[OSGeo-Discuss] Hacking OSGeo

Basques, Bob (CI-StPaul) bob.basques at ci.stpaul.mn.us
Wed Sep 17 07:45:25 PDT 2014


So, I've been following this (these) threads for a while now.  I like Darrell's  thoughts on moving forward with his " FOSS4G Organizing" positing, and this seems like an obvious direction to follow up on.

An additional thought here, does it make any sense to think of LocationTech as a Marketing agent for OSGeo product?  The more stringent legal review etc. all seem to point towards the notion of making the products more viable in the commercial space.  This could lead to mandating other promotional aspects like better documentation, etc.  OSGeo could be labelled what it's always been, the R & D side of GeoSpatial software design, while LocationTech handles more of the practical application side of the equation.  I could see this becoming a push / pull type of collaboration where both sides can glean from the other what makes a project thrive, etc.

I'm not so sure about the non-desire by OSGeo to invest in specialized staff or infrastructure.  But, there does seem to be a divide between what OSGeo want/needs from it's projects vs LocationTech.


From: discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of Andrew Ross
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2014 9:33 AM
To: discuss at lists.osgeo.org
Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Hacking OSGeo


For what it's worth, and it's the same at OSGeo of course, LocationTech & the Eclipse Foundation want projects to want to join. It's always optional.

It is unlikely for the foreseeable future that OSGeo would invest in the specialized staff, infrastructure, and such to do the kind of rigorous IP review that LocationTech & Eclipse Foundation projects receive. This isn't a shot against OSGeo, it just is. There are other services & infrastructure that are similar.

The good news is, so long as an OSGeo project was comfortable doing the trademark assignment (part of the process), then a project could be dual listed fairly comfortably. I don't think the benefit that OSGeo gets from projects is diminished in this case. If this is comfortable to everyone, I could see LocationTech projects do the same and list at OSGeo.


On 17/09/14 08:08, Basques, Bob (CI-StPaul) wrote:

How would the separation of projects occur between those in OSGeo already vs those wanting to be LocationTech certified as well.  I would imagine that some would not feel like they need to be certified by both.  What happens in this case?

Also, what are the longer term differences between LocationTech and OSGeo with regard to keeping code legally free of proprietary code, what's the followup on the Location tech side?  I'm more in tune with OSGeo processes BTW.


From: discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org<mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of Jachym Cepicky
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2014 4:59 AM
To: Jody Garnett
Cc: OSGeo Discussions; Daniel Morissette
Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Hacking OSGeo

What about speeding OSGeo incubation in a way, that projects, who made it through locationtech, would have to work only at the differences between both incubations, afaik the community aspect and maybe something else, in order to make it to OSGeo project? It would be more easy for them to make it through OSGeo incubation, things would be speeding up a bit

I'm I completely wrong?


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Jachym Cepicky
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On Sep 15, 2014 7:55 AM, "Jody Garnett" <jody.garnett at gmail.com<mailto:jody.garnett at gmail.com>> wrote:
Good questions/discussion:

Going to chime in as I enjoy both working with OSGeo incubation and LocationTech. I am a couple timezones west of Daniel but sleep is on the horizon.

TLDR: I am not 100% positive of either organisation, which is why I am trying to make them better.
Jody Garnett

On Sun, Sep 14, 2014 at 4:44 PM, Massimiliano Cannata <massimiliano.cannata at supsi.ch<mailto:massimiliano.cannata at supsi.ch>> wrote:

As you said the final goal is the same: open source Geospatial software affirmation. And this is the best thing I can wish to all of us.
Agreed, and I was very heartened by aspects of foss4g this year.

Nevertheless what I just have not clear is: what location teach do differently with respect to osgeo?
A lot of questions :) The two organisations share the same goals, but have different talents with respect to outreach.

I am going to try and do a single Pro/Con for each organisation just so you can see how they differ. I suspect this is a better conversation over beer or coffee since I cannot tell what kind of differences you are interested in?

OSGeo Incubation
Pro: OSGeo incubation has the advantage of being less formal, and thus able to adapt to the needs of the projects in incubation today. This message gets lots repeatedly, which makes me a bit sad. I usually pick on my own projects, but perhaps the pycsw crew would not mind being used as an example. We have an "checklist" item about user / developer interaction, with an example provided of user list collaboration around releases. This example is dated and does not fit with an amazing aspect of the pycsw story - pycsw have great downstream projects fulfilling this role (risk mitigation around release based on bug reports, testing, collaboration). OSGeo incubation has the flexibility to recognise this value ... and get on with life.
Con: OSGeo incubation has a look but don't touch attitude - we like to leave projects as we found them and not disturb the way each projects is already functioning. This is great "low impact" approach for when we were taking on fully-fored projects like MapServer, MapGuide and PostGIS. What could possibly be the drawback? We are not in position to offer much guidance to organisations that are new to open source struggling to know where to start.
Contrast: We are great at reviewing project viability to try and protect OSGeo users from adopting projects that have gone stale.

LocationTech Incubation
Pro: LocationTech is a working group in an already established Software Foundation. They have a long history of teaching new projects how to do OpenSource. Many of the conventions we work with in our open source projects (voting +1 to accept a new committer on a project) have been automated into a developer portal. This structure can help those new to open source feel confidence they are doing it right.
Cons: The workload associated with checking License/Headers is both harder and easier then OSGeo. There are staff to do the checking, but you need to submit each thing you depend on - even down to the build tools used to compile, build diagrams or generate docs. While I can kind of respect this (protecting potential developers from needing to purchase tools) was not prepared for the workload.
Contrast: Eclipse incubation does not say much about if a project is stale.

does it somehow overlap with incubation or not? What are the distinctive features?

There is an overlap, but differences:
* A project graduating out of OSGeo ...would have to do a formal IP check to graduate out of LocationTech. There is paid staff to do the work, but it is still a lot of work to submit all the code. I think there is like a TM check and other stuff. Lots of work, with some assistance on offer.
* A project graduating out of LocationTech ... would have to do organisation viability, documentation checks, user/developer collaboration and similar. Soft concerns but hard to do.

They also have a similar issue: projects are (quite rightly) more focused on the next release and any publicity .. then actually completing incubation.

Personally I wonder why some of the most eminent person of osgeo (like you) decided to work into location teach? Don't misunderstood me, I'm not judging nor criticizing,  I'd just like to understand opportunities or aspect or services not found in osgeo and that experts and leaders found there.
When the talks go up, skip to the end of the LocationTech projects you can see leads from several projects answer your question.

For me personally the motivation is the same: foster new projects as the best way of fulfilling our OSGeo mandate / LocationTech charter.

For me as uDig project lead:
a) The uDig project always wanted to join Eclipse: since it is built with Eclipse "Rich Client Platform (RCP)" the best way to attract new RCP developers is to take uDig closer to where the developers are.
b) Is in need of a new home as Refractions does not appear active

Sorry in advance for my eventual  ignorance, but I think this would help people better understand the discussion and the future of osgeo.
Thanks for the questions Maxi. If you want a front row seat you could always talk to the OSGeo Board about being the Guest on the LocationTech meetings. This position was created help with communication, and I guess this email thread indicates a need.

The nice thing is that all these software organisations are here to help (OSGeo, Eclipse Foundation, Apache Foundation, Free Software Foundation, Linux Foundation). This ability to play well with others is something I respect about OSGeo. We are not worried about our projects being hosted on GitHub, or Marble GIS working with KDE Foundation.

PS. I wrote a blog post<http://www.lisasoft.com/blog/programming-public-osgeo-and-locationtech> of some of my culture shock when first starting with LocationTech. I have learned a bit since then so take that link with a grain of salt.
PPS. I volunteered to help with foss4g-na, no idea what I am in for, but if you have any ideas/suggestions please send them to me.

Il 14-set-2014 17:05 "Daniel Morissette" <dmorissette at mapgears.com<mailto:dmorissette at mapgears.com>> ha scritto:

FWIW I'm happy to hear that there was such a face to face discussion. I believe that open communication on the issues will be the best way to address the fears and find ways to move forward in the best interest of the overall worldwide community of people, businesses, institutions, etc who have a common interest in seeing free and open source geospatial software strive.

Keep in mind that we all come to this model of software development for different reasons (business, academic, philosophical, hobby, etc.), but in the end we're all working towards a similar objective, so there is no fear to be had, just different means of reaching a common objective, and since the result of everybody's actions is better free/open source software, everybody will benefit in the end.

Not sure if I was able to relay my thoughts properly... maybe I need a bit more sleep.

Cheers all


On 14-09-14 10:25 AM, Jachym Cepicky wrote:

as long as I understand it: "some members of the community" are scared
of LocationTech "taking over" whatever (FOSS4G conference, OSGeo
projects and community). This can be based on real action, taken on
either site, unofficial statement, misunderstandings or personal

Yesterday, we had short (about 2hours) face 2 face discussion with
Andrew here in PDX (me, Vasile, Jeff and Gerald) and I personally
believe, that it is not in interest of LocationTech to "crush" OSGeo
or FOSS4G conference. It was clearly stated, that LocationTech would
like to contribute to FOSS4G and make it to better conference,
regarding (again) "some remarks" of "some members of the community"
(including myself), that the way, FOSS4G is organised, does not
necessary meet some of the community aspects, we would like to stress.
I would like to note, that the discussion was very open on both sides,
still calm and productive.

"To contribute" of course means "to work" and LocationTech is anything
but volunteer driven organisation. It has been stated, that FOSS4G-NA
next year will be organised primarily by LocationTech, but OSGeo willl
be represented clearly and (so to say) loudly.

This could be one of the firsts steps towards closer cooperation
between LocationTech and OSGeo.

Everybody is aware, that on some points, LocationTech is not that
good, as OSGeo currently is. OSGeo is certainly failing in other
things. Looking for ways, how to strengthen common strengths and
weaken our weaknesses should have "non-zero-sum" effect.

We, as OSGeo shall later evaluate, whether the price for helping us
LocationTech with conferences (regardless if on regional or global
level), was too hight or quite ok. In case of disagreement, we shall
try to find solution for the next time.

In the worst case, we find out, that cooperation is not possible and
everybody can go it's way than.

I hope, you get my point(s) and that I did not misinterpreted
anything, what was said.

Thank you


Daniel Morissette
T: +1 418-696-5056 #201<tel:%2B1%20418-696-5056%20%23201>
Provider of Professional MapServer Support since 2000

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