The unnecessary censorship discussion post...
Update: Before posting this, I had made an effort to verify that this was not a technical problem. However, Lenz from the MySQL Community team has now replied that indeed Zak Greant's RSS feed had changed it's URL address (see comments), which is why new posts did not appear. So rather than telling anything about Planet MySQL, this post is good evidence of my and others mistrust towards it - thankfully still unfounded. (The roots of this is also discussed in the comments.)
NOTE: Heading of this post was subsequently changed.
Not that I would be surprised of anything anymore, but still.
Ok, so ever since I started working for Monty, we have become an outlet for people that have complaints, suspicions, anything against the official Sun/MySQL organization that people may have. So it is not that we like to complain, things just come to us. (And most of it stays out of the public.)
During the summer there were 2 incidents that people suspected Planet MySQL being censored. The first one turned out to be a possible problem in browser cache. (Or maybe something was censored and then put back?) For the second one: "Wow, I'm not sure it is a coincidence. An internal Sun/MySQL employee posted something in support of Open Database Alliance on sun.com right after its announcement, which I read, and within 2 hours it had disappeared." ...it is likely that planet.mysql.com was not censored, but rather the employee was told to remove his blog post completely, I know that happened every now and then. (And it is a different kind of censorship, say what you want but at least it is commonly accepted that employees should just shut up when their boss tells them to.)
But now I notice that Zak Greant's latest post where he disagrees with Mårten's open letter to the EU is not on Planet MySQL. It is properly tagged with MySQL, like all other his posts that are on planet.mysql.com.
So disagreeing with Mårten is not allowed now? Or what is the problem? (Mårten's letter got quite many + votes, so apparently the topic itself is popular and newsworthy, just the opinion is different.)
If this is censorship I'm seeing, I'm a bit surprised. A Planet is only passively syndicating blogs from other sources. It is obvious to anyone this is not something Sun or MySQL is writing. As long as this is the case, then everyone understands the original author is responsible for what he writes, not the Planet site. But if you start censoring the Planet itself, suddenly there is an active publisher role. Then the next time there is a post someone doesn't like, you may have to censor that too, because now you can't claim that the Planet is just passively syndicating other blogs without no editorial control from its maintainer - you suddenly have editorial responsibility.
Do other Planets ever censor anything? Ever?
Note that I would also understand if someone was expelled from a planet feed, such as for spamming off topic posts. But being selective on a post-by-post basis is purely censorship - or put more mildly "active editorial engagement", which is not what a Planet website should do.