[OSGeo-Discuss] OSGeo/LocationTech relationship

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Sun Nov 15 12:19:40 PST 2015

Hi Jeff,
Thanks for articulating your vision. I anticipate it will be very useful 
in moving forward, and will help provide a basis from which the OSGeo 
community and board can contribute to and build into a collective 
vision, and then extend into a practical implementation of it.

Warm regards, Cameron

On 16/11/2015 6:13 am, 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

Cameron Shorter,
Software and Data Solutions Manager
Suite 112, Jones Bay Wharf,
26 - 32 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont NSW 2009

P +61 2 9009 5000,  W www.lisasoft.com,  F +61 2 9009 5099

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