[OSGeo-Discuss] OSGeo/LocationTech relationship
jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com
Sun Nov 15 13:03:16 PST 2015
Thank you for this message. I too think it will help, and am going to
print it out now to see it and think on it more. I think there are lots
of parts that can be edited and changed, and analyzing if a vision fits
the organization, fits a situation, and maybe can explain why some
things are happening now. It's a good process to have gone through
today, and like you said, this can help the OSGeo community and the
(now will try to relax, ha)
On 2015-11-15 4:19 PM, Cameron Shorter wrote:
> 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
>> 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
>> 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
>> 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! :)
>> 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.
>> 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 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.
>> 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
>> 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.
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