[OSGeo-Discuss] OSGeo/LocationTech relationship

Jeff McKenna jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com
Sun Nov 15 11:21:06 PST 2015

Anne don't yell at me, I forgot to mention you, I should have stated 
"This year's board has the most women ever", not first! :)

I am smiling.  Sorry Anne!


On 2015-11-15 3:13 PM, Jeff McKenna wrote:
> Hi Cameron,
> Thank you for your message.  It is very refreshing to speak on this
> topic openly here, as others would rather send me strong private
> messages questioning my sanity, and making threats.  I realize that many
> cannot be open on this topic for various reasons.
> Let me assure everyone here that I only have one agenda, which is very
> rare these days, and that is to help the OSGeo foundation.  I am not
> muzzled by fear or threats, and I will stand up for the OSGeo foundation
> whenever that is required.  If by standing up for OSGeo's only event all
> year, FOSS4G, means that I am called "confrontational" and
> "obstructive", then yes you are fully right.
> Some may not know this by reading this thread, but I have always been a
> big supporter of LocationTech.  I was involved in the beginning of
> LocationTech, involved in the sense of being one of the first
> subscribers to their mailing list, and I even have had many chats inside
> their #locationtech IRC channel, even answering questions from new
> LocationTech community members (technical readers will find it
> interesting to join their IRC channel now on freenode and see the first
> message that is displayed when entering their channel "LocationTech:
> location aware open source software friendly to commercialization.").  I
> have followed the development of that organization right from the
> beginning, where they smartly filled a void by aiming at the
> business/commercial side of Open Source geospatial (of course, recently
> they publicly pointed out to me, even questioned my sanity, that this
> was false, I am dreaming, that they have always focused instead on the
> same goals as OSGeo, but readers, do a google search for LT and press
> release, and you will see their early visions).  Which is why I asked
> now to hear the vision of LocationTech (I was not answered, but someone
> else pointed to an FAQ just made).  In any case, no I am not insane, I
> have always followed LocationTech closely.
> I do travel to many OSGeo local chapters around the world, constantly,
> and especially to developing areas that are just becoming interested in
> Open Source.  In a few days I will again take 3 more planes and
> represent OSGeo at a growing community, again putting life on hold,
> including my health, my money, and my life in general, to go help grow
> the OSGeo community.  In this event I can bet that I will speak
> personally to over 100 developers, students, decision makers, and
> researchers; I bet I will personally talk to over 20 businesses looking
> at OSGeo.  Those who know me well know that this is why I make those
> trips (I don't go for presentations etc.), it is that face to face
> representation that is so very important, especially in the long run.
> As the leader of the OSGeo foundation, part of my role is to listen to
> all of the criticism about me; and I realize that the negative words
> you've used about me here for everyone to read, are not the first
> negative ones used at me in years past, nor will they be the last. In
> the big theater room that is the community, there will always be those
> that disagree with me, and I value their opinion as well.
> Few in this community see me being so involved behind the scenes.  New
> committees, new MoUs, FOSS4G local committees, all just pop up on the
> scene and grow, but few see me behind the scenes helping them form
> initially, and I am ok with that.  The core community members in the
> OSGeo foundation know that I support them in every way that I can.  I
> often am actively working 2 or even 3 years in advance of a FOSS4G for
> that region, talking with those regions members, getting them to think
> of the possibilities, years before the release of the call for hosting.
>   To you and others it looks like I have no innovation, no new ideas, I
> don't work with community leaders, because you don't see me working
> behind the scenes for OSGeo.  I am ok with that.  You can keep going on
> in thinking this way of me, but I am very proud of what I do for OSGeo,
> what I constantly try to do for OSGeo.  Long-time members of OSGeo know
> how I have failed in several proposals to past OSGeo boards, and to this
> day those so-called "failures" are my most proud moments.  But yes, you
> can always argue that I am not innovative and do not help OSGeo.
> I am also not wired to think of "money" first.  I follow my heart and I
> try to do the best I can for OSGeo, for the OSGeo foundation, always,
> even if it doesn't make sense for me personally or for my career.  I do
> it, for the love of OSGeo.  I also realize that it is this fact, of how
> I am wired, that causes conflict with others (another example is my
> father, who constantly says I should go get a real job and earn the
> money I deserve, he sees me struggle financially and it drives him
> crazy).  Instead of money, my goal in life is to be happy and do well
> for society.  I feel OSGeo and its local chapters fits in perfectly with
> my own personal goals, and I give to OSGeo everything I can, every ounce
> of my being.  It is, what I do and what I enjoy.
> Ok back on track again:
> I truly feel that Andrea is doing a great job for LocationTech, always
> has.  We have known each other for a long time, since back when I was
> the MapServer users group chair in Ottawa and she first attended.  I
> have always treated Andrea and LocationTech with respect.
> (before you say how false that is, I will now go into my vision for OSGeo)
> Vision For OSGeo
> ================
> (I should first state that I have called a face to face meeting with the
> OSGeo Board members to work together on topics such as vision and the
> goals of OSGeo, and how to achieve those goals, and that meeting will be
> in January, attended by all members of this new OSGeo board)
> "My vision is for OSGeo to be the Open Source geospatial community all
> across the globe, everywhere and anywhere, and have fun doing it.  The
> OSGeo community is special, we are unique, we do great things for the
> world, we are open, and we have fun.  We accept anyone into our
> community and will give them the spotlight, to help their local
> community and the world share its spatial information.  We are OSGeo."
> Many have seen me speak about "community" all around the world since
> about 2008, and it is OSGeo's community that is so valued.  This vision
> puts our community in that spotlight, and is something that I already
> know that we all follow in our hearts.  It is the OSGeo spirit that
> drives us all, that some may not understand, but we can teach them and
> help them share their geospatial information openly, and, show them how
> fun it is.
> How to get there
> ================
> Focus on Developing Regions
> ---------------------------
> Over the next 5 or 10 years, various developing regions ("developing" in
> the sense of in-progress of becoming world leaders in open) across the
> globe, not known globally for their OSGeo chapters yet, will be given
> the OSGeo spotlight.  These are important regions of the world,
> extremely active locally but not as well known globally for their
> efforts in Open Source geospatial.  Some possible examples are South
> America, South Asia, Russia, China, Middle East, North Africa, and
> India.  OSGeo will help give them the world stage for Open Source
> geospatial.
> Local Chapters
> --------------
> All of the fun happens locally, it is through local chapters that OSGeo
> can grow Open Source geospatial software, learn, share, and have fun. We
> currently have about 30 official chapters, and about 30 in formation,
> but we have so much more work to do to help chapters grow in other
> communities.  Let's help them! :)
> Projects
> --------
> OSGeo projects and those in incubation are very stable and have vibrant
> communities.  OSGeo must help these projects grow, and also help
> incoming projects find a home in our community.  We must be accepting to
> changing trends and styles in the global industry.
> Charter Members
> ---------------
> OSGeo charter members will drive the formation of the Open Source
> geospatial community.
> Diversity
> ---------
> OSGeo must from now on have 50% women on its Board of Directors.  This
> year's board has the first women ever on its board, but for 2016/2017
> and beyond, women will again be strongly represented at the board level
> of the OSGeo foundation.  This will help provide strong leadership from
> OSGeo throughout the world.
> Education and Training
> ----------------------
> OSGeo will continue to spread Open Source geospatial to students and
> educators around the world, through the GeoForAll initiative.  Focus
> will also change from post-secondary institutions to
> secondary/high-school, getting the young minds excited and interested in
> sharing and being open.
> Professional Service Providers
> ------------------------------
> OSGeo will begin to focus on its service providers, and give them the
> spotlight they deserve, for choosing to operate their business around
> OSGeo projects.  Focus will not only be placed on the larger businesses,
> but for the first time ever, small businesses will be given the
> spotlight from OSGeo.
> (in my travels, I estimate that 90% of OSGeo's service providers have
> <10 employees, yet we are not giving these businesses any spotlight)
> ------
> OSGeo's hugely successful yearly event, the global FOSS4G, will continue
> to travel around the world each year.  The goal of OSGeo's global FOSS4G
> event over the next 5 to 10 years will be to expand to new areas, plant
> the OSGeo seed locally, learn, share, and have fun.  The goal will be to
> share this passion as much as possible, by having low-cost FOSS4G
> events.  Regional FOSS4G events will satisfy local needs, in however the
> local chapters desire.
> Code Sprints
> ------------
> OSGeo will actively promote its ability to support all code sprints of
> any size, no matter if there is only one project being enhanced.
> Working with other organizations
> --------------------------------
> Working closely with other organizations will continue to be important
> for OSGeo.  MoUs with organizations encourage communication, and usually
> have the 2 leaders of the parties sit down face to face once a year and
> talk (which is really priceless in the long-term for the commmunity) and
> review the agreement.  Admittedly these agreements are not liked by the
> business-types, for not offering any firm details up front (like
> financial benefits), but in the long term these agreements help change
> opinions, give momentum to both parties, and end up creating jobs in the
> industry.
> Standards
> ---------
> Standards in geospatial software and data will continue to be one of the
> core parts of every OSGeo project.
> Financial Focus
> ---------------
> OSGeo has never been about generating revenue.  OSGeo is and will be
> about being the Open Source geospatial community, sharing, learning, and
> having fun.  OSGeo will continue to be lean, earning enough funding to
> help its annual FOSS4G and other events, maintain OSGeo's
> infrastructure, and other critical needs.  The OSGeo foundation will
> continue to be volunteer driven.
> Discussion
> ==========
> In terms of what I would do to foster working with LocationTech, I would
> work with Andrea directly to develop an MoU agreement draft, and then
> take that draft to each of our Boards.  To formalize this agreement, I
> would call for a "Summit" to be held around March of this year between
> the LocationTech Steering Committee members, and the OSGeo Board of
> Directors.  This would be a one day meeting, in person, and not related
> to any other existing event (not added to an existing program/event).
> This would allow the OSGeo Board to meet in January, establish their
> goals, and then to sit down prepared with LocationTech Steering
> Committee in March.
> I do feel that the LocationTech/OSGeo relationship needs to be examined
> slowly, and this is why I made a stand here this/last week.  I apologize
> to Andrea if I have offended her, or disrespected her in any way.
> About the above vision, I am aware that this was likely asked of me now,
> so that some can point out faults in my thinking, how I am wrong etc.
> That is ok, I accept that, and I also accept that I most likely made
> mistakes in writing this vision today, and I am sure the other OSGeo
> board members will help clarify this in January.  I feel the process of
> creating a vision, and following through with that, should involve each
> and every OSGeo member, so I feel that I have nothing to hide and
> everything to gain.
> I would like to thank everyone, for again, being you, sharing the OSGeo
> passion, doing what you can, whether it is by teaching, writing,
> developing code, managing a business, learning something new, or just
> following along, your help and smile is what gets me through these
> challenging times.
> I would also like to deeply thank those who reached out to me this week,
> during this hard time on me, I will tell you that twice I was brought to
> tears sitting at my computer here reading the small thanks for
> representing them, sent from some far away country by a local leader.  I
> do this for you all.
> Yours,
> -jeff

More information about the Discuss mailing list