[OpenLayers-Dev] Entering OSGeo Project Sponsorship

Eric Lemoine eric.c2c at gmail.com
Sun Oct 12 05:08:51 EDT 2008


This is interesting! In particular that could really help improve the
project doc, infrastructure, etc. which are key to keep OpenLayers
successful. I like that.

I guess my main question is: how will the PSC decide where the funds
will go? "where" here means "to what tasks/projects" *and* "to what
organisations/individuals". Will the PSC be the only decision maker,
or will the sponsors also participate in the decisions?


2008/10/11, Christopher Schmidt <crschmidt at metacarta.com>:
> Developers,
> Over time, OpenLayers has demonstrated an amazing ability to generate
> contributors from all types of different groups, including organizations
> from all kinds of different groups: organizations using OpenLayers for
> their own work, organizations working as integration into other
> locations, and individual developers using OpenLayers for a number of
> different tasks.
> However, at this time, there are still a large number of organizations
> which do not have the resources to contribute to OpenLayers as
> effectively as others already established within the community. The
> reasons for this are widely varied: Some organizations simply don't have
> the Javascript skills in house, while others may not be able to
> contribute directly to OpenLayers for lack of time, or lack of direct
> connection to the project through existing developers.
> In many cases, these organizations may simply feel lost as a way to
> contribute to the project in a way that is effective.
> Recently, it was brought to my attention that the OSGeo Foundation
> already has some level of support in place for resolving this problem,
> in a way that I had not yet thought to apply to OpenLayers.
> Specifically, it is possible to allow organizations (or individuals) to
> contribute to OpenLayers through "Project Sponsorship". Project
> sponsorship is different from OSGeo Foundation sponsorhip: the majority
> of project sponsorship funds are held by OSGeo for direct dispersal at
> the discretion of the project steering committee of the project in
> question. (More information is available at
> http://wiki.osgeo.org/index.php/Project_Sponsorship ; specifically, 75%
> of the sponsorship funds are directed to the project, with the remaining
> 25% staying in OSGeo's hands for general supporting tasks.)
> I feel there are a number of possible tasks that sufficient funds could
> help to build improvements towards. For example, recently we saw a
> number of persons interested in an "OpenLayers book". I think that this
> task itself is not exactly what is needed, but instead is evidence that
> there is a limited level of prose documentation about OpenLayers
> available. The reason for this is simple: Prose documentation takes more
> time to write. (I know, I've written some of the only existing prose
> docs for OpenLayers, afaik, and I can definitely confirm that it is hard
> and time consuming work.) Additionally, writing good prose documentation
> typically requires a different set of skills than writing examples,
> code, and code documentation.
> Tasks that fall into the category where funding might help get them done
> might include:
>  * Improved prose documentation Prioritization of bugs, and handling of
>  * some bug reports which affect a number of users Writing tests for new
>  * features, or improing/extending existing tests
> Currently, there are a number of contributors to the OpenLayers project
> who might be in a position where funding could help them spend time on
> tasks. Specifically, OpenGeo has a number of people who are currently
> working on OpenLayers, and they offer consulting rates in general; I
> have some hope that perhaps we could use the funds to pay for OpenGeo
> consulting time to accomplish some tasks. (Of course, organizations
> could also donate some "in kind" time via lower rates or some such as a
> method of further sponsorship.)
> In the past, the GDAL project has achieved sufficient funding via
> sponsorship to pay for a part-time maintainership position to do some
> routine work like bug maintenance and test maintenance. Although I would
> love to have the same level of support for OpenLayers, at this time I
> can't predict whether there would be sufficient interest from
> organizations in sponsoring OpenLayers to this extent, so I can't say
> whether this would be a plausible idea. Still, one can imagine the
> possibility. (At this time, I do not have a candidate in mind who would
> fit such a role adequately; most of the direct contributors to the
> project I know are already employed by other consulting organizations,
> as far as I know.) The current information on GDAL's sponsorship program
> is available from:
> http://gdal.org/sponsorship.html
> In line with this, I've put together a draft for the OpenLayers project
> with similar wording. (Like our PSC Charter documents, this document was
> written with most of it cribbed directly from GDAL/OGR's sponsorship
> page, with appropriate modifications to make it relevant to the
> OpenLayers project.)
> http://crschmidt.net/~crschmidt/ol-sponsorship.html
> I'd like to accept feedback from the community at large on the project's
> participation in the OSGeo Project Sponsorship, and to solicit feedback
> on the proposed sponsorship document. Assuming no negative feedback, we
> can proceed to a vote of the PSC on moving forward with sponsorship
> after that.
> At this time, I expect to be the primary contact person for any
> sponsorship oppourtunities. I do this primarily because I'm pushing this
> forward; if anyone else wants the job, I'm happy to give it up. :) I
> also realize this would afford more responsibility to the PSC than has
> thus far existed. It is my hope that all decisions regarding project
> sponsorship fund distribution will be as open as possible, involving
> other members of the community wherever possible. (It may also be time
> for a reevaluation of the contents of the PSC in light of the current
> majority participants in the project, but I'd like to treat that as a
> seperate conversation, if possible.)
> So, if you've read this far: Do you have any qualms about pursuing
> sponsorhip of this kind? Do you think that OpenLayers should participate
> in this sponsorship program? Is there something eles you'd rather see
> the project do to allow participation by more organizations in the
> direction of OpenLayers without direct development involvement? Have I
> just been on an airplane too long? Looking forward to hearing from
> anyone and everyone interested...
> Best Regards,
> --
> Christopher Schmidt
> MetaCarta
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