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posted by martyb on Friday February 17 2017, @02:06AM   Printer-friendly
from the long-and-winding-road dept.

Two of SoylentNews' staff submitted stories noting our three-year anniversary; one a site summary of where we are and a summary of what we've done, and the other a detailed presentation of the very early days and how SoylentNews got started.

Three Whole Years -- Thanks to You!

Three years ago, today, SoylentNews announced its presence to the world. Much has happened along the way of our providing a place for a community to grow and to engage in discussion.

It started as a fork of five-year-old, open-sourced code which had suffered under benign neglect. Perl, Apache, MySQL, and other products had continued on. So we had to deal with dependencies on unsupported and back-level versions of code. A great deal of effort went into bringing the site up-to-date with current versions of that base. See below for mechanicjay's illuminating first-hand account of how that all got started.

[Continues...]

Those of you who were with us then can attest to the fact that site outages were a regular occurrence. Bugs were found and eradicated. New bugs were made, and found as well. We invited the community to vote to name the site. We created documents of incorporation and had them dutifully filed. On July 4th, 2014 we received notice of officially becoming SoylentNews PBC. But I get ahead of myself.

Not content with just running a clone of the old code, the staff embarked on a large number of improvements to the site. Support for Unicode characters (via UTF-8) was an early improvement. Refinements to moderation took place — you could now moderate and comment in the same story. Moderation points were issued to every registered user every single day. An API was written and made available. We have our own Folding@Home team (currently ranked 314 of 226132 teams in the world) which contributes spare compute cycles to help find cures to maladies such as Huntington's Disease. (See the Main F@H site and our team page.) We sent out a call for new editors to help our beleaguered editing team which was approaching burnout; several of you answered the call and we are greatly enriched by their viewpoints and their questioning of the status quo.

And what have we wrought? Our own place on the world-wide web, supported and run entirely by the community. For the numerate in our midst, here are some statistics for the site. As of the time of this writing (20170217_002919 UTC), SoylentNews has:

  • conducted 96 polls
  • posted 2098 user journal articles
  • registered 6496 user nicknames
  • published 15660 stories
  • received 18611 story submissions
  • posted 462690 comments
  • had 52699108 hits on stories

But that's not all! Unwilling to rest on their laurels, our development team has been hard at work bringing improvements to the site — along with some bug fixes. If you want to play with the current, in-development, subject-to-change-without-notice version of the site, hop on over to our development server. Do be aware several specially-crafted stories were created and posted there so as to evoke certain test conditions, so please respect the admonitions stated on those stories. Have an observation, question, or found a bug? We'd love to hear your feedback in the #dev channel on our IRC server.

We could not have done it alone — a great many of you have contributed to the site. There is the administrative tasks of paying the bills and handling legal obligations. Sysops support to keep our boxes up and running. Writing code and patching bugs (while minimizing the bug writing). Suggesting and testing new code/features and providing constructive feedback. Making financial contributions by signing up for subscriptions. Submitting story submissions for the editors to poke and prod at. All of this in support of a goal to provide a place where people can submit comments and engage in discussions with other interesting and intelligent people on the 'net. As with any community, there have been some 'heated' discussions. And most refreshing of all, are those discussions where nuggets of wisdom and brilliance appear — and make the whole effort worthwhile.

So, on behalf of the rest of the all-volunteer staff here at SoylentNews, let me say thank you. For your support, engagement, and questioning — we are a better site because of you. May we continue to earn your trust and support for many years to come.

In the comments, please feel free to mention anything significant that happened over these years which were inadvertently omitted as well as to tell us what we can do better.

So, to wind this up, I have one last question: "emacs or vi?" =)

Reflections on our First Days

For our third year, I have some Reflections on our third day.

In some of the pre-history of SoylentNews, here is some of the stuff that gets lost in the mists of time around the first coordinated development effort -- running on a VM, on a laptop in my basement under the slashcott.org domain. The slashcott had been announced and was to commence in some number of days. A bunch of folks thought it would be an awesome idea to get an independent version of slash running in time for the slashcott -- what could go wrong?

3 years and ton of life changes for me, makes some of this a little fuzzy, but I'll do my best to put things together. I've relied heavily on my email archive of that time which helped spur a bunch of memories. Hopefully this will be a coherent tale. (Maybe for next year I'll mine my personal IRC logs from when we were still on freenode).

At first there was a bunch of coordination in the ##slashcode channel on freenode, a bunch of emails were also buzzing around trying to coordinate some things and ideas. My first email to Barrabas was on 02/06/2014 [6 Feb 2014 for our non-US readers]. The issue at hand was that "slashcode" had been hastily open sourced 5 years prior, then pretty well abandoned. Not only did you need to build the perl modules from scratch, but it would only build against Apache 1.x. Once you managed to run that gauntlet, even compiled and installed, things barely ran and were pretty horribly broken. Anyway, it soon became apparent that robinld, NCommander and myself were making the most progress on getting something running, as I recall Robin was the first to success in getting an installed running site, but his VM was stuck behind a corporate firewall.

In the meantime, I had gotten the domain slashcott.org registered while trying to build things myself. At some point, a bunch of us decided to combine forces, Robin shipped me his VM, I got it running on my laptop (as it was the only 64-bit thing I had at the time), we got myself and Ncommander ssh'ed in and we started hacking. For some reason, RedHat vm's were horribly laggy on my openSuse VirtualBox host and work was slow and painful, but progress started to be made.

The only bug I've ever fixed in the code base was a critical piece of the new account email/password generation stuff, as I recall the generated password wasn't actually getting written to the DB. (sadly the evidence of my contribution has been lost, I think I shipped the fix to either robin or ncommander, so they have credit in the git history). Regardless, it was a critical piece - I have an email dated 02/08/2014 with my new account/password, which worked -- it was a huge boon and let us start to let a couple people in to start hammering away to find front-end bugs (of which there were countless). The next big thing I see from mining my email is the first "Nightly stories email", which came out on 02/11/2014 (from the slashcott.org domain). I think we ended up with about 50ish users on slashcott.org (gosh I hope I still have that vmdk stashed somewhere).

On the night of 02/11/2014 (or very early morning of 02/12/2014), after giving up and going to bed (I had a new born and was teaching an undergrad class on the side in addition to my regular 9-5 -- I was beyond toasted after a week). The VM locked up hard (it had done this a couple times, but I was always available to poke it with a stick and bring it back. As I was unavailable and no one had exchanged important things like phone numbers yet, NCommander made the executive decision to spin up a linode, which was great. The laggy VM on the laptop wasn't meant to last forever, though I admit I had visions (delusions?) of hosting the site myself on some real hardware at some point. In retrospect, Linode has been an amazing way to run this site and absolutely the right decision.

I got my new account on the li694-22 domain, on the 02/12/2014, that new account email was for mechanicjay, UID 7 -- which is where I live on the site to this day. I kept the slashcott.org server in sync with code changes for a bit, and was a pretty handy testing platform, until the "official" dev box came online on 02/14/2014. At some point during this week, we had landed on the soylentnews.org domain and that's where we went live on 02/17/2014.

So there you have it, we went from a group of independent pissed off people with no organization and an abandoned broken codebase to launching an honest-to-goodness site in ELEVEN fucking days.


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2

Related Stories

Welcome to the World of Tomorrow... Today! 210 comments
Dopefish writes

Greetings Soylentils! And welcome to SoylentNews!

We are here to deliver the best community-sourced news, catered for all manner of nerd! Because this is a grassroots based platform, the content feeds are powered by readers like you. Our main objective is to highlight news stories on the web that are of importance to everyone, but especially nerds. In addition, SoylentNews will strive to go beyond simple news-aggregation, with some core principles:
  • Providing a soapbox for experts to discuss their profession and solicit questions from a curious audience.
  • Allowing the community to comment, without any mandatory registration.
  • Staying mindful of the community's needs and wants while avoiding changes to satisfy an overarching corporate agenda.

We want to make this your source for news about technology, art, science and politics. We are the new kid on the block and are adapting quickly to satisfy our community's needs, as we look forward to exceeding your expectations and pushing boundaries like never before. Lastly, there will be no changes in format without a general consensus from the community. Thank you for stopping by and enjoy the ride!

~Dopefish

Our Independence Day: We're Officially Incorporated! 46 comments
As a general rule, I don't post site news on weekends or holidays, but I'm making an exception due to the unique circumstances. I'm pleased to announce that as of today, our articles of incorporation have been accepted and signed off by the State of Delaware, and "SoylentNews PBC" is a licensed public benefit corporation, ready to accept business, effective today.

I feel that its fitting to post this today on July 4th, Independence Day, given the mission and unique history of SN. I'm going to do a follow-up post on Monday with more information on where we go now. Until then, have an awesome Independence Day, and a great weekend :-)
Happy Birthday to SoylentNews -- Four Years Old! 84 comments

It is my great pleasure to announce that SoylentNews has just celebrated four years of service to the community! The very first story on the site appeared on 2014-02-12 and actually went live to everyone 2014-02-17.

It all started when a story on Slashdot made reference to its "audience" which ticked off quite a number of people. Soon after came a boycott of Slashdot — aka the "Slashcott". While this was in effect, an intrepid few people somehow managed to take a years-old, out-of-date, unsupported, open-sourced version of slashcode and somehow managed to get it up to speed to run on much more recent versions of Apache, MySql, etc. Recurring crashes and outages were the norm. (See last year's anniversary story for many more details!) Further, on July 4th, 2014 our application to become a Public Benefit Corporation was approved — this set the stage for us to be able to accept funding from the community.

By the time you read this, we will have posted 20,980 stories to the site to which over 639,907 comments have been made!

We could not have done this without all of you. You (the community) submit the stories for the site. You write the comments... and moderate them, too. You made recommendations for improvements to the site. You are SoylentNews.

It has been my privilege and honor to work with a great group of folks who have done the behind-the-scenes skunk-work which has kept this site running. It does bear mentioning that this site is entirely staffed by volunteers. Nobody here has received even a penny's worth of income from the site. Like you, we have home and work responsibilities, but in our spare time we still strive to provide an environment that is conducive to discussions of predominantly tech-related matters.

Having said all that, I must add that income to the site has dropped recently. Having let my subscription lapse in the past, I know how easy that can be. Take a moment to check your subscription status. We have on the order of 100 people who have subscribed in the past, have visited the site in the past month, and whose subscription has expired. If your subscription is up-to-date, please consider either extending it or making a gift subscription (default is to UID 6 - "mcasadevall" aka NCommander). NB the dollar amounts presented are the minimum payments required for that duration -- we'll happily accept larger amounts. =)

If financial contributions are infeasible for you, we always appreciate story submissions. Submit a link, a few paragraphs from the story, and ideally a sentence or two about what you found interesting and send it to us. Any questions, please take a look at the Submission Guidelines.

Of course, the comments are where it's at. Thoughtful, well-reasoned, well-supported comments seem to do best here. Inflammatory histrionics garner attention, and usually down-mods, too. Speaking of which, if you have good Karma, and have been registered with the site for at least a month, you are invited to participate in moderation. Unlike other sites that up-mod or down-mod to infinity, we have something more like olympic-scoring here. A comment score can vary from -1 to a +5. This is how I look at scores: -1 (total waste of your time), 0 (meh), +1 (okay), +2 (good), +3 (quite good), +4 (very good), +5 (don't miss this one!).


Original Submission

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The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @02:10AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @02:10AM (#468044)

    And many returns!

    • (Score: 2) by edIII on Monday February 20 2017, @07:43PM

      by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 20 2017, @07:43PM (#469400)

      Happy belated 3rd birthday as well!

      I've been very impressed with the contributors and staff on the site. From day one for me I felt like I got the best the old site had to offer.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by TK on Friday February 17 2017, @02:20AM

    by TK (2760) on Friday February 17 2017, @02:20AM (#468046)

    I don't spend as much time here as I did in the first year, but I'll keep donating because I still believe in the idea that started the site.

    --
    The fleas have smaller fleas, upon their backs to bite them, and those fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum
    • (Score: 2) by julian on Friday February 17 2017, @05:16AM

      by julian (6003) on Friday February 17 2017, @05:16AM (#468094)

      I've been absent the last few months for personal, familial, reasons, but I am getting back to a normal pace of life. Economics concerns are also becoming more favorable. I donate to the ACLU as my main social-good expenditure, but when things get a bit better this site will be the next regular donation I make. The cost of a subscription is easy to justify.

      It's a good idea. I grew up reading the green site and saw it degrade. I think there's a niche for something like that. It's a good place to be, and I like being there.

      I will try to be around more often.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @02:29AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @02:29AM (#468051)

    Maybe someday gewg will actually log in! :)

    • (Score: 2) by martyb on Friday February 17 2017, @03:25AM

      by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 17 2017, @03:25AM (#468066) Journal

      We actually created an account and offered it to him on 2014-11-27. At the time, the offer was declined.

      The offer still holds. Nick is currently set to "gewg_", but can be changed if needed.

      --
      Wit is intellect, dancing.
    • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @05:10AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @05:10AM (#468091)

      Having too much fun watching folks point out what an oddball I am.

      (I don't remember that account being offered in November 2014.
      I didn't become aware that it existed until January 2015. [soylentnews.org]
      Doesn't matter; the answer's always the same:
      I have no interest in signups, cookies, karma, or any of that.)

      3 years already?
      Wow. Time flies when you're ancient.

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Friday February 17 2017, @05:30AM

        by butthurt (6141) on Friday February 17 2017, @05:30AM (#468100) Journal

        Your comments would be more visible--except to readers who intentionally choose not to see them.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @05:31AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @05:31AM (#468101)

        Instead of going back and searching for what people say. The thing has a built in notification system. The rest is just whatever...

        But I still hold out hope you will log in and do better!

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @07:18AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @07:18AM (#468123)

        Us AC's are what made the green site, and now the red site what it is.

        Nicks are just for stroking people's egos after all :)

        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday February 18 2017, @03:33AM

          It's handy to know you're arguing with the right person too. Plus saved view settings.

          --
          My favorite Trump protest sign: All in all you're just another prick with no wall
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18 2017, @06:01AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18 2017, @06:01AM (#468500)

          Nicks are just for stroking people's egos after all :)
          Good thing he signs all of his posts...

  • (Score: 2) by Arik on Friday February 17 2017, @02:31AM

    by Arik (4543) on Friday February 17 2017, @02:31AM (#468052)
    You're best of breed and you deserve more recognition.

    Emacs or VIM? I gave up on the jihad, either one is great. Just dont give me gedit.
    --
    "If Evolution Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Evolve."
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @03:19AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @03:19AM (#468062)

      Just dont give me gedit.

      Here, have a nano.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by martyb on Friday February 17 2017, @03:29AM

        by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 17 2017, @03:29AM (#468067) Journal

        Just dont give me gedit.

        Here, have a nano.

        Pffft! Real programmers use cat and just redirect input from the tty to a file. =)

        --
        Wit is intellect, dancing.
        • (Score: 5, Funny) by maxwell demon on Friday February 17 2017, @07:08AM

          by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 17 2017, @07:08AM (#468121) Journal

          Quiche eater! Real programmers use a disk editor to manipulate the disk sectors directly! ;-)

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
          • (Score: 2) by Snospar on Friday February 17 2017, @10:56AM

            by Snospar (5366) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 17 2017, @10:56AM (#468165)

            "Quiche eater" as an insult... it's these small gems that keep me coming back to this site! Thank you.

          • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @04:02PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @04:02PM (#468238)

            a magnetized needle and a steady hand

          • (Score: 5, Interesting) by hendrikboom on Friday February 17 2017, @04:17PM

            by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 17 2017, @04:17PM (#468249) Homepage

            Disk editor? I thought, Hey, I did that once.

            But the I remembered/ Back then in the 60's I didn't have a disk editor.

            Instead I wrote an assembly language program, punched it into cards, and compiled and ran it,. It read one particular disk sector, checked that the string "END OF JOB" appeared where expected, replaced it by "MERRY XMAS" and ran it. For the rest of the Christmas season, the IBM 1620 would print MERRY XMAS instead of END OF JOB.

            -- hendrik

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @01:24PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @01:24PM (#468188)

      OI, what's wrong with gedit?

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by tangomargarine on Friday February 17 2017, @04:04PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Friday February 17 2017, @04:04PM (#468239)

        There *wasn't* anything wrong with it until they recently decided to make the window border all weird...

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
        • (Score: 2) by Arik on Thursday February 23 2017, @02:34AM

          by Arik (4543) on Thursday February 23 2017, @02:34AM (#470568)
          "There *wasn't* anything wrong with it until they recently decided to make the window border all weird..."

          There was really nothing wrong with the idea of requiring X to edit a text file?

          Seriously? Final answer?

          http://i0.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/004/403/Girls.png
          --
          "If Evolution Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Evolve."
          • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Thursday February 23 2017, @03:51PM

            by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday February 23 2017, @03:51PM (#470735)

            This is Linux; there's a million other alternatives.

            A lot of desktop users don't want to dedicate brain cells to learning emacs or vim, and I don't blame them. YMMV.

            --
            "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 2, Disagree) by Arik on Wednesday February 22 2017, @06:36PM

        by Arik (4543) on Wednesday February 22 2017, @06:36PM (#470333)
        What's wrong with requiring X in order to edit files?

        I mean, there's plenty of other things to mention, but why? That's a showstopper.
        --
        "If Evolution Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Evolve."
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Corelli's A on Friday February 17 2017, @03:01AM

    by Corelli's A (1772) on Friday February 17 2017, @03:01AM (#468058)

    This site is the first I visit every day. I don't often feel I have much to add to the conversation, but I enjoy reading everyone's input.

    Everyone who has contributed to this site: coding, administering, donating, commenting, etc: you have wrought a fine edifice and community. I am grateful.

  • (Score: 2) by Marand on Friday February 17 2017, @04:23AM

    by Marand (1081) on Friday February 17 2017, @04:23AM (#468080) Journal

    If you want to play with the current, in-development, subject-to-change-without-notice version, hop on over to our development server.

    Well, a link to it would help if you really want people to try it out. ;) Better still, maybe a link on the sidebar along with the wiki/irc/etc. so that people can find it easily even after this story vanishes into the archives.

    For anyone interested, it looks like it's dev.soylentnews.org [soylentnews.org].

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by martyb on Friday February 17 2017, @01:44PM

      by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 17 2017, @01:44PM (#468194) Journal

      Well, a link to it would help if you really want people to try it out. ;)

      Wha? Huh! I know I put a link in there when I wrote this. Fixed... you should see it soon. Thanks a bunch for pointing that out!

      Better still, maybe a link on the sidebar along with the wiki/irc/etc. so that people can find it easily even after this story vanishes into the archives.

      What a brilliant idea!

      Okay, changes made, but it may take a bit for the changes to propagate out; I expect you should see it soon. (Update: I'm seeing some weirdness with our production server — the update seems to appear and disappear — be persistent!) I've passed the word onto our dev team and it should be grabbed for the next release as well. Thanks again!

      --
      Wit is intellect, dancing.
      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Saturday February 18 2017, @06:35AM

        by Reziac (2489) on Saturday February 18 2017, @06:35AM (#468508) Homepage

        Just realised I haven't been to the front page since before there *was* a sidebar! I always rely on the mailers, so doesn't occur to me to even look.

        Dang. Seems like a lot longer than 3 years. Many more to come. :)

    • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Friday February 17 2017, @05:12PM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Friday February 17 2017, @05:12PM (#468265) Homepage Journal

      It *used* to live in the sidebar for a really long time. I think it accidentally got removed and got deleted by accident. Oops.

      --
      Still always moving
      • (Score: 2) by Marand on Saturday February 18 2017, @11:14AM

        by Marand (1081) on Saturday February 18 2017, @11:14AM (#468549) Journal

        Well, that explains why I was looking at the sidebar expecting to find it before I wrote that comment. I was sure there was a link there and was going to mention it since the story didn't have one...but then it was missing, so I checked the wiki, then finally just went "fuck it, I'll try dev.soylentnews.org and then complain if it doesn't work".

        Luckily nobody decided to be clever with the subdomain :)

        While I'm thinking about it, I noticed my login didn't seem to work there when I went to look around, though my user page shows same name/ID. Separate user database or what? Made it hard to poke around.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @04:35AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @04:35AM (#468084)

    The Beatles broke up [medium.com] over The Long and Winding Road. Is martyb trying to tell us something?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @05:23AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @05:23AM (#468096)

      Someone just commented on something about bringing Cmdr Taco in, and "Putting the Band back Together", which I think is a "Blues Bros" reference.

      But I just want to say, as a proud and valiant AC, that SoylentNews is the very best hive of scum and villainy on the intertubes, and thank you from the bottom of my, um, heart, to all you who created it, and keep it running! BanZai!! (Ten Thousand more years!)

      • (Score: 2) by cmn32480 on Friday February 17 2017, @12:37PM

        by cmn32480 (443) Subscriber Badge <cmn32480NO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday February 17 2017, @12:37PM (#468182) Journal

        thank you from the bottom of my, um, heart

        Better that than the bottom of your bottom!

        --
        "It's a dog eat dog world, and I'm wearing Milkbone underwear" - Norm Peterson
    • (Score: 2) by martyb on Friday February 17 2017, @02:09PM

      by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 17 2017, @02:09PM (#468207) Journal

      The Beatles broke up [medium.com] over The Long and Winding Road. Is martyb trying to tell us something?

      In a word: "No!"

      I was thinking only of the first stanza:

      The long and winding road
      That leads to your door
      Will never disappear
      I've seen that road before
      It always leads me here
      Lead me to you door

      To me, that says that no matter what else may come my up, there's something about this [place] that keeps bringing me back -- I just can't stay away.

      No other intended meaning than that... in fact I was unaware that the song had anything to do with the Beatles breakup. (That was an interesting read — thanks for the link!)

      This has been an all-volunteer project right from the start. People saw a need and jumped in. It is the community that makes this site what it is. It is my fervent hope that this attitude will continue — that people will see a need, scratch an itch, and that SoylentNews will continue to merit being on the short-list of sites you visit regularly.

      --
      Wit is intellect, dancing.
  • (Score: 2) by jelizondo on Friday February 17 2017, @06:27AM

    by jelizondo (653) on Friday February 17 2017, @06:27AM (#468110)

    Congratulations to all who started this site! I can’t believe it’s been three years!

    It also means I haven’t visited that other site in a long time. I have come to like the small-ish community here, even the weirdos that adorn every other news with their crazy posts.

    Like other soylentils, I may not post many comments and have only one submission under my belt, but I try to do other things for the site, such as subscribing and moderating.

    I look forward to many more years and once again, thank you developers, editors and fellow soylentils for creating a site I visit several times a day.

    I’ll go now and pop another beer to your health!

    Cheers!

  • (Score: 2) by Magic Oddball on Friday February 17 2017, @10:14AM

    by Magic Oddball (3847) on Friday February 17 2017, @10:14AM (#468158)

    I wasn't actually aware for the first few months that SN existed (I didn't see it discussed pre-Slashcott, and was avoiding /. for a long time afterward), but it has been on my shortlist of sites to check since then. Though in my mind, what says a lot more is the fact that there's enough of a real community—not just a collection of regulars—that I haven't started over with a new username every year or two like I do everywhere else on the Web. (Damn it, now I've got the annoying theme song to Cheers stuck in my head! Blargh!)

    Here's to three more years and then some!

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @10:28AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @10:28AM (#468160)

    American dates need to be banned!

    just use the ISO 8601 YYYY/MM/DD never EVER any confusion.

    Apart from the unparsable dates I enjoyed this trip down memory lane.

    Good job keeping it short.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by mmcmonster on Friday February 17 2017, @10:49AM

      by mmcmonster (401) on Friday February 17 2017, @10:49AM (#468164)

      I love ISO 8601 dates! (No, I'm not being facetious.)

      All my documents are prepended with yyyy-mm-dd so that I get proper sort order.

      Sorry I had to butt in with this. Proper file nameing and directory structures get me excited.

      • (Score: 2) by DECbot on Friday February 17 2017, @08:06PM

        by DECbot (832) on Friday February 17 2017, @08:06PM (#468324) Journal

        While I applaud your enthusiasm, and echo your file naming schemes in my own rig, I find that the contents of my porn catalog does better to excite me than the file names and directory structure of the catalog. But I understand, not everyone shares my preferences for ASCII art.

        --
        cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
    • (Score: 2) by art guerrilla on Friday February 17 2017, @12:16PM

      by art guerrilla (3082) on Friday February 17 2017, @12:16PM (#468177)

      *sheesh* just what you would expect a programmer to say at the expense of meat machines...
      no, THE only date format which makes UNIVERSAL sense to nekkid apes is : fri17feb2017
      even with no spaces it is 100% readable, understandable and unambiguous...
      don't give a shit if it is computer-friendly or not, it is hu-man-friendly, THAT is what is important...
      whip your stupid computers into shape that can handle that date format, NOT vice versa...

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by martyb on Friday February 17 2017, @03:46PM

        by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 17 2017, @03:46PM (#468232) Journal

        no, THE only date format which makes UNIVERSAL sense to nekkid apes is : fri17feb2017 even with no spaces it is 100% readable, understandable and unambiguous...

        Was bedeutet "di17dez2013"? [*]

        Given the wide number of languages, many of which have their own names for the days of the week and the months of the year, it seems there just might be some limitations in your proposed UNIVERSAL format.

        [*] That would be an example of using the suggested format, in German, which in full would be: Dienstag, 17 Dezember 2013. 2013-12-17. (cf: The Months, Seasons, Days, and Dates in German [about.com].

        Once THAT has been mastered, let's move on to French, Spanish, Polish, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, and Mandarin.

        --
        Wit is intellect, dancing.
        • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Friday February 17 2017, @05:33PM

          by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Friday February 17 2017, @05:33PM (#468268) Homepage Journal

          No, the real way to handle dates is YYYYMMDD (HHMMss) so that a newer date is always highter than an old one :)

          --
          Still always moving
          • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Friday February 17 2017, @05:58PM

            by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 17 2017, @05:58PM (#468277) Journal

            Let's own up. If we were real geeks we would use stardates from Star Trek.

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
          • (Score: 2) by gringer on Friday February 17 2017, @06:15PM

            by gringer (962) on Friday February 17 2017, @06:15PM (#468285)

            So... ISO 8601 then:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_8601#Calendar_dates [wikipedia.org]

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @06:33PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @06:33PM (#468298)

              Funny you should bring that up. I just saw a discussion thread about it somewhere.

              • (Score: 2) by martyb on Saturday February 18 2017, @06:31AM

                by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 18 2017, @06:31AM (#468506) Journal

                Funny you should bring that up. I just saw a discussion thread about it somewhere.

                You could at least have provided a link. [soylentnews.org]

                --
                Wit is intellect, dancing.
  • (Score: 2) by Lagg on Friday February 17 2017, @04:14PM

    by Lagg (105) on Friday February 17 2017, @04:14PM (#468247) Homepage Journal

    I greatly valued and continue to value SN as a practical news alternative to the utter clusterfuck Slashdot turned into and general fishiness of "mainstream" shit. Was concerned about inertia for a time there (which is why I tried to contribute in what capacity I could) but happy it ended up being irrelevant. Please continue to keep it running. I deleted my twitter account and that was the first and last time I attempted going such a route to get my news. So in other words SN is probably worth $67 billion and we must Monetize the Userbase.

    --
    http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿
    8DF5 7CC6 9572 2282 4BD7 CC2C 1316 E8D2 AB04 0CBD
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by NCommander on Friday February 17 2017, @05:25PM

    by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Friday February 17 2017, @05:25PM (#468266) Homepage Journal

    I had a serious amount of writers block which is why I didn't end up writing anything for the anniversary post, and Marty tends to do these better than I do, but here's my two cents down memory lane.

    At the time of the slashcott, I was living in a small flat in Panama, with poor internet and nothing much to really do. When I got started, most of the coding discussion was on freenode in ##altslashdot, and I had some experience working on slash historically as I had been interested in playing with the nightmare of a codebase back when I really was into the other site. Robinld had gotten fairly far in getting the main page running, but install-slashsite was failing over with a lot of errors, and so I worked to independently replicate his success on my laptop. My approach was to use an older perl than what we were using (I believe MJ was using the system perl on that VM), and rebuild the entire stack module by module. This helped a lot and then I attacked most of the bitrot that had seeped into the MySQL code as the create table syntax had changed slightly.

    This eventually got us to the point that install-slashsite completed successfully and I could initialize the template archive. This got slash to fully render the main page without error, and I remember people going nuts when I successfully posted the main page rendering without error. I copied my install to the linode I setup, and we started getting initial users up and to test it. On the 12th, I reset the user database once because of breakage from the first round of testing. At this point, almost all major site issues were working, though some of the CSS was broken. I worked on stripping out as much of the D2 code as possible and switching the site default to the old D1 view, and getting moderation up and working. (The moderation code was present, but the algorithm was hilarious broken; see my old journal posts). I bought two linodes, later named hydrogen, and helium as our first webserver, and DB machine and continue in service today. We went live five dates later, and nearly self-destructed from the load.

    --
    Still always moving
    • (Score: 2) by mechanicjay on Friday February 17 2017, @06:12PM

      by mechanicjay (7) <{mechanicjay} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday February 17 2017, @06:12PM (#468284) Homepage Journal

      I remember the early struggles of getting the varnish cache tuned. Once we got that tweaked, I think we were seeing something like a 93% cache hit rate, which let the Apache 1.x processes just kinda lumber along.

      --
      My VMS box beat up your Windows box.
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Friday February 17 2017, @06:09PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 17 2017, @06:09PM (#468280) Journal

    Has it really only been 3 years? It feels like a couple decades have passed in that time. Maybe it's the relativistic effects as we near the Singularity.

    I have been involved in founding and building a number of volunteer efforts over the years, and this is the best. It's been really interesting to watch it cohere. In the end it comes down to a small handful of people persevering on a project no matter how much resistance and criticism come their way, and how much thankless effort it takes.

    Thanks, guys. You are the world builders.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 2) by iWantToKeepAnon on Friday February 17 2017, @08:09PM

    by iWantToKeepAnon (686) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 17 2017, @08:09PM (#468328) Homepage Journal
    There were other slashcott's that germinated during that time. Pipedot's UI is pretty clean and modern. I just popped over there for the first time in a long time, and the latest post is from 2016-12-03. The site says it is running "pipedot-2017-02-17.tar.gz"; so later than the last post.
    --
    "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." -- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • (Score: 1) by maggotbrain on Saturday February 18 2017, @12:41AM

    by maggotbrain (6063) on Saturday February 18 2017, @12:41AM (#468434)

    Thanks to all of you for your hard work pulling this site together. In the last year, this place has become one of my go to sites to begin my day. The chosen topics are interesting and the summaries are very well written. The smallish community makes it non-painful to read the comments. Here's to wishing you success in the coming years. Congratulations.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18 2017, @06:31AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18 2017, @06:31AM (#468505)

      Hear hear!

      -The AC swarm

    • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Sunday February 19 2017, @01:37AM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Sunday February 19 2017, @01:37AM (#468812) Homepage Journal

      Always good to see a high UID posting to remind me we're growing as a community :).

      (says UID 2 ...)

      --
      Still always moving