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1 g2boojum 1.1 GLEP: 30
2     Title: "Planet Gentoo" web log aggregator
3 g2boojum 1.3 Version: $Revision: 1.2 $
4     Last-Modified: $Date: 2004/11/10 16:14:15 $
5 g2boojum 1.1 Author: Daniel Drake <dsd@gentoo.org>
6     Status: Draft
7     Type: Standards Track
8     Content-Type: text/x-rst
9     Created: 24-Oct-2004
10 g2boojum 1.3 Post-History: 25-Oct-2004, 10-Nov-2004
11 g2boojum 1.1
12     Credits
13     =======
14     - `Stuart Herbert`_ for the original idea
15     - `Alexander Plank`_ who also has put effort into promoting this
16    
17     Abstract
18     ========
19    
20     This GLEP proposes the creation of "Planet Gentoo", a new section of the
21     gentoo.org website. It would aggregate weblogs (commonly known as "blogs")
22     written by contributing Gentoo developers onto this single page, available to
23     the public. I will refer to this new website section as "the planet" in this
24     GLEP.
25     We would also provide an installation of a weblog engine for developers that
26     do not currently have their own weblog.
27    
28     Motivation
29     ==========
30    
31     I'm trying to reduce the gap between the Gentoo user and development
32     communities.
33    
34     Many large open source projects and software distributors have their own
35     Planet where contributors weblogs are aggregated. See the `Planetplanet`_
36     homepage for a complete listing. These other aggregations appear to be
37     successful and bring their relevant communities together.
38    
39     These aggregations are often quite interesting to read, since they contain a
40     variation of topics, not all of which are related to the project.
41    
42     The planet would add another method of user interaction with developers, as
43     most weblogs allow readers to post comments.
44    
45     Readers would get more interested in the Gentoo project, and would get a feel
46     for the personalities of the contributing developers. Although I am not
47     suggesting this should be used as an announcement tool, developers could also
48     use this to get general messages over to the user community.
49    
50 g2boojum 1.2 This would also benefit our development, as developers would also be able to
51     keep track of what other developers are working on and promote more
52     collaboration amongst each other.
53    
54 g2boojum 1.1 Specification
55     =============
56    
57 g2boojum 1.2 The proposed design is an installation of `Planetplanet`_ at a part of the
58 g2boojum 1.1 gentoo.org infrastructure, e.g. http://planet.gentoo.org
59    
60     We would also provide an installation of `Wordpress`_ or a similar weblogging
61     engine, for developers that do not have their own weblog or would wish to
62     move their log to an official Gentoo hosted website. This could be provided
63     at (e.g.) http://weblogs.gentoo.org
64    
65     Rationale
66     =========
67    
68     `Planetplanet`_ is simply a weblog aggregator written in python. It is
69     executed as a cronjob and fetches content from all the weblogs it has been
70     asked to, postprocesses and aggregates them into a single html file (based on
71     a template), and outputs that html content to an area provided by a webserver.
72     This should allow for ease of integration with any existing infrastructure.
73    
74 g2boojum 1.2 Planetplanet is configurable through a single configuration file, which lists
75     the log feed URL, real name and user name for each contributing developer.
76    
77     `Wordpress`_ is a weblogging engine written in PHP. It relies on MySQL for
78     the data store. After the initial setup, all configuration is done through a
79     web-based interface.
80    
81 g2boojum 1.1 A group of people would be assigned the responsibility/CVS access to maintain
82 g2boojum 1.2 these two services. I would suggest the existing infrastructure team to have
83     this responsibility. If required, I will assist with the initial
84     configuration.
85 g2boojum 1.1
86     The planetplanet installation would fetch and aggregate developers weblogs
87     only, we would not accept non-developer logs.
88    
89     Developers do not have to host their weblogs with us, practically all blogging
90     packages provide an XML feed (typically RSS) which planetplanet will happily
91     fetch and process. Other feed formats are also accepted, examine the
92     planetplanet documentation for more info.
93 g2boojum 1.2 In the event of a contributing Gentoo developer leaving the project, their log
94     would be removed from the aggregation. If their log was hosted by ourselves,
95     it would be closed. For this reason, some developers may choose to host their
96     log elsewhere - this is not a problem and is left to the decision of the
97     individual developers.
98    
99     It is true that the addition of the planet to our website collection would add
100     yet another source of Gentoo information to our collection; our users and
101     developers are already overwhelmed with IRC, mailing lists, forums, and the
102     central website. In contrast, a lot of information is currently replicated
103     over those mediums, but the planet would provide a taste of something new.
104     Developers can choose their own topics and are free to write about things that
105     perhaps would not fit into our existing communication mediums. Additionally,
106     the planet will attempt to bring some existing content together by linking to
107     recent commits, bug lists, and dev.gentoo.org webspace for each contributing
108     developer.
109 g2boojum 1.1
110     It has been suggested that the activity of the planet may be an issue:
111     although a lot of activity would make the planet very successful, it may look
112     bad on us as a whole if the planet is inactive.
113    
114     `Alexander Plank`_ started a `gentoo-dev discussion`_ back in August regarding
115     this exact idea. Alexander set up a `Planet Gentoo mini-survey`_ to see which
116     developers have weblogs or would be interested in obtaining one to be
117     aggregated on the planet. At the time of writing, the survey yielded a list
118     of 21 interested developers.
119    
120     Looking at the other planets available, a contributor count like this would be
121     more than enough to keep the planet active and interesting. Through my
122     experiments of finding developers existing weblogs through google and
123     aggregating them on my local Planetplanet installation, I have come to the
124     conclusion that just a small quantity of active weblogs is enough to keep the
125     planet going strongly.
126    
127     I also note that the list of 21 interested developers was built up over a
128     short space of time, and it was only mentioned once in a rather large thread
129     on the gentoo-dev mailing list. I predict that given more publicity amongst
130     the developers, this idea would be even more popular. I also predict that if
131     such a planet were to go live, other developers would be motivated to join in,
132     and new developers joining the project would be keen on contributing.
133    
134 g2boojum 1.2 The success of the planet will be evaluated by examining the number of hits to
135     the planet. 3 months after launch, one weeks worth of logs will be recorded,
136     and hits will be counted. If the hit count for that week is below 1000, the
137     planet will be deemed as not having met its target, and appropriate action can
138     be taken if the planet appears to be harming our image.
139    
140 g2boojum 1.1 Backwards Compatibility
141     =======================
142    
143     No issues.
144    
145     Reference Implementation
146     ========================
147    
148     See `Bug 63160`_ for a template file mimicking the current gentoo.org design
149     plus a sample config file.
150    
151     References
152     ==========
153    
154     .. _Stuart Herbert: stuart@gentoo.org
155    
156     .. _Alexander Plank: alexander@gentoo.org
157    
158     .. _Planetplanet: http://www.planetplanet.org
159    
160     .. _Wordpress: http://packages.gentoo.org/search/?sstring=wordpress
161    
162     .. _gentoo-dev discussion: http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/20480
163    
164     .. _Planet Gentoo mini-survey: http://penguincluster.com/cgi-bin/wiki.pl/BlogInterest
165    
166     .. _Bug 63160: http://bugs.gentoo.org/63160
167    
168    
169     Copyright
170     =========
171    
172     This document has been placed in the public domain.

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