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linux news project impressions

I've been lurking on the lu-news list for a while, but haven't yet posted
anything.  It has been *busy* here.

I have some concerns about how all this is going that I would like to air.
Then you all can tell me why I'm off base...

The scope of the project seems to have expanded.  The initial goal, as I
understood it, was to have a mechanism by which somebody could submit a
news item of interest to just one place and have it propagate to all of the
relevant outlets.  This still strikes me as a good idea.  But what I see in
the proposals is a whole complicated system which directly addresses the
news presentation side as well.  It's as if the existing Linux news
resources are (1) to be replaced by the new "Linux News Service," or (2)
reduced to differentiating themselves by their choice of GIF files that
they place around the news items on their pages.  Now, if you can create
something that will replace the Linux Weekly News, we'll gladly drop it and
gain back a lot of time for paying work.  But that seems ambitious.

It seems overly complicated and overengineered.  Do we really need NNTP
servers?  Do we really need XML?  If we use XML, who will put all of the
news items into that format?  The submitters?  If we want people to
actually use this service to submit news items, it has to be trivially easy
for them to do.  We can not expect them all to learn XML.

Here is what I would propose to solve the initial problem:

- Create a mailing list to which people can submit news items.  I would
  happily host such a list, with as many of you as want as moderators.  Or
  it could go elsewhere.  We could consider multiple lists for a
  first-level categorization if we want.  The list(s) would be intended for
  Linux news providers, but I see no reason to limit subscriptions in any

- Maybe make a nice web interface somewhere for submitters who prefer that

- Publicise the list/web site.

The amount of work is trivial, and, assuming that the news sites hook in,
the initial problem is solved.  We could have it working in a day.  I guess
I really don't see what we gain by doing something more complicated.

So, what have I missed here?


Jonathan Corbet, Eklektix, Inc.