Story 2015-02-06 2WX9 Pipedot Turns One

Pipedot Turns One

in pipedot on (#2WX9)
On this day, one year ago, I registered the Pipedot domain name and threw up an ugly static webpage. Today, the site is a little less ugly and a lot less static. Although the original goal of creating a non-profit alternative to Slashdot has long since been obtained, I've continued the development of the code base and periodically add new features to scratch my own itch.

So my question now becomes: What's next? What other features would you like to see implemented over the next year to make this site even better than it is today?
Reply 34 comments

Pipedot (Score: 1)

by on 2015-02-06 12:40 (#2WXB)

The little site that could. Congrats Brian. Your news site is awesome and just keeps getting better.
Any chance of having the plain text editor convert LF to < BR > automatically?

Email notifications.... (Score: 4, Interesting)

by on 2015-02-06 13:48 (#2WXC)

I would like to get email notifications what someone answers me to my posts. Apart from that I am quite happy with the site. it is about time to make it worse. ;-)

Re: Email notifications.... (Score: 3, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-02-07 21:09 (#2WYR)

RSS notifications work as well. Having a personal RSS link for what replies were posted sounds better in the long run.
At least for users who'd post comments that would trigger a lot of comments.
(That or make the emails wait a bit and stack before being sent)

You've done a great job. (Score: 4, Insightful)

by on 2015-02-06 14:33 (#2WXD)

You've made a better technical version of slashdot was. I think the biggest problem with this site has nothing to do with the code. I think we as the community ( Myself included) need to do a better job of submitting stories. Considering I've submitted zero, I think I need to get on that...

Re: You've done a great job. (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-02-07 04:46 (#2WY5)

I agree that the site is quite superior to others in terms of technical issues. I think that it's just fine. I'd never like to see any javascript madness etc.

However, I don't think that we necessarily need MORE stories. The scope could improve, though. I'm fine with one story per week or two weeks. If nothing happens, nothing happens.

I'd like to see more stories related to computers and software. I really don't know any good sources for those kinds of news. IIRC Slashdot was like that at the beginning but quickly degraded to teenage girls' magazine stuff. I don't know what purpose bryan had in mind for this site, but this could be a good niche to focus.

I don't mean we should keep track of firefox releases every afternoon, I was thinking more like people doing PhDs contributing something interesting from their work, people solving a problem in a weird way at work etc.

Other slashdotty things we have here are user ids and karma (not sure we have karma here, sorry). I think karma is a counter-productive thing to have. How does it work here? If someone has enough karma, do they start off with higher scores for their posts? It was like that at slashdot and it sucked. There, groupthinkers got quite high karma and managed to stand out their shit in a sea of -1'ed but sometimes interesting posts. It really doesn't make much sense if you think about it. I could be an expert and write a very insightful comment about one subject, but that doesn't help anyone if I use that karma to spread around truther shit etc.

One thing we could have is an I agree button. Not moderation, just a quick way to express agreement with someone rather than posting 'yeah I agree'. There could be another one which says 'I don't agree' and tallies up independently. While we're at it, we could have something like 'you aren't even wrong'. I don't know, I just don't like the moderated post stuff.

Re: You've done a great job. (Score: 3, Interesting)

by on 2015-02-07 22:01 (#2WYY)

I'm fine with one story per week or two weeks. If nothing happens, nothing happens.
I think that's a bad idea. Sites with infrequent updates quickly lose their bored readership. And without people reading the site daily, discussion would really stagnate.
I'd like to see more stories related to computers and software.
I actually think the site should be leaning more towards the technology side than it is, however my own interests are further towards the low-level science side of things, so for as long as I'm practically the only one submitting stories, it's necessarily going to veer off in that direction.

Submissions (Score: 3, Insightful)

by on 2015-02-06 21:36 (#2WXE)

This is one of the best designed news websites I have ever had the good fortune to lay my eyes upon. The visual styling is impeccable, the formatting kind and easy to read and digest. Our only issue now is content generation. I have issues generating content when my main news sites are aggregates instead of sources. It looks like as of now we have more readers than writers. Content is our biggest challenge as a community.

Re: Submissions (Score: 5, Insightful)

by on 2015-02-07 17:06 (#2WYH)

Well said. I still love this site too, and it's very highly usable. Got to say though, submitting stories is a bit of work. That level of effort seemed reasonable ten years ago, but in the age of smart phones and Facebook/Google Plus, etc., it's a bit much - particularly when you're not guaranteed to get much of a robust story going after all that work. That's vaguely discouraging.

I hate to suggest it, because I know it involves a ton of work. But it could be a killer: Pipedot needs an app. Not a "Pipedot on your cellphone" thing, a mechanism that allows Pipedot to show up on your Share menu and submit stories that way. One of the great things about Android is the share menu - makes it easy to go from one medium to the next. If I'm reading my RSS reader and something looks great, I hit the little dotted-triangle, and tons of sharing mechanisms come up, from Twitter to G+ to even Usenet (using the NewsReader app for Android). If Pipedot were on there, I'd be submitting multiple stories per day. Instead I have to wait until I'm at a computer, type it in, format the URL, etc.

So, knowing full well this means a new project, registering on Google Play, and probably lots of other annoyances, coding and making available a little app that allows me to send a story straight from my newsreader to Pipedot would take care of the content problem, which might easily take care of the 'number of people in the community' challenge. I'm not a coder, so I can't help there, but I am willing to contribute in other ways. Imagine the ease of submitting to G+ but with the comment and karma system of |. Match made in heaven?

Otherwise, happy birthday Pipedot!

Re: Submissions (Score: 4, Insightful)

by on 2015-02-07 22:11 (#2WYZ)

Pipedot needs an app. Not a "Pipedot on your cellphone" thing, a mechanism that allows Pipedot to show up on your Share menu and submit stories that way.
I've often thought it is a shame that the Stream / Feed doesn't feed into the Pipe (with just a button-press) where the title, links, and RSS summary text would automatically be inserted into the submission form, then allow user editing/expansion before submission.

In the "Share" menu of my phone's RSS reader there is already GMail. If Pipedot allowed submissions via e-mail address, you'd be all-set with no mobile app coding work needed.

Re: Submissions (Score: 2, Informative)

by on 2015-02-08 11:10 (#2WZA)

You'd get spam, but hell, that's why there are editors. An interesting idea.

One word (well, actually two) (Score: 3, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-02-06 16:27 (#2WXJ)

Parent links.

Re: One word (well, actually two) (Score: 1)

by on 2015-02-06 18:56 (#2WXQ)


Re: One word (well, actually two) (Score: 1)

by on 2015-02-06 20:44 (#2WXS)

Not entirely sure what you mean by parent links. Does it mean adding the target attribute to links?
<a href="/" target="_parent">Some link</a>
This would be one of those "frame-buster" type constructs, but since there are no framesets or iframes on this site, when is this useful?

Re: One word (well, actually two) (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2015-02-06 23:21 (#2WXW)

I think he was looking for a link on a comment that would bring the user to the comment that it was in reply to. Looking at the situation now, it looks like clicking on the comment link isolates the conversation and shows the parent as would be expected by a parent link.

That's really good, and makes a lot of sense, but I think its one of those things that is so good, people are missing the worse solution because it was more familiar and discoverable.

Re: One word (well, actually two) (Score: 1)

by on 2015-02-06 23:24 (#2WXY)

You explained it much better than me and beat me by a second :) Also: I agree.

Re: One word (well, actually two) (Score: 1, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-02-07 22:18 (#2WZ1)

The parent link would not open a new page (and thus make all other comments on the page disappear). It would merely scroll the current page.

Re: One word (well, actually two) (Score: 1)

by on 2015-02-06 23:22 (#2WXX)

I think he means adding a link that says "Parent" somewhere close to the one saying "Reply". If this/my comment had such a link it would point to your comment and so on.

Re: One word (well, actually two) (Score: 2, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-02-07 20:00 (#2WYM)

Exactly. Especially it would not open a separate page, but just reposition the page to the parent comment.

Note that this is doable with standard HTML: Start each comment with an anchor containing the article number (like <a name="XYZ" /> if the article number is XYZ) and make the parent link <a href="#XYA">Parent</a> where XYA is the parent's article number.

Congradulations (Score: 2)

by on 2015-02-06 16:54 (#2WXN)

I've been lurking a lot, but I wanted to pop in and offer congratulations. The sites come a long way. Keep up the great work.

Re: Congradulations (Score: 1, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-02-06 20:26 (#2WXR)

Also: built-in spell checking, inclusive of titles.

Re: Congradulations (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2015-02-06 20:57 (#2WXT)

Seconded. |. is a beauty. And it still remains so with javascript disabled.

Re: Congradulations (Score: 2, Informative)

by on 2015-02-06 23:16 (#2WXV)

Same here and I also want to add my congratulations.

Slashdot dropped the ball. Pipedot and Soylent News and others picked it up. You and we are all far ahead of the times: all other sites and communities have either diasterous comment fields or outdated forums. Both kinds would be wastly improved by the various directions SN and Pipedot have taken and keep exploring.

So for any improvements or further challenges maybe it could be interesting to generalize further into replacing such comment fields and forums. For a comment fields version it might include removing a lot of the superstructure and mainly using the commenting part, and for a forums version it would probably involve a different kind of front page much more akin to ordinary forum front indexes and subforum indexes where topics are pushed up front with new comments.

There is also blogging of course. It could be interesting to set up a personal blog based on pipecode but 1. I don't have time, 2. I don't have content, and 3. I could already use Pipedot and SN journals for it.

Just throwing a few thoughts out there in case anyone finds it interesting.

Thank you for all the work that has been done, it is impressive.

Oh, I've got a terrible Idea! (Score: 4, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-02-06 18:00 (#2WXP)

You know what this site is missing that slashdot used to have? UserId based eliteness. What do we have here some numbers and letters? How are we supposed to know who's an wise grey beard, and who's a skript kiddie?

Again, this is mostly satire, not intended to be taken seriously.

woot (Score: 4, Informative)

by on 2015-02-07 04:00 (#2WY4)


i'd like to see an indicator on the left nav for when new stories are in the pipe - it would help encourage others to vote up/down stories, or submit their own. I imagined it as either a simple icon, or a red number representing new stories in pipe.

that, and perhaps a rename of the category 'linux' to some more generic variant *nix :D (bsd fans unite!)

Heres to more years, cheeahs!

Re: woot (Score: 2, Informative)

by on 2015-02-11 00:03 (#2X04)

Both linux and bsd story topics already exist! However, to help further equalize the two: I promoted the bsd topic to the left nav bar.

Discovery (Score: 1)

by on 2015-02-07 05:33 (#2WY6)

This is not a feature, but a request for all potential story submitters:
I like to stumble upon interesting, up-and-coming software projects. When nim-lang or Manjaro Linux go 1.0, I'll post a blurb here because I think those are awesome projects that deserve attention (and users and contributions). Please post blurbs to your favorite projects when they hit big milestones!
(but no Firefox or Linux Kernel point releases, please)

Re: Discovery (Score: 1, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-02-07 20:07 (#2WYN)

Given that the last dot release of Firefox was quite some time ago, I guess a dot release of Firefox would be indeed greater news than a non-dot release.

Cake! (Score: 1)

by on 2015-02-07 11:19 (#2WYA)

Time to pull out the Birthday Cake!

Great Site (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-02-09 00:20 (#2WZH)

Congratulations, Bryan. You've done a great job at making |. better than the old site.

Checking in from SoylentNews (Score: 1)

by on 2015-02-16 06:12 (#363D)

Hi Bryan et. al.

I honestly thought you guys abandonded working on this site based on some posts I read a few months ago. I am quite glad to see that is not the case, and happy to see improvements still rolling in. Gratz on the year, to many more.

Keep up the good work, I'm extremely busy so don't take this the wrong way but: I'll continue to check in from time to time.


A belated congratulations on the anniversary (Score: 1)

by on 2015-02-19 10:52 (#3D7S)

I really appreciate how much easier on the eyes (and the brain attached thereto) pipedot is than so many other sites.

If the letters/numbers/symbols/this-stuff-I'm-typing-right-here that make up the summaries and comments were just a little larger (without me having to do anything other than load the page), I think I'd like that a little better. The size used in titles and sidebars and such is okay as-is.

Re: A belated congratulations on the anniversary (Score: 2, Informative)

by on 2015-04-23 03:22 (#7MJB)

summaries and comments were just a little larger
To activate "Large Text" support:
  1. Click the "Home" link at the top right of any page
  2. Click the "Profile Settings" link
  3. Select the "Large Text" checkbox
  4. Click "Save"