AvantSlash allows you to read Slashdot on a Windows Mobile, iPhone, Blackberry, Smartphone or Palm based device (either online using a web-browser or offline using an application such as AvantGo) or from an older WAP enabled mobile phone.

You could use the Slashdot website but you'll find that, due to the sheer mass of links and non-essential content, navigation will be painfully slow and (if you're using an offline browser) your limit will be reached pretty quickly.

Alternatively, you could use the dedicated Palm version of Slashdot but it has a number of problems. Here is what Scott Tringali had to say about it on kuro5hin:

First of all, this is a great example of how not to write a Palm version of the site, and here's why. Offline readers depend on "link-depth" to traverse a site. However, their Palm version breaks each story into a random number of small chunks. So, you can't just page-down to read a long story or a bunch of comments- you have to click on lots and lots of links. A real pain. Lots of small links makes sense on a slow online connection, but it's awful when you have more bandwidth available, as your desktop PC or an offline browser.

Additionally, it's restricted to 10 comments, not a threshold. That's boring. I'm sitting here in Jiffy Lube picking my nose, I wanna read some funny trolls and flamewars!

Finally, using /. in "light" mode doesn't work either. There are too many useless links on the front page. I don't care about the advertising or the FAQ or all the other stuff: I want the stories and the comments. Basically, the readers I use so far have no way to "prune" sections of the tree you don't care about. This causes the site to be gigantic and not fit into the paltry 8MB of your typical handheld, or, it fits, but it so big as to detract from its usefulness.

Finally, someone did the right thing: AvantSlash takes the page, filters out all the crap you don't care about, and doesn't break it up into a thousand chunks so it's readable.

Here is what Bernd Sieker on the Plucker mailing list said:

I'm not the original poster, but this [http://slashdot.org/palm] is _not_ really useful. Why in the world is there not one big index with, say, 20 or 50 entries, instead of several small index pages. This totally breaks the concept of having a maxdepth. You get all the articles from the first page, only the /. abstract on the second, and on the third page no links at all are followed.

AvantSlash addresses all these issues and throws in a number of additional features for good measure.


There a two screen shots available which show AvantSlash running on an iPhone 4 (iOS 5).

Known issues

  1. On Android phones the browser thinks that the date of a post or story is a phone number and incorrectly invokes the dialer if you tap on it. This problem doesn't exist on the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.


AvantSlash is distributed under the GNU GPL. In short, this means you get the code absolutely free. In addition you can freely make modifications to that code and redistribute it, as long as you use the same licence. For more details about the GNU GPL see the Frequently Asked Questions.


In order to use AvantSlash you need the following:

A small amount of Perl knowledge would be useful, but it is not essential.