One Week With SlashCode

So we’ve been “Beta Testing� the newest slashcode
for a week now, here’s what I’ve learned…. I’d love some feedback on the new
site, your thoughts and ideas are always appreciated.

I think I may have moved a little too fast. The new site has more bugs
(listed below) than I thought it did while we were in “alpha mode,� and
it’s making my life quite difficult. I still don’t see any
show-stoppers, so we need not switch back, but it’s annoying to chase
things around like this. My biggest fear is we’ll lose some authors.

The SlashCode is awesome. It's powerful, flexible, extensible and
unbelievably hard to understand at this point. Everything I want to do
is a million times harder now, it’s a very slow learning process for
me. Everything will take an extra long time. This is taking up even
more of my time and stretching me in ways that are testing my ability
to get anything done.
The journals are great. They're not being used much, yet, but I love
the idea of everyone being able to have their own blog right here at
LISNews, it extends the open, collaborative nature of LISNews that I
love.

Moderation is going to take awhile to kick in. One of the biggest
reasons I switched code was for moderation. Since slashcode is designed
to run a site as big as Slashdot, the code needs to be scaled down a
bit to match our lower number of users. Though more people are signing
up for user accounts than I had thought would, we’re still not as big
as Slashdot. Much of the neat stuff doesn't seem to scale down well,
since it was
designed for a monster site rather than for a itty bitty one like
LISNews.

Those of us with Author/administrator powers have a million things to
do, watch and pay with.

Spell check will make me look smarter! I love having the integrated
spell check, should save me a lot of embarrassment!

The code does not play well with others. It interferes with some other
stuff running on LISHost.

The friends/foes is another fun little thing that will be interesting
to watch grow.

Overall I’d say I’m happy with the way things are running. I feel like
I have a million new things to learn and fix, so I ask for your
patience while I get the site running smoothly. This additional work is
really tugging me in a million directions. I need to play author,
writer, moderator, programmer, customer service and sys admin all at
once. As you can imagine, I’m keeping busy!

Bugs bugs bugs, yeah, we got'm,
and I bet there's more than a few I'm not aware of. There's a million
little fixes and tweaks I want to make. If you know of ANY, please let me
know.

The RSS needs help still.
The quotes are gone, I like those.
The older stories need help still
The old quotes are just gone right now, not sure if I can import them or not yet.
The old polls, forgot about those till someone asked.
I need to write some decent documentation for both authors and members
As JB pointed out, the Mailing List link isn’t quite right.
Are the logs being written properly?
Make sure all authors are imported correctly.
The old stories make sure they are imported.
Old comments, HOW TO?
Fix all the RSS feeds
Write user guides
Integrate mailing lists
What about subscriptions?
Make the "hits" come back to the story display
I don't like "Read/Comment..." but not sure what would work better.
Email this story has a bug in it all of sudden.
A Little Q&A.
Change the story titles from white to blue, white is too hard to read.
What Karl said, the edit link is misleading. See if I can hide that when previewing stories (authors only). [Submitted to the Slashcode folks as a bug]
Make a better page that lists UID's.
Make admin toolbar stand out more, it's easy to miss.
"anonymous coward writes" on submissions, needs to be changed to patron.
Ender filter.
Fix all those 404's via ln -s.
Don't force a topic or preview on submissions.
Get that "about" page rewritten
Make a "help" link
Figure out sections as subdomains
ENT Feeds for Jen
Categories for all the vars?
Modify the moderation reasons a bit
Change that colour scheme in the admin area, it's giving me a headache.
Make HOF.pl better, or move back to the old .php one.
Kill relocate.pl
Old stories with single and double quotes in their titles have the \ showing
dial down metamod
add links to Urchin, search, and mailadmin to admin tool bar
Tell me how many user accounts we have when I log in
Put search and other stuff on admin header.

Comments

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The New Code

I'm a fan of the new code. (See my one, one sentence journal entry). Switching the code, Blake, has given LISNews the chance to grow. It is difficult to tell which opportunities will be explored, but the readers/users of LISNews will decide through their actions what will be cool to use. I think the site could become a hive of discussion.

None of the bugs are bothering me as an author, (altough I feel like a heel for inadvertantly deleting those two comments.) I do have a wishlist, but nothing is pressing. I'm wondering about exploring the way submitted stories appear to the authors. If I could change it in an instant, I'd like to see quotes from the actual story cited in a blockquote type thing, perhaps with a slightly non-white (read: grey) background (but lighter than the grey that the background of this comment will be). I find huge blocks of italics hard to read. (I know that may sounds like a picky gripe, maybe it is).

The other wish list item I can think of now, is a timed content delivery system. Would the site benefit from having posts spread more throughout the day rather than a few big rushes? I know that when I come across some articles or have time to look at the suggestion bin, I usually get in the flow and like to post a few. I don't know if this is the best thing for the readers.

I too think the journal option is really cool, but time is always an issue, you know that. The friends/foes thing is really interesting, but as one who posts on LISNews, I dunno if it would be right to make anyone a foe.

These are my $0.02 for now.

Love it!

Only bummer, I have to build up Karma, man how demotivating to start at 0 :P

My slashdot/plastic/kuro5hin karma beware!

Two thumbs up

I like the new functionality, and I agree with you that it will be put to the best use if more people start contributing comments to the stories. I wouldn't set your sights on a Slashdot-sized audience, but a good undercurrent of discussion would be nice.

LISNEWS might be the tipping point to convince me to finally find a RSS aggregator -- can anyone recommend one for MacOSX?

Peter

New Code

Being able to get to the discussions more easily is really nice, and though I haven't tried the other stuff, it looks to enhance our ability to swap thoughts and fling barbs. The comment scoring, though--did you have to hire the French figure skating judge?

Bug report and site mention

I've noticed that, when I'm writing a story and I preview it, hitting the "Edit" link takes me to a blank form and I lose the whole story. This is not fun.
For an example of a site that has used the slashcode for discussions with a small userbase, see the Forums at goats.com

Re:Bug report and site mention

10-4. I see what you mean, the "edit" link should be hidden on preview as it's only there for when there is actually a story done and you're going to "edit" it.

Who will be the first to be LIS-dotted?

As I sit here trying to get to a site that has been /.-ed, I wonder if we will build enough community here to LIS-dot a site. (And who will it be?)

For those unfamilar with being /.-ed (or "slashdotted"), it is the phenomenon of a site becoming unaccessible because thousands of people hit it at the same time when it becomes mentioned on slashdot.org.

Re:Two thumbs up

MacReporter! Ok this one's mostly for newspapers, magazines, newswires but it's so elegant.


NetNewsWire is very popular too. I haven't tried it yet but it gets great reviews.

Re:Who will be the first to be LIS-dotted?

I've actually had 2 people tell me they got LISdotted. I can't remember who it was, nor can I find the emails, but it was nothing like getting slashdotted, I'm sure.
I've asked people about how many referrals we send them and for the most part the numbers are rather modest, maybe a few hundred at the most, but on average maybe around 100.
We get about 4,000 visitors a day now, so I think we do ok for a little librarian site.

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