[OSGeo-Discuss] Fwd: Hacking OSGeo

Bruce Bannerman bruce.bannerman.osgeo at gmail.com
Wed Sep 17 18:30:05 PDT 2014


Hi Jeff,

I don't believe that this public 'Mea Culpa' is warranted. You are a
respected member of the community and are entitled to a personal view.

I understood from what I read that your comments were personal. Perhaps
using an 'official OSGeo email address' might make it clear when the email
content is more formal in future.

I'm personally very glad that you chose to speak up as you are echoing the
disquiet that I and I'm sure many others are feeling with regards this


We are at a turning point within our community, and this is no time for
rushing to a particular course of action.

I echo the comments of those such as Steve, Cameron and Jo who are asking
for a bit of respect for all view points and for time to reflect and
consider how we want to move forward as a community.

We have a robust community and can work through the issues if we remember
that others are entitled to their views.

I agree with Massimillo, Puneet and others that this discussion has become
so convoluted that we need to separate out the threads into managable
pieces to work through.

The LocationTech issue is really a surprise to me, particularly that the
conversation has been continuing in private within OSGeo circles for a
number of years. To be honest, the organisation was not even on my radar.
I'm personally not that interested in LocationTech that I want every second
OSGeo email that I read to be about it. Perhaps we can tone down the

I have read some vigorous comments from community members who I respect in
support of LocationTech. What I took out of these comments is that it is
hard trying to run a business that is trying to make money out of Open
Source and that people have already decided that this particular
organisation offers something to them.

Other business operators are tackling the problem in a different way and
are working within the OSGeo-Industry mailing list to discuss the issue in
a constructive manner. I'm seeing some very good leadership there from Dirk
and Peter.

I ran my own consultancy in the past for ~ten years and understand how
difficult entrepreneurial work can be. There were many times when I didn't
know where income to support my next weeks rent and meals was coming from.

We just need to remember in our discussions that OSGeo is more than just
developers, and business. We have a growing number of people from a range
of fields who are working with us, e.g. Government, Not for Profits,
Acadaemia and Research.

In my day job, I'm starting to see interest in a number of peer
organisations around the world to collaboratate within open source
communities to develop the functionality that we require. We may not have
funding to pay businesses to get work done, but we do often have
developers, testers etc. We are just very mindful at this stage that we are
not seen as trying to 'take over' the communities that we are interested in
collaborating with.

As to the comments on FOSS4G, this needs to be handled very carefully.

As a former member of the FOSS4G-2009 LOC, the work in organising such an
event is not as difficult as some are trying to make out. Particularly so
if you have a good team who collaborate and pull their own weight as we
did; you have LOC members who were on previous FOSS4G; and when you have a
good local professional conference organiser who understands your city and
culture with appropriate experience in International events to help you
with the day to day work.

Cameron initiated the FOSS4G 'Lessons Learned' wiki to ensure that
learnings are passed on to future LOC. I suggest making sure that it is
used and updated.

I'd encourage anyone interested in FOSS4G to 'give it a go'. You will find
it a very satisfying professional development exercise.

As the time pressure that people are expressing seems to be on the bid of
FOSS4G-2016, I suggest that we continue with our current processes and
request bids. I'd be happy to see LocationTech put in a bid. I'm also very
happy to see a potential bid from Switzerland for the 10th anniversary. Are
there any other potential bids out there?


From: discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org [discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On
Behalf Of Jeff McKenna [jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com]

> Sent: Thursday, 18 September 2014 2:26 AM
> To: discuss at lists.osgeo.org
> Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Hacking OSGeo
> Hi Bart,
> Sort of off topic, the timing was good for me to get into my truck and
> drive 5 hours by myself this morning at 5am, to a meeting in cute small
> island province, Prince Edward Island
> (http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=17/46.25739/-63.13748).  In other
> words, I had lots of time to think.  I am happy to grab a wifi spot to
> respond now.
> I think my actions recently offended several leaders in our geo
> community, including Andrew, Daniel, Arnulf, yourself Bart, and likely
> others.  I did not mean this to happen.  I am sorry and embarrassed of
> my actions and words.
> I can see Bart and Daniel's points well now.  My comments or feelings
> were not helping OSGeo grow.
> I love seeing the ideas and questions coming now from community members
> such as BobB.  And I think these questions and discussions will help the
> Board see the best way forward.  I am also pondering of suggesting to
> the Board, later when we get to that point, of possibly querying the
> Charter Members, in a "referendum" of sorts.  Not sure, I'm just
> speaking openly here.
> I care deeply about the community, of OSGeo and FOSS4G.  Sometimes my
> passion gets in the way.  I am getting better, but I need to improve.  I
> will improve.
> I also would like Bart to come back onto the Board, and act as the
> LocationTech liason, and help us work together and make Open Source
> geospatial grow and thrive.
> If some feel that I need to take more drastic steps, than just my
> heartfelt apology, please say so here.
> But I am dedicated to help OSGeo and FOSS4G, and to work with all
> communities in our ecosystem.
> Yours,
> -jeff
> On 2014-09-17 4:49 AM, Bart van den Eijnden wrote:
> > Hey Jeff,
> >
> > can you please at least give the board a chance to form an opinion on
> this? If it ever gets to the point that a motion is on the table and you
> have not been persuaded, you can always vote -1.
> >
> > I feel you’re prohibiting the discussions from happening at the board
> level at all with this kind of e-mail.
> >
> > It’s essentially a board decision IMHO, not the decision of the
> president only.
> >
> > Thanks for listening.
> >
> > Best regards,
> > Bart
> >
> > On 16 Sep 2014, at 16:38, Jeff McKenna <jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com>
> wrote:
> >
> >> Hello everyone,
> >>
> >> To clarify publicly, I have no problem with LocationTech, and in fact I
> feel that its foundation plays an important role in our ecosystem.
> >>
> >> The issue actually boils down to OSGeo's only event, FOSS4G.  We, as
> OSGeo, present this event each year and it is a large part of our annual
> revenue.  It is very important to the OSGeo foundation, as it is our
> flagship event.
> >>
> >> It was made clear to me that LocationTech is not interested in having
> their own global event, and that they are in fact interested in our event,
> >>
> >> So maybe to remove this stress, or "fear", I would prefer to pull back
> on the throttle, start with an MoU between the two foundations, and then
> begin to share booths at events, or donate booths at each other's events.
> In other words, take baby steps, and build the relationship slowly, as we
> do with every other foundation.
> >>
> >> I apologize for not bringing this issue to the community sooner.  In
> fact this all really came to a head in Portland, and you can see that now
> we must deal with this all together.
> >>
> >> I always try to represent the entire OSGeo community well, if you feel
> that I have made mistakes please share this here with everyone.  I am here
> to represent you.
> >>
> >> The last few days have been very hard on me.
> >>
> >> -jeff
> >> OSGeo President
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> On 2014-09-16 11:01 AM, Andrew Ross wrote:
> >>> Dear All,
> >>>
> >>> Discussions started informally back in 2011. By 2012, there were more
> >>> formal discussions ongoing including a face to face meeting with
> Michael
> >>> Gerlek who was appointed by the OSGeo board to represent OSGeo. I
> wanted
> >>> to say publicly that Michael's work was extremely professional and I
> was
> >>> very impressed.
> >>>
> >>> I believe it's fair to say reaction was similar back then. Many people
> >>> saw many positives in working closely together. Some asked if the two
> >>> organizations could be one. Like today, there were some who were very
> >>> fearful. Those that supported working closely together felt it was best
> >>> not to push too hard. Discussions have continued since then over the
> >>> past 3-4 years focusing on specific collaboration on a case by case
> basis.
> >>>
> >>> During that time, LocationTech has sponsored and its projects
> >>> participated in 2 FOSS4Gs. It was asked by an OSGeo board member to
> >>> organize FOSS4G NA 2015. It has provided discrete feedback to OSGeo
> >>> projects regarding intellectual property related issues in OSGeo
> >>> projects so they could be fixed. OSGeo projects were well represented
> on
> >>> the 2013 LocationTech tour and again in 2014. I hope these things are
> >>> seen as a significant positive force.
> >>>
> >>> I would like to draw attention to the fact that LocationTech's growth
> >>> has not taken anything away from OSGeo. In fairness, building upon what
> >>> Steven Feldman eloquently put, the problems OSGeo faces are problems
> >>> today were faced before LocationTech existed, and since.
> >>>
> >>> It's fair to say there is tension to collaborate more closely since the
> >>> strengths of OSGeo & LocationTech complement each other despite some
> >>> overlap. LocationTech & the Eclipse Foundation are *offering* to help
> >>> solve some of the problems we've been talking about in OSGeo for many
> >>> years. It's been 4 years and the offer hasn't been withdrawn nor really
> >>> pushed despite fearful attempts to portray it as otherwise.
> >>>
> >>> Andrew
> >>>
> >>> On 15/09/14 20:28, Venkatesh Raghavan wrote:
> >>>> On 9/16/2014 10:48 AM, Richard Greenwood wrote:
> >>>>> I don't get it, and my question is moot at this point in time, but
> why do
> >>>>> we need a new foundation? Why couldn't OSGeo have provided what
> >>>>> LocationTech purports to provide? Was there any discussion, or
> awareness,
> >>>>> in the OSGeo board prior to the formation of LocationTech?
> >>>>
> >>>> Very pertinent questions form Rich. I hope we will receive some lucid
> >>>> answers.
> >>>>
> >>>> Best
> >>>>
> >>>> Venka
> >>>>> Rich
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> On Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 4:18 PM, Jeff McKenna <
> jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com
> >>>>>> wrote:
> >>>>>> Arnulf,
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> I definitely agree that both foundations fill a role and need to
> exist.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> The point I am trying to make is that we have the power to change
> OSGeo,
> >>>>>> if we feel some needs are not being met well.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> I used too strong of words again, I am sorry.
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> -jeff
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> On 2014-09-15 2:59 PM, Arnulf Christl wrote:
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>>> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> >>>>>>> Hash: SHA1
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> Jeff,
> >>>>>>> I believe that Daniel is actually right in what he says - given
> that I
> >>>>>>> understand the point he is trying to make. There are differences
> >>>>>>> between OSGeo and LocationTech and trying to talk them away will
> not
> >>>>>>> get us anywhere. And its not "bad" or "goo" either way, we just
> >>>>>>> operate differently.
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> The point is that in OSGeo you cannot move anything at all as a
> >>>>>>> business, not directly. In LocationTech you become a corporate
> member,
> >>>>>>> pay money and in return have influence over certain things and get
> >>>>>>> support. Directly geared towards your specific needs. OSGeo does
> none
> >>>>>>> of those things.
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> As an individual (with or without business) you can become the
> >>>>>>> committee chair and an OSGeo officer with absolutely no
> preconditions,
> >>>>>>> no money needed, no organizational backing and no other hierarchy.
> >>>>>>> Just because othes think you are doing a cool job and have
> accumulated
> >>>>>>> enough merit to go ahead as a leader. This would not work in this
> way
> >>>>>>> in LocationTech.
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> Both ways have reasons to exist and are good. Right?
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> Cheers.
> >>>>>>> Arnulf
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>> Am 2014-09-15 10:45, schrieb Jeff McKenna:
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> On 2014-09-15 1:22 PM, Daniel Morissette wrote:
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>> the members in OSGeo are individuals and the members in
> >>>>>>>>> Eclipse/LocationTech are businesses
> >>>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> Daniel this statement is not true, regarding OSGeo.  OSGeo members
> >>>>>>>> are made up of all walks of life, and many are running private
> >>>>>>>> businesses all around the world.  I have visited their
> >>>>>>>> organizations/offices myself in my FOSS4G travels throughout the
> >>>>>>>> years.
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> However I cannot change how you feel.
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> This part is unfortunate, these strong statements made publicly,
> >>>>>>>> which I feel are made to divide our community.
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> Let me reinforce: our OSGeo community and our FOSS4G events (of
> >>>>>>>> all sizes) are geared for everyone and anyone, with no sole focus
> >>>>>>>> on one type of community.  And as the President of OSGeo, I am
> >>>>>>>> happy to represent all of the members, of any kind :)
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>> -jeff
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>   _______________________________________________
> >>>
> >>>
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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