Story 2014-02-17 3EF Pipedot Status Week 1

Pipedot Status Week 1

in pipedot on (#3EF)
story imageJust a quick update on the progress after its first week of life:
  • Thursday : registered the domain!
  • Friday : setup the DNS and mail servers.
  • Saturday : Web, database, and memcache servers built up.
  • Sunday : Load balancer added to balance between the two webservers. Also finished setting up the HTTPS certificate and IPv6 support.
  • Monday : Initial look, logos, icons and CSS design.
  • Tuesday : Database-backed stories (no more static placeholders).
  • Wednesday : Login system was enabled.
  • Thursday : The first poll was posted late Thursday in time for Valentines Day on Friday.
  • Saturday : Topics and the Pipe activated.
  • Sunday : Threaded comments and user-submitted stories enabled.
At this point, every page, except for search, is now a completely real page that renders from the database.

The code base is all new (not based on Slashcode) and using modern web technologies (nginx instead of Apache, no Perl CGI, etc...). There are currently six servers plus a load balancer with more webservers available to spin up as needed. Sections of code that are either CPU heavy or database intensive (threaded comments) are able to be memcached to maintain performance.

Stay tuned for the next week of updates!
Reply 52 comments

So, who do I sue? (Score: 3, Funny)

by on 2014-02-17 13:32 (#W)

For stealing the name I suggested?


Re: So, who do I sue? (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-22 02:57 (#4E)

I want to know who to sue as I didn't get a single-digit UID as I didn't know about this site until just now.

All kidding aside, great work. I started on something similar when I first saw Slashdot Business Intelligence rear it's ugly head, and had a vision for it that was just like this .. blue color and all.

I definitely like the pipe dot name better than slashampersand (the name I came up with), though.

So where can I checkout the source?

I've volunteered some on the soylentnews side, they have a pretty good team together.

I have always been pro-start-from-scratch, though. Never thought slashcode would ever be so closely mimicked.

I'm glad that both sites exist, if anything, to send a message and maintain free-press for developers and some fans of tech.


Re: So, who do I sue? (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-24 13:55 (#5R)

If this is a snub to /., I prefer


KUTGW bryan!

Looking good (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-02-17 14:17 (#X)

I really like the look of your site, nice simple clean interface. Great work I'll be keeping an eye on progress.

Re: Looking good (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2014-02-18 02:53 (#1P)

Agreed. It's gorgeous. Any plans to release "Pipecode" at some point?

Re: Looking good (Score: 3, Informative)

by on 2014-02-18 08:58 (#20)

Ya, eventually as GPL

Re: Looking good (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-02-18 19:24 (#2A)

Thanks for your work on this. Between this and SoylentNews, I'm happy that we have options.

Re: Looking good (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-19 08:44 (#2R)

I agree with the others - this site looks pretty great! I love SN's nostalgic style too, though.

Anyway, wouldn't it be awesome if you could go into some user preferences page and arbitrarily select a colour as a theme for the pages? Slashdot green, SN red, or this beautiful default blue - that'd be cool.

Re: Looking good (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-19 20:47 (#2X)

When I looked at Pipedot a couple of days ago and it was all static I considered it vapourware. And now I come back to see it all in actual action! Very impressive indeed.

Very nice (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-17 15:04 (#Z)

Clean and the way it needs to be. Keep up the good work guys

Funding (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2014-02-17 15:31 (#11)

So what will the financial model be for keeping things going? Running all those servers isn't free plus any admins that may be needed. Just curious on your plans moving forward.

Re: Funding (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-17 16:36 (#12)

This site is obviously a government front setup to troll a certain type of user. A financial model is really a factor.

impressed (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-17 17:22 (#13)

I am very impressed by the speed you got the site up.
You say it isn't based on slashcode, but did you use a web framework? What technologies do you use?

Yeah (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-17 17:25 (#14)

First thing I noticed: no limit on password length in contrast to soylentnews :-D
Second thing: I did not register from IP address, like the verification mail said ;-)

Re: Yeah (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-17 20:06 (#1D)

Thanks for the bug note, seems it was grabbing the IP of the balancer and not the X-Fowarded-For header.

Out of interest... (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-17 17:40 (#16)

Forgive me if I'm having a reading fail, but what language/framework is |. written in/on? (e.g. Rails? node.js?) I'm not sure I saw that in the summary (it's still morning here), and I'm just kind of curious...

Re: Out of interest... (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-17 17:52 (#19)

My bet is it's PHP, a homegrown CSS, no JavaScript. You can tell a lot by doing a view source. I'd like to know what DB back end the sites using, MySQL or PostgreSQL. In the SoylentNews forms we were discussing if we had to build from the ground up what DB back end and scripting language we'd use. Postgres won the poll by a landslide. (I was very surprised)

We still haven't discussed the language. Though we've had people request everything from perl to python to ruby, most say avoid PHP, which again is odd since PHP seems to be the go-to web programming language. Personally I think perl should be avoided, it's a relic that was never intended for web programming, but was forced into that role and was abused severely by people writing CGI scripts that lead to huge gaping security holes.

Re: Out of interest... (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-17 19:15 (#1A)

I really couldn't tell if it was backed by PHP or Ruby or Python by looking at URLs and source, but that doesn't matter as much as getting the content and community up and running. It's probably my bias, but /. submissions are palpably the worst they've been. I like the absence of javascript, but it's probably unavoidable once moderation is delivered. To me, |. is what the /. beta/re-write should have been as far as starting with a fresh slate, but needs submissions and commenting/moderation. Soylent news looks like it's taken slashcode, but seems to have decent submissions.

Re: Out of interest... (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-17 19:39 (#1C)

The |. creator frequents the SN IRC channel, I remember him saying it was PHP, the JavaScript and CSS I got from a view source.

JavaScript can be ok to use, but I find people try to use to to make flashy things happen for site critical functions, which means if you have JS turned off, or if you use a screen reader, everything is broken. Moderation can be done without JS. It is on SN, but admittedly it doesn't function as well as it does on /., I like how /. automatically deducts the mod points as soon as you chose an option from the drop down rather than having to click the "moderate" button on SN and having the whole page refresh.

I agree with the /. beta thing, they could have done a lot better.

Re: Out of interest... (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-18 11:17 (#23)

By slashdot's "moderation as soon as you pick the list entry" thing is a mega-pain when you're reading/moderating on your phone - it is far too easy to mis-mod without a confirm step.

Re: Out of interest... (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-18 14:48 (#26)

That is very true. I've never moderated on my phone so I hadn't thought about that.

Re: Out of interest... (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-18 18:18 (#29)

How about an "undo mod" button?

Surprised that slashdot doesn't have one since posting on the thread seems able to undo your mods.

Re: Out of interest... (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-19 11:52 (#2V)

I like that idea, we had a discussion about that somewhere in the last couple of days.

The moderate button for SN is starting to grow on me. It actually does work really well on my phone too, which is nice. I found out can read a whole page of comments and chose options, then when I've spent my points I click the moderate button to apply them all at once. I like the idea of an undo button though. Maybe I've moderated something, but after a screen refresh I see something else that's more deserving of the points. Or maybe I'm just on the line about something and decide to go Insightful instead of Informative.

Moderation system (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2014-02-17 17:43 (#18)

Any news on the moderation system?

Re: Moderation system (Score: 2, Informative)

by on 2014-02-17 20:09 (#1E)

Sometime this week.

Re: Moderation system (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-02-18 03:34 (#1R)

I like the rolling updates : )

Re: Moderation system (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-18 19:50 (#2C)

It's very "Agile", LOL. Sorry, my boss is always throwing that one out there and this is probably the only time I've seen it actually used in the sense he intends it.

Really excellent work. (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-17 21:06 (#1F)

This is a very classy looking beast indeed. Best of luck getting everything working.

1 question (Score: 2, Funny)

by on 2014-02-17 21:23 (#1G)

Where is the source? :)

VERY nice (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-02-19 04:13 (#2K)

This certainly is excellent work

Re: VERY nice (Score: 2, Informative)

by on 2014-02-19 04:44 (#2M)

I've just been talking to people on the SoylentNews channel. (I'm hoping this will format correctly):
A lot of people have done work eg. on completely alternative sites (, re-invigorating the old code (soylent) and a complete redesign (pipedot). There has got to be a way of gracefully merging everyones efforts. I'm sure noone knows the slashdot innards like the soylent guys, and the pipedot guy is a web design guru. Perhaps should become the new groklaw....
[DarkMorph] I haven't heard of this pipedot until now. It seems like an excessive division of effort. The only sensible need for multiple independent sites like this would perhaps be to cover different niches/genres..?
[mrcoolbp] he's independent
[mrcoolbp] built it from scratch too (more or less from what I gather)
[mrcoolbp] and he's a friend of the site
"The only sensible need for multiple independent sites like this..." is to rattle the Dice
[Popeidol] the more the merrier, if we end up with two or three slashdot-alternatives out of this the ecosystem will be healthier.
The problem was noone knew ahead of time who would come up with the goods... so replication of effort was inevitable. (Like workers from a bee swarm searching for a new home).
That was necessary.
(for collective success)
[Popeidol] if anybody should join forces it's pipedot and technocrat.
[weilawei] pav5088: definitely, i know i was hedging my bets between trove suddenly working,, pipedot, and SN
[Popeidol] pipedot has a beautiful interface but no mod system, technocrat has a mod system but little else
[weilawei] I may have spent the slashcott week mostly at fark >_>just for lack of anywhere else to go.
Replication was necessary so people could prove they could walk the walk, but now collaboration is necessary (IMHO)
...well, not necessary, but desirable
We all want the same thing after all... a successful alternative.
[mrcoolbp] "may have" lol
[DarkMorph] No moderation and no javascript. Interesting. Very, very clean structure using the modern CSS design approach. Slick.
[DarkMorph] It almost perfectly blends into my system's XFCE theme too. XD
Nerds are much better at doing their own thing than collaborating... BUT I think collaboration is desirable at this point. Perhaps I can talk to the pipedot guy...
[weilawei] pav5088: thats it, you're nominated as Head Cat Herder.
* pav5088 experiences much fear

Re: VERY nice (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-19 04:52 (#2N)

At first I thought about this like a nerd -->frontends are window dressing! Tacking things together would make things potentially less successful technically so it shouldn't happen! What we as a community actually need though is a viable long term alternative (rather than competing alternatives), and I do think Pipedot has the best frontend... while Soylent has the benefit of a now working moderation backend. Would really appreciate knowing how you feel about this and/or discussing this in IRC.

Re: VERY nice (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-19 06:54 (#2P)

I don't know if having a few different sites is necessarily a bad thing right now. I'm currently looking at soylentnews, here, squte and I will try to check out technocrat tomorrow (as it seems a little broken righ now). There may be a couple of others which I'm not aware of.

I like the fact that these sitesall have their own look and feel, and I think it's possible over time that they will all organically find their own niches, and I might end up spending more time on one than the others, but for now, I'm happy enough to bounce around them all, and think it's too early to be worry about duplication of effort.

It seems quite clear that the 'beta episode' has spurred a lot of people into action, and with all these new sites coming to my attention, it sort of feels a bit like when I first went online (probably getting on for 20 years ago).

This is all only my opinion though... :)

Re: VERY nice (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-20 18:38 (#3G)

It does look a very simple clean interface, like slashdot used to be. I will probably steal^W be inspired by it for s'qute.
Competition is good. There are literally millions of people looking for clever discussions on the internet.
Hopefully soylentnews , pipedot , slashdot and s'qute will all diverge and develop their own character and community.

Re: VERY nice (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-21 03:17 (#3K)

I thought, for about a microsecond,that that "rattle the Dice" line looked familiar, then remembered it should have my name in front of it, and now I'm wondering why it doesn't.

Beautiful (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-20 04:17 (#32)

Just like to say that I love the look. It is information dense but still amazingly clean. I'm not usually one to comment on the appearance of web pages or apps as I don't often think its that important, but you really nailed things here. Cheers, -WW

Love the look (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-20 16:24 (#3C)

Very slick look!

I actually prefer the look of this page... (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-21 03:20 (#3M) those at soylent.

But both sites deserve a lot of applause for getting up and running so quickly.

Nofollow (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-02-22 00:01 (#4C)

I suggest adding a check for user karma and if it is not stellar then adding rel="nofollow" to any hyperlinks.

Heard about this on comp.misc (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-23 15:39 (#53)

I knew "quite a bit" about the project, but for some reason didn't know about this until it was mentioned yesterday on Usenet (comp.misc, where a bunch of us have been hanging out).

Got to say: I am extremely impressed! I don't know enough about the internals to comment on that, but the site looks and feels great, and you've done some fast work! I dig the favicon, the site's graphics are sharp, and the whole thing is impressive.

Count on me to keep getting the word out - need to drive more traffic to this place! I'll be at Soylent too, of course - now I have more reasons than ever to not actually do my job while I'm at work.

Very impressive - congrats.

Re: Heard about this on comp.misc (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-23 21:52 (#56)

I'll reply to my own comment here just to say, the more I look at this site and compare it to other sites, the more impressed I am. Gorgeous attention to details, and visually appealing in every way. I'm not a huge fan of the font used in the title, but that's about the only criticism I can come up with (and it's based on the fact it's a bit too similar to something I'm used to seeing elsewhere). Love the subtle shadows under the boxes, the clean curve on the box corners, and the sizing of the icons in the top right. Really impressive work.

Plus the clean CSS makes it easier to replace the whole thing with ponies and rainbows once a year, which would be nice.

Re: Heard about this on comp.misc (Score: 2, Funny)

by on 2014-02-23 23:13 (#5A)

I second this post except the part about ponies and rainbows. Good job.

Congratulations (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-24 00:16 (#5C)

Congratulations on getting this up and running so quickly. From the summary it seems very robust. I look forward to becoming a regular commenter/reader.

Looks great! (Score: 1)

by on 2014-02-25 00:18 (#5W)

I like the look and feel better than soylent's. Granted soylent is using the old slashdot code verbatim. Anyway, I'll be following this site and hope to contribute useful comments and stories. Any chance of merging efforts with soylent? This is a much better name for the site, and a nicer look and feel.

Code to pipedot (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-03 07:10 (#8X)


Is there a place where you are storing the code? Is there a way I can contribute?

Could you please provide a list of features that are coming? For example, karma system, user profile, friending etc.

Re: Code to pipedot (Score: 1)

by on 2014-03-03 07:12 (#8Y)

AND... AND... AND... How about an edit button that works for 5 seconds etc.? Not necessary though, since I don't know what effect it will have on community building.

Ditto (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-03-07 07:26 (#AD)

Half the reason I joined was for a low UID. Yes, I'm petty like that.

-1, Redundant (Score: 1)

by on 2014-03-07 20:28 (#AY)

Okay, I have to join the praisefest. Having found out about this site only today, I'm extremely impressed by the functionality. Everthing already seems to work the way I always expected from both /. and soylent news. You may have lost the PR battle, but you simply deliver.

Here's to hoping that the comunity goes on growing and that the site keeps up with it.