[OSGeo-Discuss] OSGeo/LocationTech relationship

Jeff McKenna jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com
Sun Nov 15 13:32:27 PST 2015

and Jo Cook, so I should never have written "first".  Now, I realize I 
am talking too much :) Phew.  Anyway I hope my vision is still clear. 

On 2015-11-15 3:21 PM, Jeff McKenna wrote:
> 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!
> -jeff
> 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

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