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1 GLEP: 30
2 Title: "Planet Gentoo" web log aggregator
3 Version: $Revision: 1.4 $
4 Last-Modified: $Date: 2005/03/11 14:18:17 $
5 Author: Daniel Drake <dsd@gentoo.org>
6 Status: Final
7 Type: Standards Track
8 Content-Type: text/x-rst
9 Created: 24-Oct-2004
10 Post-History: 25-Oct-2004, 10-Nov-2004, 11-Mar-2005
12 Status
13 ======
15 The new `Planet Gentoo`_ came online 10-Mar-2005, so this GLEP is now Final.
17 .. _Planet Gentoo: http://planet.gentoo.org/
20 Credits
21 =======
22 - `Stuart Herbert`_ for the original idea
23 - `Alexander Plank`_ who also has put effort into promoting this
25 Abstract
26 ========
28 This GLEP proposes the creation of "Planet Gentoo", a new section of the
29 gentoo.org website. It would aggregate weblogs (commonly known as "blogs")
30 written by contributing Gentoo developers onto this single page, available to
31 the public. I will refer to this new website section as "the planet" in this
32 GLEP.
33 We would also provide an installation of a weblog engine for developers that
34 do not currently have their own weblog.
36 Motivation
37 ==========
39 I'm trying to reduce the gap between the Gentoo user and development
40 communities.
42 Many large open source projects and software distributors have their own
43 Planet where contributors weblogs are aggregated. See the `Planetplanet`_
44 homepage for a complete listing. These other aggregations appear to be
45 successful and bring their relevant communities together.
47 These aggregations are often quite interesting to read, since they contain a
48 variation of topics, not all of which are related to the project.
50 The planet would add another method of user interaction with developers, as
51 most weblogs allow readers to post comments.
53 Readers would get more interested in the Gentoo project, and would get a feel
54 for the personalities of the contributing developers. Although I am not
55 suggesting this should be used as an announcement tool, developers could also
56 use this to get general messages over to the user community.
58 This would also benefit our development, as developers would also be able to
59 keep track of what other developers are working on and promote more
60 collaboration amongst each other.
62 Specification
63 =============
65 The proposed design is an installation of `Planetplanet`_ at a part of the
66 gentoo.org infrastructure, e.g. http://planet.gentoo.org
68 We would also provide an installation of `Wordpress`_ or a similar weblogging
69 engine, for developers that do not have their own weblog or would wish to
70 move their log to an official Gentoo hosted website. This could be provided
71 at (e.g.) http://weblogs.gentoo.org
73 Rationale
74 =========
76 `Planetplanet`_ is simply a weblog aggregator written in python. It is
77 executed as a cronjob and fetches content from all the weblogs it has been
78 asked to, postprocesses and aggregates them into a single html file (based on
79 a template), and outputs that html content to an area provided by a webserver.
80 This should allow for ease of integration with any existing infrastructure.
82 Planetplanet is configurable through a single configuration file, which lists
83 the log feed URL, real name and user name for each contributing developer.
85 `Wordpress`_ is a weblogging engine written in PHP. It relies on MySQL for
86 the data store. After the initial setup, all configuration is done through a
87 web-based interface.
89 A group of people would be assigned the responsibility/CVS access to maintain
90 these two services. I would suggest the existing infrastructure team to have
91 this responsibility. If required, I will assist with the initial
92 configuration.
94 The planetplanet installation would fetch and aggregate developers weblogs
95 only, we would not accept non-developer logs.
97 Developers do not have to host their weblogs with us, practically all blogging
98 packages provide an XML feed (typically RSS) which planetplanet will happily
99 fetch and process. Other feed formats are also accepted, examine the
100 planetplanet documentation for more info.
101 In the event of a contributing Gentoo developer leaving the project, their log
102 would be removed from the aggregation. If their log was hosted by ourselves,
103 it would be closed. For this reason, some developers may choose to host their
104 log elsewhere - this is not a problem and is left to the decision of the
105 individual developers.
107 It is true that the addition of the planet to our website collection would add
108 yet another source of Gentoo information to our collection; our users and
109 developers are already overwhelmed with IRC, mailing lists, forums, and the
110 central website. In contrast, a lot of information is currently replicated
111 over those mediums, but the planet would provide a taste of something new.
112 Developers can choose their own topics and are free to write about things that
113 perhaps would not fit into our existing communication mediums. Additionally,
114 the planet will attempt to bring some existing content together by linking to
115 recent commits, bug lists, and dev.gentoo.org webspace for each contributing
116 developer.
118 It has been suggested that the activity of the planet may be an issue:
119 although a lot of activity would make the planet very successful, it may look
120 bad on us as a whole if the planet is inactive.
122 `Alexander Plank`_ started a `gentoo-dev discussion`_ back in August regarding
123 this exact idea. Alexander set up a `Planet Gentoo mini-survey`_ to see which
124 developers have weblogs or would be interested in obtaining one to be
125 aggregated on the planet. At the time of writing, the survey yielded a list
126 of 21 interested developers.
128 Looking at the other planets available, a contributor count like this would be
129 more than enough to keep the planet active and interesting. Through my
130 experiments of finding developers existing weblogs through google and
131 aggregating them on my local Planetplanet installation, I have come to the
132 conclusion that just a small quantity of active weblogs is enough to keep the
133 planet going strongly.
135 I also note that the list of 21 interested developers was built up over a
136 short space of time, and it was only mentioned once in a rather large thread
137 on the gentoo-dev mailing list. I predict that given more publicity amongst
138 the developers, this idea would be even more popular. I also predict that if
139 such a planet were to go live, other developers would be motivated to join in,
140 and new developers joining the project would be keen on contributing.
142 The success of the planet will be evaluated by examining the number of hits to
143 the planet. 3 months after launch, one weeks worth of logs will be recorded,
144 and hits will be counted. If the hit count for that week is below 1000, the
145 planet will be deemed as not having met its target, and appropriate action can
146 be taken if the planet appears to be harming our image.
148 Backwards Compatibility
149 =======================
151 No issues.
153 Reference Implementation
154 ========================
156 See `Bug 63160`_ for a template file mimicking the current gentoo.org design
157 plus a sample config file.
159 References
160 ==========
162 .. _Stuart Herbert: stuart@gentoo.org
164 .. _Alexander Plank: alexander@gentoo.org
166 .. _Planetplanet: http://www.planetplanet.org
168 .. _Wordpress: http://packages.gentoo.org/package/wordpress
170 .. _gentoo-dev discussion: http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/20480
172 .. _Planet Gentoo mini-survey: http://penguincluster.com/cgi-bin/wiki.pl/BlogInterest
174 .. _Bug 63160: http://bugs.gentoo.org/63160
177 Copyright
178 =========
180 This document has been placed in the public domain.

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