I have carried on more than I probably should about OSNews 4 recently, but it’s because I’ve been doing so much work on it. The site is mostly functional – nearly all the heaviest lifting is done, large parts are implemented and working.
As of today, we have AJAX moderation, super improved comment reply mechanism that allows you to quote an author, and a new, experimental system called “starring,” not stolen from Google but awfully like it. You can “star” stories much like a story bookmark, you can bookmark comments to later refer to, and you can “recommend” stories, which are stories you think other OSNews readers should check out.
I also added a nice touch feature – user avatars. I think avatars help users to recognize each other, and they add some “spice” to an otherwise simple look. I’m pretty excited about it, but obviously will not be building the upload form until my image resize scripts are ready. I generated my own avatar, now I need to find a nice way to resize in a secure fashion. It’s all very cool. To do what sites like Flickr do, I think I’d need Flash, so it’s pretty simple: you upload and I resize to avatar dimensions.
So moderation is all AJAX based now, which is really super cool, and works just like you’d expect – you can vote up or down, the score updates, the comment collapses when voting down… it’s exactly what I wanted when I envisioned it. Soon it will throw useful error messages instead of v3 error “codes.”
I hope to have the comment and submission forms working soon. If all goes well, we’ll do a public beta in February or March and rollout this spring. Promises to be very exciting.