Comment H3 Re: Usenet

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Nice work, (Score: 5, Insightful)

by on 2014-03-11 18:01 (#FK)

Everyone likes to throw around the word community. But to many, it means "I get what I want." We've seen some pretty appalling behavior on Soylent the past couple of days, and the drama has been unbearably painful to watch - embarrassing, really.

This DDoS is childish behaviour who has probably decided he is going to "punish" someone for the transfer of power.

The big take-away is that it is hard for a "community" to organize itself fast enough to do just about anything interesting at all. It takes leadership and dictatorial spirit to force people into organized behavior. Read the Dictator's Handbook if you don't believe it.

These things work better when some budding entrepreneur with a vision quietly builds his/her own thing, and then a community forms around it because they like and see value in it. Like this place, for example. I haven't heard any masturbatory "we're a community, goddammit" blather around here. Face it: A rowdy crowd of violent, pitchfork-wielding nerds is no way to start a business.

Final lesson: this stuff is, after all, a business. In the world of the WWW, someone has to host and manage the code, pay the server costs and the costs of the people who manage software and hardware, and pay bandwidth fees as well. If you want free, then chug down a reality pill and recognize that with the exception of a few vanity sites, the WWW needs to make money to pay for itself. Free means going back to the federated, ownerless model of Usenet, which remains an awesome place to meet and discuss tech with other nerds. And you can't DDoS Usenet, you can't whine about the new interface. You can only choose a Usenet client that suits you and suck up the plain-text goodness. No ads, no Flash, no bling, no images, even. It's Usenet: the worst you can do if you want to behave badly is crapflood, spam, and bitch about other people's posts.

Go get yourself an account on Usenet provider and hook your newsreader up to start participating on comp.misc if you don't believe me.

Meanwhile, Pipedot seems to be relatively drama-free. How refreshing.

Usenet (Score: 3, Informative)

by on 2014-03-11 18:16 (#FN)

Usenet is a great place for free, open, discussion. Unfortunately, it's got its share of trolls and spam.
There is an interface to Usenet that uses a karma-like moderation system here , which filters some of this out.

Re: Usenet (Score: 3, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-11 18:35 (#FQ)

Ya, that s'qute site is pretty slick. I'd suggest everyone checking it out, if you haven't yet.

Re: Usenet (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-11 19:59 (#G3)

Any progress on getting this site to work without javascript like how it did a week ago?

Re: Usenet (Score: 3, Informative)

by on 2014-03-11 21:13 (#G8)

Those changes are set to be pushed either later tonight or early tomorrow.

Re: Usenet (Score: 4, Informative)

by on 2014-03-12 10:36 (#GX)

Done. The "Enable JavaScript" checkbox in your settings page is now honored across the board. The site won't use (or even download) a single line of JavaScript with the option turned off.

Re: Usenet (Score: 0)

by on 2014-03-12 12:12 (#H3)

Nice one Bryan, you're doing a great job with the site.

My own initial thoughts were: why not default to a non-JS page (flat html) and then use JS (if enabled) to "roll-up" the comments into the collapsed form. This way it works well for everyone.

But I realised after that my own ideas were a bit naive. If every visitor downloads all of the comments (as flat html) then it probably adds considerably to the load and cost of running the server. By using Javascript you are selectively reducing the amount loaded by most (non-logged in) users. So I did some more thinking and realised that it actually depends on how many comments there are versus how much Javsacript code there is:

- There are three basic ways to handle a page: flat html, javascript on top of flat html, javascript and ajax

- Logged in users can have preferences which are honoured, but it is also possible to implement similar behaviour for non-logged in users with cookies (ah ha, finally, they are good for something other than tracking) but you'd have to decide if that's worth the hassle.

- The draw back with ajax is that for pages with lots of comments (hundreds) then you've just taken your dozen connections (to get one page) and turned this into hundreds of connections, all hammering at the server. I'm imagining you want some kind of clever algorithm to allow you to balance the data delivered with the initial page load, and that with ajax requests afterwards. Have you considered encapsulating post data in the page, for laying out by the javascript at rendering time? This would relieve the load on the web server, but would make the DB server work much harder since each page load will still want to retrieve all posts from the DB. I was thinking they can be put in some JSON format and then gzipped and inserted into the page code at load time. To strike a balance between initial page load and ajax load you can specify the rules on what gets included with the initial load (all posts, first 100 posts, all +3 and higher posts, etc...). But those rules don't in any way affect what the user sees, just what content is sent on the initial load. Once in the browser then ajax takes over and will selectively load whatever remaining posts the user wants to look at. My own web work has lead me to believe that to keep pages fast and responsive you must reduce the number of connections to the server. My own sites use custom server side aggregation code that glues all my javascripts and css files together into one include, and I always use the css sprites hacks to ensure only one image file is loaded per page. I get much much much better performance this way, but on the other hand I'm working with much lighter load compared to what you must be serving here.

Anyway mate, I'm sure you've spent a *lot* longer thinking about these issues than I have, this was just my $0.02 (or less) worth.

Keep up the good work, your page is brilliant!


Time Reason Points Voter
2014-03-12 21:16 Normal 0
2014-03-13 07:37 Redundant -1

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