[OSGeo-Discuss] make software; Let the OGC do the standards sideof it

Michael P. Gerlek mpg at lizardtech.com
Wed Jul 18 12:06:53 PDT 2007

While I too have no desire to see OSGeo to become a formal standards
body, I do want us to provide a "safe haven" for future work that could
not be done via OGC (GeoRSS and TMS being two possible past examples).
And by safe haven, I don't necessarily mean a formal committee; what I
do mean is access to diverse community thought, wiki/mailing-list
namespace, development testbeds (likely underneath existing member
projects), etc.

On technical, moral, and financial grounds, there remain good reasons
why OGC is not the proper place for some of the work some of us may do
in the future.

Thus, I'm +1 for "standards at osgeo.org", which would serve as a
clearinghouse and announce-list for the above (and below) topics.
Subsidiary lists could be created as bandwidth/interest requires, e.g.
tms-wonks at osgeo.com.

We're probably all saying much of the same things here, and we could
probably quickly draft a wiki page for a statement of principles.
Although I'd love to see more discussion on this, maybe a FOSS4G BOF.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org 
> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of Frank Warmerdam
> Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2007 10:39 AM
> To: OSGeo Discussions
> Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] make software; Let the OGC do 
> the standards sideof it
> Jody Garnett wrote:
> > I am rather tempted by this topic - I would love to join a 
> committee on 
> > this topic if it is created.
> > 
> > However I don't think it should be created -
> ...
> > We should stick with our mandate; making great open source 
> software; if 
> > you want to join the standards police there are a couple of 
> options. 
> Jody,
> I am somewhat of your opinion.  I think it would generally be 
> better for
> those interested in OGC and other standards to try to get directly
> involved with OGC if possible.  A variety of companies with developers
> working on our projects are already members.  And there is the $400
> membership option for some.
> There has been some investigation of how OSGeo might liason with OGC
> with the goal of getting some project developers treated as OGC
> members for the purposes of document access, and contributing to
> working groups.  But that has ultimately not been very fruitful.  It
> seems if OSGeo joins OGC the only person the membership would apply
> to is Tyler since he is the only OSGeo employee.  So that is lame.
> We could try for a memorandum of understanding with OGC somewhat
> similar to what they have with ISO *but* that is generally applied
> between standards organizations and we are not a standards 
> organization.
> So I doubt it would be successful.
> I think an OSGeo standards committee could be useful for:
>   o Reviewing standards compliance of OSGeo software packages, with an
>     eye towards encouraging more complete and appropriate 
> implementation.
>   o A place for open source developers to share expertise - 
> though there
>     are already wms-dev and wcs-dev mailing lists hosted at eogeo that
>     are appropriate for those specifications.
>   o A place where open source developers with opinions on 
> specification
>     could provide feedback to open source developers involved 
> in OGC.  For
>     instance, I'm on the WCS Revision Working Group.  I might 
> announce this
>     on the list, seeking feedback and suggestions on WCS 1.2 work.
>   o Occasionally there might be particular positions that 
> OSGeo would like
>     to take on particular standards.  This could be a place to develop
>     such positions, and pass them through OGC members.  I 
> can't actually
>     think of too many cases where this would apply though.
> So, I'd say as a base level this could just be a mailing list, open to
> interested participants.  If we are going to have it formed 
> as a proper
> committee (which has at least some overhead) then it should be because
> we want it to do "real work" with regard reviewing, documenting and
> encouraging standards implementation in our software.  
> Essentially working
> on the OSGeo "standards story".  Also, possibly, if we really think we
> need to take an official OSGeo position on some things, 
> though practically
> a consensus from the mailing list could be taken to the board for
> approval without having a committee.
> What I don't want to do is have OSGeo take on more than a passive role
> in standards development.  So stuff like the WMS-Tiling spec (TMS?)
> occured amoung various OSGeo folks but it wasn't really an 
> official OSGeo
> activity.  I certainly am not keen on developing a lot of 
> "OSGeo standards"
> beyond simple practical stuff we want for interoperability between our
> projects.
> Best regards,
> -- 
> ---------------------------------------+----------------------
> ----------------
> I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, 
> warmerdam at pobox.com
> light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/~warmerdam
> and watch the world go round - Rush    | President OSGeo, 
> http://osgeo.org
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