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posted by mattie_p on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:23AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the man-behind-the-curtain dept.

mattie_p paraphrases Barrabas, who uttered these words (mostly):

To everyone who contributed to the initial roll out, thank you! It was an amazing effort, and we couldn't have done it without you.

I've set down some notes, with an overview of where I see the project heading in the next few weeks. As always, we can stop and discuss if the community feels we should be moving in a different direction.

We have had a wildly successful launch, and can now proceed at a slightly more leisurely pace, at least for the team that handles code development. I have always intended to do development the right way; with a strong foundation of tools and with leaders to oversee and coordinate the effort between individuals and other groups. As a result, this upcoming week I've told our system administrator team to take a break. They can certainly do minor bug fixes at a leisurely pace if they feel bored, but I want a team that is relaxed and refreshed.

Speaking of a team, we actually have at least five of them. There is a systems team, which are primarily concerned with systems and server issues. There is a development team, consisting of people who contribute code to the site. There is a content team, consisting of our editors, artists, and administrators of our wiki, forum, and IRC channels. A fourth group is style, representing those who help determine how the site is presented. Finally, we have our business team, which includes marketing, legal, finances, and other such issues.

This has been an exciting time. I understand there has been some concern about decisions made during first roll out. I promised that we would operate by community consensus, and I will abide by that. Look for opportunities to contribute to the future direction of SoylentNews over the upcoming days and weeks.

(To read the full story in his words, simply go to Barrabas's Journal Entry. (internal hyperlink))

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State of the Site: 02/23/2014 108 comments
Well, we've survived our first week as a functional website, and have yet to go belly up because of it. The speed and growth of our community is staggering to say the least, and we are working hard to get this site fully operational. I'm pleased to announce that a development VM is now available for public consumption, and if you're interested in site development, one should join us in #dev on irc.soylentnews.org. Beyond that though, I've got a few points to address on and updated statistics to share ...
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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by quadrox on Wednesday February 19 2014, @06:32AM

    by quadrox (315) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @06:32AM (#2187)

    I have a suggestion for moderation, which I have posted previously as well. On the old site I noticed a tendency for comments to either go all the way to +5, or stay at the initial value. Scores of 2,3, and 4 were not unheard of, but not as common as I would have thought. To provide a better spread and perhaps accuracy in moderation, I would suggest the following moderation change:

    1) Instead of +1/-1, allow me to select the desired final value (-1 to 5) and average with other moderations and display with decimals.
    2) To prevent instant +5 mods, comment scores can never be higher than the number of total moderations.

    I believe the above will be close enough to the old system, while allowing for more accuracy in moderations.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by FacialPaper on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:37AM

      by FacialPaper (284) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:37AM (#2210)

      Speaking of moderation: Is it just me or do mod points expire much faster than they used to? I understand that it's counterproductive to allow people to hoard them forever, but I've seen my points disappear within a couple of hours. I always like to keep a couple in reserve, just in case I come across an interesting but underrated AC, but that's hard to do when I'm basically forced to use them all in one go.

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by mattie_p on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:39AM

        by mattie_p (13) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:39AM (#2212) Journal

        I would suggest you read NCommander's journal entry [soylentnews.org] on the topic of moderation. If you have questions regarding the process by which we award mod points, please feel free to contact him.

        • (Score: 1) by FacialPaper on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:57AM

          by FacialPaper (284) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:57AM (#2222)

          Ah, that explains everything. Thanks!

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by NCommander on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:14AM

        by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:14AM (#2229) Homepage Journal

        I admit, the new algo requires some getting used to, but moderation depends on quick and fast action as articles don't stick around on the front page for very long.

        --
        Still always moving
      • (Score: 2, Informative) by martyb on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:22PM

        by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:22PM (#2368) Journal

        Speaking of moderation: Is it just me or do mod points expire much faster than they used to? I understand that it's counterproductive to allow people to hoard them forever, but I've seen my points disappear within a couple of hours. I always like to keep a couple in reserve, just in case I come across an interesting but underrated AC, but that's hard to do when I'm basically forced to use them all in one go.

        There are journal entries describing how the old system worked [soylentnews.org], and how the new system is intended to work [soylentnews.org].

        I share your confusion on the expiry of mod points. It's been a long-standing frustration of mine on the old site.

        What I'd love to see is something like:

        You have 5 mod points. They expire in 0d3h15m36s on Wednesday February 19, 2014 at 10:29:06 AM (EDT).

        I suppose it should use the same date format as selected in the user's preferences, but am open to alternatives including a separate profile entry(?). For now, whatever is easiest is fine! (BTW, why isn't ISO8601 a date/time format choice? C'mon we're NERDS here! :-)

        My thinking is that it provides me a MUCH better idea of how much longer I'll have points available and I can better assess whether I want to apply them to the current story (I've only got 15 minutes left), or wait a bit to see what the next story may bring (I've got 6 hours remaining.)

        --
        Wit is intellect, dancing.
        • (Score: 1) by stderr on Wednesday February 19 2014, @05:55PM

          by stderr (11) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @05:55PM (#2672) Journal

          (BTW, why isn't ISO8601 a date/time format choice? C'mon we're NERDS here! :-)

          Or seconds since Epoch...

          Or stardate.

          --
          alias sudo="echo make it yourself #" # ... and get off my lawn!
          • (Score: 1) by martyb on Wednesday February 19 2014, @06:34PM

            by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 19 2014, @06:34PM (#2709) Journal

            (BTW, why isn't ISO8601 a date/time format choice? C'mon we're NERDS here! :-)

            Or seconds since Epoch...

            Or stardate.

            Snort! (Wipes coffee from keyboard) NOW you're talking! Thanks for the laugh!!

            --
            Wit is intellect, dancing.
      • (Score: 1) by mcgrew on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:25PM

        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:25PM (#2522) Homepage Journal

        I have yet to get any points here, you're not told how long they last? If that's so, they should fix that. As to holding on to them, slashdot's lengths seemed reasonable.

        --
        Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by nobbis on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:42AM

      by nobbis (62) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:42AM (#2213) Homepage Journal

      Can I propose an alternative moderation algo :
      Stories accumulate mod points without limit
      From their total score they are ranked and put in a band, of say top 5%, top 20% etc.
      You can then browse at the band you want to see.
      It would simplify the mod point distribution, as it would adjust to however many mod points were being used.
      Although it could mean more processing to calculate the ranking, you could do that every few minutes from a cron job if it were a problem.

      --
      It's easy to look up when your mind's in the gutter
      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by evilviper on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:53AM

        by evilviper (1760) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:53AM (#2219) Homepage Journal

        From their total score they are ranked and put in a band, of say top 5%, top 20% etc.

        I don't want to see the "top 20%" of comments. And that wouldn't make ANY sense for the vast majority of comments that never see a mod point either way... What percentile is your un-modded comment falling into? Or mine?

        I typically set my threshold at +3, so I can see nearly all comments that got ANY positive mods, without downmods later, and skip over all the tripe that wasn't interesting to anyone but the poster, but didn't happen to be bad enough to get downmods.

        IMHO, the /. mod system is fine, just make sure meta-moderation is heavily promoted... All this site needs now is STORIES, STORIES, STORIES, to get people coming in, and users frequently reading, and talking.

        --
        Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
        • (Score: 1) by jcd on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:57AM

          by jcd (883) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:57AM (#2221)

          Yes. And we need things posted to the main page more frequently than once every two hours.

          --
          "What good's an honest soldier if he can be ordered to behave like a terrorist?"
          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Popeidol on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:08AM

            by Popeidol (35) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:08AM (#2226) Journal

            That's something that should probably scale with the userbase. If you just dump twice as many articles to the main page, each article will get substantially fewer comments and we won't get any real discussion going. The site has just launched, so both the active users and the frequency of posts will probably ramp up at the same rate.

            • (Score: 1) by stderr on Wednesday February 19 2014, @06:39PM

              by stderr (11) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @06:39PM (#2715) Journal

              If you just dump twice as many articles to the main page, each article will get substantially fewer comments and we won't get any real discussion going.

              Why? Just because you have posted a comment on one article, doesn't mean you can't comment on another article too.

              Let's face it, some of the articles won't interest everyone. But with more articles, there's a greater chance of an article that will interest you, which makes it more likely that you will comment on that article and that's what we want, right?

              Few people spend time writing comments on articles that doesn't interest them, If you're already not commenting on a not-so-interesting article, an extra (interesting or uninteresting) article can't make you comment any less on the uninteresting article. (Unless we get a huge amount of uninteresting articles and start complaining on all the articles, but then we got bigger problems.)

              More comments also means more active mod points in the system. And with more articles, that means more articles where you can actually spend your mod points. Some of us have had problems using our mod points simply because we had already posted comments on almost all the articles.

              --
              alias sudo="echo make it yourself #" # ... and get off my lawn!
              • (Score: 1) by Popeidol on Thursday February 20 2014, @01:09AM

                by Popeidol (35) on Thursday February 20 2014, @01:09AM (#3028) Journal

                At the end you mentioned that more articles would allow you to use mod points, presumably because you'd be commenting on a smaller percentage of posts. You're not the only one who thinks that, so it's reasonable to assume that more posts would lead to less comments per post at the moment.

                I agree that a few more posts a day would be great (especially for those awake while america sleeps), I'd just rather we ramp up slowly to find the sweet spot.

                • (Score: 1) by stderr on Friday February 21 2014, @09:48AM

                  by stderr (11) on Friday February 21 2014, @09:48AM (#4192) Journal

                  At the end you mentioned that more articles would allow you to use mod points, presumably because you'd be commenting on a smaller percentage of posts. You're not the only one who thinks that, so it's reasonable to assume that more posts would lead to less comments per post at the moment.

                  I don't think it's reasonable to assume that at all.

                  If I want to write X comments on article A when article B doesn't exist, I'll most likely still want to write the same X comments on article A when article B in fact does exist.

                  The percentage of articles I'm commenting on could go up, down or stay the same when B enters the mix, but the absolute number of comments on A doesn't change.

                  --
                  alias sudo="echo make it yourself #" # ... and get off my lawn!
        • (Score: 1) by siliconwafer on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:33PM

          by siliconwafer (709) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:33PM (#2426)

          The "without limit" would make it similar to reddit's upvote/downvote in that regard, no? Not saying that's good or bad, just trying to understand your concept.

      • (Score: 1) by zocalo on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:06AM

        by zocalo (302) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:06AM (#2301)
        Not sure about "without limit", but I really like the idea of being able to moderate entire topics up/down and filter accordingly, although that is based on some of the lousy story selection of late on "that other site"; I'm hoping Soylent's editors will do a better job.
        --
        UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by NCommander on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:37AM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:37AM (#2243) Homepage Journal

      To be honest, take any moderation scores from the other site with a grain of salt. The fact of the matter is the old algo skewed the potential pool of moderators, and then compounded the problem when firehose replaced M2, which was a huge factor in determining how points got handed out. Right now, I want to leave it "as is" for at least another week or two, and see how the spread works its way out. I suspect this problem will correct itself.

      --
      Still always moving
      • (Score: 1) by quadrox on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:10AM

        by quadrox (315) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:10AM (#2269)

        I believe the problem is more psychological in nature. When one has modpoints to spend and finds a good comment, there is a natural tendency to upvote it, even if it perhaps is "correctly" moderated at +3/+4 already and is not quite desevering of a +5 score. This is just human nature.

        With my proposal moderators would be led to make more "fair" assessments quite naturally, instead of blindly upvoting a comment.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DarkMorph on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:50PM

        by DarkMorph (674) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:50PM (#2541)
        We're seeing too many moderation algorithm adjustment requests and suggestions. Look, the current environment is very volatile and dynamic right now since we just got started. If we keep making changes rapidly, there's no way we can look back on each adjustment and adequately assess which changes improved the system or worsened it.

        Let's wait a short period first, let the userbase growth settle down a bit and the story submission rate stabilise, before returning to any considerations of refining the moderation system. For the time being, from what I'm seeing from one story to the next, is that the current algorithm is rather decent. I can't think of a legitimate complaint that would warrant an urgent modification at this time.

        At the very least, what might work well for a small userbase right now might be poor for a larger, more active group and vice versa which only further supports the notion to just wait until things settle down.
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by B1ackDragon on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:30PM

        by B1ackDragon (1739) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:30PM (#2571)

        While I think it's a good idea to explore moderation concepts, I admit to being a bit skeptical (conservative, even), so I'm glad to see a "wait and see" approach. Compared to almost every other rating/up-and-downvote system I've seen, the -1 to +5 mod system seems to work well in promoting and displaying good discussion. I'm not sure why exactly, though I'm sure the quality of the community has a lot to do with it too!

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by NCommander on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:46PM

          by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:46PM (#2589) Homepage Journal

          The decision to scratch the old system was NOT made lightly, especially because we had nothing resembling real world data to base it on. Its running off educated guesses and has had one major revision post launch. Once the numbers come in (slash gives pretty decent stats of moderation) after a couple of weeks, then the floor will be open to revising it more :-).

          --
          Still always moving
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by chewbacon on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:18AM

      by chewbacon (1032) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:18AM (#2331)

      No, I leave it broken. I like the nostalgia. On a slow news day, it gives us something to talk about.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by mcgrew on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:23PM

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:23PM (#2518) Homepage Journal

      Scores of 2,3, and 4 were not unheard of, but not as common as I would have thought.

      I'm not sure if you're talking about here or slashdot, but my experience is quite different. I've only had two comments modded here, both sit at +2 as of last night. As to slashdot, I get quite a few fives but more 2s, 3s, and 4s.

      I don't care much for your suggestion and hope it isn't implimented.

      --
      Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by dmc on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:31AM

    by dmc (188) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:31AM (#2205)

    One important issue that the recently (re?)'launched' Technocrat.net site highlighted for me was the issue of copyright assignments. I was disappointed when Bruce Perens' site told me that contributor content (comments, stories) would require copyright assignment 'to avoid legal complications'(or something like that). I noted in my first comment there that I was a bit disturbed by that given slashdot's history of putting 'comments owned by the poster' on the bottom of all pages. After returning here and bothering to look, I noticed there is no such notice here yet, nor does there appear to be an FAQ or about page answering the question. While certainly I am happy to sit back and be amazed at the awesome site SN has deployed within a couple weeks of the rumblings of a slashcott, I think that issue should probably get some priority. Perhaps even worth a story to see people debate what these theoretical 'legal complications' are in a nice moderated and threaded format :)

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by mattie_p on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:37AM

      by mattie_p (13) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:37AM (#2209) Journal
      • (Score: 1) by dmc on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:39AM

        by dmc (188) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:39AM (#2211)

        Doh! :) What I get for being conditioned to look at the bottom of the page. Thanks!

      • (Score: 1) by tdk on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:28AM

        by tdk (346) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:28AM (#2337) Homepage Journal

        Saying "the comments are owned by the poster" is a bit vague. Do we give permission for soylentnews to publish our posts just on the current site? On any site owned by SN? To sell them to others? By default you own the copyright to anything you write anyway, so this is a legally empty statement (IANAL).
        I think they should follow StackOverflow's [stackoverflow.com] example. They licence all user posts under CC [creativecommons.org], and I'm sure there are people scraping it. So if the owners ever broke the site some way, a replacement would pop up quickly. The fact that this can happen means StackOverflow is unlikely to pull a slashdot beta.

        • (Score: 1) by dmc on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:23PM

          by dmc (188) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:23PM (#2813)

          "Do we give permission for soylentnews to publish our posts just on the current site? On any site owned by SN? To sell them to others? By default you own the copyright to anything you write anyway, so this is a legally empty statement (IANAL)."

          I think the legal intention of the statement is to suggest to viewers that if they object to a particular comment, they should take their objections to their local authorities rather than the site administrators. I.e. if for instance a comment was a specific credible death threat, slashdot/dice/soylentnews wants to hear a request for takedown from the police, not just some individual. Which seems to me like the right way to go about things.

          In general, I think when people voluntarily submit/publish comments to a public website, they are clearly giving permission to the website owner to pretty much do whatever with it, as well as the public. In the U.S. we have 'fair use' doctrine. I'm pretty sure if someone goes into the town square and starts blathering on about philosophy, it is fair use to quote them (with proper attribution, not plagiarism) as much as you like. This seems roughly equivalent to me.

          Though your comment does make me wonder if there isn't a better way this could have been handled with slashdot- i.e. I'm giving you permission to use this comment on this representation of the site only, not on some arbitrary ugly new beta site you come up with 20 years later. Sort of the same issue with some attractive woman posing naked for a site titled as "beautifulangels" then seeing the same picture on the site's new beta title "eviluglybitches" 20 years later. The key point to remember is - don't post/publish public comments if you aren't comfortable with them being in the public domain. Ehh, life is complicated. Don't cast pearls among swine as they say. Never Say Anything as those others say. Life Is Rough as I say.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by crutchy on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:33AM

    by crutchy (179) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:33AM (#2206) Homepage Journal
  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:35AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:35AM (#2207)

    I feel a disturbance in the force... : )

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:43AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:43AM (#2214)

    Post more stories.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by linsane on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:37AM

      by linsane (633) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:37AM (#2242)

      And a new poll, perhaps on what you what feedback on?

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Open4D on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:24AM

        by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:24AM (#2275) Journal

        Yes, good idea to use the voting system for internal site matters during the early weeks. We can have the Wayland vs Mir vs X vote in a few months!

        • (Score: 1) by linsane on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:56PM

          by linsane (633) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:56PM (#2543)

          Any results would of course have to be doctored by the benevolent oligarchy behind the scenes else I could see things ending up like that character in the pokemon thing, or perhaps some kind of comedy option. I'm sure folk can wait a month or two before the real poll controversies kick off.

  • (Score: 1) by pgc on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:44AM

    by pgc (1600) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:44AM (#2215)

    How would I go about emailing Barrabas? There is no 'message' button or the like anywhere ...

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by mattie_p on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:02AM

      by mattie_p (13) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:02AM (#2224) Journal

      Barrabas has provided his contact information on our wiki page [soylentnews.org]. I am aware it is currently not hyperlinked from this site though, so I will have mercy upon you and grant you his email address, that you may bask in the mercies of Barrabas and his email account. John (at) SoylentNews (dot) org

      • (Score: 1) by pgc on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:14AM

        by pgc (1600) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:14AM (#2228)

        Thank you ^_^

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by TheRaven on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:06AM

      by TheRaven (270) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:06AM (#2300) Journal
      Actually, the ability to use the message facility to send messages to users is one of the biggest missing features in the other place. There are a lot of times when you start to stray so far off topic that no one else is interested, and it would be nice to be able to take the discussion private, without requiring one of you to post your email address online.
      --
      sudo mod me up
      • (Score: 1) by pgc on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:32AM

        by pgc (1600) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:32AM (#2338)

        Indeed. PM functionality is definitely missing. Perhaps even an xmpp chat function for online users ? :P

        • (Score: 1) by enrgeeman on Wednesday February 19 2014, @06:03PM

          by enrgeeman (69) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @06:03PM (#2679)

          I think this can be handled a lot by also keeping the IRC channels up, but there would have to be some sort of username parity between the two.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by pert.boioioing on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:54AM

    by pert.boioioing (1117) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:54AM (#2259)

    ...I'm starting to like the red. I really didn't at first but it's growing on me. Kinda like that red snow the Ex-SLASHDOT BETA user was talking about, if you know what I mean. And I forgot all about the funny things like "This page was generated by a Flock of Random Ninjas" from long ago, so IMO it's a welcome bit of nostalgia.

    But most seriously, great job for following through and getting this place up and running, and so quickly at that! Here's to hoping it hits its stride.

    • (Score: 1) by pert.boioioing on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:57AM

      by pert.boioioing (1117) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:57AM (#2262)

      Damn, messed up my first post here, but that led me to this: It would be nice to have a short (maybe 2 min.) grace period for editing comments, if possible.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Open4D on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:19AM

        by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:19AM (#2271) Journal

        It would be nice to have a short (maybe 2 min.) grace period for editing comments, if possible.

        That's what the preview button is for!

        Possibly though, there could be a preference for users who don't trust themselves to have a 2nd preview, which has just your comment on screen, almost nothing else, and says "Are you really sure you want to post this?" "Yes" "No, go back and edit it further".

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by dmc on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:35AM

          by dmc (188) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:35AM (#2278)

          Another option would be time-delayed and cancellable posting. I think I'd like that in thunderbird for email as well. I.e. by default the time delay on post would be 0s or perhaps 120s, though with a number/time entry field to modify the default for that post. Then after you hit submit you have that length of time to optionally cancel the post/submission. That way you can both 'fire and forget' as well as 'catch a mistake and keep it from going out'. I've too well conditioned myself now at the age of 38, but I can't count the number of times I've emailed the author/maintainer of an open source package with a question that had been bugging me for hours or days, only to have the correct thought about how to find the answer myself within 5 minutes of sending the mail. (yes, I am the one who had to post Doh above after a similar scenario, but in that case, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have found it myself even after a day)

    • (Score: 1) by dmc on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:24AM

      by dmc (188) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:24AM (#2274)

      "...I'm starting to like the red. I really didn't at first but it's growing on me."

      I agree, but here is another idea- Offer a 100 mod point (with say 1 month expiration) bounty for a patch to the code on github that would enable a simple pref for the color.

      • (Score: 1) by cx on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:01PM

        by cx (239) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:01PM (#2353)

        Sorry for being offtopic, but does anyone actually find having mod points rewarding? I always felt they were a burden, a civic duty, like 'Damn now I have to moderate and I have to read comments on stories I don't care about because I might want to comment on ones I do care about.'

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by NCommander on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:45PM

          by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:45PM (#2435) Homepage Journal

          You can opt-out of being a moderator on your personal page. We don't want to force anyone to be a moderator who doesn't want to be.

          --
          Still always moving
          • (Score: 1) by cx on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:16PM

            by cx (239) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:16PM (#2464)
            I know that. As I wrote, I feel it is a civic duty and don´t want to avoid it. But I don´t dream of having hundreds of points, and am curious whether others feel the same.
        • (Score: 2, Funny) by pert.boioioing on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:10PM

          by pert.boioioing (1117) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @08:10PM (#2796)

          I always found it was a good way to get out of an unwanted social obligation:

          "Nah, I can't help you move this weekend. I've got mod points on slashdot I need to spend."

    • (Score: 1) by mrbluze on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:57AM

      by mrbluze (49) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:57AM (#2293) Journal

      Red:

      Because I'm getting involved in the style side of things I thought might be good to respond.

      I think red is a good choice to differentiate itself from other sites, but I don't mind what color is selected or agreed upon. Many have commented that the contrast of the site is excessive. I tend to agree. The priority is readability and usability. I think it can be better than it is now.

      --
      Do it yourself, 'cause no one else will do it yourself.
      • (Score: 1) by hankwang on Wednesday February 19 2014, @05:32PM

        by hankwang (100) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @05:32PM (#2640) Homepage

        "Many have commented that the contrast of the site is excessive."

        Except for the visited links. Reading this from my phone, which doesn't do underlined links (not sure whether they are underlined on desktop).

        (maybe I'll mod avantslash, see home page, to support soylent as well. Although the only reason would be data usage, since this is very usable on mobile as is.)

    • (Score: 1) by pmontra on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:59AM

      by pmontra (1175) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:59AM (#2294)

      Red? I just finished using Stylish to turn it back to green, fix the fonts and the background color. Luckily this site has an easy combo of html and css to hack with. I think we won't be here if we were not picky on these details, right? :-)

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by Istaera on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:32AM

        by Istaera (113) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:32AM (#2339)

        I'm looking forward to this site being a nice green. Not a slashdot green, but a soylent one.

        --
        I believe there's somebody out there watching us. Unfortunately, it's the government.
        • (Score: 1) by stderr on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:45PM

          by stderr (11) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @07:45PM (#2773) Journal

          Not a slashdot green, but a soylent one.

          We just need more people, if you know what I mean...

          --
          alias sudo="echo make it yourself #" # ... and get off my lawn!
        • (Score: 1) by qwade on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:32PM

          by qwade (1006) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:32PM (#2925)

          Dude! Don't ention-may the ord-way een-gray next to oylent-say! You'll bring the copyright folks out of the woodwork..

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by martyb on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:42PM

        by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:42PM (#2378) Journal

        Red? I just finished using Stylish to turn it back to green, fix the fonts and the background color.

        Would you mind posting your changes here? I used stylish to add a left border and padding to a comment blockquote. It's quick and dirty, probably fails in some cases, but I expect to remove it when SN gets past the early roll-out challenges and they implement refinements on appearance.

        (For those who may not know, stylish is a Firefox addon [mozilla.org] that facilitates creating and applying user styles that can be applied against a site or sites. I head there's a version for chrome, but I've not tried it.)

        I requested your style updates as I'd like to look at them, personally, but also as SoylentNews is soliciting feedback, it might be helpful for them to see what areas are affected and how.

        FWIW, here's what I have; I know it's crude, but it's intended to be temporary! WARNING: there are spaces inserted into the code here by the posting system (solution to the early days /. page widening troll)... cut-and-paste WILL NOT work

        @namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);
         
        @-moz-docume nt domain("soylentnews.org") {
        div#contents div#comments div.commentBody blockquote {
           border-left: 2px solid gray;
           padding-left: 1em;
        }
        }

        --
        Wit is intellect, dancing.
        • (Score: 1) by pmontra on Saturday February 22 2014, @09:00AM

          by pmontra (1175) on Saturday February 22 2014, @09:00AM (#4746)

          Hi! Unfortunately Soylent News doesn't send mail for comments (or they are not as visible as the ones of the other site) so I missed your request. The file is here https://github.com/pmontrasio/soylent-green [github.com]
          It does a little more than changing red to green so you might not like everything I did but your blockquote fix is there :-)

          Feel free to fork it and send pull requests for fixes. Tastes are an extremely subjective matter so I don't promise I'll accept every change, but I'll definitely accept technical improvements.

          • (Score: 2) by martyb on Saturday February 22 2014, @02:22PM

            by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 22 2014, @02:22PM (#4822) Journal

            pmontra (1175) wrote:

            Hi! Unfortunately Soylent News doesn't send mail for comments (or they are not as visible as the ones of the other site) so I missed your request. The file is here https://github.com/pmontrasio/soylent-green [github.com]
            It does a little more than changing red to green so you might not like everything I did but your blockquote fix is there :-)

            Hi to you! Thanks for making that available!

            I regret to inform you that my "blockquote fix" has some problems. It seemed to work when looking at a first-level comment. For example, as I write this reply (in "Plain Old Text" mode), the blockquote markup seems to work.

            OTOH,When looking at a nested and threaded discussion, though, I've seen it not work. :(

            Don't have enough data to clearly identify what is happening, and don't want to pollute the site with tests... Hmmm! Just had an idea - vague and rough, so bear with me. Okay?

            How do we know if fixes to SoylentNews.org actually fix things and don't break other things?

            It would be helpful to have test articles, posts, replies, etc. that are known quantities. I have no idea at the moment about how that could be created, managed, and *maintained*, but I wanted to put the thought out there while I had it!

            Thanks again for the feedback!

            --
            Wit is intellect, dancing.
            • (Score: 1) by pmontra on Saturday March 01 2014, @09:00AM

              by pmontra (1175) on Saturday March 01 2014, @09:00AM (#9029)

              I think we can only hope that changes to this site don't break the Stylish patches. Alignment and color stuff are hard to check. Maybe a selenium test (or any similar tool) with screenshots and pixel per pixel checks? I don't even want to think about it :-)

              I'll look into the nested quote thing as soon as I run into it. Maybe you can open an issue on the repository.

    • (Score: 1) by martyb on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:54PM

      by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:54PM (#2388) Journal

      ...I'm starting to like the red. I really didn't at first but it's growing on me.

      Seconded. After 17 YEARS of Pavlov training on the old site, I figured that was only natural; now the new color scheme is growing on me, as well. Took me about a week. In as much as possible, I'm trying to go along with whatever changes are implemented here. I'll speak up if I see something I'd like to see changed, but for now, I'm trying to go with the flow.

      I'm reminded of an old saying: "It is easier to put slippers on my feet than to carpet the world."
      So, count me in the camp that's okay with the red color scheme.

      --
      Wit is intellect, dancing.
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by panachocala on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:37AM

    by panachocala (464) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @09:37AM (#2279)

    Sorry I'm dumb at this.

    Can I/you change the default text size (make it smaller)? Also, apply justification to the text?

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by TheRaven on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:15AM

      by TheRaven (270) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:15AM (#2308) Journal
      Agreed. The text here is huge and the styling for quotes is horrible. The style for lists is better than the other place (as in, they actually look like lists), but ordered lists are indented more than unordered lists. My requests would be:
      • Make text a bit bigger
      • Make <quote> an alias for <blockquote> (as it is in the other place)
      • Bring back the enforced preview before submit. It took a little while to get used to it, but it's saved me from posting crazy formatting several times (especially since we're forced to write HTML markup by hand)
      • Fix the messaging system notification-of-reply so that it doesn't require quite so many clicks to get to the message of yours with new replies (the other place is better, but still needs too many clicks, here it's a chore going through replies).
      • Add D2-style asynchronous loading of comments and replies! Having to reply in a new tab to avoid losing the thread of the discussion is a pain.

      The last two directly relate to how easy it is to participate in discussions, rather than just make fire-and-forget posts, and that's something that a site like this depends on for success. Oh, and if we're allowed a pony too, I'd like to be able to enter comments in Markdown or similar.

      --
      sudo mod me up
    • (Score: 1) by carguy on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:48PM

      by carguy (568) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:48PM (#2592)

      > Can I/you change the default text size (make it smaller)?
      I used Firefox
          View > Zoom > Zoom Out
      which reduced the text size nicely (for my taste).

  • (Score: 1) by No Respect on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:20AM

    by No Respect (991) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:20AM (#2310)

    I've got a question I'd like to submit to the new community along the lines of what I might have posted to "Ask /." in the long-ago time. Is there a way to do that currently, or is something planned for the future?

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Popeidol on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:33AM

      by Popeidol (35) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:33AM (#2316) Journal

      The equivalent section of soylent is currently called 'Answers'. If you go to 'submit story' under the navigation menu, you can select it from the list of available topics.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by martyb on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:06PM

    by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:06PM (#2358) Journal

    I see some recurring questions about where to find things. Rather than individual replies that may not be seen by all, now, or by later arrivals, I'd suggest the following modification:

    I see this text on what seems like every page:

    SoylentNews


    You should update your organisation template and put some links here linking back to your site.

    This looks to me like a good place to put links to the following, instead:

    • wiki
    • github
    • irc
    • bug tracker
    • other?

    My thinking is that this change would encourage community participation and reduce the number of "where do I find..." questions.

    Thoughts? Additional links?

    --
    Wit is intellect, dancing.
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by lajos on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:50PM

    by lajos (528) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:50PM (#2383)

    Please consider a preference option to change the theme of the site. At least the color.

    Options are always nice, especially if it would include gray instead of red, to make things a bit more serene.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by rufty on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:58PM

      by rufty (381) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @12:58PM (#2394)

      OMGponies!

  • (Score: 1) by ByteZombie on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:18PM

    by ByteZombie (1509) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @01:18PM (#2415)

    Thank you to everyone who has put in time and resources on this. This site shows the value and power of open source code.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JediTrainer on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:14PM

      by JediTrainer (1431) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:14PM (#2462)

      I want to second this. I used to post to Slashdot quite frequently. Over the years I've noticed that my enthusiasm left - I became a consumer rather than a contributor. Glanced at the RSS feeds, read the summary and little else. It happened slowly and with me barely noticing. The god-awful redesign is just the last straw.

      It's inspiring that you guys took the reigns and are starting things fresh. I wish you the best of luck, sincerely. And thank you!

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by eravnrekaree on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:09PM

    by eravnrekaree (555) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:09PM (#2458)

    I like the current red theme and I think it ought to stay. Soylent should stay to true to the Slashdot classic format. I am accepting of the idea of making it so the user can enable in place reply boxes instead of loading a reply form on a seperate page, but this should be able to be selectable option by the user as to which to use.

    I looked into mod_perl and found that mod_perl 2.0 is backward compatable with 1.0 as long as you add a single Apache2::combat declaration to the files so there is no need to rewrite any code. The current code base works well enough, its mainly a few minor features that could be added to the existing code base like in place replies. Perhaps allowing users to edit previously submitted replies should be considered.

    Lets try to keep the traditional slashdot look and code. None of that Metro crap that slashdot beta does. I like the "1997" look and it should stay.

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by JeanCroix on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:53PM

      by JeanCroix (573) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:53PM (#2490)
      I like the current red theme and I think it ought to stay.

      Likewise. Let the red serve as an eternal reminder of the righteous wrath against the horrors of Beta, lest we should ever forget.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:27PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:27PM (#2474)

    Just some positive feedback, I like the site so far. I haven't used the old site at all since you guys were up and running. Keep up the good work!

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by zafiro17 on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:40PM

    by zafiro17 (234) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:40PM (#2483) Homepage

    Where we go from here is obvious: we build up the community by making this a great place to read news, comment, and learn from other nerds. That requires a sort of dedication to submitting interesting articles, diligence in moderation, and so on.

    Congrats to the team that got the site up and running. Yes, it looks like the year 2000 again, but I say f*ck it! 2000 was a great time for the web! Web 2.0 kind of sucked, and Web 3.0 is even worse.

    We're off to a great start. Now let's get the word out and make sure nerds that want interesting news know to come here first.

    --
    Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis - Jack Handey
    • (Score: 1) by Pav on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:43PM

      by Pav (114) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:43PM (#2486)

      Amen... it's the community that makes or breaks a site in the final analysis.

    • (Score: 1) by meisterister on Thursday February 20 2014, @12:13AM

      by meisterister (949) on Thursday February 20 2014, @12:13AM (#2992) Journal

      Speaking of Web 2.0/3.0/whatever buzzword to use for it now is, would it be a good idea to make SoylentNews pages on Google+/Facebook/Twitter/whatever so that we could suck in more users?

      --
      (May or may not have been) Posted from my K6-2, Athlon XP, or Pentium I/II/III.
  • (Score: 1) by bugamn on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:49PM

    by bugamn (1017) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @02:49PM (#2488)

    What I'm missing so far is a way to know quickly if I have any new messages. Slashdot had a box with new messages that appeared on any notice I was reading. I wouldn't ask so much, but I'd like to at least have a number of non-read messages near the message link.

  • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by number6 on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:49PM

    by number6 (1831) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:49PM (#2594) Journal

    Dear development team,
    Regarding hidden comments; I do not find them informative enough.
    Could you please allow some words from the comment body to display when the comment is collapsed/hidden?

    An example:

        This is how it is now:
        o Re:Now we build a community :: @Pav (Score:1) Wednesday February 19, @09:43AM

        This is how I prefer it to be:
        o Re:Now we build a community :: @Pav :: Amen... it's the community that makes or breaks a site in the final analysis.

    The string "(Score:1) Wednesday February 19, @09:43AM" is metadata which has nothing useful to tell me until I expand the comment and give it my attention. By including a snippet of the commenter's text, I get some instant critical feedback allowing me to make a judgement call about skipping-over or taking the time to expand and read.

    • (Score: 1) by darnkitten on Thursday February 20 2014, @12:28AM

      by darnkitten (1912) on Thursday February 20 2014, @12:28AM (#3007)

      Possible OT; when I click on hidden comments, they open in another tab, instead of expanding. This used to happen on /., but, for the life of me, I can't remember how it was fixed. Can someone let me know which setting to use to either expand hidden comments or to force an "Expand all?"

      • (Score: 1) by number6 on Thursday February 20 2014, @11:32AM

        by number6 (1831) on Thursday February 20 2014, @11:32AM (#3358) Journal

        There is a script for Greasemonkey (Firefox addon) which allows you to do what you want.

        Slashdot Expandable Comment Tree v2

           Adds [+][-] symbols next to all comments allowing you to expand and collapse any of them for viewing.
           The script is here:   http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/38184 [userscripts.org]

        To modify the script to work on SoylentNews:

           Open the script in a text editor, and add this line:
           // @include       http*://*soylentnews.org/*

        • (Score: 1) by darnkitten on Tuesday February 25 2014, @10:25PM

          by darnkitten (1912) on Tuesday February 25 2014, @10:25PM (#6978)

          Thanks--I wasn't able to get it to work (I don't know why, probably interference fromsome extension or other), but switching to "Nested" in the prefs seems to do the job.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by ClownFactory on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:59PM

    by ClownFactory (1874) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:59PM (#2606)

    Article titles (such as "Where We Go From Here" in this case) should link to the comments. Right now they are not links of any sort, but they are faster and easier to click on than the comment links at the bottom.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:10AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20 2014, @10:10AM (#3303)

    Please.

    No need to publish my email address on every page. In plain http.

    Thanks for listening.

    • (Score: 1) by Serial_Priest on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:08PM

      by Serial_Priest (2493) <accusingangelNO@SPAMautistici.org> on Thursday February 20 2014, @09:08PM (#3702)

      Used the old site for over 15 years, abandoned it once the consumerist anti-intellectual writing was on the wall. Glad to see this site is going to try to keep carrying the fire. Great work so far. This is what the Internet should be about - sharing information and trying to make sense of it together.

  • (Score: 1) by typhoon on Thursday February 27 2014, @10:54PM

    by typhoon (1283) on Thursday February 27 2014, @10:54PM (#8154)

    I've love to have an rss feed which had full text and comments = 1.