[OSGeo-Conf] [Board] R: Conference Committee Guidelines

Suchith Anand Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk
Thu Dec 8 03:21:05 PST 2016

Dear all,

We are all humans and sometimes unintentional misunderstanding  happens. So i humbly request everyone to please do not take anything personal. We are an open community and we value different opinions and perspectives. Hence we have lively discussions on all topics and we learn from each other.

All our amazing volunteers are putting thier time and efforts for OSGeo and we are all very grateful to everyone. We are all working for Open Principles.

May the FOSS be with everyone...

Best wishes,


From: Board <board-bounces at lists.osgeo.org> on behalf of Maria Antonia Brovelli <maria.brovelli at polimi.it>
Sent: 07 December 2016 11:21 PM
To: Angelos Tzotsos; Cameron Shorter; conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org; board at lists.osgeo.org
Subject: [Board] R:  [OSGeo-Conf] Conference Committee Guidelines

Dear Angelos

In the history of the long discussion in the Conference Committee the ending is missing and I will shortly summarise it:

- Many members of the Committee were complaining about the fact that governance of the committee is not part of the duties of the Committee itself

- At this point I proposed that we can ask the Board to express itself

- When I was elected in the Board, I immediately asked to discuss about what we are expecting in the governance of the Committees and, as Board, we decided that is good that every Committee proposes its governance to be then discussed with the Board.

Unfortunately there are some (luckily few, because we are a wonderful community) members who tend to be offensive with other members.

I want to clarify that me too I'm volunteering for OSGeo, generally "working" the weekend and during the night (exactly like now) and that, as a human being, I tend to become sad and demotivated when people are offending me.

It is not the first time that I have read more or less the same words (and cited tge same book) and I wonder if there is the possibility of being less aggressive against me first because I am a human being and second because I am doing as much as I can for this community.

I will take same days of rest.
Lovely night/day to everybody.

Inviato dal mio dispositivo Samsung

-------- Messaggio originale --------
Da: Angelos Tzotsos <gcpp.kalxas at gmail.com>
Data: 06/12/16 13:48 (GMT+01:00)
A: Cameron Shorter <cameron.shorter at gmail.com>, conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org, board at lists.osgeo.org
Oggetto: Re: [Board] [OSGeo-Conf] Conference Committee Guidelines

Dear Cameron,

The following are my own views, not an official response from the board:

If such policy never existed and things worked well for the conference
committee, then why did the committee tried to apply a new policy? And
why did this new policy got blocked? Perhaps because it was not clear
how the committee should work in the first place?

The board is asking for a document to actually avoid this situation.
Having some (even minimal) document of how things work (and incubation
committee documents are an excellent example, thanks Jody), would avoid
such problems in the future.

I don't believe that the board is trying to lead by directing or
micro-managing the committees. We actually were all against that in the
video conference we had. But in order to get some consensus, a minimal
set of rules has to be somehow be expressed.

Please have in mind that volunteers don't only loose their interest when
formalities/bureaucracy take over, but also when things are not
transparent or when major conflicts happen. I am guessing that Steven
did not step down as a chair just because the new policy didn't go
through, but also by being involved in a conflict with long e-mail
threads etc. The board discussion was towards making things more
transparent and open. It was also clear that the "committee guidelines"
on our wiki are not a formal document but just an example, and that
committees are free to do their own thing.

Regarding your reference to the Eric Raymond document, personally I find
it offensive that you question us being aware of it, or having read it.

In any case, thank you for your input.


On 12/06/2016 12:48 PM, Cameron Shorter wrote:
> OSGeo board,
> I suspect you'll get a minimal response to a call for membership
> policies.
> The reasons are relatively subtle. Volunteers step up to scratch an
> itch if they feel there is a need. If such policies are not in place
> yet, then communities probably don't feel the need for them.
> Having the board direct communities to produce documents, in a
> command-and-control type request is typically not how open source
> communities work effectively.
> I think you will find OSGeo communities work effectively, whether
> their processes are written down or not.
> If you haven't already read it, I suggest having a look at The
> Cathedral and the Bazaar, by Eric Raymond. In particular, this chapter:
> http://www.catb.org/esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/cathedral-bazaar/ar01s11.html
> I suggest that leading by example and amplifying initiatives of others
> will be more effective for you than leading by directing. It will help
> you as a board be more effective during your term in office.
> Warm regards, Cameron
> On 6/12/2016 4:17 AM, Angelos Tzotsos wrote:
>> Dear Conference Committee,
>> Following up on your recent motion to update your membership policies
>> and process, and the issues raised by this motion, the board has held
>> a video meeting to discuss the issue of committee guidelines.
>> As a result, the board is asking everyone to write down "committee
>> guidelines" on how each functions.  The idea is to make sure our
>> committees are transparent in their decision making, and open to
>> participation.
>> There is a wiki page here
>> https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Committee_Guidelines that provides more
>> information (and helpfully provides guidance for committee chairs).
>> There are some examples of different committees doing their thing
>> here (https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Committee_Guidelines#Examples).
>> Best regards,
>> Angelos

Angelos Tzotsos, PhD
OSGeo Charter Member

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