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1 GLEP: 30
2 Title: "Planet Gentoo" web log aggregator
3 Version: $Revision: 1.1 $
4 Last-Modified: $Date: 2004/10/26 00:18:41 $
5 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 Post-History: 25-Oct-2004
11
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 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 Specification
55 =============
56
57 The proposed design is an installation of `Planetplanet`_ at a part of the
58 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 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 A group of people would be assigned the responsibility/CVS access to maintain
82 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
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 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
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 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 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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