[Hpr] Vote on removing non HPR shows.

epicanis+hpr at dogphilosophy.net epicanis+hpr at dogphilosophy.net
Wed Oct 10 10:29:13 PDT 2012

> I appreciate where you are coming from but if you look at the queue
> you'll see that it's made up of shows from what I'd consider HPR
> regulars.
> [...] My email was a request to get new hosts or to get previous
> dormant hosts to send in new shows.
> Personally I think that the comments about stale content are unhelpful.

You may be misinterpreting what 5150 meant by "stale" (either that or I am...)
I don't think he means "too old", but rather "recycled" or "not 'fresh'" (i.e. not
an "original" to HPR).  It sounds like you may actually agree with this, given the
call for more hosts outside of the more productive handful who currently dominate
the calendar. (As a "dormant" host myself until a few weeks ago, I naturally
and self-interestedly approve...)

> The majority of HPR content is timeless, in so far as they are as valid
> today as they were when they were submitted. If any show is time
> sensitive, we can and do bump them up. 

I keep thinking there's got to be an option between "demand to be put at
the head of the queue immediately (due to timeliness or being new)" and
"wait at the back of the line", though I can't actually think what it would be.

It seems like there may be some unnecessary rigidity in the current
approach though.  For example:

> The only way to eliminate the queue quicker is to open the flood gates
> and let everything out as soon as it comes in. Which would mean a flood
> of shows a few times a year.

"Either we release one show a day, five times per week, or we release them all
at once?" Can't there be some middle path here?

> The other option is to remove syndicated content. Since our last
> discussion on this topic we have dropped the Sunday Morning Linux
> Review. Which leaves:
> Syndicated Thursdays, providing 25 shows. And TGTM News HPR Tech
> Edition which is a subset of TGTM News itself, providing 21 shows. That
> is a total of 46 shows minus the 13 non syndicated shows in the queue,
> means that we would have run out of shows on the 20th of August.

This implies that quite a large proportion of the shows are currently reruns
from elsewhere. Although I usually end up skipping them myself (unless 
the summary/show notes suggest that the episode specifically covers 
some topic I have an interest in) I don't think it's a bad idea to have occasional
promotions of shows from elsewhere that may be of interest to hackers, 
which hackers may not know of otherwise.  I wouldn't vote for merely 
getting rid of them, myself.

[...](repasted slightly out of order here...)[...]

> The fact that your shows have
> not come out yet are as a result of a splurge of shows been submitted
> after the new year and been processed according to the scheduling rules.
I think the problem may be that in the present situation, the existing
rules and schedule have given HPR a bout of podstipation.

At a rate of only 5 shows per week, one of which is "syndicated Thursdays"
and seemingly about one or two per week are scheduled slots, that means
that the regular calendar of everyone else is only going to move a few shows
each week. The current calendar of 15 shows looks like it will take another month
or more to get through - longer if your call for new hosts results in more new
hosts jumping the queue (I think this IS good practice by the way, 
I'm not saying they shouldn't). 

For the majority (I think) of currently-contributing hosts who cannot
reliably promise the time to contribute on a scheduled slot basis,
a show produced and uploaded today could be sitting for months before
the host gets any feedback (I don't know about anyone else, but that's
the main thing that motivates ME). The incentive is more to put off
doing a show for a few months to see if the queue goes down
rather than do it now.

My own suggestion: script the release rate to adjust based on the length of
the queue, with the goal of keeping approximately one to two weeks of
backlog. When the queue is short, release no more than now (five out of
seven days, once per day). When it is long, add weekends. Longer still, 
release every twelve hours.  This seems like something that ought to
be scriptable automatically based on the number of shows sitting in the 
queue directory.

And, yes, I'll volunteer to work on that if anyone likes the idea and wants
me to.

> Following the discussions last time, I understood that the community
> wanted to maintain both shows but I may have been mistaken. I don't
> want to go over this again and again so if no-one objects I would like
> to have the community vote on whither to drop ST and/or TGTM news.

So to reiterate, my vote is: do not drop those shows. 
But DO look for other ways to get the queue flowing better.
(Reducing the number of non-HPR shows may help, but I don't
think their existence is the main problem.)

A self-proclaimed Acknowledgement Courtesan

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