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Slashdot Coming Attractions 410

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-we've-done-and-what-we're-going-to-do dept.
We've been busy at Slashdot. As you have probably noticed, we've added a couple of new Slashboxes recently:
  • Most Discussed: Highlighting recent stories with the most active discussions
  • This Day on Slashdot: Featuring the biggest Slashdot stories of the day all the way back to the beginning.

We also pushed through a number of fixes to the user experience and upgrades to the site infrastructure in recent months including:

  • Upgrading Slashdot to modern hardware and new versions of MySQL and Apache
  • Cleaning up the topics pages
  • Improving methods for sharing submissions
  • Thumbnails for articles with videos
  • Flag-a-comment abuse reporting
  • Removal of old and unused Slashboxes
  • A much overdue overhauling of the FAQ
  • Fixes to user preferences
  • The launch of the Slashdot Hall of Fame (that little badge icon next to the logo)
  • Fixes to the D2 comment system. Highlights include bug fixes to the comment score slider, a better abbreviated view (if you quote the parent, that's removed so people can see your first sentence instead), and general reliability improvements to the AJAX magic
  • And many more...

In addition, we're working on modules to highlight top submissions and we've launched Slashdot TV at http://tv.slashdot.org/ . We plan on launching more in the weeks to come. Some of these new sections will feature original content that isn't normally run on the front page. We're also planning a new mobile experience and we'll need your feedback to help us with the look and usability. Our goal through all these changes is to make your Slashdot experience a good one. We are listening to your complaints and concerns and promise to keep giving you News for Nerds and Stuff that Matters.

So, readers, what do you want to see in the coming months?

This discussion has been archived.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

Slashdot Coming Attractions

Comments Filter:
  • Timeline (Score:5, Funny)

    by BillCable (1464383) on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:09AM (#39596091)
    Clearly you should switch to Timeline format for all content.
  • by line-bundle (235965) on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:10AM (#39596097) Homepage Journal

    Don't you?

  • Source code (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NighthawkFoo (16928) on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:10AM (#39596099)

    Do you still provide the source code that runs the site? I remember that slashcode.com [slashcode.com] would track your changes in the past. Is this still true? I see that the last post there was in 2009.

  • by realityimpaired (1668397) on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:10AM (#39596101)

    Seriously... a bit late, no? A lot of this flies directly in the face of stuff that Slashdot has been saying for years... comment reporting for abuse? Does this mean that abusive comments can be removed? That kinda defeats the point of the kind of discussion that Slashdot has been built on....

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by LurkerXXX (667952)

      It was a request by all the vendors who pay for the slashvertisements we've had lately. Err, I mean 'stories'.

    • by roman_mir (125474) on Friday April 06, 2012 @08:06AM (#39596435) Homepage Journal

      How about abusive moderation?

      I have entire pages of comments (in fact if you just look at my comments right now, it's filled with that stuff), with comments that had been moderated up and down a few times, +5 to -1 to +5 to -1 or 0. All that while there are many replies to them, so clearly, these comments generate 'interest', whatever it is.

      Does it make sense to have wild swings in comment moderation in that case, doesn't it mean that in reality those comments are at least 'interesting' enough to a large number of people?

      It looks to me, the real problem with /. is a weird moderation scheme that encourages people to moderate not based on merit of the comment, but instead based on their own biases and it's used to silence opinions.

      • by Majik Sheff (930627) on Friday April 06, 2012 @08:53AM (#39596843) Journal

        If your comments consistently produce large discussions and your mods swing several times during that discussion, I would say you're doing it right. Or you're a master troll. Either way you're producing value to the operators of the site by encouraging user interaction.

        On a related note, I would like to request an achievement for getting a +3 or greater Troll/Flamebait Mod.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by roman_mir (125474)

          Either way you're producing value to the operators of the site by encouraging user interaction.

          - Ok, but if that were the case, then why would wild swings in comment moderation affect 'karma', which gives moderators the ability to silence the commentator? Karma on this is not just a meaningless number, it is used to shut down a poster, so just pushing it down a bit prevents one from making more than 25 comments, then less than that, eventually the ability to comment disappears altogether.

          In fact I argue that /. moderating mechanism causes (probably unintentionally) posters whose comments generate th

        • Trolling (as I know it to be) is quite rare among Slashdot members. AC postings are rife with them including dropping the "N" word along with the constant Golden Girls theme re-posts. But almost always the posts I've seen marked as -1 Troll really translates to either Flamebait or pure political disagreements. The Troll moderation has got to be the single most abused and misused moderation available.

          Speaking of abuse. The whole idea of marking a post for "abuse" will be abused in of itself. I predict once i

      • by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday April 06, 2012 @09:08AM (#39596999) Homepage Journal

        I'd like to see the old metamoderation system reinstated; the new one doesn't work nearly as well. The day before yesterday had a LOT of bad mods.

        • by gbjbaanb (229885) on Friday April 06, 2012 @09:22AM (#39597117)

          I think this is important. A long time back I always used to metamod, there was practically a permanent link at the top of the page, and I'd click it, give a bit of feedback and then go on to browse /.

          today, apart from the fact that I don't fully understand if I should be metamodding bad mods as + or -, or if its the post I'm +/- on that matches to the mod +/-... the link is never there, so I don't bother.

          The metamod was very important to keep the moderators honest. It is more important than the moderation and deserves more attention from the devs because of that.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 06, 2012 @08:14AM (#39596489)

      I'm disappointed to see utter bullshit like "Flag-a-comment abuse reporting" and "Thumbnails for articles with videos" and "general reliability improvements to the AJAX magic" included in this list.

      I intentionally avoid sites like reddit, StackOverflow, and especially Hacker News, because of the high degree of censorship that goes on at such places. You can't hold, never mind express, a non-mainstream opinion there. It really stifles the discussion. At least Slashdot allows differing opinions and ideas to be expressed, without the outright censorship we see elsewhere.

      The worst part about the censorship is that it happened to people who were expressing absolutely correct, yet unpopular, ideas. Many of them were merely years ahead of the rest of the crowd. For example, some people who I saw get targeted a lot were those who didn't have a raging hard-on for Ruby on Rails. They'd correctly point out that Rails is a pretty typical framework, and similar functionality had been available in Perl, PHP and Python years earlier. They'd correctly point out that there's nothing special about Rails' ORM. They'd correctly point out that Ruby's and Rails' performance is actually quite horrible. Yet despite being completely correct, they'd receive hundreds or even thousands of unjustified "mod-downs" and in some cases would have their comments removed and they'd then be banned from the subreddit. As somebody who came from Slashdot, I found that behavior to be abhorrent. At least I could see such discussion at Slashdot, where it was just gone at some of these other sites.

      What's all this video crap, too? Reading is so much more efficient than watching video. I'm not going to waste 15 minutes watching some useless video when I could read a transcript or even an article expressing the same information in one or two minutes. So don't even bother with this thumbnail bullshit. As users, we don't want videos. The only people really pushing videos are those who want to cram more "vibrant" advertising nonsense down the throats of "consumers".

      And for crying out loud, we don't need "general reliability improvements" to the AJAX crap. STRIP IT THE FUCK OUT! Get rid of it! Go back to the good ol' dropdowns for selecting the moderation level and the number of posts to view. Go back to using to using proven techniques that, get this, actually work and are usable!

      I was hopeful that we'd see some great changes when Slashdot first came to us asking for suggestions. But now I fear that Slashdot will become another intolerant shitheap among the reddits and Diggs and Hacker Newses of the Internet. We don't want censorship. We don't want bullshit videos. We don't want half-assed, buzzword-compliant functionality ruining the site.

      • by arth1 (260657) on Friday April 06, 2012 @08:58AM (#39596905) Homepage Journal

        Hear, hear!

        <RANT>
        The changes have NOT been for the better lately.
        Slashdot is turning into yet another video blog, and can't pull that off for two reasons - it's too late in the game, and the users who bring the content that gives the site value don't communicate in video. Remember the old saying that a picture takes up more bandwidth than a thousand words. It's true. And videos? The signal/byte ratio is so low that it's worthless for a tech forum.

        And the "share" icons for Facebook/Google/Twitter? If we wanted to do social networking, we would go to a social networking site! If we wanted our friends there to see what we posted here, we'd ask them to come here! Don't give Facebook tracking information about me by including their icon, god damn it.

        And fix the text input parser. Never mind Unicode, it can't even handle ISO-8859-1, for cripes' sake! Anything not US English and a very limited number of other characters fails.
        Oh, and what worked before, like <UL> lists, doesn't anymore. Because the "designer", and I use this term loosely, decided that his or her view of presentation was more important than the actual tags.
        So half the tags listed under "Allowed HTML" don't work anymore, or do a completely wrong thing. Either fix it, or get rid of them.

        No, slashdot has not become better. Some of us old farts stick around here for old times sake. And it's not that we don't embrace the new - we do, when it makes sense. We don't sit hacking on PDP-11s, we move with the times. But Slashdot doesn't move with the times, it implements broken stuff for its own sake, without solving any problem or making the experience anythiing but crappier.

        Oh, and get rid of the Varnish cache if you can't keep it running correctly. I'm SO sick of seeing Varnish error messages or a front page that suddenly reverts to an older version with the top story gone unless I force reload until I get a fresh varnish cache. Don't you have any sysadmins anymore?
        </RANT>

        • by emag (4640)

          Some of us old farts stick around here for old times sake.

          That's about the only reason I stick around, too.

          And a 6 digit claiming to be an old fart makes me feel positively ancient...

    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday April 06, 2012 @08:28AM (#39596615) Journal

      According to the Hall of Fame, I'm the most active commenter for this quarter (I really need to stop procrastinating), which probably means I will be ignored by the Slashdot overlords more than more people, but here are my inflation-adjusted two cents:

      Most Discussed. Don't care. It's not like it's hard to see the comment counts on the front page.

      This Day on Slashdot. Might be interesting. Probably not though - lots of slow news days. Sounds like an attempt at recycling old content.

      Upgrading Slashdot to modern hardware and new versions of MySQL and Apache. Irrelevant to most users. Upgrading to a real database and a more modern web server might be interesting, if only for the flame war in the comments that it would provoke.

      Cleaning up the topics pages. Long overdue. Although part of the problem is that most of the current crop of 'editors' are stunningly ignorant of their subject matter and so routinely file things in the wrong category.

      Improving methods for sharing submissions. Yes, Slashdot needs more Facebook integration. And more Twitter integration. And it definitely needs to jump on the Google+ bandwagon! The last changes to this crap meant that my user CSS no longer blocks the share button, as it previously blocked the little 'I am an attention whore so desperate for approval that I want to help companies build a database about me' buttons. Please, please, please, provide a user option to turn off all of this crap, if you must have it.

      Thumbnails for articles with videos. Even better would be an option of hiding all articles with videos from the front page. The last ones have all been spam, so I wouldn't even have wanted to read them in text form. I usually read Slashdot while waiting for a compile job to finish or while having a short procrastination break, so things that require 100% attention such as videos are of no interest to me. Stick them all in videos.slashdot.org and make it as easy to ignore as idle.

      Flag-a-comment abuse reporting. As you say, a step backwards. Slashdot isn't Slashdot without trolls. Mod them down, but don't delete them.

      Removal of old and unused Slashboxes. If they're unused, no one will notice or care, so this is irrelevant to everyone. If, as I suspect, by 'unused' you mean 'some people use them, but I don't' then you're just trying to bill removing a feature that people use as an improvement. I suggest you quit Slashdot and get a job at Apple.

      A much overdue overhauling of the FAQ. Again, long overdue. Note that overhaul usually implies improvement and please remember that when you do it.

      Fixes to user preferences. Bug fixes are good. Currently lots of this stuff was broken by the Web 2.0!11111eleventyone rewrite.

      The launch of the Slashdot Hall of Fame. Dear God No! The 'achievements' section was bad enough. I thought this was an April Fools joke when it was launched, but it stuck around. Now we have more of this crap. Clever people are able to learn from the mistakes of others. Most people can learn from their own mistakes. The sign of total idiocy is failing to learn from your own mistakes. Now we have a hall of fame which is going to promote exactly the same behaviour as the old public karma numbers, a system Slashdot abandoned for very good reasons. Please, learn from your mistakes, don't keep repeating them.

      Fixes to the D2 comment system. Maybe next time you could do this before making it default? For the record, I mostly like the D2 system. The biggest bug, however, is that you can type a long comment and then accidentally hit cancel instead of preview and lose it (which you couldn't with the old one, as browsers would warn you if you tried to navigate off a page with a full text field). Fix that first! Slashdot always embodied the ugly-but-functional school of design. The rewrite made it no less ugly, but made it less functional. We're happy with Slashdot being ugly, but please make it actually work. Another example: it still requi

    • by samzenpus (5) * Works for Slashdot on Friday April 06, 2012 @09:14AM (#39597039) Homepage Journal

      The comment abuse flag is just a way to more quickly catch robo-trolls and spammers. We do ban spammers, but as long as you're not trying to sell shoes, handbags, pills, or treasure maps you have nothing to worry about. On second thought, I probably won't ban you if you're trying to sell treasure maps.

  • Unicode (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MisterMidi (1119653) on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:11AM (#39596105) Homepage
    Finally proper unicode support.
    • by scdeimos (632778)
      Second this!
    • Re:Unicode (Score:5, Informative)

      by M. Baranczak (726671) on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:54AM (#39596369)

      Nope, still broken.

    • by JamesP (688957)

      Well, Slashdot offers complete Unicode support!

        But it's limited to the U+0000 to U+007F range

    • Slashdot users have been clamoring, begging, pleading for Unicode support for years.

      And we never get it.

      It should have been a simple fix back in 2004 or so. By 2008 it was embarrassing. In 2012, given all the other changes and upgrades to the site, it is absolutely un-fucking believable that we have to post in Latin.

      So what is the REAL reason why it has never been added? There must be a non-technical explanation for something so obvious to be broken for so long.

  • by gtvr (1702650) on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:12AM (#39596107)
    As a casual user, I do find that some of these features are less than immediately obvious - is there a beginner's guide to some of these features?
  • Unicode? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by OzPeter (195038) on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:12AM (#39596109)

    I think its the 21st Century in the real world, but here it seems like its the 20th Century

  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:12AM (#39596111) Homepage

    The top of the page is inaccessible for some reason on my phone. I can't click on my user link because it's "behind" the address bar. Other pages do not do this. Something weird with the CSS I think. So as long as things are being changed and stuff, fix the CSS eh?

  • My wish... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lxs (131946) on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:15AM (#39596131)

    So, readers, what do you want to see in the coming months?

      A clear separation between ads and stories.

  • In all seriousness (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jayhawk88 (160512) <jayhawk88@gmail.com> on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:18AM (#39596151)

    Slashdot right now is the place to go when you want to read about 2 day old news. These days there's very little I see here that I haven't already seen on Ars, Engadget, Giz, TechDirt, BSG, etc.

    I know the mission statement probably doesn't care all that much about Slashdot being a news breaker, it's always been more about the discussion, but the discussion becomes a bit stale when the story goes up 18 hours after the rest of the world posted about it. If you want the quality of commenting to rise again, make a concerted effort to get articles up in a more timely manner.

    • by myspys (204685) * on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:33AM (#39596233) Homepage

      If something that is 2 days old doesn't count as news, then I don't read news.

      The people who want news the second it's released can go somewhere else, I'm here for the discussions.

    • I know the mission statement probably doesn't care all that much about Slashdot being a news breaker, it's always been more about the discussion, but the discussion becomes a bit stale when the story goes up 18 hours after the rest of the world posted about it.

      While I appreciate the desire for timely news, there are also up sides to the delay.
      One big up side is that the story has somewhat settled down and there's more facts going around than speculation and knee-jerk reactions.

      In that respect, though, I do

  • by datapharmer (1099455) on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:19AM (#39596155) Homepage
    For the love of Linus please fix the bug that causes me to always have a notification that there is a reply to one of my comments. I have tried everything to delete it and nothing works. It is super annoying! If I click on the message it just says that message xxxxxxxxxx isn't found (where xxxxxxxxxx = message ID). Arghh!!!
  • What do I want? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by g051051 (71145) * on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:22AM (#39596165)

    I want Slashdot back!

    Lose the gimmicks. Slashdot was great because it focused on hard tech news, and tended to post things that the Slashdot community were interested in. Now, it seems to be at the whims of a few submitters (MrSeb, Hugh Pickens) with the editors asleep at the switch and posting stuff that's not even remotely tech news, typically biased political propaganda.

    Stop creating your own vanity projects. You need to stop fantasizing that you're a news *source* and get back to being a tech news *aggregator*. We don't want you to create custom content, and especially not tripe like device destruction porn, reviews, reports from conventions (is there any bigger waste of video than a "from the convention floor" type report?) You're such a late entry to this space that it'll take years to get even remotely good at it, if ever. Find the great content out there, and post stories and links. That's it!

    It's just absurd to think that these recent missteps were simple errors in judgement. The claim that the infamous hoodie video was intended (per Soulskill) as "a quick, silly, completely non-serious video" is suspect. Why would something *intended* as a silly video even be on the front page and not in Idle? How out of touch do you need to be to think that the readers wouldn't be offended and instantly assume an ad masquerading as a story?

    And in spite of the massive negative feedback (which must have been massive indeed to rouse the editors from their slumber to actually acknowledge the problem), you *still* ran that atrocious Plantronics tripe, and pretended to be surprised that people hated it.

    Honestly, the recent changes stink of you trying to pad your resumes.

    • So right (Score:5, Insightful)

      by improfane (855034) * on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:28AM (#39596207) Journal

      The problem I think is that geeks no longer run Slashdot, they no longer choose the stories to post. Instead it's by social media/blogger types which is not what Slashdot's target audience is interested in...

      • Re:So right (Score:4, Interesting)

        by tomhath (637240) on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:52AM (#39596359)

        Instead it's by social media/blogger types which is not what Slashdot's target audience is interested in

        Sad, but apparently true. Certain topics (e.g. politics, social issues like race or gay rights, green energy/global warming, etc.) always draw more comments/page hits/advertising. I left Fark because it turned into a cesspool of blogger wannabes shouting at each other. Please keep the News For Nerds angle here, especially in an election year when every other media outlet is full of Unbiased Reporting (patent applied for 2012).

      • Re:So right (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday April 06, 2012 @08:39AM (#39596743) Journal
        So true. And one thing that occurred to me recently: I've been reading Slashdot for over 10 years and I've seen editors come and go, but I have never seen an advert for the job of Slashdot editor advertised. Every tech news site I read has posted ads for editors and writers in that period, but not Slashdot. It is the one site that doesn't try to recruit staff from its readership. It's also interesting to see how high the UIDs are for a lot of the Slashdot editors - several of them apparently didn't even have Slashdot accounts until after they got the job. It's therefore not really surprising that they'd be a bit useless.
      • Re:So right (Score:4, Interesting)

        by jellomizer (103300) on Friday April 06, 2012 @08:44AM (#39596777)
        No geeks run it... They just got older wiser, and probably sold out a little. Back when Slashdot started, for the most part you were already a geek just because you were using the Internet outside of AOL keywords.
        Linux was just starting to get noticed as a viable alternative to Unix. and the height of the Tech boom where most of the posters where making 6 figure salaries in jobs that pay them to sit in been bags chairs and play pin ball most of the day with some time in the middle where you got some work done. So the average poster had money to waste on fun technology, and free time to tinker. Good Times... However unfortunately it wasn't a sustainable and us Techs have been humbled back to our lot in life as Middle class work, in the cube, not bad but not great either. So as time went on a lot of technology had became far more made for consumer market, and now small size is really popular making DIY projects less likely, DYI cell phone will look more like a Zack Moris 1980 cell phone. As the DYI do not have the resources to much such a densely packed system.
    • by thsths (31372)

      > I want Slashdot back!

      Seconded. This is not Slashdot, this is Slashdot theatre, stages by bad actors with no technical expertise whatsoever.

      It has gone from a place were you would find serious technical news stories to one of the worst places on the net. Always looking for the next outcry and the next provocation posting, worse than even the tabloid press.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        I don't think that's staff's fault. Back when slashdot was young, almost everyone on the internet was a nerd. Now everyone and his dog is on the internet, and what's worse, we've gone from being social pariahs to being kewl (Damn but I never thought I'd live to see that). So you have hordes of semiliterate and aliterate muggles who think they're nerds because they can boot Windows and use an iPhone, and they're coming to slashdot submitting stories, voting in the firehose, etc.

        We're even outnumbered at slas

    • And I want my comments back!

      At my glacial pace, I am finally thinking of starting a blog. It occurred to me that I have a wealth of comments I have posted over the years here. Give us a "12-click" method that exports all of your comments out into your choice of a few file types.

      For a site that talks about the evils of lock-in, I made a half hearted attempt to neo-google (Startpage) my comments from Slashdot by using a web search engine.

  • Game reviews? (Score:4, Informative)

    by gr3yh47 (2023310) on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:26AM (#39596197)
    I'd love to see more game reviews
  • Let's be honest. Slashdot's time has past. It's now a place to see "news for nerds" that everyone has already seen and discussed to death for days elsewhere, and to see "stuff that matters" but only where "mattering" is a some connection, any connection, anything to get the word "Apple" in the headline of an article.

    The advertisements posted as articles were the straw that broke the camel's back.

    Go out gracefully, Slashdot.

  • Spell-check
    Grammar-check
    Repeat Story Detector
    More Cowbell
  • Mobile bugfixes (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NathanE (3144) on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:38AM (#39596273)

    How about fixing the mobile version of the site? Its been broken for months:

    - In Safari on my iPhone, going to slashdot.org fetches the 5 most recent stories. At the bottom of the page is a "Many More" link. Clicking it doesn't actually fetch the _next_ 5 oldest. Instead it fetches stories from earlier in the day SORTED IN THE REVERSE ORDER. This makes it very difficult to use the mobile site to catch up on news missed during the day. It wouldn't be so bad if .....

    - The "Fullscreen" link at the bottom of the mobile version would actually work. The text says "Change view: Mobile - Fullscreen", leading one to believe that the fullscreen link should take you to the normal version of the site. But clicking it simply reloads the mobile version of the page with the "ss=0" URL parameter.

  • I think most slashdot users would to no longer see advertisements in the articles section!
  • by msk (6205) on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:39AM (#39596281)

    I've been here a while and my opinion is that Slashdot was fine until ads and videos started to steal space at the top of the page.

    For the most part, it wasn't broken. Be very careful in what you fix. Gawker has gone to Hades with its redesign.

  • Stop using fsdn.com (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:42AM (#39596287)

    Why do you put your stylesheet, icons, etc on fsdn.com instead of within slashdot.org? I ask because my work blocks fsdn.com (and no, they're not going to change it) since to corporate it's apparently either filled with porn or evil hackers. Which turns browsing slashdot.org back to using a lynx browser.

    Host site critical elements in your own domain.

  • by metrix007 (200091) on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:45AM (#39596307)
    • A revamp of all JS code. Minimialize it. It should be fast and snappy, not.....what it is. For example, no code needs to be run when I just want to close the tab.
    • UNICODE support. Slashdot is US Centric. It's users are not. Even if they were, not all stories are.
    • Don't require manual HTML paragraphs to break up text. Allow HTML, but don't mandate it just to get readable text.
    • Automatically expand or disallow URL shortness. They are not needed and only used for malicious purposes on this site.
    • Submit stories of note. Stop submitting slashvertisments or trolling articles to get hits. Incorporate some basic editing. Hire an editor if necessary.
  • Viewing comments (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NathanE (3144) on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:47AM (#39596321)

    Having to click 7 times to view all the comments on this page is very annoying. The link at the bottom of the page says "Get N more comments" where N is the total number of comments on the article. Clicking it only returns 5 at a time. This makes it hard to read discussions when you have to continually scroll to the bottom of the page, click a link, scroll back up, continue reading for a little bit, scroll back down, click a link, repeat.

  • by RedHat Rocky (94208) on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:51AM (#39596345)

    I'm not a fan of having the home page constantly refresh. I prefer to do that when I'm ready. You know, the way it worked for years. ;)

    Unfortunately, with the way it is currently working, I actually end up reading slashdot less, as I lose my place.

    And no, I don't RSS or other feed junk, have always hated that.

  • by Morgaine (4316) on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:53AM (#39596363)

    Slashdot used to have a perfectly working front page for "today", plus specific URLs for the day before, the day before that, and so on. It used to employ some of the good principles of Roy Fielding's thesis on REST, where each page is a resource with a distinct address that makes sense. You could give someone a link and know exactly what they're seeing. Well no more.

    Instead of that sane technical design, now we have some kind of utterly broken page expansion system linked through "Many More", and you never know what the hell you're looking at, and when you return from a nested page you're seeing something totally different. It's a technical disaster, and given that this pretends to be a technical site, its technical design is quite beyond the pale.

    Bring back a bit of sane web technology please. Lose the totally unhelpful "Many More" which is a wholly broken design, and bring back dated pages.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jandar (304267)

      Since "Many More" I'm often frustrated by not being able to navigate the article-stream in a meaningful way.

      The feature I'm missing most (after getting rid of "Many More" ;-)) is a mode to read from old posts to the newer ones with current position saved between visits.

  • From An Old Fart (Score:4, Interesting)

    by lobiusmoop (305328) on Friday April 06, 2012 @08:10AM (#39596461) Homepage

    In 1995 I bought a Psion Series 3 organizer. [wikipedia.org]. Back then, 16 years ago, it was state-of-the-art. Despite modern advances, I'm still using it occasionally today, mostly as a small database and pocket-typewriter, even though it runs at 7MHz with 2MB ot storage/RAM. The reason is simple - you really don't need GHz of compute horsepower and billions of bytes of storage/memory when you're only working with text. I like this ethos in our media-saturated world, but Slashdot does seem to be railing against it, with pageviews gobbling up hundreds of K of bandwidth for what is essentially a few K of entropy.
    I guess what I'm trying to say is "Don't be ashamed of keeping it simple guys. "

  • by Phoenix666 (184391) on Friday April 06, 2012 @08:11AM (#39596465)

    This may not apply to the newcomers who read the site in AJAX mode. I prefer the classic mode (yes, I'm that old).

    When reading comments I would appreciate a toggle to "expand all comments" so that I can see comments ranked below my default viewing threshhold. It mostly applies when I'm moderating and would love to be able to browse at 0 or -1 to catch the good comments that were late to the first post party; given that you can only see "Re: [parent post title" instead of the body of the comment, you tend to not bother clicking on them to avoid an endless dance of "click, hit -Back" to see what they wrote.

    There are also occasionally discussions where I would be interested to see the back-and-forth between others because they seem particularly well-informed or even funny but their subsequent replies aren't modded as highly as their originals, so you have to enter the "click, hit -Back" game again if you want to see the whole thing.

    I still love Slashdot, but having that "expand all comments" option would improve my experience.

  • by Phoenix666 (184391) on Friday April 06, 2012 @08:19AM (#39596525)

    Over the years since Slashdot started I have often read articles and insightful comments that I have later tried to find again, but to no avail. Google provides some relief, but searching through Slashdot's own system is a lost cause.

    I have always wanted two things to change that:

    1. A better archiving system, perhaps tab based or somesuch so that I can easily zip back through everything on, say, SCO.

    2. The ability to flag or save interesting articles or even comments on articles such that I have a personal folder where I can save an article on Copyleft and then fold the comments such that Lawrence Lessig's insightful one remains visible underneath the article summary. Slashdot would be an even better geek touchstone then than it already is.

  • by value_added (719364) on Friday April 06, 2012 @08:23AM (#39596569)

    Yeah, there's probably still some mention of it in the FAQ, but seriously, how plausible is it that a few Slashdot readers opting to use their favourite news client to read what's on these pages represents a serious loss of advertising revenue?

    Slashdot's gotten "prettier" over the years, but no amount of Web 2.0 is going to offer features (commonplace 20 years ago) that encourage and facilitate proper discussions.

    As it is now, I'm inclined to view the words on my screen like grafitti on a bathroom wall. Some of it may be worth reading, but trying to make real sense of it often isn't worth the trouble.

  • Block Annoying Users (Score:3, Informative)

    by Phoenix666 (184391) on Friday April 06, 2012 @08:24AM (#39596581)

    I would appreciate being able to block an annoying user within a threaded discussion. Just, a "please be invisible right now because you post way too much" button. I've tried switching my relationship to those folks and it does nothing.

  • My requests (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kiwimate (458274) on Friday April 06, 2012 @08:30AM (#39596645) Journal
    1. Test your code. Forget adding buckets of new stuff. Focus on quality for a while. Make stuff work. I have no idea what new features are in Slashdot because I use it the same way I've been using it for the last five, eight, ten years. Why? Because every neat new feature is always broken and stays broken for so long that I give up trying it.
    2. Expose your infrastructure. This is a geek site. You're moving to new hardware? Cool - tell us about it. About two or three years ago, I think, there was some story about a big migration, and a promise of a follow-up story "shortly" to go in-depth into the infrastructure. It never came. I posted a question one day asking about it, and got modded up to +5, so there were other people who were interested, too. You get a lot of traffic - what does it take to handle that? What lessons have you learned over the years?
    3. Edit. Do a spell check. Check for obvious dupes. If a submission is clearly, obviously lacking in details, send back to the submitter and tell them thanks, but there's stuff missing.
    4. But quit the editorializing. Maybe this is just me, but I get irritated to no end by the posting editor including his own snarky and biased jibe at the end of a submission. If you want to comment, do it in the comments section.
    5. Some kind of standards, please. Go back and look at that Plantronics video from earlier this week. Lame. Totally devoid of content. Read over the transcript so you're not distracted by the blonde PR person. Ask yourself if this is really what would be of interest to a technically astute and geeky audience.
  • by Phoenix666 (184391) on Friday April 06, 2012 @08:31AM (#39596649)

    There ought to be a way for longer term community members or those who consistently are ahead of the curve with the news cycle to accrue a greater chance of having their article submissions accepted. Even better would be a way for community members to give each other props in that regard, as in "I'd like to hear more from Joe, he always has insightful things to say on the subject of artificial DNA."

    Perhaps I'm wrong, but neither karma nor consistently high mods appear to be linked to submissions chances that way. Of course there is the potential for abuse from shills, but you the editors ought to be able to quickly check out the bona fides of a userID's contributions and vet the validity of the acclaim.

  • by Whatsmynickname (557867) on Friday April 06, 2012 @09:21AM (#39597109)
    How about less politics and more technology stories? If I want to read about politics, I'll go to a political web site.
  • Simpler, less AJAX (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wonkavader (605434) on Friday April 06, 2012 @09:34AM (#39597219)

    I'd like it to load fast and use a LOT less AJAX.

    I'd like less features, not because I hate features, but because they usually add more crap which needs to be loaded.

    I'd love it if you got rid of the whole hiding comments thing, for example. It plays hell with searching and scrolling. Just show 'em all. That'll help you with flagging inappropriate, anyhow. You'll get a lot more feedback if you put everything in front of everyone's eyeballs.

    • by Arker (91948)

      YES.

      Slashdot has never been a place I would point someone at looking for a well-formed webpage, but over the years it just keeps getting worse. After the last 'upgrade' the site is completely unusable without blocking the javascript. It really is ridiculous. A tech site should really learn to use HTML and generate webpages.

  • by nimbius (983462) on Friday April 06, 2012 @10:17AM (#39597579) Homepage
    and while youre still standing on my damn lawn

    Upgrading Slashdot to modern hardware and new versions of MySQL and Apache
    back in my day we didnt need this new fangled DAC Alpha. the VAX is fine, you kids just want to change everything.

    Cleaning up the topics pages
    just when i was getting used to reading articles exclusively featuring a branded product like plantronics, you're taking it away? how will i know about the latest things telephones can do or what firewall to use?

    Improving methods for sharing submissions
    I aint got no facebook and I aint about to get one.

    Thumbnails for articles with videos
    I can read damnit im not illiterate. When i want a video of Bruce Schneier laying a jackboot into some fly-by-night vendor trash ill go to youtube. Unless its more Plantronics advertisements i just cant get enough of them things.

    Flag-a-comment abuse reporting
    there you go again changing a good thing. back in my day if youre abusing the "welcome our overlords" or "insensitive clod" memes youd earn yourself a shiny new -1. you, insensitive, clods.

    Removal of old and unused Slashboxes
    good. another new fangled feature what i never did use and didnt never need usin' anyway.

    A much overdue overhauling of the FAQ
    back in my day you didn't never need a FAQ, unless youre rewriting it for to get the latest version of Slackware runnin to curl out the pages. and it aint doin' me any good anyway I switched back to BSD 5 once i saw what they did to X11.
    • Fixes to user preferences
      never set em, and i aint about to. thats what the crons for.

      The launch of the Slashdot Hall of Fame (that little badge icon next to the logo)
      if you have to put it in brackets youre either trying to sneak a perl joke in or you did such a piss poor job of defining the damn thing in the first place, you're hoping a little magic from Larry Wall is gonna help. kill the damned fame halls, im a geek. My fame is in a GIT commit.

      Fixes to the D2 comment system. Highlights include bug fixes to the comment score slider, a better abbreviated view (if you quote the parent, that's removed so people can see your first sentence instead), and general reliability improvements to the AJAX magic
      eeeeh just another damn magical thing i have to strip out of the curl feed.

      And many more...
      keep the damn changes. I want old slashdot the way i remembered it. Lots of fun tech stuff and science and when i turned the advertisements off they damn well stayed off. Bring back that kid that started the damn thing in the first place. you bastards are pedaling my childhood into the dirt.
  • by jonwil (467024) on Friday April 06, 2012 @10:44AM (#39597867)

    I have been reading Slashdot for years and posting for just as long and here is what I think Slashdot needs:
    1.Posting that focuses more on "News for Nerds" and less on useless crap. Bring in more technical stories and less political and legal stories. A post that sued for violations of is not "news for nerds".

    Looking at the front page as of now (and going a page or 2 back), "Browser Emulation of 1975 Computer Runs First 16-Bit Home Game " is a good story, its very much "news for nerds".
    "MIT Institute's Gloomy Prediction: 'Global Economic Collapse' By 2030 " is not "news for nerds". Yeah sure some people ran some computer simulations but there is no geek/nerd angle.
    "Yahoo Layoffs Begin, CEO Sends Employees Apologetic Letter " is also not "news for nerds". Just because its a tech company doesn't mean the fact that people are being fired is "news for nerds".

    2.Better editing of what gets posted (e.g. checking for spelling errors, looking for dupes, making sure links work etc)

    3.A complete ban on posting any article that is behind a pay wall or requires a login to read the content, no matter how good it might be (e.g. the recent Nature cancer study link that is pay walled). This includes linking to the New York Times unless the link works without the need to log in.

    4.No more posting of "slashvertisments" (i.e. articles that are clearly written just to sell whatever product they are writing about)., The recent "Nokia Lumia 900 Reviews " article is an example of this, reviews of a new smartphone (no matter how good) is not "news for nerds" (unless its a phone like the GTA04 that is specifically built to be "open").

    Same thing with endless posts about the latest iPad or other must-have gadget. Unless its specifically a geeky or nerdy product like the GTA04 or the Raspberry Pi, its not "news for nerds" and there are plenty of other places to read about that stuff. Slashdot is not Engadget. It's also not Autoblog (the recent story about the Volt sales numbers isn't "news for nerds" either. A technical article on just how the Volt battery packs work on the other hand would definatly qualify as "news for nerds")

    5.Do not implement comment flagging or removal. Yes, comments get posted that shouldn't be (e.g. links to goatse) but people mod those down or post replies saying "link in parent post is NSFW". Slashdot should have a policy of never removing comments unless legally required to do so. (even spam generally gets modded down pretty fast)

    6.Redo the code for the site. Get rid of a lot of the fancy Javascript and AJAX and stuff and go back to a much leaner Slashdot. Replace the "many more" link and rewrite the display system for frontpage and firehose so that its possible to bookmark (or return to) a specific state with a specific set of articles visible and so you wont loose your place when you click on a link that takes you away from the firehose page.
    Make the loading of the next batch of articles for the front page or firehose much faster.

    Support modern features like IPv6 and Unicode (if Google can do IPv6 there is no reason Slashdot cant do it)

    7.Make it easier for people to use the fire-hose to mod articles up or down and in particular to down-vote the spam and ads that get posted there whilst allowing the legitimate articles to shine through so they can be front-paged.

    8.Ban URL shorteners or pre-expand the URL before they get posted. This prevents people posting shortened URLs that really point to goatse.

    9.Completely cease and desist using proprietary technologies (such as Flash) for any part of the site. If you must have video clips, use HTML5 audio/video by default (preferably with WebM rather than H.264 where possible). If you do need to use Flash (for browsers that dont have HTM5 audio/video support), make sure its only used for browsers that dont support HTML5 audio/video.

  • I dislike video. I can read articles at my speed/leisure, skim over them while I'm doing other stuff. Video has a fixed duration, and sucks up my attention for the whole duration.

    Maybe I'm just a curmudgeon, but I dislike this tendency of the Internet turning into... TV.

  • by swell (195815) <jabberwock.poetic@com> on Saturday April 07, 2012 @02:50AM (#39605061)

    I stay with Slashdot out of habit I suppose; sometimes the discussions are insightful. The moderation system is adequate. I think there's room for some clever indexing and searching of past discussions. Most of the rest is fluff and the web is saturated with it.

    Slashdot could well add additional forums for other topics. If kept as simple and direct as possible, they could succeed, but they should not be mixed into the main system. Not interested in videos, but perhaps a 'future forum' that allows anticipating trends instead of reporting yesterday's news...

    I was happy with the old text based BBS systems when the discussions were relevant. That kind of simplicity can keep Slashdot unique, worthwhile and accessible in places where fancy programming just doesn't work.

"Well, social relevance is a schtick, like mysteries, social relevance, science fiction..." -- Art Spiegelman

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