[OSGeo-Discuss] Fun Event in Victoria with mix of OSGeo/LocationTech projects

Jeff McKenna jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com
Thu Nov 12 07:54:14 PST 2015

Hi Rob,

Thank you for your very thoughtful response.  You summarize the 
situation very well.  I think talking openly like this on this topic, is 
the only way to make this all work.

It sounds like I am wrong about LocationTech's goals; at the same time 
then, if that is the case, that LocationTech is not about commerce 
(doesn't "commercially friendly" encourage business interest?), then 
what was the need to create a separate new foundation, also focused on 
growing Open Source geospatial software?

I hope we can speak openly here Rob, I do not mean any disrespect to you 
personally or to LocationTech (some take it personal).  Please share 
here the reasons you see to have 2 foundations focused on the same goal.



On 2015-11-12 11:37 AM, Rob Emanuele wrote:
> Hi Jeff,
> I'm sorry to hear you are being bullied in private messages. It is
> perhaps best to bring in the Code of Conduct committee to help handle
> this; direct threats and private bulling tactics seem in violation with
> the CoC, and there should be steps taken to ensure that our community
> doesn't have bulling in our midst that goes unaddressed.
> I'm disappointed that you take LocationTech's core goal as "to promote
> business and give those businesses a stage". Your point of view and
> behavior on the lists makes more sense knowing that, though; if you
> believe that LocationTech is really about promoting the businesses, and
> not the greater community, then having LocationTech involved in the
> FOSS4G conferences would diminish the non-business community members'
> role in the conference, which would be a Bad thing. However, as a member
> of the LocationTech PMC and someone who was/is involved in the FOSS4G NA
> 2015 and FOSS4G NA 2016 process, as well as someone involved in the
> FOSS4G 2017 Philadelphia bid, I want to assure you that is not the case.
> There is real focus and real work being done at LocationTech to help the
> community of developers and users of FOSS4G. In this instance I'm using
> FOSS4G for what the acronym actually means, Free and Open Source
> Software for Geospatial, not referring to the conference that has
> captured that name. Both LocationTech and OSGeo exist to support FOSS4G,
> and the greater community (greater then both of those organizations)
> that use and develop FOSS4G. There are differences in the organizations
> for sure, and I think highlighting those differences and really
> understanding how they serve the community in different ways is
> important. The ideal scenario that I see is that both organizations
> would use those differences to collaborate and have a
> sum-greater-than-it's-parts type of support system for FOSS4G. Instead,
> we have a situation where there's distrust, finger pointing, and
> political "power plays" against each other. We have the president of one
> of the organizations characterizing the core goal of the other
> organization in a dangerously wrong way. We have decisions and
> discussions about a million dollar revenue generating conference focused
> on that million dollars, rather then how to ensure that conference does
> the best job possible at supporting and pushing forward the community.
> We have the precious resource that is the energy of volunteers being
> spent on political infighting rather than on collaboration towards
> serving the community. I'm not sure the best path forward for this, but
> I want to declare that the situation as I see it is bad for the
> community, collaboration between OSGeo and LocationTech would be good
> for the community, and I hope as a whole we can move towards that better
> future.
> I hear your concerns for the price of the FOSS4G NA tickets, though I'll
> point out to people who are following along that it's not as simple as a
> flat $1000 dollar rate. I encourage you to look at the registration
> pricing breakdown when it's published for FOSS4G NA 2016, be sure to
> apply for a non-corporate pass if you will not be reimbursed by a
> company, and to apply for a scholarship if the cost is still too high.
> Also, if you are giving a talk, registration is free, so please submit!
> The Call For Proposals is now open (https://2016.foss4g-na.org/cfp).
> Jeff, your presence was missed at FOSS4G NA 2015 and I hope that you can
> come to Raleigh for FOSS4G NA 2016.
> Best,
> Rob
> On Thu, Nov 12, 2015 at 8:40 AM, Jeff McKenna
> <jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com <mailto:jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com>>
> wrote:
>     On 2015-11-12 7:01 AM, Jody Garnett wrote:
>         I have gotten a number of private emails expressing concerns about
>         LocationTech being involved in several of the foss4g bids. I
>         guess I had
>         the opposite concern last year when there was the joint OSGeo /
>         LocationTech foss4gna conference. I was kind of embarrassed our
>         behavior
>         as a community - would prefer to see us as welcoming and supportive
>         (especially as we had a first time organizer that could use our
>         support).
>     Hi Jody,
>     I am very glad that you brought this up publicly.  Lately I too have
>     received very disturbing direct emails, containing threats of "if
>     this happens you watch" "karma you watch yourself" "if we lose you
>     watch out" and direct bullying tactics, for speaking my mind on this
>     issue.  The same people sending these threats will not speak
>     publicly on this, so I have asked them to stop sending me these
>     messages, but the messages continue, so I have stopped answering
>     them.  These are "power-play" emails sent directly to me, but I will
>     tell them here publicly, bullying me will not stop me from speaking
>     openly about OSGeo's one event all year, the global FOSS4G. (for
>     those not following the 2017 conference discussions, you would have
>     to read a long thread to get caught up
>     http://osgeo-org.1560.x6.nabble.com/Call-to-discuss-FOSS4G-2017-proposals-prior-to-voting-td5234235.html).
>     As someone just wrote last night on another list, likely there would
>     be no one else that has attended more FOSS4G events, regional,
>     global, anything, than myself. I make a point of going to a FOSS4G
>     event, to help grow the local community, no matter what size of the
>     event or where it is.  Lately in my FOSS4G travels I have noticed a
>     return to our FOSS4G roots, where the popular events are very low
>     cost, aimed at developers, users, students, researchers, and the
>     smaller companies trying to make a living (a great recent example is
>     the FOSS4G-Como event this past July).  Getting back to the topic of
>     your message: I too have been embarrassed by recent
>     FOSS4G-NorthAmerica events; I was shocked to see the 1,000 USD
>     registration fee there.
>     But I was not too upset, because no one is traveling the small
>     FOSS4Gs like me to see the difference, and I didn't see complaints
>     voiced from the local NorthAmerican community.  LocationTech
>     involved in FOSS4G-NA is a good thing, to promote business and give
>     those businesses a stage; the core goal of LocationTech.
>     However now we are in the process for deciding the global FOSS4G
>     event for 2017, OSGeo's flagship event, attended by the
>     international community, and we must be very careful.  Working with
>     foundations is good (hence all of OSGeo's great MoUs), and I'll use
>     the upcoming example that the 2016 team is considering, giving
>     LocationTech a 90 minute slot in the program for their projects (and
>     the same for OSGeo, UN, likely OGC, and other organizations).  This
>     is a wonderful way for OSGeo's FOSS4G event to involve other
>     organizations.  I hope that LocationTech will also give OSGeo a 90
>     minute slot in their big conference someday as well; this would be
>     exactly what I see as best-case scenario.
>     On the other hand, not signing an MoU, and then just contacting all
>     of our 2017 bidders, is quite a different method to get to the
>     table. Instead of a long-standing MoU agreement that would foster
>     the relationship throughout the years, as we have with so many
>     organizations, we are faced with a decision now that involves both
>     foundations and 1,000,000 USD (the annual FOSS4G event generates a
>     lot of revenue, making this very attractive to professional
>     conference companies all over the world, I was phoned yesterday by
>     one from Europe, for example).  The money is there, huge money, and
>     huge exposure for these companies.  And their jobs are on the line,
>     in their minds.  Hence this situation we are forced to deal with
>     now, and these nasty private messages being sent to me.
>     Let's try to remain positive though, as we have 3 great bids for
>     FOSS4G 2017, and a solid team working hard already to make
>     FOSS4G-2016 in Bonn another amazing event.  OSGeo has never been so
>     active and vibrant as so many initiatives and location chapters grow
>     all around the world.
>     Thanks for listening, and thank you Jody for bringing this topic to
>     the public lists.
>     -jeff
>     --
>     Jeff McKenna
>     President, OSGeo
>     http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Jeff_McKenna

More information about the Discuss mailing list