This is beautiful, could it be archived as something like lobste.rs/bbs or something after April Fools' is over?
It lives at https://lobste.rs/bbs for now, and the home page has reverted back to normal
Is there any way to view the Hacker-News-styled site that was shown for April Fool’s in 2013 (screenshot)?
If not, could we have one? lobste.rs/hn probably wouldn’t be a good URL, because you would need sub-URLs for every other page on the site. How about an hn query parameter, so you can see the HN prank version with ?hn=true ?
It was mostly just a custom stylesheet but there have been changes to the HTML since then so the stylesheet would probably need updating, which is more work than I care to do to preserve that ugly thing.
Thanks so much, and is there a way to participate in discussions through that interface?
There was not, I ran out of time.
Is the source on github online somewhere? I can’t find it in the official repos.
It is not. I’m not sure whether I want to publish it or not since it was largely a creative effort rather than technical and I will probably just publish a writeup on my site about the technical details.
Ah ok. Any plans to add that functionality? It’s the only reason I am using this beta site.
Agreed! Fantastic job. I would love to come back and mess around with this in the future.
Agreed. This is really fun and cool. … no way for a guest to get read-only access, but I guess that’s historically accurate.
You actually can get access by logging in as guest with no password, which is also historically accurate. :)
This was very well done - the memories of the BBS days keep coming back!
Also, I’ve just found out this hypertext version which is pretty meh.
For anyone who’s interested in BBS ANSI and ASCII art, including a lot of screens for BBS interfaces, check out http://artpacks.org
There was a new ANSI pack released today, actually!
My eyes started to water a little bit. This reminded me of much simpler (and in many ways, better) times. Great job.
Any plan to keep the chat in the “beta” version? :)
Yeah, I’d enjoy a chatroom with the Lobsters audience.
would best if it was connected to an IRC server
Agreed, mostly because of choice-of-UI. But I figure it makes more sense to gauge interest rather than leap into implementation details. :)
Does anybody knows how the chatroom was implemented?
I will probably do a writeup on my site about the technical details of it. The backend was a ruby/eventmachine script that handled all connections and was able to block mid-routine to wait for input via ruby fibers. This way it avoided callbacks and having to rebuild the state on each input.
Thanks. I like fibers. In Ruby, Python or even Node they are a nice tool to avoid callbacks and make the code easier to read.
This is one of the very few of these things I’ve actually enjoyed. You really nailed the feel, and you’ve got me looking up Telix and Minicom on wikipedia, neither of which I’d thought about for years.
For posterity, here are screenshots of the BBS interface that replaced lobste.rs/ on 2015-04-01:
If any visitor doesn’t know what a BBS is, but wants to experience one, I recommend playing Digital: A Love Story. I never used an actual BBS, but thanks to playing that game, I still felt some nostalgia when I say today’s site.
Digital: A Love Story is “a computer mystery/romance set five minutes into the future of 1988”. It is a free video game that emulates an old operating system that lets you connect to BBSs. Some of the non-plot-relevant BBS messages are messages from actual historical BBSs, copied from the archive textfiles.com.
lol I love it, totally need to do something of the like for my own site or something.
I really enjUUUUUUUUE3%%NO CARRIER
I really enjoyed that interface. I couldn’t find a way to comment on this post, but fortunately the HTML beta interface seems to be working.
Yeah, if anyone can figure out how to comment through the BBS that would be cool.
Great joke! ^_^
Some background on this would be cool. Was this original work? Fork of something? How long did it take to create?
i also liked the ansi style that https://gentoo.org did for today, complete with loading animations.
Yeah, they did a really nice job, and pong was a nice touch. If anyone was wondering, they used BOOTSTRA.386 for the site theme
I was disappointed that Gopher didn’t actually work though.
As somebody that started using the internet after the BBS era, I didn’t recognise the interface for what it was at all!
Oh wow, since I use /newest as my bookmark I didn’t even notice it, thanks for sharing it!
Thank God that was joke. I was about to throw a fit….
will the /hypertext redirect still in the future? I run a scraper of lobste.rs and the BBS front page kind of brought it down for a bit :(
Why are you scraping stuff? There is a JSON interface at https://lobste.rs/hottest.json (and other similar URLs with a .json extension) which was never changed.
This is awesome!