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

Jo Walsh jo at frot.org
Sun Aug 27 09:24:11 PDT 2006

dear Gary, all,
On Fri, Aug 25, 2006 at 01:59:52PM -0700, Gary Lang wrote:
> Is this a result of tools or the committee structure and
> responsibilities being to diffuse? 

http://frot.org/osgeo/inbox_wept.png is an illustration of the issue
i'm having. So a slightly more intelligent mailing list manager would
help a lot in reducing the 'psychic spam' effect, but would also be
papering over the cracks.

Remember this? 
After the Board F2F before Where2 both these committees had a 'putsch'
and Mpg sketched out what a VisCom with expanded remit and
responsibility for WebStuff might look like. And the "Modest Proposal"
winds up subsuming most of what the Foundation is doing internally.

[[ I just want to make each functional area of our mission is covered,
with clarity and without overlap, and that there is one designated
person with ownership and authority for each area. ]]

I'm with this up to 'and'. Redundancy == robustness, timeliness.
Overlap isn't a bad thing as long as people are communicating clearly. 
Like FrankW is news editor, i am backup / redundant news editor. 
When projects or members send their news to news_item at osgeo.org one of
us takes the task on and lets the other know before starting. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semaphore_%28programming%28 , maybe.

I would bet that there is no-one on the WebCom, FunCom or Board lists
who isn't also on the VisCom list. Also that a lot of the people on
*this* list are here because they are interested in socialising open
source geospatial in their professional context; not because they're
interested in analysing the internal workings of a software foundation.
I've contemplated the idea of starting an osgeo-internals type list -
that people who don't want the committee-level detail but want to know
more about what's going on internally and help out (like Jody?) can
sit on... that general questions like Jason's about PayPal donation
and membership profiles can go on... then 'actionable' stuff gets
quickly hived off to different subgroups/committees. A lot of the
conversation on the Board list could belong there, too.

[[ mpg willing to chair this uber-VisCom thing, but suggests the putative
Executive Director eventually take on this role. ]]

A lot is going to change once OSGeo gets to hiring an Executive
Director. ( For one, we'll get a request tracker and it would make sense
for everyone 'getting things done' to participate in that.
http://hiveminder.com/ is worth checking out now it's public - hosted
service collaborative task management done by the same company that
made RT, the open source perl based request tracker system. )

http://wiki.osgeo.org/index.php/Executive_Director - a *lot* of
collective thought has gone into this - curious as to how well it maps
to Mpg's uber-Viscom, meta-committee remit / ideal.

So far the Board has basically been a de facto Executive Committee,
carrying out activity through committees, projects chapters. This is
hard because it means that the centre looks 'still' and Board members
winds up being involved in, or feeling responsible for, a lot of 
microdecisions, and getting too much information throughput ('inbox wept').

I'm mulling over this received wisdom that 'leadership' and 'management' 
are different qualities and that it's of benefit for them to be embodied 
in separate faculties and persons...


I guess i'm seeing that last link much as the 'internals' group looks. 
Perhaps all this business methodology rhetoric is warping my
perception, and i should shut up and write some code in a darkened room.



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