[OSGeo-Conf] FOSS4G selection 2014 - consideration for new method

Till Adams till.adams at fossgis.de
Wed Dec 19 02:56:30 PST 2018


first of all, I think "overwhelming" is presumably exaggerated and also
not known. Calgary simply got more votes than Halifax.

As one of the people that voted, I can say, that sustanability was *one*
out of several criterias, that I considered, but not the only one!

So your term "conference sustainability [...] wasn't something that was
was given much weight in the voting." is simply wrong and in my eyes it
is inappropriate to subordinate it to the electing members.

I think everybody had his personal criteria and came to a personal
result based on these.

Regards, Till

Am 19.12.18 um 11:42 schrieb Jonathan Moules:
> Hi Eli,
> Excellent points you've made.
> If I may add to your list of selection criteria - the obvious missing
> item to me is "conference sustainability". In my eyes the Halifax bid
> had stronger sustainability plans and ethos behind it, but the CC
> overwhelmingly voted for Calgary, which suggests this wasn't something
> that was was given much weight in the voting.
> I'm hoping Calgary can take their already good start down that road and
> pick up some of the addition notions that the Halifax LoC had.
> Cheers,
> Jonathan
> On 2018-12-18 17:15, Eli Adam wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> Given the quality of both proposals for 2020, I've been thinking a lot
>> about the best criteria to make a decision.  Since about 2014 and
>> possibly before, I think that the FOSS4G selection process does not
>> serve our community or the conference as well as it could [1].  The
>> selection process may also have harmful side effects.  Due to my
>> personal involvement with 2014, I'll keep most of my comments oriented
>> towards 2014 but it has been applicable to other years as well.  
>> What are valid criteria for selecting the FOSS4G LOC?  The criteria I
>> personally have used are that FOSS4G is OSGeo's primary source of
>> income and thus very important.  The conference should have a high
>> probability of success and low risk.  I look at the budget, how
>> reasonable I think the numbers are, and if there are any objectionable
>> contracts (usually hotel block commitments).  I look at the LOC
>> members and their experience.  I also look at the geography of past
>> conferences and value bringing FOSS4G to a new region.  Beyond that, I
>> have not been able to come up with additional selection criteria that
>> I consider valid.  What do others think?  I'd like to add to this
>> list.  Recapping the criteria, that is:
>> 1) High probability of success
>> 2) low risk
>> 3) reasonable budget
>> 4) absence of objectionable contracts
>> 5) LOC experience
>> 6) FOSS4G geography and history
>> (I also have personal preferences like where I might have a free place
>> to stay, what's a cheaper travel option, who I know, etc but don't
>> consider those valid criteria.  And purposely don't vote on those items.)
>> Given those valid criteria, I often evaluate all the FOSS4G proposals
>> as extremely good.  Each having extremely high probability of success
>> and relatively low risk.  In many years, I've not really found valid
>> reasons to select one proposal over another.  I found that to be the
>> case even when I was on the LOC of one of the proposals!  
>> While a member of the 2014 LOC during the bid process, I could not
>> honestly assert that the PDX proposal was any better than the DC
>> proposal.  Obviously as a member of the PDX LOC, I was in favor of
>> ours, but that self-serving interest is not a valid basis.  Both
>> proposals would have led to great conferences with high probability of
>> success, low risk, realistic budgets, no objectionable contracts,
>> great LOC experience, and FOSS4G geography.  I've found this
>> near-equivalence of proposals to be the case in more than one
>> subsequent year.  
>> With proposals of near-equivalence, I see no point in voting and
>> selecting one.  This leads to putting two spatial centers of great
>> OSGeo and FOSS4G enthusiasm into opposition.  This competing is not
>> the typical collaborative OSGeo and FOSS4G way.  It is in fact perhaps
>> contrary to the manner in which we build software together.  With the
>> FOSS4G selection method we use now, we invariably greatly disappoint
>> one of the proposal groups.  We also are creating a lot of waste and
>> wasted effort.  I'd like to see a conference selection method that
>> more closely matches the collaborative spirit in which we approach
>> other endeavors.   
>> How our current selection method fails to best serve the conference or
>> our community and possible harmful side effects:
>> 1. Makes something trivial overly important. 
>> 2. Creates divisions
>> 3. Zero-sum competition (as opposed to the competition of the old WMS
>> shootouts which were beneficial to all the softwares and users of the
>> software).  
>> 4. Does not mirror our collaborative approach to software development
>> and other collaborative activities. 
>> 5. Disappoints a group and region
>> 6. Fails to make use of great potential. 
>> 7. Does not make a better conference based on the above criteria
>> I take FOSS4G selection more seriously than anything else that OSGeo
>> does.  FOSS4G selection is more important than anything that the Board
>> will do in the next year.  OSGeo's (financial) existence depends on
>> the FOSS4G selection. Therefore I'd like us to re-examine how we make
>> the selection.  I'd like to consider a new FOSS4G selection method. 
>> Would you like to see a new FOSS4G selection method?  What would that
>> look like?
>> This is an off-handed critique I leveled in private conversation which
>> I'll quote: "If we were a competent organization, we would recognize
>> that there is demand for TWO successful conferences in Canada.  We
>> would on the basis of costs and other advantages, select one for 2020
>> and the other for a 2021 regional conference (the 2021 "regional"
>> conference may actually be "better" by following after the other and
>> building on the enthusiasm and having another year of planning.)" 
>> I've not been involved with the FOSS4GNA organizing but perhaps these
>> efforts could be harmonized in some manner?  I'm not really
>> knowledgeable on this topic, so someone knowledgeable should talk
>> about this.  While I'm straying from 2014 commentary, I'll also
>> comment that these two 2020 proposals for a North American year were
>> strikingly similar.  Both are in Canada (I would have expected at
>> least one US entry before two from Canada), both are taking the novel
>> approach of in-housing the PCO services, and both rate well on the
>> above valid criteria.    
>> [1] Previous thoughts about ties but similar to these
>> thoughts.  https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/board/2014-February/006720.html
>> Best regards, Eli
>> _______________________________________________
>> Conference_dev mailing list
>> Conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org
>> https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev
> _______________________________________________
> Conference_dev mailing list
> Conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org
> https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev

More information about the Conference_dev mailing list