features -- (from README)

    the Karma System - Advanced Bulletin Board Software.

- introduction -- +

    the Karma System is the single most simplistically
    complex piece of bulletin board software ever known to
    humble man.

    the power that lies within allows the Operator to not
    only customize, but to completely and utterly alter the
    appearance and functionality that is presented to the
    User. this is because, simply put, Karma is not so much
    "Open Source" as she is "Liquid Source". what this means
    for you is that your bulletin board can become an
    extension of your body and mind. such as is the case
    with say, a weapon of mass destruction. the only
    difference being that, with Karma, there is love to be

    and remember, what comes around goes around;

    the Karma System is good for your soul.

- overview -- +

    karma is based on many unix priciples. however, karma
    duplicates and extends on several services in order to
    avoid 'taking over' the host system. put more simply;
    Karma won't grow roots.

    the following is a loose list of features for this

  { general features }

    + terminal independence
        this means that karma can be accessed with any
        terminal which has an entry in your system's
        termcap/terminfo database, it also adds a great deal
        of flexibility to the bbs.

    + portability
        this is one of the best aspects of karma. it should
        run on any system that perl and its supporting
        modules can. ( the second karma alpha pod is running
        on an IBM risc/6000 under AIX )

    + distribution
        karma's architecture allows for the massive
        distribution of various services. this makes
        available a world of scalability, load balancing and
        the like.

        systems sharing the same bbs are called 'shadows';
        logging into any one shadow is indistinguishable
        from logging into the 'real thing'. think of it as a

        systems belonging to the karma support network are
        called pods.

        individual bbs entities are just called bbs's ;-)
        bbs's may share certain aspects, such as sig's
        (special interest groups), file bases, and

    + multiple simultaneous sessions
        each user can log in to an Operator controlled
        number of nodes simultaneously. this gives karma
        bbs's the same functionality as Hotline type
        services. in that, a user can read news, download
        files, and chat all at the same time.

    + extensibility
        from its inception karma has been designed to be the
        ultimate incarnation of bbs flexibility. this means
        that every aspect and behavior of the bbs can be
        changed, and in most cases in real time. any changes
        beyond that will take effect the next time a user
        logs on. karma will continue to grow as does perl
        (its host language ).

    + security
        karma NEVER RUNS AS ROOT, and is therefore quite
        secure. there are also many security provisions to
        prevent malicious users from damaging the bbs.

        karma is very secure!

    + open structure
        karma keeps all information in clean, plane, simple
        text files. making it possible to write utilities
        easily in any language.

  { release specific features }

    + very few restrictions on the size/amount of anything
        this includes, number of users, post, and files.

    + advanced arrow-key menus
        personally, I can't stand the things, but some
        people on the team felt they should be included. we
        think they're the best implementation out there!!

    + tabbed input forms
        karma provides many options for getting textual
        input from its users. some worthy of mention

        + single line, scrolling
        + single line, password masking
        + multi line, h scrolling and v scrolling
        + single character
        these types may be combined in any order and
        contained within a Form.

    + display objects/widgets
        karma also provides a growing collection of textual
        output objects, currently the most common include:

        + scrolling area
        + progress indicator
    + nntp and spool based messaging
        nntp is the default message base type, we suggest
        that all boards run a news daemon and configure
        karma to access that. this daemon can then be
        connected to the hosts of other karma systems,
        thereby exploiting the power of Usenet for network
        dissemination. there are also many packages out
        there for bridging nntp and fidonet, if ftn's are
        your fancy.

        optionally, an operator can choose the spool type of
        message base, in which the correspondence will only
        be stored locally ( but still accessible to shadows

    + inter bbs teleconferencing!!!
        I told the kdc team that I wouldn't let karma out
        the door without a fully networked chat system. the
        reason being, that we need to make more of an effort
        to brink the shrinking bbs community closer
        together, yet still remain as individuals.

        see the ktalkd ( karma talk daemon ) documentation
        for more specific information.

    + internet email
        karma has the ability to provide both incoming and
        outgoing email access it's users ( using the
        associated unix tools )

    + unix overlay file bases
        the way karma stores uploads is intended to make for
        the seamless integration with other file based
        services such as ftp / sftp / napster / whatnot. (
        file bases may also be explicitly shared by multiple
        bbs's, and are implicitly shared by all shadows. )

    + announcements / wall / one-liners
        all of the above at basically the same thing, and
        karma has them! quit nice, we think.

    + group and personal journals / diaries
        we are developers, and we use karma. hence we also
        use karma to develop karma! as well as all of our
        other projects.

        in karma's journal system users in the same group
        can read each others public diary entries. this is
        perfect for personal notes, changelog entries, and
        various things of that nature. in practice, I think
        we communicate more using this feature than with the
        post office!

    + statistical graphs.
        one of my favorite memories of being a Sysop back in
        the old days was digging through all the user
        information an building charts based on the
        statistics. that is still something I enjoy, so
        karma comes with lots of tools to automate the

    + the power of perl!!!
        karma is hosted by one of the most popular text
        manipulation languages to date. having perl at your
        hand can condense even the most complex operations
        into just a few lines of code.

        most bbs software ends up creating its own little
        scripting / layout language anyway, so we at the kdc
        decided to leave the language development up to
        Larry Wall and his army of perl lovers, letting us
        focus on what's important; making an awesome
        bulletin board.

        keep in mind, we've seen the other bbs software out
        there that is written in perl. although good
        intentioned, the authors of this software don't seem
        to grasp the entire scope of what a bbs should
        provide, and how to apply their knowledge of
        perl/cgi programming to the bbs paradigm. we hope
        that they will be inspired by our work just as much
        as we have been by theirs, and maybe even jump in
        the pool and contribute to the karma cause!


- theory -- +

    when data is compressed, when ideas are crunched and
    forced into the time it takes to download 25 lines over
    a 300bps modem,

    the mind is reborn.

    suddenly, but not surprisingly, these thoughts take on
    new shape; a depth that could not be reached any other

     "into electric attitude, I extrude my world to you".
     as this dim, green text dances its way across my terminal,
     I read it and think.. think of all the things that could
     be so sweet, if only they had the chance.

    this world inside the machine seems so perfect; so
    perfect because it is whatever you wish it to be.
    sometimes it can even be everything.

    most of us grew up in this world. friends, enemies,
    lovers; they all shared some strange attraction to the
    unknown, to the dial tone. to the machine that waits on
    the other end, the one that would do anything to please
    you, to keep you coming back. it is our wish to share
    this, forever. in this ever changing world, one thing
    should stay the same.

    there should always be a place for us.


- membership -- +

    we urge one and all Karma operators to join the mailing
    list. there are always updates, tips, tricks, and bits
    of vital information within. you can either join
    privately, or add the list to your Karma archives.

    In fact, if you love Karma as much as we do, why not
    become a developer?