[OSGeo-Discuss] OSGeo: Taking stock of OSGeo after six months

Tyler Mitchell tylermitchell at shaw.ca
Wed Aug 16 22:54:39 PDT 2006

On 16-Aug-06, at 10:11 AM, Gary Lang wrote:
> What’s not working about OSGeo?
> What is working about OSGeo?
> Thanks ahead of time for your comments.
> Gary
The two biggest things that I've been excited to see have been:
-promotion/exposure through conferences.  The great opportunities  
Autodesk gave us by sponsoring conferences for us - Where 2.0, OSCON  
and next month, FOSS4G, EuroOSCON - as well as other conferences that  
CCGIS helped coordinated -Intergeo and others- have generated a lot  
of positive energy, especially for members/volunteers who helped make  
those events happen.  Working together has been a very positive  
experience.  It's been great to see and be part of.  I think it is  
working very well, though the Visibility Committee needs more members  
to help make events happen around the globe.
-cross pollination between projects.  I haven't been watching the  
incubation process in detail, but from a general perspective I see  
projects with mentors from other projects working together.  That's  
really exciting for me to see when I think that apart from OSGeo  
there wouldn't be a good forum for working together like that.

Needs Improvement
The main part of OSGeo that I think is not working as well as it  
could is communication.  We have many mailing lists, which somewhat  
hide the real activity that is going on if you aren't following them  
every hour.  There are committee conference calls as well.  We also  
have a very active IRC channel which allows for awesome 1-on-1, real- 
time discussion, but it is also veiled somewhat from the public.  Of  
course you can review IRC logs, follow many mailing lists and watch  
the wiki for changes, but we need some way to distill or amplify  
these great discussions in a manner that allows everyone to know, at  
a glance, what is going on.  I have no real solution for this, but  
I'm sure we can hack something together.

Another aspect of communication are regular reports from committees,  
the board and other working groups.  I'd like to see us get monthly  
reporting working - hopefully it can help us keep up with some of the  
key things that are going on.  I also think that we could use a  
newsletter.  It could be fed by news items/summaries from the  
committees and board, etc.  And also highlight what folks in the  
community are up to with OSS in general.

One other negative point is the membership management.  By this I  
mean the tools (or lack thereof) that allow us to find each, see who  
is signed up to or interested in certain projects.  When I tell  
someone to join OSGeo, I don't have any meaningful way for them to  
make a donation or for me to add their name to an official list  
(other than the wiki).  As part of this I'd like to set up a way of  
making shirts and business cards available for those who want them  
and get a payment process in place for receiving donations or orders.

So, nothing earthshatteringly broken in my opinion - it can all be  
addressed with a bit of innovation, a plan and some elbow grease.   
It's always just a matter of time before we get around to it...


More information about the Discuss mailing list