[OSGeo-Conf] [Board] Fwd: Analysing the downfall of FOSS4G 2011

Frank Warmerdam warmerdam at pobox.com
Tue Aug 14 16:36:05 PDT 2012

> On 14/08/2012 5:46 PM, Barend Köbben wrote:
>> There are and always will be 'competing events'. No need to feel
>> threatened by that, but in my opinion also no need to pick one of them as
>> being a special one to be nursed and helped financially, just because it
>> happens to be a very good and professional one. Im an talking of course
>> one FOSS4GNA. I my opinion the ease with which the board seems to be
>> willing to financially garantuee this conference is puzzling. If you
>> support that local event to that extent, how can you say no to others like
>> that (FOSS4G CEE, FOSGIS DE, etcetera). All fine, but where do you stop
>> then...?


Note, that I am not aware of having received formal requests, or
having turned down backing for other events.

Also, some local events are (in one way or another) backed by a local
chapter or a local organization.  This was difficult for FOSS4G NA for
which there was no NA chapter.  For the first FOSS4G NA an effort was
made to establish an NA chapter to back it as this is the model we had
elsewhere and effectively it proceeded with little board backing in
the first year (really due to backing by a corporation I think).  We
are now contemplating financially backing next years event because
there is no deep-pockets organization in MN ready to back it.

While I prefer as many events as possible to be locally backed, I
think it is reasonable for OSGeo to fill that role in some cases, and
not just in NA.

>> And one thing I seem to miss:
>> Under communication  and /or decision making, I miss an item. I got
>> involved rather late (in the Academic Chair thing) , but at that stage
>> there seemed to be no or little links or communication between the  LOC
>> and the OSGEO board. I have been involved in a similar setup (ICA, the
>> International Cartographic Association and its two-yearly conference ICC),
>> and I know they have a rather strict scenario, with agreements to sign and
>> a time table of deadlines. And, yes indeed, at least one liaison from the
>> board that has some decision powers and clout...

The *normal* process would be that the LOC presents a budget to OSGeo's
board for approval before we back anything.  Our backing comes with a
board rep who participates in the LOC and monitors that things are
operating against the plan.  For a while I attempted to play that role, but
the LOC did not appear interested in OSGeo financial backing and so we
lost the main leverage.  Also, while I was nominally involved in practice
there was never any discussion on any mailing list I was on, not even
in Chinese which I would have gladly muddled through via google

I assumed things were happening, just without me.   To me, a
lesson of the Beijing effort is that it is hard to be involved
remotely if the LOC won't communicate by email/irc/etc.
I presume all the discussions that did happen were done by
private email or in person but I was left with no visibility or
ability to assist.

Best regards,
I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, warmerdam at pobox.com
light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/~warmerdam
and watch the world go round - Rush    | Geospatial Software Developer

More information about the Conference_dev mailing list