Slash is the open source software system that drives the hugely popular Slashdot web site and many others. Slash implements the kind of web site that has come to be called a "weblog": a moderated list, in reverse chronological order, of timely items with links to further discussion on-site, or to further information off-site. Essentially, a weblog is a cooperatively authored daily newspaper for some defined community on the net.
Slash has spawned several imitators. The existence of so many different systems for operating a weblog site demonstrates that there are many people and groups on the net who want to run their own online community newspapers. Slash is based on open source technologies (Perl, Apache, and MySQL), and it makes use of open protocols (XML and RDF) for exchanging headlines with other sites.
Anyone who wants to get a weblog site up and running will want to read this book, particularly system administrators who may not have the time or the background to learn all about Slash by reading the source code. Content managers of Slash sites who want to be able to use the system more effectively will also benefit from this book, which organizes the knowledge currently distributed throughout the Slash source code, Slashcode web site, and mailing lists, and provides it in an organized package.
Chapter 1 Slash: An Overview
The Slashdot Story
Becoming a Slash Guru: A Roadmap
The Slash User Interface
The Slash Author Interface
The Slash Publishing Cycle
The Slash Architecture
Chapter 2 Installing Slash
Before You Begin
Getting the Software
The Short Version
Chapter 3 Basic Administration
The Admin Menu
Modifying Configuration Variables
Chapter 4 Editing and Updating Stories
The Stories List
The Edit Story Form
Chapter 5 Reviewing and Approving Submissions
The Submit Story Page
The Submissions List
The Review Submission Page
Editing User Submissions
Chapter 6 Comments, Filters, and Content Moderation
Brian "Krow" Aker has spent the last decade working on projects to promote communities, information, and publishing in the digital world. He has worked on the Virtual Hospital and has built data warehouses for groups like the Army Core of Engineers. He currently works as the "database thug and Apache guy" for OSDN on the website system that makes slashdot.org tick and is an instructor in the Perl Certification Course at the University Of Washington. For kicks, he writes oddball Apache, MySQL and Perl modules. Since he prefers rain and storms over most any type of weather, he lives in Seattle, Washington.
Dave Krieger is a software developer and security consultant who has been working in the Internet industry since 1992 and developing for the web since 1995; his clients have included Apple Computer, Digital Equipment Corporation, Compaq, Palm Computing, Dow Jones, and Synopsys. He co-founded Agorics, Inc., a software development consultancy, in 1993. Dave was the scientific technical consultant to TV's Star Trek: The Next Generation for the 1989-91 seasons, while still a graduate student at UCLA. He lives in the San Francisco bay area.
Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects. The animals on the cover of Running Weblogs with Slash are crows. Crows belong to the family Corvidae. The American Crow (Corvus brachyrynchos) is 17 to 21 inches long when fully grown and weighs approximately 1 lb. Crows in the wild can live to be approximately 10 years old (the oldest known wild American Crow lived to a whopping 29 1/2), but they are often carried off prematurely by predators and disease. Crows are omnivorous and will eat just about anything, from insects, worms, and mice, to berries and corn, to food scraps discarded by humans. An adult crow needs 11 ounces of food each day. Crows' black coloration helps to protect them from predators at night and allows them to easily identify other members of their species during the day, when they are highly visible.
Crows are believed to be the most intelligent of all birds. They exhibit many characteristics generally considered to be indications of higher intelligence, including problem solving, toolmaking, and the ability to play, as well as excellent memory, communication, and mimicry skills. Crows are also extremely social--not only will crows defend and protect their own families, but they will come to the aid of unrelated crows in need or distress. They live in large extended family groups and typically mate for life. Crows are cooperative breeders--while males do not usually incubate the eggs, they do bring food and guard the nest. Offspring remain with their parents for one to six years and help their parents raise their new broods. In the fall and winter, crows gather in roosts to sleep at night. Crow roosts can range from small scattered roosts of under 100 individuals to the spectacularly large roosts of hundreds of thousands or even more than a million crows. Matt Hutchinson was the production editor and the copyeditor for Running Weblogs with Slash. Rachel Wheeler and Sheryl Avruch provided quality control. Ellen Troutman-Zaig wrote the index.
Emma Colby designed the cover of this book, based on a series design by Edie Freedman. The cover image is an original illustration created by Susan Hart. Emma Colby and Melanie Wang produced the cover layout with QuarkXPress 4.1 using Adobe's ITC Garamond font.
Melanie Wang designed the interior layout based on a series design by Nancy Priest. The print version of this book was created by translating the DocBook XML markup of its source files into a set of gtroff macros using a filter developed at O'Reilly & Associates by Norman Walsh. Steve Talbott designed and wrote the underlying macro set on the basis of the GNU troff --gs macros; Lenny Muellner adapted them to XML and implemented the book design. The GNU groff text formatter Version 1.11.1 was used to generate PostScript output. The text and heading fonts are ITC Garamond Light and Garamond Book; the code font is Constant Willison. The illustrations that appear in the book were produced by Robert Romano and Jessamyn Read using Macromedia FreeHand 9 and Adobe Photoshop 6. This colophon was written by Rachel Wheeler.