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O'Reilly Open Source Convention
Sheraton San Diego Hotel, San Diego, CA
July 23-27, 2001

News Coverage


Slash: Taming the Beast

Brian Aker, Director of Architecture, MySQL AB
Chris Nandor, Programmer, Slashdot

Track: Perl Conference 5
Date: Friday, July 27
Time: 10:45am - 11:30am
Location: Grande Ballroom B

Slash, the code that runs the popular "News for Nerds" site, Slashdot, started as a small bit of Perl code running on a shared web server. Slashdot quickly grew, and the code did, too. It was not long before the code became hard to manage. It needed to be rewritten. First, the code had to be cleaned up; global variables, hardcoded HTML, SQL interspersed with Perl, lack of coherent API, and other problems needed to be straightened out. Further, there was a lot of room for optimization, taking advantage of many of the features mod_perl and Apache have to offer.

This session will go over the architecture of the system (LAMP: Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl), including how we solved the issue of having multiple database backends, moved to a template system to make customization easier, and created a plugin structure to make the system's functionality easily extensible.

This is the story of what was wrong with Slash, how its problems were fixed, and how it was made better.

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