Re: PRD Update

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Re: PRD Update

Mike Connor-3
Ben Goodger wrote:

> We are having a pretty significant discussion about the direction of
> the project. Key stakeholders should have the opportunity to be
> involved in this now, not later, after "decisions" are made and
> everything is locked down.
>
> Let's let dev.planning's "broadness" become a problem before we
> pre-optimize for it. Currently the list is not used much, and volume
> is low.
>
> -Ben
>
> On 3/23/06, Mike Beltzner <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Ben, your approach seems flawed. Now to continue to get your comments, I need to subscribe to another list, and need to have been attending to this thread, and will be misled by our other heavily publicized links.
>>
>> Do we have to do this right now as opposed to a planned migration with announcements and an effort to automatically migrate the subscriber lists?
>>
>> I'm not opposed to this change, but let's make it a smooth transition. Also, I've stated a cocnern that I haven't yet seen a good answer to, which is that dev.planning seems very broad, and I'd prefer that we create dev.planning.firefox2 or something.
>>
>> cheers,
>> mike

I'm also not sure that abandoning a "team" list entirely is considering
all possible usage scenarios.  For discussion of product requirements or
milestone planning, this is a better place than a mailman-only list,
since you can pick up archived threads easier via NNTP/Google Groups.  I
don't think its necessarily any more open, but its worth

Lumping meeting agendas, reminders, status of builds/respins, and calls
for help for last minute bugfixes (i.e. "Can someone get bug 402342 into
the branch so we can do respins"), to name four, would present a
problem, since we'd all have to constantly keep up and skim a lot of
traffic to be responsive.  I filter the various discussion lists I'm on
to separate folders so I can catch up when I'm reading email, and  they
don't become interrupts when I'm doing other things.  Things that appear
in my inbox get read much more frequently.

I'd really like to see the following:

dev.planning, or preferably dev.planning.firefox should be used for
discussing product requirements, milestone planning, and long term
priorities/direction.  I'm not sure I want everyone who's interested in
the product to have to skim through Gecko planning they don't really
care about or even understand.

dev.apps.firefox should continue to be used for discussing design and
implementation of features coming out of the planning process.

bonecho should be continue used for items that won't have historical
relevance, like the agenda going into a meeting, reminders of time
changes, calls for quick help, etc.  Anything that should be discussed,
announced, or agreed upon should go to the other groups.  Under this
division, it becomes a team alias so that everyone who's working on the
product can be notified about issues that pop up.

-- Mike
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Location of Firefox Planning Discussion

L. David Baron
On Thursday 2006-03-23 17:24 -0500, Mike Connor wrote:

> I'd really like to see the following:
>
> dev.planning, or preferably dev.planning.firefox should be used for
> discussing product requirements, milestone planning, and long term
> priorities/direction.  I'm not sure I want everyone who's interested in
> the product to have to skim through Gecko planning they don't really
> care about or even understand.
>
> dev.apps.firefox should continue to be used for discussing design and
> implementation of features coming out of the planning process.
I don't see why you want Firefox-specific planning and development to be
on separate lists -- how are the audiences for those two things
different?

I think dev-planning should be for the planning that's affects the
entire community or significant parts of it.  Some Firefox discussions
do, but not all of them.  In some cases, raising things on dev-planning
might be appropriate after prior discussion on dev-apps-firefox.  The
"planning" in the name should not be interpreted to mean that planning
cannot occur on other lists.

> bonecho should be continue used for items that won't have historical
> relevance, like the agenda going into a meeting, reminders of time
> changes, calls for quick help, etc.  Anything that should be discussed,
> announced, or agreed upon should go to the other groups.  Under this
> division, it becomes a team alias so that everyone who's working on the
> product can be notified about issues that pop up.

I do agree that "somebody please land bug N" or "Windows smoketests
passed Tuesday" traffic may be better off being somewhere else, since it
might discourage otherwise-interested folks from subscribing.  I'm not
so sure about meeting agendas.

-David

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

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Re: Location of Firefox Planning Discussion

Mike Connor-3
In reply to this post by Mike Connor-3
L. David Baron wrote:

> On Thursday 2006-03-23 17:24 -0500, Mike Connor wrote:
>> I'd really like to see the following:
>>
>> dev.planning, or preferably dev.planning.firefox should be used for
>> discussing product requirements, milestone planning, and long term
>> priorities/direction.  I'm not sure I want everyone who's interested in
>> the product to have to skim through Gecko planning they don't really
>> care about or even understand.
>>
>> dev.apps.firefox should continue to be used for discussing design and
>> implementation of features coming out of the planning process.
>
> I don't see why you want Firefox-specific planning and development to be
> on separate lists -- how are the audiences for those two things
> different?

Ben's argument is that Gecko people want to be in the loop as to what's
going on with Firefox planning.  If everyone wants to follow a single
list where overlapping planning takes place, instead of making it
finer-grained, that's cool, I tend to like the flexibility if there's
clear lines.  You and Scott are both right that there aren't.

I don't know how much is really Firefox-specific in a planning sense,
since our milestones sync to Gecko milestones, and I don't think trying
to decide that something's really local or global is going to work well
once a discussion starts in one place or the other.  Putting Firefox
planning in a separate place from design discussions is really about
making planning more accessible to Gecko/Camino/Seamonkey people, since
dev-apps-firefox gets 20+ messages a day that they're quite possibly not
interested in following just to keep track of planning efforts that may
affect them.

> I think dev-planning should be for the planning that's affects the
> entire community or significant parts of it.  Some Firefox discussions
> do, but not all of them.  In some cases, raising things on dev-planning
> might be appropriate after prior discussion on dev-apps-firefox.  The
> "planning" in the name should not be interpreted to mean that planning
> cannot occur on other lists.

What type of planning issues would only affect Firefox?  Is there a
clear way of knowing before the discussion starts whether it really is
just for Firefox?  If not, it gets fuzzy, and people will post to the
wrong place, which is more of a pain than its worth.

>> bonecho should be continue used for items that won't have historical
>> relevance, like the agenda going into a meeting, reminders of time
>> changes, calls for quick help, etc.  Anything that should be discussed,
>> announced, or agreed upon should go to the other groups.  Under this
>> division, it becomes a team alias so that everyone who's working on the
>> product can be notified about issues that pop up.
>
> I do agree that "somebody please land bug N" or "Windows smoketests
> passed Tuesday" traffic may be better off being somewhere else, since it
> might discourage otherwise-interested folks from subscribing.  I'm not
> so sure about meeting agendas.

Meeting agendas/reminders don't especially matter after the fact, its
the minutes and results of the meetings that matter, IMO.  We don't
publish staff meeting agendas, we just publish minutes, as an example.

-- Mike
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Re: Location of Firefox Planning Discussion

Ben Goodger
Mike Connor wrote:
> Ben's argument is that Gecko people want to be in the loop as to what's
> going on with Firefox planning.  If everyone wants to follow a single
> list where overlapping planning takes place, instead of making it
> finer-grained, that's cool, I tend to like the flexibility if there's
> clear lines.  You and Scott are both right that there aren't.

It could be that it's a lot of Firefox stuff. Maybe you're right, maybe
everyone don't want to see all of that. I've tended to want to be more
connected with what's gong on other parts of the project and willing to
ignore threads that don't affect me if I don't have spare time, but
that's just me.

I was just looking for the right default mix to encourage collaboration
and team building, vs. separate worlds. In the past both Gecko and
Firefox teams have felt under-informed about what's happening on the
other side.

> Meeting agendas/reminders don't especially matter after the fact, its
> the minutes and results of the meetings that matter, IMO.  We don't
> publish staff meeting agendas, we just publish minutes, as an example.

I guess I see a future for Firefox and other mozilla projects that's
larger than the f2f/phone meetings. They're often useful for making
quick progress on issues, but if people think that's where all the
decisions are being made and they only find out about it afterward, the
incentive to contribute to the project at all is going to be diminished.

-Ben
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Re: Location of Firefox Planning Discussion

Mike Connor-3
Ben Goodger wrote:

> Mike Connor wrote:
>> Ben's argument is that Gecko people want to be in the loop as to
>> what's going on with Firefox planning.  If everyone wants to follow a
>> single list where overlapping planning takes place, instead of making
>> it finer-grained, that's cool, I tend to like the flexibility if
>> there's clear lines.  You and Scott are both right that there aren't.
>
> It could be that it's a lot of Firefox stuff. Maybe you're right, maybe
> everyone don't want to see all of that. I've tended to want to be more
> connected with what's gong on other parts of the project and willing to
> ignore threads that don't affect me if I don't have spare time, but
> that's just me.
>
> I was just looking for the right default mix to encourage collaboration
> and team building, vs. separate worlds. In the past both Gecko and
> Firefox teams have felt under-informed about what's happening on the
> other side.

As long as discussion and decisions are being communicated in a place
both (and other) groups can freely access if they care about it, I think
we're probably doing enough.  I want to know what's going on for the
project as a whole too, but I don't think that's going to be true for
everyone.

But given how much our planning affects Gecko milestones, and how hard
it is to draw a distinction (i.e. a discussion about places planning
could easily end up in a need to tweak milestone targets), its hard to
draw a clean line right now, so I'm game to try discussions on one
group/list.

>> Meeting agendas/reminders don't especially matter after the fact, its
>> the minutes and results of the meetings that matter, IMO.  We don't
>> publish staff meeting agendas, we just publish minutes, as an example.
>
> I guess I see a future for Firefox and other mozilla projects that's
> larger than the f2f/phone meetings. They're often useful for making
> quick progress on issues, but if people think that's where all the
> decisions are being made and they only find out about it afterward, the
> incentive to contribute to the project at all is going to be diminished.

We'll never replace f2f/phone meetings entirely, for any number of
reasons.  They're not a substitute for open and transparent discussion,
but they are often far more effective at helping to bring that
discussion to an effective conclusion.  The meeting info has been
available on bonecho each week for everyone subscribed, if people want
to participate, though I haven't noticed a lot of participation outside
of people who are already deeply involved.

If someone wants to be involved, I think the bar is very low already
from a process perspective.  Our opaque and spottily documented code and
our slightly overloaded review process still seems to be a vastly more
important stumbling block for people getting involved.  If we really
want to grow involvement, that's the next place to focus.  I'm trying to
set aside bigger and bigger blocks of time for reviews again, kind of
sidetracked with a lot of the product work.

-- Mike
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Re: Location of Firefox Planning Discussion

Simon Paquet-2
Mike Connor wrote on 24. Mar 2006:

> The meeting info has been available on bonecho each week for everyone
> subscribed, if people want to participate, though I haven't noticed a
> lot of participation outside of people who are already deeply involved.

The problem is, not everyone knows that the bonecho lists exists and
you don't subscribe to something that you are not aware of.

I guess I can go as someone who knows his way around in the Mozilla
community. I regularly read most of the blogs on gemal's blogupdates
and planet, I'm CC'ed on a lot of bugs, I regularly read at least a
dozen newsgroups and I try to watch bonsai at least daily and I only
became aware of the existence of the bonecho mailing list about three
weeks ago.

--
Simon Paquet
Sunbird/Calendar/Lightning website maintainer
http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar
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Re: PRD Update

Mitchell Baker
In reply to this post by Michael Schroepfer


This discussion about where to have Firefox 2 discussions gives me a
strong sense of déjà vu.  We have very similar discussions going all the
way back to before the *Mozilla* 1.0 release.

Ben makes the argument that having discussions in many public places is
like having private discussions.  I agree that this can be the case.
Overly narrow, obfuscated forums that are hard to find and put up
barriers to entry could effectively become private discussions.  We
should make sure we don't do this, and we should welcome suggestions for
how to organize ourselves so this doesn't happen.  Not every suggestion
need be adopted, and on ongoing discussion about lower barriers to entry
is valuable.  I don't think the Bonecho discussion has effectively
become private for reasons described by others.  This doesn't mean that
we should double-check, or consider whether moving things to the
newsgroup hierarchy improves the ability to find relevant information.

I absolutely do not believe that pushing everything to dev.general is
the only answer that reflects a commitment to an open development
process.  It's already clear that figuring out which newsdgroup things
go in is tricky, and there will be many "public places" in different
newsgroups. I very much hope we can have the discussion about which tool
to use without attaching value judgments to people who prefer one method
or the other.  I predict we'll try a whole range of things and find that
alas, none of them is perfect.   We'll continue to have the discussion
of how to make it easy for people to find relevant info.

Mitchell


Ben Goodger wrote:

> On 3/23/06, Michael Schroepfer <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Bonecho is publicized on the wiki, has open subscriptions, and has archives
>> of mails available here (archives here:
>> http://mail.mozilla.org/pipermail/bonecho/).
>>
>> If you'd like to move discussion to the newsgroup because threading works
>> better, it's easier to look in one place, etc. that makes perfect sense.
>> Doing so under the banner of "openness" is a misnomer.  I'm fine with using
>> either - I'm just scratching my head trying to understand clearly how a
>> public newsgroup is more "open" than a public mailing list.  I'll post to
>> both for now.
>
> It is related to openness. It's about having a consolidated place for
> discussions about our work. The point was that having discussions in
> very many public places is sort of like having private discussions,
> from a user's point of view, because it's difficult for people to know
> the one place to subscribe to to get updates and for everyone (even
> those folks who aren't key stakeholders on the firefox2 plan right
> now) see where projects are going and be able to contribute.
>
> I agree we need to get people bought into the _content_ of the PRD. So
> let's restart the discussion in dev planning and end this thread.
>
> -Ben
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Re: PRD Update

Ben Goodger
Mitchell Baker wrote:
> I absolutely do not believe that pushing everything to dev.general is
> the only answer that reflects a commitment to an open development
> process.  It's already clear that figuring out which newsdgroup things
> go in is tricky, and there will be many "public places" in different
> newsgroups. I very much hope we can have the discussion about which tool
> to use without attaching value judgments to people who prefer one method
> or the other.  I predict we'll try a whole range of things and find that
> alas, none of them is perfect.   We'll continue to have the discussion
> of how to make it easy for people to find relevant info.

Mitchell,

It's been years. Project communications suck. People have been screaming
this for years. There never seemed to be (enough? well-placed?) strong
advocates for change within the project. Now there are people who are
willing to do that work.

If the Mozilla project as a whole wants to figure out some kind of
global strategy for all of this that's cool. Until something tangible
emerges from that, Firefox is going to develop here, and in
dev-apps-firefox.

-Ben
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Re: Location of Firefox Planning Discussion

Mike Connor-3
In reply to this post by Simon Paquet-2
Simon Paquet wrote:

> Mike Connor wrote on 24. Mar 2006:
>
>> The meeting info has been available on bonecho each week for everyone
>> subscribed, if people want to participate, though I haven't noticed a
>> lot of participation outside of people who are already deeply involved.
>
> The problem is, not everyone knows that the bonecho lists exists and
> you don't subscribe to something that you are not aware of.
>
> I guess I can go as someone who knows his way around in the Mozilla
> community. I regularly read most of the blogs on gemal's blogupdates
> and planet, I'm CC'ed on a lot of bugs, I regularly read at least a
> dozen newsgroups and I try to watch bonsai at least daily and I only
> became aware of the existence of the bonecho mailing list about three
> weeks ago.

300+ people found it and subscribed, probably by clicking on the link at
http://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox2 where it still says "Individuals
working on the project or interested in the process are encouraged to
subscribe to the mailing list."

To be honest, if you didn't read the roadmap/planning docs, the mailing
list probably wouldn't have been of much use.  Of course, if someone
wasn't interested in reading those docs, I'd put money on that someone
not being interested in following the discussion surrounding those plans!

-- Mike
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Re: Location of Firefox Planning Discussion

Mike Beltzner
In reply to this post by Simon Paquet-2
On 24-Mar-06, at 12:57 AM, Simon Paquet wrote:

> Mike Connor wrote on 24. Mar 2006:
>
>> The meeting info has been available on bonecho each week for  
>> everyone subscribed, if people want to participate, though I  
>> haven't noticed a lot of participation outside of people who are  
>> already deeply involved.
>
> The problem is, not everyone knows that the bonecho lists exists and
> you don't subscribe to something that you are not aware of.

This is an orthogonal problem, in my opinion. For what it's worth, I  
agree with you: figuring out where to go within the Mozilla Web World  
to do anything is a trial (ie: how do we expect people to learn about  
lxr, bonsai, and the fact that they can file bugs on things like  
governance in bugzilla?) It's been my understanding that this barrier  
to entry has been both helpful and hindering, too, in that it's meant  
that if someone wanted to contribute some signal to our stream, they  
had to make an effort, which cut down on the degree of noise. That's  
not a debate I'm really interested in getting into at this point,  
though.

The way we solve this particular problem is being discussed in dev-
general, aiui, and has to do with re-organizing the mozilla.org pages  
such that it's a lot easier for someone to:

  - visit mozilla
  - find a path to the project that they are interested in
  - find information about where to jump into the various discussion  
streams

As mconnor noted, I actually think Bon Echo has been better about  
this than most projects. We frequently blog about our planning pages  
on the wiki, and that wiki points (in several places) to the bonecho@  
mailing list. When we migrate that list over to dev.planning (or  
dev.planning.firefox, whichever) we'll update those links. When we  
figure out the mozilla.org re-org, we'll point to the right places.  
We'll get things working, slowly but surely, as is our peculiar way :)

cheers,
mike
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Re: PRD Update

Mitchell Baker
In reply to this post by Ben Goodger
Yup, agree that project communications need improvement.
Agree that it's awesome people have energy to address this.

My point was to caution against assuming any particular approach:

(a) reflects a greater commitment to openness
(b) will solve all problems
(c) won't itself end up needing adjustment

mitchell


Ben Goodger wrote:

> Mitchell Baker wrote:
>> I absolutely do not believe that pushing everything to dev.general is
>> the only answer that reflects a commitment to an open development
>> process.  It's already clear that figuring out which newsdgroup things
>> go in is tricky, and there will be many "public places" in different
>> newsgroups. I very much hope we can have the discussion about which
>> tool to use without attaching value judgments to people who prefer one
>> method or the other.  I predict we'll try a whole range of things and
>> find that alas, none of them is perfect.   We'll continue to have the
>> discussion of how to make it easy for people to find relevant info.
>
> Mitchell,
>
> It's been years. Project communications suck. People have been screaming
> this for years. There never seemed to be (enough? well-placed?) strong
> advocates for change within the project. Now there are people who are
> willing to do that work.
>
> If the Mozilla project as a whole wants to figure out some kind of
> global strategy for all of this that's cool. Until something tangible
> emerges from that, Firefox is going to develop here, and in
> dev-apps-firefox.
>
> -Ben
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Re: PRD Update

Ben Goodger
Mitchell Baker wrote:
> Yup, agree that project communications need improvement.
> Agree that it's awesome people have energy to address this.
>
> My point was to caution against assuming any particular approach:
>
> (a) reflects a greater commitment to openness
> (b) will solve all problems
> (c) won't itself end up needing adjustment

Absolutely!

-Ben
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