Planet Mozilla has grown to become a major resource for the Mozilla
community and "the social face of the Mozilla community". Like other
community resources, it should have a more formal, if still lightweight,
management policy, and changes to Planet Mozilla should be more
transparent. Additionally, Planet Mozilla should not depend on a single
Tor has stepped down as the Planet Mozilla admin and it will now become
a formal Mozilla module with a new Module Owner and a set of Module Peers.
Additionally, Planet Mozilla will be managed as transparently as
possible and will have a published administration policy. Below is a
draft of the policy for Planet Mozilla administration.
1. All active Mozilla community members, as determined
by the Module Owner and Module Peers, are eligible for
inclusion at Planet Mozilla.
2. Changes to Planet Mozilla will only be made by the
Planet Mozilla Owner and Peers.
3. Community member blog feeds will not be censored or filtered.
4. Blog owners will be notified before changes are made to their feed
at Planet Mozilla.
5. All changes made to Planet Mozilla will be announced at the Planet
Mozilla Admin blog (to be created).
The initial list of Planet Mozilla Module Peers is: Asa Dotzler, Robert
Accettura, Deb Richardson, and Paul Reed.
Which of these folks is going to be the new module owner?
TBD. I've offered and I'm happy to take it if there are no objections
(or others who want it badly.)
This one feels a bit restrictive to me, though I don't have a good
Should we encourage or at least mention the possibility of
Axel, I think that one of the early features we should add to Planet
Mozilla is a secondary feed that does filter out non-Mozilla posts. (I'd
rather not get into a bunch of feature requests here, though.)
That should solve the problem for people who don't care about
non-Mozilla stuff. I don't think we should encourage people to submit
mozilla-only feeds to Planet Mozilla. We might even want to contact
those that have and see if they'd like their full feed syndicated at
> This one feels a bit restrictive to me, though I don't have a good
> Should we encourage or at least mention the possibility of
> mozilla-specific feeds?
We should also investigate to see (a newer version of planet) handles
passing tags through, so people can filter the planet feed in their own
feed reader based on a set of tags they care about.
It may make sense to also publish a set of "well known tags" that so
that people can help others by tagging their posts appropriately.
For instance, I use "blahblahblah" as a tag for non-moz stuff, but
that's probably not as useful as... "non-moz" or some such. ;-)
I believe this wording, given alone, is overreaction to recent events, and I propose the following alternate, expanded version:
3. Community member blog feeds will not be censored or filtered.
All members, especially those members whose posts "regularly"
cover topics not of interest to the Mozilla community, may
choose to submit Mozilla-specific feeds but are not required
to do so. (Planet maintainers may require a Mozilla-specific
feed in specific instances when they deem it necessary.)
Members who do choose to syndicate non-Mozilla posts are
encouraged to use "below-the-fold" mechanisms or links to
full posts when reasonably long non-Mozilla posts are made.
As an additional request, could we require people syndicate the full contents of their posts? Having to click a link to view pink's posts was an amazing disincentive to getting me to read them. :-) It's not that I didn't find them interesting when I had, but when I'm nestled away in my Google Reader environment, clicking a link to view a post is for me a jarring change from being able to read a stream of posts to a planet in Reader itself.
For comparison, I don't remember a single person in any of the other planets I've seen making a post which was truncated in the feed (and not done as a below-the-fold mechanism).
I'm not sure about that bit in the brackets. It would certainly need
criteria if you did that.
> Members who do choose to syndicate non-Mozilla posts are
> encouraged to use "below-the-fold" mechanisms or links to
> full posts when reasonably long non-Mozilla posts are made.
> As an additional request, could we require people syndicate the full
> contents of their posts? Having to click a link to view pink's posts
> was an amazing disincentive to getting me to read them. :-)
I'd agree with that, actually. It's noticeable how much less I read all
pink has to say these days :-)
This is the sort of undefined hedging that got us into trouble in the first
I think that we should begin with the "let's see what happens" style of
policy regarding what content is or isn't allowable on planet.mo and and
begin with something along the lines of: "If your blog is welcome on
planet.mo, you are welcome to syndicate whatever content you like. If you
chose to self-filter by syndicating only a particular category of posts, you
are welcome to do so. No filtering will be done at our end."
Later on, if it turns out to be necessary, I'm fairly certain we can solve
this problem with technology (secondary filtered feeds? a second, more
restricted planet? etc) rather than by being exclusionary or having to make
uncomfortable judgment calls.
Personally, so long as there is only a single planet.mo with a single feed,
I will continue syndicating only Mozilla-specific content for a variety of
reasons. If folks are interested in reading my full feed, they know how to
find it :)
I do agree with encouraging full-text feeds, but I'm not sure that's the
sort of thing I want to make a requirement.
Why not? I think it's valuable to have a service that is primarily
focused on Mozilla-related topics. I'm *not* advocating banning
non-Mozilla posts or forcing people to use particular tags in order for
their posts to get through. I'd simply like to have a Mozilla-oriented
planet service, and I see no reason why we wouldn't want to encourage
people to voluntarily cooperate in that goal.
I like this suggestion.
> The upside of this is:
> 1. planet.m.o stays mozilla only, as some seem to expect. Also good
> for other bloggers or media who want to follow serious development posts
This is a good point. IMO planet.mozilla.org serves two distinct
purposes: It's a way to build community within the Mozilla project, and
also a way for people outside the project to keep up with
Mozilla-related activities. In the former case I think non-Mozilla posts
(e.g., on personal topics or whatever) are useful and worth preserving.
In the latter case I think the focus should be on Mozilla-related
topics, and people should be able to subscribe to a feed that will give
them just Mozilla-related posts, without their having to do their own
filtering or skipping of posts.
> On a sidenote, a big thanks to Tor for handling planet for all this time.
If we want a Mozilla-oriented service, we can accomplish that with some
The argument for not asking people to offer mozilla-only feeds is that
all of us working on Mozilla are more than just Mozilla robots. We're
real people blogging as real people. Planet can be more than a "company
blog". It can be about the people that make Mozilla and I think that's
often as or more interesting than just Mozilla itself.
I didn't think it was expressed as "encouragement", rather making sure people knew the choice was theirs. I frequently blog on unrelated topics, and choose to not send those to planet because, well, I don't think it's important and don't want a kajillion planet readers to know I swear loudly in traffic. :)
I really like the idea of planet.mozilla.org and mozonlyplanet.mozilla.org (or whatever we'd call that) as suggested by justdave, roc and others. Let the reader decide, and ask the author to submit two feeds and take the time to figure out if their content is mozilla-relevant (which might mean "I had a baby so I'm afk for a while", too!) or not.
That's fine, but again, why not request (*not* mandate) that people
being syndicated on p.m.o do at least part of the filtering work
themselves, whether by maintaining Mozilla-only feeds, tagging posts, or
whatever? If someone can't or doesn't want to do that, fine, that's
their personal choice and we can respect that.
> The argument for not asking people to offer mozilla-only feeds is that
> all of us working on Mozilla are more than just Mozilla robots. We're
> real people blogging as real people. Planet can be more than a "company
> blog". It can be about the people that make Mozilla and I think that's
> often as or more interesting than just Mozilla itself.
I agree 100%, and that's why I favor having some form of p.m.o that
offers full feeds from Mozilla community members, not restricted in any
way as to topic; it can even be the main feed displayed on the p.m.o
front page. However at the same time I believe that p.m.o serves a
second purpose as a source of Mozilla news for people who don't
participate (and may not be interested) in the Mozilla community proper,
and for those people I think we should offer a Mozilla-focused service.
Firstly, I think having two planets (or at least two feeds) is a very
good idea. This all started, essentially, because some people enjoy
reading non-mozilla content, and some do not. Furthermore, having a feed
with very high signal (at least in the eyes of someone following the
project from outside the community) would be an excellent resource to
point people at: "For news and updates on the progress of Mozilla, check
Assuming two planets, one on-topic to Mozilla and the other not:
I don't think we should *require* people to submit full-blog feeds to
the more general planet. I think it should be up to the blog author to
a) read the goal/focus of the planet in question and b) chose the
appropriate set of blog posts to syndicate and then c) get approval from
the module owner and/or peers.
In the vast majority of cases I think people will chose to submit
full-blog feeds to the general planet. However, everyone's blog is
different, and if we're trying to avoid another policy/reality impedance
mismatch, we should try to allow for a lot of flexibility.
Hence my thinking a 2nd planet is a better long term fix, to give
everyone what they want.
>> The argument for not asking people to offer mozilla-only feeds is
>> that all of us working on Mozilla are more than just Mozilla robots.
>> We're real people blogging as real people. Planet can be more than a
>> "company blog". It can be about the people that make Mozilla and I
>> think that's often as or more interesting than just Mozilla itself.
110% agree. I said earlier in bugzilla I subscribe by hand to
everyone's feeds. It's more effort on my part (a pain in the butt
actually, since people get added), but I still do it.
> Firstly, I think having two planets (or at least two feeds) is a very
> good idea. This all started, essentially, because some people enjoy
> reading non-mozilla content, and some do not. Furthermore, having a
> feed with very high signal (at least in the eyes of someone following
> the project from outside the community) would be an excellent resource
> to point people at: "For news and updates on the progress of Mozilla,
> check out <URL>."
Easier URL structure, and I think it would solve most problems. By
feed, by web you can get what you want.
> Assuming two planets, one on-topic to Mozilla and the other not:
> I don't think we should *require* people to submit full-blog feeds to
> the more general planet. I think it should be up to the blog author to
> a) read the goal/focus of the planet in question and b) chose the
> appropriate set of blog posts to syndicate and then c) get approval
> from the module owner and/or peers.
I don't think everyone will be able to submit full feeds. There are
cases where it just may not happen. Not everyone self-hosts on a
platform that has such an option. IIRC there are older versions of some
blogging systems that do only offer part text.
Perhaps for mozilla-planet, you'd need to be majority mozilla, or give
us a feed for a mozilla category. "Mozilla" being somewhat broad. From
Firefox development, to MozDev project discussions to web standards,
office happenings, etc. would likely be fine. This wouldn't mean
"Firefox only" by any stretch of the imagination. Just no posts about
belly button lint.
> In the vast majority of cases I think people will chose to submit
> full-blog feeds to the general planet. However, everyone's blog is
> different, and if we're trying to avoid another policy/reality
> impedance mismatch, we should try to allow for a lot of flexibility.
For the record, it's great to see so much discussion about what was
originally somewhat of a small thing in the community. It says two
things in my mind:
1. Blogging has a very positive impact in development, and is very well
regarded by all readers, and participants.
2. People get a much better understanding for the "behind the scenes"
and "when not behind the computer" in developers lives.
3. People really enjoy it. I know I do.
All of which is IMHO awesome. Just shows that blogging does have it's
place in business, industry, in addition to politics and personal life
(which is what the media likes to focus on).
I like the idea of keeping the content focused. Not by coercion, rather
by encouragement and perhaps 'suggested guidelines'. The only way to
practically achieve this however, is with separate feeds.
www.mozdev.org - free project hosting for the Mozilla community
I'd like Asa Dotzler removed from that list.
What goes onto the Planet feed is an important judgment call, and I
think Asa makes poor such decisions (his decisions too often seem based
on vanity and favoritism).
I will gladly take this to private e-mail for elaboration, if this sort
of discussion is considered "too personal". I just think that Asa is a
poor choice for certain areas of responsibility (like this one).
Full disclosure & tipping point for me: Asa removed my bug editing
privilege (in 2004) *shortly* after he (threateningly) demanded (without
prior warning) that I stop posting in his blog (I was being critical of
some of his statements, but IMO definitely not "snide") (he also deleted
all of my posts). Yes it was his "right" to do so, and that is why
*judgment* is so important when giving people power over others. I have
observed Asa's lack of judgment/objectivity elsewhere before and after,
but being subjected to it personally was a big blow (and eye opener).
Without trying to address whether such an action was warranted, I
think that something that happened in 2004 shouldn't be the basis for
whether someone currently exercises the appropriate judgement. If
you're going to publicly attack someone, demonstrating something
currently relevant and reviewable is vastly better than citing what
would currently be a "he said, he said" discussion, since there's
unlikely to be any reasonable way of reviewing the action and rationale.
Asa has always exercised a reasonable amount of discretion in his
interactions with the community, although he's not exactly
controversy-free (neither am I, for that matter). Asa already
exercises a great deal of responsibility around Mozilla, and I see no
signs of any abuse of power. Based on that, I see no reason to block
his involvement here, especially since there is undoubtedly a group
decision model in play.
> I will gladly take this to private e-mail for elaboration, if this sort
> of discussion is considered "too personal". I just think that Asa is a
> poor choice for certain areas of responsibility (like this one).
> Full disclosure & tipping point for me: Asa removed my bug editing
> privilege (in 2004) *shortly* after he (threateningly) demanded (without
> prior warning) that I stop posting in his blog (I was being critical of
> some of his statements, but IMO definitely not "snide") (he also deleted
> all of my posts). Yes it was his "right" to do so, and that is why
> *judgment* is so important when giving people power over others. I have
> observed Asa's lack of judgment/objectivity elsewhere before and after,
> but being subjected to it personally was a big blow (and eye opener).
1. It's more than just Asa, and intentionally so. And don't start with this
"the corporation is taking over the world" thing... I'm not employed or
compensated by Mozilla (Full disclosure: I think I got a shirt and pen a few
2. Feel free to email me if you have any concerns. I've worked with Asa a bit
over the years and haven't noticed the behavior you mention. If you've got
what you feel is damning evidence (bug#, blog post, etc... rather than just
these statements), you can email me to discuss it further.
There is a reason why more than 1 person is typically involved in stuff like
this. Nobody is 100% objective, but everyone is typically 95% objective.
Combined they should = 100%.
I'm not going to have a public joust or flame war with you, I don't think that's
beneficial to anyone. If you've got a personal grudge, it's just that:
personal. If you've got a valid concern, I'm willing to take the time and hear
> Full disclosure & tipping point for me: Asa removed my bug editing
> privilege (in 2004) *shortly* after he (threateningly) demanded (without
> prior warning) that I stop posting in his blog
Peter, your comments at my blog had nothing to do with your bugzilla
privileges being revoked. They couldn't have. Your off-topic comments in
my blog came after I revoked your bugzilla privileges.
I received more than a few request from serious mozilla contributors to
remove you from Bugzilla because you were a nuisance in bugzilla. I
resisted the first few requests and instead tried to work with you to
help you become a valued participant. I failed. I was quite disappointed
in myself for not being able to help you but after months and repeated
attempts, I just couldn't afford to put any more effort in and the
(completely reasonable) calls to have you banned from bugzilla were
I spent a non-trivial amount of time working with you, Peter, to try to
give you some basic understanding of appropriate and useful bugzilla
participation and you failed over and over to provide any value to
others in the system. Not only that, you wasted other peoples' time in a
way that hasn't been seen before or since.
I haven't been following your participation for the last few years so
this may all be in the past. If so, let's leave it there and get back to
working on things that actually matter.
Asa, I had originally intended to not respond to any of your responses.
But since you chose to so badly twist the truth, you leave me no
One of the "topics" on your blog, IIRC, was the successor name for
"Firebird". My supposed off-topic comments where my concerns about the
chosen new name. The other was while you were posting a lot about Mars
and I, IMO politely, asked you when you were planning to post more about
Mozilla. But you deleted my posts, so you can now make those false
claims (or simply "define" my posts as off-topic, since it's your blog.
Right?) and there's no way of verifying independently who's speaking the
I did keep a copy of your e-mail to me from back then (yes, it disturbed
me *that* much that I kept it):
> Asa Dotzler said on 21.02.04 21:29:
>> Peter, I'm requesting that you stop commenting at my weblog. I haven't banned any IPs from commenting so far and I'd rather not start down the road of actually blocking people because I think that would require me asking my wonderful hosts (mozillazine.org) to ban you from all of the weblogs they host and that doesn't seem fair if you're only bothering me.
>> Your comments telling me what I should or shouldn't be writing about aren't of any interest to me. This is my _personal_ weblog and I'll write about what I want here. If you don't like what I have to say then don't read it. You won't be missed.
>> You've worn out your welcome with all your snide comments about my Mars-related posts or lack of Mozilla-related posts and I'm just sick of it so find some other weblog to be a bother. I've deleted all of the comments I can find from you and I'll continue to do so if you continue to post. If I decide that it's taking too much of my time to delete posts from you, then I'll have to ask the mozillazine admins to block your IP and, like I said, I'd rather not do that because I suspect that they'd have to ban you from all of the mozillazine-hosted content.
>> Save you and me the trouble and take your noise somewhere else.
For me, that came completely out of the blue. I was shocked!
> I received more than a few request from serious mozilla contributors to
> remove you from Bugzilla because you were a nuisance in bugzilla.
I challenge you to find even *one* entry I made in bugzilla that
requires editing rights that I made *after* I was given bug editing
rights that could reasonably be considered a nuisance (comments that
merely oppose a developer's viewpoint don't count).
BTW: It was e.g. my ON-topic perseverance that eventually caused bug
62429 to not be wontfixed and be fixed. Something many corporate users
will be grateful for. Some opponents considered my stated *rationales* a
Asa, your style of argumentation is so transparently disingenuous,
dishonest, and, to me, insulting, that I think most people should be
able to recognize it. Therefore, I'll save us all the time of analyzing
and exposing it. We all have better things to do.
> I spent a non-trivial amount of time working with you, Peter, to try to
> give you some basic understanding of appropriate and useful bugzilla
> participation and you failed over and over to provide any value to
> others in the system. Not only that, you wasted other peoples' time in a
> way that hasn't been seen before or since.
You make me sound like a *completely* useless community member. Wow!
That doesn't sound at all like what you wrote to me in 2002. You said:
"You provide a lot of useful comments in Bugzilla" (I have the e-mail).
So which is it? Did I "fail over and over to provide any value" or did I
"provide a lot of useful comments"? Asa, I think the reasonable answer
is that you will say anything to smear someone who criticizes you.
It's amazing how low you will stoop when you're criticized, Asa.
Needless to say, I disagree with your assessment. I would agree that I
have *at times* (and mostly in my early days with Mozilla) made
less-than-ideal bug comments, but your over-the-top exaggeration and -
possibly even deliberate - lies makes any reasonable discussion seem
> let's leave it there and get back to
> working on things that actually matter.
Hmmm. Pull a "Swift Boat Veterans for Lies"(1) and then quickly suggest
that we move on. That way the sucker-punched side looks bad when he
corrects the misinformation. Clever.
Well, I plan on getting back to working on things that matter more.
True, especially since the evidence (blog comments) was deleted (by Asa).
I'll think about presenting some recent questionable actions by Asa.
(see my reply to Robert Accettura's #2 item)
> Asa has always exercised a reasonable amount of discretion in his
> interactions with the community, although he's not exactly
> controversy-free (neither am I, for that matter). Asa already exercises
> a great deal of responsibility around Mozilla, and I see no signs of any
> abuse of power. Based on that, I see no reason to block his involvement
> here, especially since there is undoubtedly a group decision model in play.
You may both be involved in controversy, but IMO there are different
types of "controversy" (or "ethical categories" - if you will). I think
Asa's type of "controversy" is different from yours.
Anyhow, you're the one in the decision-making position, so your judgment
of him is what counts. At this point, I'm just grateful there will be a
*group* decision model.
Huh? I had no intention of that. I beg you: Don't beat your wife!!! ;-)
> 2. Feel free to email me if you have any concerns.
I'll consider it, but doubt I will, since I see little chance of success
(Asa's type of aggression and truth-bending is subtle and considered
acceptable by many).
Consider this: What if Asa's accusations against me in his reply to this
thread are *partially* true (most contributers have posted some spammy
bug comments at some time), then isn't the *way* he has portrayed me
unfairly exaggerated? (i.e., apparently, I don't even have a, and I
quote " *basic* understanding of appropriate and useful bugzilla
participation" and I "failed over and over to provide *any* value to
others in the system") (emphases mine).
> There is a reason why more than 1 person is typically involved in stuff like
> this. Nobody is 100% objective, but everyone is typically 95% objective.
> Combined they should = 100%.
I like that reasoning (although I would guesstimate the "combined" at 99%).
> [...] If you've got a valid concern, I'm willing to take the time and hear
Thank you. I truly appreciate the offer.
PS. I don't intend to start a flame-war (although I knew the risk of one
is high), and still hope none will break out. I merely felt it was
important to voice my concern over Asa's qualification for that
position. It is my observation and judgment. Yours may differ. I will
accept that, of course.
I'd like Asa Dotzler to keep up his valued and good work and to be
re-added to planet, including his great posts about non-Mozilla topics.
Some people are humans and even have interests besides Mozilla and
software development, some even in the quite scientific field of
astronomy and space flight.
It's always good to see that people like Asa are not software-production
(or -testing) machines but real humans with a life besides the computer
industry or community. Those that don't understand this should probably
consider to get a life - it really enriches the time you spend on this
(And yes, despite that, I also see the point of those people who want to
get a glimpse of Mozilla-related news only, which is a good request and
deserves some attention, probably a second "planet".)
I have to admit I had my own conflicts with some people, probably
including Asa, but I found out that with the right communication,
problems can be solved and Asa can be quite helpful if one's willing to
listen to what he has to say and really think about it.
(BTW, I repeatedly shudder when Shuttle astronauts are told by Houston
to close Outlook overnight so that a mailsync can be done from the
ground... Could someone get them to use better software that can solve
such stuff in a better way? Anyways, OT here...)
Since you say this in reply to my post (implying - IMO - that I have a
differing opinion), I just want to say that I *agree* that non-Mozilla
posts (in moderation) are valuable to form and bind the "community".
This would probably be too much admin (and too detailed) but it might be
useful to further delineate non-Mozilla feeds into IT-related and
non-IT-related? Pro'ly just a brain-fart.
Lame attempt to get rich: http://www.lairo.com/donations.html
Without commenting on anything else in the thread, or on the specific
situation(s) in question, I would mention that comments which merely
oppose a developer's viewpoint can count as a nuisance if they are
obstructive rather than constructive; if they oppose without evidence;
or if they make the same point repeatedly after it has been discussed
and dealt with.
Yes, there is a line between a developer acting as a dictator and them
exercising their appropriate authority as module owner or bug owner.
However, on which is the mozilla-only one there doesn't seem to be a
consesus, I vote that PMO remain mozilla-only - this is what planet
has been in the past and this is what all its existing readers expect.
People go to PMO to read about mozilla news, keeping the SNR high is
important. I think it's a great idea to have the more diverse planet
linked prominently from planet.mozilla.org though for people who are
interested in that.
As to how it is kept mozilla-specific, it would be preferable that
blog authors provide mozilla-specific feeds (I know this is easy with
wordpress, and I've seen it done with Movable Type) - that way the
blog author controls what appears on PMO rather than the PMO team. If
the author is unable to create a mozilla-specific feed, they should
work with the PMO team to setup a filter (be it based on a tag or, as
a last-resort, keywords.)
> It seems that most of us agree that two planets is the way to go -
> this will satisfy more people.
> However, on which is the mozilla-only one there doesn't seem to be a
> consesus, I vote that PMO remain mozilla-only - this is what planet
> has been in the past and this is what all its existing readers expect.
> People go to PMO to read about mozilla news, keeping the SNR high is
> important. I think it's a great idea to have the more diverse planet
> linked prominently from planet.mozilla.org though for people who are
> interested in that.
No, there's no need for that. Because most of the filtering is done automatically (based on the tags the post author sets or by using separate feeds), theres no reason why both sets of posts can't show up on the same page, with a button that lets the user hide or show those posts that aren't directly mozilla related. The site can use a cookie to remember the user's choice.