<pre>Author/s : chromatic, Brian Aker, Dave Krieger Publisher : O'Reilly Category :Marginalia Review by : Frank Carver Rating : 7 horseshoes</pre> "Slashdot" ( http://www.slashdot.com/ ) is one of the busiest sites on the internet. Part newspaper, part bulletin board, part personal journal - just a casual mention on Slashdot has been enough to bring major web sites to their knees. Slashdot has lead the way in the high-traffic mass-participation web, and the software is free to download. This book is about the ideas, challenges and designs which keep Slashdot working. Although the slash software is written in Perl, you don't need to read Perl; there's hardly any source code in the book. When I first saw this book, I thought it would be dull. Who wants to read documentation for a bunch of Perl scripts? As it turns out, the book is mostly case study and installation/configuration guide. Although obviously aimed at people considering using the open-source "slash" engine for their own sites, reading about how the Slashdot administrators evolved their software to cope with such astonishingly high traffic is quite inspirational. There is a lot of solid wisdom for anyone involved in maintaining web applications on the internet. If you are designing or improving a public collaborative web application and want to be able to scale to massive traffic, this book is an important addition to your bookshelf. If you are curious about the growth and internals of Slashdot, it's worth a read. If you want a theoretical discussion, code listings, or product comparisons, look elsewhere.