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Re: planet.debian.org is RC buggy (?)

On Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 01:39:06PM +0100, Frank Lin PIAT wrote:
> planet.d.o has became one of the most visible media for Debian, if not
> the most visible one. Do you think it is a good thing?

Our Planet, like any other Planet out there, is just what it is: an
aggregator of individual blogs. People which are familiar with that
should know that it is by no means representative of official position
of the project and that each blog post expresses the opinion of its
author, nothing more. People that don't know the planet communication
media, well, we shouldn't really do much about them, that's just life.

I've no idea how you can establish that it is one of our most visible
media (yes, I've read your other post with data, but they are not
terribly convincing for me), but _if_ this were true, the answer would
surely be communicate a bit more some of our updates on the official
announcement lists. In fact, of the data you've given, it is
interestingly to note that even if subscriptions have stalled for many
lists, the volume of mails (i.e. the use we make of the media) has gone

It might be interesting to experiment with stuff like an official Debian
blog, but as a matter of fact initiatives like news.debian.net started
by Ana are already very good substitute for that.

> DFSG / rc-buggy
> ¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨
> I consider blogs as non-free, proprietary material (a very few have a
> proper license, the "distribution" media s*cks anyway).
> Breaks DFSG #1: A document (HowTo...) published on planet can't be
> distributed in Debian main. Is this a problem?
> Breaks DFSG #3: Derived work aren't allowed. In the few case where it is
> legally possible, it is difficult to merge and publish the updated
> version. Is this a problem?
> Breaks DFSG #2: No source for stuffs like charts and graphs (HTML is a
> valid source here). Is this a problem?

Bah, these are not necessarily true: every blog post clearly reference
its origin via URL. Then a Planet might be considered just a collection
of material where each contained item is still under its original
license (licenses for collections and/or database can be significantly
different than the software licenses we're used to), which is the one
chosen by its author. All my posts for instance are CC-BY-SA 3.0.

But again, a planet is just what it is, it is kind of pointless to go
spotting these kinds of problems, which will still be there if the blogs
were individual and non-aggregated. I presume that if you have a problem
in distributing an HOWTO found on some blog due to licensing problem,
you will be seeking how to have it licensed differently the day you want
to include it in one of our packages. What difference does it make
having it on the Planet?

> Opacity
> ¨¨¨¨¨¨¨
> Replying to a blog entry is very difficult. The replies and the original
> posted aren't available side-by-side. The comments aren't available on
> Debian planet (a kind of censorship). Actually, some blog even forbid
> comments! Is this a problem?

No, it is not a problem, because Planet is not one of our collaboration
media, we have mailing lists for that. (Of course it is a problem when
someone posts on planet _thinking_ that it is like posting on -devel,
but it seems to me that over years we've developed a healthy peer
pressure to avoid this.)

> The content isn't archived. Is this a problem? a feature?

I wouldn't call this a "problem", but I agree it would be nice to have
it archived. As we can't probably simply archive the content, we can
archive the links to all syndicated posts and create a master index of
them. It seems to be relatively easy and even quite independent from the
aggregation software, how about implementing that? :-)

> Community
> ¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨¨
> Do you think Debian Planet reflects the fact that Debian is a community
> where people collaborate? Do you think planet encourage collaboration?
> Do you think Debian Planet reflects the fact that Debian encourages to
> constitute teams? Do you think planet encourage that?

I don't think that any of the above are purposes of a Planet. The
purpose of a Planet is to show that a specific community of bloggers is
lively and thrilling on a specific topic. To that end our Planet works
quite well. For collaboration, we've different medias.

> Fame
> ¨¨¨¨
> Do you see a shift in recognizing people for their communication skill
> (and/or committed time to communicate), rather that their actual work?

That's life, it will happen in any media you offer to people to
communicate. This looks like a more sociological question than something
specific to planet.d.o (or to DPL campaigning, FWIW :-)).


> P.S. Kudos for people behind "Debian News" (Ana Guerrero).


Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Dietro un grande uomo c'è ..|  .  |. Et ne m'en veux pas si je te tutoie
sempre uno zaino ...........| ..: |.... Je dis tu à tous ceux que j'aime

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