Saturday, December 17, 2005

open links in a new window

We added a quick preference tonight to open links in a new window if that's the way you like to roll.

Friday, December 16, 2005

feeling serendipitous? some more info with your RSS, perhaps?

Quite a few of you pointed out that the reddit bookmarklet set just didn’t feel complete without an “I’m feeling serendipitous” button, so we added it.

Similarly, there were quite a few requests for some more info in the RSS feed. Now, each headline includes the # of comments and a link to them.

Keep the great feedback coming!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

updated comments

We uploaded some fixes to the comment pages today to make them more readable. Also, sorting by hot/top/new in the 'nested' view should be a little smarter.

Blogger, your days of running our blog are numbered...

Monday, December 12, 2005


We added a commenting system today for your enjoyment. The comments are votable and can be sorted just as all the other links on reddit.

It's not linked to anywhere yet, but the listing of all comments is pretty fun.

As always, it's a work in progress, help us out by sending a little feedback our way.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

feedback feedback

Since implementing the feedback form (which was fittingly created in response to user feedback), we've gotten some really great feedback, we just haven't been able to respond to all of it.

If you happen to be one of the users who hasn’t gotten a timely response to a question you’ve asked, it’s likely because we couldn’t respond. Unless you had already provided your email, we hadn’t included an option for you to enter a reply-to address. We read every email we get (except for the stuff in Chinese, we can't read that) and we’re happy to answer any questions you may have (hopefully, now we can actually respond to all of them).

There is now an optional field for your email if you would like a response. On the other hand, if you're just looking to flame us, inform us of a large inheritance we've been bequeathed, or perhaps offer us a great business deal somewhere in West Africa -- no reply-to email address is necessary.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

hottest page

In an effort to keep the front page a little less stale, we're experimenting with some new 'hot' functions. Previously it was simple function that boiled down to 'score - time'. While score and time remain the only two variables, we're trying some new techniques to keep things fresh.

Also, the penguin in the logo area isn't Tux. It's just a penguin.

Monday, December 05, 2005

on lisp

After reading the comments on the last post, figuring out how to articulate the reasons for our switch from Lisp to Python feels very much like figuring out how to articulate breaking up with one's girlfriend. Thoughts like "It's not you, it's me," "No, i haven't had Python in my head this whole time," "Lisp was a lot of fun. Really, I'll always cherish these memories," keeping parading about in my head.

Lisp is an amazing language. After spending the entire summer working entirely in Lisp, it's nearly impossible to work in another language and not say to myself, "If only this were Lisp..." Lisp has many goodies that make programming in it a joy: the REPL, macros and the lack of syntax are some. I won't go into the details, but rest assured, it's cool. People become Lisp zealots for a reason.

On a side note: Please ignore the comments that claim the Lisp community is harsh on beginners. The guys on comp.lang.lisp are very helpful (as with any newsgroup, you will get flamed for asking a question that can be answered with a single Google query, trying to cheat on your homework, or picking a fight). In addition, the bloggers who contribute to are all working on interesting things and are a great resource. The Lisp community may be small, but it is a good and helpful community nonetheless.

On that note, if you have been considering writing a web application in Lisp, go for it. It will be tough if you're not already a Lisper, but you will learn a lot along the way, and it will be worth it I am sure. Lisp is especially great for projects where the end goal is unknown because it's so easy to steer in different directions. Lisp will never get in your way, although sometimes the environment will.

Emacs and SLIME are a killer combination, but I develop on a Mac, and is a FreeBSD box. On my Mac, my choices of threaded Lisp implementations was limited to OpenMCL, and in FreeBSD it's CMUCL. Because of the low-level socket and threading code we had to write, reddit would not run on my Mac, and I was always tethered to our FreeBSD development server. Not being able to program offline is a pain.

If Lisp is so great, why did we stop using it? One of the biggest issues was the lack of widely used and tested libraries. Sure, there is a CL library for basically any task, but there is rarely more than one, and often the libraries are not widely used or well documented. Since we're building a site largely by standing on the shoulders of others, this made things a little tougher. There just aren't as many shoulders on which to stand.

I am a little saddened to see so many posts along the lines of, "I'm so disappointed." And I'm actually surprised so many people care about the implementation language in the first place. But I guess it was Lisp, after all :)

So why Python?

We were already familiar with Python. It's fast, development in Python is fast, and the code is clear. In most cases, the Lisp code translated very easily into Python. Lots of people have written web applications in Python, and there's plenty of code from which to learn. It's been fun so far, so we'll see where it takes us.

Regardless of Python, reddit was begging for a rewrite. Whether it was the best decision to do it all at once is up for debate, but I'm very pleased at the way it turned out. We nabbed a number of lingering glitches at once-- glitches that would have been messy to fix incrementally because they were rooted in the early designs of reddit. Given that the reddit code itself is not incredibly complex, and we could use almost all of the old HTML, Javascript, and CSS from the original version, a rewrite seemed the easiest solution. The entire task took less than a week, with 80% of the code written in a single weekend. Yes, there a bugs we will have to fix again, and plenty of new ones as well, but in the long run it'll be worth it.

All that being said, we've got a lot of cool new things on the way that were excited about. I can't wait to introduce some of the new bugs we've been working on as well.

PS - If there's any interest, we could always document the process we went through developing the Lisp version of reddit so others trying to learn Lisp can learn what we know.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

some of you have been inquiring about the snake

hint: it's a python.

If you happen to be wondering whether or not our mascot is doomed, be sure to visit on Friday for the not-so-dramatic conclusion.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

happy thanksgiving

We're enjoying the holiday with our families, but we've got a busy weekend planned for when the tryptophan wears off.

So, in lieu of a real update, here are some things that we're thankful for:

1) Red Baron's frozen pizza
2) KVM switches
3) Winter coats (this is not going to be a Virginia winter...)
4) World of Warcraft
5) Angel investing
6) The friends, family and loved ones who put up with our unorthodox choice of lifestyle and when we do come home, usually feed us.
7) All of you. Seriously, you make reddit what it is. We wouldn't have the opportunity to work on this site if it weren't for you. Thanks.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


We've added some more bookmarklets for your enjoyment. You should now be able to like/dislike/save right from your bookmark bar.

Internet Explorer users: things are flaky, but you should be used to that by now.

These bookmarklets don't play well with the reddit frame (and are actually intended to replace it). You'll want to disable the frame in your profile before using the bookmarklets.

Monday, November 14, 2005

new stats, new karma-measuring contest

We tweaked the stats page today, adding a new section for average submission score that had been suggested by quite a few users. There should be some new faces on the stats page now, so don't be bashful about bragging to your friends and family (Nutshapio, I'm looking at you).

Sunday, November 13, 2005

reddit learns

There's a new tab for 'recommendations' now if you're logged in. This is our first attempt at collaborative filtering. What you should see here are sites liked by people with whom you generally agree. It's not perfect yet, but we're getting there.

We added the 'save' feature to the frame. We're also working on a better non-frame solution to rating.

We've also introduced some new bugs. I think you'll be pleasently surprised.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

spreddit, like butter

After uploading this last update, spez promptly passed out, so I'm letting you know that we've consolidated submitting and sharing (spreddit). Hopefully this will make it easier for you to not only submit links to reddit, but also spread them to others. When adding emails to your contact list, know that we're not using them for evil. In fact, we're not even using them for good. We're simply not using them, period.

Also, when creating aliases, know that they can contain other aliases. For example:

alias: mom | emails/aliases:
alias: my posse | emails/aliases: mom,,

Thursday, November 03, 2005

profile bugs

We had a couple of session bugs turn up tonight as a result of some of the profile changes we made. They should be fixed now. I apologize to the users who were logged in and have mysteriously found themselves logged out. The fix should prevent future updates from causing this type of problem as well.

frames and click bug

After much complaining, the frame is off by default now. You can still enable it in your profile.

I think I fixed the errors when clicking a link. If I didn't, shoot an email to

Rating Frame

We added a new feature today that opens links from reddit in a frame from which you can vote on sites. We did this to make voting on sites easier because the click-site-click-back-find-site-vote trail was getting bothersome.

There are still a few bugs in the Safari version, but those won't last too long. Also, some sites don't like being displayed in frames (ahem, Joel Spolsky) so things aren't quite right yet. Our goal was to make a non-evil frame, hopefully we were successful.

The frame is easily disabled as it's supposed to be a convenience rather than a hassle.

For those of you feeling serendipitous, we've created a link in the frame just for you.

Monday, October 24, 2005

reddit mascot in AdiumDock-form

For those of you using Adium, perhaps the greatest of IM apps, I turned our mascot into a dock icon (sorry, OS X users only). You can find it here.


I uploaded a number of small changes this morning. The main pages should load much faster.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

State of the Union

We uploaded a number of small changes today:

This blog!

We'll use this blog to keep our users up to date with updates and the like.

Persistent Arrows.

We debated for quite a while what to do with the arrows. It turns out the solution was quite simple. We leave the arrows on the page after clicking them to allow users to change their votes after a mis-click. The score should update immediately after clicking the arrows now. It used to be delayed to get the new score information from the server. We're going to add a profile option soon to automatically mod up links after the are clicked.


We are setting the color of visited links now rather than relying on the browser to do it. This should keep the links consistent for users who use multiple browsers.


Fixed the issue where a site would be modded or hidden, but after clicking a link and returning using the back button the article's state was forgotten.

Safari still caches aggresively, but we have an upcoming fix that should help the back-button issues.

What's Upcoming


The submit/recommend chain is going to get some attention. We'd like to make is easier to share links with other users on reddit, as well as with friends who are not members.

We're also working to make it easier to avoid submitting duplicate stories.

Monday, October 17, 2005

reddit blog online

Just making sure that the blog is up and functioning properly.

We'll be using this regularly to keep you all involved with the development process, so please don't hesitate to offer your own suggestions and insights along the way. After all, you all have the best perspective of where we are and where we should be heading.