MozillaZine

What's going on here???

Talk about stuff specific to the site -- bugs, suggestions, and of course praise welcome.
Micha the not so Old
 
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Post Posted June 24th, 2007, 2:36 am

For a bit of light relief, I have been building my own Firefox themes. Nothing intended for general release, but when I started, I found Ed's notes just a little hard to follow. I thought I might do an illustrated version, giving step by step instructions.

I did a google for mozillazine support, just to see what I might need to do, and in amongst the results were these.

http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla. ... 1c18628574
http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla. ... 0cc2cc091d

I've looked a bit more, and have found more on "sumo," but right now I, and I have no doubt many others, would like to know what is going to happen to MozillaZine?

While I personally haven't done much in the way of support, there are others who have made a fair contribution to the way Firefox, Thunderbird, and the Suite's support has been written up, and if this is what Mozilla.org wants to do with it, well I think it stinks.

So could someone please clarify what's going on, for the benefit of the greater MozillaZine community.

Alice

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Post Posted June 24th, 2007, 7:04 am

Here is how I understand what's going on:

Mozilla wants to take over "basic" Firefox support which would mean closing the Firefox Support forum here. Mozilla also wants to migrate many of the MozillaZine KB articles covering Firefox support issues to a Mozilla-controlled KB. The other Firefox forums (General, Builds, etc) at MozillaZine would remain open; so would all the other forums including SeaMonkey support and (for now, at least) Thunderbird support.

Background and Mozilla's intentions are summarized here:
http://wiki.mozilla.org/Support:Overview
http://wiki.mozilla.org/Support:PRD

Related MozillaZine threads:
http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=494282 expanding support options/needs as the fx user base grows
http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=545425 Furthering Customer / End-user Support
...which links to:
http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.support.planning
Alice Wyman

old np
 
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Post Posted June 24th, 2007, 10:35 am

What Alice describes is how I understand it as well.

There's nothing wrong with the current people who give support - the problem is with the technology. mozillaZine's servers are overloaded. There are many limitations with the current forum support software: there's no way to know which questions have been answered already, the search isn't very good, it only handles English support, etc. There are problems with the current Knowledge Base software as well: lack of feedback mechanisms, lack of metrics, it's harder than it needs to be to get an account, English-only, etc. The different channels of support also require you to have multiple accounts, the UI isn't consistent, they aren't integrated...

There doesn't seem to be any intention to fix these shortcomings, so that's why Mozilla wants to step in and provide something better. I don't think there's an intention to throw out current KB content - to start with, it'll simply be moved to the new system.

Some demos of possible new software are available in this thread. To save you some clicking, here are some of the options being considered: Clearspace and TikiWiki.

kerz
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Post Posted June 24th, 2007, 11:34 am

I have no plans to close anything, or remove content from here, just as an FYI. I anticipate mozilla setting up their support structure and using some of our content, but I don't plan to change any of what we provide here.

jason

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Post Posted June 24th, 2007, 12:04 pm

Nor would removing Support make much sense since General and Bugs are basically support forums too.

Micha the not so Old
 
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Post Posted June 24th, 2007, 12:34 pm

So as I see it, np has been coming here in the last few weeks, stirring people to contribute to the KB, so at some future date, mozilla.org could remove it, without MozillaZine's Admin approval, and use it as their own. By using the "overloaded server" approach, it sounds as though they are doing MozillaZine a service.

Well from where I am sitting, if mozilla.org wants to have a KB, perhaps they sould find their own willing band of helpers who have as much accumulated knowledge of their products as is found here, and write one. Else contribute to ease MozillaZine's server problem, and ask those here, who's native tongue is other than English, to translate it into other languages.

By doing this they are not alienating an already established group, to the extent they run into a brick wall when trying to keep the KB going.

Alice

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Post Posted June 24th, 2007, 12:35 pm

kerz wrote:I have no plans to close anything, or remove content from here, just as an FYI. I anticipate mozilla setting up their support structure and using some of our content, but I don't plan to change any of what we provide here.

That's a relief. I just assumed you and Alex Bishop were "in on it" and that you both wanted to move out Firefox support to lessen the server load :-)

I was worried what was going to happen to MozillaZine KB articles that applied to Firefox as well as to SeaMonkey or Thunderbird, such as the "Lost bookmarks" article. I thought that those articles might just disappear from MozillaZine, replaced with a redirect to Firefox Support at Mozilla. Then I would have to create a new article for SeaMonkey....

old np
 
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Post Posted June 24th, 2007, 1:18 pm

m1scha_m wrote:So as I see it, np has been coming here in the last few weeks, stirring people to contribute to the KB, so at some future date, mozilla.org could remove it, without MozillaZine's Admin approval, and use it as their own.

mozillaZine belongs to the mozillaZine admins. I don't see how anyone could remove anything without their approval. I had just assumed these things would be removed so that there would be no duplication.

m1scha_m wrote:Well from where I am sitting, if mozilla.org wants to have a KB, perhaps they sould find their own willing band of helpers who have as much accumulated knowledge of their products as is found here, and write one.

Obviously, no one is going to be forced to contribute to an official KB, so no matter what, they'll have to find "their own willing band of helpers". The current KB is going to be a starting point, though, so it's not like they're going to start from scratch.

m1scha_m wrote:Else contribute to ease MozillaZine's server problem, and ask those here, who's native tongue is other than English, to translate it into other languages.

If the overloaded server were the only problem, then yes, it would be a lot easier to just contribute money or hardware to fix it. But from my perspective, it's the software that's the issue, and the mozillaZine admins don't seem to have the time or interest to fix it.

I really don't understand this mozillaZine vs. Mozilla thing. We're both on the same team. Mozilla wants to provide a better support system that will help both users and support volunteers. How is that bad?

Alice wrote:I was worried what was going to happen to MozillaZine KB articles that applied to Firefox as well as to SeaMonkey or Thunderbird, such as the "Lost bookmarks" article. I thought that those articles might just disappear from MozillaZine, replaced with a redirect to Firefox Support at Mozilla. Then I would have to create a new article for SeaMonkey....

I would've thought that anything that applied to more than Firefox might have a link at the top to the official KB, but would continue to exist with SeaMonkey or Thunderbird specific text.

Micha the not so Old
 
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Post Posted June 24th, 2007, 1:29 pm

But you have to admit you have been pushing people to contribute to a KB:

http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=555200
http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=556178

Now this appears. It does sound fishy, and has the potential to get people's backs up, and alienate many of the those who offer support. Maybe, just a maybe, you should wander off into the wilds of Manitoba, and commune with nature for 40 days and 40 nights(?) until this becomes sorted.

Frank Lion

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Post Posted June 24th, 2007, 1:52 pm

np wrote:I really don't understand this mozillaZine vs. Mozilla thing. We're both on the same team. Mozilla wants to provide a better support system that will help both users and support volunteers. How is that bad?

Oh I think you understand it very well, np. I also don't believe for a second that you really think that we are on the same team. If you did, why would you have been such a willing participant in this set-up?Which is what it was. Btw, np, do you work for Mozilla, these days?

np wrote:
> * Don't want others to think this is a "power grab"
> * Have tried posting to multiple places, but need to have a
> good conversation with others who might not already be participating.
> * Anything that any contributor can do to get the word out is
> encouraged
> * Maybe get np to help present it to other members of
> mozillaZine

I think that the fact that it's so abstract at the moment makes people
not give feedback. Once it's more fully defined, I believe there'd be
more interest and support. "Mozilla is taking over the KB" sounds bad,
but "Mozilla is taking over the KB to provide us features like X, Y,
and Z" sounds good.

Well, I have to tell you, that you really suck as a 'spin doctor'...the normal idea of which is to 'fool some of the people, some of the time' and not, as in your case, 'none of the people, any of the time'.
Metal Lion latest SeaMonkey & Thunderbird Themes - Sea Monkey and Silver Sea Monkey
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke (attrib.)

old np
 
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Post Posted June 24th, 2007, 1:52 pm

m1scha_m wrote:But you have to admit you have been pushing people to contribute to a KB:

Oh, definitely. I think the content on the KB needs some work, no matter whether it's hosted on mozillaZine or by Mozilla. I guess hearing about what Mozilla had planned and the importance they place on the KB renewed my interest in contributing to the current KB.

Regarding alienation, I think one of the most interesting things that will come out of this is better feedback loops. Currently, document writers are taking educated guesses at what's useful to users, and of course sometimes there's conflicts between opinions. If we could get feedback directly from the users, then we could reduce these conflicts. Also, I know that one complaint expressed by mozillaZine people (myself included) towards Mozilla is that they don't respond as much as they could to what we feel is the major support issues affecting users. With hard statistics, I think they would listen more.

If someone had the mindset of there being a conflict between Mozilla and mozillaZine, having Mozilla provide (or "take over") Firefox support could be seen as a further alienating factor. But from the mindset of Mozilla and mozillaZine being on the same side but not having enough communication between the two, this would help reduce alienation.

old np
 
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Post Posted June 24th, 2007, 2:01 pm

Frank Lion wrote:
np wrote:I really don't understand this mozillaZine vs. Mozilla thing. We're both on the same team. Mozilla wants to provide a better support system that will help both users and support volunteers. How is that bad?

Oh I think you understand it very well, np. I also don't believe for a second that you really think that we are on the same team. If you did, why would you have been such a willing participant in this set-up?Which is what it was.

I do believe we're on the same team. We're both for the users of the various Mozilla products. There are conflicts between the two just like there are conflicts internally inside both.
Frank Lion wrote:Btw, np, do you work for Mozilla, these days?

Nope.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted June 24th, 2007, 5:21 pm

Kerz is letting Mozilla copy our knowledge base articles. As they write new articles or edit their copy of our article there is bound to be something that we'd like to copy. We reuse/copy useful portions of a KB article in other KB articles all the time. Once we fork, will they let us copy material from them? If so, how does that work?

I notice some of their web pages have a Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license while others have copyrights. The Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license appears to require you to either attribute the work in the manner specified by the author/licensor or distribute the resulting work only under a same or similar license. However, we don't have a license or copyright on any of our articles.

http://www.mozilla.org/foundation/licen ... ntent.html

malliz
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Post Posted June 24th, 2007, 5:55 pm

Seeing as NP apparently is not working in an Official capacity. Any reason why an official statement from Mozilla couldn't be posted? Thats what gets peoples backs up the secrecy and if I don't want to hear one more "this is posted on blah blah and is available for all to see". It's only available if you know where and how to look.
What sort of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.
"Terry Pratchett"

old np
 
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Post Posted June 24th, 2007, 6:32 pm

tanstaafl wrote:Kerz is letting Mozilla copy our knowledge base articles. As they write new articles or edit their copy of our article there is bound to be something that we'd like to copy. We reuse/copy useful portions of a KB article in other KB articles all the time. Once we fork, will they let us copy material from them? If so, how does that work?

I notice some of their web pages have a Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license while others have copyrights. The Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license appears to require you to either attribute the work in the manner specified by the author/licensor or distribute the resulting work only under a same or similar license. However, we don't have a license or copyright on any of our articles.

We do have a license on articles in the KB- the GFDL. I know that the MDC folks think we can't directly copy development articles from the KB to there because of the differences in licensing. I don't think kerz has the authority to allow a change in license on behalf of the editors, so whatever license Mozilla chooses would have to be compatible to be able to copy the content. I'd imagine such a compatible license would work the other way too.

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