[OSGeo-Discuss] The Germans and The Brazilians...

Landon Blake lblake at ksninc.com
Thu Jun 12 10:32:22 PDT 2008

I would like to add two (2) brief comments about the issue if "American"
influence in the OSGeo, and the role members from other language
groups/nations play in the organization.


The first comment is about utilizing the mechanism for local chapters.
Perhaps this is a vehicle that members from other language groups or
nations can use to accomplish more of their own goals under the OSGeo
umbrella? It seems that OSGeo is pretty flexible about the shape that
local chapters take. Why couldn't a group in Brazil or Germany form a
local chapter of the OSGeo that is incorporated in their nation to
pursue not only a common OSGeo agenda, but a local or national agenda as
well? They could even incorporate their local chapter in there own
country, and thus take advantage of their own tax laws and software
export policies.


In this sense you get out of the OSGeo what you put into it.


My second comment has to do with the role/responsibility we as native
English speakers/Americans/Canadians have to reach out to the
international community. The reality is that the software world is
dominated by the western world and the English language. (How many
programming languages do you know of that are written in Russian?) :]


As has been mentioned before, there is likely more potential for growth
in FOSS4G in developing nations than there is in the Western World, at
least at this point in time. This is something we should take advantage


Perhaps we could have a discussion with our members from outside Canada
and the United States to see what there primary concerns are, and what
we could do to encourage the growth of FOSS in their part of the world.


I will point out that one reason OpenJUMP has been as successful is
because of it's support of a worldwide community. This includes great
efforts to translate the user interface into other languages and
respectfully welcome people from all places. The last time I checked we
had participants from Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, and even China.
Without these international contributors OpenJUMP would be a shadow of
its current self. In many ways our European members have carried the
program forward from its origins in Canada.






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