[OSGeo-Discuss] The costs of your great productivity [was: ... is being discussed on slashdot]

Peter Baumann p.baumann at jacobs-university.de
Tue Jun 11 03:54:26 PDT 2013

Hi Adrian,

thanks for the flowers :)

Actually, our CRS work has been public for 2+ years now. We only started into 
this endeavor because WCS/WCPS needs n-D spatio-temporal CRSs, and there was 
nothing like that (and the CRS WG @ OGC was dormant, I tried it).

Way back at the Brussels OGC TC meeting 2011 the concepts were presented, 
subsequently in several WGs (WCS, Coveraegs, MetOcean, CRS, OGC-NA, and maybe 
more). Of course, all this was OGC internal - which fortunately changes now, and 
looking at the Coverages.DWG pages you find even candidate specs, like RESTful 
WCS. And info on temporal CRSs, BTW. See [1,2].

So everybody is invited to join in... or just await the outcome. That of course 
requires investment of own time, and in time. But if we all want to serve 
community at large then this is our investment. Again, all input is very much 
appreciated, and I wholeheartedly invite everybody to subscribe to the lists 
mentioned on said wiki pages and join discussion.

CU there,

[1] http://external.opengeospatial.org/twiki_public/CoveragesDWG/WebHome
[2] http://external.opengeospatial.org/twiki_public/TemporalDWG/WebHome

On 06/07/2013 02:09 PM, Adrian Custer wrote:
> Hey Peter,
> Congratulations on all the work you have been doing. You are a powerhouse!
> However, a word of caution in your work (that I have been meaning to raise 
> with you for a while now).
> Your speed means that you are working in a bit of a vacuum. There are not 
> enough of us doing the serious analytic work at the OGC to ensure that all the 
> stuff you are creating has been fully reviewed. That means there is little 
> reason to think that it will be harmonizable in the future. Perhaps that is 
> not of great concern right now, I don't know. But the less our visions align 
> the harder harmonization will eventually be. So you are building rapidly a 
> complex structure that works for you and your users which is fantastic. 
> Unfortunately, there is nothing that is keeping us working on parallel tracks 
> so it is likely that your complex structure and that of others look completely 
> different and address completely different interaction mechanisms.
> For instance, just yesterday I took a first look at your CRS Name Type Spec. 
> and grew more concerned that I have been. I hope someday to make a serious 
> review of it but have other priorities. So today, I don't even understand why 
> it has that strange name. However, I *do know* that CRSs at the OGC are 
> mis-designed. They work fine because essentially everything is tied to WGS84 
> but they are not semantically correctly structured which impacts other specs 
> like Geometry. It does not look like you are even aware of this from my quick 
> glance at the standard yesterday. Furthermore, the parameterized CRS stuff 
> seems like it is going to need work. But maybe not, I won't know until I take 
> a few days to read it all very closely to see what it is trying to do and how 
> well it succeeds at that and what it does not do and ... , something that 
> won't happen anytime soon. So, in working ahead so effectively, you are also 
> loosing touch with others of us, or at least with me, who cannot track all 
> your work. That's a tradeoff of your great productivity!
> As another example, you are forging ahead on REST. Maybe. As you well know, 
> everyone has a different idea what that is and, unfortunately, also a 
> different idea of what the OGC should be standardizing. I can see that 
> designing one pattern of use of HTTP operations and one particular set of URL 
> templates is relatively easy. However, it seems to be exactly what we should 
> not be doing for a long term robust, flexible spatial data infrastructure. My 
> question on that front got zero response from the TC recently so I am not sure 
> we are even playing the same game when we are thinking about REST. I guess 
> we'll just have to live with that, and fix the pieces eventually. However, I 
> do get the sense that everyone had decided to work in their own silos since at 
> least there we are minimally productive. We find our own solutions that 'work 
> for us' and avoid doing the shitty hard work to keep getting on the same page. 
> That is going to cost us in the end.
> The end result will probably be that the work of designing a harmonious suite 
> of simple geospatial functionality handling coverages (both grid and feature 
> based), processes, searches, and visualizations will end up being way harder 
> than it should be and may never happen. If we were working harmoniously such a 
> service would be a page long profile joining together a conformance class from 
> each service. But we are not.
> So keep up the great work since you are one of the great fires of productivity 
> at the OGC. However, do be aware that the harmonization work will not vanish 
> simply because we decide to ignore if for now.
> cheers,
>   ~adrian
> PS This of course does not offer any way forwards, so does not give you any 
> real advice which sucks. Also, my experience with 'words of caution' is that 
> they are universally ignored perhaps because they are unusable. Nonetheless, 
> this is something I have been thinking of mentioning to you for a while so now 
> I have. cheers.
> On 6/7/13 4:23 AM, Baumann, Peter wrote:
>> I like the part of "not talk of OGC using 3rd person". Being one of the 
>> activists in OGC spec writing and group chairing, and also talking on behalf 
>> of my many colleagues in this, I'd like to point out that a lot of useful 
>> work is going on which goes largely unnoticed.
>> Did you notice that since recently we can model temporal CRSs just like 
>> spatial ones? Can combine CRSs adhoc? Have a RESTful interface to WCS pretty 
>> much finished? Have 5 WCS Extensions just waiting for roll-out?
>> Partly this was our fault, too: not enough information provided. As a 
>> consequence of "the ESRI case" we are more and more opening up discussions to 
>> the general public. For example, WCS stuff can be found here:
>> http://external.opengeospatial.org/twiki_public/CoveragesDWG/WebHome
>> Of course maintaining such information puts extra burden on us, but we are 
>> beginning to realize that it is instrumental in keeping contact with "the 
>> world outside OGC" (using this consciously).
>> Conversely, we hope that there will be more feedback than has been in the 
>> past. DWG (Domain Working Group) mailing lists are open as well, so why not 
>> subscribe, follow, comment...it's up to all of us to improve on this 
>> essential communication.
>> Just my 2 cents,
>> Peter

Dr. Peter Baumann
  - Professor of Computer Science, Jacobs University Bremen
    mail: p.baumann at jacobs-university.de
    tel: +49-421-200-3178, fax: +49-421-200-493178
  - Executive Director, rasdaman GmbH Bremen (HRB 26793)
    www.rasdaman.com, mail: baumann at rasdaman.com
    tel: 0800-rasdaman, fax: 0800-rasdafax, mobile: +49-173-5837882
"Si forte in alienas manus oberraverit hec peregrina epistola incertis ventis dimissa, sed Deo commendata, precamur ut ei reddatur cui soli destinata, nec preripiat quisquam non sibi parata." (mail disclaimer, AD 1083)

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