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Slackware Forums Alive Again! 190

Posted by timothy
from the bad-apples-turned-to-sauce-free dept.
HappySlacker writes "Looks like the forums from slackware.com that Patrick Volkerding (Slackware's daddy) had to take down because of massive trolling are fully active again after 2 years of hibernation as read-only at userlocal.com." Update: 01/21 19:23 GMT by T : Jeremy from LinuxQuestions.org points out the forums on that site, which is recommended on Slackware's links page.
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Slackware Forums Alive Again!

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  • Weh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dark Lord Seth (584963) on Tuesday January 21, 2003 @02:23AM (#5125113) Journal

    Like this posting on Slashdot would actually help to keep them free of trolls... Do you guys have no shame?

  • by arfonrg (81735) on Tuesday January 21, 2003 @02:31AM (#5125150)
    Besides, Linuxpackages.net has kept Slackware forums going the whole time..

    Us Slackers now have 2 forums AND a mailing list...

    WHOOO HOOOO!!!!

    Here's the forums:
    http://www.linuxpackages.net/forum/
  • by Jason1729 (561790) on Tuesday January 21, 2003 @02:35AM (#5125168)
    It's not very re-assuring when you click on help and get a message that says "Page not found: help".

    They also make you provide your credit card info and confirm the order before they tell you how much shipping is and what the total price is.

    That being said, I've used slackware since version 2.3, and it's by far my favourite distro. I've tried most of the distros, and imo they don't come close to slackware's functionality and ease of use.

    Jason
    ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]
    • by Herr_Nightingale (556106) on Tuesday January 21, 2003 @03:40AM (#5125365) Homepage
      I've tried most of the distros, and imo they don't come close to slackware's functionality and ease of use.
      I think it's a fair assessment of the sad state of distros these days, for the newbie at least (like me!)
      ;o)
      • Ohhhhh. Poor thing. :-)
        Just kidding, always glad to see another newbie. If you havn't tried Debian [debian.org] yet, you shoud,. Or any other dist that uses apt-get, debians package manager. Apt-get makes dependencies a thing of the past.

        It will not help you with all the other linux details though. Sorry. Please keep in mind that making an industrial strength OS that is also easy for anyone to use is a tall order, and people are working on it as we speak.

        • Just for the record -- those of you running Red Hat can enjoy some apt-get benefits from freshrpms.net. You install apt (and optionally the GUI-oriented Synaptic), and just sit back and enjoy the world of easy rpms without dependency problems.

          Not quite as complete as Debian, but fantastic for those who don't feel like starting over and making the switch.
          • Similarly you can use Mandrake with URPMI or the GUI. This is a standard part of Mandrake. Just type urpmi packagename and it will install it and automatically take care of dependencies. It will tell what dependencies it is going to install and ask if you want to proceed. You can type partial package name and it will return everything with that in the name. urpmi kern would return kernel-source, kernel-headers, kernel-2.4.x-smp, etc. You also update packages from a Cooker or other source with updated packages. urpmi --update packagename. I know this all seems really similar to apt.

            Apt definitely has been the superior product in years gone by but URPMI has finally matured and become a good alternative.

            URPMI made huge steps forward post-Mandrake 8.0 PPC. There where some probelmatic issues on 8.0PPC with URPMI. I was using Cooker until 8.2PPC came out and spent a lot of time testing and running it. The improvements helped the x86 releases too since it is all perl based. Of course I use apt with Fink on Jaguar. :-)
          • I would also suggest checking out "urpmi" (how's that for a crappy name?) on Mandrake. I have yet to find something bad about it, except the name. It installs packages, satisfies dependencies and can also update the whole system.

            I keep an this in my crontab to make sure my system is up to date.

            urpmi.update -a ; urpmi --auto-select --auto

            It checks for new packages and downloads and installs the new ones.

            Hint: Before you can use urpmi.update, make sure you have something to update. Try urpmi.addmedia.

            .haeger

        • by Anonymous Coward
          Apt-get makes dependencies a thing of the past.

          Erm, no! Dependencies are still very much there -- not in the slightest a "thing of the past". They're just dealt with in a sane fashion.

        • Apt-get makes dependencies a thing of the past.

          That's something I've never fully understood. Why are dependencies so farking hard to observe? I mean to a fresh newbie or someone who just doesn't have the time or interest in it, sure, but I've found apt to be more of a pain in the ass than anything else.

          Disclaimer: I've been using Slackware since shortly after it first came out. I believe my first install of Linux was with the 0.99.x kernels, but it may have been the early 1.x.x kernels, I really can't remember.

          Slackware's biggest bonus (and fault) has been that it lets you do as you please with packages. It'll let you install a package without having its dependencies installed. You run the app, and you get an error. Usually something along the lines of a library missing.

          Now this isn't what I'd want a newbie to see or do, but for someone who's familliar with the system you run ldd on the binary and find out what's missing and install it. No big deal.

          Especially now that CheckInstall [asic-linux.com.mx] is around, I have absolutely no issue with Slackware -- -current has logrotate which was sorely missing from the distro, but Checkinstall's the best. Create Slackware, Debian or RPM packages with a touch of the keyboard. Parallel installs, links, everything's supported.

          Back to Slackware's packaging. What I disliked about Debian or RPM was that if the package didn't exist you had to go hunt around trying to find it and hope someone else made it, or else make it yourself, perhaps using Checkinstall. Unfortunately both RPM and DEB have heavier requirements -- dependency trees, documentation in the right spot, patches to make it fit within their particular file structure... you either use Checkinstall to make the package poorly (but validly), or you set out on a mission and end up being the maintainer of every package you make. Slackware doesn't care, which is great for me.

          Sure Debian's got 10k packages, but it seems that everything I need isn't there, isn't complete, or is old, even in the unstable tree. FreeS/WAN with NAT-traversal and SA-disconnect [freeswan.ca], GNU-Radiusd [gnu.org], Psi, mplayer [mplayerhq.hu]... that's just off the top of my head. If I don't install via packages (this goes for Perl modules from CPAN, too!) I now have TWO package managers to take care of -- the one in my head and the one in the distro. For me, Slackware compliments the one in my head (or vice-versa).

          Anyway enough ranting -- I just don't understand how for anyone who's been using linux for any amount of time cares about dependencies. Even with upgrades.

          • by yerricde (125198)

            Why are dependencies so farking hard to observe?

            Because of cascading dependencies. One package may ultimately depend on updated versions of thirty or more other packages. That's where apt comes in.

            • Because of cascading dependencies. One package may ultimately depend on updated versions of thirty or more other packages. That's where apt comes in.

              You must be using Gnome then, I don't run into anything more than maybe a 3-level cascade...

          • Sure Debian's got 10k packages, but it seems that everything I need isn't there, isn't complete, or is old, even in the unstable tree.

            Well, apt-get.org [apt-get.org] has gone online recently, which contains pre-release .debs that haven't yet made it into unstable. You can go here to find alot of software packages.

            I do know that mplayer is there, along with the w32 codecs, which I have running on my machine and works very nicely. I don't know about the other packages you were looking for.

            BTW, do you really find it easier downloading several tarballs, unpacking, doing the ./configure, make, make_install, for each package? Or is this somehow automated in slackware? I find possibly editing sources.list, doing "apt-get update" and "apt-get install mplayer-686" to be incredibly simple.

            Do you really find the manual install easier? I can totally see someone preferring it to keep very up-to-date and control all level of installation, but EASIER?

            Just curious. I've run slackware before, but found it a PITA to admin over debian, so I switched back.

            • Slackware certainly isn't EASIER than Debian (except for the initial install which kicks Debian's @$$), but I've found it more reliable! Awhile back, I somehow managed to get Slink installed (I don't know how, since later attempts failed) and I just about HAD to upgrade to unstable (testing didn't exist back then). It was only a matter of time before an ill-timed apt-get hosed my system. Slackware is a PITA to update/upgrade, but I've never hosed the whole system with it, and when I hosed X-windows, it wasn't too hard to un-hose it.
              • Okay, I agree with you there. I did setup slack once and it was a very nice installation. I just had trouble adding more packages to the system, and found that to be incredibly annoying. Which really makes me wonder about people that claim that they find slackware the easiest of the distros to update.

                I have run into my share of troubles with apt-get, apt-get might be one of the hardest yet easiest things about debian. That is, when it's working fine, it works ever so wonderfully. But every now and then you might hit a snag which requires some advanced features of apt-get to fix some of the problems.

                I've been slowly building up my apt-get understanding, and now I have a decent system that's doing what I want it to be doing. I've certainly had to RTFM a few times when things go wrong. But, like any sort of system, once you understand it and become 311t with it, it's a snap to operate.

                But, definitely yes, there are a few rough edges that should be ironed out. And, dselect is the biggest piece of crap I've ever used, when I install debian now I totally bypass dselect and just apt-get everything. so much saner.

                • by wass (72082)
                  stupid typo, i'm so UN-31337.
                  I typed 311t instead if 1337. but y'all probably figured that out.
            • I find it easier because it does exactly what I want at install time. With the other distros, I can never get the installation process to install it the way I want to.

              When I say the installation is easier, I'm including the part after installing it where I configure everything.

              Red Hat and Mandrake are probably the worst, I didn't even find half the configuration files I needed.

              Actually, I've never used apt-get. After reading this thread, I've already decided to give debian an other try just to try apt-get. It's not that hard to type 4-6 commands to install a tarball, but the dependancies can get annoying; the worst was when I installed the PERL drivers to access mySQL, I ended up installing about 20 items to handle the dependencies for 4 items I actually needed. That's one of the major reasons ProfQuotes uses PHP instead of PERL.

              Jason
              ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]
              • If you try out debian again, one item that is sure to help you out immensely is the APT HOWTO [debian.org]. This helped me out to resolve some annoying apt-errors, and allowed me to keep a relatively up-to-date distribution which shys away from the bleeding-edge, unless necessary.

                Read up on the section for keeping a mixed system. You can set apt to prefer the testing distribution, but go to unstable only when necessary. Or, if you're more conservative, prefer stable and go to testing when necessary. I get some errors every now and then when I try to apt-get install a package, but this is usually because I have a mixed system, and hence the testing/unstable packages might depended on different library versions. On my system thus far, this has always been successfully resolved by having apt-get prefer the unstable version for that particular package by using "apt-get -t unstable install packagename" Regarding unstable packages, I don't think I've run into any errors by using them (at least to my knowledge).

                If you don't like the install process putting alot of crap in, you can opt to do what I do. Skip out of both dselect and tasksel when the debian installer drops you there to setup your system. You will be left with a rather minimal system, which is one of the reasons I went to debian in the first place. Then you can try apt-getting all the desired packages you need. So "apt-get install perl" should (hopefully) handle all your dependencies for you.

                You also probably want to keep a copy of your XF86 config file, as the debian debconf setup has never worked well for me in that regard either.

                Other than that, it's (hopefully) relatively smooth sailing. Good luck.

  • by doowy (241688) on Tuesday January 21, 2003 @02:36AM (#5125170) Homepage
    First.. how did this make the front page on slashdot? Is it THAT slow of a news day?

    And wouldn't Slackware users just stumble upon it instead of anouncing it to hundreds of thousands of dorks on slashdot who will promptly go trolling there now (especially given that it is apparently newsworthy).

    • I agree (Score:2, Interesting)

      by cioxx (456323)
      Why is the parent modded as "Troll"? He has a valid argument.

      Slackware forums don't have moderation to filter out crap like /. has. It's just asking for trouble. I'm pretty sure Slack users (such as myself) check the distro site on a weekly basis, and would eventually find out if the forum was up again.

      Just my opinion.
  • Uhhh.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by doubleyewdee (633486) <wd@BOHRtelekinesis.org minus physicist> on Tuesday January 21, 2003 @02:39AM (#5125183) Homepage
    I'm sure this won't be a popular commentary... but do the editors here just see submissions related to Linux and hit "approve" before thinking about what they approve? I mean, maybe it's just me, but I think posting this on the front page is an open invitation to all the slashtrolls to go troll somewhere new. Doubly so since these forums already got shut down as a result of trolling beforehand.

    Had the editors considered this they might have noticed that not only is Slashdot rife with trolls, but that these trolls would love to go take out a site that is obviously "vulnerable" to their actions. The forums may be read-only now, but if they become rw any time soon they may not last long because of poorly considered decisions like "let's post an open invitation to troll on the slashdot front page."

    The thing is, I'm not saying this isn't newsworthy, but sometimes it isn't responsible to print things like this. Especially when you know you're likely to get a bad (bad for others) reaction from your audience.

    Think before you approve, guys. Er, end maybe edit once in a while too? ;)
    • Re:Uhhh.. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jmulvey (233344)
      Maybe Slashdot has sold (yes, "sold", as in don't let the .org fool you this is a for-profit) their method for preventing "trolls" to Slackware.

      A longtime multi-day reader, and longtime "metamoderator", It has been 6 months to a year since I've been invited to moderate. My suspicion is that it's because I often contribute a "commercial" viewpoint.

      But Slashdot's approach of moderation seems to work well. I just worry about the man behind the curtain.

      I really can't complain too loudly, because my voice can be heard. It's just not amplified by those who paid for the seats in congress.

      Perhaps that's the answer to "trolls" ??
      • Re:Uhhh.. (Score:2, Insightful)

        by pediddle (592795)
        A longtime multi-day reader, and longtime "metamoderator", It has been 6 months to a year since I've been invited to moderate. My suspicion is that it's because I often contribute a "commercial" viewpoint.

        I wouldn't go shouting conspiracy theories yet. Selection for moderation is automated, and I doubt any slashdot editors would take the time to read your comments, let alone (1) remember who you are and make the connection between a specific viewpoint and you, and (2) actually removing you from the moderation queue because of it.

        Yet it is still wierd that you haven't been invited, while I've moderated three times in the past month... bad karma?
        • (I moded earlier, but had to reply to this -- sorry!)

          Slashcode doesn't really leave much to be desired in the 'forum' or 'BBS' department. It's more like a news engine with a very sophisticated commentary system.

          That said, there are other good forum systems out there that do the job well. That, and there are these things called moderators, which should be used liberally amongst trusted users for maximum effectiveness. :)

    • What a terrible thing it would be if all the Slashtrolls went somewhere else. I can honestly say that I don't give a flying fsck if the slashtrolls go troll some other web page. That's actually a really good idea! From now on, whenever anyone is modded as a Troll more than twice, they are automatically re-directed to sites, like Slackware's, which have no means of coping! Make the Internet a better place by forcing public forums to have a better way of dealing with trolls!

      ====
      And now, to complete the circle, I will be modded as a troll.
      • If a site gets Slashdotted by trolls it will just crash really fast and the trolls will get bored and come back to Slashdot. Not really a good solution then is it?
    • Shrug. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DarkZero (516460) on Tuesday January 21, 2003 @03:46AM (#5125379)
      The thing is, I'm not saying this isn't newsworthy, but sometimes it isn't responsible to print things like this. Especially when you know you're likely to get a bad (bad for others) reaction from your audience.

      This story is like the kindergarten example of the question of responsibility in journalism. Because of Time Magazine, millions of people now know of an excellent rifle to snipe with, a brilliant way to do it from inside the back of a car, and the ratio between sniping range and sniping accuracy. Arguably, anyone that reads Time Magazine or even just watches CNN is now about halfway toward being equipped to kill people from a distance with a sniper rifle. Why is this? Because our lives depended on knowing the exact type of rifle that the DC sniper was using, how much it cost, and where we could get one? Because the ratio between range and accuracy when firing a sniper rifle at a human skull had relevance to our daily lives? Because when we go to the doctor, we might want to have ourselves checked over with a sniper rifle to make sure that we don't have a life-threatening disease? No. It was none of these things. It was just sort of an interesting tidbit of information that some of us felt like knowing because we were curious.

      People are bothered by what the /. editors do because they know a lot about the subjects that are being dealt with, like bandwidth costs and trolling. I've noticed, however, that few of them actively complain about the same sort of behavior when it is applied to larger issues. In fact, many of them might even see information on sniper rifles and just think that information wants to be free.
      • Re:Shrug. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by doubleyewdee (633486) <wd@BOHRtelekinesis.org minus physicist> on Tuesday January 21, 2003 @04:42AM (#5125499) Homepage
        This story is like the kindergarten example of the question of responsibility in journalism. Because of Time Magazine, millions of people now know of an excellent rifle to snipe with, a brilliant way to do it from inside the back of a car, and the ratio between sniping range and sniping accuracy.


        I think there's one key difference that you're missing here, though. Time magazine doesn't have a readerbase with a significant number of serial murderers subscribed to it. Additionally, becoming a sniper isn't much like trolling on the internet. One takes significant amounts of skill, time, and money -- the other just takes a fifteen year old who has decided that "Windoze XP is for fags and I'm going to be a hax0r and terr0r1z3 the intarweb now."

        The thing I'm getting at is that Slashdot has a significant group of trolls, flamebaiters, crapflooders, and all the others in its readership and they are always looking for new ways and new places to get noticed for their trolling 'sk1llz'. The editors know this, and the front page story was worded in a way that practically begged these people to go wreak havoc.

        If Time magazine knew it had a readerbase which consisted of a large group of gun-toting loonies then it would, indeed, be irresponsible to publish intimate details of murder by sniping. But even that falls short of the example. To make this example really correct Time magazine would need to print an article detailing areas which are deemed 'ripe' for a sniper to attack. I'm not saying they haven't done this, because I'm sure somebody (maybe them) has. I'm just saying that for your analogy that would have been the best way to really make a proper connection, I think.

        At any rate... I realize that these days "journalism" and "responsibility" are not very akin, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be. And I think that on a website with a readerbase and editorship that at least feels it is above the common denominator some responsbility ought to be shown.
        • I think there's one key difference that you're missing here, though. Time magazine doesn't have a readerbase with a significant number of serial murderers subscribed to it.

          How do you know what serial murderers read? :-P

          'sides, who says that slashdot has any responsibility to keep trolls off other people's sites? I would think that would be up to each webmaster to decide on his or her own what mechanism will keep the k1dd13z away.

        • If Time magazine knew it had a readerbase which consisted of a large group of gun-toting loonies then it would, indeed, be irresponsible to publish intimate details of murder by sniping.

          The % of crazed people reading the article has NOTHING to do with the potential for copy cats. It only takes one crazed person to inflict damage. It's not hard to think of many ways to hurt hundreds of people and not be immediatley get caught.

          I live in the DC area and listened to my police scanner during quite a few of the sniper incidents. Everyone had in their head that this person was shooting from a vehicle and speeding off like a typical Hollywood drive-by portrayed in the movies. Because of this hundreds of people were calling in every fucking white van that did not use a turn signal, was "speeding" by, or driving recklessly. Well, Northern VA is filled with white vans. Strange was everyone reporting these actually thought that every white van was doing something wrong so no doubt they exagerated when calling 911. This drew attention away from the real killers who more then likely casually drove away eating a 7-11 big bite. Every damn ex/retired police chief, fbi agent, and criminal investigator had a profile to share with the media and every fucking one of them was DEAD WRONG. These two did not fit what everyone thought and they got away with it for quite some time. I truely believe they would never been caught had they not called in themselves. Had people been able to see through the hype and look "outside the box" they may have been caught earlier. Maybe in the future when someone strays from the Hollywood movie style killing and speeding off, people will be more aware and responsive and catch them quicker. Hiding the fact that these things can be done does not make the public as a whole safer. It alerts them.

          Security through obscurity which DOES NOT work.
      • Re:Shrug. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Surak (18578)
        Arguably, anyone that reads Time Magazine or even just watches CNN is now about halfway toward being equipped to kill people from a distance with a sniper rifle.

        Sure. OTOH, the info published in Time Magazine is available in just about any library in any postindustrial country in the world. What diff does it make if Time publishes it?

    • i thought the story said "Read-Only". maybe the editors were wrong again.
    • Uhhh how did this get modded to insightful?? The forums have been brought back as READ ONLY. Christ you can see that in just the story summary. How difficult is it to read the whole post before charging headlong into a comment to bash the editors?
  • by feed_me_cereal (452042) on Tuesday January 21, 2003 @02:44AM (#5125199)
    Announcing to slashdot readers that a forum that was shut-down by trolls is now back in operation is like telling the fry-guys and the hamburgler where the McDonald's truck routes run.
  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Tuesday January 21, 2003 @02:45AM (#5125203) Journal
    Old timers might remember what slashdot was like 2-3 years ago when trolls represented something like %50 the posts here. I almost stopped comming here and many members of my l.u.g. quit comming altogether because of it. First cmd Taco put in bans on individuals with certian nicknames from posting after so many flamebait posts.

    Then I remember seeing the same posts over and over again with nicks like "asfdd3456-troll". I guess the trolls liked what the spammers were doing so they actually wrote scripts to generate tens of thousands of "..hot gritz down my pants..and Natalie Portman petrified.." posts with a different name each! Unbelievable.

    This became unbearable then cmd Taco put in IP address bans. This was a lifesaver and cut down on the amount of trolls. Of course trolls can still just go to a library and post or spoof an address but it cut down trolling dramatically. Cut it down to half of what it was.

    Last trolls began to experiment with page widening with lots of "."'s so an annoying horizontal scroll would be needed to read all the posts. Very very annoying indeed. A few lines of code to slashcode made that problem go away.

    Anyway Patrick should use slashcode for his forum or write scripts that are similiar to slashdot's to get rid of the obnoxious trolls and use a karma system. This is the only way to ban them.

    • [Insert the man with censored lips icon here]

      So where does it stop, and who draws the line? Transparency is also the key here, as many longtime slashdot readers will also agree.

      Here's a key discovery of mine from Slashdot: The ability to moderate a comment is more powerful than the ability to submit a comment.

      How did I learn this nugget of knowledge? Look at my history, and you'll find that although I often post the alternative (i.e. "commercial") viewpoint, I'm not a "troll" in the traditional sense.

      Yet I appear to have been banned from ever moderating. It has been at least 6-9 months, and I read slashdot several times a day. Every day.

      My semi-alternative viewpoint in this forum has resulted in my sanction to the fringes of read-only activism.

      Ultimately, "trolldom" is just another grey area of battleground where some will go overboard, and some will not do enough. Slashdot is naturally in the middle of this difficult new area of content management.

      I understand the difficulties involved and risks. I don't blame Slashdot. In fact, I've learned a nugget of knowledge from the experience.

      I just wish my relatively nonradical ideas didn't result is such obvious squelching of my voice here.

      Signed,
      a horrible, horrible "Troll"
      • How did I learn this nugget of knowledge? Look at my history, and you'll find that although I often post the alternative (i.e. "commercial") viewpoint, I'm not a "troll" in the traditional sense.

        Yet I appear to have been banned from ever moderating. It has been at least 6-9 months, and I read slashdot several times a day. Every day.

        My semi-alternative viewpoint in this forum has resulted in my sanction to the fringes of read-only activism.

        You're not alone! I can't recall when was the last time I had mod points. I think I had them maybe once last year. Per the moderator's guide [slashdot.org], there's absolutely no reason why I shouldn't have mod points at least some of the time, yet I never get them. Is it because I post pro-Microsoft/pro-capitalism comments? Could it be because I've criticized the editorial staff a number of times for their ineptitude? Maybe it's my anti-SUV bias? I don't know. Prior to the karma rating change, I never dropped below 45 karma (though karma is a little whack -- I can top out, and get rated up all day with no effect, but just one person rating me down will automatically pull points from karma -- seems like there should be a weight system implemented), which means that apparently somebody here thinks I make intelligent, valid comments.


        I always have been able to meta-moderate and can still, so I don't think I fell prey to the last moderation-revocation debacle. I just don't get to moderate directly. Oh well.

        • You're not alone! I can't recall when was the last time I had mod points. I think I had them maybe once last year.

          Once per year? If I posted a comment which got modded up to 5 I would get some, every time. Until they changed from "Karma: 50" to "Karma: Excellent". Haven't seen a single modpoint since that day, despite a lot of 4s and 5s on my comments.

          I wouldn't mind a couple of points now and then. Specially if somebody has a good comment, just to give them a little pat on the back. Worked always for me :-)
        • I've been here for a few months now and I've never seen a mod-point. I've always assumed it was because I was still new, but I've begun to wonder, given some of the comments I've seen lately.

          I don't suppose it matters much; moderating other people's posts isn't why I read /., but I do find myself wondering how the moderation system makes what seems to be fairly weird decisions (give person A modpoints frequently, never give person B any at all, despite similar karma).

          Since I also read /. several times a day (albeit briefly each time) that may have something to do with it. Maybe coming here more than once a day puts you into the "obsessive-compulsive reloader" category described in the FAQ. ;)

      • Yet I appear to have been banned from ever moderating. It has been at least 6-9 months, and I read slashdot several times a day. Every day.

        You're paranoid. I've been reading Slashdot for I think a couple of years now, and I read it quite a bit because, well, despite its flaws it's often one of the most entertaining and interesting reads around. I've had mod access once, which I blew because I didn't understand that thread == story. Never had them since, and I get modded up frequently.

        You need to put your conspiracy theories away. Slashdot is mostly automated, do you really think Taco reads the comments and says, "Ah ha! User 233344 dares to go against the groupthink, I know, I'll make sure he NEVER has mod points". Er, no, he doesn't. Just running the site takes up all his time.

        I just wish my relatively nonradical ideas didn't result is such obvious squelching of my voice here.

        I've often posted unpopular viewpoints (usually posts pointing out Apple is not whatever hyperbolic adjectives have been applied today) but I still get modded up. If you aren't getting highly rated then either you need to post more interesting comments, or you need to change the way you write them. It has nothing to do with censorship or "squelching", just that there are hundreds of people posting but we all only have time to read a handful of the best ones.

      • Actually to be able to moderate you must also post comments.

        I find that most times whan I post comments I get to moderate in a day or two.

    • Slashcode has done some things to cut down on malicious users when necessary, but that doesn't make it the ultimate troll-blocking solution.

      Slashcode is adequate, nothing more.

    • I actually find some of the trolls' posts more interesting and entertaining than others.
    • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Tuesday January 21, 2003 @03:55AM (#5125400)
      then cmd Taco put in IP address bans. This was a lifesaver ...

      I've never trolled in my life, but slashcode has blocked my entire netblock (an ISP with a strictly enforced AUP and who would have pulled the plug on any miscreant if asked) for several months now. So despite my karma being "excellent", I can now only post via an anonymous relay. It was a major piss-off that my objections were just ignored.

      • Couldn't it be also your fault? I think before banning entire IP block Taco or others should have connected the block-owner for abuse, I bet they didn't take that serious.

        I lived that crap too... An unserious ISP, one day I figured the mails I sent were filtered because of their stupid ignores of abuse reports.

        Find a better ISP, or if you are on .edu etc, get rid of that admin soon.

        Even on a 100 user IRC network people think 3 times before banning a domain like 192.168.100.* (fake IP).
        • Couldn't it be also your fault? I think before banning entire IP block Taco or others should have connected the block-owner for abuse, I bet they didn't take that serious

          I'm not sure how that makes it my fault, but anyway:

          The ISP is pretty good in most respects, e.g. it's nice to get replies from support crew to the effect of "Oh good, if you're running Slackware, you know what you're talking about" as opposed to my last ISP's policy: "We only support Windows - you're on your own".

          In any case, I don't believe they provide an open relay. (from whois: inetnum 202.61.166.0 - 202.61.166.255) if anybody wants to check (please))

          They've pulled the plug on abusers in the past.

        • $200,000? (Score:2, Informative)

          by yerricde (125198)

          Find a better ISP

          Better ISP? That's not always a reasonable answer. In the United States of America, there is generally only one cable modem ISP in a given area, and DSL isn't available everywhere because of the 4 km distance limitation. Thus, switching to another high-speed ISP could cost $200,000 [pineight.com], which includes all the costs of moving your family and getting a job in another state.

      • Ditto. Slashdot blacklisted my entire company. Turned out one asshole in IT ran a script over a six hour period one weekend flooding Slashdot with hundreds of hits. This employee was fired the next week. IT explained that to them. I explained that to them. But Slashdot still has us banned six months later, because they cannot be rationalized with. They simply cannot conceive of the possibility that a single IP address might be used by thousands of people. I suppose we're banned for life.

        At least your objections were ignored. They at least bothered to write us a juvenile arrogant screed about how to run our business.
    • by JimDabell (42870) on Tuesday January 21, 2003 @05:32AM (#5125615) Homepage
      Old timers might remember what slashdot was like 2-3 years ago when trolls represented something like %50 the posts here.

      They still do, don't they? I've adjusted my settings to only browse at 2+, so I don't see a lot of it any more. Perhaps you have done the same.

      Then I remember seeing the same posts over and over again with nicks like "asfdd3456-troll". I guess the trolls liked what the spammers were doing so they actually wrote scripts to generate tens of thousands of "..hot gritz down my pants..and Natalie Portman petrified.." posts with a different name each! Unbelievable.

      Simple to solve, use a turing test [slashdot.org] to prevent automated registrations.

      This became unbearable then cmd Taco put in IP address bans.

      Yeah, I remember that. I (and presumably every other user of my isp) was banned for months after I went to the trouble of emailing them the details of my isp's proxy servers (to avoid the "you can't post" page).

      Last trolls began to experiment with page widening with lots of "."'s so an annoying horizontal scroll would be needed to read all the posts. Very very annoying indeed. A few lines of code to slashcode made that problem go away.

      And created a new problem in its place: the "phantom space" bug, that breaks urls. A better solution would be to only allow long text from registered users, and only once per day, or perhaps warning them before posting something that is broken. Or (heaven forbid) actually using css to lay out the page instead of that nasty table hack.

      Anyway Patrick should use slashcode for his forum or write scripts that are similiar to slashdot's to get rid of the obnoxious trolls and use a karma system. This is the only way to ban them.

      Slashdot's system for coping with trolls sucks. Deliberately annoying people is against the t&cs of most isps, when it started to be a problem, the admins should have started notifying the trollers' isps.

      • Do you really think the admins of most ISP's are goin to give a rats ass about the trolling that goes on at Slashdot? And you expect the Slashdot guys to track down the ISP's of every troll, find the email addresses of all the admins and then email them?

        Your're insane
        • Do you really think the admins of most ISP's are goin to give a rats ass about the trolling that goes on at Slashdot?

          No, and I'd imagine most don't give a rat's ass about spammers either. But it's part of their jobs to deal with abuse.

          And you expect the Slashdot guys to track down the ISP's of every troll, find the email addresses of all the admins and then email them?

          Not at all. I expected them to do it as soon as it became a problem, when there were a dozen or so. It's far too late now.

      • use a turing test prevent automated registrations.

        Current automated turing tests reject users behind text terminals (such as blind users on speech readers or Braille terminals) and thus do not conform to Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act [section508.gov]. I'd assume that VA Software (Slashdot's parent company) wouldn't want to lose such an opportunity to market SourceForge enterprise source control software.

        • Current automated turing tests reject users behind text terminals

          That may be common practice, but it is in no means inherent to turing tests. Aural turing tests (spelling out a word with a bit of white noise overlaid, for example) would cater to blind users, but I don't think that techniques to distinguish between humans and computers would be that hard to come up with.

      • And created a new problem in its place: the "phantom space" bug, that breaks urls.
        That's not a bug, that's a feature. Like those phones which give you an electric shock when you start yelling into your cell phone. Urls only get broken if they are not posted as a link. Now wasn't that easy? I challenge you to show me an instance when you would need to post text that is "too long".
    • Slashcode produces incredibly nasty buggy html and it's use would be vetoed on that basis alone. And contrary to your little morality tale, it doesn't stop trolling or crapflooding or anything else except posting urls and code snippets that might be very interesting.

  • Well (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Looks like my schedule's now booked.

    Heat up a pot of coffee and burn the midnight oil- it's gonna be a long night.
  • Userlocal (Score:4, Informative)

    by tiny69 (34486) on Tuesday January 21, 2003 @03:01AM (#5125246) Homepage Journal
    The old Slackware.com forums have been available on Userlocal for well over 6 months. The only thing that has changed recently is that Userlocal has a new hosting provider and that the forums are no longer read only.

    But this may be a bad time for the forums to become active again, alt.os.linux.slackware has been getting hit fairly hard by a troll(s) in the last few days.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 21, 2003 @03:02AM (#5125249)
    Nothing a good /.ing can't fix...
  • /. Math (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tiny69 (34486) on Tuesday January 21, 2003 @03:07AM (#5125268) Homepage Journal
    Last post before forums were shut down: 12-14-01 13:24

    First post after forums became active again: 01-20-03 21:07

    Means "2 years of hibernation" on /.
  • Being a minority distro, it's quite nice to meet kindred souls in forums.

    Keep on slackin' friends.

  • Wicked! (Score:3, Funny)

    by houseofmore (313324) on Tuesday January 21, 2003 @03:17AM (#5125298) Homepage
    ... now maybe one day we'll see the story pronouncing Slackware Alive Again!.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Slackware -current has been updated several times in the past couple months. They even put some security updates into v8.1.
    • Re:Wicked! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Xpilot (117961) on Tuesday January 21, 2003 @04:58AM (#5125540) Homepage
      Slack has always been alive. Slackers aren't as...ehem...vocal as users of other distros but believe me we're alive and kicking.

      If you've noticed, Slackware has always been a profitable company. It may not be as big as Redhat or Mandrake, but its got its own share of very loyal users.
    • Re:Wicked! (Score:4, Informative)

      by orangesquid (79734) <orangesquid&yahoo,com> on Tuesday January 21, 2003 @06:15AM (#5125730) Homepage Journal
      Actually, Slack is still pretty alive.
      True, you may have to understand hard drive partitions and other standard PC terminology to install it, so it may not be for "Joe Schmoe Windows User", but I love the configurability.
      It almost does not have thousands upon thousands of packages, turning it into a 6- or 7-CD set that requires buying the more expensive 700MB disks. No, Slack can still fit mostly on one CD-ROM, with a few bits like KDE thrown onto another (who needs KDE/GNOME, besides? Ick.) However, I've never had any package under Slackware not work, and the only library problems I've ever had were with freetype1 conflicting with freetype2 (fixed in 8.0) and all the annoyances of keeping multiple versions of qt around because Trolltech can't keep it's fscking API the same for more than two weeks (sorry, any qt fans), but Slackware has never come with anything "broken", which I'm always grateful for.
      Slackware also does not use a dependency system, which is perhaps a good idea at this point given the state of (most of) the competition (is there anything besides apt that doesn't suck?).
      Patrick also keeps Slackware-current up to date with security and bugfixes; I have rarely had to wait more than a few days between hearing about a hole and being able to start that service up again. Not as quick as the instant-fixes that paying Red Hat customers enjoy, but absolutely fine for me.
      Ack, I'm rambling. Anyway, Slackware is the only of the "original" distros which hasn't succumbed to vast amounts of bloat, and it has never released a new release with lots of broken libraries and such (RedHat 6.0 anyone?). Not only is it alive, but it rocks.
      It's a very quality distributiong for the hobbyist, and I don't think it will ever die.

      Hmm, after a preview I realize how crappy half this post sounds. Oh well, I'll post it sans karma bonus :)
      • Re:Wicked! (Score:3, Informative)

        by 13Echo (209846)
        I agree. And excellent add-ons like Dropline Gnome [dropline.net] (Gnome 2 for Slackware 8.1) make it all the better. By Slackware 8.1 install is a solid as a rock. Slackware is still the most practical and reliable desktop Linux distribution, in my opinion.

        I learned to use Linux on Slackware. I found it easier to configure, than having to use the non-standard tools that other distributions have. Plus, with Slackware, you have the benefit of learning how to use Linux. It's a lot different than learning how to use Red Hat or Suse. Some distributions really pull you far away from the basics, and actually make things more difficult.

        Using fdisk (or cfdisk), configuring sound and video, and learning a few basics of rc.files are really all there is to Slackware. After that, it's smooth sailing. Once you learn how it works, you can rasonably set up a Slackware box in less than an hour or two.
  • by CySurflex (564206) on Tuesday January 21, 2003 @03:40AM (#5125364)
    a Forum/Message Board being in "read only" mode is not hibernation ! "Read only" is maybe suspended animation. Maybe it's Kyrogenically Frozen. or the VCR is on Pause. or it's in still-frame mode. or it's taking a break. or it's off on a vacation. or it's in debug mode on a breakpoint. or it's in neutral gear. or the windmill is waiting for the next gust of wind. or the elevator is stuck on a floor.

    I need to get out more.

  • It's not very re-assuring when you click on help and get a message that says "Page not found: help"

    In case you didnt realize: the webiste is asking for your help in locating the page you need to see....
  • All Praise Bob! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Noryungi (70322) on Tuesday January 21, 2003 @04:28AM (#5125470) Homepage Journal
    And there was much rejoicing in the land, for, verily, much Slack was given and received with praise and joy.

    And even the trolls were happy campers!

    All Praise Bob! Hail Eris! ;)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 21, 2003 @04:47AM (#5125511)
    to the point made by a few about preventing trolls with various methods; while I'm not speaking for patrick v., I can tell you the attitude amoung those of us who have been and will allways be with slackware is that things like the forums should operate on comon sense and self discipline. If they can't operate in this manor, they shouldn't operate at all. This kind of belife is at the core of the slackware mentality. Slackware moves slowly and with great consideration with little thought outside influances. We like it that way.

    To the remarks of slackware alive, minority distro etc; slackware may not be the most widely used linux distro, but in my opinion, when all things are considered and stacked up, it's the best distro. Many will argue that different distro's are good for different applications, I fully agree, however, if only one could remain, it would have to be slackware. I'm not alone in this, I KNOW this becuase people tell me all the time it's true. Slackware users typically differ from other linux users in one distinct way...

    redhat user: I tried slackware, it was ok, I also tried debian, phatlinux, mandrake and caldera.

    slackware user: I installed slackware 5 years ago. debian seems cool and redhat made me angry to use so I gave it up after 3 hours. yeah, really just used slackware.

    this is ranting... I'm tired. :)

    download slackware. love it. or somthing
    • download slackware. love it. or somthing

      Yeah, exactly that. I just love it - even after all these years. Slackware is something else.

      ----
    • you're totally right....I thought it was just me, but apparently other people feel the same way about using other distros...they just...don't.../feel/ right, i guess. I get aggrivated when using Redhat, because it gets in my way. When I was forced to use it for 2 months, I didn't even know linux conf existed for 1 and a half of them, and i uninstalled it after i found out about it. The first thing that I did when I was able was to install slack 7.1 (at that time, brand new), and it was the most soothing thing i'd experienced for a while.

    • Slackware moves slowly and with great consideration with little thought outside influances[sic]

      Patrick V. doesn't release "new" distros every 5-6 months like (say) RH or Mandrake, but his turnaround is [karma burning here] arguably much snappier than Debian (given that slack's at version 8.1 as opposed to 0.00003), and the packages in slackware-current tend to be very current. Seems to me that the only area in which he loses the edge is with Gnome, and that gap is filled very well by Dropline Gnome (I won't bother to find link, as it was posted earlier).

  • by Anonymous Coward
    You don't need to make your forums read-only or try to sue them! Forget moderation systems, those are for muggles!

    The solution to your troll problems is simpler than you could have ever imagined! Just order your Hogwarts Quikspell home-study course and you'll learn everything you need to know to deal with trolls.

    Amaze your friends as you use spells such as Wingardium Leviosa to bash trolls on the head with their own wooden club! If you're feeling particularly peeved and want to send a message to other trolls, you can moderate them as flamebait with the Incendio spell!

    Your QuikSpell home-study course comes with everything you need to get started, including a high-quality cast iron cauldron, a wand and a basic spellbook.

    To order, send check or money order for 6 galleons, 4 sickles and 21 knuts ($29.99 in US dollars) by owl to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
  • by bindster (533597) on Tuesday January 21, 2003 @05:57AM (#5125674)
    Now that I can see that there are some lights on at Slackware, I'm going to help them polish their distro with some apps/scripts/customizations which would be Slack specific; I hope this development spurs more people to do the same, and also to create a dialogue for those who are seeking to help improve the distro. I know of a couple things that could use some work too... how about that rc.sysvinit which doesn't even work? Maybe replace it with an optional full SVR4 init system, or have the option for a kernel with an compiled boot logo. Perhaps even our own version of a package download tool (tgz-get?). Hopefully this will open the door to all that.
    • One of the reasons I use slackware is because I *like* the BSD style init scripts. the SysV init system is very logical I admit but its also long winded and it can be a pain in the arse to track down problems. And if you want a kernel with a compiled boot logo just recompile your kernel to enable framebuffers and you get it for free. Whats the big deal?
    • Now that I can see that there are some lights on at Slackware...

      When did the lights go out? userlocal.com is a fine site, but it has no "official" connection with Slackware as far as I can tell. http://www.slackware.com [slackware.com] is the place to find Slackware.

      And don't just look at the front page for updates! Patrick doesn't brag about his work on the front page, but you can get an idea about what he's doing by looking at the Changelog.

      ...I'm going to help them polish their distro...

      Uh... Who is this "them" of whom you speak? There is only Patrick V., and rumor has it that he doesn't want your help. :-)

      Perhaps even our own version of a package download tool (tgz-get?).

      There have been prototypes of something to do this in the past. However, something to automagically download and install packages/updates/patches isn't really a part of the slacker's way. Most slackers want more control than that, and ftp and installpkg/upgradepkg are sufficient for the majority. The rest have probably already written their own scripts. :-)

  • chmod ugo+rx /usr/local ??

    I doubt that this would be a good idea :-)
  • I installed slack back in 1995 and never looked back. NICE
  • Wonder when the RedHat forums will be back up. They've been migrating these for about two years as well:

    "You may have noticed some trouble logging in and posting issues at the support forums. We are currently migrating content and structure to a new system."
  • I can't get onto the forums! You killed them - you BASTARDS!!
  • As a present to show our appretiation we will perform a dos attack on your servers, courtesy of the /. users.

You had mail, but the super-user read it, and deleted it!

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