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Introducing the Slashdot Firehose 320

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the who-wants-to-drink-from-the-firehose dept.
Logged in users have noticed for some time the request to drink from the Slashdot Firehose. Well now we're ready to start having everybody test it out. It's partially a collaborative news system, partially a redesigned & dynamic next-generation Slashdot index. It's got a lot of really cool features, and a lot of equally annoying new problems for us to find and fix for the next few weeks. I've attached a rough draft of the FAQ to the end of this article. A quick read of it will probably answer most questions from how it works, what all the color codes mean, to what we intend to do with it.

What is the Slashdot Firehose?

The Slashdot Firehose is a way for you to participate in the Slashdot editorial process. You are able to see all the content submitted to Slashdot: from RSS Feeds and user submissions, to journal entries and successful completed Slashdot stories.

You can participate by voting on these entries: click the minus icon if you don't think the story is great for Slashdot, and click the plus if you do. Better yet, when you make these choices you can help further refine your decision by clarifying why you made the choice you did. You can tell us if a story was binspam, or a dupe, or insightful. If you don't like the options provided in the pop-up windows, you can always open the tagging box and provide whatever tags you think will help Slashdot Editors, and other Slashdot Readers make informed decisions about the content they are reading.

Why does the Firehose have articles in it?

The Firehose has all data on Slashdot. RSS Feeds. Journal Entries. Story Submissions. And of course, accepted Slashdot Stories. The idea is that this view of Slashdot can provide you a single place to view all Slashdot content in one interface.

If you don't like any particular data type, you can filter it out. If you don't like journals, you can just filter on -journal and they are gone. If you don't want Slashdot stories, -story will get you there.

You will note a variety of interesting options that allow you to control how this page is displayed. For example, if you filter on 'story' and set 'expand top rated' you will see a page that is very similar to Slashdot's main page today... except that it dynamically updates and allows voting and in-place expansion of sectional content. Alternatively, filtering to -story and toggling 'abbreviated mode' will let you see a real-time stream of reader contributions. It's really up to you

What do the colors mean?

The spectrum of colors represents an overall quality rating for content. Red is the most popular, the highest rated, and hopefully the best content on Slashdot. There is relatively little Red content, although most stories we post default to red. Some stories show up as orange. As you work down the spectrum you will find more content. Default submissions to the Firehose start at blue. At indigo you will find a number of RSS feeds and journal entries. At violet you are probably wasting your time, and at black you definitely are!

Play with the color slider to find the level you enjoy reading most at. Use Red or Orange for busy days or if you are a casual reader. The lower you pull the slider, the more content you will see.

How does the calendar widget work?

The Firehose is usable in 3 "Modes". In "latest content" mode you are looking at the last few days of Slashdot content. Display is optimized for you to easily navigate within this small bit of time. In 'Day Of' mode you will see content only from (surprise) any day you specify in the calender. Finally in 'Search Archive' mode you will search the entire database. For now, this goes back only perhaps 6 months but eventually we think this can replace our existing search infrastructure.

What can I do with the Firehose Tabs?

We've found that we like to use the firehose in a number of different ways. Sometimes I want a casual view of Slashdot, and other times i want to see more stories. Sometimes I want to see only the stories I've tagged. Other times I just want to see Journals. Well, shockingly enough, each tab will remember your settings and allow you to quickly return to them later.

If you change your settings, you do so in an 'Untitled' tab. If you click on your tab, you can name it which will save it for later. Also, you can subscribe to an RSS feed for any particular tab if that's your cup of tea. Please keep in mind that we have a robots.txt file that restricts the rate that you refresh pages. I'd suggest a 30 minute minimum.

What browsers are supported?

Currently we work great under Firefox 1.5 and 2.0, as well as Safari. IE7 is functional but has glitches that we are working to fix. The iPhone functions as well with a number of optimizations for small screens (although the bandwidth requirements are still fairly steep so you are probably better off on a WiFi connection for now)

IE6 is known to be broken. Other browsers might work, but we haven't really tested them.

Why didn't you post a submission that made it to red?

Slashdot is a complex beast with readers with a wide variety of interests. Part of the job of Slashdot Editor is to create a website that is interesting to all of us. That means that sometimes our opinions may differ from yours. We use the voting in the Firehose as an indicator of value, but not as the definitive measure of if something is a Slashdot story.

If you don't like that, you can simply remove our Slashdot stories by putting -story in your filter. The firehose you read will be then be completely reader driven. We believe that the way we've built this system can appeal to the wide variety of Slashdot readers without compromising the story quality for our core audience.

Doesn't this make you just like

Well first of all, we're happy to use good ideas when we see them. Countless websites have knocked off our cool ideas, just like we joyously took ideas from those that came before us. But ultimately the idea here is not to imitate any other social network news site. We feel that the editorial layer that exists on top of Slashdot is important. But we also think that having many eyeballs will help us more efficiently sort through the ever increasing volume of content on this here internet of ours. That's why we'll aim to strike a balance. Slashdot stories will continue to be posted by our editors. We will use the advice given to us by our readers. Sometimes we will agree, and other times we won't. You are welcome to read more or less editor content depending on your tastes.

At the end of the day, striking a balance between the wisdom of crowds and the tyranny of mobs is a difficult one. It's also a personal one: some people might regard it as having a moral component. Others may just want to read a bunch of good stories no matter what the methodology. We're hoping that we can strike a balance that will work for everyone. Your feedback can only improve the system for everyone.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Introducing the Slashdot Firehose

Comments Filter:
  • by KingSkippus (799657) * on Thursday August 02, 2007 @02:36PM (#20090377) Homepage Journal

    In case anyone misses the reference, the invitation to "drink from the firehose" is referring to UHF, the 1989 movie [imdb.com] by "Weird Al" Yankovic, in which Stanley Spadowski (played by a pre-Seinfeld Michael Richards) treats a kid who wins a game on his Captain Kangaroo-type show to drink from the firehose. The kid opens his mouth wide to the hose's nozzle, Stanly pulls the lever back, and the kid is promptly blown several feet off his seat.

    Really funny stuff, including lots of television and movie genre parodies. If you like Weird Al's music and haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend you check it out. It's gained a cult following (obviously, with obscure references on Slashdot and all...) after having a disappointing theatrical release.

    (But to be fair, that summer was particularly strong, with the release of Batman, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Lethal Weapon 2, Back to the Future Part II, Ghostbusters II, The Little Mermaid... Any other year, and it probably would have been a moderate success. As you can tell, I wish Al would make another.)

    • In case anyone misses the reference, the invitation to "drink from the firehose" is referring to UHF, the 1989 movie by "Weird Al" Yankovic, in which Stanley Spadowski (played by a pre-Seinfeld Michael Richards) treats a kid who wins a game on his Captain Kangaroo-type show to drink from the firehose. The kid opens his mouth wide to the hose's nozzle, Stanly pulls the lever back, and the kid is promptly blown several feet off his seat.

      Yes, but nowadays he just turns the firehose on black protesters.

      • by jollyreaper (513215) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @04:12PM (#20092037)

        In case anyone misses the reference, the invitation to "drink from the firehose" is referring to UHF, the 1989 movie by "Weird Al" Yankovic, in which Stanley Spadowski (played by a pre-Seinfeld Michael Richards) treats a kid who wins a game on his Captain Kangaroo-type show to drink from the firehose. The kid opens his mouth wide to the hose's nozzle, Stanly pulls the lever back, and the kid is promptly blown several feet off his seat.
        Yes, but nowadays he just turns the firehose on black protesters.
        Ok, let me explain this for the mod who doesn't get the reference. Michael Richards doesn't like black people. Segregationists who didn't like black people in the 60's used firehoses to break up the civil rights protests. -1 Troll? Michael Richards doesn't read Slashdot. If I was making fun of Wesley Crusher, THAT would be trolling.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Stanistani (808333)
      First thing I thought of:
      "This creepy older guy keeps offering me a 'drink from his firehose.'
      "Can you show me on this doll where he touched you?"
    • by QuantumPion (805098) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @02:56PM (#20090729)
      I'm curious as to why they didn't just call it slashdigg.
    • Stanley Spadowski (played by a pre-Seinfeld Michael Richards) treats a kid who wins a game on his Captain Kangaroo-type show to drink from the firehose. The kid opens his mouth wide to the hose's nozzle, Stanly pulls the lever back, and the kid is promptly blown several feet off his seat.

      Yeah, but the truly hilarious part wasn't the kid getting blown off the chair, it was the fact that the victory condition for the game he won was "[finding] the marble in the oatmeal", and his opponents seemed to be two

  • Huzzah! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pegr (46683) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @02:37PM (#20090405) Homepage Journal
    We can now pitch the editors!
  • by InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @02:37PM (#20090407)
    The firehose view just lists the story subjects and allows the user to click +/- from there. Yes, you can view the entire story, but I think most people are just going to vote based on the subject alone. Is this good or bad?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by lobStar (1103461)
      Risk is that people vote based on whether they like the subject or not, not based on how important it is. I.e: "FSF gets donation" - gets plus because people like it "Microsoft sues 10 major Linux vendors" - very important but gets minus because minus is associated with bad things
    • by gfilion (80497)

      The firehose view just lists the story subjects and allows the user to click +/- from there. Yes, you can view the entire story, but I think most people are just going to vote based on the subject alone. Is this good or bad?

      If you click on the subject, you get to read the whole article.

    • by lawpoop (604919) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @02:58PM (#20090773) Homepage Journal

      ...I think most people are just going to vote based on the subject alone. Is this good or bad?
      I think it's wonderful. In the few times I've used the firehose, I immediately canceled stories that had sensationalist or uninformative headlines ( "Amazing New Findings!" ). For the headlines that were pithy, informative, and intriguing, I went to the article ( yes, I actually navigated to the internet article ) and decided whether the story was worthwhile, appropriate for slashdot, and accurately summarized in the subject, and voted accordingly.
      • by eln (21727) * on Thursday August 02, 2007 @03:08PM (#20090927) Homepage
        You seem to be a conscientious and thoughtful person who is interested in quality articles that will spur interesting discussions. Once you and the 5 other people on Slashdot who are like that do your thing though, what about the thousands of other Slashdot readers?

        There is plenty of evidence to suggest that not even the paid editors of Slashdot put that much time or thought into deciding whether a submission is good or not, how do you expect the average Slashdot reader to do so?

        The Firehose is an easy way for the editors to reduce the number of story submissions they have to look through in order to find the good stuff. It will not reliably bring the best stories to the top, but it should be pretty effective at burying the most obvious garbage. Basically, it's like a spam filter for the editors, and is essentially doing part of their job for them.
        • by lawpoop (604919) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @03:45PM (#20091553) Homepage Journal

          Basically, it's like a spam filter for the editors, and is essentially doing part of their job for them.
          That's wonderful. The more the editors get out of the way, the better. If slashdot totally got rid of the editors, I think that would be paradise. They don't even edit ( as in, correct and revise text for clarity, spelling, and grammar)!

          I can read articles days in advance on digg. However, digg is cluttered up with crappy "Amazing Photos! title sez it all" articles and insightful, highly rated comments such as +157 "Doucehbag [Reply] ".

          I come to slashdot for the community. Not for the articles, not for the crappy non-editing that the mods-called-editors do, but for the intelligent discussion from karmalized nerds with modpoints. If the slashdot community could also have complete control of the story posting system **and summary editing**, that would be the Shangri-la of internet message boards.
          • by CmdrTaco (1) Works for Slashdot <malda@@@slashdot...org> on Thursday August 02, 2007 @03:52PM (#20091689) Homepage Journal
            Well I disagree with you on some points of course... I think that part of why Slashdot is relevant is because us editors exist and prevent 'amazing photos! title sez it all".

            The problem with the concept of 'Community' is that the so-called 'Community' is the vocal minority. More than half of Slashdot readership is only interested in the articles those editors you hate so much. Perhaps a third of you are 'The Community'... so we need to strike a balance between what works for each groups particular needs.

            My hope is that the hose will give us a chance to satisfy the desires of a broad spectrum of users... the ones who want minimal to no editor involvement and simply want to participate in the community discussion aspect of the site... to the silent majority who simply want the 10-15 best stories, without seeing crap like 'Amazing Photos!' etc...

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by lawpoop (604919)

              I think that part of why Slashdot is relevant is because us editors exist and prevent 'amazing photos! title sez it all".

              Of course that's true, but what I'm betting on is that the hurdle has been cleared and the slashdot community has been 'gentrified'. Just as we don't get "Doucebag!" comments modded to +5 Insightful, I likewise don't think we would get "Amazing Photos!" submissions modded to the front page by slashdotters with mod points.

              Also, and I don't mean to start a flame war here, but editors have consistently gotten away with poor editing. Most recently, there has been at least threesubmissions with improper usag

              • If your only concern is that 'Editors' have an inaccurate job title, then I think we are doing just fine.

                If you want community oriented tools to actually edit content wiki style or whatever, www.slashcode.com has sourcecode. I've had a user contributed patch/diff system on my TODO list forever, but it's a hard job and I've got another dozen hard jobs ahead of it on the list. We'll get there someday, you could get there tomorrow :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MontyApollo (849862)
      The Firehouse has been active for months now - have you noticed any good or bad effect?

      People might pay more attention to their subject line and try to do a better job of selling the story. Or they could post leading and inflammatory headlines to get extra attention...that's kind of staple around here anyways...
      • by CmdrTaco (1) Works for Slashdot <malda@@@slashdot...org> on Thursday August 02, 2007 @03:10PM (#20090967) Homepage Journal
        We've seen a marked increase in spammers flooding us with garbage. hopefully the additional eyeballs will help in squashing that stuff faster. As with anything like this, it has mixed results, but I think overall the effect is good. People like feedback and participating... we've had a few dozen active taggers in the hose and their help is noticable. It's really more about scalling the system cleanly to handling as many readers as choose to participate.

        My hope is that the net result will be that we can 'cast a wider net' by importing RSS feeds and such from commonly cool sites. If you throw your slider down to indigo, you will see CNet, Bruce Schneir's blog, Penny Arcade etc. Things that we generally like to see. The hope is that with more participants we can add more RSS feeds and eventually be quicker at finding the good stuff.

        • by Dachannien (617929) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @04:00PM (#20091823)
          If the purpose of spam is to get people to see its contents, and the purpose of the Firehose is to let people see most or all of the article submissions, then doesn't the Firehose encourage spam submissions?

          Aside from the thinly-veiled slashvertisements we sometimes see, the average front page reader on Slashdot doesn't see the spam, because it's rejected by the editors. With the Firehose, there are at least some eyeballs looking at all those rejected submissions, so it's worth the spammers' time to submit more spam even if it never makes it past the Firehose, because it gets seen on the Firehose.

          • by CmdrTaco (1) Works for Slashdot <malda@@@slashdot...org> on Thursday August 02, 2007 @04:10PM (#20092005) Homepage Journal
            There are ways of dealing with that I think. We can wrap low-rated content in search engine aware tags and use the no-referral thign to make sure search engines don't crawl lowly rated content. It's something we'll need to deal with no doubt.

            As for your 'thinly veiled slashvertisements' I take offense at that. We pick what we pick because we like what we like. Sometimes we pick stuff that may be a simple press release. Hell, I might post a straight up commercial if I thought it was interesting. But we still to this day pick what we pick because WE want to pick it, and not because we're paid to pick it.

            The other practical reality is that we're trying to post a story every 40-50 minutes. By the end of the day, the best stuff is gone... sometimes you choose stories that simply aren't as good. And sometimes those may be advertising or something. We're still choosing it because we think it's the best of what's available, but I don't like when people accuse us of taking bribes for the homepage. Believe me, if we did that, this would be a different site (Like I wouldn't be here).

            • by Dachannien (617929) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @05:15PM (#20093089)
              Whoa, dude. By "slashvertisement", I wasn't attempting to imply that you guys were getting kickbacks - merely that an article submission itself looks like it was written more to sell something to one's fellow Slashdotters than to inform one's fellow Slashdotters of something interesting. Same thing happens on Wikipedia all the time.

              Since the article was written by its submitter, the quality of the article is mainly on them. If it's pure advertising copy, that's on them, first and foremost. Still, you might consider taking the hint that Slashdotters are offering when the "slashvertisement" tag appears on an article, namely that the article crosses a line that your readership would rather not see crossed.

              I've noticed that a lot of times this happens when the article describes a product with purported scientific basis, but when you go to read the linked webpage, it turns out that there's really no scientific substance to it at all. Since most Slashdotters are interested in the nuts and bolts more so than forking over cash for something of dubious usefulness, such articles get railed against.

              On a side note, if there are problems with quality-of-article at certain points during the day, you might consider automatic queueing and posting of articles to add some pacing, so that article quality doesn't decrease during the off hours. Instead of several articles showing up during a short span, the editors could add the articles to a queue which automatically adds a new article to the front page after a somewhat random period of time.

              On another side note, regarding the Firehose spam in the first place, I don't think nofollow is going to cut it. Lots of weblogs and forums have nofollow on their links as well, and some weblogs and forums haven't even been posted to in months. That doesn't stop the spambots from posting to them, because of the possibility of someone seeing the spam eventually (which is the whole point of spam). If the threshold for worthwhileness of posting spam is that low, the Firehose is a gold mine in comparison.
    • by PMBjornerud (947233) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @03:25PM (#20091207)
      Why the hell can't we have (Score: -5, Dupe) in the firehose? (Score: -3, Slashvertisement) or (Score: 4, solid analysis) or somthing like that would also be great.

      As it, I think the majority votes after skimming the summary. What we need, is a way for people that actually read the article to get the word out. Tags are nice, but not enough. What the firehose needs, is a way for some people to read the article and rate the story according to various criteria.

      - Good articly or a stinking pile of self-promoting crap?
      - Unbiased or paid for?
      - Good summary or in need of a rewrite?
      - Enough relevant links (maybe we can add a few more?)
      - Dupe or new article?

      There are many articles that seem interesting from the summary, or from a quick skim. While closer reading reveals that the text is horribly bad.
      • by CmdrTaco (1) Works for Slashdot <malda@@@slashdot...org> on Thursday August 02, 2007 @03:35PM (#20091385) Homepage Journal
        Each of those could easily be a tag. Users can assign whatever tags they choose... we just provided a short cut list to a few simple ones to get you started. 'biased' 'badsummary' 'boring' 'dupe' 'selfpromotion'? Start tagging entries. As we see useful tags gaining traction, we'll incorporate them into the short cut list, but there's nothing stopping you from tagging anything you want... 'requiresregistration'? 'interstitial'? The sky is the limit.

        And you aren't kidding about the interestingness of stories falling apart upon click. I've rejected 10s of thousands of submissions ;)

  • binspam tag to this shameless self-promotion?

    (disclaimer: just joking, I enjoy drinking from the Firehose Fountain [mit.edu].)
  • by u-bend (1095729) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @02:42PM (#20090489) Homepage Journal
    ...but better. Like those sites if they were posted to, read by, and moderated by people with a mode age greater than 6 and a mode emotional age greater than 2 :)
  • Not so sure (Score:5, Funny)

    by kalpol (714519) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @02:43PM (#20090501) Homepage
    If it makes Slashdot more like digg, then bad idea. It's a train wreck of sex and conspiracy theories over there. Well...on second thought maybe we can make it half like digg.
    • by forrestt (267374)
      So, you want it to be a train wreck of conspiracy theories?
    • by dc29A (636871) *

      If it makes Slashdot more like digg, then bad idea. It's a train wreck of sex and conspiracy theories over there. Well...on second thought maybe we can make it half like digg.

      Digg is more like a trainwreck of "OMG LOOK AT THIS PICTURE OMFG!". That and regurgitated blogspam. It's gotten so bad, that you have to click through 3 or more blogs just to get to original article. Each of these blogs has some very "insightful" 2 line commentary and link to another blog. Every moron spams Digg with their own shitty blogs, they know it's a highway for great hitcount and their ego.

      I really hope Slashdot doesn't become half like Digg, not even 0.00001% of Digg.

  • I've been using this for a while now, since it first appeared mostly, but in the last week or two or three (since the last major update) things haven't been rendering correctly for me in Safari 2. It used to work perfectly, but now it doesn't. The problem I have is the article text is there when I expand it, but the links (read more, comment, etc) show up on top of the article text thus making some words and part of a line or two unreadable.

    Since it is mentioned that it works in Safari, is anyone else havi

  • by Remus Shepherd (32833) <remus@panix.com> on Thursday August 02, 2007 @02:52PM (#20090671) Homepage
    Colorblind. Can't help you with this new feature. You'll find that about 9% of your male audience will also be unable to use it correctly (not that some of them won't try.)

    In general, color-coding is a poor practice when designing any UI. Especially contiguous spectrums.

    Call me when you rank your firehose stories by popularity using a number, okay?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by lawpoop (604919)

      You'll find that about 9% of your male audience will also be unable to use it correctly.
      In other words, about 8.99999% of the slashdot audience :)

      Especially contiguous spectrums.
      Don't such interfaces mitigate the problems of color coded interfaces for color-blind users? Instead of looking at the colors, you know what the value is by it's position on the spectrum.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MontyApollo (849862)
      I'm one of those 9% - I still see color, I just see red and green differently than normal color vision people do. Firehose uses only a handful of different colors and is no problem.

      I differentiate red and green fine as long as the tint isn't too light, but as the tint gets lighter and lighter it turns gray for me quicker than it does for people with normal color vision.
    • by nelsonal (549144) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @03:09PM (#20090939) Journal
      Further to the left means better further to the right means worse, I'm color blind too, and it's worked ok so far (protanomalous, so YMMV).
      • by CmdrTaco (1) Works for Slashdot <malda@@@slashdot...org> on Thursday August 02, 2007 @03:18PM (#20091097) Homepage Journal
        We considered color blindedness early on and decided to deal with it by providing alt-text and mouseovers wherever it made sense for now. There are philisophical reasons for this... I could see us labeling things more blatantly or having a more ugly version of the color tags where you see 'red' spelled out or something, but I figured I'd wait and see what actual color blind people had to say on the subject before we coded something that there wasn't a demand for. So thanks for your feedback (as well as the other folks who've had other comments on the subject)
        • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @03:37PM (#20091415)
          http://colorfilter.wickline.org/ [wickline.org]

          That site lets a normal person see how a web-page looks to people with different kinds of color blindness.
    • by Puff of Logic (895805) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @03:11PM (#20090991)

      Call me when you rank your firehose stories by popularity using a number, okay?
      Presumably it wouldn't be a big deal to put a numeric indicator along with each colour, perhaps using green as a zero point above which yellow, orange, and red would have positive values and of course the blue/violet/black ratings would have the appropriate negative values.

      That said, depending upon how many people contribute to firehose community moderation, perhaps the 9% figure is an acceptable loss in the view of the coders. Colour is a faster and arguably more intuitive way of ranking something, in my opinion, although I'm not sure I'd have chosen red as the "approved" colour. Your point is well-taken, though, so perhaps the powers-that-be will add a numeric indicator in addition to the visual one.
    • "Call me when you rank your firehose stories by popularity using a number, okay?"

      But what about color-blind synesthetes who see numbers as colors, but can't distinguish between certain hues. How will they ever get along using your proposed ranking system??!?!

      Call me when you rank your firehose stories by anything other than color or grapheme.
    • by AlpineR (32307) <wagnerr@umich.edu> on Thursday August 02, 2007 @05:16PM (#20093111) Homepage
      I'm not colorblind, but I agree that a rainbow spectrum is a bad idea. In a color circle, violet is closer to red than green is. Having violet equal bad and red equal good is confusing. Anything spanning more than 180 degrees of a color circle will be. And certain colors, like yellow, stand out more psychologically, giving a strange emphasis to stories with scores around 60%.

      The best solution might be monochromatic: black to white, or white to red. Or have black be neutral, red be positive, and blue be negative with monochromatic gradients in between. That'd be like a good elevation map: green to brown for increasing altitude of land, light blue to dark blue for increasing depth of water.

      AlpineR
  • by east coast (590680) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @02:53PM (#20090689)
    After all, it looks much like Digg already.
  • ... up to 11?
  • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @02:57PM (#20090745)
    It would be nice if stories that I have opened to read would not scroll off when more come through or fall off the 'hose or disappear because someone else voted it down below my filter setting. At least, not within the first two minutes of opening it. It happens before I have a chance to decide to click "Read more" to open in a new tab, and some (like bookmarks) have no "Read more" option.
  • by hellfire (86129) <deviladv.gmail@com> on Thursday August 02, 2007 @02:58PM (#20090761) Homepage
    You mean, I can participate in improving the quality of the editorial process?

    Reduce dupes?

    Improve article summary quality?

    Filter irrelevant material?

    Tell Zonk to go to hell?

    *wicked evil grin blood-curdling cackle of glee*

    I welcome myself as your new overlord.
  • cryptic flags? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nmrs (591104) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @03:01PM (#20090829)
    Why use cryptic flags like -story and -journal that the user has to just magically know (i don't see any list of available flags by the filter box). Why not just use checkboxes or something of things to include? [x] stories [ ] journal
    • Re:cryptic flags? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by CmdrTaco (1) Works for Slashdot <malda@@@slashdot...org> on Thursday August 02, 2007 @03:21PM (#20091139) Homepage Journal
      Eventually I suspect we will provide a pop-up dialog box with various checkboxes for you to noodle with, but for now the filter box is just simply 'word' and '-word' and we've defined a few things that are in various degrees of working. EG, hate me? -CmdrTaco and I'm gone. Not interested in linux stories? -Linux and you're done. Don't like journals? -journal etc etc... I think it's fairly obvious personally, but as we progress there will be more subtle keywords in there that will require documentation.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by discord5 (798235)

        EG, hate me? -CmdrTaco and I'm gone.

        WOOHOO! Just what I was looking for

        I guess that means my karma is gone now, doesn't it? :)

  • Opera (Score:3, Informative)

    by jeevesbond (1066726) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @03:01PM (#20090833) Homepage

    Other browsers might work, but we haven't really tested them.

    I use the Firehose quite often with Opera and it seems to work as expected. I'll be letting you know if it stops working. ;)

    Having seen the evolution of the Firehose over the last few months I can say that it's definitely going in the right direction. Looks good, am particularly happy that a reason has to be given for modding stuff up/down. It makes me stop and think, rather than just modding things based upon my predisposed opinions.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sethadam1 (530629)
      Firehouse may work, but Discussion2 almost always freezes up Opera for me. I had to go back to the old system just to get a story page to load without bringing my processor to 100%

      Opera 9.2/Windows XP SP2
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jeevesbond (1066726)

        Opera 9.2/Windows XP SP2

        I had the same problem on Ubuntu until Opera brought out 9.22.

        I've seen videos of Hakon Lie [youtube.com] using Opera on the OLPC to read /. so if there's a problem which stops /. working properly on Opera I doubt it will be a problem for long. :)

        Perhaps the /. devs should give more credibility to Opera, since they obviously have some fans high-up in the company!

  • Firehose questions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Experiment 626 (698257) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @03:06PM (#20090889)

    Why isn't there a "troll" or "flamebait" option in the minus sign menu? These apply to a lot of the journal rants, and several of the submissions too, but the closest thing you can mod them is "stupid".

    Is there a way to set the view to show more than 25 entries at a time?

    If you click the plus or minus sign, but don't provide a reason in the menu that comes up, does the plus or minus rating still take effect?

    • by CmdrTaco (1) Works for Slashdot <malda@@@slashdot...org> on Thursday August 02, 2007 @03:24PM (#20091189) Homepage Journal
      For now most of the labels in there are just place holders. We'll see what works. More so- those labels are just tags. You can tag a story as 'flamebait' or 'troll' if you like. We intend to watch what people organically choose, and incorporate those ideas as they rise up. The plan is that subscribers will have an option to view 50 entries at a time. It's on the list. The minus will still work. All you are doing is tagging the story as 'nix'. But if you tag it as 'Offtopic' then you are tagging it with both nix AND offtopic. We like more data. It can only better inform the system.
  • by wiredog (43288) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @03:44PM (#20091529) Journal
    I can comment [slashdot.org] on stories that are submitted, but not yet accepted. Intended behavior?

    What happens to the comments if the story gets dumped?

  • by Pentagram (40862) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @04:28PM (#20092377) Homepage
    It would be good to be able to link submissions together, as in "these are the same story". Flagging a submission as "dupe" is logically awkward if there are several submissions covering the same story from a different angle. Do you flag the weakest submissions as the dupe or the later ones? Not sure how that would work interface-wise though.
    • by CmdrTaco (1) Works for Slashdot
      This precise feature request is on my TODO list. It's a hard UI problem tho.
  • by RLiegh (247921) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @08:53PM (#20095695) Homepage Journal
    ...if they manage to include rejected stories in the history mechanism. Damn shame we can't see the rejected stories from 1996-2007, I'm sure there would be some interesting gems lost among the tripe.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen

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