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Slashdot: Podcasts, IM, Improved Discussions

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the how-i-spent-my-summer-vacation dept.

Slashdot.org 248

We have a number of Slashdot features that we've added in recent months that I've neglected to mention so I wanted to take a moment to share them with everyone today. I'd like to start by reminding all logged in users to try playing with our new experimental Discussion2 system. It's very nearly complete at this point. You can activate it with a checkbox on any article page (provided you actually have logged in). Read on to learn about Podcasts, IM, improved quoting in discussions, new subscriber options and more.

Recently we added the ability to receive AIM instant messages to notify you when stories are posted, when someone posts a comment to your journal, or when one of your friends post a journal. You can turn it on from the messaging preference page. You might need to set up slashdotomatic as a friend or buddy or whatever in your IM client to make it work, but this is a good way to get fast notification of Slashdot stuffs. We hopefully will add other popular instant messaging clients in the future but for now AIM is the top dog so we started there. The code is of course all in CVS if you want to add new platforms... there's room to easily add Jabber, MSN, Yahoo or anything else really. We've talked about SMS as well, so if there's a demand for it we'll work on it.

Everyone who knows me knows what I think about the vast majority of podcasts on the internet. The Slashdot podcast currently isn't at all like that. We call it the the Slashdot Robot Overlord. All it does is use Cepstral Voices to read you Slashdot stories aloud. So if you want to listen to Slashdot stories in your car or on your phone or something, here's an easy way to do it.

Subscribers have a new option in their journals: they can restrict the discussions to logged in users. This is a nice way to minimize trolling and general crappy behavior in your journal. Of course, there's nothing to stop the ambitious jerk from creating a user account, but this will at least slow them down for a few seconds. It's worth noting that when you post a journal, you are given the option to submit your journal to Slashdot... if your journal is selected, you sacrifice that option.

Speaking of comment posting, we've added a new <quote> tag useful in comments. If you choose to encapsulate a quote in said tag, that quote is expandable and contractible via user preferences. Properly quoting comments will allow your fellow readers to have better control over their display than simply blocking a huge chunk of words in italics.

A little bit more information about the Discussion2 system before we wrap up: It's currently tested mostly under Firefox (as is all of our javascript). It also works fine under Safari (2 and 3). We have some UI improvements coming soon as well, but it already is a vast improvement over the old system. One of the next steps is to make D2 degrade cleanly to a non-javascript browser so we can maintain one code base for development. When we get to that point, we can switch over the default/anonymous view to the new system.

We have a bunch of other stuff coming after the holiday. But in the mean time, please test this stuff out and let me know if you see any glaring bugs. The address is the same as always.

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248 comments

Buggy IE (7) (5, Informative)

duerra (684053) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663451)

I realize that this doesn't matter to a lot of the Slashdot crowd, but Discussion2 is still buggy in IE (IE7, specifically). There are JS errors on the page, the weird gray and white floating box that sits on the page which is apparently there to tell you how many posts there are in the discussion overruns the left-side navigation bar (and overall who's purpose seems a bit pointless to me in general), and its rendering is completely messed up in IE. Also, I have to use FF just to disable Discussion2 on my account, because it doesn't work in IE7.

You may want to get those issues cleared up before you consider Discussion2 complete.

Re:Buggy IE (7) (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663539)

The floating box has sliders on it which you can pull to adjust the number of comments that are hidden, closed, and fully displayed. If I pull the top slider/tab up, I will move my fully displayed comments threshold up by +1. The bottom controls the closed comments threshold.

Re:Buggy IE (7) (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663545)

Yeah, it's also buggy in older versions of Seamonkey (Mozilla Application Suite). The grey bar at the top apears, but looks shorter than normal and doesn't have any text.

Also, the AJAX stuff sometimes doesn't work right, even on Firefox. For instance, 'hidden comments' that are below the moderation threshhold don't always display when viewing a particular message. This behavior persists on all browsers I have tried.

Re:Buggy IE (7) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19663549)

Maybe I have not properly buttered my tinfoil hat lately, but it would not surprise me if IE7 bugs were actually researched and placed into this code to ensure that it does not work. I mean this IS the place that derives it's income from an alternating stream of apple slashvertisements and m$ bashfests.

Re:Buggy IE (7) (-1, Flamebait)

rustalot42684 (1055008) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663739)

IE7 doesn't work on Linux. Slashdot users are all communists, so none of them would be using it.

Re:Buggy IE (7) (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664143)

Re:Buggy IE (7) (Score:1)
by rustalot42684 (1055008) Alter Relationship on 11:34 Wednesday 27 June 2007 (#19663739)

IE7 doesn't work on Linux. Slashdot users are all communists, so none of them would be using it.
Uh..."Greetings, comrade"?

Re:Buggy IE (7) (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663823)

I realize that this doesn't matter to a lot of the Slashdot crowd, but IE (IE7, specifically) is still buggy in Discussion2.
teehee, fun fun.

Re:Buggy IE (7) (5, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664093)

I realize that this doesn't matter to a lot of the Slashdot crowd, but the Internet is still buggy in IE (IE7, specifically).
Fixed that for you.

Re:Buggy IE (7) (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664127)

I realize that this doesn't matter to a lot of the Slashdot crowd, but Discussion2 is still buggy in IE (IE7, specifically).

I ignore it because it doesn't display the messages as I have them set in my preferences. I assumed that they should take my preferences and then display the same way as the old system but apparently they don't.

Re:Buggy IE (7) (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19664147)

That's not a bug, it's a feature.

Re:Buggy IE (7) (2, Interesting)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664433)

I realize that this doesn't matter to a lot of the Slashdot crowd, but Discussion2 is still buggy in IE (IE7, specifically). ..//..
You may want to get those issues cleared up before you consider Discussion2 complete.
If you had access to Slashdot's web stats, you would fall from chair no less.

Hint: Top browser could not be Firefox. There is no such guarantee.

It happens because of people checking Slashdot at work or plainly choosing IE 7 (which is not a crime).

Re:Buggy IE (7) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19664511)

You sure it's discussion 2 that's buggy and not your browser of choice?

Testing Quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19663489)

Speaking of comment posting, we've added a new quote tag useful in comments. If you choose to encapsulate a quote in said tag, that quote is expandable and contractible via user preferences. Properly quoting comments will allow your fellow readers to have better control over their display than simply blocking a huge chunk of words in italics.
How is this different from the old blockquote (below)?

This is a blockquote test.
So the difference is a preference the user can set?

Re:Testing Quote (1)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663599)

The difference is that the "quote" tag uses a stylesheet so it's *cooler*. Using boring old HTML when you could be using CSS is sooooo 20th century.

Re:Testing Quote (5, Insightful)

brunascle (994197) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663649)

well, they couldve kept the blockquote tag and just added css to it. this is what blockquote was meant for. div is meaningless, and shouldnt be used in place of blockquote.

Re:Testing Quote (3, Informative)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663637)

So the difference is a preference the user can set?

My guess is that it's a preference I can set to decide how I want to see your post.

That's my guess anyway, since apparently when I signed up for the University of Michigan testing stuff it clobbered my account profile with whatever was going on at the time and now none of this "discussion2" stuff works. I don't even get this "checkbox on any article page". I can turn on and off the Michigan stuff in my profile, but the majority of the time it wouldn't work in FF or IE, and I ended up leaving it disabled.

Re:Testing Quote (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663791)

Yep, same here. Agreed to do the University of Michigan testing, and I don't get a Discussion2 checkbox. Since the University of Michigan Testing system basically made Slashdot unreadable thanks to how slow it ran, I have to leave it disabled.

Re:Testing Quote (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664121)

Count me in on this. I couldn't figure out where this "Discussion2" checkbox was.

Same with UMT, I shut it off almost immediately due to massive overhead it imposed on loading pages. I can't figure out how someone found that to be acceptable.

Re:Testing Quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19664289)

OMFGWTFBBQ ME TOO LOL !!1112!11!121

Here's a random silly thought. How about instead of repeating the same damned thing idiot #1 said, you realize:

1) The University of Michigan thing IS Discussion2. Moron.

And:

2) FAQ: I have found a bug on Slashdot, Who do I contact? [slashdot.org]

OR try emailing one of the authors.

OR try growing up and reenabling the UM thing so you can have the same pointless JavaScript enabled forum everyone else can.

Clogs up in Opera 9 (5, Informative)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663493)

Ive' noticed that Discussion2 tends to make Opera 9 chug on large comment pages (usally past 200

Re:Clogs up in Opera 9 (1)

Anonymous Monkey (795756) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663591)

Firefox 2.0 dose the same thing, but it only happens to me above the 350 point.

Re:Clogs up in Opera 9 (1)

theantipop (803016) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664037)

I have no problems in FF2 (currently 2.04 with TMP and ABP installed). I've been using Discussion 2.0 for a while and Opera 9 is the only browser I've seen slowness with (IE6,7 and FF1.5, 2.0 all fine for me).

Re:Clogs up in Opera 9 (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664375)

Firefox 2.0 dose the same thing, but it only happens to me above the 350 point.
Slashdot accidentally invented World's most evil Javascript benchmark/bug check? Sorry couldn't stand :)

Which browser works fine with that feature on? I really started to wonder.

Re:Clogs up in Opera 9 (1)

ball-lightning (594495) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663705)

Yea, we don't *all* use Firefox... In my personal experience, every time I enable Discussion2 Opera gets very, very unhappy. Hopefully, /. will allow us to switch to the old Discussion system, even after Discussion2 is finished.

Re:Clogs up in Opera 9 (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664253)

Hopefully, /. will allow us to switch to the old Discussion system, even after Discussion2 is finished.

Provided they make it degrade properly with no javascript, as the taco says, you should be able to just disable javascript on slashdot.org in order to get a plain system.

Re:Clogs up in Opera 9 (2, Informative)

john83 (923470) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663765)

Ive' noticed that Discussion2 tends to make Opera 9 chug on large comment pages (usally past 200
I'm running Firefox 2.0.0.4 and get the same problem.

Re:Clogs up in Opera 9 (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664355)

If discussion 2 is related in any way to their University of (I forget where it was) experimental Slashdot discussion interface, I ended up turning it off because it was molasses slow. They then made an improvement to it, but after another week of testing it, I turned it off again because any large discussion was unusably slow.

Re:Clogs up in Opera 9 (2, Insightful)

theantipop (803016) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664003)

Ive' noticed that Discussion2 tends to make Opera 9 chug on large comment pages (usally past 200
I have this problem as well. It is horridly slow on any popular story to the point where it takes 4-5 seconds for the browser to respond to a PageDwn. Often times expanding a minimized comment will seem to time out. I switched back to FF2 and it's silky smooth.

Re:Clogs up in Opera 9 (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664031)

Okay I have to as where is this check box to turn this new feature?
I have never seen it.

Re:Clogs up in Opera 9 (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664171)

Look just above the comment prefs box at the top of every article. (Just below the summary, above the comments themselves.) There should be a small checkbox on the right side of the dark gray area that says, "I am willing to help test Slashdot's New Discussion System." Checking it activates the discussion system of DOOM. Unchecking it brings you the DOOM and GLOOM that we're all familiar with.

Re:Clogs up in Opera 9 (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664303)

Look just above the comment prefs box at the top of every article. (Just below the summary, above the comments themselves.)

When I look there, I have only one checkbox, for saving my threshold and such. I looked in prefs, all I have is a radio button (on the 'Comments' page) where I can switch between "Normal" and "University of Michigan Testing", is that the same thing?

Re:Clogs up in Opera 9 (4, Informative)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664295)

Ive' noticed that Discussion2 tends to make Opera 9 chug on large comment pages (usally past 200
It _is_ Opera bug which people like me spent very huge time to report to Opera ASA.

I even included OS X "sample of application", my logs, my system profile just to make them interested a bit. While guys start the day by checking Slashdot there, they don't fix the freaking bug.

Unbelievable, no less.

I hate to give ammo to Opera haters but this is it, I am saying this public. That is a Opera bug which exists since first 9.x versions and lives up to date despite numerous kind of bug reports even posted to their forums.

Original Slasdot bug report (not mine)
http://sourceforge.net/tracker/index.php?func=deta il&aid=1541019&group_id=4421&atid=104421 [sourceforge.net]

By risking CmdrTaco getting mad at me :) I added comment to closed bug even to help Opera people if they ever check one of World's popular Tech sites bug database.

How About Improving The Content??!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19663543)

These new features are all well and good, but the story selection and content still haven't improved much from the early days.

The misspellings, typos, grammatical errors are still here, and even though you think that "keeps it real", it really just keeps it real dumb. It's not that hard to run a spell-checker or check that a link actually works before posting.

Dupes, and old, stale news don't occur as often, but it still happens here and there. Could editors edit once in a while?

And another thing, the political flamebait is running out of control with kdawson. Tell him to post some of that drivel in a diary at daily kos, not here.

Perfect Chance (1)

endianx (1006895) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663573)

This seems like the perfect chance to ask a question I've had for a while, that would have been off-topic anywhere else. If I have questions about Slashdot, such as "What does that No Karma Bonus checkbox do?", where should I ask them? Are there forums somewhere for Slashdot readers?

Re:Perfect Chance (2, Informative)

trip11 (160832) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663669)

If you have accumulated a large amount of karma (your posts are regularly moderated up, no down), then your posts will start with a rating of 2, not 1. You can choose to not apply that bonus if you don't think you want it (for instance if you think your comment will just get moderated down). It's all in the FAQ too. Spelled out much clearer. http://slashdot.org/faq/com-mod.shtml#cm800 [slashdot.org]

Re:Perfect Chance (3, Funny)

Cerberus7 (66071) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663763)

You're doing it wrong! You're supposed to be a jerk and say "Murk LOAR!"

Re:Perfect Chance (1)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663903)

You seem to have your forums confused, that's probably more of a 4chan thing. Over here the better response might be either "You must be new here", or "RTFM".

Re:Perfect Chance (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664293)

I thought I have seen some posts with a starting score of 3. How does that work, or was I just imagining that?

Re:Perfect Chance (4)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664425)

Probably someone modded it underrated. That will bump a comment up without giving a reason.

Re:Perfect Chance (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663699)

If I have questions about Slashdot, such as "What does that No Karma Bonus checkbox do?", where should I ask them?

I just ask in an addendum to my post. Always worked for me.

BTW, "No Karma Bonus" turns off your extra "bonus" point for having good karma. Thus checking that box would make your post show up as +1 rather than +2. It used to be more useful when only a handful of posters had it, but now all it takes is to hang around long enough and you'll get the +1 bonus. Sooo, you can mostly ignore it if you wish. I still use the checkbox when I'm saying something that I don't want to stand out (e.g. replying "Good catch!" to someone) and yet don't want to make a signed AC post for.

Re:Perfect Chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19664203)

Are there forums somewhere for Slashdot readers?
Hilarious!

By the way, try asking in the discussions attached to the polls. They're all stupid timewastes (even more so than normal), so a real question will probably get a response. And check the FAQ, naturally.

Re:Perfect Chance (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664435)

Funny thing you should mention that. I was messing around in my prefs page last week and I still couldn't figure out what half the settings do. Apart from the labels next to them, there's no documentation at all.

Podcasts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19663579)

I was actually hoping the reference to 'podcasts' in the teaser would have to do with "Geeks in Space". It would be great to have new episodes of GiS, even if only once or twice a year.

Obviously the participants have other projects and their own lives to live. I guess this is just a shout-out to let Rob et al. know that the show may be on hiatus but it is not forgotten by its fans.

IM re-queued or fallback to email? (2, Interesting)

tf23 (27474) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663589)

I asked this in IRC, but lately it doesn't seem anyone from the Slashdot SF.Inc's team is on there - if a user sets their msg prefs to IM, but they are not online at the time of the action, so the instant message cannot be sent at that time, what happens to it? Is it re-queued? For how long? Is there a fallback method such as email or web message if the IM can't be sent after X period of time? The last time I looked at the im_messages task code, I didn't see anything like that. But that was weeks ago, and I quickly skimmed it. So I might've missed quite a bit.

Re:IM re-queued or fallback to email? (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663993)

What IM system is so backwards that it doesn't support offline delivery? ICQ could do this back in 1998, and it's been transparent in Jabber from the start.

Also, is AIM really the 'top dog' for IM? I guess this must be a US thing; most of the geeks in my roster use Jabber, and the non-geeks use MSN, with a few non-geeks using Jabber now Google use it. I only have a couple of people using AIM or ICQ (which are the same network now).

Re:IM re-queued or fallback to email? (1)

tf23 (27474) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664113)

What IM system is so backwards that it doesn't support offline delivery?
I don't know. That's why I'm asking the question.

Re:IM re-queued or fallback to email? (1)

freemywrld (821105) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664167)

AIM supports offline delivery. You may need an updated client to take advantage of it, but the network does now support it.

Re:IM re-queued or fallback to email? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19664379)

Which "updated" third party programs support it? (Does Pidgin?)

Re:IM re-queued or fallback to email? (1)

flakier (177415) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664115)

I think most people who use AIM know better than to trust it. IMO, they should have started with GTalk or Yahoo where offline messages are supported.

So the hooks are in CVS...maybe someone will hop on it...

Though I am banned from this paradise..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19663613)

may I be the first to welcome our new Slashdot Robot Overlord?

AIM is Top Dog? (3, Funny)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663623)

We hopefully will add other popular instant messaging clients in the future but for now AIM is the top dog so we started there.

For teenage girls, maybe. GTalk is "top dog" for professionals as it's built right into GMail. That, IMHO, is a much better solution than having to install 500+ IM products. And if I really need to contact a teenage girl^W^W^W someone on AIM, there's always Meebo [meebo.com] !

Disclaimer: The above is a humorous post and should not be consumed by old people, pregnant women, or those with a weak heart. AKAImBatman disclaims all responsibility for the reader's lack of a sense of humor.

Re:AIM is Top Dog? (2, Informative)

GiMP (10923) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663661)

Or how about XMPP in general? Thats IM for nerds, IM that matters.

Re:AIM is Top Dog? (1)

Alphager (957739) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663837)

Gmail for Proffessionals?! Professionals run their own damn servers with their own damn XMPP-implementation.

Re:AIM is Top Dog? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663991)

Professionals run their own damn servers with their own damn XMPP-implementation.

If you don't have anything better to do than run your own email server, then you're not much of a professional. I think every professional has been there and done that, but the maintenance and time requirements are too demanding in the long-term. It's much easier to farm out your email and IM to a service like GMail, where you have a dedicated set of professionals ensuring that you have the latest upgrades, maximum performance, and best spam protection that our eggheads at large have managed to develop.

That's not to say we don't use Exchange or Lotus Notes in our day jobs. (Though I often wish my company would just sign up for GMail for Domains.) However, all our IM activities and personal correspondence go through something much more streamlined, portable, and easy to use.

Re:AIM is Top Dog? (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664459)

It's much easier to farm out your email and IM to a service like GMail, where you have a dedicated set of professionals ensuring that you have the latest upgrades, maximum performance, and best spam protection that our eggheads at large have managed to develop.

If you're not worried about privacy, by all means, use google. If you are, don't. It's that simple.

For most of my correspondence, I am not concerned about privacy, and I in fact use gmail, gtalk, etc. But for anything I am, I feel the need to have my own mail server.

Re:AIM is Top Dog? (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664487)

What? What maintenance and time requirements? Setting up in house email and IM took me all of a day. I look at the servers all of five minutes a day. We're talking a simple in-house-only jabber IM server, and a postfix based store and forward only mail server for when the state screws up our statewide servers, but it is neither hard nor time consuming, and for some of us it's fun.

Re:AIM is Top Dog? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663913)

I have to give a thumbs up to gtalk. It is the only IM I use daily. SMS would be nice as well.

Re:AIM is Top Dog? (5, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664019)

For teenage girls, maybe.
I hate to break it to you, but those weren't really teenage girls.

Re:AIM is Top Dog? (1)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664453)

I hate to break it to you, but those weren't really teenage girls.
Let us know how that defense holds up for you in court.

Depends on what your friends use (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664329)

Maybe if you've only been using IM in recent times. All of my contacts are in AIM, since that's what we've all been using since 1998 or so. I haven't used the official AIM client in probably 5 years or so. Gaim/Pidgin for me. Why would I want switch networks, let alone a web-based one that requires my browser to be open (speaking to Gmail based Gtalk...there's a standalone GTalk client, too, right?)

Re:AIM is Top Dog? (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664331)

Indeed, it's pretty lame for an open source site to promote closed source solutions like that. Any decent client can talk to all decent protocols, so there's really no excuse for not using Jabber.

IM/SMS (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663651)

I noticed the IM option in my profile the other day as I updated it and was glad you chose to not show that publicly. Thanks for that.

Please also note that you can get Slashdot feeds via Slashdot on Twitter [twitter.com] if you are in the need of SMS updates for the time being.

Question for other slashdotters (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663685)

Slashdot's comment features, while not perfect, set an example that thousands of other sites have followed. Do people think the new Discussion2 system will set a new example to be copied? Or is it turning into bloat?

Re:Question for other slashdotters (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663871)

I do have to admit that the system has improved greatly since I last tore it to shreds [slashdot.org] . Unfortunately, I still can't stomach it. The moment I turn it on, all the posts I want to read disappear. In order to get some semblance of a reasonable display, I have to drag all the comment preferences to the bottom of the slider-box, thus showing me a nested view of all posts. Which raises the question: why didn't I use the nested view in the first place?

My feeling on the system is that the Slashdot editors are excited about the possibilities that DHTML & AJAX provide. Which is perfectly normal. Unfortunately, the simplest solution is sometimes still the best solution. Having a long page of nested comments allows me to read everything top to bottom very quickly while still keeping track of who's replying to whom. (Most of the time, anyway.) The only improvement I can see is to allow comments and their sub-threads to be collapsed. That would provide an easy way to mark a thread as having been read. (In case I lose my place on the page, for whatever reason.) But I don't see any real reason for AJAX as the content of the page greatly outweighs the size of its interface.

Re:Question for other slashdotters (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664131)

I agree. It's unfamiliar and, to be blunt, not done well enough or polished enough or even good looking enough for me to use it. I'm still on the old discussion system and I love it. The new one just doesn't cut it for me.

Re:Question for other slashdotters (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664263)

It definitely requires some tuning. I've found that my settings have settled down to a "hidden" threshold of -1, and an "abbreviated" threshold of 0. On the left-side gauge, this corresponds to having the bottom bar one notch above the bottom, and the top bar one notch farther up.

Discussion2 is readable and entertaining. And I can even read those anonymous posts that aren't written like preschool books, thanks to the Abbreviated view.

Discussion2's best feature, though, is that I can collapse and expand entire trees, in order to help keep track of what I've already read. (This is vital with all the recent 300+ comment stories.)

Re:Question for other slashdotters (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664343)

The only improvement I can see is to allow comments and their sub-threads to be collapsed. That would provide an easy way to mark a thread as having been read.

You also don't have to load comments until they are displayed, which can reduce page loads. And you don't have to reload a whole grip of comments from the db to display just one of them.

Re:Question for other slashdotters (1)

yog (19073) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664051)

Slashdot's comment features, while not perfect, set an example that thousands of other sites have followed. Do people think the new Discussion2 system will set a new example to be copied? Or is it turning into bloat?
I like the new discussion system. It allows for faster skimming of the most highly moderated comments without the multiple page spillover stuff you have to go through with the old system. It's quite good for a nerdy site like /. I don't know if the broader online community is ready for it however; it's a bit sophisticated.

Re:Question for other slashdotters (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664395)

I tried it for awhile, didn't like it, and turned it back. It was too....different. I felt like I was missing comments. For the time being, the Slashdotter Firefox plugin [efinke.com] seems to work well for me. AJAX-fied collapsible comments, and some nice other features, too. It chokes sometimes on deeper level comments and the expanding, but for the most part it works very well.

Re:Question for other slashdotters (2, Insightful)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664457)

For the way I like to read Slashdot, it's perfect. I tend to read the 3-5 posts, but will often read the parents and replies of such posts even if they're 1-2 because they often progress the conversation starter that got modded up. It's also nice not to have to go back constantly in my browser, everything opens up in the single window, and the moderation is easy to do with the new system, you know exactly how many points you have left as you read on.

"restrict the discussions (2, Insightful)

wiredog (43288) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663749)

to logged in users. This is a nice way to minimize trolling and general crappy behavior in your journal."

Because that's worked so well over at Kuro5hin.

Re:"restrict the discussions (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664149)

It might be better to filter on age of account or total number of posts. Sort of like a cooling off period for sock puppets. Make the trolls work to be heard.

"restrict the discussions-OSnews. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19664281)

OSNews went that way, and look how well it worked for them.

Re:"restrict the discussions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19664543)

kuro5hin's trolls are mentally ill. slashdot's are just kids with short attention spans.

"Improved Discussions"? (4, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663755)


Taco,

"Improved Discussions" would require you delete all your current user accounts and start over.

Re:"Improved Discussions"? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664279)

Don't worry, he's posting from the future:

from the how-i-spent-my-summer-vacation dept.
At the end of August, all user accounts will be deleted; just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean it's not in the works.

Unless, of course, it was last summer's vacation spent on discussion2 and these other changes, in which case the deletion of user accounts may also take nine months to roll out.

new feautures... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19663803)

That's the stupidest fucking idea I've heard since...

wait a min...

How about ... (5, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663841)

Some better classification and filters on Slashdot, so we can reduce the noise levels. Give the articles:

a "credibility rating" (from "improbable rumor" to "we guarantee it's correct with our life".. ok pick better named)

an "importance" rating (from "something to read if you're bored with life" to "breaking effin news!!!")

and "time effect" rating (from "it was announced to happen in somewhere the next 100 years" to "it just happened now!")

Because, damn. I'm sick of all the noise on Slashdot. And that's gold I'm giving you here. If you don't use it, I'll be so pissed off, I'll start my own news site just to see it happen :P

Re:How about ... (3, Interesting)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664053)

These are all excellent ideas. I'd also like to suggest maybe some sort of karma system for stories in general. It seems there are a few regular posters that people always complain about for either blatantly plugging their blogs, or for posting psuedo-science with a terrible summary that makes it sound like an actual scientific breakthrough but after RTFA is just garbage. As it is now, the tagging system has been partially corrupted for this purpose which is unfortunate and shows that there are needs that the current system is not addressing.

Re:How about ... (4, Insightful)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664451)

an "importance" rating (from "something to read if you're bored with life" to "breaking effin news!!!")

Who decides what is important? I generally avoid hardware stories like the plague but some electrical engineer might consider them gangbusters.

and "time effect" rating (from "it was announced to happen in somewhere the next 100 years" to "it just happened now!")

Most of the time, I think that type of information is irrelevant or only interesting to a minute portion of the users.

Honestly, most of what you want seems to take the place of actually reading TFA and forming opinions on it yourself

mod do3n (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19663945)

suuplies to private

Geeks in Space.... (4, Insightful)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 6 years ago | (#19663977)

Aww man get my hopes up! Cepstral voice reading me a Slashdot story?? MEH! I would actually ENJOY listening to a new Geeks in Space. Yeah, that's so last century, but I don't care. Geeks in Space was a podcast but with out the RSS! :D

Podcast with Cepstral voices (1)

Baumi (148744) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664139)

Aww man get my hopes up! Cepstral voice reading me a Slashdot story?? MEH!
I may be a geek, but I'm apparently not geeky enough to appreciate the monotonous reading style of current TTS-Systems. It's certainly a great service for the visually impaired or anyone else who doesn't have time or opportunity to read /., but I just can't stand listening to the voice for more than a couple of seconds.

Top-level-replies on new Discussion system (1)

Baumi (148744) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664063)

I like the new discussion system, but it's a hassle that it still doesn't seem to allow top-level replies. (I.e. to reply directly to the article, I need to switch it off.)

Re:Top-level-replies on new Discussion system (3, Informative)

josecanuc (91) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664181)

The "Reply" link is on the floating control on the left side of the page.

mod 0p (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19664083)

And arms and dick tH3 most. Look at

Um, this ain't rocket science... (1)

jbarr (2233) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664087)

The comment slider on the left is actually kinda nice. It dynamically adjusts what comments are fully visible, "abbreviated", and hidden, replacing the old "threshold" setting quite nicely. It really doesn't take much explanation. Just navigate to an article with lots of articles, and play around with it to see how it works--no manual required.

In FireFox, I am getting some occasional JavaScript errors reported by FireBug, but overall, the new system seems to work well. Give it a chance, and give 'em feedback. That's the ONLY way it'll ever improve. Besides, you can always turn it off during this testing period.

It's about content, not gadgets (1)

rueger (210566) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664207)

Honestly I'd like to see the Slashdot Overlords spend less time on gewgaws like these, and more time on establishing some minimal editorial standards.

I'm assuming that the vast majority of readers are here for content, and the weaknesses in that content are a great frustration.

I'm not talking about hiring New York Times journalists, only asking for basic standards like:

  • Have someone, anyone check for dupes. Is it really possible that none of the "Editors" at Slashdot read their own site?
  • Have someone read TFA to make sure that the summary posted actually reflects what the originating article or page says. Too often the summary is entirely different from that actual article.
  • Have someone check TFA to weed out obvious self promotion. Really, there are times when this get's to be ridiculous. Same for the posts that are a restatement of some guys uninformed blog post.
  • Please, have someone take charge of basic spelling and grammar, and the headlines that seem to be created from random phrase generation.
Honestly this operation is large enough, and lucrative enough, and has enough paid subscribers that it is reasonable to insist on some level of professional editorial activity.

Adding AIM messaging is only useful if you can assure me that what you're delivering is good enough that my first instinct isn't to go to the source material to make sure that I'm not being misled.

GeoRSS and OpenLayers support for Slashdot? (1)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664231)

That would be great, no? Here's a previous /. discussion on GeoRSS [slashdot.org] . The GeoRSS plugin for Slash is almost complete, it already works [slashgeo.org] , but some efforts are required to finalize it, and I bet the Slashdot team has way more resources than my small team! :-)

And hey, we even have OpenLayers with Google Maps maps within stories. Same story as GeoRSS for Slash, this Slash plugin works (example here (temporarily disabled) [slashgeo.org] ), and not much is required to make it fully complete!

Podcasting before it was cool (2, Interesting)

Triv (181010) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664235)

You guys were podcasting back in the day with Geeks in Space. Those recordings viewed from now, almost a decade later, would be an awesome peek back into a different kind of internet, but I can't find the mp3's archived anywhere - I used to have 'em on a ZiP disk (heh) but even if I knew where it was, I'd have no way to read it.

Anyone have a copy of 'em lying around that they'd like to make available for research's/nostalgia's sake?


-Triv

What about sorting filters? (0)

mungurk (982766) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664239)

As far as I am aware, Slashdot does not offer a sorting filter.
It would be a REALLY great feature to be able to click to only display messages with a score of "4 or 5" for instance. That would also help minimize the amount of trolling nonsense that makes its way onto the board, and let me see comments that are "insightful" or "helpful" first. If I really want to see a "1" level comment, I would just scroll to the bottom of the page.

No Dupes (1)

kthejoker (931838) | more than 6 years ago | (#19664513)

On a similar note, I haven't noticed a duplicate article in forever. I don't know if you guys just use the tagging system to pick 'em out quicker, or if you're being more diligent about checking for dupes, but great job, guys.
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