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The Standards Wars and the Sausage Factory 234

Posted by timothy
from the these-things-take-time dept.
Esther Schindler writes "We all know how important tech standards are. But the making of them is sometimes a particularly ugly process. Years, millions of dollars, and endless arguments are spent arguing about standards. The reason for our fights aren't any different from those that drove Edison and Westinghouse: It's all about who benefits – and profits – from a standard. As just one example, Steven Vaughan-Nichols details the steps it took to approve a networking standard that everyone, everyone knew was needed: 'Take, for example, the long hard road for the now-universal IEEE 802.11n Wi-Fi standard. There was nothing new about the multiple-in, multiple-out (MIMO) and channel-bonding techniques when companies start moving from 802.11g to 802.11n in 2003. Yet it wasn't until 2009 that the standard became official.'"
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The Standards Wars and the Sausage Factory

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  • The festering, designed-by-committee bullshit [directproject.org] that passes for "standards" these days makes me long for the semi-anarchy of the 80s again.

    Not onlike the festering, MBA approved garbage [slashdot.org] that is the slashdot redesign.

  • Sausage Beta (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I don't like how beta was made (without serious consultation and requirements gathering) and I don't like the final product (site that no longer meets the needs of its community) so in this case I'm not eating whether I've seen the sausage factory or not.
    FUCK BETA!!

  • by ChaseTec (447725) <chase@osdev.org> on Thursday February 06, 2014 @03:58PM (#46177325) Homepage

    I don't like the beta either and hopefully every story being full of complaints will help but don't forget to complain on the survey and answer the request for email based feedback too.
    Survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/sdredesign [surveymonkey.com]
    mailto:feedback@slashdot.org?subject=beta_feedback [mailto]
    Add comments to http://beta.slashdot.org/journal/634763/update-on-the-march-of-progress-how-slashdots-new-look-is-shaping-up [slashdot.org]

  • by robot5x (1035276) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @03:59PM (#46177343)

    The Beta Version prophets of doom swamp every story with predictions that everyone will leave slashdot and hyperbolic comments about how awful the new version is...

    The remaining few who visit to read intelligent posting on critical analysis of tech stories get served up page after page of hyperbolic comment on how awful the new version is instead. They also leave.

    The end

    • ... the way we are being forced out.

      With a huge raging, diarrhea shit all over our former stomping grounds, forever marking it and dissuading its subsequent use.

    • That's how I feel too.

      I don't even feel they're right. To believe that Beta is terrible is to believe that D2 is adequate and classic (real classic) isn't terribly, terribly, broken.

      Neither are true. D2 is godawful. It's worse than Beta. FFS you're defending "sliders" that import "the best" comments from the back-end and insert them dynamically? CmdrTaco's belief that you can somehow determine the 100 best comments based upon moderation scores and build a discussion from that?

      And the original: broken

  • by oRCAD Monkey (1867884) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @04:00PM (#46177357)
    A little history of Slashdot courtesy of Wikipedia. What it was before It was destroyed by Beta. I tried posting this before but could not see it with beta. What am I doing wrong? I guess I will have to keep on trying until I can read it. Maybe that is why they call it beta. I am sure they will fix everything and everyone will be happy again. Tell me if you can read this. I am really upset that I can not see my own posts Maybe that is why they call it beta. I am sure they will fix everything and everyone will be happy again. Can you see this? I can't. What is wrong? Is this why they call it beta? I hope someone will be able to fix this because I am not happy it is not working. Maybe after the beta test is over it will work. It sure doesn't work now. I am getting even sadder.PLEASE HELP ME!!!!! The origins of the site now known as Slashdot date back to July 1997 when Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda started a personal website called Chips & Dips, which featured a single "rant" each day about something that interested him – typically something to do with Linux or open-source software. At the time, Malda was a student at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, majoring in computer science. The site became Slashdot in September 1997 under the slogan "News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters," and quickly became a hotspot on the Web for news and information of interest to computer geeks.[4] The name "Slashdot" came from a somewhat "obnoxious parody of a URL" – when Malda registered the domain, he desired to make a name that was "silly and unpronounceable" – try pronouncing out, "h-t-t-p-colon-slash-slash-slashdot-dot-org".[5] By June 1998 the site was seeing as many as 100,000 page views per day and advertisers began to take notice.[4] By December 1998, Slashdot had net revenues of $18,000, yet its Internet profile was higher, and revenues were expected to increase. On June 29, 1999, the site was sold to Linux megasite Andover.net for $1.5 million in cash and $7 million in Andover stock at the IPO price. Part of the deal was contingent upon the continued employment of Rob Malda and Jeff Bates and on "the achievement of certain milestones". With the acquisition of Slashdot, Andover.net could now advertise itself as "the leading Linux/Open Source destination on the Internet".[6][7] Andover.net eventually merged with VA Linux on February 3, 2000,[8] which changed its name to SourceForge, Inc. on May 24, 2007, and became Geeknet, Inc. on November 4, 2009.[9] Slashdot's 10,000th article was posted after two and a half years on February 24, 2000,[10] and the 100,000th article was posted on December 11, 2009 after 12 years online.[11] During the first 12 years, the most active story with the most responses posted was the post-2004 US Presidential Election article "Kerry Concedes Election To Bush" with 5,687 posts. This followed the creation of a new article section, politics.slashdot.org, created at the start of the 2004 election on September 7, 2004.[12] Many of the most popular stories are political, with "Strike on Iraq" (March 19, 2003) the second-most-active article and "Barack Obama Wins US Presidency" (November 5, 2008) the third-most-active. The rest of the 10 most active articles are an article announcing the 2005 London bombings, and several articles about Evolution vs. Intelligent Design, Saddam Hussein's capture, and Fahrenheit 9/11. Articles about Microsoft and its Windows Operating System are popular—a thread posted in 2002 titled "What's Keeping You On Windows?" was the 10th-most-active story, and an article about Windows 2000/NT4 source-code leaks the most visited article with more than 680,000 hits.[13] Some controversy erupted on March 9, 2001 after an anonymous user posted the full text of Scientology's "Operating Thetan Level Three" (OT III) document in a comment attached to a Slashdot article. The Church of Scientology demanded that Slashdot remove the document under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. A week later, in a long article, Slashdot editors explained their decision to remo
  • If you hate Beta, DO NOT VISIT Slashdot on 2/7!!

    How you you show them Beta sucks? You drop their ad impressions!
    Keep Classic/Fix Beta, or we walk.

    • As has been mentioned elsewhere, Dice is getting almost no ad revenue from slashdot because most of the users either don't click on ads or use adblock (complete write-off for FY13). So not visiting the site just reduces the site load and saves them a little bit of operating cost.
      • As has been mentioned elsewhere, Dice is getting almost no ad revenue from slashdot because most of the users either don't click on ads or use adblock (complete write-off for FY13). So not visiting the site just reduces the site load and saves them a little bit of operating cost.

        Exactly. This boycott idea is idiotic. It accomplishes nothing. Either stay or leave, the choice is yours.

        Time for the mad scramble for low IDs on the new sites!

  • Sad, really.
  • Perhaps I don't visit Slashdot as much as I used to, but I just looked at the site through beta to see what the fuss is about. Perhaps my eyes don't move in the right way, but is it the additional ads that I ignore on the right-hand side? I'm not defending beta, I'm just asking for additional education about what makes it so bad other than being different.

    • Now I see the problem. My 7 digit UID doesn't show up! How else can I prove my old-timer cred?!

      • by OzPeter (195038)

        Now I see the problem. My 7 digit UID doesn't show up! How else can I prove my old-timer cred?!

        Yesterday I was in awe of seeing a low 2 digit ID post in opposition of the Beta site. Unicorns do exists!

    • by OzPeter (195038)

      Perhaps I don't visit Slashdot as much as I used to, but I just looked at the site through beta to see what the fuss is about. Perhaps my eyes don't move in the right way, but is it the additional ads that I ignore on the right-hand side? I'm not defending beta, I'm just asking for additional education about what makes it so bad other than being different.

      Check out update-on-the-march-of-progress-how-slashdots-new-look-is-shaping-up [slashdot.org] Once you get past the Fuck Beta comments, there are a lot of people pointing out specific failings of the new site that have not been addressed. I'm no web designer, but I can appreciate what these people are saying (which is ironic as that is what /. is about - the quality of the discussion)

    • by pr0ntab (632466) <pr0ntab&gmail,com> on Thursday February 06, 2014 @04:33PM (#46177819) Journal
      1. a) Comment replies do not automatically re:
      2. b) Lack of help for reply markup
      3. c) Controls and moderation information not prevalent enough per comment
      4. d) Terrible use of whitespace
      5. e) Horizontal page usage is ineffective
      6. f) Comments only load via javascript
      7. g) No significant backend improvements relevant to userbase (i.e. UTF-8 support)
      8. h) Low contrast design makes getting lost in a comment thread too easy
      9. i) The look is too indistinct from every other Web 3.0 website out there; this is bad because some of Slashdot's charm came from the antiquated look and gave it a very unique feel. This is completely lost other than the color scheme.
      10. j) Sans-serifed fonts make reading long posts very difficult
      • Both you and AC articulated what I was starting to *feel* regarding beta. I have so many users who rebel against upgrades just because they're different; I just wanted some good reasons why the beta sucks.

        As I use it just a little bit, the UI was obviously designed by blind monkeys, or perhaps just committee. I have to scroll and scroll and scroll, and yet there is so much wasted space around comments. Add to that the fact that replies don't load automatically, and I have to populate the reply subject.

  • A sad day (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wjwlsn (94460) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @04:24PM (#46177635) Journal

    I'm not sure how long I've been on Slashdot... at least 10 or 11 years, I guess. It's been a continuous source of enjoyment for me, even though I've never been a particularly active user. Oh, I comment every now and then, I moderate and meta-moderate occasionally, and I may have even tried submitting a story or two at some point (I honestly don't remember). There have been periods when I left Slashdot for some time, when something else really caught my interest and monopolized my attention, but I always came back. I felt like I was part of a persistent community that would last.

    Now, the previously unthinkable may happen... I may leave and never come back. Beta is that bad. I hate the way it looks, the way it works, and how it will affect all the things I love about Slashdot.

    This is really sad. I never thought I would feel this way about a website. I used to enjoy segfault back in the day, and I remember feeling that loss pretty keenly. The loss of slashdot will be infinitely worse. I hope it won't happen, but I fear that it will.

    Please, please, please... if anyone at Dice is listening... don't kill my Slashdot.

  • by plopez (54068) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @04:34PM (#46177831) Journal

    Please learn how to edit

  • Dice can't see it, since they are new here ...

    But, the most loyal long time avid readers of Slashdot, are not trolling the site in protest of the failed beta. Where is GNAA, Natalie Portman grits, and frist prost when you need them!

  • Been there at the beginnings. /. is but a platform, staff is not even capable of editing submissions properly.

    Beta /. platform is an abomination.

    Community is key - see you guys elsewhere when Beta ./ is enforced upon us.

The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell. -- Confucius

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