[OSGeo-Discuss] Is OSGeo North America-centric?

Jo Walsh jo at frot.org
Tue Sep 5 02:59:52 PDT 2006

On Mon, Sep 04, 2006 at 10:19:37PM -0700, Jason Birch wrote:
> Frankly, I'm more concerned about gender representation, but that
> problem seems to be somewhat endemic in the open source world.  I'm
> hopeful that this will change though, as I have seen it generally
> change in the geospatial industry over the last fifteen years.  I'm
> actually a bit worried; a few more like Jo and we'll be at a severe
> disadvantage. ;)

lol :) I'm at an interesting event this week; a women-only hacker
camp in Romania, co-organised with a group from Amsterdam who do
peer-based teaching of hardware recycling and linux sysadmin:
http://eclectictechcarnival.org/ I'm hoping to do an intro
gps hacks / openstreetmap / openlayers / qgis workshop during this.
The event is completely self-scheduling and there's a huge variety of
interests and skill levels, from artists who are here to teach audio
engineering, through translators who want to learn web development,
through one of the core developers of http://yate.null.ro/ , a
Romanian VOIP engine that's much friendlier than Asterisk. 

All the sessions are held in English; though out of 30 women here I'm 
the only one to speak English as a first language. So this is common
in Europe - a kind of subset-Euro-english lingua franca - and anyone
who's on the net a lot is used to an English-dominated environment.
Programming languages orient to English so non-EFL speakers will even
program in English to help gain international buy-in.

Translation is so interesting to me because it provides a way for
anyone to help out, to find a path in, and get more engaged. This is
why i'm looking forward to an explosion of localisation in osgeo
software and documentation. This is also why i reckon that making it
easier to contribute non-software components to open source projects
goes a long way to solving all kinds of 'balance' problems...  



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