Newsgroup Reorganization (Again)

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Newsgroup Reorganization (Again)

fantasai
I noticed that mozilla.dev.tech.style (previously n.p.m.style, a
development newsgroup devoted to Gecko's style system) was closed
in favor of mozilla.dev.tech.css.

And then I noticed that mozilla.web-developers.css was also closed
in favor of mozilla.dev.tech.css.

It has always been mozilla.org's newsgroup policy that web developer
discussion does not belong in development newsgroups. The whole newsgroup
reorganization plan was designed around that concept.

So I looked up the bug <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=324057>
and asked why web developer traffic from mozilla.web-developers.css was
being directed to mozilla.dev.tech.css, an internal development newsgroup.

I was told that "the thinking has changed" and "all the questions on
a topic should go in the same group" because "this is the way that users
become developers".

Now, that's the first I've heard of /this/ plan.

When I queried Gerv about where the discussion was that decided this,
I found out that this was a last minute change demanded by three people
and that there wasn't any discussion.

Combining web development and internal development newsgroups is a *major*
policy change both from the declared reorganization plan [1] and also
from the newsgroup policy we've been running with the past eight years.
Furthermore, it's going to have a huge impact on the traffic dynamics
in developer groups. Maybe not in .xpinstall, but certainly in DOM, HTML,
Javascript, and CSS-related discussion groups. (I also don't see how posts
about refactoring reflow and making performance changes to the style system
are on the same topic as table-free CSS layouts and "why doesn't this code
work in Mozilla?".)

The whole point of the reorganization was to create a setup that encourages
both groups to use the discussion lists more. Leaving the Mozilla developers,
the people these mozilla.dev.* groups were designed to support, entirely out
of this decision is inappropriate. It is also entirely out of line with the
open and transparent decision-making process mozilla.org is supposed to be
championing.

I would like to see the discussion happen *here*, in the newsgroups, where
everyone can see and comment. Deb and shaver and bsmedberg can post their
proposal *here* and explain the details and the rationale behind it to the
community it's going to affect. The rest of us can express our wholehearted
support or dissent, we can work towards a consensus, and if we can't reach
one we can call in [hidden email] to mediate. Then someone can file a bug
about what needs to be done so the server ops make it happen. When it's all
said and done, we will all know whether a post about 3-column CSS layouts on
m.d.t.layout is off-topic or not and whether (and where) we should redirect
the poster or not.

That's how it's supposed to work--not by harassing Gerv over private email
to make unannounced last-minute architectural changes to a public plan
that's been mostly unchanged for five years!


[1] http://www.mozilla.org.uk/newsgroups.txt

followup-to: mozilla.dev.mozilla-org

~fantasai
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Re: Newsgroup Reorganization (Again)

L. David Baron
On Saturday 2006-03-25 14:24 -0500, fantasai wrote:
> Combining web development and internal development newsgroups is a *major*
> policy change both from the declared reorganization plan [1] and also
> from the newsgroup policy we've been running with the past eight years.
> Furthermore, it's going to have a huge impact on the traffic dynamics
> in developer groups. Maybe not in .xpinstall, but certainly in DOM, HTML,

Agreed.  We should not do this.

If we have enough Web developers who want Mozilla-specific Web-developer
lists to form a usefully active community, then they probably need their
own list.  If we don't, then we should direct them to general lists
(e.g., css-d, for CSS), where getting help about Mozilla-related issues
is generally pretty easy.

-David

--
L. David Baron                                <URL: http://dbaron.org/ >
           Technical Lead, Layout & CSS, Mozilla Corporation

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