[OSGeo-Discuss] OSGeo/LocationTech relationship

Jody Garnett jody.garnett at gmail.com
Mon Nov 16 18:30:33 PST 2015

Thank you for the two narratives Rob, I find it a much more constructive
presentation then the FAQ provided previously.

Narrative B matches my own experience, although I have focused on
project/developer level interaction (and largely ignored any capacity as a
PCO). I think I can make the slightly stronger statement that as a
committer representative on the LocationTech steering committee I have
always sought a constructive engagement.

Jody Garnett

On 16 November 2015 at 16:59, Rob Emanuele <rdemanuele at gmail.com> wrote:

> I think there's two narratives that are at conflict in this entire thread.
> I'm going to try to try to spell them out as I see them:
> A. LocationTech is a newer-than-OSGeo organization that is trying to make
> a name for itself, capture market share, promote it's brand, in general act
> in a way that makes itself grow. The intention behind LocationTech's
> actions in offering services as a professional conference organizer is
> mostly for it's own gain; LocationTech wants to smoothly slide into
> becoming a part of OSGeo's annual conference for the profit and promotion
> of itself, to the potential loss of OSGeo. For that reason, it is best for
> the OSGeo community to protect itself from LocationTech, keep measured
> distance between the organizations, not allow it to become part of the
> FOSS4G international event, or at least to be suspicious of it's stated
> good intentions in offering itself to be PCO. The real story is that
> LocationTech's intentions are primarily about the profits and higher
> visibility it will gain from being part of FOSS4G, and the help it is
> offering plays a secondary role.
> B. LocationTech is an organization that was created out of intentions to
> help parts of the community that were perhaps not best served by OSGeo at
> the time. It has it's own governance and ways of doing things, which
> include being backed by small and large companies looking to contribute
> financial support to the open source community, which allows for things
> like paid staff. The model is different than OSGeo, the structure is
> different than OSGeo, and the aims are similar but have differences. One
> differences is that it's parent organization is the Eclipse Foundation, who
> have professional conference organizers on staff and a lot of experience
> running successful conferences. Seeing this is a valuable thing that the
> open source geospatial community can take advantage of, LocationTech offers
> it's services as a professional conference organizer to the FOSS4G NA
> regional conferences, and now has offered it's services to the
> international conference in 2017. While certainly not eschewing the
> increase in visibility in the community that being part of the conferences
> would afford LocationTech, that plays a secondary role to the earnest
> desire to help the open source geospatial community.
> Have I captured these narratives correctly or incorrectly? They are based
> on impressions and implicit opinions that I've tried to understand from
> these conversations. I think perhaps explicitly stating them would be
> useful, so if I have failed to do so correctly please correct me.
> I obviously have a preference for believing that narrative B best fits the
> reality of the situation. Self promotion surely must play some role in
> LocationTech's actions, but is it naive to think that the intentions of
> LocationTech are for the community first and itself second? Perhaps. I
> don't think so though. The alternative is certainly not how I operate when
> I participate in LocationTech.
> I prefer the narrative of openness and trust vs the narrative of mistrust
> and suspicion that sounds like bad politics. I hope that this community
> that I choose to participate in is not such a political mess that breeds
> that sort of selfish market share power plays, and instead it is a
> community of people and organizations that take actions based on how they
> can contribute to an overall good.
> On Mon, Nov 16, 2015 at 6:23 PM, Mateusz Loskot <mateusz at loskot.net>
> wrote:
>> On 16 November 2015 at 23:11, Jody Garnett <jody.garnett at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> > If I was to sum up the difference in outlook between the two
>> organizations
>> > today it would more be along the lines of LocationTech being "developer
>> > focused" and OSGeo being "user focused'. I think that is more a
>> reflection
>> > of where the projects involved are in their incubation process that any
>> > strategic difference.
>> Jody,
>> I have to admit, to me as OSGeo member as developer (+SAC supporter),
>> this whole thread has not clarified almost nothing.
>> As much as I appreciate (and carefully read through) all your inputs,
>> that summary leaves me with even more questions.
>> And, BTW, I agree with you about the FAQ, it also reads naive and silly
>> (e.g. comparing Apache vs Mozilla, two different scopes, to
>> LocationTech vs OSGeo,
>> two with clear overlap).
>> Putting all the emotional cream whipped so far aside and objectively,
>> clearly, that it is all about potential, capacity and market share.
>> OSGeo has proved its potential, it is capable to paddle its own canoe
>> for a decade or more,
>> via large self-organized community and successful projects.
>> LocationTech is a fairly new player with huge & rich organization behind,
>> that has to prove it's capable to secure market share, and its position.
>> Otherwise, the parent organization will simply shut it down as any
>> failed project.
>> Best regards,
>> --
>> Mateusz  Loskot, http://mateusz.loskot.net
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