As you may have noticed, something happened which caused a bunch of old articles from communityblog.fedoraproject.org to get published here as new articles. There are some interesting historical tidbits in there… but it’s not news. We’re looking into it.
As best as I can tell, it’s because someone removed the “Modularity” and “Atomic” categories. Those posts look like they would have been in those categories and removing the category would make them appear new to the Discourse bot, which has no concept of “wow, this is really old. I’d better ignore it.”
This was 100% me I had no idea I was opening a pandora’s box by cleaning up the CommBlog categories.
I worked on the CommBlog today and made changes to several categories:
I added descriptions to several different categories, e.g. Fedora CoreOS, IoT, Council, and others.
I renamed some categories to be more clear what content goes there based on how they are practically used, e.g. “Development” → “Development & Packaging.” I updated some to reflect new names, e.g. “Diversity & Inclusion” to “Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion.”
I consolidated two categories into other categories because they are no longer being used and had less than 10 posts, i.e. Atomic and Modularity Initiative. My motive was that I believe categories should reflect long-term, important work in Fedora and tags should capture activities that come and pass. For both the Atomic and Modularity Initiative categories, they also had a tag for “Atomic” and “Fedora Modularity,” so I made sure every post in those categories had the right tag, and then consolidated them to “Development & Packaging” in most cases.
I updated the menu bar layout to better match the Fedora org chart, i.e. splitting most categories into either “Engineering Teams” or “Mindshare Teams.” I also added some categories which were previously not visible, i.e. CoreOS, IoT, EPEL.
I realize that I should have communicated this change better. I did not expect it to be disruptive, but I guess that is what I get for just going and changing things.
What would be a better way to announce and discuss change like this? I know there is the CommBlog review category, but I am not sure whether that is best suited for article review only, or if it should also include meta conversation about the CommBlog editorial end of things too.
It’s not even that. We do want it to pick up edits to older blog posts in some circumstances and our use case isn’t necessarily everyone’s use case; it’s a hard problem to solve in the general sense. The issue here is two-fold:
We probably shouldn’t have removed outdated categories. There’s not much harm in leaving them around and they’re useful for historical context.
If we had temporarily disabled the plugin while making those changes, they wouldn’t have resulted in the flood of undesired posts that we saw yesterday.