[OSGeo-Discuss] Thematic Mapping Engine as Open Source?

Christopher Schmidt crschmidt at crschmidt.net
Tue Jun 24 05:21:45 PDT 2008

On Tue, Jun 24, 2008 at 02:01:17PM +0200, Arnulf Christl wrote:
> Just as a side note: Google has been overly submissive to US Export 
> Regulations and rejects requests from IPs that can be traced to a location 
> within an country that falls under their export ban list. Unfortunately the 
> same applies to SourceForge. 
> Thus publishing your project through Google Code or SourceForge effectively 
> prevents interested folks from joining the project if they are citizen of a 
> nation that falls under the US Export Regulations. This also applies to 
> people only visiting such countries. 

Is there some other easy option here? Hosting your own is fscking
painful, OSGeo doesn't offer hosting for small projects like this, and I
expect anyone else who is big enough to make solving this problem easy
likely isn't in a position to be much more open/unrestricted, because
they're governed by the same laws.

It seems to me like an option is just to make the code available on
google code, and also republish it in another easily-googled place.
Then, if it becomes an issue that is blocking contributors, put the
effort into doing something about it -- setting up an SVN mirror, or
something similar, to allow those users to contribute.

In general, OpenLayers has not seen major contributions from
technology export-embargoed countries. (Our server doesn't have
technical restrictions blocking export to these countries.) Although it
is a concern -- and certainly, it's unfortunate because it is a vicious
cycle where contributors are typically blocked, so they don't even
bother kind of thing -- I think that the relative importance of this
to, say,  a website being down an hour a week or something like that is
relatively low (and if you're maintaining it yourself, you'll always
have downtime when things break).

Christopher Schmidt
Web Developer

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