Thursday, December 20, 2018

The theoryCS blog aggregator REBORN

(will all those absent today please email me)

(if you can't hear me in the back, raise your hand)

The theoryCS blog aggregator is back up and running at its new location -- cstheory-feed.org -- which of course you can't know unless you're subscribed to the new feed, which....

More seriously, we've announced this on the cstheory twitter feed as well, so feel free to repost this and spread the word so that all the theorists living in caves plotting their ICML, COLT and ICALP submissions will get the word. 

Who's this royal "we"? Arnab Bhattacharyya and myself (well mostly Arnab :)). 

For anyone interested in the arcana of how the sausage (SoCG?) gets made, read on: 

Arvind Narayanan had set up an aggregator based on the Planet Venus software for feed aggregation (itself based on python packages for parsing feeds). The two-step process for publishing the aggregator works as follows:
  1. Run the software to generate the list of feed items and associated pages from a configuration file containing the list of blogs
  2. Push all the generated content to the hosting server. 
Right now, both Arnab and I have git access to the software and config files and can edit the config to update blogs etc. The generator is run once an hour and the results are pushed to the new server. 

So if you have updates or additions, either of us can make the changes and they should be reflected fairly soon on the main page. The easiest way to verify this is to wait a few hours, reload the page and see if your changes have appeared. 

The code is run off a server that Arnab controls and both of us have access to the domain registry. I say this in the interest of transparency (PLUG!!) but also so that if things go wonky as they did earlier, the community knows who to reach. 

Separately, I've been pleasantly surprised at the level of concern and anxiety over the feed -- mainly because it shows what a valuable community resource the feed is and that I'm glad to be one of the curators. 

If you've read this far, then you really are interested in the nitty gritty, and so if you'd like to volunteer to help out, let us know. It would be useful for e.g to have a volunteer in Europe so that we have different time zones covered when things break. And maybe our central Politburo (err. I mean the committee to advance TCS) might also have some thoughts, especially in regard to their mission item #3:
To promote TCS to and increase dialog with other research communities, including facilitating and coordinating the development of materials that educate the general scientific community and general public about TCS.

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