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SoylentNews is people

posted by martyb on Friday October 06, @11:21AM   Printer-friendly
from the upon-the-shoulders-of-others dept.

There is a story up on medium.com by Rob Malda (aka CmdrTaco) reflecting on Slashdot's start twenty years ago, on October 5th, 1997. For those who may be new here, the code driving this site you are reading is based on an old version of slashcode. If it weren't for Rob's efforts starting way back then, there would be no SoylentNews today.

Within a few days of DNS registration, Slashdot.org was live. I quickly added polls to answer urgent questions like "How many shots should Kurt drink". While he suffered the results of these polls, I would tail -f on the access_log and the residents of the so-called Geek House would boggle as names like 'mit.edu' and 'microsoft.com' streamed forward faster than we could read.

Rapid change followed: traffic soon created real expenses requiring hardware, colocation, and advertising. The code was in constant flux: adding user accounts, moderation, the submissions bin. And of course performance improvements to deal with the unyielding traffic growth. All the while I posted story after story, and our readers matched us with more comments than we thought possible.

My friends began contributing more and more. From code, to old hardware, to posting stories and coordinating advertising, we formed Blockstackers with a purpose. Slashdot went from from something with a stupid name that I was building into something we were building... with the help of thousands of nerds around the world that we would never meet in person.

I first visited Slashdot in its very early days. I saw the creation of UIDs and nicknames... and the database crash which lost all of the accounts so people had to sign up again. (Those with very low UIDs were very much not pleased!)

The code that drive the site you are reading is based on a version of Slashdot's code which they released as open source. Sadly, that version had not been maintained for years, so it had dependencies on out-of-date packages like Apache, and basically fell all over the floor — many long days were spent to get the code into shape. Our updated version of the code, rehash, is available on github.

I suspect I'm not the only one who came to SoylentNews who has many years' experience on Slashdot. Feel free to use this as an opportunity to share your remembrances of the early days there — and of SoylentNews, as well — which will be 44 months old on October 14th.

[Update: As mentioned in the story, these sites do not run or fund themselves. At the time of this writing, we have received approximately $537 towards our goal of $3000.00 for the half-year period ending 2017-12-31. We accept credit card payments and even Bitcoin. If you would like to contribute something to SoylentNews, please take a moment to go to our Subscribe page. The dollar amount is the minimum amount for the stated duration, but you are free to set it to whatever larger value you like. If you don't want the subscription for yourself, some folks make a gift subscription to NCommander who has UID 2. Oh, and in case you were not aware, none of the staff collect any kind of income for their work — we are all volunteers and give freely of our time and energy. --martyb]


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  • (Score: 3, Flamebait) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday October 06, @03:26PM (4 children)

    Politics is pretty much always going to be Flamebait nowadays since everyone seems to be utterly against rational discourse and compromise. At least the bits particularly relevant to us as a community still need to be covered though.

    --
    We've got #BieberFever [soylentnews.org]!
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +1  
       Flamebait=2, Insightful=1, Interesting=1, Underrated=1, Total=5
    Extra 'Flamebait' Modifier   0  
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   3  
  • (Score: 5, Funny) by bob_super on Friday October 06, @04:14PM

    by bob_super (1357) on Friday October 06, @04:14PM (#578089)

    > everyone seems to be utterly against rational discourse and compromise

    You're so fucking wrong about this that I won't even start explaining how retarded you are!

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Azuma Hazuki on Friday October 06, @05:28PM

    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 06, @05:28PM (#578152)

    > everyone seems to be utterly against rational discourse and compromise

    Well, hey, at least you're getting a little self-awareness. Even if it was an accident, keep it up!

  • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by FakeBeldin on Friday October 06, @07:53PM (1 child)

    by FakeBeldin (3360) on Friday October 06, @07:53PM (#578285) Journal

    I wanted to reply something about this being applicable to the US.

    Then I remembered Brexit. And Cataluni-exit. And the French Presidential elections. And the German elections. And what's happening politically in Poland, and Hungary. And how there have been a steady stream of politicians since about 2000 that spew them vs us rhetoric in hopes of gaining votes - and succeeding.
    Then I figured to say something about this being applicable to the USA and the EU.

    Then I remembered what's happening with the presidential elections in Kenya, and realised that while I know next to nothing about the political situation in the various African nations, the small part I know a little of is rather strongly polarised and fits the bill (both Subsaharan and above the Sahara).

    Then I remembered the current referendum in Australia, and just hearing how some individuals figured to campaign with respect to that. Hard to say it's common over there, but strong polarisation is definitely occurring there as well.
    I was hoping for Asia to help me out here, until I remembered what's happening in Myanmar. Maybe you shouldn't evaluate the most populous continent by what's happening in one nation, but maybe you can judge an entire continent for the lack of actions of a Nobel peace prize winner. Of course, if you say I shouldn't, I can always go with Russia, where rational discourse between opposition and ruling party seems forbidden by the constitution.

    The Arabian peninsula, you say? Let's just say "some parts resemble Russia" and leave it at that.

    South America?
    Again, I know little. I have a vague clue about Venezuela, which is enough to sour anyone's grapes. I've heard about what constitutes "rational discourse" in the Rio favela's - which seems to be judged by the caliber used.

    The worst part is that while writing this post, I keep thinking of more and more examples to add.

    Well, we'll always have Antartica, I guess.

    :(

    • (Score: 2) by bart9h on Monday October 09, @05:58PM

      by bart9h (767) on Monday October 09, @05:58PM (#579340)

      South America?
      Again, I know little.

      So you can add Brazil to your shitlist.
      I'm 44yo, and haven't seen the socio-political scenario being so bad around here.
      It's certainly the worst times since the 60-70s dictatorship.