Slashdot praised as succesful web 2.0
Optikschmoptik (971793) writes "Discussing user-generated content systems, Slate names Slashdot and Helium as better Web 2.0 designs than the comparable and ostensibly more democratic Digg and Wikipedia. Slashdot wins this round thanks to its comment moderation:
The moderation system at the tech blog Slashdot is perhaps the best example on the Web of a middle way. Slashdot, which draws on links submitted by readers, ordains active contributors with limited power to regulate comments and contributions from other users. Compared with Wikipedia, which requires supreme devotion from its smaller core of administrators, Slashdot makes it easy to become a moderator. Giving large numbers of people small chunks of responsibility has proven effective in eliminating trolls and flame wars in the comment section. Yeah, so it's not perfectly effective, but in general the comments here are easily better than on Digg. I remember reading, about a year and a half ago, that /. was almost dead, and that Digg was the future. Maybe it's my age, but I've noticed digg headlines get less engaging and more base, while /. continues to maintain its potency at wasting my time. I also have my suspicion that I could actually prevent links from hitting the digg front page by submitting them before 'top submitters' get around to them."
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Optikschmoptik (971793) writes "I will indulge one more less semiconductor-physics-related topic. Back to operating systems and the subject of available software, especially that one non-everyday application that keeps lots of us stuck on a proprietary OS. I was recently booked to DJ in a club here in Göttingen. I used Traktor FS (FinalScratch) to spin and mix mp3s on my turntable. I know this was originally written for BeOS, then ported to Linux for use on RedHat and Mandrake for DJs so devoted to adoption that they would install a different OS to do it (this was version 1.0, back in 2001).
Then Native Instruments took over the software side of things, and since then it's been available only on OSX and Windows (since version 1.5). Version 1.5 is now unsupported by anyone, but is the only software that understands the FinalScratch 1 hardware, which is what I have. The user interface is pretty clunky, and it makes library management a real chore--you need lots of comments, rating and tags when you don't have the visual aide of actual record labels and sleeves, but Traktor FS 1.5 requires a lot of clicking through to do that. I haven't tried 1.0 on Linux, but I imagine it might be even worse. Not to FUD, but I have a feeling there will be at least one major dependency problem if I even try to install it, and 1.5 is enough of a headache already installed on my Windows partition.
Still, Traktor blows everything I've tried for linux clean out of the water (I don't like having to say that, but it's just so undeniable). If turntables aren't handy, I can use Traktor 3 and play right from the CPU, which is about 65% as good at beat-matching as I am (kind of, the computer takes one guess and never second-guesses; I take many guesses and fine-tune throughout the mix). Traktor 3 is also compatible with the new Final Scratch 2 hardware, so if I were to blow the money on that, I would get the much better user interface (and better iTunes importing) and the turntable control with lower latency: firewire instead of usb2. Now that it looks like I might have a second career as a DJ here in Germany, I might actually shell out for it.
But wait! Stanton is discontinuing their relationship with Native Instruments. What does this mean? I'm not really sure. Both companies will "focus on their respective product lines", you can interpret for yourself. Stanton also promises big things in their DJ line next year. But does that involve FS2 hardware or not? NI has already come out with their 'Audio Kontrol 1' interface for Traktor 3, so maybe they're moving away from Stanton's FS2 as the preferred interface, but they still advertise it as being compatible with FS2, while leaving the non-support statement in the fine print, somewhere. If someone can clarify this, or at least knows what to expect, please fill me in.
What's most annoying about all of this is that the software was originally developed in Linux. Then that got abandoned as they switched to a more marketable OSX/XP version (an aside: there's still an Intel-OSX version on its way. Maybe it will go the route of MATLAB and be installable on Linux as well, but I won't count on it). It seems like they could have kept a Linux version lying around for us weirdos who prefer it. So I wonder if this is a licensing issue, or a fragmented package management issue, difficulty in user support, a market-share issue, or a concern about the perception of crackability on Linux (which, from what I know, seems like it would be pretty unfounded), or all of the above. Whatever the reason, I'm dependent on Windows XP and my dual-boot drive, and I don't see any way to be a DJ without it."