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Slash Open Source Project

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  • When Plastic debuted as a Slash site, many reactions that were posted here ranged from yawns to tepid criticism. I guess I shouldn't be surprised to see those sentiments continue. But, let me make a few comments, so that the discussion has a little more balance.

    • Automatic Media has been a friend to this community. If we ever expect Slash to be considered a viable Web Publishing platform by anyone other than us, we have to encourage its use in high profile sites. We need more sites in our community that get talked about on Inside.com [inside.com] and in The Wall Street Journal [wsj.com].

    • Are you sure you want to dismiss Plastic's modifications as minor? Well, the summary view [plastic.com] of the Plastic home page seems like an innovative user interface to me. Also they have pagers at the bottom of every index page, their section Slashbox says how many new stories and comments have been posted, they built an internal message passing system at the user level. This says nothing of their backend, which was modified to allow more affiliate partcipation in the authoring process.

    • This is not the point in the economic cycle to get hung up on license issues. The time I might become indignant about abuse of the GPL is if someone took the Slash engine, achieved Vignette's scale, achieved sustained profitability, and then started prosecuting the founders of the project under the DMCA. At the moment, however, everyone with a significant burn rate seems to be going out of business, or close to it. What do you say we call off the dogs for the next few months?
    I don't know all of the people who work for Automatic Media, but I know a few of them. Jon Phelps is a good Slashcode developer [plastic.com] who would be a welcomed addition to any project I am working on. Joey Anuff, although he is not a Slash developer, had the vision to build based on Slash. Michael Kolbrener, with whom I've met several times, certainly grasps the potential of the platform within large corporations.

    I also think the senior management of Feed [feedmag.com] deserve credit for migrating a good percentage of their site on to Slashcode. They are sharp people who bring a lot to the table. We would be smart to stay friends with them.

    Finally, in speaking to these folks over the past couple of months, the sense I get is that they would like to do some Slash consulting in the media industry to keep their team together until the market improves. I don't know if that will be possible anymore, but it seems like a totally reasonable approach. We ought to be open to business plans that get any version of Slashcode deployed in media companies. The buzz surrounding such a deployment can only help us.

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    Dave Aiello
    Chatham Township Data Corporation [ctdata.com]