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posted by NCommander on Monday May 22 2023, @04:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the end dept.

This is the post I never thought I would have to make. I am also writing this post on behalf of SoylentNews PBC, the legal owner of SoylentNews, and not as a member of the staff or the community.

SoylentNews is going to shut down operations on June 30th.

This wasn't an easy decision to come to, and it's ultimately the culmination of a lot of factors, some which were in my control, and some that weren't. A large part boils down to critical maintenance to the site not properly being performed for a very long time. To pay back the mountain of technical debt we've built up, it would require relaunching the site from scratch.

I'll discuss this more in depth below, but I can't personally justify the time any more, especially due to the negative impact that SN is having on my personal life.

Before we shut down, at least for the foreseeable future, I'm going to outline the situation as I see it, my own personal responsibility, and what happens next.

Technical Reasons

Let's start with the technical nitty gritty. SoylentNews was, in November 2022, at the point where it was about to have a fatal database crash. The database cluster was wedged in an invalid state. Backups weren't properly being done. As it was, we lost several days of postings after a hard crash. On top of that, we had multiple public facing machines running outdated versions of CentOS and Ubuntu running net facing services.

There's two distinct problems here, both of which have to be addressed.

The first is the site itself, and specifically what we can or can't do with it. At this point, rehash, the backend that runs SoylentNews, is nearly 30 years old, and it was written in what can be generously described as angry and especially esoteric Perl. Perl was already going extinct when we launched in 2014, and at this point is mostly relegated to legacy backend code which is slowly but surely disappearing.

Complicating matters is that rehash is specifically tied into Apache 2.2 via mod_perl, a version that is well past end of life and significantly out of date. While the website is well sandboxed and battle hardened, running obsolete code on the public Internet is not a smart move especially when combined with many of the other factors listed below.

To just keep up with patched software, we would either need to port the site to Apache 2.4 and a recent version of mod_perl, or break the Apache dependency with an alternative like FastCGI. This would also require updating the base version of Perl5 to something more recent and hoping all the necessary CPAN modules have either been updated, or can be reasonably replaced, which is doubtful at best

As the person who actually did the base port of rehash from Apache 1.3 to Apache 2, this is a massive project regardless of which way we would go. This would require a full rebuild of the /srv/soylentnews.org directory which alone could easily take weeks or months of work. That doesn't take into account all the other bits of infrastructure and software that would need to be reworked, rebuilt, or replaced.

When we migrated to rehash, we had more staff who could QA the site and quite a bit went wrong trying to do that relatively simpler migration.

As we are now?

I don't see how it's possible anymore.

After everything that has played out, I'm having trouble working up sufficient motivation to work on the site and bring it up to a serviceable state when combined with the amount of friction I've experienced just getting us here.

I had hoped to hire outside help or at least raise enough through livestreaming other SN related work to offset the costs. At this point though I believe that is a lost cause as well. If this was the only major problem, it would be bad enough. Unfortunately, it's just the tip of a very large and very ugly iceberg.

The deeper problem is that everything else has bitrotted over time.

SN's backend is something of a jigsaw puzzle which is documented in one of three places: on the site, on the internal technical wiki (which is currently down), and on the old public facing wiki which is also down. None of that documentation was or is consistent with the actual state of reality, and quite a few parts, like the MySQL cluster, were somewhat esoteric.

In practice, if you want to know how anything was plugged into anything, it was a matter of pulling cables and figuring out what broke. It also doesn't help that the backend is notoriously noisy. That makes it hard to sort out real errors from the chaff. This was a large part of why the Zoo plugin, which does the sidebars, was broken for most of December. It also didn't help that we had three different OSes (Ubuntu, CentOS, Gentoo) which complicated system administration.

Furthermore, there have been major disagreements among the sysops on actually doing any major upgrades. Someone would complain that we should do something. There would be a lot of arguments about it. In most cases, nothing got done. Because of this ongoing friction, it became increasingly more common for no one to install updates. This is why we never upgraded from Ubuntu 14.04 to 16.04 back in 2016. I eventually said we should just go to Gentoo, since there was a widespread belief that upgrading the distribution would break everything. This suggestion ultimately just ended up with only our development machine on Gentoo, and that too was woefully out of date.

When I finally checked in in November 2022, after two years, the site had finally reached a breaking point. I talked with some people in #chillax, and I got a state of affairs from mechanicjay, and I decided to do what should have been done long ago.

Clean house.

I didn't ask for permission. I didn't wait for people to answer DMs. I just did it because we had done this go around one too many times in the past.

I will let the community decide if I was justified or not in doing so.

A lot of this involved installing over a decade of upgrades. Setting up and configuring firewalls and removing unneeded services. Backing up and decommissioning old boxes. Given the extended period of time without updates, you can imagine that I at least have some concern at the number of potentially vulnerable backend services that were exposed to the Internet.

I found no evidence of breach, but given the period of time, and general lack of maintenance, I am at best uneasy.

I could have done better.

In the end, I finally installed almost a decade of upgrades in December of 2022, but that only postponed the inevitable. I also trimmed the number of machines and services in an effort to be at least slightly more secure on the Internet. However, ultimately, without a way to bring in new users, SN is slowly going to attrition itself to death.

Some might argue that I simply let it be, or should have let it be in November, but I really did hope that I could pull it out of this death spiral. Over the last few months, it has become clear that the only way work is going to be done is if I do it or if a miracle happens.

The problem is: as part-owner, where do you go from here?

There's also the matter of liability.

Ultimately speaking, if something happened with SN, Matt and I would be jointly responsible since our names are on the legal documents. I tried to find someone to take my place, and failed. I am legally attached to something that is barely being maintained, and frankly, I can't carry this cross any further.

My Role In This Outcome

I guess this falls down to a lot of my personal responsibility. While SN is at its heart a community project, it is also a business, one for which I have served as its president for its entire life. I really had no idea what I was doing when we started, and this had long term effects on SN as a whole. Part of this was that we only had subscriptions as a revenue stream.

Without a more solid revenue stream, the PBC was essentially hostage to the small trickle of money subscriptions. In a volunteer organization, it's a matter of "who shows up to do the work" dictating the direction of the site.

In the early days this wasn't a problem, I had plenty of free time, and people were often willing to help. That's largely how the site got ported to Apache 2, and why we were able to stay up for more than a year. Meanwhile, solving UTF-8 support was one of TMB's and MartyB's projects. As the early enthusiasm died off and staff began to leave, essential tasks were becoming less and less likely to be done.

That ultimately created a negative feedback loop in which technical debt continued to pile up.

SoylentNews also doesn't have a growing community, partially because we have very few inbound links, and are fairly low in search results. In our early days, folks followed us from Slashdot, and some viral posts on places like reddit and HackerNew did help to build the community, but this has largely evaporated.

Growth of some sort is important because communities have a natural attrition rate. People leave, die, or otherwise go inactive. Year over year, the community has shrunk, primarily because we don't bring in a lot of new blood.

Furthermore, the Internet as a whole has changed. When we started, GamerGate was yet to happen. The world couldn't even imagine the rise of the Trump presidency. In theory, the moderation system should have been able to handle disinformation, but the mod system requires a certain critical mass to work. Slashdot's mod system could only work as it does on a large community, and we found at least one critical flaw with its base assumption:

People rarely if ever downvote.

This, combined with ineffective anti-spam meant that it was relatively easy to game the system, and allowing bad actors outweighed good. My perception was SN's signal to noise ratio was becoming more noise year over year, and there were many conversations on this, which ultimately went nowhere. For me, personally, it finally reached a head with COVID. The amount of medical misinformation and similar such disinformation got to the point that I felt we needed to drastically overhaul the site.

This lead to some very bitter arguments.

Ultimately, I was overruled, and I attempted to resign after bitter arguments in the staff channel. My resignation was written, but ultimately never posted, and I left on bad terms with the staff at the time. Consequently, I remained President of the PBC. At that time, I requested Matt remove me from the position, but we never formalized this, primarily because there was no one to replace me. It should also be noted that we were missing a secretary and unable to find a replacement after mrcoolbp withdrew due to personal life reasons.

I could have, and perhaps should have, forced the issue then, but I could still remember how the domain was hijacked in our early days, and didn't want this to be a case of sour grapes. I also had a reasonable belief that SN would still be maintained by the active staff. I turned my attention towards my other endeavors such as my YouTube channel and tried to put it behind me.

Two years passed.

That was not the end of the infighting, and that ultimately led up to TMB leaving in 2021. The site was now running with the bare minimum of maintenance mechanicjay supported by audioguy could give it with no hope of a long term solution in sight. Had I not checked in, and decided to do emergency maintenance, the odds are that it would have been a matter of weeks or months before a severe system crash would have irreparably corrupted the database.

As it was, we had two hard crashes that lost weeks of posts. There were no functioning backups that I could find.

I did two emergency rounds of maintenance that saw the backend database replaced with a standard vanilla MySQL instance and drastically downsized the number of machines, cutting the monthly bill more than half.

However, it's become clear to me that this was too little, too late.

Many of the issues that were present when I resigned were still here. At the end of the day, I found myself caught between my responsibility towards my site and my own frustrations for what it had become. This combined with a personal disaster in my life starting in December meant that I had very little time for SN.

This was also combined with the dawning realization of how difficult it would be to get new sysops and devs to replace myself and those that had left. While I was willing at least to put some of the legwork in, no one really wanted to sit down and help with the business side of things. It felt like everyone else decided we should all hum loudly. While we had some volunteers for sysops, my lack of time, combined with the relatively arcane nature of our backend mostly nothing being done.

I honestly don't know if there was one specific misstep that led to this outcome. However, the need for sites like Slashdot and SoylentNews was already passing when we launched. Slashdot is a shell of itself, and most of the role of news aggregator is taken up with sites like reddit and HackerNews. The need for something like SN has largely disappeared.

That means for SN to exist, it has to exist for itself, and well, that's the rub of it. SN stopped being maintained while I was absent. It wasn't being well maintained well before that point. It's not going to be maintained now simply because I can't justify the time and effort anymore and no one else is putting time or effort into this either.

Suggestions like running ads to try and pay for some of the maintenance costs have either been rejected or at least treated with enough skepticism that makes me doubtful it would help.

Finally, I'm tired of fighting over every single issue which in the end leads to nothing being done and everyone just walking away unhappy.

What Would Have Been Needed To Save SN?

As before, I'll break this into two sections, involving the technical, and the non-technical. To summarize, it essentially required people to take responsibility and pledge to fix it as well as relieve me from my position from the PBC.

Technically speaking, we'd need to be able to refresh the site infrastructure as well as the site's backend dependencies. You're essentially dealing with a legacy Linux install that has been upgraded from Ubuntu 12.04 to Ubuntu 22.04 that at least a dozen of sysops have worked on.

To reduce site admin burden, we'd probably end up migrating email, and most services beside IRC and the website to third party hosting providers. This would have solved many of the email and registration issues that have plagued the site since GMail made their spam barriers extremely hostile to external SMTP hosted mail.

We would also need a development environment that properly tracked with production to allow changes to be done incrementally and rolled back, something that was a continuous problem throughout every major site upgrade. This would let us test each aspect of the overhaul and deploy it piecemeal instead of having the site be broken for weeks or months as happened with the much smaller November upgrade.

Ideally, we would use an automation deployment solution such as GitHub Actions which would make sure the machine state was always in sync with the build files, and allow for easy and rapid deployment of backend patches and security updates.

With this all done, it would have allowed site maintenance to easily be done en masse to all machines and without risk of the site breaking in new and arcane ways.

I did talk to Matt about the possibility of either fundraising or selling stock in an effort to finance it.

I also made multiple efforts to find someone who was willing to seriously take over the site and take over the PBC. There were a few email discussions that went ultimately nowhere.

What it boils down to is that to do anything with the site, I would have to put in legwork that, after everything that has been said and done, I am no longer willing to do nor is anyone truly stepping in to try and take over for me.

It doesn't help that nearly every single thing I've laid out here was shot down by at least one other member of staff while at the same time no realistic alternatives were worked on or even proposed.

What Happens Now?

At this point, we need to get the expenses of the PBC to zero. We have about $1,500 USD in the bank, most of which will go to handle our shutdown fees. I want to give a window for people to exchange contact info and write goodbyes. Subscriptions will be disabled on the site by time this post goes live. SN doesn't have a robust infrastructure to process refunds, and TMB wrote most of the code involving that. I am discussing with Matt what our options here are, but in the worst case scenario, any leftover will be donated to the EFF.

A final backup of the VMs and site database will be taken and soylentnews.org will be redirected to a static page. Everything representing the site be archived and taken offline. I'm going to hold the domain name and backups in trust in the hope that circumstances in the future may allow for the site to return in some form.

I wish I did not need to say such a thing might happen, but all things must end.

Until we meet again, ~ NCommander

Related Stories

SoylentNews PBC Will Formally Continue Operations + Site Overhaul Status 94 comments

SoylentNews PBC had a proper business meeting on Friday, to discuss events since the shutdown notice was posted.

This meeting was attended by myself, Matt Angel, and kolie. I was on the phone for about two hours, combined with multiple follow ups in DMs.

Let's get the good news out first.

SN PBC has agreed to continue operations for SoylentNews.

We also had a very long extended discussion on what the future may look like and some points brought up by staff or members of the community were discussed.

Let's cover all the major points below.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
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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.
(1) 2 3
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by takyon on Monday May 22 2023, @04:01PM (12 children)

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday May 22 2023, @04:01PM (#1307343) Journal

    I caught wind of this on May 20 and archived my own journal: https://archive.is/https://soylentnews.org/~takyon/journal/* [archive.is]

    I've also archived:

    NCommander (2) [archive.is]
    Sir Finkus (192) [archive.is]
    Subsentient (1111) [archive.is]
    MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) [archive.is]
    jasassin (3566) [archive.is]
    Azuma Hazuki (5086) [archive.is]
    kurenai.tsubasa (5227) [archive.is]
    charon (5660) [archive.is]
    barbara hudson (6443) [archive.is]
    jmichaelhudsondotnet (8122) [archive.is]
    Mojibake Tengu (8598) [archive.is]
    Zinnia Zirconium (11163) [archive.is]

    ...with more on the way.

    In addition to the individual journal entries, I'll archive the paged listing of the journal entries to make them somewhat easier to find. I am archiving oldest pagination first, and ending with the plain journal link for the most recent 10 entries, like in this 2 page example:

    https://soylentnews.org/journal.pl?op=display&uid=11163&start=10 [soylentnews.org]
    https://soylentnews.org/~Zinnia+Zirconium/journal/ [soylentnews.org]

    That's because that first link is navigable from the second one, and the "front page" of the journal is easy to search for. Whenever you click a link on an Archive.today page, it checks for an archive and sends you there instead of trying to load the live (dead) website.

    This will work best if there are no more journals being published by that user account before the date of SOYLENTDEATH, since they would all shift positions if a new one is added. But if something changes somewhere, you can archive those pages again.

    I think that all hidden-by-default comments and spoiler blocks are saved by Archive.today, just not viewable without messing around with the CSS. I'm working on a user script that will automatically expand all comments and spoiler blocks when you load an archived SoylentNews page. I will add it to the Final Countdown journal if it works.

    I've confirmed that Ghost Archive can make an easy archive that will allow the expanding of spoiler blocks as well as default below-threshold comments, as seen here: https://ghostarchive.org/archive/123zB [ghostarchive.org]

    Another trick is to change the threshold settings so that they appear in the URL, and archive that. You might also need to archive multiple pages if there are a lot of comments. For the old Drupal/BDSM story, I set the new threshold and edited the page number in the URL to keep the URL consistent (the URL parameters will move around if you just click the number to go to the other page). Maybe there's a cleaner way, but at least it's searchable from the plain URL:

    https://archive.is/https://soylentnews.org/politics/article.pl?sid=17/03/26/0049222* [archive.is]

    You may have noticed alternate URLs using comments.pl and an SID integer instead of the date (click on "Top"):

    https://soylentnews.org/politics/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=18680 [soylentnews.org]

    The nexus is also entirely unnecessary, doesn't do anything at all:

    https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=18680 [soylentnews.org]

    But the point is to make these easier to find and I think the first format with the date and the nexus is probably the best. YMMV.

    My Slashdot login still works, and I made a new email account in case you want to contact me (yeah, right):

    soytakyon
    Who am I kidding RokoBasiliskGPT can figure out this is an "at" symbol
    proton.me

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 22 2023, @10:49PM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 22 2023, @10:49PM (#1307491)

      What I would do is ask ArchiveTeam to back up the website once the date gets closer. They know-how to do it such that the complete website will be navigable on the WaybackMachine. This website should be a relative cakewalk compared to some they have to handle, especially with the help of the actual admins.

      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday May 22 2023, @11:03PM

        by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday May 22 2023, @11:03PM (#1307498) Journal

        I've unofficially backed up a gigantic portion of the journals in less than 2 days. I might be able to get all of them (excluding the spambots will help). I don't want to bother with most of the articles right now.

        If someone else has other plans, go for it. Let's have 2-3 independent backups instead of 0-1.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2023, @11:10PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2023, @11:10PM (#1307778)

        #ArchiveAristarchus!!!!

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday May 23 2023, @11:53PM (2 children)

          by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Tuesday May 23 2023, @11:53PM (#1307781) Journal

          https://archive.is/https://soylentnews.org/~aristarchus/journal/* [archive.is]

          There you go. I haven't gotten around to archiving his many sockpuppets yet.

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 25 2023, @06:41PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 25 2023, @06:41PM (#1308173)

            But that is only the journals. What about all the comments that aristarchus made over the years, since that is what made SoylentNews what it was.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2023, @06:11PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2023, @06:11PM (#1308347)

              I do not understand why someone would make such sarcastic remarks about my good friend aristarchus. Why you do this fren? Who hurt you in your previous life?

              May we all get along in peace and harmony,
              Your unswervingly loyal servant,
              apk

              Amen

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2023, @12:06AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2023, @12:06AM (#1307513)

      Some of us have boxes of old magazines out in the garage. And boxes of boxes in the corner, right where the family heirlooms would be, if I had any, instead of old magazines.

      I have some from the '70s.

      The silverfish love 'em.

      The boxes, you see.

      I was reading Douglas Adams' "Life, the Universe and Everything" last night. It has paragraph formatting just like this.

      He would insult the Universe.

      That is, he would insult everybody in it. Individually, personally, one by one, and (this was the thing he really decided to grit his teeth over) in alphabetical order.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2023, @02:12AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2023, @02:12AM (#1307526)

        Wowbagger was a specially pointless (afaic tell) character in the already strange world of HHGTTG.
        Any reason you picked out his quote?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2023, @02:22AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2023, @02:22AM (#1307530)

          I guess it's the same kind of pointlessnessness as waiting another six weeks.

          You just get started writing, and before you think to pay any attention to it, you're done writing a chapter.

          Or six weeks.

          Or a forgotten subplot.

          It's like getting yourself up to speed for that National-Write-A-Book-Nobody'll-Read-Month, but that comes long after this place has been lost in the garage.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24 2023, @10:17PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24 2023, @10:17PM (#1308024)

        Slartibartfast blew it, designing this one.

    • (Score: 2) by Bill, Shooter Of Bul on Tuesday May 23 2023, @03:29AM

      by Bill, Shooter Of Bul (3170) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @03:29AM (#1307559)

      Dang, I'll admit I haven't logged on in years just saw this on slashdot. If I recall this whole site was in effect a rebellion from slashdot beta. That sucked so I jumped over here. But theny Beta was killed off and I went back. But yeah, I saw the slash code back in the day and took one look at creating a fork and said nope nope nope. Not touching that perl with a 20 ft pole. Sorry it tied up everyones time, effort and emotions. Well, you did well. In fact I had totally forgotten where I first heard of Ncommander, when I found your youtube channel. Now I remember! We'll see you on youtube. As for this site, it was great for a while. Anyone else attempting to do something similar go ahead and clone the functionality and the layout if you want, but don't use any of the backend code.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by martyb on Thursday May 25 2023, @08:56PM

      by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 25 2023, @08:56PM (#1308206) Journal

      There you go again. Perceiving a need and quietly stepping in and doing the kinds of things that make SoylentNews.org a better place. Not wanting the spotlight. Just stepping in and doing it.

      Countless times, having working to 9:30 PM and wanting just something to eat and go to bed... Ugh. Time to check the story queue. It varied. Sometimes it's full enough to make it until JR gets in. Often-times the queue was empty and I would go off and find 4-5 stories that would interest the community. I would extract salient parts and assemble them into stories. (BTW, it is *far* more involved than just the part that appears in stories.)

      Anyway, imagine my relief at seeing a story or two by takyon waiting in the queue! Properly formatted. Not too long and not to short. Staying within Fair Use guidelines. Publication-ready. That makes a *big* difference late at night!

      You made my life SO much easier! I'm sure other editors had had similar experiences. That's not to mention the stories that you reviewed or the many thoughtful comments you wrote.

      Yes, you'll be very much missed. Very much missed, indeed. Be well my friend.

      --
      Wit is intellect, dancing.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by tizan on Monday May 22 2023, @04:16PM (11 children)

    by tizan (3245) on Monday May 22 2023, @04:16PM (#1307349)

    So Long and Thanks for all the fish ...as Douglas Adams said.

    To all that contributed thank you for all your effort for this community endeavor.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by zafiro17 on Tuesday May 23 2023, @02:02AM (10 children)

      by zafiro17 (234) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @02:02AM (#1307525) Homepage

      Thanks for the good times, it was "good" while it lasted. It's not easy to build a community; this one lasted longer than some others. I will miss the amber VT220 theme, the cool moderation scheme, and my bitchin low UID.

      Come over to Usenet, it will never die:

      comp.misc
      misc.news.internet.discuss
      sci.misc

      Thunderbird, sylpheed, claws-mail, slrn, tin all work just fine.

      --
      Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis - Jack Handey
      • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Tuesday May 23 2023, @02:07PM (9 children)

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23 2023, @02:07PM (#1307661) Journal

        I am trying to get in touch with Bryan but I only have his pipedot email address, which I don't know if he still uses.

        Are you able to ask him please to contact me on janrinok [at] soylentnews.org?

        • (Score: 2) by zafiro17 on Tuesday May 23 2023, @02:19PM (3 children)

          by zafiro17 (234) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @02:19PM (#1307666) Homepage

          That's all I ever had too. You can try contacting him through Github maybe? The pipecode GH is here, and he's user zenbi. https://github.com/pipedot/pipecode [github.com]

          --
          Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis - Jack Handey
          • (Score: 2) by zafiro17 on Tuesday May 23 2023, @02:30PM

            by zafiro17 (234) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @02:30PM (#1307672) Homepage

            Have a look at www.beicker.org.

            --
            Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis - Jack Handey
          • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Tuesday May 23 2023, @02:35PM (1 child)

            by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23 2023, @02:35PM (#1307675) Journal

            Yes, we have the code, but there are still quite a few questions - not withstanding that at the moment php5 is no longer supported and the later versions don't just plug in as we might have hoped.

            I'm still looking for an email address.

            Thanks for the prompt response though, it is much appreciated.

            • (Score: 2) by bryan on Tuesday May 23 2023, @04:28PM

              by bryan (29) <bryan@pipedot.org> on Tuesday May 23 2023, @04:28PM (#1307711) Homepage Journal

              Err, never really had a problem upgrading to newer versions of PHP. I have been updating the Ubuntu OS over the years to whatever LTS version is currently supported. I think it's Ubuntu focal and PHP 7.4.3 at the moment because I've been a bit lazy... Hey, it's still supported! Anyways, I'm busy at my day job right now, so I'll look at this more latter on today.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by bryan on Tuesday May 23 2023, @04:17PM (1 child)

          by bryan (29) <bryan@pipedot.org> on Tuesday May 23 2023, @04:17PM (#1307706) Homepage Journal

          Ya, I'm still around. I just now noticed all of this and started reading the comments here.

        • (Score: 2) by martyb on Friday May 26 2023, @12:02AM (2 children)

          by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 26 2023, @12:02AM (#1308230) Journal

          JR, How I wish this did not have to end! It's probable part of the reason for my delay in responding to your request.

          Apparently in the early days of automatic spelling translation, someone had the phrase: "The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak" translated into Russian and back again. The result? "The meat is rancid and the vodka is terrible!"

          I have no comment on gustatory delights, but original saying applies. My interest in helping is countered by my physical condition. I used to touch-type at 50 words per minute and I am now reduced to 1 letter per second. That's a reduction on the order of 250 to 1. Also, it is physically painful to type. In addition, I wave a loss of vision in my right eye so my reading speed is also greatly reduced; especially with words containing 5 or more characters.

          That said, I continue in my interest in the goals of the site. A place where intelligent adults can discuss tech-related news of the day all the while interspersing it with self-effacing jokes, terrible puns, and the occasional turn-of-phrase that makes for a double-take.

          As I see it, the key to SN's success has been the moderation system. It simultaneously tries to give provide increased visibility to "good" comments while striving to keep the spammers and other malcontents hidden from view.

          Footnote: I started reading /. in the VERY early days. At that time there were no userids! I was there when they rolled out userid's and when the database crashed. Coveted low-numbered userids were reissued (except CommanderTaco of course!) Page widening trolls. Karma limits so one no longer be able a 300 karma and start down-modding with reckless abandon. Natalie Portman and HOT GRITS.

          Whatever is constructed, it needs to be safe from jerks. An oldie but goodie: "It is possible to write programs that are so simple that there are obviously no problems or so complex that there are no obvious problems. An example of the former is Smalltalk and an of the latter is ADA." IOW KISS.

          Considering the forgoing, I regret that there is little of value that I can offer except being a cheerleader on the sidelines and a rubber duck to talk to. I'm probable cutting my self short. That said, I do want to keep a finger on the pulse of things.

          With that, JR, it has been an AMAZING ride and I am so very glad that our paths have crossed and here's to hoping that they never entirely separate. My life is wonderfully better for all that I have learned from you.

          --
          Wit is intellect, dancing.
          • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Friday May 26 2023, @06:51AM

            by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 26 2023, @06:51AM (#1308267) Journal

            Thank you. I sincerely hope that your condition improves and that we can spend more time in the future 'chatting' on IRC like we used to do.

            We will stay in touch.

            I am still optimistic that some resolution to the current situation can be found where we all remain here under our current domain name. I believe that is what you would have done and it is also what we are currently trying to achieve. There is reason to think that we are not far from that point now. It will require some significant changes behind the scenes but nothing that would adversely affect our community.

            Nevertheless, we are also preparing for the worst possible case and we will endeavour to provide a home for the community. I know that we would all be delighted if our current preparations turn out to be wasted and unnecessary effort.

          • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2023, @06:59AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2023, @06:59AM (#1308268)

            Yeah, right. I used to respect you, MartyB. Not so much after you allowed me to be censored.

            aristarchus

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by VLM on Monday May 22 2023, @04:23PM

    by VLM (445) on Monday May 22 2023, @04:23PM (#1307350)

    Thanks for your efforts and best of luck in the future!

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Mojibake Tengu on Monday May 22 2023, @04:27PM (20 children)

    by Mojibake Tengu (8598) on Monday May 22 2023, @04:27PM (#1307352) Journal

    If it works, do not fix it! is the rule.

    So, SoylentNews is going the fate of Kuro5hin...

    --
    Respect Authorities. Know your social status. Woke responsibly.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by ElizabethGreene on Monday May 22 2023, @04:40PM (17 children)

      by ElizabethGreene (6748) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 22 2023, @04:40PM (#1307359) Journal

      "Out of date" is political, not technical concept

      How confident are you in asserting this? We're not talking about an engine being outdated because it uses pushrods and solid lifters vs. roller lifters and overhead cams. We're talking about a website that has to respond to evolving security threats, evolving security standards, automated attacks by spammers, human orchestrated attacks by smurfs, and mod point manipulation. To assume that technology will continue to "just work" indefinitely is unreasonable.

      Unfortunately, technical debt accrues interest.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Mojibake Tengu on Monday May 22 2023, @05:17PM (16 children)

        by Mojibake Tengu (8598) on Monday May 22 2023, @05:17PM (#1307381) Journal

        I am absolutely confident about this.

        What I observe in all kind of engineering is the new technologies are often weaker than old ones. It takes years of lifetime experience to make anything safe.

        That happens with software too every time inexperienced freshmen take over the solid robust stuff, not understanding it well, enthusiastically starting breaking things and introducing new, unthinkable vulnerabilities.

        --
        Respect Authorities. Know your social status. Woke responsibly.
        • (Score: 5, Touché) by martyb on Monday May 22 2023, @11:28PM (15 children)

          by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 22 2023, @11:28PM (#1307506) Journal

          That reminds me of an old adage:

          Just because we taught you everything you know
          doesn't mean we taught you everything WE know.

          --
          Wit is intellect, dancing.
          • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Reziac on Tuesday May 23 2023, @02:38AM (14 children)

            by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @02:38AM (#1307536) Homepage

            Well, here's a thought...

            Freeze the existing site. Call it archive.soylentnews.org or something.

            Make a new one. Clean slate, new maintainable everything, keeping only our logins and the general look and behavior of the site.

            So no more creaky old database or mouldering Perl, but nothing lost. Old info preserved over yonder and same community preserved over here.

            I have no idea how practical this would be, but shuttering the site would be a dead loss.

            And yeah, if I had the skills or the funds... but I don't, so... all I can do is miss y'all when we're gone. Cuz you guys really done good, and built something unique. And part of that is because growth has been so slow that we had the chance to get to know each other. We don't need millions of users; we just need us.

            --
            And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
            • (Score: 3, Funny) by rev_irreverence on Tuesday May 23 2023, @03:24AM (1 child)

              by rev_irreverence (144) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @03:24AM (#1307557)

              Maybe we could just let chatgpt post the stories. Autopilot all the way.

              • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday May 23 2023, @03:34AM

                by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @03:34AM (#1307561) Homepage

                LOL, I'm not so sure some outfits don't already do that...

                --
                And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
            • (Score: 3, Informative) by janrinok on Tuesday May 23 2023, @06:21AM (10 children)

              by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23 2023, @06:21AM (#1307593) Journal

              I have no idea how practical this would be

              That is the problem that we have faced for several years - it isn't practical at all.

              The number of man hours required to write any replacement code - regardless of which language we choose - would be far more than anyone is volunteering to undertake for free. We have looked at rewriting the code several times since 2014, the most recent being in 2021 when TheMightyBuzzard left. He was the last Perl programmer on the team. NCommander looked at employing outside programmers but that requires far more money than we have in our bank account.

              And even if you do rewrite from scratch, you still have to test, maintain and bug squash the results.

              It is not impossible. But finding a team that is prepared to approach the task for free has proven to be just that - impossible. I have been looking for solutions for quite some time now but the 37 day deadline has not made things any easier. We thought we were good to continue until February next year.

              So for the immediate future we are looking what is already out there that we can use to get us to where we want to be.

              • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday May 23 2023, @06:45AM

                by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @06:45AM (#1307599) Homepage

                Best of luck. If anyone can do it, you guys can. Will keep my fingers, toes, eyes, and wires crossed. :)

                --
                And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
              • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Immerman on Tuesday May 23 2023, @03:51PM (8 children)

                by Immerman (3985) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @03:51PM (#1307703)

                Yeah, I wouldn't even consider rewriting something from scratch for a dying community. But is there really no existing alternative (open source?) forum software that could be used instead? I mean, I'm sure it would look different, and not have the same mod options, but if modding is ineffective anyway, who really cares? Throw in some like/dislike buttons for the dopamine hit if you can get them and call it good.

                I'll be sad to see the site go, and personally would have no serious objection to the current forum being replaced with even a minor tweak of the sort of bog-standard forum software you see everywhere online (e.g., require (semi-automated?) mod approval for any new thread = "front page story"). I'm here for the quirky, unfocused technical community, not the forum software. And with moderation not effectively managing trolling/disinformation/etc. anyway, the fact that we have a community at all is in large part testament to the community and moderators, not the technical details of the forum.

                ... But I'm not everyone, and I can understand the nightmare it has become, and the resistance to just throwing away the quirky software that so much energy has been put into. And between the dwindling community and Slashdot having recovered from the Beta debacle, I can only imagine the business side of things has been looking pretty grim for a while now. A shame nobody could agree on at least some some basic advertising to help keep the lights on.

                At the end of the day if you're not enjoying the work, and you're not profiting from the work, you should probably seriously consider not doing the work. And if nobody else is stepping up to take over the the work... well the writing is kind of on the wall, isn't it?

                • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Common Joe on Tuesday May 23 2023, @06:56PM (7 children)

                  by Common Joe (33) <common.joe.0101NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday May 23 2023, @06:56PM (#1307750) Journal

                  Slashdot having recovered from the Beta debacle

                  I wouldn't consider that Slashdot recovered from the debacle. Sure, they post news stories. Sometimes they are even interesting. However, hardly anyone provides thought provoking comments anymore. That's a big reason why I'm still here.

                  It begs the question: is there somewhere where people have gathered that provide intelligent scientific discussion on a large variety of topics besides here? I haven't found it.

                  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2023, @11:13PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2023, @11:13PM (#1307779)

                    Oh, crap! How many times have we been over the "begs the question" thing? If there was nothing else that SoylentNews was to accomplish, it was to get people to stop using the logical term incorrectly. Obvious (rebuttal) is that we failed in this.

                  • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Wednesday May 24 2023, @01:04AM (5 children)

                    by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @01:04AM (#1307800) Homepage

                    Slashdot has become... sterile. Maybe because it's too big. When I wander over to moderate (cuz I seem to have perpetual mod points again) I notice that it doesn't get the firebrand on a soapbox that we still sometime get. Mostly just generic same comments we saw last week.

                    SN is a local coffeehouse.

                    Slashdot is the mall.

                    Where do you prefer to spend your leisure time??

                    --
                    And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
                    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Common Joe on Wednesday May 24 2023, @02:06AM (3 children)

                      by Common Joe (33) <common.joe.0101NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday May 24 2023, @02:06AM (#1307807) Journal

                      I thought my answer was clear -- I prefer the local coffeehouses. I'll rephrase my question: are there any other local, good coffeehouses that I don't know about? (Because I suck at finding them.)

                      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Wednesday May 24 2023, @02:34AM (2 children)

                        by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @02:34AM (#1307813) Homepage

                        Oh yes, clear enough -- you just stimulated my Node of Reply. :)

                        I don't know where else to find 'em either. I used to look (tho nowadays I'm far less social and more inclined to stick with what already works).

                        Well, there are all sorts of generic and specialty forums and the fediverse and all that, and they all serve an audience, but ... none hit the same sweet spot.

                        --
                        And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
                        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Common Joe on Wednesday May 24 2023, @02:42AM (1 child)

                          by Common Joe (33) <common.joe.0101NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday May 24 2023, @02:42AM (#1307816) Journal

                          I used to look (tho nowadays I'm far less social and more inclined to stick with what already works).

                          I think someone cloned me without my knowledge -- lol. This is exactly me.

                          And I totally get the missing "the sweet spot". It's just not the same elsewhere. I like "seeing the same faces". I know what to expect from certain people and how much weight to give their comments. I'll probably wait until end of June (or even July) to start looking...

                          • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:10AM

                            by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:10AM (#1307822) Homepage

                            I'm following you around in advance. :D

                            And what you said about weighting comments. We develop that here, after a while. We know who sits at which table, and what they order, and if they leave a tip.

                            I don't intend to look for a replacement. I have enough to do without this, but... I'd rather it be SN.

                            --
                            And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24 2023, @10:28PM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24 2023, @10:28PM (#1308029)

                      Slashdot has become... sterile

                      Help control the rehash problem, have your sysops spayed or neutered.

            • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24 2023, @05:22AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24 2023, @05:22AM (#1307828)

              Janrinok banned aristarchus to protect Runaway. Soylent News is dying because it couldn't recover from a rogue admin censoring a poor inncoent Soylentil. Soylent News is sinking like Atlantis, soon to be lost forever to protect a treasonous racist transphobe. A new site will be the same, Runaway posting violent threats and Janrinok protecting him. The stoopid Dalek will be at the new site to suck Janrinok off because his wife is dead, LOL! Janrinok supported Runaway at first because he agreed with him. Now he's too senile to know the difference and he just gets sucked off by Dalek nonstop. After his pals Dalek and Runaway get to the new site, Janrinok will ban all new users just like here. He's banned over 30 new users in the last six hours even. Oh, the huge manatees!

    • (Score: 4, Touché) by Thexalon on Tuesday May 23 2023, @12:20PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @12:20PM (#1307634)

      "Yes, please, continue to run older versions of software riddled with known security holes!" - black hat bad guys everywhere

      --
      The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
    • (Score: 2) by dwilson on Tuesday May 23 2023, @04:52PM

      by dwilson (2599) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23 2023, @04:52PM (#1307718) Journal

      Poor advice. I prefer, 'If it ain't broke, fix it until it is'.

      All joking aside, I've found that most people don't truly understand how a thing works until they've broken it through ignorance and been forced to correct the problem. As a bonus, you're generally much better placed to fix the next problem that crops up with it, by virtue of having experience.

      --
      - D
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 22 2023, @04:33PM (13 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 22 2023, @04:33PM (#1307354)

    Perl is a terrible language. It came about before the internet was a thing, and various bits of web crap were bolted on to it.

    Additionally, you shouldn't be running servers that need to be manually upgraded and databases that need to be manually fscked with.

    Its not conducive to running a website in this day-and-age.

    I run a site that gets half a million hits per minute. It's hosted on a Kubernetes cluster with a Postgres back-end. The total cost for the site is around $500/mo.

    Upgrades are painless. "git commit && git push" runs tests in a matter of ~90 seconds, then Kubernetes spins up new instances, transfers the traffic over, and spins down old instances seamlessly.

    How many forks of slashcode are there? Has it been updated in the last 5 years? Have they ever heard of docker?

    Who cares about a slashdot "clone". How about a new site for nerds that has a non-slashdot-clone threaded commenting system?

    I have half a mind to see what things would be like if the nearly 30 years of legacy Perl crap wasn't holding someone back...

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by RS3 on Monday May 22 2023, @06:59PM (4 children)

      by RS3 (6367) on Monday May 22 2023, @06:59PM (#1307422)

      Awesome post and info.

      Not a perl programmer- only done some mods, recently bought some perl books (cheap, paper!). TMB, who was a major coder / contributor here, said perl's string handling was far better than alternative languages. I don't know. Like _everything_, opinions are widely and wildly varying and (too?) often intense.

      Generally life is very dynamic. This site was a fork of /. and started with the slashcode as a base. The founders here wanted to do some things their own way, so imho it made sense at the time. Starting from scratch in any language or technology would have taken huge time and effort. Why reinvent the wheel when it just needs some tweaks.

      Sure, they could have started with forum or blog code, but again, they liked much of greensite, just needed control and to do some things the way they wanted to. I applaud them (SN's founders).

      What to do now is very unclear. There are efforts to establish something...

      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday May 23 2023, @02:50AM

        by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @02:50AM (#1307539) Homepage

        Pipedot.org still exists as another fork, but has been entirely static since 2017. Not so much motivation or attraction when SN existed. Well, maybe it can fire back up again.

        (I'm amazed to see that I'm still logged in over there, six years later.)

        Of our three, tho, I do like SN the best. The site is ridiculously easy to use and big enough for variety, yet we're not so large that we can't know each other.

        As I say above, seems to me the ideal might be freeze current site, spin up new maintainable code with as much same behavior as possible. And I'm sure it's within our guys' capacity, given the place hasn't fallen over despite the creaking joists and nails sticking out.

        --
        And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
      • (Score: 2, Flamebait) by Bill, Shooter Of Bul on Tuesday May 23 2023, @03:40AM (2 children)

        by Bill, Shooter Of Bul (3170) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @03:40AM (#1307565)

        Perl is awful. This is a vengeance post. But seriously screw everyone who thought perl had such great string handling that it made up for the rest of the terrible design. Sometimes you have flamewars and you doubt that you were on the right side. But then years later you realize you were 100% correct but have no one to gloat over. So here I am at the end of the rainbow gloating over everyone who claimed perl's superior string handling made it a great language. It didn't.

        • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Tuesday May 23 2023, @04:09AM

          by RS3 (6367) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @04:09AM (#1307571)

          Tenor noted. :) I haven't done enough programming to have a strong opinion. I seem to get things done in whatever the situation is, in occasional programming tasks.

          Frankly I don't know if I love or hate any language. Perl is pretty weird, but obviously many liked and like it, so I'm okay with letting them do their thing, and you doing your thing.

          I had to deal with some "forth" stuff some years ago. That was bizarre, but again, someone is productive enough with it.

          I guess I'm trying to be optimistic and self-encouraging in case people are able to keep the site going, and in case I get involved with some admin and programming, being the current codebase is perl, and migrating would be a huge task, and what would you migrate it to?

        • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Tuesday May 23 2023, @03:59PM

          by Immerman (3985) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @03:59PM (#1307704)

          Perl is *wonderful* for 5-line scripts to handle ugly file processing like coercing arbitrary data into an easily-parsed format.

          But I don't understand how anyone would want to use it for for anything large enough to require scrolling. I did that *once* in college, and it was the most painful 2-page program I've ever written. Never again.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by timbim on Monday May 22 2023, @08:04PM (6 children)

      by timbim (907) on Monday May 22 2023, @08:04PM (#1307441)

      It needs to be a slashdot clone. That's was the whole purpose of this site. We were upset with the original slashdot so we made a new one. But I still need slashdot.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 22 2023, @09:21PM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 22 2023, @09:21PM (#1307465)

        It needs to be a slashdot clone. That's was the whole purpose of this site. We were upset with the original slashdot so we made a new one. But I still need slashdot.

        Those are some pretty ambiguous requirements there.

        Does it have to share 99% of the codebase with Slashdot?

        Does it have to look 95% like Slashdot?

        Does it just need a threaded commenting system with community moderation similar to Slashdot?

        Does it need the URL structure to be identical to Slashdot?

        Are user journals still a thing? I've been on Slashdot since shortly after it started. I had a 4-digit ID, then lost it in 2001 because I had a stupidly simple password, never thought about it, and never changed it. I've never used journals.

        Is friend/neutral/foe necessary? What purpose does it serve?

        Do you just need RSS or do you need all the bizarre XML back-end crap?

        I seem to recall there was some shitty SOAP API. Is that required? Can it be switched to something non-brain-damaged like REST/JSON?

        I had a company contact me 4 years ago about an insanely outdated app that was still running on Server 2003 with MS SQL 2005. We looked at the app, understood it in depth, and designed a replacement in about a week. It was 100% ready to go, but it looked a bit different. Specifically it didn't look like it was designed in Microsoft FrontPage v0.01alpha. Two of the teams that used it absolutely loved it. One of the teams said "it needs to look and behave *exactly* like the old system" and refused to budge.

        We said "Ok, we'll come up with a system that looks and behaves *exactly* like the old system". Two weeks later we called then and said "it's done". ...and you'll never guess...but they're still running that outadated app on Server 2003 and MS SQL 2005. We cancelled the invoice and walked away.

        Don't be so rigid on your requirements that you make yourself and your application obsolete.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Reziac on Tuesday May 23 2023, @02:55AM (2 children)

          by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @02:55AM (#1307544) Homepage

          "Is friend/neutral/foe necessary? What purpose does it serve?"

          I use "Friend" partly as an easy way to get notified of various interesting journals. (Since it apparently comes with the territory.)

          As to your other points... SN exists because Old Green worked for us (5-digit here, so I bow to your superior experience), and New Green did not. We came along because we liked Old Green. We stay because we like SN. Changing it significantly will change how we interact. This place is NOT like forums, reddit, or the fediverse. If we want those, there are already plenty.

          --
          And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2023, @01:36PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2023, @01:36PM (#1307649)

            I use "Friend" partly as an easy way to get notified of various interesting journals. (Since it apparently comes with the territory.)

            Interesting. I've never found journals to be useful. Not that it matters. I'm just some internet rando with differing opinions. ;)

            As to your other points... SN exists because Old Green worked for us (5-digit here, so I bow to your superior experience), and New Green did not. We came along because we liked Old Green. We stay because we like SN. Changing it significantly will change how we interact. This place is NOT like forums, reddit, or the fediverse. If we want those, there are already plenty.

            I completely forgot about the "mobile redesign". That was terrible.

            I just don't see it as being very difficult to "modernize" the codebase while keeping the main features intact--like nested/threaded comments, voting, anonymous commenting, friend/neutral/foe, article submission queues, and "topics" (or whatever the call them) for things like science, devices, software, etc...

            I'm tempted to do it, but I keep remembering the Tao of Programming (section 3.3 " rel="url2html-1185298">http://www.mit.edu/~xela/tao.html):

            There was once a programmer who was attached to the court of the warlord of Wu. The warlord asked the programmer: "Which is easier to design: an accounting package or an operating system?"

            "An operating system," replied the programmer.

            The warlord uttered an exclamation of disbelief. "Surely an accounting package is trivial next to the complexity of an operating system," he said.

            "Not so," said the programmer, "When designing an accounting package, the programmer operates as a mediator between people having different ideas: how it must operate, how its reports must appear, and how it must conform to the tax laws. By contrast, an operating system is not limited by outside appearances. When designing an operating system, the programmer seeks the simplest harmony between machine and ideas. This is why an operating system is easier to design."

            The warlord of Wu nodded and smiled. "That is all good and well, but which is easier to debug?"

            The programmer made no reply.

            • (Score: 3, Informative) by Reziac on Wednesday May 24 2023, @12:54AM

              by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @12:54AM (#1307796) Homepage

              Yeah, the new design made my eyes bleed. Tho if one disables javascript, it mostly reverts to a semi-old state.

              One suspects the problem with modernizing is a whole bunch of interdependent parts, and you can't just fix one. Or debug one. Or... as your illuminating tale suggests, one may discover an impossible tangle.

              I don't know how much value there is in journals, but I do occasionally find them interesting enough to read, and that's sufficient to call them "useful". Also their other function -- to be side areas that lack the broad interest one hopes to find on the front page, but are still of value to someone. It's a way of fine-tuning the sorting out of discussions.

              --
              And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by istartedi on Tuesday May 23 2023, @05:19PM (1 child)

          by istartedi (123) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @05:19PM (#1307728) Journal

          I'm convinced that Slash style moderation is the key thing that needs to exist, and a sad loss for the Internet if it isn't around anywhere. In other places on these two threads, it's been pointed out that Slash moderation fails when there isn't a critical mass of moderators.

          At least the original Green Site is still around and still has enough users, so the template is still there even if nobody else is using it.

          Other moderation systems are "all thumbs" both literally and metaphorically.

          To expound upon this--when you have only thumbs up/down, "upvotes", or likes, you've got one bit of info. When everybody can do it easily, everybody does. This contributes to misery like reddits "hive mind" and such.

          The beauty of Slash-style moderation is that it's got just enough variables and limits to overcome that. Capped at 5 per post, only some can moderate and they can't post on the story, and the Karma cap which came in late but turned out to be rather important since it ended the race for Karma (aka Karma whoring) and put new and old users on a more even playing field. The sole unavoidable and somewhat benign concession to this kind of thing is that they don't hide user ID numbers so there's the whole low-ID prestige (or disdain so it evens out).

          Modern social media took a look at this finely crafted system, tried by fire and honed to near perfection in order to foster improved discourse and said, "No, let's be as crass as possible. Let's make it an unrestrained race for likes/thumbs/subscribers/stars/views. That's why most social media is hot garbage.

          --
          Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
          • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Wednesday May 24 2023, @12:57AM

            by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @12:57AM (#1307797) Homepage

            Agreed on the mod system. It has its failings, but overall it works pretty well. And it's part of the site's cultural mindset, which is Not The Same as elsewhere.

            I like the user ID number being visible -- we have a bit of a culture of old guard who know the old things, let's call the user ID number a homage to that.

            --
            And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by NotSanguine on Monday May 22 2023, @08:25PM

      Who cares about a slashdot "clone". How about a new site for nerds that has a non-slashdot-clone threaded commenting system

      How about using something like Pleroma [fediverse.party], GNU Social [fediverse.party] or Diaspora [fediverse.party] as a replacement?

      Yes, I realize that these platforms don't have some of the features (moderation being the most important) that Rehash does, but it's a fairly stable base to start with, that should (at least for the foreseeable future) be relatively well supported.

      --
      No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by BTRE on Monday May 22 2023, @04:35PM

    by BTRE (4612) on Monday May 22 2023, @04:35PM (#1307355)

    While sad, this is completely understandable. I run my own small community (likely far smaller than soylent) and have faced a lot of legacy issues that have kept me over the years. There have been people who have helped me out but none that could actively take responsibility for critical portions of the code or database. Volunteers are great but ultimately have no real accountability. I want to thank you for all your effort regardless and offer my deepest sympathies for the strain this has caused.

    If the site does come back in some fashion, I'd suggest hosting the new code base on one of the various git-service hosting sites so that maybe others can contribute to it. I don't know if that's the ideal solution but it may bypass some of the issues with contributors going away and no one replacing them. I'd further suggest that a rewrite be done in a more popular web language, such as PHP, to ensure long-term viability. I know I could probably chip in from time to time if that were the case. But, hey, even if the site doesn't come back, I want to underscore that I still am glad that it's lasted this long.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 22 2023, @04:40PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 22 2023, @04:40PM (#1307358)

    I guess i have one less site to visit, and there are not many of them, and pretty much the only online social connection is cut, not that i have many IRL either, and pretty much this is the site i came to read tech and other non local news. I'm not going back to slashdot, haven't been there in years and years. I even registered here to comment, after holding on for a while.

    Only good things end, shit (like Lost) just keeps on going and going.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 22 2023, @04:53PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 22 2023, @04:53PM (#1307365)

      I'd like to add, thank you for the years you have kept the site up and running.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by riT-k0MA on Tuesday May 23 2023, @06:21AM

      by riT-k0MA (88) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @06:21AM (#1307592)

      I feel the same way. Since (almost) the beginning of SoylentNews, I've been coming to this site daily. The articles may have been a few days stale, but there tended to be some interesting discussions in the comments.

      I'm going to miss this place. It was lovely to lurk here with all of you. Thank you all for the interesting comments.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bloodnok on Monday May 22 2023, @04:42PM

    by bloodnok (2578) on Monday May 22 2023, @04:42PM (#1307360)

    Many thanks, and my best wishes go with you all.

    This has been a haven of interesting and more-sensible-than-not exchanges of views and opinions. It was here that I found the wonderful, and missed, MDC, and a community that seems to get it.

    I will miss it but everything has its time.

    __
    The major

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by ElizabethGreene on Monday May 22 2023, @04:43PM (1 child)

    by ElizabethGreene (6748) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 22 2023, @04:43PM (#1307361) Journal

    Thank you for many hours of engaged discussion here. I will miss it.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by pkrasimirov on Monday May 22 2023, @04:46PM (6 children)

    by pkrasimirov (3358) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 22 2023, @04:46PM (#1307362)

    An article I hoped I'll never see. Thanks to all of you who did what you did to make this wonderful project happen and run. Take care for your health and family first, nothing on the Internet could possibly be more important. That includes mental health. I had to learn the hard way that it is not for granted and requires active caretaking to maintain.

    It would be a pity to lose the community. Maybe direct to some place where people can register and post?

    Whatever you do from here on, thank you anyway.

    P.S. I disagree that Reddit can replace this site. I wouldn't have visited it if it could.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by pkrasimirov on Monday May 22 2023, @04:51PM (5 children)

      by pkrasimirov (3358) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 22 2023, @04:51PM (#1307364)

      P.P.S. I just saw the star to my name. I want no refund. If you happen to have extra money left at the end (doubt) go buy yourself a coffee from me or whatever. That's the least I could do to show some appreciation. Or keep the money to pay for the domain name fees. Just please oh please don't let squatters take over it.

      • (Score: 2) by turgid on Monday May 22 2023, @08:38PM (4 children)

        by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 22 2023, @08:38PM (#1307451) Journal

        Seconded. Keep the change, you deserve it. I only wish I could have contributed more. I'm intrigued about how it all works (or almost doesn't reading the article) and wish I could have helped.

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by martyb on Tuesday May 23 2023, @12:32AM (3 children)

          by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23 2023, @12:32AM (#1307515) Journal
          IIRC, NCommander and Matt *each* put up $10,000 to get SN off the ground and running. :(
          --
          Wit is intellect, dancing.
          • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2023, @02:27AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2023, @02:27AM (#1307532)

            Well, so much for any plan of selling it off at its peak, and becoming the latest internet zillionaires.

          • (Score: 2) by turgid on Tuesday May 23 2023, @06:54AM (1 child)

            by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23 2023, @06:54AM (#1307600) Journal

            That's a lot of money to lose. I'm sorry to hear that.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2023, @11:21PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2023, @11:21PM (#1307780)

              Also, not true.

  • (Score: 1) by shrewdsheep on Monday May 22 2023, @04:49PM

    by shrewdsheep (5215) on Monday May 22 2023, @04:49PM (#1307363)

    Your efforts are very much appreciated. If you get around to it, you might want to put your latest efforts to renew the infrastructure on github so that maybe somebody can pick up on it. I believe that there needs to be a docker file/ansible config to completely spin up the site from scratch before it can become maintainable.

  • (Score: 1) by Skwearl on Monday May 22 2023, @04:54PM

    by Skwearl (4314) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 22 2023, @04:54PM (#1307366)

    Thank your for time and effort.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by quietus on Monday May 22 2023, @04:56PM (2 children)

    by quietus (6328) on Monday May 22 2023, @04:56PM (#1307369) Journal

    Can somebody give hard data about the peak and average number of connections per second, as well as bandwidth usage, to/from the site?

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by janrinok on Monday May 22 2023, @06:04PM (1 child)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 22 2023, @06:04PM (#1307405) Journal

      Yes probably - but not at this very instant. I am working like a one-armed wallpaper hanger at the moment.....

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DannyB on Monday May 22 2023, @05:11PM

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 22 2023, @05:11PM (#1307377) Journal

    It's been fun. Thank you for all your efforts. Sad to see it go.

    --
    The people who rely on government handouts and refuse to work should be kicked out of congress.
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by EJ on Monday May 22 2023, @05:15PM (10 children)

    by EJ (2452) on Monday May 22 2023, @05:15PM (#1307380)

    The entire Internet has become a toxic cesspool. This site is no exception.

    Good riddance to everything.

    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 22 2023, @05:21PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 22 2023, @05:21PM (#1307385)

      Come on in, the water's fine!

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 22 2023, @05:31PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 22 2023, @05:31PM (#1307390)

      Unnecessary negativity can easily browse and reply elsewhere.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 22 2023, @07:10PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 22 2023, @07:10PM (#1307423)

        Like in these quite-popular threads:

        On Tolerance - For Everyone Who Needs To Hear This [soylentnews.org]
        Don't Republicans learn? [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 2) by EJ on Monday May 22 2023, @07:35PM

          by EJ (2452) on Monday May 22 2023, @07:35PM (#1307430)

          Pretty much summed up SN, Slashdot, and the rest for me. Nobody can just keep their stupid political opinions to themselves.

        • (Score: 4, Touché) by Reziac on Tuesday May 23 2023, @03:00AM

          by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @03:00AM (#1307546) Homepage

          Sure, we have some assholes here.

          But they are OUR assholes. Part of our tribe. I'd be sad if they went away.

          --
          And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by kazzie on Tuesday May 23 2023, @04:51PM

          by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23 2023, @04:51PM (#1307717)

          I note that those are both journals (from different individuals), rather than front-page articles.

          I can't gauge their popularity, but I'd never seen them before, seeing as I've never been one for following journals.

    • (Score: 0, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 22 2023, @06:06PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 22 2023, @06:06PM (#1307406)

      Says one of the right wing commenters that push bigotry. Not as bad as some, but I saw some blatant racism comments from you. If "wome" and "antifa" are words you consider insults then you have a lot of growing up to do.

    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 22 2023, @06:46PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 22 2023, @06:46PM (#1307418)

      The entire Internet has become a toxic cesspool. This site is no exception.

      Good riddance to everything.

      Look around. Much of the world isn't like this because there are so many people who don't want to live their lives like this. Bad truly does drive out good. Besides...

      The world couldn't even imagine the rise of the Trump presidency. In theory, the moderation system should have been able to handle disinformation, but the mod system requires a certain critical mass to work.

      There you go.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by TheGratefulNet on Monday May 22 2023, @08:25PM (1 child)

      by TheGratefulNet (659) on Monday May 22 2023, @08:25PM (#1307448)

      with AI being the end to the end. once you cant tell reality from bullshit fakes, so much will be ruined we can't even imagine how bad things will get, then. I have that kind of feeling and I'm deadly afraid of the fact that mankind just wont handle it well. we'll dive into it full speed and destroy ourselves.

      social media is too polarized (the non-tech stuff). tech stuff is still good but this is NOT what the net is for, now. it what started things, but the 'endless september' got worse and stayed forever.

      I'll miss this forum and many regulars I recognize. I still hit the green site from time to time but rarely post.

      the feel that we had 10, 20 even more years ago is all gone. wonder if something better can replace it? until then, when tv turned to shit, I turned it off and never looked back. it seems the net (in its public form) is the new tv and its turning to shit.

      I'm kind of glad I'm old and I've seen good economies and good tech times. even good social times. not sure what's left. for all you younger guys to figure out and live thru. I dont envy you. and while this has been said in every single generation, I dont think its meant as much as it is now.

      --
      "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday May 23 2023, @03:02AM

        by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @03:02AM (#1307547) Homepage

        Main reason I occasionally swing by the Green Site is that I seem to once again have perpetual mod points. And might be comments worth dragging into the air and light.

        But likewise, I rarely comment there anymore.

        --
        And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 22 2023, @05:23PM (15 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 22 2023, @05:23PM (#1307387)

    However:

    >due to the negative impact that SN is having on my personal life.

    If it's that much of a load, walk away. I appreciate what you have built, but don't be afraid to let it go.

    I could foresee negative impacts on my personal life if I stepped up to a more active moderator / technical maintainer role in SN, which is why I never did.

    --
    🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 22 2023, @05:27PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 22 2023, @05:27PM (#1307388)

      >It doesn't help that nearly every single thing I've laid out here was shot down by at least one other member of staff while at the same time no realistic alternatives were worked on or even proposed.

      The joys of volunteer work, in a nutshell.

      Again, thanks for everything you have done to-date, and please don't let this community become a negative influence in your personal life - as they say: if that's the case, then you're doing it wrong. As I say: better to walk away, than to continue repeating an obvious mistake.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by RS3 on Monday May 22 2023, @07:14PM (11 children)

      by RS3 (6367) on Monday May 22 2023, @07:14PM (#1307424)

      I don't know if you read the entire post. NC says he did walk away, but essentially nobody stepped in- well, not enough.

      This thing is a many-layer cake. I have a lot more to say but need to reserve it for now.

      I'll say this: I've wanted to help, as I do sysadmin, but the intensity of disagreements among staff are a strong repellent for me. That and I've had too many personal / health issues, most of which are resolved, thankfully. :)

      I'll share this: I'm pretty open-minded in most things in life, but one I'm strongly against is systemd. My entire reason for getting into Linux / *nix is to get way from the wizards and plug-and-pray and other overly automated things that wrest control way from humans. There's enough to deal with, without some gremlin process undoing what I thought I did.

      I like this site and most of the community a lot and I'll be trying to help with some alternative ways to keep it running, but there are so many possible roads and unknowns ahead...

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 22 2023, @07:28PM (10 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 22 2023, @07:28PM (#1307427)

        >but essentially nobody stepped in- well, not enough.

        Yeah, and at the end of it all, that's not his problem. If the community can't find a way to support itself, then the community disbands. We seem to have enough monetary support to make it work, but that's the easy part in the bigger picture, what is needed is a certain amount of time / effort from people with sufficient technical and social know-how to turn their time and effort into a viable community platform.

        Seems to me that the technical requirements are a little high for the site. Not necessarily out of reach of many of our abilities to do, just out of reach of our abilities to do _in the time we have available to devote to such things._

        >the intensity of disagreements among staff are a strong repellent for me.

        Me as well, and it's nothing unique to SN, that's the nature of organizations of people, particularly volunteer people, particularly technically minded volunteer people who have more ideas and opinions than actual time and effort to contribute.

        >I'm strongly against is systemd.

        I'm strongly against being strongly against things that shouldn't matter all that much. Do I prefer systemd to what came before? No, emphatically not. Does systemd screw up my work sufficiently that it's worth the effort to avoid it? In my case, also no - just a: meh, whatever. While systemd does run the system I work on all week long (Ubuntu 22.04 based), I spend very little time worrying about it or even interfacing with it. Sure, it comes up. Sure, when it does it used to be clearer / easier / less trouble prone in the prior ways of doing things. But in my bigger picture, systemd is a very small consideration.

        >without some gremlin process undoing what I thought I did.

        See, a lot of what I do is "hardening" of our system - undoing things people do and leave in a bad state. Firstly, exposing the state of what matters to us so we can easily monitor changes from multiple interfaces / perspectives, but more and more I'm also resetting things to where we have decided they should be. Test hates me because they "color outside the lines" to setup and run their test cases and my "configuration hardening" code is frequently setting the system back to the state which we have all agreed we want it to be in when in actual use. Lately I have added a lot of these things to "release mode only" so test can do preliminary stuff without dealing with the nannies putting things back in order for them, but ultimately they have to figure out how to test the system as it is used by the customers, and there are a LOT of variables in a vanilla Ubuntu 22.04 desktop system that we do NOT want our customers to modify, to ensure they have a safe, happy and consistent experience with our product.

        >so many possible roads and unknowns ahead...

        I feel that the road which most closely resembles the current site is the one with the least unknowns.

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by RS3 on Monday May 22 2023, @08:53PM (9 children)

          by RS3 (6367) on Monday May 22 2023, @08:53PM (#1307460)

          I'm strongly against being strongly against things that shouldn't matter all that much.

          Hopefully you know how much I like, respect, and admire you and always have here. However, please be careful with your equally strong opinion. If you're the guy who has to rescue the server crash, and you have mobs of angry people with torches and pitchforks, you'll understand. Medieval analogy aside, I take things maybe too much to heart, and when something stops an entire company, division, even just a few people, I get very anxious, go into high gear, and the last thing I need is another layer of something causing even more problems, which "networkmanager" and "systemd" have done to me. I see NO need for systemd, and I have only had problems with / due to it.

          I know that very many people, like you, are somewhere in the "meh" to "it's good" range, but please remember poor old me and others like me. If I was getting paid by the hour, I might not care how much time it wastes. If it works for you, that's great.

          There are many systemd-less distros out there. MX is one of many that I really like. I need to do some more testing on it and a few others like Void.

          As NCommander mentioned sometime recently, the site was originally envisioned as being very high usage and large user base. Recently he condensed many functions, reduced the number of servers needed, etc.

          As far as hardening your systems, obviously I don't know all the details, but you can take steps to make it difficult for meddlers.

          More to come...

          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 22 2023, @10:16PM (8 children)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 22 2023, @10:16PM (#1307483)

            > when something stops an entire company, division, even just a few people, I get very anxious

            I've spent my entire career looking for opportunities that do NOT put me in the real-time critical path. Kudos to you: first responder, we need many more like you, and I reserve any opinions about systemd around your domain.

            In my domain, we design stuff that gets a few thousand copies built per year. We keep it as simple and mainstream as possible, and we test the living bejezus out of it before we release it to production. When the stuff (as it always does) hits the fan, we have more high level logging: what was the user doing when this happened? What were our apps doing? The underlying system isn't really asked to do anything but launch our programs, give us access to the hardware / peripherals, and mostly stay the hell out of the way. If I'm digging in systemd or other system logs to figure out what went wrong, it's usually after a machine has been boxed up and shipped back to the factory. I think I've done that twice in the last decade. It's been a good decade.

            >If it works for you, that's great.

            It's not so much that it "works for me" as: I just don't interact with that level of things all that much. Once every couple of years I'll run through dmesg and see what I see in the current system (basically, I did that once-through for 18.04 and again for 22.04), and in that respect systemd does collect most of what I might be interested in into a more cohesive central logging system than what I remember from SysV days. The messages are often misleading, cryptic, indicating problems that are better left alone rather than trying to fix them, etc.

            As for distro choice: originally, we were migrating an old dual-processor system (Windows embedded on one, a dedicated DSP on the other) into a new Core i7 running a bare metal hypervisor, giving one core to the DSP (which, in reality, needs about 5% of one core, but it _does_ need to be lag-free - which is not a great core-co-user for Windoze) and another core to the "underlying system" which does stuff like printer interfaces, network interfaces, USB memory stick interfaces, external monitor interfaces, etc. while Windoze ran on the remaining 2 cores with control of the touch screen. (Yes, I tried, really tried, to sell Qt as a GUI development environment that we could run in native Linux on the system, old programmers are VERY hard to get to switch out of their comfort zones. One small point that would have been a teeny bit harder in Qt is the internationalization to 33 languages - Qt can do it, but .NET actually does it a tiny bit better - plus, the .NET developers have all done it in .NET before...) That bare metal hypervisor played best with CentOS, so CentOS we used, I put a Xfce desktop on it for development / administration work (via VNC server when Windoze had the display), and we were cranking along, but... we also discovered that vanilla Ubuntu with a free VirtualBox VM running Windoze 10 (the "LAST OS Microsoft will ever make") would do the same thing for us, simpler, and without the hypervisor per-machine license. Not that the license cost was a show stopper, but administratively it's a pain, and who doesn't like to save a few bucks per device sold? Other divisions around the company also use Ubuntu in their products, so since it doesn't matter all that much, we follow suit - keeps the suits happy, and once in a blue moon we can trade tips across divisions, like how to configure cranky systemd service config files.

            --
            🌻🌻 [google.com]
            • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Tuesday May 23 2023, @12:51AM

              by RS3 (6367) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @12:51AM (#1307519)

              Bless thee, I knight thee. Now you must come to the round table in times of peril. Sword, dagger, lance, chainmail, armor, shield, codpiece, and more await your arrival. Also power cord cutters. Even systemd can't override those.

              Wow, what a great system you have developed / evolved. I'm torn. There are things I love about MS, and things I loathe. Being a nuts, bolts, resistors, pistons, gears, etc., kind of guy, I like access to, and knowing what's going on- just generally, but when things fail the more you know about how it works, the better and faster you can get things running again. Kind of obvious. MS hides and obfuscates too much, but their development stuff- function (method) definitions and descriptions, example code, everything, is really good. I've had really good experience with various WindozeCE. I run a mixing board approximately weekly, that is a WindowsCE machine which controls a bunch of dedicated DSP stuff. I think it's an i5 CPU, and I forget which Win version, but what I like about it: it's very stripped out. Very few unnecessary processes running. And it may be the mfgr. gets to decide what goes in and what stays out. It's a Soundcraft Vi3000. Theoretically you can reboot the Windows part and all the sound will keep running, and faders will still work, but displays and other things will go dark, reboot, etc.

              There are several free hypervisors. I almost plunged into Xen. I've been running it at home for years. We bought a used server to upgrade the running stuff and it came with XCP-ng installed and several guests. It was easy to boot a Linux USB and reset Linux passwords, but I was never able to get into the Windows Server guest. Nothing's in any of them- someone had done test installs on it. Anyway, XCP-ng looks super awesome- I'd greatly prefer it over VMware. There's a free version that has some cool admin stuff, but also many teasers that only work with paid subscription. So that's out. Xen also has free, but I recently found out it's owned by someone, so I don't want to invest time and effort only to have them pull the rug out and demand monthly payments. So I'm going with kvm, seems obvious.

              This here computer has a 1TB SanDisk, now owned by WD. The utility fires up Qt to run. Sorry that was a fight. People get (too) used to using something and strongly resist change unless you can really justify it, and even then they might quit, but then you can hire someone more friendly to Qt or whatever.

              My #1 complaint about all software is terrible status / error messages. If you turn on lots of logging, you get way overwhelmed with non-issues, but the actual problem issue is cryptic, if anything.

              If systemd does some good logging, then I don't hate it so much. And if so, maybe it can be beaten into being a watcher / listener / monitor and not control freak?

            • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday May 23 2023, @03:08AM (6 children)

              by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @03:08AM (#1307549) Homepage

              I can only go wow in this discussion, but since you mention off in that direction....

              Today's VM oddity: I go to fire up the Mint VM and it is behaving like real hardware with bad RAM on the vidcard (goofy screen and all). Without anything being changed since it was last up. The other VMs still work. ???

              --
              And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
              • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Tuesday May 23 2023, @03:58AM (5 children)

                by RS3 (6367) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @03:58AM (#1307569)

                Pure guessing- have you done filesystem checks on everything?

                • (Score: 3, Informative) by Reziac on Tuesday May 23 2023, @04:33AM (4 children)

                  by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @04:33AM (#1307573) Homepage

                  It doesn't even show a proper screen. Starts to come up and immediately does an abnormal sized screen (like it's wanting some short and wide resolution) with stripes all over like real hardware does for bad video RAM. I think it continues to load, out of sight behind that mess. But can't see a thing.

                  And I found the issue. Can you guess? Mint whined that it wanted 3D acceleration. Not sure if I turned that on in VBox or if it did (it gripes and wants a driver changed for the purpose) but if I disable that, then it runs again. And still whines about wanting 3D acceleration.

                  By now I've forgotten what I intended to use it for. But for some reason can't get PCLOS to run in this version of VBox (constrained by XP64 as the host OS). Or just about any other linux that I tried. Only Mint. WTF. (Slinks off muttering about how I don't even LIKE Mint)

                  --
                  And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
                  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday May 23 2023, @10:14AM (3 children)

                    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @10:14AM (#1307626)

                    It's that kind of configuration management that I struggle with.... We agree as a team to a certain set of settings, but then one member changes something in the image without thinking about it or telling anyone, then things go weird and somebody else has to figure out why.

                    As much as possible I try to control the image OS configuration via scripts and other software we have checked into the git repo. At least changes there have blame, even commit comments sometimes.

                    --
                    🌻🌻 [google.com]
                    • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday May 23 2023, @01:29PM (2 children)

                      by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @01:29PM (#1307646) Homepage

                      Isn't that fun? you never know what you'll find... I used to do custom support. Individual, quirky boxes.... hey! that's the topic!

                      I might have been trying to figure out why Mint believes it can only do 1024x768 max, which is a mite small on a larger screen.

                      --
                      And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
                      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday May 23 2023, @01:58PM (1 child)

                        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday May 23 2023, @01:58PM (#1307656)

                        EDID comes to mind, I hate it when that goes wonky.

                        --
                        🌻🌻 [google.com]
                        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24 2023, @02:28AM

                          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24 2023, @02:28AM (#1307811)

                          IIRC VirtualBox doesn't report the EDID unless you use the additions because of licencing issues. It uses a different system to get the correct resolutions from the host. My guess would be that the VirtualBox client isn't running on Mint. Just add it to the correct config file on the guest and it will report the supported resolutions to X or Wayland.

    • (Score: 2) by rleigh on Saturday May 27 2023, @06:00PM (1 child)

      by rleigh (4887) on Saturday May 27 2023, @06:00PM (#1308528) Homepage

      This is ultimately one of the main reasons I ended up walking away from being a Debian developer, despite having over 15 years invested in it. They can become an obsession despite notionally being "spare time" endeavours we undertake in addition to our full-time jobs. Being a volunteer sucks. You work yourself to the bone for no money, but the peer pressure to continue to do so is enormous. In retrospect, you can view many of these organisations of like-minded people as cults. There's a lot of groupthink and a lot of pressure to conform and contribute. That's not to say they are "bad" per se, but they can wear you down over the years.

      systemd was one factor in my resigning, but the primary one was severe RSI and the mental toll it was taking on me. It took me years to get over the huge hole it left in my life after I'd invested so much of myself in it. But nearly a decade later, I have zero regrets in quitting it all. If anything, I should have done it years earlier and never allowed myself to become so sucked into it in the first place.

      I do hope NCommander finds that winding this all up has a similar conclusion. While I'm fully appreciative of all the effort put into maintaining SN over the years, as well as the financial side, you made a good website with a decent community. But there are alternatives, I do find myself spending more time on Hacker News and Reddit of late, and I think you're totally justified in shutting it down and ending all of the written and unwritten commitments and obligations which come with it. Wishing you all the best.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday May 27 2023, @07:04PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday May 27 2023, @07:04PM (#1308538)

        I had to read the internal messages of ffMpeg back around 2010 to complete an addon I was writing for work.

        "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and immaturity." springs to mind as an apt description of the community.

        Fortunately the nature of our work did not require me to engage the community with questions of my own, I could learn what I needed by reading the abusive answers delivered to others with similar needs.

        The very notion of contributing to the ffMpeg community was repellent, unlike the contribution we made to Qt at the time which was merely disappointing: Here's a patch on your broken stuff that fixes it without breaking anything else, all properly formatted and documented. Oh, gee, thanks a lot but we're rewriting that whole section so this patch won't likely ever make it into a release. Of course their rewrite took years to release. That's o.k. the patch would have fixed the bug for our competitors who just lived with video overlay problems for years instead.

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
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