Tuesday, June 17, 2008

reddit goes open source

Today we're excited to announce that we're open sourcing reddit. We've always strived to be as open and transparent with our users as possible, and this is the next logical step. When we say 'open-source' we mean specifically that the code behind reddit is available to the public for download, and we're inviting the public to submit code to help improve the site.

Reddit is unique in the social news scene in that we have a huge community of developers. It seems only natural that we give you all in that community a chance to contribute back to reddit and make it a better place for everyone. We know reddit's success has less to do with our technology than it does with you, our community, and now we want to let our community improve our technology.

Since reddit's beginning, we have stood on the shoulders of giants in the open source world. Every library, tool and platform we depend on is open. Until now, the only portion of reddit that wasn't freely available is reddit itself. We are proud and excited that we're finally giving back to the community that has given us so much.

There are only five of us who work on reddit; we couldn't have made this site if it weren't for a great community of developers. In no particular order, here's a quick list of the open source products that reddit is built and runs upon:
Debian, lighttpd, HAProxy, PostgreSQL, Slony-I, various python libraries, Psychopg, pylons, Solr, Tomcat, Ganglia, Mercurial, Git, gettext (translation), daemontools, and memcached.
I guess this means we can now add reddit to the list.

And now for the nitty-gritty. The reddit development site is located here:


Here you can download the code, participate in the forum, and help maintain our documentation wiki. As you can see, documentation is a little skimpy at the moment... that will improve.

All reddit code is licensed under the Common Public Attribution License, which is basically the Mozilla license with a handful of changes. Specifically, the CPAL stipulates that when running reddit's code publicly, any changes to the code must be made available publicly and the site must make clear that it is running reddit code.

There are a few portions of the code that we're keeping to ourselves, mostly related to anti-cheating/spam protection.

To the user who finds the first security hole: give us a chance to fix it or your reddit karma won't be the only negative karma.

Alexis, once again answering the question of what exactly he does here, has made a cute video:

PS - This post by Brent was the result of a prank. We're sneaky like that.

Update: Despite a less-than-glowing review of our decision to open source, TechCrunch spent the same morning downloading our code and creating their own reddit clone, TechNews. Nice 180.

the reddit-powered pilot is online

I'm pleased to report that the long-awaited Internet release for the pilot of YourWeek is now upon us.

Watch it now (more segments will be uploaded throughout the day).

Now, we were a bit handicapped in putting this together, because we couldn't properly notify the community of a television news show that didn't exist yet, but producers were able to find popular stories from the reddit corpus to report on. If YourWeek gets picked up, we're expecting every week's show to be shaped by your feedback on what you think matters.

The five of us know remarkably little about television production; we're incredibly grateful to all the folks at PBS for bringing this concept to fruition. Hopefully there'll he more reddit-powered television in our future.

in san francisco this wednesday night? reddit has an announcement to make (with free booze!)

Come join us this Wednesday, June 18th, from 6:30 to 8:30pm at Swig (561 Geary St) in downtown San Francisco.

There'll be plenty of beer, miniature hamburgers, and something else even more intoxicating and delicious...

Please remember to RSVP by emailing redditRSVP@wired.com.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

per-reddit automated spam filters

As our content is becoming more diverse, having one spam filter for all of it isn't cutting the mustard. With about 50% of submissions being spam, that's a problem, so we've added a separate, learning spam filter for every reddit. It is trained every time a moderator bans or un-bans a link or comment, and every time a moderator (or, for moderated reddits, a contributor) submits something. We've also added the ability for moderators to see spam reports for links and comments on their reddits.

First search, now spam, next I'll be working on searching for spam.

By the way, we're still looking for translators for:

  • Belorussian

  • Bulgarian

  • Esperanto

  • Persian

  • Armenian

  • Korean

  • Latvian

  • Slovak

  • Slovenian

  • Thai

  • Ukrainian

  • Vietnamese

  • Chinese

  • Pirate (Yarrrr!) (must be done before Sept 19!)

Friday, June 06, 2008

yourweek -- next week

A number of you have emailed about the premier of the PBS pilot we announced we'd release today.

I've been told that DVDs have been mailed to the people who are expecting them, but it's not going to be pushed online until next week. We're just as anxious as you all are to see the pilot, so we'll be posting the link here as soon as we get it.

Thanks for your patience and support. With some luck, this pilot will get picked up and by this fall the reddit community will be generating nationally-syndicated tv news content.