can't post through google groups

RESOLVED FIXED

Status

mozilla.org Graveyard
Server Operations
P1
normal
RESOLVED FIXED
12 years ago
3 years ago

People

(Reporter: vlad, Assigned: justdave)

Tracking

Details

I seem to be unable to post to the mozilla.* newsgroups through google groups; I thought this was one of the requirements (and the whole reason why we went through the trouble to peer with google)?
No, we specifically asked them not to allow posting.  We're peering with them for archiving/search reasons.
Status: NEW → RESOLVED
Last Resolved: 12 years ago
Resolution: --- → WONTFIX
Uh, so the whole reason we went through the contortions to peer with google groups was to set up a read-only thing?  That was never mentioned in any of the communication regarding the newsgroups... we're a web-focused company building a web-focused product and yet it's impossible to interact with our official dev/user forums through the web?
(In reply to comment #1)
> No, we specifically asked them not to allow posting.  We're peering with them
> for archiving/search reasons.

That we asked them specifically implies that there was a well thought through rationale for the out-of-the-norm request. Any hint as to what that was?
(In reply to comment #3)
> That we asked them specifically implies that there was a well thought through
> rationale for the out-of-the-norm request. Any hint as to what that was?

Google has no intention of honoring cancel messages from us, and the original requirements list I was given (which is what was discussed at length by staff before we went through with this) included that we be able to remove spam.
Not to pester, as I'm sure that you've gone through this before (sadly I wasn't on staff@ when this was being discussed) but can Google Groups restrict posts to people with a Gmail address? While that won't eliminate spam, it will really cut down on it.
Reopening.

As we publicize discussion on these newsgroups, we're seeing more and more confusion around the fact that users can't post through Google Groups. I'd like to revisit the reasons for not enabling this. 

(In reply to comment #4)
> Google has no intention of honoring cancel messages from us, and the original
> requirements list I was given (which is what was discussed at length by staff
> before we went through with this) included that we be able to remove spam.

There is a "Messages from non-members are moderated - Recommended for "Anyone can post" groups to reduce the possibility of spam." option in Google Groups. Could we use this?
Status: RESOLVED → REOPENED
Resolution: WONTFIX → ---
(In reply to comment #6)
> There is a "Messages from non-members are moderated - Recommended for "Anyone
> can post" groups to reduce the possibility of spam." option in Google Groups.
> Could we use this?

I don't think we can; that refers to google groups-created groups (e.g. mailing lists, not nntp).  There isn't a notion of membership to a nntp group, I don't think.  I don't even think we really need this -- I don't see anyone spamming us through the google groups interface, really.
cc'ing gervase, as I understand he's the one who's done a lot of the work around the newsgroup migration.

Gerv, to give you the nutshell:

 - we point people to the google groups versions of our newsgroups
 - they can't post using that interface
 - that seems stupid for a couple of reasons
     - 1. if they subscribe to the mailing list, they can't reply to an
          existing thread, and have to spawn a new one
     - 2. it it unintiuitive and a barrier to entry

Letting people post through google groups seems like a sensible thing to be doing, and I'm not sure we should worry about fixing a spam problem until such a problem exists.
OK, so I have no objection to allowing posting through Google Groups in principle, if we can do it without breaking any of the invariants of the process (such as no propagation to the rest of Usenet, and very little spam). 

I don't know if this is just a question of sending Google and email, or it's more complicated. Dave Miller would probably know more of the technical details. CCing him.

Gerv

Comment 10

12 years ago
So I we discussed this as a team today.  A few issues here:

* This would really complicate the propagation setup - per justdave:
"We would need Google to set up a feed going back to Giganews containing only the mozilla.* groups, and have that feed set up in such a way that it doesn't propagate to anyone other than Giganews.  I think what they did to us currently amounts to an on/off switch, it either propagates or it doesn't. I don't know if they have the capability to limit who it propagates to if they turn it on."
* These are newsgroups, so I don't see using a traditional newsgroup reader a huge barrier to entry.
* Why create a special case for Google?  We don't allow the rest of the Usenet community to post...so why only Google?  The initial reason to behind propagating to them was for easier viewing and archiving - not for posting.
* From the beginning, we have always wanted to only allow posting through our servers in order to control spam.

Given all of the above, I'd like to continue to only allow posts via Giganews.  Of course, open to comments but I really need to see how this  is worth all the effort of implementing multiple one-off solutions.  Furthermore, if we allow Google, I think we should allow everyone on Usenet to post which brings us back to the initial decision to not allow two-way propagation :)

Comment 11

12 years ago
(In reply to comment #10)
> So I we discussed this as a team today.  A few issues here:
> * These are newsgroups, so I don't see using a traditional newsgroup reader a
> huge barrier to entry.
There are a lot of people who do not want to use a traditional newsgroup reader to participate in these discussions.  As vlad said earlier in this thread: "we're a web-focused company building
a web-focused product and yet it's impossible to interact with our official
dev/user forums through the web?"

> * Why create a special case for Google?  We don't allow the rest of the Usenet
> community to post...so why only Google?  The initial reason to behind
> propagating to them was for easier viewing and archiving - not for posting.
Because they provide a web interface for news.  I suppose if we wanted to run or write and maintain our own, that would be a workable solution.


> * From the beginning, we have always wanted to only allow posting through our
> servers in order to control spam.

Do you really think that people posting through google is going to result in a large uptake in spam?  I can only imagine that they do a pretty good job of making sure spam doesn't come in from their site.


--

If we really expecting people to use the newsgroups for communications then we need to make it as easy to use as possible.  People email google groups links to me and I click on them and want to reply and I can't.  I wouldn't really be sad if we did away with newsgroups entirely and replaced them with web forums or something, but this isn't really the right place for that conversation.
Justin, don't take this the wrong way, but comment 10 sounds like:

* "it's hard for admins" -- but that's no objection to making things right and easy for users.

* "users should use news to post" -- we shouldn't dictate tools especially when we mirror to google groups for easy reading and linking via Firefox, and other google groups are postable.

* "why a special case for posts from google groups?"  because they're special, and stuff.  They have junk filtering, we like them, users like them.  Some random NNTP peer might also have that goodness, but we don't know of it, and we don't need to go looking for special cases to fix in addition; google groups is special enough.

* "only posts to our server can be trusted" -- not so, based on google groups rep and our experience.

I think we should persuade Giga to take posts from Google Groups.  Is there some better reason than the above not to pursue this?

/be

Updated

12 years ago
Hardware: PC → All
--> newsgroups
Component: Server Operations → Newsgroups

Comment 14

12 years ago
beltzner, what are you doing?

Newsgroups	gerv@mozilla.org	justdave@mozilla.com
Any issues having to do with adding/removing/renaming newsgroups or the setup of the hierarchy. Issues with server problems should continue to go in the Server Operations component.
(He's making a strong case for giving that component a clearer name, like "Newsgroup Hierarchy Issues", IMO.)
Component: Newsgroups → Server Operations

Comment 16

12 years ago
If you file a bug in mozilla.org:components and keywords, i'll change it for you. although i suppose i'd rather you find a couple of people to agree before I make such a change (and I'm told you actually have the power to make the change yourself ...).
I'll second that change.

Gerv
Here's my user experience:

1) Subscribe to mozilla.dev groups through Google Groups (because I already have a gmail account and some Groups subscriptions, and I've never *heard* of Giganews)
2) Read.
3) Decide I want to post. For some reason I can't. Impossible to tell why. Maybe it's just a glitch? Wait to see if it goes away.
5) Days later I still can't post and I've forgotten what I wanted to say anyway.
6) Go back to using private mailing lists.

This can't be uncommon (except that at step 6 those not already "in the loop" will probably just disappear).
Assignee: server-ops → justdave
Status: REOPENED → NEW
(In reply to comment #18)
> I've never *heard* of Giganews

There's no need to know about GN's involvement. The server name is news.mozilla.org.

> 3) Decide I want to post. For some reason I can't. Impossible to tell why.

"Impossible to tell why" is the problem. Google has the mozilla.* groups classified under "USENET".

The reason for not going to usenet is so MoFo can have control over the newsgroups (ability to remove both newsgroups and newsgroup articles). If Google is to be involved, they should be honouring message cancels made by MoFo.

Right now, I say don't allow posting via Google.

Perhaps this discussion should be moved to mozilla.dev.mozilla-org, rather than bugzilla comments.

Comment 20

12 years ago
(In reply to comment #19)
> Perhaps this discussion should be moved to mozilla.dev.mozilla-org, rather than
> bugzilla comments.
> 

The whole point of this bug is that there are people who refuse to use the newsgroups unless there is a web frontend they can post from.  Moving this to the newsgroups would make it hard for everyone who needs to participate to do so.
Well, no; it's not mainly a "refuse" issue, but instead it's a "not practical" issue -- in particular, the use case was being able to link to a discussion-in-progress via google groups and have people be able to meaningfully participate from that link.
(In reply to comment #20)
> The whole point of this bug is that there are people who refuse to use the
> newsgroups unless there is a web frontend they can post from.  Moving this to
> the newsgroups would make it hard for everyone who needs to participate to do
> so.

Okay, fine. I just thought it was considered bad Bugzilla Etiquette.

I'm sure people aren't "refusing" to use a newsreader; but they just much *prefer* to use a web-based client. :-) Ideally, I think everyone can agree that the discussion groups should be as accessible as possible; but there's a cost for that accessibility. Lack of control. If Google were willing to honour cancels and prevent posting on 'shut down' groups, I'd say "heck yeah, allow posting through Google Groups".
(In reply to comment #19)
> "Impossible to tell why" is the problem. Google has the mozilla.* groups
> classified under "USENET".

Sure. Can you fix it? If not, we might be better off disabling access through Google completely.
(In reply to comment #23)
> (In reply to comment #19)
> > "Impossible to tell why" is the problem. Google has the mozilla.* groups
> > classified under "USENET".
> 
> Sure. Can you fix it? If not, we might be better off disabling access through
> Google completely.

Huh?  I don't see how that follows at all.


One piece of this problem is that Firefox doesn't really have a story for dealing with alternate representations of news: URLs.  It might be worth spinning off another bug to implement handling of link rel="alternate" specific to certain URL types, and then encouraging Google and others to embed that sort of linkage in their web pages.
(In reply to comment #24)
> (In reply to comment #23)
> > Can you fix it? If not, we might be better off disabling access through
> > Google completely.
> Huh?  I don't see how that follows at all.

The situation right now is that Google Groups is the easiest way to discover the Mozilla newsgroups. But once someone has discovered them, they can't post, and there's no way to tell why. How many will poke around until they find something that tells them to get a real newsreader and point it at news.mozilla.org, and how many will just think they're not authorized or something, and walk away?
I opened tickets with both Giganews and Google earlier today to inquire into the possibilities for this. Heard back from Giganews already, it sounds positive on their end.  Still waiting to hear from Google (and their side was the more iffy part anyway).
Whiteboard: waiting response from Google
Priority: -- → P1
Looks like Google has started to allow posting to the mozilla.* groups. The bad part is that posts made via Google are not showing on news.mozilla.org. Either it's something on the Giganews end, or it's bug 326634 on steroids.
(In reply to comment #28)
> Looks like Google has started to allow posting to the mozilla.* groups. The bad
> part is that posts made via Google are not showing on news.mozilla.org. Either
> it's something on the Giganews end, or it's bug 326634 on steroids.

OK, I hadn't got copied on the original email from Google, but they did indeed open posting, and verified that they were feeding Giganews.  How long did you wait?  Have posts from google still not shown up on n.m.o?

Google says they're feeding it, and Giganews says they already have a feed from them, so...
I've sent a note back to Giganews to double-check their incoming feed.
Whiteboard: waiting response from Google → waiting response from Giganews
Appears to be working now. Anyone wanna verify? :-)
(In reply to comment #32)
> Appears to be working now. Anyone wanna verify? :-)

Yep, I just got mail from Giganews confirming that.  The problem was on their end (they were blocking posts to mozilla.* from Google because of test stuff they had thrown in during the troubleshooting of the t-online thing, that hadn't been removed after we resolved that).
Status: NEW → RESOLVED
Last Resolved: 12 years ago12 years ago
Resolution: --- → FIXED
Whiteboard: waiting response from Giganews
I don't even know how to get into Google groups. And am uninterested in learning how. Fact is here lately there is increasing amounts of spam that when mozilla only was handling things were unheard of.

And I would like the ability to cancle a post I made if I have written it badly (which I am apt to do). Or if I found new information to either negate or improve my post. 
Product: mozilla.org → mozilla.org Graveyard
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