community March 9, 2009

The Value of Downvoting, or, How Hacker News Gets It Wrong

Paul Graham’s Hacker News is a great website to find interesting programming links and sane discussion. The site reflects a sort of post-Reddit sensibility; the design of HN was directly intended to address the shortcomings of programming.reddit.com from someone very much on the inside (Reddit was a Paul Graham Y Combinator startup). As such we…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
community March 6, 2009

New 10k Rep Tools Now Available

Those 10,000 reputation tools I promised, lo those many moons ago? They are now live. If you have the requisite reputation, you’ll see a link at the top of every page which leads to the tools area: Congratulations on achieving 10,000 reputation! You’ve earned the right to see (and undelete) deleted posts, and vote to…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
community March 4, 2009

The Great Edit Wars

Alas, Stack Overflow has fallen prey to that dread disease that plagues all wiki systems: The Edit War. We’re not exactly like Wikipedia, because we are a hybrid system, but it’s worth scanning the official Wikipedia definition: Edit warring is the confrontational use of edits to win a content dispute. Administrators often must make a…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
community February 27, 2009

Happy 100,000th Question!

I’ve been remiss in not celebrating an important Stack Overflow milestone. Sometime on Wednesday, February 25th, a user asked.. Our 100,000th Question! I didn’t say it was a good question, mind you. But it was the hundred thousandth question posted to Stack Overflow. So, for reference — and remember our private beta started on 7/31/2008,…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
community February 21, 2009

New Question / Answer Rate Limits

Stack Overflow is somewhat unique in that we encourage participation of essentially anonymous, random programmers. Our idea is to radically reduce the bar for participation, and take one giant leap of faith: Trusting our users. Well, most of them, anyway. We have the typical hurdles in place to prevent bots from gaming our system: JavaScript…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
company February 20, 2009

Our Backup Strategy – Inexpensive NAS

As part of our new backup strategy, I decided to invest in an inexpensive Network Attached Storage (NAS) unit — the QNAP TS-409U. The TS-409U has the following specs: 1u rack mountable 4 SATA drive bays 500 MHz embedded CPU, 8 MB flash RAM, 512 MB RAM, Linux based Supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 6…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
company February 17, 2009

Specialist Badge Implemented

The long-awaited Specialist badges are now working; you can browse them on the badges page. After I worked with it for a while, I realized that these are just tag-based badges, so I dropped the “Specialist” name and stuck with the name of the tag as the badge name. There are two levels: Silver 400…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
community February 16, 2009

When Is An Account “Abandoned”?

Let’s talk about deletion. Not question deletion, which works this way, for the record. The deletion I want to talk about today is account deletion. Stack Overflow is a bit unusual in that our accounts are ultra lightweight. We don’t require registration; we allow essentially anonymous posting. We were inspired by Wikipedia in this regard.…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
community February 13, 2009

Now Showing: Email Notifications

We just implemented a basic form of email notifications, which (mostly) closes our highest voted UserVoice request. If you… Tick the option to allow emails on your user page preferences Provide us a valid email address in your user settings Haven’t been to the Stack Overflow website in at least 7 days Have at least…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
company February 8, 2009

New Datacenter Migration

We just finished migrating our new servers over to the new datacenter at PEAK Internet. The installation was aided greatly by Stack Overflow team member Geoff Dalgas, who happens to live about a mile from PEAK in Corvallis, Oregon. He visited the facility before the servers arrived, and also helped with their installation. Having Geoff…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)
company February 6, 2009

Server Speed Tests

We now have the new servers set up in the data center, and configured with copies of the Stack Overflow website and database. We excitedly ran a few quick speed comparisons with the live site and found.. the new site was two times slower than the old one. (insert sound of analog record needle being…
Avatar for Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)