-topic? If it wasn't a reward then there wouldn't be people karma-whoring, [...]

    At the risk of sounding naively optimistic, I find the greatest ego gratification is when a sincere comment that represents my thoughts on an issue gets recognition (either in the form of positive moderation or in the form of interesting replies, even if those replies disagree with my position). I just don't see the point of recognition for spouting meaningless rhetoric for attention -- there's no thrill from people appreciating the fact that you can parrot the standard party lines.

    Personally, I've always pegged rhetoric karma whoring (not to be confused with the gratuitous research karma whoring, which generally does result in some useful links to related pages) as more of a "look at me" ploy, not unlike some of the motivations behind trolling. It doesn't hurt that the karma/moderation system provides a nice high score effect. But appreciation for being called "Insightful", when you know you've just repackaged some standard /. speech? I just don't see it.

  • by OlympicSponsor ( 236309 ) on Friday January 19, 2001 @07:59AM (#496220)
    I also note that having a high rating does NOT automatically admit one into the (supposedly) sacred realm of Moderator-hood. My Karma hasn't dipped below 47 in at least 6 months, but I've never been a moderator (with this account).

    I was on a two month hiatus (internet access down while company moved, then idiot provider couldn't hook us back up) and during that I time I notice that meta-moderation has apparently gone away, too.

    And while we're on the topic: Karma Kaps are just wrong. The ONLY incentive I used to have (as FascDot) was an ever growing (IIRC I was above 600) karma. Now that it's practically impossible to lose a +2 bonus and it's long been actually impossible to rise above the noise around here, I've found myself at Kuro5hin more and more (despite the stupid name and incomprehensible "sections" layout).
    MailOne []
  • by Dissenter ( 16782 ) on Friday January 19, 2001 @07:34AM (#496221)

    We NEED to find a way to port slashcode to my office.

    Cube warriors are assigned karma points based on how funny their spamed e-mail jokes really are. When a cube warrior has a high enough karma they are given moderator points that they can use to rate up and down a management decision.

    Let's take a look at what might happen.

    Boss: "I think we need to start doing more useless time reporting."
    Random Cube Warrior: "I'm afraid I'm going to have to moderate you down sir."

    Boss: "Let's use a Linux based Webserver."
    Random Cube Warrior: "Great idea sir! I give you a +1"
    Random Troll: "But I can't use Linux"
    Random Cube Warrior: "Shut up troll. Flamebait."

    Yes yes this could work!!!! Who's with me?


  • by singularity ( 2031 ) <> on Friday January 19, 2001 @08:12AM (#496222) Homepage Journal
    [Forewarning: It has been a while since I looked over the slash code.]

    I beleive the article has it wrong. Anyone with a positive karma has just as good a chance to moderate as someone with a 537 karma. The entire Slashdot community continues to choose their "community leaders," rather than a self-selecting group of elite overlords with a +1 ability.

    What you also fail to mention is the "protest" contingent. These are people that post somewhat informative posts in order to get a positive karma. They are then able to moderate and meta-moderate. But since the believe that the moderation system sucks, they moderate incorrectly (and mainly meta-moderate incorrectly, since there are no checks on that). Using the system to corrupt the system.

    I do believe that Slashdot has a serious problem with people simply copying-and-pasting the original article, and then getting a (5, Informative) instead of a (-1, Redundant).

    I believe that minority voices are often moderated down. A pro-MS, anti-Linux argument, even if 100% correct, will often be moderated down to join the Hot Grits comments.

    Yes, Slashdot is self-adaptive, but to a certain pro-Linux community. As a Mac user myself, it is always distressing to see a *factually incorrect* anti-Apple comment get moderated up. Yes, meta-moderation should take care of this, but that is entirely dependant upon the meta-moderator seeing the mistake.

    Would a "self-adaptive" community be better served by people knowledgable in the field in question moderating? If someone knows a lot about Gnome, but not a lot about BSD, would it not be better to limit him/her to moderating Gnome and related articles?

    I sent in a request that any meta-moderation with more than say 7 "Unfairs" would be flagged for CmdrTaco (or other) to look at... That is most probably a "Rebel" trying to disrupt the system...

    As with any GPL project, I suppose that the Slasdot-type communities are a work in progress...

    [I am downloading the Slash code right now to check on moderation selection, as well as punishment/reward for good/bad moderation]
  • by SquadBoy ( 167263 ) on Friday January 19, 2001 @07:40AM (#496223) Homepage Journal
    That would be a misunderstanding of the GPL. I'm not going to link to all the discussions on this topic here on /. mostly because I'm too lazy to search for them right now. But in any case. If you read the GPL you only need to distrubute your code if you distrubute a binary. Now you show me where I get a binary if I visit /. or I don't I get content that was created using the code. They are not sending me a copy of slashcode or even allowing me to one therefore they do not need to mention the GPL or make the code downloadable. According to your logic every website that is hosted on a Linux box or with Apache would have to have a link to download Linux or Apache and a copy of the GPL on it. That is clearly not true and it is clearly not true that using slashcode means that they have to make any modifications public they only have to make them public if they distrubute the modifications and in fact they don't even have to make them public then but rather only give the source (Which since this is Perl is a rather odd concept since by default if you have a Perl program you have the source) to any one who they choose to give a copy a too. OF course this has the effect of making it public but that is a side effect. Maybe before you start going on about the GPL you should try to read and understand it.
  • by Tesser ( 177743 ) on Friday January 19, 2001 @07:27AM (#496224) Homepage

    So the NY Times has enough sense to realize that self-adaptive sites are good, and therefore writes up a nice little story about it, but then posts this information on a site that is as far from that model as one can get?

    Somehow that amuses me...
  • by Metal Machine Music ( 255620 ) on Friday January 19, 2001 @07:38AM (#496225)
    Slashdot members who receive high ratings also earn special privileges: their posts start out at a higher rating than usual, and they are more likely to be chosen as a moderator in the future.

    "This last privilege is a brilliant example of metafeedback at work," said Steven Johnson, the author of the forthcoming book "Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software" (Scribner, 2001) and a vice president of Automatic Media,'s parent company.

    "It's the ratings snake devouring its own tail," Mr. Johnson said. "Moderators rate posts, and those ratings are used to select future moderators." The most impressive aspect of the Slashdot system, Mr. Johnson said, is that it not only encourages high quality in submissions to the site, but it also sets up an environment where community leaders can naturally rise to the top.

    I quote a passage I think is interesting, highlighting the most dubious part.

    I think what's happened here is that people have gone "Oh goodie, we've got to right about the 'Online Community', and try to fit their conclusions to what's out there".

    What really happens is:

    (a) Comedians become moderators (funny posts do well)
    (b) Those who post crap stolen off the linked site become moderators (informative)
    (c) Those who conform to the majority opinion do well (insightful)
    (d) Trolls thrive

    High quality is not encouraged - in fact those who become moderators are those:

    (a) with nothing (like myself) better to do than to post their opinions (which won't change a jot) to a website
    (b) do so so much that they become moderators

An elephant is a mouse with an operating system.