[OSGeo-Discuss] Small projects

Daniel Brookshier dbrookshier at collab.net
Wed Mar 1 09:51:07 PST 2006

First, the process is not finalized, so I'll talk to it in its  
current form. We are starting with the Apache set, so it is fairly  
well tested by day-to-day use.

The process does indeed 'appear' large or even intrusive, but it is  
really a process of guidelines. The decisions are made by people and  
the process should not create great barriers to entry and allow some  

The key to acceptance of a project will be in how well you present  
it. More leg work, signing up volunteers, a clear plan, and some up  
front design are all part of the preferred process. The first  
indicator of a failed project is a wish list. Design, planning, and  
management are key to success in open source as any other endeavor.  
despite its reputation, open source is not the equivalent of anarchy.

The greatest fear is a SourceForge, where it is hard to find a useful  
project amongst the still-born and abandoned works. On the other  
hand, we do need to be able to embrace new work and not just  
established projects. The incubation process should allow this to  
happen. The key is to ensure a project progresses. If a project  
stalls out, we want to try to rectify the problem and if that does  
not work, take it out. There also is a preference for collaboration,  
so projects will have a better success rate.

The balance of power is to the team on the project. The project is  
meant to run under its own steam and will. The foundation structure  
is for monitoring, mentoring, and lending a hand when needed. The  
tradeoff to the community is that a project be successful and must  
have a structure and process to do that in the least obtrusive way.

The community through its process will help where it can and cull a  
project if it does not further the goals of the community. Removal of  
a project will also be friendly. Because of the open source licenses,  
there is always the option of going someplace else. The focus will be  
on success here, so expect the best.

Hope this explanation helps. Please be sure to carefully read the  
proposed management and incubation documents as they are presented.  
If you have issues with it, let the board know.

Daniel Brookshier
Community Manager

On Mar 1, 2006, at 9:59 AM, Ari Jolma wrote:

> Hello,
> I've been thinking whether I should go ahead and try to work my  
> project
> into one of the OSGeo projects. One problem is that it really is a set
> of projects, and that's by my interest. I'm interested in architecture
> of systems for civil engineering problem solving.
> What I would like to see and use is a set of well designed tools,  
> which
> interoperate relatively easy. For example the system that I work  
> on, is
> made of the following tools:
> libral C library
> a visualization library for creating a GTK+ compatible map buffer
> Geo::Raster and Geo::Vector Perl modules
> GTK+ Map widget (in Perl)
> various other widgets and dialogs, for working with e.g. geodata sets
> and I link it to GDAL/OGR, Gnuplot, GTK+, and other tools, and would
> like to link it with even more tools. I'd be happy to replace  
> individual
> tools that I use with other tools if they were easily usable (an
> example: replace my visualization engine with that one in mapserver).
> Is there any idea in promoting projects, which develop small,
> well-defined, interoperable tools? Is my impression correct that the
> process that's been thought of for projects to join the foundation  
> is a
> bit heavy and perhaps not suitable for small projects? I believe
> promoting interoperability is one of the foundations aims.
> Ari
> -- 
> Prof. Ari Jolma
> Kartografia ja Geoinformatiikka / Cartography and Geoinformatics
> Teknillinen Korkeakoulu / Helsinki University of Technology
> tel: +358 9 451 3886 address: POBox 1200, 02015 TKK, Finland
> Email: ari.jolma at tkk.fi URL: http://www.tkk.fi/~jolma
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