By PR I assume you mean Project? Any interest in providing details?
P.S. I read your post and had a flashback. Eight or nine years ago I was working at a mega corp and couldn't get the company's shared resource team to do any work. At the time I was a BA and had been learning arc in my spare time (as a first language). Long story short I ended up coding an ETL via arc to load annual budget data (template data) from spreadsheets.
The good news was that it worked (no bugs), the bad news was that it was a hack. I lacked two core libraries; One was a spreadsheet-parsing-api library and the other was an oracle DB library. If I remember correctly I created a defop service where people could copy/paste data from the spreadsheet to an input box. Upon submitting the form the data would go through a validator process and return with feedback indicating errors in the data. When successful it would embed the data into a generated SQL string that would be run from my machine via a command line call. All this coded in like 2 days or so.
LOL. Companies have processes, but when things can't get done by the standard process watch every manager in the company thank you for saving the day. Sadly I think I got a bigger bonus than anyone on the dev team even though they probably would have done it right. I guess life rewards results over all else.
Although I do consider it a personal project to fix the forum as much as I can and eventually spin off a lightweight, anonymous fork.
The most ambitious coding I've done was writing a custom CSV parser to add parts catalog data to the web backend of a lawnmower parts store, but that was in PHP. This is my first practical experience using a lisp, though.
One thing to consider is that the code is really, really old and was built before cloudflare became a thing. Even the auth code is now fairly outdated (no captcha, no CSRF, etc. etc).
Don't get me wrong it's still useable, but depending on why you're doing this it may not be worth it. If it's to learn arc then swing away, but if I was looking to set up a forum today I's sooner look into installing the open source version of discourse.
edit: also check out shaders post on "Next Steps"  and more specifically . Some of these items might overlap with your plans and if so maybe you can put a call out to others already doing the same thing to share in the workload.
What's the thinking behind implementing captcha? I really, really hate ReCaptcha. For most sites the payoff to a spammer isn't really worth even the simplest robot test. A new site that throws ReCaptcha is an instant bounce.
>What's the thinking behind implementing captcha? I really, really hate ReCaptcha.
It might be useful if it only shows up on the login/signup page after failed attempts, but it might also be overkill. Personally, I prefer overt solutions to opaque ones like shadowbanning and throttling IPs. But mostly it seemed like a good way to figure out some basics (managing keys, how the app server manages the form loop, API responses and JSON.)
I could finish the test I have, push that and leave integration for later.
I agree with overt vs shadowbanning. My tendency is to just add tools for moderation. Let bots sign up and spam, but make it easy to take them down and ban them at that point. Arc is reasonably decent there.
Sorry, my comment was rather lazy. Let me try again.
I get the impression many of the people who want to start a HN like clone are considering using it as a content delivery platform. For example http://arclanguage.org/item?id=20452 notes a revenue sharing model for specialized content. Now, if that's the case these site owners will have both spammers and content scrapers to contend with. So my initial comment was also referring content scrapers too.
However there's another thing to consider: Session storage costs. About 6 months ago I went through a process to reduce the cost of data held in memory for session storage (redis in this case). The session data was continually analyzed for determining both who the bad users were and for knowing what value the good users are getting out of the app (feature planning etc). It was an interesting process, where just by reshaping the session data, thousands of dollars per month could be saved in db fees. Now I realize the someone starting a HN clone is probably not dealing with that, but I'd be willing to bet that part of the reason Captcha was implemented in HN proper was to reduce fees associated with the volume of requests, session costs and even network load. It's my feeling that, generically speaking, adding captcha functionality is a good Option to have.
> I'd be willing to bet that part of the reason Captcha was implemented in HN proper was to reduce fees associated with the volume of requests, session costs and even network load.
Let me add some info to that.... I'm not sure if anyone noticed, but HN has implemented new session management strategies. You can see this as your login is now maintained across multiple devices, where the arc code (that we have access to) logs you out upon logging in elsewhere. I also believe that when pg handed over the HN code significant changes occurred including how session data is stored and how that data is utilized to integrate with cloudflare. Obviously I'm making big guesses, because I don't have access to the code, but I'm willing to bet the changes HN has put in place would surprise everyone here.
Sadly everyone who sees HN today will come here and look for the source code not realizing what's available here is not modern nor comparable.
> For most sites the payoff to a spammer isn't really worth even the simplest robot test.
Maybe I am missing something.... Isn't captcha just a fairly simple robot test (and thus preventing spam)? Or are you suggesting something even simpler? Because I've run a few sites and had tried implementing very simple programmatic obstacles and it really didn't stop the spammers.
Maybe the better question is - what would you suggest?
This is probably going to sound super crazy, but I have to say it...
I know you (akkartik) have a google account, because I remember when you moved your blog over to google's services (I think they call it 'circles' or some such). I also remember you created a news aggregator application that scraped content. Yes, I know, it was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..., but still...
I'm thinking that google identified your scraping work and deemed you a risky robot type, but they also probably correlated your IP from the scraping to your IP from your google services login and tagged you that way. So now, even if your IP changed, they'll continue to have you in their cross-hairs for, like, ever.
Any takers? If you'd like I can also look into who killed JFK...
a) My cookie acceptance policies are non-standard. (I no longer even remember what they are anymore.)
b) I'm often behind a VPN for work.
c) I'm often on my phone, or tethering from my phone.
Complaints about ReCaptcha are fairly common if you look on HN and so on. You don't have to have run a scraper to hit it, I don't think. I think you may be a robot from the future for never having problems with the pictures of signs and cars :p
Final minor correction: I've played with Google+ in the past (I actually worked at Google on Circles for a year) but I never moved my blog there. I just linked to my blog posts from there.
> Complaints about ReCaptcha are fairly common if you look on HN and so on.
Yeah I'm aware of the complaints, but in my mind HN wouldn't be the best resource of information for such an assessment. By default HN members are non-standard in most ways that would matter to ReCaptcha.
It's an interesting dilemma and one that I'm coming up on soon as I plan to release a new app in a few months time. In my case the intended audience for the app is very widespread and not specific to a tech audience. It could be that the vast majority of my users (if I get any - lol) would never have a problem, because the vast majority of people using the net don't know what a VPN is or how to change a cookie setting (just as examples).
I'll have to give it some more thought, but in the mean time, are you aware of any resources on the matter that would be more reflective than HN?
edit: I often find info like this :
"Different studies conducted by Stanford University, Webnographer and
Animoto, showed that there is an approximately 15% abandonment rate when the
users are faced with CAPTCHA challenge."
But really I do expect to take some loss when using reCaptcha. The question really becomes is it worth it? After all spam can also cause users to leave and content scrapers can also de-value your product.
I think it's less important to have Recaptcha or not than it is to have a working POC for interaction with a remote JSON API, and for parsing JSON in general, since that opens up a lot of possibilities. Recaptcha itself is just the low-hanging fruit for that, since it's so simple.
As far as integration goes, we could just leave it up to whomever wants to do the work or make it easily configurable with the default being not to use it at all.
It's great to see a JSON API integrated in Arc. :)
I took a look and found fixes for the unit tests. Before I got into that debugging though, I noticed some problems with the JSON library that I'm not sure what to do with. It turns out those are unrelated to the test failures.
The JSON solution is a quick and dirty hack by a rank noob, and I'm sure something better will come along.
And in hindsight the problem with the (body) macro should probably have been obvious, considering HTML tables are built using (tab) and not (table). I'm starting to think everything other than (tag) should be done away with to avoid the issue in principle, but that would be a major undertaking and probably mostly just bikeshedding.
My immediate interest is in "News". I was seeking a codebase to work from that would put me in a similar space as HN in look and function. I came across Anarki and was pleased to see it was related to Arc which I have recently been playing with.
My longterm interest is in shifting my mental focus to a more Lisp-oriented way of programming and thinking. I'm not a programmer by trade; I am a software tester and scripter, mostly. I use Python typically, but after working on an OS build I had to learn Guile and Emacs Lisp quickly. I fell in love with Lisp and Scheme due to this experience.
Arc interest came about after reading about it on Paul Graham's website. I'd worked through a portion of Practical Common Lisp by Seibel and decided to try out Arc. It felt right. Since I also happen to work in the Information Security space, I have ideas that for the most part feel like Lisp is the right language, but I will need to become more proficient. Anarki feels like a good place to start to get there from.
Side note: An an automation tester at UCLA working with SenseTalk via Eggplant, I came across Mu while researching alternatives to Eggplant in areas it fails to provide results, such as passing and receiving AIX system calls, or validating logs are being written to. Mu has caught my attention for the longterm, as well, so kudos for both Anarki and Mu.
Very interesting. Though the thought of NASA just using Python and a proprietary solution seems worrying. Maybe it's just for the test harness and other scaffolding, not code that will actually run in orbit.
I know lots of large organizations use Eggplant but this paper is a new one to me. Thanks - had to share this with my co-workers! Everyone seems enthused we share a testing tool with NASA ;-)
I work in Healthcare and we use Eggplant to test a large functional area of our Electronic Health Record (EHR). Like many automation tools, much of the success of the testing comes down to the testing team and how they develop the scripts.
I approach automated scripting design the way I approach programming an app, so I am pretty formal and diligent, I think. Hopefully I am taking lessons learned from Lisp and applying them to my work in automated testing to make the best tests I can.
It's kismet, perhaps, but I also worked on a project called Arc some 9 years ago before I found - well, Arc. It was a build tool chain written in Scheme, developed by Gregor Klinke. I was at the height of my interest in Lisp and Scheme back then, and I liked the idea of this project for potentially building a Software Configuration Management system oriented to Scheme and Lisp.
Looking back at this project with new eyes, perhaps swapping out Scheme for Arc, I wonder...